Swanley & District Labour Party congratulates Laurence Ball for being elected as the new Mayor of Swanley, following the dramatic resignation of Shanker Gaire. We would also like to congratulate Lesley Dyball for being elected as the new deputy Mayor, replacing the disgraced Cllr Tony Searles, who resigned.
It is hoped the new Mayor & Deputy Mayor follow-up on the former Mayor’s allegations of mistreatment, intimidation and financial mismanagement by ordering a public inquiry.
Despite a full public gallery it was a short meeting for the public. There were no questions from the floor allowed, although many there wanted to raise key questions about the former Mayor’s resignation. Archer Way residents were also there, and they wanted to hand in a petition protesting at the building of Towerblocks near their homes. They were not allowed to ask questions, or hand in their petition either. Instead, the new Mayor announced that the council meeting would go into closed session. He asked Swanley residents to leave.
Cllr Harry Willingale,though, stood up and demanded to be heard. He stated that he had read in a local newspaper that Swanley Town Council paid a human rights person a considerable amount of money in the staff harassment claim. He was extremely angry & voiced his outrage that even though he was on the committee dealing with the claims, he was kept in the dark, and only found out through reading the local newspaper.
Swanley residents were then ushered out of the meeting and the council went into closed session.
It is hoped the new Mayor will reflect on the principled stand Cllr Shanker Gaire has made, and will perform his duties in the interests of the residents of Swanley, and not Tory councillors, who seem to be doing everything they can to avoid public scrutiny.