Councillor Jim Halford not sitting at the table

Swanley Town Council Meeting 6th July 2016

A well attended meeting tonight, but I was immediately confused, as the agenda hand outs bore no resemblance to the actual meeting! This seems to be a recurring theme, and needs to be addressed.

The main items of the development meeting were planning for a bungalow in Salisbury Avenue, and a Telecoms mast in Swanley Lane. One of the problems discussed was the amount of traffic noise that would affect the bungalow ,and it’s obvious that planning shouldn’t be allowed for buildings so close to the M25. Well…. apart from Broom Hill!

Next came public Question time, which always strike me as an odd time for Questions, because its  before the Council meeting!  Probably a rules thing…

There were 5 Questions from the public:

  1. Query about a resident who had been barred from meetings.  I could discern no clear answer to this Question
  2. At the last council meeting there was a presentation from the proposed developers of Swanley centre. This presentation was not advertised to the public and was not on the website agenda.  The answer  given was that the presentation was arranged at short notice.
  3. News on the Woodlands sale. Apparently the Woodlands had not been sold , it was just “under offer”. The Mystery potential buyers have now backed out and it is again up for sale.
  4. A question on the £500000 short fall in the council’s budget.  The answer guided us to the audit which is on the Council website. I couldn’t find it ,can you?

There followed another of our regular dramas, when Councillor Jim Halford wanted to ask a Question , and was informed that the time for Questions had elapsed. Councillor Halford had previously been sitting in the public gallery, his seat in the chamber being left vacant. As the (councillor) was not allowed to ask a question, yet again he stormed out of the meeting…It makes you wonder what his question was to be!

Councillor Jim Halford storming out of the council meeting
Councillor Jim Halford storming out of the council meeting

The meeting continued with information on the Woodlands, and land for potential building sites. Apparently estimates for the Woodlands is between £650k and £750k. Sounds like a bargain!

On the sites for potential building, it was noted that the Recreation ground is not included. Another victory for the Swanley Labour Party and local residents?

Grass cutting;  STC have been cutting our  local grass at the same price since 2002. This work will now be done by SDC and KCC. Little cutting has been done recently due to bad weather, but the next cut is planned to start on11th July.

Councillor Mike Hogg congratulated the ex workers of STC who had done such a good job for many years.

There followed a presentation to Mike and Ann Weston who have been the Swanley Park managers for 32 years, and are now retiring. Congratulations were offered by all in the chamber.

As the meeting was leaving the room , there were raised voices between a member of the public and a councillor, and as things seemed to be getting heated, I made my excuses and left.

This is a personal view of this meeting. Please comment if you find any mistakes or discrepancies.


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