A message from Councillor Cosgrove

Councillor Mike Cosgrove writes in the latest edition of the Faversham Town Council newsletter:

The Good News
After so much hard work by the Vanguard Committee, it was great news to hear that the external examiner had approved The Town Council’s Creek Neighbourhood Plan. This means we can proceed to the next stage that is a whole Town Referendum when residents who are on the electoral roll will be asked the question “Do you approve the Neighbourhood Plan?” Then tick either Yes or No. This is planned to take place in the autumn, most probably in October.

What the report said
He said that he understood a great deal of hard work had gone into the Plan. He found it well written, clear and gave a very good idea of the issues and difficulties involved. He also said that he was impressed with the knowledge of those participated in the hearing. He praised the amount and quality of public consultation undertaken throughout its production, and stated that the town council took public consultation seriously and that clearly a lot of local residents took the trouble to give their views.

He fully supported some of the key issues including the Creekside footpath around the creek that so many residents supported, and the provision of moorings for boats, also for sensitive development of other sites within the Creek area. Inevitably he asked for some changes and we are in the process of including them so that the Plan can be “referendum ready”.

Swale Council, as the local planning authority, had to consider whether to accept the Examiner’s recommendations. These and the draft plan were approved at the Local Development Panel on May 19th, when formal approval also for the referendum was given.

The Referendum
Like the referendum in June, the Swale Returning Officer will be responsible for making the arrangements for the Creek Neighbourhood Plan referendum including voting cards and polling booths across all of Faversham. If more than half of those voting are in favour of the Neighbourhood Plan, Swale BC must bring it into force as soon as reasonably practical. The referendum looks likely to take place in late October. So your vote really does count. Faversham Town Council will send out full details of the Creek Neighbourhood Plan, its benefits for The Creek and Faversham and details of each site before the date of The Referendum, so that all Faversham residents will know exactly what they will be voting for. Of course your town councillors can also give you details and answer any questions. Additional information will also be available.

A big Thank You
We would like to say thank you to everyone who helped make this happen, and special thanks to Anne Salmon, Andrew Osborne and Janet Turner, and of course Natalie Earl Swale’s Senior Policy Planner for helping us through all the hard work.
Cllr Mike Cosgrove

In the same newsletter, ex-Mayor Nigel Kay, reflecting on his term of office, says; “The Town Council will be contributing £175,000 towards the new swing bridge at The Creek and Swale Borough Council will match this with £200,000. This greatly reduced the amount needed to be raised by the public to £125,000, which was achieved in record time thanks to the support of the local community.”

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