Before the General council meeting began, there were tributes to Councillor Robert Brookbank from all members, and a minute’s silence was held in memory of the well respected councillor.
At the Town Council meeting, many of the questions asked of the Council were about the re-development of Swanley centre. The leader of the Council reiterated that the proposals to develop Swanley centre were being put forward by the developers U & I and Sevenoaks District Council, not by Swanley Council. There has been no discussions or decisions made, and none will be made until the full planning details are revealed. A special meeting is planned on the 20th September, when questions can be asked, and there will be a presentation by the developers. The Council expects a good turnout for these meetings.
Asked about proposals by Sevenoaks D C to move the railway station, the leader of the Council suggested that these plans were “pie in the sky” and would never happen. This sentiment was agreed by other councillors.
Other questions asked were;
- The state of Swanley’s grass verges and general tidiness
- Whether the person banned from council meetings would be reinstated
- Is the meeting on the 20th on the one subject, i.e. the town centre development?
Swanley twinning association. It was agreed that the association should be promoted more.
Grant Funding. Grants of £250 each were awarded to North Kent
Mind, Swanley Therapy Centre and Swanley FC. The Council have grants available for other local Associations, for details contact STC.
- Woodlands has been re-advertised, inundated with enquiries.
- The open air cinema showings were a great success, with a large profit being generated
- Disabled play equipment to be fitted in parks
- In Bloom competition, some individual winners
- 1812 night and Rock Choir a great success, with over £600 collected by volunteers.
The last item on the agenda was to ask the Council’s approval for £15000 to cover the costs of HR services in relation to staffing matters. This was approved by the majority, with the two Labour councillors against.
The meeting closed with a confidential item concerning 10 Station Road, to which the public were asked to leave.
A fairly subdued meeting, with about twenty members of the public attending, I expect the special meeting on the 20th to be very well attended.
The £15000 costs of HR services I presume to be more expenses incurred due to the staffing reductions recently introduced. I wonder if we will ever get to the bottom of just how much these redundancies and continuing legal actions have cost Swanley residents?