A COUNCILLOR has accused colleagues of predetermining decisions on Oxford United’s hunt for a new stadium.

At a meeting of Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet this afternoon, a framework for talks and ‘memorandum of understanding’ was agreed, in connection with building a stadium at ‘The Triangle’, south of Kidlington Roundabout.

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Green Party councillor Ian Middleton, who represents the Kidlington South division, claimed cabinet members had been guilty of predetermination at previous meetings.

He said: “I’m asked regularly on the doorstep how we got here and I have to say I don’t really know.

“I don’t know why we appear to be so content to leave the local community as bystanders to a process driven by Oxford United, council officers and a cabinet who on at least two occasions have seen members expressing predetermination.

“That lack of accountability makes me feel very uncomfortable.”

Monitoring officer Anita Bradley asked the Green Party councillor to reconsider his predetermination comment as she wasn’t aware of that being the case.

He responded: “It’s something I’m happy to discuss with you in private but there are specific references that I can refer you to.”

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The council’s cabinet member for finance, Calum Miller, strongly dismissed any notion that any decisions have already been made.

He said: “This cabinet and council have made no decisions about whether or not it would lease or sell land at the area known as The Triangle, to Oxford United.

“The process we’re going through in a very open and transparent way is a decision-making process where we’re seeking to acquire the information that would allow us to make an informed decision.

“I reject the idea that this is a closed arrangement whereby members of the public and other interested parties will be denied the opportunity to comment on proposals.

“My position is that it would be much better for us all to have the facts insofar as they are available in front of us before coming to any final decision.

“That’s why I strongly encourage the club to continue their work and accelerate the proposals they intend to bring forward.”

The framework for talks agreed this afternoon mean a final decision on United’s plans for a new stadium at The Triangle could be due as early as July.

Council papers show the likely case is that a final cabinet decision on The Triangle is due in September, while the latest a decision would be expected is at a cabinet meeting in November.