26 June 2019

The new Council and our priorities.

A Cooperative Alliance of Labour, Swale Independents, Liberal Democrats, Green and Independent councillors now run Swale Borough Council. Tim is the Cabinet member for Environment and a member of the Planning Committee. Alastair is the Deputy Cabinet member for Planning and Chair of the Policy Development and Review Committee. The priorities that the new administration have set out are:

  1. A constitutional review. – To make decision making in the council more open and democratic.
  2. A review of the local plan. - We recognise that issues around planning were a key concern at the local elections, and that we have been given a clear mandate for change.
  3. A climate and ecological emergency. - We will develop an ambitious plan of actions that will tackle the climate emergency, protect the environment and our wild places, and promote a healthy lifestyle.
  4. Housing – The council will end the use of B & B accommodation for temporary housing and improve the provision of social and affordable housing, so that everybody has a decent home.
  5. Community inclusion. – The council will tackle social exclusion, for example by exploring ways to provide more rural bus services.
  6. Health - A health officer will be appointed to support a new programme to improve health outcomes for local people.
  7. Economy & Skills – Low pay is wide-spread problem in Swale. The Council will explore the feasibility of paying all employees the Living Wage (as defined by the Living Wage Foundation), and explore ways to extend the Living Wage to the Council’s locally-employed contractors.
  8. Public realm and open spaces – We have a number of plans to improve sea fronts and other public spaces and facilities.

Despite the age of austerity, the Council has reserves of £24m. This money belongs to the local people. A special project fund of £1m a year will be established to support the programme that the new administration has set out to improve the wellbeing of local people.

Grants for Community Projects Available

 Details of the member grant scheme have been announced. Each Swale councillor has £2,400 available to support small-scale, local community projects through the member grants scheme. Community groups can bid for funding for projects that provide benefits including culture, sport, recreation, health, environment and community safety. We are particularly keen to support projects that benefit the people of Boughton & Courtenay.

The application process is easy; groups simply need to discuss the project with their local councillor in order to get their support and fill in a simple application form. You will find the forms and all the information you need to make an application at www.swale.gov.uk/member-grants

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