Kent Messenger Extra 18 May 2001 Page 1
Two step down from key roles
by Nigel Jarrett
Two Tunbridge Wells councillors have stepped down from key seats on borough committees and working parties. One of them, Cllr Len Price, cited council planning policy for his decision to go.
There is understood to be no link between Cllr Price's resignation and that of fellow Conservative Roy Bullock, even though they took place within hours of each other on the same day.
Council chief executive Rodney Stone, to whom the two men tendered their resignations in writing on May 4, told KM Extra: "I regret I am unclear about both councillors' reasons for leaving."
Cllr Bullock, member for Lamberhurst, has resigned from all boards and working parties, but will continue to serve as a member of the Eastern Area Planning Committee.
Cllr Price, member for Culverden, has similarly quit all boards, committees and working parties, with the exception of the leisure and tourism committee.
The timing of their resignations means no immediate replacements will be sought for the chairmanships and vice-chairmanships which have been relinquished.
These will be resolved at the council's annual meeting on Tuesday, May 22.
Cllr Bullock was chairman of the council's operational services board. His place was taken by vice-chairman Cllr Paul Oliver-Smith when the board met on Thursday last week.
Cllr Stan Ward, vice-chairman of the Western Area Planning Committee, was due to have taken Cllr Price's place as committee chairman when it met on Wednesday, May 16.
Cllr Price, former County Councillor for Tunbridge Wells for 12 years and Western Area Planning Committee chairman for the past three years, cited frustration with the system for his decision to quit.
He said: "I am disenchanted over planning at the Town Hall and what I consider to be urban cramming. The local plan is simply piling houses into the town."
"What really brought it to a head for me was the Telephone House scheme, about which there has just been a planning inquiry." "I supported residents' concerns, but I don't think we had any help from our officers and I was not supported by the leader of the council [ councillor James Scholes ], so I felt the best thing to do was to give up my chairmanship."
"Having said that, I do think officers are hamstrung by central Government policies."
Cllr Price highlighted proposals for hundreds more homes in sites off Camden Road, with no road improvements to help.
"We're just concreting over everything," he said.
"I'm actually quite pleased to relinquish the role because it means I will be able to speak more freely as a member of the committee rather than its chairman."
Cllr Bullock was unavailable for comment.
|DENSITY - cramming ? lifestyle ? The high-density development of Telephone House, Tunbridge Wells|
Speeches of Councillors of Culverden Ward, the MP for Tunbridge Wells and
Members of the Telephone House Neighbours Association
|A guide through Tunbridge Wells Local Press since August 2000 - "The Telephone House Debacle"|