Angry Iver hits out at parish spending
Villagers vent anger at the £750k cost of new council offices
FURIOUS villagers met on Monday night to protest against a council’s decision to buy a police station for hundreds of thousands of pounds. Campaign group Angry Iver hosted a meeting at The Swan pub for residents to take their stand against a decision by Iver Parish Council (IPC) to spend £750,000 on new offices.
Murray Roberts led the heated meeting in front of a packed house in Iver High Street, where people expressed concerns over what has been seen as a lack of consultation from the council.
Mr Roberts, an Iver resident for the past 20 years, said: “IPC are spending our money on things that we don’t really need or want.
“We’re pretty angry about it.
“It’s not needed, it’s not wanted, it’s not been asked for, it’s not planned.
“It’s not thought through, it’s not been communicated.”
Calls were made for the parish council to delay the purchase, with Mr Roberts asking chairman Wendy Matthews a number of times: “Can you suspend the decision to buy that police station until we have had a chance to be part of the process?
“You never know, we might come up with something that everybody loves.”
Cllr Matthews replied: “The time for people to have a consultation was during the consultation period.”
She added: “We can discuss it amongst the councillors, but our decision was taken but a proper le- gal process. We will have to investigate that.”
Mr Roberts suggested the money could be spent on other things, such as the High Street, new parking, street lighting and on more burial plots in the cemetery.
He said: “They paid absolute lip service to us as a community.
“Why aren’t they coming up with a business plan for better parking to help the shops?
“It’s just nonsense. Where is the parish plan? Where’s the initiative? They’re doing what they want.
“The police station is a vanity project.”
Residents also demanded greater transparency from the council and argued for more engagement with them.
Mr Roberts said: “A local authority is required to deliver what the people want.
“We’re trying to deliver a community for everybody in Iver.”
Speaking directly to councillor Carol Gibson, he added: “What we want to do is open up a dialogue so that you can help us understand what’s going on.”
Iver Police station, where the parish council may be based in the future