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Labour Council to Let Their Staff Ignore Anyone They Find 'Annoying'

Oxford City Council have told staff they can 'refuse all contact’ with members of the public they find 'irritating' under their new "vexatious behaviour policy" the Telegraph reports.

Oxford City Council who have systematically abused local residents with unpopular policies over recent years have now drawn-up internal procedures to rob citizens of the right to even complain. Under the new policy those residents who have contacted he council to express their anger are to be reclassified as a problem with staff told to refuse contact with those people they find 'irritating.'

Oxford city council is now giving itself the right to block any member of the public from contacting them if staff are irritated by that person. The council have described those citizens as “abusive, persistent and/or vexatious”.

The “vexatious behaviour policy” outlines how staff and councillors should deal with people who make complaints or inquiries in a way that is “manifestly unjustified”, “inappropriate” or “intimidating”.

Guidelines include limiting how often they can contact the council or meeting them face to face with a witness. In “exceptional circumstances”, the policy says, staff and councillors can “refuse all contact” with a citizen if their safety is deemed at risk.

The new policy has caused outrage among local residents who say they have already been ignored by the council who consider every complaint or criticism to be 'unjustified'. Oxford City Council have form in this regard, refusing to enter into any dialog with local residents and routinely running to the press to claim they are the victims of some imagined threat or other.

Residents who have opposed the councils policies have been attacked online, called 'conspiracy theorists', and 'right-wing extremists', The council have also been found guilty of running a false campaign called 'have your say' which is anything but. In reality the campaign was a cynical series of loaded questions designed to illicit a particular response. When residents did contact the council to really 'have their say' they were treated with contempt or ignored completely.

The new policy comes in before the City and County Council begin imposig Bus Gates that ration car journeys in the city. The Council know that a huge backlash is coming once the cameras go live so have already reframed it as being 'unreasonable' and 'vexatious'.

Anne Stares, an independent councillor for Littlemore, said people already felt ignored and that the new policy could exacerbate the issue. 'People are not being heard’

She said: “They’re dealing with the problem, but not looking at the cause. The cause is that people don’t feel they are listened to.

“People feel they are not being heard and that their needs are not being addressed.”

Ms Stares, who was elected for the Littlemore ward at the election, said it was “hypocritical” to suggest that the council was listening to residents while introducing a new policy that could limit its communication with them.

Speaking about the policy at a meeting on April 17, Ms Brown said: “This is one of those policies that you wish you didn’t have to have and that you hope you’ll never have to use but that we probably do need to have.

Details of specific cases were not forthcoming or in any council papers, leaving the definition to the staff who reportedly already have an adversarial attitude to the people who pay their wages.


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