A Newsletter from Sellindge & District Residents Association.
DEMOCRACY IN SHEPWAY IS DEAD.
It wouldn’t have escaped your notice that we have absolutely no official voice when it comes to ‘having our say’ in the way our communities and villages are shaped and developed in the future.
This week, our District Council, Shepway, revealed the content of the Expression of Interest’ document that has already been sent to central Government to develop a New Town of 12,000 houses. Prior to the ‘Expression of Interest’ being sent, the SDC Cabinet held a meeting on 8th June to vote on taking this development forward. It was no surprise to us that the vote was unanimous in favour. But isn’t this democracy working for the good of the residents? It would be if all views were taken into consideration. Although minutes have been published for the Cabinet meeting on the 8th June, the minutes for the Parish Councillors meeting on the 7th June are nowhere to be found. If they do exist, could someone at SDC inform us. This was the meeting where Susan Priest, Alistair Stewart and David Monk invited 27 Parish Councillors to a presentation at the Civic Centre, hoping to get Parish Councils ‘on board’, backing the Otterpool New Town scheme. To say that it backfired would be an understatement. During open questions it was obvious that Parish Councillors were having none of it. We had Parish Councillors accusing David Monk of telling great untruths, charging Monk as being a master of obfuscation, culminating in a plea from a parish Councillor to take a vote to determine support for a New Town. Monk flatly refused. It was only then that a Monks Horton Parish Councillor took the initiative and clearly asked all Parish Councillors for a show of hands in Support of developing a New Town within our communities. Not one hand was raised.
So, where are the minutes for this meeting ? A meeting where minutes should be published, but aren’t. Where are the voices from Councillors that purport to represent residents’ views? Councillor Hollingsbee – Where are you? Councillor Carey – Where are you? Damian Collins, our MP, Where are you?
Out of frustration with our so called representatives, S&DRA placed posters and banners in and around Sellindge to show our opposition to the proposed Otterpool New Town. At great expense, these were purchased and duly placed around the area. Within a fortnight they had all been removed.
Last Sunday morning 17th July, our team placed more posters around the area. By the very next day they had all been removed. Removed from residents fences, residents gardens and various post and signs.
Removing any evidence of opposition to the Council’s determination to build a Town in our area and stifling residents’ views is reprehensible. A scenario that you think would only exist in certain African states.
We are now adding Borough Councillors’ email addresses to our address book in the hope that support will come from outside of the Shepway area. Our plea to those Councillors would be to help in any way that you can to restore some kind of democracy here in Shepway. The message to our residents is also a plea to assist further in writing to the local and National press. You have our permission to copy and paste this document to anyone, near or far to help us in our cause.
Here we have three Councillors that should be serving local residents. Instead, they have an agenda which is totally alien to the wishes of local residents. Councillor Carey, Councillor and Deputy Leader SDC Hollingsbee and Leader of SDC David Monk.
These are the three Councillors that we would like to meet with to ask the real reason why they are so insistent on ignoring residents’ views. Still, they are unwilling to meet with us. Below are their email addresses. Please email them and ask the simple question. ‘Why are you so reluctant to meet with us to discuss your insistence on misrepresenting your constituents.
Should you receive a reply we would be grateful if you would copy us in with it.
“Cinque Ports” Bulletin Thursday 18 August 2016