Former Council Leader "Got it wrong"????

Former Wycombe District Council Leader Lesley Clarke tells Marlow FM: ‘We got stadium consultation wrong’

By Rebecca Cain »

FORMER leader of Wycombe District Council, Lesley Clarke, spoke openly on Marlow FM this morning and said the council did not get it right in the stadium consultation.

She said the council should have asked people what they thought about the idea of a new stadium and sports facility rather than asking first which site it should go on.

She added: “Thinking back we should have gone out and said what it (the plan) is and (asked) what would people like to see on the site and then said ‘this is what people would like’ and now ‘where shall we put it’.”

Cllr Clarke stepped down as leader last month due to the personal attacks on the comments section of the Bucks Free Press website.

She said: “I think it was what was written on the blogs, where you were not able to tell people what they were writing there were lies.”

The Abbey Ward councillor said the council were never happy with the current stadium being built at Adams Park.

The council refused their planning application but it went through on appeal.

She said the main problem there are parking issues as there is one way in and one way out.

Cllr Clarke added: “If you drive there you have to wait an hour.

“The match experience isn’t very good- we need to look at bringing families in.”

And she said it is for the community benefit more and Wanderers and Wasps do a lot of work in the community.

She told Marlow FM listeners that people invested in the Eden shopping centre and the Wycombe Swan but she said some of the public do not seem to see it as the same if Steve Hayes invested in the stadium.

Cllr Clarke also said they have never agreed what size it is gong to be but she thought they were looking at 70 to 80 acres. She said the council has given 200-300 acres back into the Green Belt.

She also commented on GASP (Groups Against the Stadium Proposals) and said they do not always tell the whole truth with figures which have frightened people.

She added: “I admire GASP in the way they have run this campaign.

“They have done it very well but I do think we [should] now listen to the silent majority.”

And talking about money being invested in the stadium she said the unemployment figures have risen from 2 per cent to 8.5/8.7 per cent in the district.

She said: “It is spending to save – that is what it is.

“We are investing something now to get something back.

“We have got to change the way people think about Wycombe.”

Matt Clarke