A PENSIONER barred from Huddersfield Sports Centre for repeated complaints has been told he can have his ban lifted – but only if he drops his complaints.
Jim Gillan was barred by Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) after persistently complaining about loud music disturbing his game of badminton.
Now, following an appeal process, the Beaumont Park man has been told the ban is lifted, but KAL will be ignoring any more of his complaints.
Mr Gillan has been repeatedly complaining that he and other players at Monday badminton games are being put off by music exercise classes going on at the same time.
The 61-year-old claims the music played on a stereo system means it’s difficult for the badminton players to hear calls and avoid clashes between players and racquets.
After Mr Gillan was banned, the matter went to an appeal panel of KAL trustees, who say the case is now closed.
The panel found that the complaints had been thoroughly investigated and officials had even offered a different time slot to the badminton players, but they had refused.
However, Mr Gillan told the Examiner he didn’t even get the chance to represent himself at the meeting and serious allegations had been made about him to which he deserves an apology.
Mr Gillan, whose wife Ros also plays badminton at the centre, said: “The panel’s offer to lift the six-month ban from all KAL facilities in return for me dropping the matter is mind-boggling.
“They might claim it is a conciliatory gesture, but I regard it as a crudely obvious bribe – and a tacit admission of the weakness of KAL’s arguments.
“So I have rejected the offer to rescind the ban and rebutted the appeal panel’s findings.”
KAL’s Head of Operations, Alasdair Brown, has previously said that Mr Gillan’s complaints had become “unreasonably persistent and vexatious” and he had upset certain members of staff.
Mr Gillan, a former local government chief officer, said he wanted Mr Brown to prove any alleged inappropriate behaviour or else withdraw the allegation and apologise.
Mr Brown said: “Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) is extremely disappointed that Mr Gillan continues to see fit to waste the precious time and resources of KAL in responding to his complaint.
“Every possible opportunity has been given to Mr Gillan to reach a suitable compromise situation.
“The most recent was an appeals panel, which reconsidered the decision to ban Mr Gillan as a persistent and vexatious complainant, made up of three further KAL Trustees, who considered the case independently and objectively, but with all previous information available to them.
“The KAL Board of Trustees will now be meeting at a full board meeting on the May 11 to consider their response, which will be communicated to Mr Gillan as soon as possible thereafter.”