Time to let the people of Swanley and Hextable have their say
By Alan Bullion
You would think that a petition signed by well over 2,000 residents in Swanley and Hextable calling on the Conservative council in Sevenoaks to think again on a mega-development scheme that would see several thousand houses built on Grade 2 farmland and tower blocks in the town centre would get a public hearing.
But Tory council leader Peter Fleming, who arrogantly always seems to know better than local people what they want, has so far firmly rejected their petition.
The Lib Dems conducted their own extensive local residents survey. The vast majority overwhelmingly rejected the 'garden village' scheme for Swanley, rightly arguing that it would lead to more traffic on already busy roads, while there is a distinct lack of vital local facilities such as schools and surgeries.
It looks as though consultants U+1 are at last listening to local people and have contacted all those petitioners with an individual letter in response. But when will Cllr Fleming and his Tory cabinet finally do the same? Residents can be assured that your Lib Dem reps are both listening and fighting on your behalf.
Meanwhile, we now learn that the Woodlands site on White Oak has been sold off for a retirement home development, approved by local Tory and Labour councillors. And the chandeliers that once graced that building have also been flogged off, as the council reserves dwindle even further. Talk about selling off the Swanley family silver for a song!
But if you live in the White Oak ward you can have your say on Conservative misrule and mayhem on Thursday March 2nd in the next Swanley Town Council by-election by voting for your local Liberal Democrat candidate Robert Woodbridge.
In the meantime, you should also attend the public meeting at Sevenoaks District Council (SDC) offices in Argyle Road, Sevenoaks, at 7pm on Wednesday 25th January. Your Lib Dem reps will be there.
Update. At the packed public meeting the proposal for the Swanley mega-development was firmly rejected. Lib Dem Cllr Merilyn Canet was one of the speakers against the so-called 'garden village'. We are delighted that the SDC cabinet meeting endorsed the rejection on Thursday 9th February, a victory for local 'people power'.