In follow up to last week's post on EKO:
Note: The Eurokent site is land between Westwood Cross & the Newington estate on either side of the new main road.
From Cllr Clive Hart - Labour Leader of the Opposition at TDC.
"In recent years we in the Labour Group at Thanet District Council have had reason to voice concern about just who exactly is deciding the direction of the district council. Our feelings, clearly outlined in our 2011 manifesto, are that all too often officers appear to be deciding the direction of TDC rather than councillors who have been democratically elected by local residents.
The East Kent Opportunities Eurokent proposals are yet another point in question. Land clearly designated for employment use by councillors through robust council procedures is simultaneously being promoted by EKO (a joint TDC and KCC venture) for substantial housing development.
We Labour councillors cannot understand how council officers were ever directed to make proposals which go so blatantly against TDC's own established policies. At last weeks public 'consultations' EKO officers promoted plans that go totally against TDC Planning Policy and did so whilst at the same time clearly stating that EKO was 'answerable to councillors'.
None of our 26 member strong Labour Group of councillors have endorsed the EKO housing proposals and I cannot imagine that any of the 3 members of the Independent Group have been involved either. At best, some of the 27 members of the Conservative administration may have had some kind of involvement but in any event they are now clearly a minority of members at TDC.
In short, at a time of austerity and cut-backs, council officers have been allowed to carry out a substantial and extremely costly amount of work on a project that may well not meet the requirements of the full council. Possibly worse still, proper employment opportunities for the site may well have been missed whilst officers have been clearly misdirected in their efforts".
Cllr Clive Hart - 01843 298770 or 07980 652 896.
Published by Thanet Labour Group Press Office, 44 Northdown Road, Margate, Kent, CT9 2RW.