Bench plaque taken off by ‘childish’ city council

Cllr Mick Haines with the plaque

Cllr Mick Haines with the plaque

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Headington and Marston. Call me on (01865) 425411

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.”

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Comments (6)

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7:39am Mon 14 Jul 14

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe says...

Unless Mr Haines paid for the bench himself, which it appears from the council's comments he didn't, why would he expect to be allowed to put a plaque on it bearing his name ?
Unless Mr Haines paid for the bench himself, which it appears from the council's comments he didn't, why would he expect to be allowed to put a plaque on it bearing his name ? Sandy Wimpole-Smythe
  • Score: 31

1:05pm Mon 14 Jul 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe wrote:
Unless Mr Haines paid for the bench himself, which it appears from the council's comments he didn't, why would he expect to be allowed to put a plaque on it bearing his name ?
It does seem rather underhand...

Hope he didn't claim for the plaque on expenses.
[quote][p][bold]Sandy Wimpole-Smythe[/bold] wrote: Unless Mr Haines paid for the bench himself, which it appears from the council's comments he didn't, why would he expect to be allowed to put a plaque on it bearing his name ?[/p][/quote]It does seem rather underhand... Hope he didn't claim for the plaque on expenses. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 5

8:19pm Mon 14 Jul 14

Feelingsmatter says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
Sandy Wimpole-Smythe wrote:
Unless Mr Haines paid for the bench himself, which it appears from the council's comments he didn't, why would he expect to be allowed to put a plaque on it bearing his name ?
It does seem rather underhand...

Hope he didn't claim for the plaque on expenses.
I'll bet he did, and if so, he should pay it back. What a cheek!
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sandy Wimpole-Smythe[/bold] wrote: Unless Mr Haines paid for the bench himself, which it appears from the council's comments he didn't, why would he expect to be allowed to put a plaque on it bearing his name ?[/p][/quote]It does seem rather underhand... Hope he didn't claim for the plaque on expenses.[/p][/quote]I'll bet he did, and if so, he should pay it back. What a cheek! Feelingsmatter
  • Score: -4

8:37pm Mon 14 Jul 14

EMBOX2 says...

Not your money, not your bench Mr. Haines.
Not your money, not your bench Mr. Haines. EMBOX2
  • Score: -3

9:59pm Mon 14 Jul 14

dant40 says...

Haines what happened to your supporter as you always have them in the back grand for the photo shoot. Stick the plaque on your wooden gate at the front of your house.
Haines what happened to your supporter as you always have them in the back grand for the photo shoot. Stick the plaque on your wooden gate at the front of your house. dant40
  • Score: -7

6:43am Tue 15 Jul 14

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

Disappointing, Mr Haines. Self-applause is below your normal standards. Campaigning for your ward is great but playing the generous donor with somebody else's money is like those MPs who claimed funeral wreaths and church collection money on expenses. I wonder if you've got too big for your boots lately, but I hope not.
Disappointing, Mr Haines. Self-applause is below your normal standards. Campaigning for your ward is great but playing the generous donor with somebody else's money is like those MPs who claimed funeral wreaths and church collection money on expenses. I wonder if you've got too big for your boots lately, but I hope not. Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: 3

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