We’ve already been disenfranchised

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07 Oct 2006

It is interesting to read the comment in toady’s Daily Telegraph article, from Steve Bessant Head of Development Services at Swale Borough Council which suggests that Swale is not seeking to disenfranchise the local community.

However Swale selected Stones Farm as their preferred additional housing site, without any consultation what-so-ever. We are not able challenge this selection, discuss or suggest alternative sites and now find that because of a technical loophole even our responses to the consultation on the site are invalid.

The people of Bapchild have been badly let down by Swale Borough Council and quite rightly feel confused and bewildered at what seems like a perverse course of action and complete u-turn from proposing the site to objecting to its inclusion.

Our ward councillor Don Jordan who did not object to Stones Farm but still claims to support us, explains in the East Kent Gazette that he is unable to speak on such matters due to running the risk of restricting his right to vote. Don Jordan however is not a member of the planning committee and as Stones Farm has already been selected, we fail to understand exactly when this voting opportunity will come about.

We don’t want a post-event reactive ward councillor who hides behind letters from the borough’s legal department. We want a pro-active councillor who will put the people of Bapchild before the politics of Swale Borough Council.