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Connah's Quay allotment chairman ‘does not speak for all of us’

Published date: 17 July 2017 |
Published by: David Humphreys 
Read more articles by David Humphreys  Email reporter


A plot holder at an allotment whose chairman staged an outburst at a town council has distanced himself from the remarks.

John Garnett, who has held a plot at Mill Lane allotments in Connah’s Quay for more than three decades, said not all plot holders agree with the stance taken by chairman Bill Crease in an extraordinary attack on the town council earlier this month.

Addressing councillors last week, Mr Crease claimed members of the allotment association had been misled by the previous town council over planning permission for sheds at Mill Lane.

Mr Crease claimed Cllr Pam Attridge, town council vice-chairman, had asked why they wanted toilets and asked if they could “just pee in a bucket like before?” He branded the council incompetent and had denied members “facilities given out to Third World countries”.

Cllr Attridge furiously denied Mr Crease’s claims.

Speaking to the Leader, Mr Garnett, who first took up his plot in 1984, said Mr Crease did not speak for all the plot holders on Mill Lane.

Mr Garnett said: “Not all of the allotment holders want anything to do with him or his society and if Mr Crease is so annoyed with the allotments he should leave and go to another site,” he said.

“I don’t think he did himself or the allotments any favours.

“He doesn’t speak for a lot of the people there and certainly not for me.

“I believe he got a little personal and went too far.”

Members of the town council moved to accept Mr Crease’s presentation and town clerk Steven Goodrum said they would respond in due course.

Mr Crease said he stood by the remarks he made.

“It is extraordinarily difficult to understand how such a diverse and representative group (allotment association) could have alienated the town and county council, made up of our elected members, to such an extent.

“The Community Asset Transfer Bid document, which is posted online and available for all to see, clearly laid out the short, medium and long-term aims, objectives and aspirations of the group.

“The issue really is one of lack of openness combined with misrepresentation from and by Connah’s Quay Town Council or at least some of its members.”

Cllr Ian Dunbar was present during the presentation and was dismayed by what he saw.

He said: “I myself was surprised at Mr Crease’s outburst. It was supposed to have been a presentation to the council on the allotment holders concerns.

“Mr Crease’s initial outburst was to attack two long-standing, well-respected councillors.

“Accusing Cllr Bernie Attridge, deputy leader of Flintshire Council, of bullying, and when he was challenged meekly apologised.

“His attack on Cllr Pam Attridge on the use of a bucket was vehemently denied later as she was astounded by the accusation.

“I have been bench chairman of the magistrates in Flintshire for a good few years and have heard some stories from defendants about how society are against them, but to hear what was said by Mr Crease was pathetic.

“I looked around the room and even the allotment holders sat there with their eyes and mouths wide open in as if in disbelief of what was being said supposedly on their behalf.”

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