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A message from your County Councillor - June 2017

A Shorter than usual report this month partly due to us taking our annual holiday during the last two weeks of June (we travelled to British Colombia where we have family) and partly due to the General Election on the 8th .

The first week of June was taken up, in part, with leafleting and canvassing. Enough has probably been written about the General Election. Politics aside my only comment would be that I find it easier and more effective to work on your behalf with two MP’s from my own Party. Also on the national stage very regular contact with Government Ministers can be used to press the case for issues important to Swale. For example, as I write this, in the last five days I have met with five different Government Ministers.

I did manage during the first two weeks of the month to attend Sheldwich, Badlesmere and Leaveland and also Selling Parish Councils plus a meeting of the Swale Branch of Kent Association of Local Councils. Congratulations to Sheldwich, Badlesmere and Leaveland Parish Council’s Vice-Chairman Dave Austin for being re-elected as Vice-Chairman of Swale KALC and Faversham Area Representative on the Joint Transport Board. Also to Selling Parish Council’s Amanda Saunders who remains as Secretary to the Swale Committee of KALC.

The big news in June was the Government Inspector’s endorsement of the Swale Borough Council Local Plan. Once endorsed by Full Council we will be much better placed to refuse and subsequently defend refusal of inappropriate developments not included in the Plan. Indeed, one major appeal against refusal has already been withdrawn.

At County Hall my time has been largely taken up with attending training courses primarily aimed at newly elected Members but useful updates for all. Courses included “Code of Conduct”, responsibilities as “Corporate Parents” and training for “Planning”.

Outside of Politics, apart from visiting Canada, we spent a very enjoyable afternoon visiting Newnham Open Gardens.

Andrew Bowles

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