Swale Tories abandon plans for Parish Councils after costly consultation.

The Labour Group has responded with a mixture of anger and ridicule to the news that Tory led Swale Borough Council has been legally advised to abandon its plans for new parish councils, other than in the area of Halfway.

Labour Group Leader Mike Haywood.

Labour Group Leader Mike Haywood.

Group Leader Mike Haywood says

” This has been an humiliating experiment. In order to satisfy their own political ambitions, they have tried to impose a new level of local government on our communities when it was clear to all that there was no demand for such a change. It has been costly in terms of money and time. It shows how out of touch they are at a time when there are much more important priorities. Having taken legal advice they now understand that the risible response to their  consultation gives them no right to press on to the referendum stage. There is an exception in Halfway but we have no confidence that the referendum there will result in a public demand for a parish council”

Chalkwell Councillor Ghlin Whelan who recently described the initial consultation as a ‘flop’ added

Chalkwell Councillor Ghlin Whelan

Chalkwell Councillor Ghlin Whelan

” Councillor Bowles tried to defend this top down imposition as his flagship policy. It now looks like a flagship mastered by Captain Pugwash. The whole idea of “localism” is surely to respond to local people, not to try to impose on them something they have never asked for. This has been a serious waste of everyone’s time. The minor changes to existing Parishes could have been made without this ridiculous process.”

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