Councillor resigns over playpark row

A PARISH councillor has resigned after claims of ‘bullying’ tactics from fellow members amid a row over play equipment.

Terry Hall stormed out of a meeting of Stanley and Stanley Common Parish Council after councillors voted seven to two in favour of siting ‘trim trail’ adventure playgrounds in parks off Coronation Road in Stanley and Belper Road in Stanley Common.

In his resignation letter, Mr Hall claimed that parish councillors have not listened to the people of Stanley, who he said are more in favour of a proposal to create a bowling green in the park because existing children’s play equipment is not being used.

He has accused councillors of ‘bullying’ members to vote for the proposal and said they had even tried to ban him from discussing the matter with villagers in the months leading up to the vote last Tuesday night.

“I have been appalled at how this parish council works,” said Mr Hall, who has been a councillor since May 2011.

“We have got enough play equipment which is not being used – it’s a waste of public money.”

Councillors have made assurances that the equipment, costing £8,000, will be paid for out of grants and will not cost parishioners anything.

But Mr Hall believes there will be hundreds of pounds of associated insurance and maintenance costs for village tax-payers to find.

“I’ve just been hitting my head against a brick wall,” said Mr Hall.

“It’s best for me and my health to get out of there but it isn’t what I wanted to do.

“I can get more done by putting pressure on them from the public gallery.

“They are preventing free speech.”

Chairman of the council Cllr Col Mike Cheetham said he had no comment to make about Mr Hall’s claims.

“He is entitled to his own opinion,” he said.