When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Bench plaque taken off by ‘childish’ city council
COUNCIL bosses have been accused of “childish” behaviour for removing a bench’s plaque just days after the seat was installed.
Independent Oxford city councillor Mick Haines was shocked to have the plaque returned to him by post.
It was accompanied by a letter from Oxford City Council, saying they were not “generally” allowed on street furniture, the councillor claims.
Mr Haines campaigned to have the bench installed at the junction of Croft Road and Marston Road last month. He now wants the city council to clarify when plaques are, and are not allowed on benches.
Mr Haines said: “I got a letter saying that you can’t put a plaque on street furniture which is a bit childish – I don’t agree with it.
“It’s not for me personally, it’s for the people of Marston, that’s why I’m annoyed.”
The bench was installed on Saturday, June 21, costing £500 from Mr Haines’ annual £1,500 annual community fund.
But 11 days later, the small plaque, inscribed “Presented to the people of Marston from councillor Mick Haines”, had been removed and sent back to councillor in the post.
Mr Haines said: “I could not believe it. I don’t understand the council’s position, I think I was just picked on.
“I have spoken to a lot of people about this and they think it’s all wrong.”
Mr Haines said he hoped the plaque could be returned on the bench. He added: “It’s not a great big massive one. It’s just there to let the people know I had given the bench to them.
“I wanted to put the bench there because I knew it would be well used, which it has been because it’s between the shops and going down to Old Marston Road.”
Oxford City Council spokeswoman Louisa Dean said: “We rarely have plaques on street furniture within the city.
“We removed the plaque on the bench in Marston as it was funded by Oxford City Council money and not directly raised by the individual councillor.
“We returned the plaque to the councillor.”
Our top stories: