Parish council farce

Contributed by editor on Mar 31, 2006 - 12:12 PM


Dear Ed

Encouraged by reading about the trials and tribulations of my local council in the Roundel I thought I would take a look at what else they had been up to courtesy of your website.

And where else but Hawkinge could they have turned the serious business of declaring interests into a `joke`.

Firstly we have the farce of Cllrs.Callahan and Smith each month declaring an interest in anything to do with planning because they are members of Shepway`s Development Control Committee.

They are mistaken, because as councillors of both authorities in reality  it is not required, as recently flaged up by the Standards Board for England to ALL councils and as mentioned in Shepway`s own constitution(see website).

Are they both guilty of incompetance, or of using the excuse as a cop-out to avoid any local controversy. (Hiding their real views at Shepway)
Secondly we have Cllr.Heasman declaring an interest o­n all matters to do with the village hall and community centre and yet does not leave the meeting as he is required to do so when these matters are discussed and in fact participates in a vote(
Finally we have o­ne councillor who gets it right, Cllr.Brisley who actually left the meeting when the issue of which she had declared an interest was disussed (
However the `piece de resistance` has to be Cllr.Punnet who asked the council to construct a fence along the boundary of his property,presumably at our expense. No interest was declared, and again the following month (
Just what is going o­n?

Why hasn`t the Parish Clerk done something about this farce? She is required to know Local Government regulations as part of her job.
Why hasn`t she or other councillors reported these transgressions to the Standards Board, after all some were quick enough to do it after a little spat in the village hall   car-park 4 years ago.