Give gardener his council job back

Give gardener his council job back

Rosetta De Wit with the petition

Brian Corcoran

First published in News by

A PETITION and social networking campaign have been launched in a bid to force councillors to make a u-turn over staff redundancies.

Earlier this month Bicester Town Council announced it had restructured its outdoor team, with three people losing their jobs.

Among them was head gardener Brian Corcoran, who worked for the council for 23 years, and had won it a string of accolades for his work in the town and Garth Park.

But the move has come in for criticism from townspeople who want Mr Corcoran reinstated.

So far more than 100 people have signed the petition and others have added the campaign to their status on social networking site Facebook.

A poster making claims about the restructuring has since been removed.

The council said it reviewed how the outdoor team worked and implemented a new system to provide good-quality services and value for money. The move has not saved any cash.

It is looking to employ a “hands-on” team leader with a horticultural qualification.

All decisions, including the principle of restructuring the outdoor team, took place in confidential meetings that excluded the press and public.

Rosetta De Wit, of Langford Village, Bicester, launched the petition over concerns about the way the restructure was handled and fears Garth Park “will go downhill”.

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She said: “The council has been so secretive about everything and there are a lot of people who are unhappy about it.

“This (the discussions) should have had the community involved. Brian is part of the fixtures and fittings of Garth Park and was their head gardener who had won them so many awards.

“I’m so upset about it and when I talk to people in the town they feel the same way.”

Copies of the petition are at Lewis’ Butcher’s in Sheep Street and Market Square eateries Jafflong and Papilion.

During his career Mr Corcoran, who has three separate horticultural qualifications, won best park and best town in the Britain in Bloom contests, and represented the town at Tatton Park.

On Facebook Michelle Pixie Latimer said: “Everyone I have spoken to is absolutely disgusted by it.

“I’m 31 now and the head gardner has run things perfectly well for as long as I can remember. Something def(initely) needs to be done!”

Another, David Ford, said: “Brian turned the Garth into something to be proud of.”

A poster accompanying the petition was taken down in one shop following a complaint from the town council.

The council refused to comment about the campaign, but said it had serious concerns about “untrue” information being given to the public.

Conservative leader at the council James Porter said: “I am very annoyed. If the author of the poster comes forward I would be very willing to discuss their concerns face-to-face.”

bicester@oxfordmail.co.uk

Comments (5)

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2:16pm Fri 27 Apr 12

Bart Simpsonxxx says...

If its not saving money, where is the money going then from the staff that have been sacked??? In someones back pocket??
If its not saving money, where is the money going then from the staff that have been sacked??? In someones back pocket?? Bart Simpsonxxx
  • Score: 0

3:24pm Fri 27 Apr 12

BICESTER1 says...

I was disgusted how Bicester Town Council could treat a valued employees who have been an asset to the town. Garth Park is a testimoney to the Head Gardener and his teams hard work making it a pleasurable experience all year round to visit. I am angry that the decision was taken without consultation with the public who use this facility, and it is not a cost cutting exercise. Why all the secrecy? If there is no cost benefit and the Garth Park is a testimony to the great job that is being done over the years then why are these people losing their jobs? What happened to loyalty to local people. Come on Bicester Town Council you are supposed to represent the people of Bicester this is certainly not the way. Give these people back their jobs.
I was disgusted how Bicester Town Council could treat a valued employees who have been an asset to the town. Garth Park is a testimoney to the Head Gardener and his teams hard work making it a pleasurable experience all year round to visit. I am angry that the decision was taken without consultation with the public who use this facility, and it is not a cost cutting exercise. Why all the secrecy? If there is no cost benefit and the Garth Park is a testimony to the great job that is being done over the years then why are these people losing their jobs? What happened to loyalty to local people. Come on Bicester Town Council you are supposed to represent the people of Bicester this is certainly not the way. Give these people back their jobs. BICESTER1
  • Score: 0

4:29pm Fri 27 Apr 12

JanetJ says...

Ask your local councillor for their opinion on it when they're canvassing - assume they had a say in the decision?
Ask your local councillor for their opinion on it when they're canvassing - assume they had a say in the decision? JanetJ
  • Score: 0

4:31pm Fri 27 Apr 12

jeanat7 says...

What a disgrace how can Bicester Town Council justify taking the jobs of these proud hard working men, they have kept Garth Park looking great and have won numerous awards. If Conservative leader James Porter is so annoyed at the campaign poster containing untrue information maybe he can put the facts straight and address the people of Bicester that he supposingly represents. Why sack someone for excelling in their council jobs when there is no financial gain to the people of Bicester?
What a disgrace how can Bicester Town Council justify taking the jobs of these proud hard working men, they have kept Garth Park looking great and have won numerous awards. If Conservative leader James Porter is so annoyed at the campaign poster containing untrue information maybe he can put the facts straight and address the people of Bicester that he supposingly represents. Why sack someone for excelling in their council jobs when there is no financial gain to the people of Bicester? jeanat7
  • Score: 0

6:05pm Fri 27 Apr 12

hagar1 says...

23 years on the gravy train - I for one am glad it's coming to a grinding halt.
23 years on the gravy train - I for one am glad it's coming to a grinding halt. hagar1
  • Score: 0

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