Portrait Photo of Councillor Mike Hogg

Incompetence or Suppression of Questions?

Many residents of Swanley and members of the Swanley and District Labour Party are increasingly concerned at the way Sevenoaks District Council seem to be ignoring Swanley. They have demolished the Working Men’s Club, and left boarded up an eyesore in the centre of town, and they have left the Meeting Point building to slowly decay.

Working Men's Club getting knocked down.

Far from regenerating the centre of Swanley, SDC are responsible for running the town down by their inaction.

Members of the Swanley Labour Party asked Cllr Mike Hogg to table this question to full council on 18th July:-

Will the Leader please tell me the dates of:

a) the vacation of Meeting Point Swanley by Rural Age concern?
b) the purchase and subsequent demolition of the Swanley Working Men’s Club?

What is the estimated cost to the Council of securing and maintaining these sites, including the photographic display?

What are the estimated the dates when development of both sites will be completed?”

When Cllr Hogg arrived at the meeting, he found that the question was not included on the Order Paper and it could not be asked.

Making enquirers after the meeting, Cllr Hogg found that CEO of Sevenoaks was on leave when the question was submitted, and it was apparently not picked up by his deputies as it should have been.

The next opportunity for him to put this question is on 21st November at the next Full Council Meeting. A long time to wait.

The Labour Party is concerned that this question seems to have been “lost in the system” and asks the following questions:

  • Was it a genuine error on the part of the Officers?
  • Was it the result of incompetence in the system?
  • Was it an attempt to keep the true facts from the people of Swanley.
  • Do they have any real plans?

We believe that the Council are deliberately being slow in developing these sites on the High Street, possibly speculating on land prices, instead of improving the Town as promised.

When asked to comment for us Cllr Hogg stated:

I was very disappointed that I was unable to ask my question and give the people an update on the situation in the High Street. I am not certain whether it was a genuine or a ploy to keep the real facts from the people of Swanley.”

Swanley & District Labour Party can assure the residents of Swanley we will not let Sevenoaks District Council off the hook. We will continue to put the questions that all the residents of Swanley are asking, and we will demand answers. We want a Swanley for the many, not the few.

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