THE leader of Trowbridge’s Conservative group has been accused of making misleading statements about his knowledge of the Doric Park consultation on social media.

Cllr Antonio Piazza claimed in a social media post that he had no idea the second survey into the artificial pitch scheme would not contain any reference to the £2.2m loan to bring to fruition.

The Drynham councillor said the group wanted a “fair survey that showed the loan and debt owed if the project goes ahead” and he had not been shown the survey ahead of publication.

But he was rebuked by Liberal Democrat leader of the town council, Stewart Palmen, who said: “I am astounded that he appears to be acting surprised at the content of the simple survey that the Conservative group pushed us to conduct when he literally knew every word of it in advance.”

“He has known the content of the survey for weeks and knew full well the question would not contain any reference to the loan value as he had tried to amend it to do just that and failed.”

Cllr Palmen said the last survey undertaken by the council included four options on the loan, and it was mentioned in the supporting documents linked to the survey.

The town council leader added he was disturbed that councillors appeared to complain about officers in public “for doing their job”.

In response, Cllr Piazza said: “I am disappointed that the leader and Trowbridge Town Council have taken to spreading misinformation in an effort to damage my reputation. If you watch the recording of the meeting back, you’ll note that mayor Peter Fuller requested to an officer that the questions would be confirmed in advance and circulated to all councillors.”

At the leisure and information services committee on March 9, Cllr Fuller said: “Unfortunately we haven’t had a report on this particular item as it has come up as an emergency but I would like to know the questions being asked. Some of the previous comments about should have been included in the questions, I don’t personally agree with but it would nice to know before as last time we had to go back again to Survey Monkey and alter our actual questions.”

On social media, councillors Edward Kirk and Tom Bazan said they were not given advance sight of the questions. Town clerk, Lance Allan said no one asked for the details to be circulated to councillors for them to approve prior to the consultation going live.The question was typed up on screen, following Cllr Fuller’s request and had not changed.

Cllr Palmen has now referred himself to the monitoring officer at Wiltshire Council.