‘We don’t give up our time just to be abused’

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Serving the community can sometimes be a thankless task ... but it shouldn’t be one that comes with a barrage of abuse.

That’s the message from Soulbury Parish Council following a heated meeting on Monday, January 16, when parishioners criticised them for not objecting to a development of ten houses proposed opposite The Boot pub.

In the meeting, parishioners allegedly referred to their parish council as both “useless” and uncaring”.

This is despite the fact that not a single resident volunteered for a vacancy on the parish council last year and current members were elected unopposed.

Parish Cllr Alan Stevens said: “The council was again subjected to verbal abuse, with members of the public stating that we are not looking after the interests of the parish.

“The meeting got very heated and was not a good example of self control or adult behaviour.”

He added: “We were accused of not looking after the parish.

“We asked why people did not apply for the vacancy on the council and they said, ‘Look I’ve got a job’ and ‘It’s alright for you, you’re retired’.”

According to Cllr Stevens, there are in fact three members of the parish council who have full-time jobs.

In the development’s design and access statement, agent Brickhill Properties state: “The proposal is a well-designed scheme that promotes the use of a mix of dwellings built of appropriate materials, with attractive design styles and landscaping to help respect the character, appearance and setting of the village and heritage assets.”

Dozens of objections have came from the public, although official consultants have supported it subject to conditions. A decision will be reached by March 24.