Every councillor is given a book on how to behave. It’s published by the local government association and its rules are binding. A very busy man, Councillor Mike Cosgrove, must have forgotten two of the key principles. These say that Councillors are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this. It also says they should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for doing so.
To date, he has refused to answer any of our questions about his unpopular War Memorial vanity project in the last issue. The best he has managed so far is to communicate silently through the medium of the psychotic stare, glaring at the Faversham Eye editor as they passed in the street last week. Sadly, Brian is not psychic and would prefer written answers. As the only functioning part of the democratic process in Faversham, the Eye will share these with our readers, if we ever get a response.
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Rumours persist that one of Faversham’s well known couples once had to be ejected from the swimming pool after being overcome with desire, driven on by the sunshine and the intoxicating aroma of chlorine. No doubt the over enthusiastic staff misunderstood what were obviously amateur swimming lessons covering the breast stroke, the dogging paddle and holding your breath underwater.
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As a man with the common touch, Councillor Michael Cosgrove was spotted recently in Morrisons supermarket. Before leaving with his shopping and, showing the rigorous financial probity that has been his hallmark as a councillor, he stopped for five minutes to read a copy of the Faversham News at the newspaper stand. When he finished he carefully put it back and left. The parent company of Faversham News, the KM Media Group has made losses of more than £1.6 million in the last years. It was bought last year by Iliffe Media Limited, which has soaked up the Messenger’s £8.2 million of tax losses. As one of Britain’s richest aristocrats and local press barons, I am sure the Honourable Edward Iliffe will not be happy to know that one of his junior Tory colleagues is a freeloader reading and not paying for his newspaper.
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Every Swale councillor is allocated what’s called a member’s fund - £2,400 of taxpayers money to spend on local projects of their choice. Most use the money to support worthwhile community initiatives. Not that fearless champion of rights for Nazis, racists and Islamophobes, Andrew Bowles. He helped buy a £468 chair for Boughton Bowls Club. As his council seat is looking shaky, is he planning for the future?
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On the subject of Mr Bowles, the rapidly-rehabilitated former distributor of anti-muslim material recently announced his recent brush with national notoriety had increased his popularity 'on the doorstep'. But it seems not all Boughton and Courtenay voters are happy to be tarred with the same extra-thick brush as Bowles' new 'Tommeh'-worshipping friends. Out canvassing recently, Bowels received a less than warm welcome from one forthright constituent who declined to support someone “who thinks it's OK to spread Tommy Robinson posts”.
“You shouldn't believe everything you hear,' he reportedly responded, rather patronisingly. Unfortunately for the hapless councillor, the doorstep owner was, unlike the average 'Tommeh' fan, able to read...specifically read the post Bowles retweeted portraying Robinson (a convicted petty criminal whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) as a 'patriot'. It's unlikely Bowles will be knocking at that door again.
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Electioneering can be a tricky business, especially when the candidate in question has in the past been less than flattering about the community whose votes he now finds himself courting. So spare a thought for poor Andy Culham, former town councillor and current Conservative party hopeful for Priory Ward. How could he have known when he took to Twitter back in 2015 to describe those living by the creek as 'pond life', that just four short years later he would be asking the entire population of the north side of Faversham Creek if he can count on their support?