FRUSTRATED Alton town councillor Gideon Cristofoli has likened the council’s workings to a Franz Kafka story.

Kafka’s fictional worlds had a nightmarishly complex, bizarre or illogical quality.

Cllr Cristofoli made the analogy after the policy and resources committee pledged £40,000 for a mountain biking pump track.

The council claimed in an earlier public consultation the cash came from renting land for a phone mast.

He said: “I raised the pump track issue and they repeated their line that the consultation was accurate. As a result I voted against the budget, which allocated £40,000 of reserves to it.

“I proposed a motion that £40,000 should be set aside for the maintenance and dredging of Kings Pond, and it was opposed. They changed the motion to a vague allocation of the funds to open spaces.

“It feels like I’m living out a Kafka play where one rule is applied to favoured projects and then the opposite to 

Committee chairman Cllr Graham Titterington said: “I can assure you that we do not debate in a Kafkaesque fashion.

“The committee thought it premature to allocate the money specifically to Kings Pond as currently we do not have a management plan for Kings Pond, costed and backed by expert opinion, detailing what actions are needed.

“The committee is certainly not anti-Kings Pond and by allocating these reserves to open spaces it nudged expenditure in that direction, but without closing off other projects that might arise with a greater urgency or which might deliver greater community benefit.

“In any event it was felt that choosing between open spaces projects was a matter for consideration at open spaces 

Cllr Titterington said the online consultation about the pump track at Anstey Park was “to check that the public are still behind this scheme”.

He added: “It is something that we have been discussing for a long time, I think at least a couple of years.

“It was formally included in the budget last year, which was passed by both policy and resources committee and by full council last year, but work has got delayed into the coming financial year.

“I am surprised a councillor who was on these committees at the time should withdraw his support at this late stage.”