Tuesday, 10 January 2012
Labour Punish Broadstairs in Politically Motivated Decision to Block Community Centre
The new TDC Labour Cabinet has blocked the Broadstairs Community Centre Trust’s project to build the town a new community centre in Pierremont Park.
Cabinet voted against the council officers’ recommendation that a lease be granted so that the project, which has been on the table for more than a decade, could finally be realised.
Labour’s Alan Poole claimed that the project had ‘almost universal objections’ despite the consultation process producing only nine objections to the community centre.
The officers’ report stated that “It is considered by the officers that the council’s previous support of the project, aligned with that of Broadstairs Town Council and KCC, together with the community benefit arising from the proposal is sufficient to outweigh the representations that are concerned about such a development in the park.”
However, the Labour Group went along with Broadstairs’ solitary Labour District Councillor Jennifer Matterface in overturning the recommendation. There are also concerns over emails sent out after the consultation period ended, calling for more objections and setting out what those objections should be.
At the same meeting, the Cabinet passed a decision on Margate Football Club, which has attracted in excess of 500 objections, to full Council with a recommendation to approve most of the application.
Labour’s decision has caused dismay within the Community Centre Trust and Broadstairs & St Peters Town Council. Conservative Group Leader, Councillor Bob Bayford stated that “Labour’s overtly political vindictiveness towards Broadstairs and local democracy is simply staggering. Against officers’ advice and the wishes of elected representatives, and on completely spurious grounds, the new Labour administration has denied our town a proper community centre of which it can be proud and which it so richly deserves.”