Town Council Meetings

Tories Must Accept Responsibility

ANGELA GEORGE

The Tories have had control of Swanley Banqueting Board for nearly 6 years. The Tories can’t  keep blaming the previous Labour administration forever!

Contrary to the minutes published on the STC Website, this was the actual public question asked by a Swanley resident at the meeting:

Having heard the various reports and seen the report in the Annual Report Booklet tonight it’s very often the bits that have been excluded that are the bits they don’t want you to hear about, but in fact are the most important. There has been no mention of the Financial losses that this Council have incurred, something I feel we should know about:
Firstly Swanley Banqueting lost in the FNY 2013/2014 all three venues  £224,932.00
In the FNY 2014/2015  the Olympic lost £106,557.00.
In the same year Alexander Suite lost  £80,173.00.
So far in the Year to date January 2016 the Olympic has lost £89,199.00.
Also the Alexander Suite has lost in the same period £13,101.00
You will appreciate there’s not much chance of that improving before the end of this financial year, making a total of £513,962.00.
In addition to this, because of poor management, incompetence, call it what you like, are the Redundancies and Out of Court Tribunal  Settlements  totalling in excess of £155,000 plus Professional and Recruitment fees totalling in excess of £47,000.00.
So in the past 27 months Swanley Town Council has incurred a total loss (or waste) of public, that is Ratepayers, money to the tune of £715,962.00.
So my question to the Town Clerk / Chief Executive Officer is unfortunately this Council does not have a proper Cost Accountant fully qualified
‘As the person delegated to ‘ensure Swanley Banqueting meets its financial and service targets and to be Responsible for all matters relating to general staffing, grievance and disciplinary issues why did you allow such bad management and general incompetence to go on for so long to incur such losses; and how do you propose to stop any further losses? Isn’t it time that Swanley Town Council employed a fully qualified Cost Accountant to take control of finances?

This was answered by Cllr Ray Morris Chair of Swanley Banqueting Board:

“We specifically don’t discuss staff wages.
As your question which I think is quite valid question as far as running cost, expenditure on the Banqueting side of our operation, YES WE HAVE MADE LOSSES! YES WE HAVE FAILED /BAD ACCOUNTING SYSTEM! OUR ACCOUNT WAS FALSE!
The bit which you actually picked up on -which is great-  because you studied the Account in GREAT DETAIL is that we are actually clearly accounting the situation…we are aware of the situation and that’s why we have the change as far as Banqueting was concerned.”

The Town Clerk/CEO did not answer the question directed at her.

Finally admission of the Conservative led Town Council incompetence!  Still Blaming Labour?

Save Our Rec Campaign Making Headway

At the Annual General Meeting Tony Searles has given a cast iron guarantee that there will be no building on the Swanley Recreation Ground without the agreement of the residents through a local ballot. This is due to the campaigning work of Swanley & District Labour Party but the battle is not yet won. We must make sure that the people of Swanley come out and vote to Save Our Rec.

On the sale of the Woodlands it was confirmed that the proposed sale is for two million pounds. The Council would not reveal who was making the offer because it was “sensitive”. When questioned on the very low price for the Woodlands they did say that they were open to other offers. Swanley & District Labour Party recommends that interested parties explore this possibility. The Woodlands is prime real estate, particularly in light of the Swanley Master Plan to redevelop Swanley in a regeneration scheme.

The council only allowed a limited amount of time for questions; approximately 40 minutes. Most of the limited time allowed was taken up by long answers to the limited questions asked. Tory councillors repeatedly stated: “This is not a debate. I have given you my answer to the question, that is it.” Many key issues below could not be addressed. We must continue to put pressure on the council to answer the following key areas of concern:

  • We need a guarantee that where new housing needs to be build it will be genuinely affordable – to rent as well as to buy & should include council & housing association properties.
  • We need assurance that any new housing developments are matched by increased school places, health centre & hospitable facilities & public transport.
  • We want to know what is the future of the Olympic & why is the council reducing services rather than investing in them?
  • Are the Town Council planning to sell the Olympic?
  • We need to know how many clubs & societies have been priced out of their meeting rooms at Swanley Banqueting facilities since the hike in fees for hiring rooms?
  • Cherry Avenue School land has been released for sale. We need assurances that local residents will be consulted about what should be done with this in in the future.
  • For more information on these issues please click the following link for the Swanley & District local Newsletter: The Sentinel.

We will be updating this page so please ensure you return. To get involved in campaigning for the resident of Swanley fill in our contact form.

Swanley & District Labour Party will continue to represent the interests of all Swanley residents, not just those on very high incomes.

Make sure you are also like our Facebook Page & follow us on Twitter (@SwanleyLabour).