Lib Dem leaflet upsets family holding charity event

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A mother has hit out at Liberal Democrats in Far Cotton and Delapre for putting out critical leaflets on the day she was holding a charity event in her dead son’s name.

Gail Butcher is hoping to build a community football pitch and clubhouse off Eagle Drive, close to the A45, in memory of her son, former Cobblers’ trainee footballer Richard, who died aged 29, in January 2011.

However, the proposal has faced opposition from local councillors, including Councillor Brendan Glynane (Lib Dem Delape), who lives next door to Mrs Butcher.

The proposal, which remains at the discussion stage, has also been criticised by some people for potentially putting a local riding club out of business and for building on a possible battlefield site.

Mrs Butcher said she had been incensed this week by a new Liberal Democrat leaflet criticising the plans, which was delivered to homes in the area on February 14, the day she was holding a Valentine’s Day fund-raiser in her son’s name.

She has now applied for charity status for the Richard Butcher Memorial Trust and feared the ongoing controversy was going to cause damage to the cause.

She said: “We’re trying to help the community, we don’t want to put anyone out of business and we want everyone to be able to work together.

“I feel it’s down to the council now to try to put things right. I want the charity to have a good name and to be supported and support a lot of people. It is about a community charity and I feel my charity’s name is being dogged and it is not fair to Richard’s name or to us as a family.”

Mrs Butcher also called on the council to speak out on the latest plans, saying she felt she was bearing the brunt of hostility from critics.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Northampton Borough Council confirmed it was looking into a complaint made against Councillor Glynane following a public meeting on the issue, which was held last year.

Councillor Glynane said he had not been told about the complaint and defended his latest leaflet, pointing out it made no direct reference to the Butcher family.

He said: “Lots of people have sympathy with what Gail wants to do, but not at Eagle Drive. There’s no support for the memorial pitch being there. There is support for the pitch, but not in that particular place.”