A complete shit.
On Tuesday the 3rd April at 9.30am at Hythe Town hall an extraordinary meeting was scheduled. Cllrs met to discuss Y17/1042/SH – commonly known as Princes Parade. It is known that some members of the public were due to speak about Princes Parade. However, Cllr Alan Ewart James (pictured above) used Hythe Town Council Standing Orders to shut the meeting down moments after it begun, so preventing the public from using their legitimate democratic right to speak about the Princes Parade planning application and the new documents which had been posted on Folkestone & Hythe District Council website.
(Video – XiFilm)
Cllr Ewart James used Standing Order
3b xvi – Refer a planning application received by the Council to the Chairman or in his absence Deputy-Chairman of the Plans and Works Committee within 2 working days of receipt to facilitate an extraordinary meeting if the nature of a planning application requires consideration before the next ordinary meeting of Plans and Works Committee
11a – A resolution (whether affirmative or negative) of the Council shall not be reversed within 6 months except either by a special motion, the written notice whereof bears the names of at least 6 Councillors of the Council, or by a motion moved in the pursuance of the report or recommendation of a Committee.
15D – The Chairman of a Committee (or in his absence the Deputy-Chairman ) or the Chairman of the Council (or in the Chairman of the Council’s absence the Deputy Chairman) may call an extra-ordinary meeting of that Committee at any time. An extraordinary meeting shall also be called on the request of a third of the whole number of the Committee shall be delivered in writing to the Proper Officer, but in no case shall less than three Councillors requisition an extra-ordinary meeting of the Committee. The summons to extra-ordinary meeting shall set out the business to be considered thereat, and no business other than that set out in the summons shall be transacted at that meeting. Three clear working days’ notice of the meeting shall be given.
34B –The Proper Officer shall refer every planning application to the next meeting of the Plans & Works Committee and every amended plan to the Chairman/Deputy-Chairman within 48 hours of receiving it.
Comprehensive one might think. However, Cllr Ewart James may have succeeded in closing down lawful debate and discussion but unfortunately for Cllr Ewart James (pictured) he didn’t have all his bases covered.
s101(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 trumps his hand. Thankfully, another extra ordinary meeting has been convened and will take place on the 12 April at Hythe Town Hall at 6pm. This time we hope Cllr Alan Ewart James will not close down democracy.
We know Cllr Ewart James is both a Folkestone & Hythe District Councillor and a Hythe Town Councillor and in these capacities should represent his constituents and uphold democracy NOT close it down. He appears to be – and this is an expression of our opinion, not actionable in defamation – a complete shit.
The Shepwayvox Team
I noticed that James didn’t look at the public before scuttling away..
We have Eric Pickles to thank for the Openness and Transparency Act 2014 that gave the public the right to report on council meetings. This Act is a marvellous way of holding councillars to account for what they say in meetings, because we all know that councilliars suffer from amnesia…
Now whether the “right to report” is effective or not will only be revealed in May 2019 when local people will have the chance to deliver certain councilliars a good kick in the ballots.
He’s an ex Townsend Thoresen captain, says it all really!
I don’t think it’s actionable either: ‘Fair Comment’ is a defence to a libel action and so is ‘mere vulgar abuse’. This may be a case of mere vulgar abuse and fair comment in one.
Awesome piece well done, the SV team brightened my day.