Tunbridge Wells - A failing Council - confirmed by the Audit Commission

Guide through the Local Press since January 2003 - last update: 01.06.2007

Annual Audit Inspection Letter April 2007 10.06.07 - Annaul Audit and Inspection Letter - Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

Audit Commission 30.03.06 - Tunbridge Wells Borough Council gets a mixed report from watchdog.

TOWN HALL CRISIS: New directors' posts advertised as senior jobs are swept aside in overhaul.

The Courier 24.03.06 - TOWN HALL BOSSES GO IN £1.6M JOBS CULL
The controversial axing of 18 jobs, including directors and department heads, at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is to go ahead.

25.02.05 - The final act as veteran Council Chief bows out
Authority looks for interim boss with specialist experience.

28.01.05 - Discussions on Chief's Departure
Behind closed doors on Wednesday night the fate of the chief executive of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council was due to be discussed.
and Letters written by Tunbridge Wells Residents

21.01.05 - Time for clean sweep - Letters
"What we all want is someone who can address the issues that place this council in the bottom 10 per cent"

07.01.05 - Shakespeare in the Town Hall - Editor's Comment
Plots are afoot to dethrone the chief executive of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

07.01.05 - Knives out for Council's Chief
The Chief Executive of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council could lose his job at the helm of the crisis-hit authority.
and Note written by a Tunbridge Wells Resident

24.12.04 - No Surprise for Council Officers and Councillors in recent report findings
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's dismal performance:
"The council came 218th out of the 237 councils country-wide"

23.07.04 - Fresh Blow for 'Weak' Council
and Note written by a Tunbridge Wells Resident

10.10.03 - Jobs go as Council bids to shape up

02.05.03 - New broom through town and borough - Letters
Street cleaning, policing and apparent lack of concern upset residents

25.04.03 - Axe falls on top jobs at council
Chief Executive Rodney Stone recommends redundancies to Cabinet Councillors

21.03.03 - Stating what we all know - Editor's Comment
AN AUDIT COMMISSION REPORT has concluded that Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's planning department is under-performing.
"When one surveys the townscape, all around are pockets of evidence that there is something wrong at the heart of the development control services.
Look at the debacle over Telephone House."

21.03.03 - Council hit by criticism again
Official watchdog releases second damning report
"The planning department at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has been criticised by government inspectors for being slow, wasting money and lacking direction."

21.02.03 - Plea for hit squad to sort out planning department - News Special
"surveyor calls for council to be held accountable for its decisions"

14.02.03 - Failing Council
Letter of a member of the Telephone House Neighbours Association to the Courier, regarding the much publicised criticism of the audit commission report:
". . . over the years since the Telephone House saga began, qualities of good officers were used to disguise mistakes of Councillors and Officers."

14.02.03 - The worst of both worlds - poorer services at a higher cost - Letters
"the worst of both worlds - no one escaped on the issues I raised - trying to get through to him [Chief Executive] - looking to the average - concentration of power - failed to control council officers"

07.02.03 - Not surprised at the councilís bad report - Letters
"wake-up call comes at last - tired politics no good for town - the ranks will simply close - at least others might listen"

31.01.03 - Failing Council Under Scrutiny
Improve now or lose your powers, says watchdog
"The annual assessment rated 44% of council services as below average in 2001/2002 - putting management, e-mail accessibility, speed of housing benefit claims and the entire planning service in the bottom 25% of the country."

14.12.2001 - Council attacked over contracts -
Already in December 2001 KM reported on the "Failing Council under Scrutiny"
"Cllr Mills (Lib Dem) blamed the Conservative leadership for failing to exercise proper controls over the 2 1/2 year period reviewed. He demanded a more detailed investigation, with recommendations for putting things right and action against those responsible for the failures."

CALA Homes took over Crest Nicholson Plc and British Telecom's Southgate Developments joint application for Telephone House in Tunbridge Wells
". . . It was a major development opportunity in the town centre and in the midst of a Conservation Area :
Major redevelopment as this [ Telephone House ] provided an opportunity to reshape the town's landscape for the better. . . ."

"The final plans please no-one - neither the mp, local councillors, residents nor the developers."

Guide through the Local Press since August 2000

The Telephone House Neighbours Association, Tunbridge Wells
The aims are to heighten peoples' awareness and concern for the high-density development on Telephone House site, Church Road / York Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1.