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Bobby takes stand in council election
COLCHESTER United legend Bobby Hunt is to stand in the Colchester Council elections in a protest over the closure of sheltered housing.
Mr Hunt, 69, is a resident of the under-threat Joyce Brooks House sheltered housing complex in Oxford Road, Colchester.
He will stand as an independent in St Andrew’s ward against cabinet member, Labour’s Tina Dopson, on May 3.
Mr Hunt, who has spoken out against the council’s decision to sell the home, said: “I want to make a stand.
“I have never been involved in politics before, but I think the experience of how we have been treated over the past seven months has been diabolical.
“It has made me determined to do something to make sure this doesn’t happen to people again.
“I am quite serious about this. It isn’t just a gesture.”
Mr Hunt, who holds the record for the most goals scored in a football league season for the U’s with 39, is one of 11 residents left in Joyce Brooks House.
Nine of them are being represented by solicitor Yvonne Hossacks and have said they will fight to the end.
The residents say their friendships are more important than mod cons, and they want to stay together.
Colchester Council claims the home and Abbeygate House at St John’s Green, Colchester, are no longer suitable and are selling both to raise £1.6million.
The money raised will be put towards updating other sheltered housing in the borough.
Mrs Dopson said she was glad Mr Hunt would be standing in the election.
She said: “Having an independent councillor gives people more choice.
“Our democracy makes that possible.”
Mrs Dopson, a ward councillor for eight years and a former pupil at Sir Charles Lucas and St Andrew’s Junior schools, said: "My roots are there and the people of St Andrew’s are the ones I have most connection with.
“I am proud of Greenstead and how it has improved so much recently.”
Mrs Dopson has served as the councillor responsible for communities and has courted controversy with her move to close Abbot’s Activity Centre.
She said the council could not afford to subsidise the centre to the tune of £76,000 a year.
Following an outcry, the council asked for companies or charities to take it over and social housing provider Colne Housing has come forward to keep the centre open.
Other candidates for the ward are due to be confirmed on Tuesday.
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