Julia Gasper 0

Sack Oxford's Planning Officer

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We, as residents of Oxford, regard the Westgate re-development plan as a disaster for Oxford. The plan to replace the existing Westgate centre which is only thirty years old were always foolish and only gained the approval of elected councillors by using dubious techniques. The result has been to close down existing shops, cut down all the trees in the area and reduce the former garden in Bonn Square to what looks like a bomb site. Now the plans, which were always an ecological disaster, have been shelved indefinitely because of the economic downturn. The Central Library is going to be reduced in size for no reason, and huge amounts of public money have been wasted to create chaos. The Council loftily tells us that this is their way of "regenerating" the area. We believe that somebody must be to blame for this masterpiece of mismanagement. In such cases, it is usual and fair for the person in the highest post of responsibility to take the blame and to suffer accordingly. Therefore we call on the City Mayor and councillors to dismiss the Chief Planning Officer, Mr Michael Crofton-Briggs, who we believe took the lead in this misguided scheme from the first. We also protest against spending any more public money on increasing the profits of the private investors in this scheme, as this is an inappropriate use of our Council Tax.


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