The mystery surrounding the disappearing bench in Russell Lane has been solved!
Barnet Labour can today reveal the truth behind the mystery that has shrouded the missing park bench on Russell Lane in Brunswick Park. The bench’s removal was actually authorised by one of the Conservative councillors.
As the Times Series reported on the 14th of January, Conservative Brunswick Park Councillor Andreas Tambourides said at the time regarding the missing bench “It is a total mystery – I don’t understand it. I was speaking to the safer neighbourhood policing teams and I had asked the council to wait and see what they said about the issue. I have been looking into it but I’m running out of possibilities as to its whereabouts – we don’t know who is behind it.”
Yet on the previous 24th of October Conservative Councillor Lisa Rutter had authorised the removal of the bench and Councillor Tambourides was copied into this email. It seems Cllr Tambourides knew exactly who was behind this!
In the e-mail, commenting on the planned removal Councillor Rutter wrote “I have no objection. This bench has caused so many problems to the residents they will be happy to see it go”. (Email attached)
To make matters worse, in the Conservative Party’s recent ‘In Touch’ leaflet, Cllr Tambourides has the ultimate chutzpah to boast about the return of the ‘disappeared’ bench.
Councillor Rutter kept quiet throughout the news coverage about the missing park bench.
In contrast, Brunswick Park Labour councillor Andreas Ioannidis sensibly decided to consult local residents prior to commenting on the proposals to remove the bench.
The Brunswick Park Labour Action Team is considering putting in a formal complaint to Barnet Council regarding the actions of councillors Tambourides and Rutter regarding several potential breaches of the code of conduct on this issue.
Brunswick Park Labour councillor, Andreas Ioannidis said: “It’s the hypocrisy of it that bothers me. It’s not really about the park bench any more. Either Cllr Tambourides has a very short memory or he was economical with the truth when speaking to the Times Series. It looks like a bit of a cover-up.
“In their recent In Touch leaflet, councillor Tambourides welcomes back the bench which he says “has been returned to the delight of local residents”. This is the opposite of what Councillor Rutter wrote in October”.
Labour candidates for Brunswick Park ward Kathy Levine and Jim Rowe said: “Councillor Rutter talks about celebrating the history of Russell Lane. But what they really did in Russell Lane was to decide to remove the bench without consulting residents, and then when that hasty decision was questioned they pretended it was nothing to do with them.
“This is how naughty kids behave, not councillors.”
1. Attached is a copy of the email from Cllr Rutter to Barnet Council officers authorising the removal of the bench. Cllr Tambourides was clearly copied in.
2. Attached is a copy of the latest Conservative Party leaflet ‘In Touch for Brunswick Park ward boasting about the bench’s return.