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No Overview. No Scrutiny. No Democracy. Shepway Council Today.

October 10, 2016 4:53 PM

Mouth gaggedToday I'm sickened by the actions of Shepway Council having had written notificationthat they have refused even to accept the call-in of the decision of Cabinet Member Malcolm Dearden to impose a Sandgate CPZ for consideration by Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

This is despite 96% of the 342 people who responded to the formal consultation objecting to the plan. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee could have reviewed the decision and made recommendations on either amending, abandoning or upholding the decsion. Even that level of oversight has been refused.

Alistair Stewart writes that "there has been no 'call in' of the decision and I have asked for said decision to be implemented." We're told that will mean the CPZ will be imposed, and after residents have been notified and signs erected the new restrictions will come into force in early to mid November.

Apparently somehow the three Conservative Councillors that told me (in writing, by email) on 5th October that they had called in it, didn't. In the wording of Chief Executive Alistair Stewart "The councillors you mention did consider whether to 'call in' the matter to Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and clearly looked at a significant amount of detail relating to the decision; however, they never pursued this to a formal 'call in'." At least one has told me that "they did not withdraw their call-in": was pressure put on one of the others to do so?

We live in an area where the Council feels able and ready to impose objections 96% of people object to. And the Councillors and Officers we currently have have either allowed it, or are actively themselves ignoring the opinion of local residents. For example, two of the "champions" for this scheme are Conservative Cabinet members Malcolm Dearden and Rory Love. Rory is rumoured to be a District Councillor for Sandgate, but is rarely seen here and certainly doesn't live in the ward. Perhaps that's why he felt the scheme should go ahead despite 330 out of 342 respondents to the formal consultation objecting to the scheme: he'll rarely see it in practice...