Councillor denies fabrication claims

By Connie Osborne Friday 03 May 2013 Updated: 03/05 08:57

AN ALCESTER councillor has been accused of fabricating evidence in a row over the future of The Greig Hall.

Members of The Greig Memorial Trust, which owns the Kinwarton Road building, say they have made a formal complaint to Stratford-on-Avon District council claiming Coun Mike Gittus had used a false statement to convince the public they were breaching their obligation to keep the community centre open.

The allegation relates to a letter printed in a local newspaper on March 7 by Coun Gittus which referred to a statement on the Trust's website which claimed the object of the charity was the 'provision and maintenance of a community centre for the use of the inhabitants of the parish of Alcester and the surrounding district'.

But Ross Greig, chair of the Trust board, claimed their position had been misrepresented by someone fabricating evidence against them to support their own argument.

"Councillor Gittus tried to persuade the public we are not abiding by an obligation to keep the Greig Hall operating by claiming to quote a statement from our own website," he said.

"I’ve asked him three times to explain his statements by telling us exactly where the precise words he is quoting appear on our site? He couldn’t, as they don’t."

He added: "The quote does not exist, despite what he has claimed, so we have no other choice but to put the subject in the hands of Stratford-on-Avon District Council as a formal complaint."

Coun Gittus said the suggestion he had fabricated anything was totally untrue and without foundation.

"Documentation relating to the Trustees obligations are everywhere on the internet, in a similar manner and form to my quote," he said.

He added he had responded to the trustees on three occasions and had told them a full statement appeared in its Annual Return/Annual Update for the years 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

"I am committed to the retention of the Hannah Susan Greig Memorial Hall for the benefit of the community of Alcester and surrounding district. I will do all within in my power to prevent the trustees demolishing the historic building."

As the Standard went to press, a council spokeswoman said they had not received any formal complaint.

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