Picture of Swanley Town Council Offices

The Questions That Must Be Answered

Town Council Meeting on Wednesday 9th November 7.30pm Alexandria Suite, St. Mary’s Road, Swanley.

It is very important that Swanley residents attend this meeting and get answers to key questions facing the ruling Tory Group.

In his resignation speech the newly elected Mayor, Shanker Gaire, the first Nepalese Mayor in Britain, stated:

The public have shown immense respect, faith and cooperation both to me and my wife and we wish to express our heartfelt thanks to them. But I do not wish to let them down by continuing in a position in which I am merely a puppet in the hands of a few who are controlling and intimidating.

The local news media have focused on his allegations, often giving more space for the ruling Tories to reject his claims. Clearly, the allegations are very serious and must be investigated. We also need a full inquiry into what Cllr Shanker Gaire meant by: “I am merely a puppet in the hands of a few who are controlling and intimidating”.

The Mayor’s full resignation speech also reveals serious concerns about the economic management of the council. He states:

I would also like to put on record that I have not claimed a single penny from my allowances both as a Mayor and even as Deputy Mayor – not even the basic expenses incurred that I am entitled to. In the past 6 months as Mayor, I have never been advised about the allocated Mayoral budget or allowance, and I have not authorised the spending of a single penny. Together with other issues, I have demanded from the Chief Executive through an email dated 21 Oct 2016 that I be apprised of the monthly allocation, expenses incurred and the person who authorised this expenditure.

The Mayor has stated that: “I have never been advised about the allocated Mayoral budget or allowance, and I have not authorised the spending of a single penny”.

In brief, the ruling Tory group need to respond to three key questions:

  1. How are the ruling Tory group going to respond to the allegations of mistreatment made by the former Mayor in his resignation speech?
  2. The workers of Swanley Town Council have been alleging intimidation and harassment. They are now joined by the former Mayor. How are the ruling Tories going to tackle the culture of bullying that seems so widespread?
  3. How much of the Mayoral budget/allowance has been spent, and on what, and by whom?

These are very serious, and potentially criminal, matters. The Tories cannot continue to duck and dive, and respond aggressively to questions that are put to them by concerned Swanley residents. There is an urgent need for a public inquiry.

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