Councilor faced with Doric Park group ban accuses Lib Dems of “living in a world of fantasy economics”

A councilor who is fighting a potential ban from Doric Park Working Group meetings has accused the Liberal Democrat-controlled Trowbridge Town Council of “living in a world of fantasy economics.”

Councilor Antonio Piazza, along with Cllr Edward Kirk, is one of the fiercest critics of the £7.5 million scheme to build a 3G Artificial Turf Pitch next to the Trowbridge RFC ground at Doric Park.

The pair say they are trying to save the council from making a huge financial mistake by taking on a £3.9m government loan which could take up to 50 years to repay.

Cllr Piazza is being threatened with a ban from the Doric Park Working Group for allegedly making derogatory comments about the project on local social media and leaking confidential information.

The group’s chairman, Cllr Mel Jacob, said: “All the other members of the group agree that a combination of a lack of trust and mutual respect between the group members is stopping this group from working effectively.

“In particular, that you may have shared confidential information outside the group and made derogatory comments about the project on social media that could jeopardize this project.

“We are seeking to be open and honest with all of the partners involved in this project, from Trowbridge Rugby Club to future clients such as Wiltshire College and local football clubs, as well as the local media. The project cannot succeed without that partnership.”

Cllr Piazza has been asked not to attend future meetings of the Trowbridge Town Council working group. The current group will continue to meet to support the project until September.

But Cllr Piazza (Conservative, Drynham ward) says the group has no terms of reference and has not produced one monthly update to the council since its formation in January.

He says: “At no point have I shared the only document that this working party has ever created” and maintains he will continue to attend the group’s meetings.

He added: “Whilst I am disappointed with your attempts to remove me from ‘The Doric Park Working Party’, I am not surprised and anticipated that this would happen eventually when the financial reality of the Doric Park 3G pitch project became too difficult to stomach for some of Trowbridge Town Council’s members and officers.

“As other councilors including myself have repeated many times before, Trowbridge Town Council is currently living in a world of fantasy economics. Construction inflation means the building alone has increased by hundreds of thousands so far.”

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