Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Setting the record straight

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's website has a page entitled Setting the Record Straight.

The page leads off with this:

Setting the Record Straight

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's Communications Team works closely with newspapers and other media by issuing news releases, responding to media enquiries, arranging briefings and interviews and organising news conferences and other events. We also provide up-to-date information on this site, which we hope is useful for the public and the media.
In spite of our best efforts, media reports are not always completely accurate. People have a right to reliable information, just as we have a duty to provide it.
The information we provide is subject to a Code of Conduct under the Local Government Act 2000. This means we are bound by the highest standards of propriety and accuracy in providing information.

Then we come across this:

Reported in Kent and Sussex Courier (Friday June 10 2011) 
 “New Council will not get £40k grant it expected”
Contrary to what has been suggested in the Courier newspaper Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has not said that the newly established Rusthall Parish Council cannot have a loan. It is obviously for the Parish Council to decide the range and scope of services it wishes to provide and then to estimate how much this will cost.
Once Rusthall Parish Council has decided upon a plan for the forthcoming year and a budget to support it then and then the Borough Council can arrange the necessary funding (the Parish Council would need approval from the Department from Communities and Local Government). This approach has been supported by the District Auditor.
The £500 was provided as an initial sum in order to open a bank account.
The establishment of a new Parish Council is the exciting outcome of a tremendous amount of work by Council officers. The residents of Rusthall are now part of a very select few who have used new legislation to create their own Parish Council. The turnout at the election provided a strong endorsement by the residents, who can now look forward to a new era of community empowerment within their parish.

I have no problem with the statements on funding.  However I do question the use of  an opinion that the establishment of a new Parish Council is the exciting outcome.....
The turnout at the election was not a strong endorsement.


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