Southend Council leader hits back at "psychopath" slur

Nigel Holdcroft

Nigel Holdcroft

First published in Local News

THE leader of Southend Council has been accused of branding a former colleague a “psychopath”.

Nigel Holdcroft said he was outraged by the slur after a Labour rival misinterpreted a blog post by the Tory chief about cycle paths.

Mr Holdcroft wrote the post to debunk claims by former Conservative councillor Steve Aylen that a planned new cycle route would destroy trees in Belfairs Park.

But, writing on his own blog, Julian Ware-Lane, a councillor for Milton, claimed Mr Holdcroft had deliberately chosen a similar-sounding phrase to psychopath to attack Mr Aylen.

Mr Holdcroft said the interpretation was “simply unacceptable” and demanded an apology.

He added: “For Mr Ware-Lane to try to link ‘cycle path’ with ‘psychopath’ is bizarre and bears no relation to my comments – either actual or implied.

“His blog is offensive to both me and Mr Aylen.

“He should offer an immediate and unreserved apology and withdraw the blog entry.”

The council has been pursuing plans to create a cycle path from Priory Park in the east to Woodlands Park in the west of the borough since 2005.

Councillors are now being consulted on the proposed route through Belfairs Park.

In a letter to the Echo last week, campaign group Saxon King in Priory Park (SKIPP) claimed Mr Aylen had said the route would mean the felling of a substantial number of trees.

Mr Holdcroft said that was inaccurate and titled his blog post “A Tale of Two Cycle Paths” to illustrate the differences between the actual route and the one suggested by Mr Aylen.

Mr Aylen fell out with his Tory colleagues last year after he was deselected as the party candidate for Belfairs ward in May’s elections.

He stood as an Independent and defeated the Tories’ Helen Boyd to retain his seat.

Mr Ware-Lane wrote: “There is no love lost between Mr Aylen and some of his former colleagues.

“It is an old joke, pun perhaps, that conflates ‘cycle paths’ and ‘psychopaths’, and so to me it is clear what Mr Holdcroft means in his post title.

“Rude does not cover it, it is beyond rude.”

Speaking to the Echo, Mr Ware-Lane added: “I still think the post title was ambiguous at best.

“However, if Mr Holdcroft is saying he did not mean that, then I will have to take that at face value.

“But in my opinion it was a deliberately ambiguous choice of words.”

Comments (5)

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8:51am Mon 25 Feb 13

siddymint says...

Mr Holdcroft said that was inaccurate and titled his blog post “A Tale of Two Cycle Paths” to illustrate the differences between the actual route and the one suggested by Mr Aylen.

The one is not suggested its on the offical council web site and minuited in a number of meetings that took part in 2005 and is the actual route. the actual route refered to by Mr Holdcroft as the actual is the suggested alternative route that is currently seeking approval.
you would think that the council leader would check the offical website council minuites and consult with officers but he is not alone .
mr cox is claiming similar that its immaginary on his blog and he is reponsible for cycle paths and does not even know were thay are going.
There is also the staement of mr Holdcraofts blog that Steve Ayeln was sacked because of his objection to the road to the west sorry cyle path .
if it didn't exist why sack him
Mr Holdcroft said that was inaccurate and titled his blog post “A Tale of Two Cycle Paths” to illustrate the differences between the actual route and the one suggested by Mr Aylen. The one is not suggested its on the offical council web site and minuited in a number of meetings that took part in 2005 and is the actual route. the actual route refered to by Mr Holdcroft as the actual is the suggested alternative route that is currently seeking approval. you would think that the council leader would check the offical website council minuites and consult with officers but he is not alone . mr cox is claiming similar that its immaginary on his blog and he is reponsible for cycle paths and does not even know were thay are going. There is also the staement of mr Holdcraofts blog that Steve Ayeln was sacked because of his objection to the road to the west sorry cyle path . if it didn't exist why sack him siddymint
  • Score: -1

9:19am Mon 25 Feb 13

DogsMessInLeigh says...

A cycle path through the woods and park...can't wait, its far to muddy in winter and messes up the bike a bit, good plan/idea, there should be more official cycle routes off road.
A cycle path through the woods and park...can't wait, its far to muddy in winter and messes up the bike a bit, good plan/idea, there should be more official cycle routes off road. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: -1

10:13am Mon 25 Feb 13

Shoebury_Cyclist says...

DogsMessInLeigh wrote:
A cycle path through the woods and park...can't wait, its far to muddy in winter and messes up the bike a bit, good plan/idea, there should be more official cycle routes off road.
If it's anything like what they put in along the sea wall from the top of Barge Pier Road in Gunners Park and Shoebury Common Road it'll still be a muddy useless facility in winter.
[quote][p][bold]DogsMessInLeigh[/bold] wrote: A cycle path through the woods and park...can't wait, its far to muddy in winter and messes up the bike a bit, good plan/idea, there should be more official cycle routes off road.[/p][/quote]If it's anything like what they put in along the sea wall from the top of Barge Pier Road in Gunners Park and Shoebury Common Road it'll still be a muddy useless facility in winter. Shoebury_Cyclist
  • Score: 1

1:03pm Mon 25 Feb 13

saarfender says...

DogsMessInLeigh wrote:
A cycle path through the woods and park...can't wait, its far to muddy in winter and messes up the bike a bit, good plan/idea, there should be more official cycle routes off road.
ha, they put one in through the woods a few years ago. LInked Eastwood Road North to Woodlands Park in Hadleigh. left it worse than before they started.

Slippery sandy surface that had less traction than the original ground. More mud/filth sprayed over the bike than before. No maintenance of the path after it went in, so it got overgown and dangerous really quickly. It was too narrow to pass other people easily... and because a path was created all the dog walkers used it so cyclists couldn't get along there without conflict. Oh, and it was unusable at night (i.e. winter commuting) because of the overhanging branches not lit by cycle lights. Decent street lit on-road cycle investment would have been better for cyclists than that joke.

Mind you, not as bad as the other path they put in and decided to surface with cockle shells from Leigh... they just slashed the tyres every time it was used. I was so pleased when the shells sunk into the mud and it reverted to how nature had it before.


One of these days Southend might start thinking about cyclists' needs before they start ruining the area and making it worse for cyclists by wasting tax payer money putting in badly designed infrastructure.
[quote][p][bold]DogsMessInLeigh[/bold] wrote: A cycle path through the woods and park...can't wait, its far to muddy in winter and messes up the bike a bit, good plan/idea, there should be more official cycle routes off road.[/p][/quote]ha, they put one in through the woods a few years ago. LInked Eastwood Road North to Woodlands Park in Hadleigh. left it worse than before they started. Slippery sandy surface that had less traction than the original ground. More mud/filth sprayed over the bike than before. No maintenance of the path after it went in, so it got overgown and dangerous really quickly. It was too narrow to pass other people easily... and because a path was created all the dog walkers used it so cyclists couldn't get along there without conflict. Oh, and it was unusable at night (i.e. winter commuting) because of the overhanging branches not lit by cycle lights. Decent street lit on-road cycle investment would have been better for cyclists than that joke. Mind you, not as bad as the other path they put in and decided to surface with cockle shells from Leigh... they just slashed the tyres every time it was used. I was so pleased when the shells sunk into the mud and it reverted to how nature had it before. One of these days Southend might start thinking about cyclists' needs before they start ruining the area and making it worse for cyclists by wasting tax payer money putting in badly designed infrastructure. saarfender
  • Score: 0

8:02pm Mon 25 Feb 13

Joe Wildman-Clark says...

Seriously...

This story must be some kind of joke, if you take umbrage at such an innocent phrase as Cycle Path (two words seperated by a space and both starting with a capital letter) and think it's a covert or undercover way to say psychopath then you really need to get a life.

They are totally different words spelt differently Cycle Path is two words whilst psychopath is ONE word.

Hope that clears things up.



So if we can not call the Cycle Paths now what do we call them?

Cycle Utilised National Transportation Street?
Seriously... This story must be some kind of joke, if you take umbrage at such an innocent phrase as Cycle Path (two words seperated by a space and both starting with a capital letter) and think it's a covert or undercover way to say psychopath then you really need to get a life. They are totally different words spelt differently Cycle Path is two words whilst psychopath is ONE word. Hope that clears things up. So if we can not call the Cycle Paths now what do we call them? Cycle Utilised National Transportation Street? Joe Wildman-Clark
  • Score: 0

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