Since a letter to your newspaper let the cat thoroughly out of the bag about the council’s desire to build a skatepark in Manor Gardens, this weekend past has seen much action.
On Saturday, the Upperton councillors held their monthly surgery at the Town Hall. This was rather better attended than usual, I am certain.
However, in addition to the councillors and residents, the Mayor was determined to attend. In the event, she was permitted to do so as an observer.
It was a rather active meeting, as may be imagined. The absence of detail about the skatepark frustrated much progress, but at least it was a forum for the residents of Upperton ward to ask questions and state their concerns and views.
Sadly, the mayor, Councillor Heaps, did not remain an observer. It became clear that her attendance was to push forward her favoured plan, not to listen to our concerns.
A snide pseudo-reassurance that ‘they’ll be middle class children’ was both offensive and inappropriate from such a source. I suspect that remark said more about the councillor than about Upperton residents.
The following day, the mayor had arranged for a demonstration of skateboarding by some young local boys, followed by an open meeting in Gildredge Park. I attended this, or a part of it. The behaviour of the youth was excellent.
The same could not be said of the mayor, who chose to insult the Upperton councillors and some of us present at the meeting the day before.
I am afraid that after almost half an hour, the hypocrisy, as I perceived it, of the mayor, and her determination to ignore any concerns of local residents, so enraged me that I left the meeting.
I should like it on record that I thought the behaviour of the Upperton councillors was excellent in the face of much provocation. And I should thank your newspaper for helping to bring to light a project we knew nothing about, and about which there had been no consultation.
At least now we have a chance to state our views, even though it is hard to believe these will be listened to, at least by the mayor.
Plainly, Upperton residents are outside her remit; and, despite her stated concerns, those over the age to vote.