Thursday, 24 May 2012
Who represents Royal Tunbridge Wells?
The quotation below attributed to Grouch Marx is applicable to some central government changes to local government.
On the 1st April 1974 Tunbridge Wells District Council became the local authority responsible for the areas previously administered by Cranbrook Rural District Council, Tonbridge Rural District Council (except for the parishes of Hadlow and Hildenborough), Royal Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Southborough Urban District Council. On 20th December 1974 Borough status was conferred.
As a consequence of changes to ward boundaries and Rusthall becoming a parish, out of the 48 seats on the Council only 19 are within the area of Royal Tunbridge Wells. Apart from Royal Tunbridge Wells there is a town or parish council covering all other parts of the borough. These councils are elected and whilst they have limited powers it is anticipated the present government will grant them new powers.
The current cabinet of the Borough Council has only one member who represents a Royal Tunbridge Wells ward. Decisions concerning Royal Tunbridge Wells are taken by a cabinet and a full council and this is done in the absence of a statutory body able to make representations.
The Borough Council has floated the idea of forming a Royal Tunbridge Wells Town Council as a replacement to the Town Forum. See:
The anonymous comment is interesting and makes some excellent points but does not address the issue that purely Royal Tunbridge Wells matters do not have an input from a parish or town council as happens elsewhere in the Borough.