Exhange with Cllr Dick Wolff

First response from Councillor Wolff

Thank you for taking the trouble to set this down so comprehensively. It must have taken a long time. The Green Party councillors have long attempted to support the boaters. It’s not particularly my area of expertise but Cllrs Elise Benjamin and David Thomas are on to it. Cllr Simmons (our Group Leader) is chair of Scrutiny Committee, as you probably know. We have had many issue with the PSPOs generally.

For your information, the Richard Adams you refer to is a council officer, not an elected member.

The purpose of this email is simply to acknowledge that I’ve seen and read yours.
Cllr Dick Wolff

Further response from Sharyn Hyde

Dear Cllr Wolff,

Thank you very much for your reply and acknowledgement. I also appreciate the clarification regarding Richard Adams’ role.

Kind regards,

Second response from Councillor Wolff

At Monday’s full council meeting a succession of boaters made presentations to us. They were very well coordinated and I was left in little doubt that the most appropriate response from the portfolio holder (Cllr Dee Sinclair) would have been to apologise and abandon the PSPO idea completely until council representatives have had a chance to meet with the boaters and find out what anti-social behaviour issues affected them as the primary residents on the waterways. It sounds like they have a few – not least, aggressive house owners.

I haven’t checked but I think this was the recommendation from the cross-party Scrutiny Committee which is chaired by my Green Party colleague councillor Craig Simmons; but the City Executive Board (the council’s equivalent of the cabinet) rejected it.

If you wanted to lobby the Labour councillor responsible she’s at cllrdsinclair@oxford.gov.uk

Cllr Dick Wolff
City Councillor for St Marys Ward

Further response from Sharyn Hyde

Thank you very much for your email. You are quite right; it was the recommendation of the scrutiny committee that the PSPO is rejected in its current form and this was overruled by the executive board.

I’m relieved and glad to hear that you understand our concerns with regards to the lack of consultation with boaters by the council and complaints from a small number of housed residents being given precedence. We will continue to pursue this and try to engage Cllr Sinclair in discussion to see if we can arrive at a positive solution. She did say that she was willing to talk to us about this, although I fear that she is not the driving force behind the move to approve a waterways PSPO, and we will need to convince those people that it is a bad idea if we are to have any chance of other options being considered. As I said in my initial email, based on the evidence so far we have reason to distrust the process will be conducted fairly, although we intend to continue to work to ensure that it is.

Kind regards,
Sharyn Hyde

Third response from Councillor Wolff

She may not be the driving force, but she has the power (as the
portfolio holder) to put a stop to it. She may not make herself
popular with the Labour Group if she does, mind.
Dick Wolff
07968 486854