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Ask the Leader

Chapters in this topic

  1. Introduction
  2. Previous questions

Previous questions

Lorries on Warden Road

Date: Wednesday 26, April 2023
Name: Mr C
Can I please ask , and request a reply to explain what is being done to stop and prohibit the large 20ton plus lorries (tippers) from hounding warden Road and fourth avenue. The damage is massive to the roads , and the safety of children , oap’s , and general public is very worrying , and quite frankly it’s a disaster waiting to happen. The tipper lorries start around 4/5am and continue regularly throughout the day. They are often driven very fast and with no regard to other road users. Surely this must be a priority of yours to stop this activity once and for all. I await your earliest reply.

Holiday camp seasonal closing times

Date: Friday 3, February 2023
Name: Mr C
I would like to know why the holiday camps around where I live are not shut as they only have a 10 month licence i reported this to the council and was told it was discretionary and have now been told that the council is monitoring the sites mean while the sites are getting richer. we cannot get doctors appointments and we pay our council tax. caravan owners does not pay council tax if the said council officers are monitoring they would realise the amount of revenue you are losing but the main point is they should not be there a 10 month licence is what they have and should be enforced. The council have already stated in the local newspaper that they cannot issue 12 month licence to the camps because the island does not have the infrastructure to support all these extra people. they are just staying in all the camps regardless to the licence they have been issued with. Which means they are using all our amenities and putting a strain on our facilities and are not liable to pay council tax.

Microchipping Dogs

Date: Tuesday 22, November 2022
Name: Mr C
Can you explain why SBC offers free micro chipping for dogs? Why can't owners pay for the service?

Avenue of Remembrance

Date: Sunday 13, November 2022
Name: Mr P
A couple of years ago there was working Party to loom at rejuvenating the Avenue of Remembrance but was disbanded with the council reorganisation earlier this year. Next year is the centenary of the Avenue of Remembrance being named as it is. Do the council have any plans to ensure that every tree in the Avenue and Central Avenue will have a memorial plaque for each tree to commemorate those who gave their lives. It was sad to see memorial trees with poppies on Remembrance Sunday but no plaque to recognise who they were for.

Road Improvements

Date: Friday 14, October 2022
Name: Mr U
Potential road improvements to reduce congestion to improve quality of life for residents as well as for surrounding areas. 1st Improvement: St Michaels Road gets congested at the traffic lights (outside grid house) and stops the whole of sittingbourne moving, there is an underpass under the railway at 208 quay lane that goes to a roundabout (outside SMC Ford). I'd propose for the same underpass to be built where the west lane pedestrian/bike crossing is into a two lane for vehicles as well as with pedestrian crosswalks if not enough space, then purchase one of the warehouses since road improvements are needed due to all the housing developments that are being built increasing pressure on the roads and I'm sure they have generated enough money to make this happen. This would give direct access to the EuroLink as well as reduce congestion outside grid house, you could make the traffic lights shorter for SMC ford and other areas of Sittingbourne would move a lot quicker, this would be a big improvement for quality of life for the residents. 2/3rd improvements: There is 2 roundabouts going to Sheerness with the lanes being too small you can only fit 1 lane of cars in instead of 2 and that is causing congestion, if the middle of the roundabout was made smaller you could make 2 lanes easily and reduce congestion. The round abouts are both right next to the A249, 1st one Connects b205 and swale way, the other one on the other side connects Grovehurst road.

Paying for Brown Bins

Date: Friday 2, September 2022
Name: Mr H
Hi Why do we have to pay £45 for a brown bin when Medway do them free. I live alone and pay £150 a month bit like having a mortgage. All the new houses being built on the island, the council must have millions coming in. Do we need someone from the Medway towns to run our council.

Sittingbourne Litter Picking

Date: Sunday 21, August 2022
Name: Ms H
Are there any plans for a community litter clear up. The town is looking really tatty with rubbish everywhere.

Bulky Collections in Sheerness

Date: Tuesday 12, July 2022
Name: Mr E
Swales policy of charging for collection/removal of large items appears to be backfiring in Sheerness, there is a large number of large items accumulating in the alleyways of Sheerness, which ultimately Swale council will have to remove and clear up any way. There are items such as wardrobes, mattresses and white goods being dumped in the alleyways. The non metallic items also pose a fire risk - tempting target - for the local miscreants. Historically ive already had to tackle a fire with a garden hose until the fire brigade arrived when someone elected to set fire to some rubbish. Large numbers of people in sheerness are unemployed and can not afford the fee.

Mr T

Date: Friday 10, June 2022
Name: Mr T
Dear Mike, I have been asked this question by Faversham Strike Force Football club: I understand that Swale have been awarded £1,169,496 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Will any of this funding be considered for Local Football Facility Plans, as Investment priority E10 specifically calls out permitted use for \\"local sports facilities\\" and also E11 states \\"investment in capacity building and infrastucture support for community groups\\"? thank you, E

Hanging Baskets in Sittingbourne High Street

Date: Tuesday 7, June 2022
Name: S
Will there be hanging baskets in Sittingbourne High Street this summer? The high Street looks so pretty when there are lots of flowers and especially the hanging baskets. If not then that’s a shame as it’s a cheery sight and makes the High Street a happy place to be.

House Building in Swale

Date: Friday 20, May 2022
Name: Mr S
Dear Sir Yet again we learn that planning permission has been given for 320 houses to be built on FARMLAND off Salters Lane, Faversham. The building on farmland is relentless in the borough and, I suggest, is not ‘much needed’ as most will be bought by Londoners’ and downsizer’s. Our need for growing our own food will steadily increase and we will not always be able to import as easily as now. First time buyers already struggle even with so called assisted purchase schemes. There are very few 2 bedroom houses built as developers optimum profit is realised on 3 and 4 bedroom properties. I would suggest that the council should assess true local need and your officers advised accordingly to recommend suitable schemes. I note that a planning application reference number 22/502086/OUT has been lodged for 650 units at Minster-on-Sea of which 10% are proposed as affordable, which, given what I said above, laughable if it were not so serious.

School buses in Bell Road

Date: Wednesday 4, May 2022
Name: Mr W
Firstly I believe Cllr Mike Baldock is now the leader so you need to update your Ask the Leader web page ( tut tut Comms). My question is, is there anything that the council can do about the chaos that the school buses cause on Bell road? My concerns are specifically- *The buses are mostly parked on double yellow lines and park over the junction with Highsted Rd. My understanding is that double yellow lines mean that parking and waiting isn't allowed at any time. * The buses parked over the junction means any car turning across the junction onto Highsted Rd can hold up the flow of traffic for considerable time leading to cars idling unnecessarily adding to poor local air quality. *At this same junction the buses greatly reduce visibility right at one of the main crossing points the school children use. *The buses at times are badly parked, jutting into the road, reducing further the very little room available to pass them. * School children can appear from between the buses to cross the road ( I nearly run a Highsted Girl over yesterday which is my motivation for writing this) again increasing risk for both school children and drivers. Will it take an injured or dead child before something is done?


Date: Tuesday 29, March 2022
Name: H
Hello Roger I have had 2 incidents recently which have been worrying. Firstly a person riding an E scooter on the pavement expected me to move out of his way and when I did not he passed very close to me. When I challenged him about riding on the pavement he said \\" I am not allowed on the road\\". As I understand it he is not allowed to ride the scooter anywhere. The second incident happened near Minster Lees on a track used heavily by pedestrians. Two cyclists on E bikes again expected me to move out of the way and claimed they were riding legally. I am very concerned about the lack of legislation regarding E scooters and bikes and the danger this poses to pedestrians. There was also a total disregard of the new highway code which says that motorised vehicles should give way to pedestrians. If this issue is beyond the remit of the council please could you pass it on the the relevant department.

Traffic disruption Dunkirk and Boughton

Date: Tuesday 8, March 2022
Name: Mr B
I live in the village of Dunkirk and Boughton, I would like to know why the council is wilfully neglecting its obligation to prevent large hgv’s from causing havoc driving through the small village roads when a 7.5 ton weight limit is enforce. This is causing serious damage to roads and the infastructure not mention the the sleepless night with lorries passing all hours of the night and day crashing into trees and damaging property. This is a blatant breach of the road traffic act 1984, we have had police attend blocked roads several time without prosecuting the offending drivers. On the other hand I get a warning notice from the council if my flora and fauna get to large. It appears that the exorbitantly overcharged council tax payer is a soft target whilst law breaking lorry drivers are untouchable. Please could you convince me this is not true by taking strict enforcement of the legal restrictions.

Recycling bin on the promenade at Sheerness

Date: Monday 7, March 2022
Name: Mr T
Prior to the pandemic the council erected a recycling bin on the promenade at Sheerness sponsored by GreenSeas Trust. The occasion was attended by the Mayor and Bobby Khan the founder of the Trust amongst others. The event was featured quite recently in the 'Inside Swale' circular. The bin was vandalised being set on fire. Has the Council any plans for replacement - Sheppey's reputation certainly took a knock and it would be a welcome gesture as we look towards a better future. It would also encourage the Trust to press on with its message towards a more sustainable future.

Levelling Up Funding for the Isle of Sheppey

Date: Saturday 12, February 2022
Name: S
Hello! I have a question regarding the 20 million that is planed to be spent on revamping the island. Roughly seven years ago I was apart of a project that was run by Dave Harcourt, Chief Executive Officer at Swale Community Leisure. This project was called “ Beachfeilds project.” The aim of this was to get students of the local community to come up with many inspiring ideas that could be used for upgrading the seafront, leisure centre, high street and sandpit areas and making dreams a reality. With these current discussions and plans I wanted to ask is this project being revisited and do the members who are involved intend to expand this project further? By speaking to the voices youths of today and the community I believe it’s in the public’s interest to have all ages participate in coming up with ideas that can be voted or discussed in open panels to the local community and possible investors. I await a response from yourself or a member of staff who is involved in the revamping the island tourism.

Roadside littering

Date: Tuesday 1, February 2022
Name: Ms F
I would like to know if there are any groups or if there is any team looking after general roadside littering in Swale. I am horrified by the amount of rubbish and litter in the hedgerows lanes and along the A249 which is just scattered around and has obviously been left this way for some time. I have just returned to the UK from living in New Zealand for some years and am so saddened to see the state of the surrounding countryside. Cycle trails such as the Saxon Shore way links from the Eurolink Way and outskirts of town are particularly bad. I see no information on the council website identifying this and suspect cleanups of this sort are not considered a priority if at all. It concerns me greatly that our countryside is so neglected and I have communicated with the Keep Britain Tiday group but would appreciate if the council could support myself and other individuals with a litter picking kit and advice on disposal or collection of the clean up I am intending to embark upon or perhaps acknowledge the problem and engage community service participants or involve school programmes and education.

EV Charging Points

Date: Tuesday 25, January 2022
Name: Mr B
Currently, there are not enough public EV charging points in our area. As I don't have a driveway, this is critical for me. As it stands, it's not practical to own an EV as the public charging infrastructure is not mature enough. UK government have a scheme for on-street public EV charging. https/ This feels like a perfect solution to the problem as simply having public EV charging points only in town-centre car parks will not be enough. There are a few councils across the UK, who have already started installing such (on-street) chargers. What is your view of on-street chargers in our area? Many thanks and regards, O

Housing development opportunities

Date: Tuesday 18, January 2022
Name: Mr B
Roger good evening Hearing that there’s a suggested 2400 homes development at faversham by the Duchy of Cornwall I appreciate the site isn’t that big BUT a great development for this quality developer could possibly be the Waterfront site possibilities at Rushenden / Queenborough in substitution This specific site would uplift the “ quality “ of the area immensely with the Duchy foresight and known quality prior UK developments I have no idea if this thought has even been considered by the Duchy or Swale Council. Perhaps it could be now ? Please let me know your views and maybe aspirations for Queenborough and Rushenden This potential Waterfront site deserves great development potential, nothing less Looking forward to your thoughtful reply. Thank you, M.

Funding for Pier at Queenborough

Date: Tuesday 4, January 2022
Name: Mr C
Dear Mr Truelove, As you have probably seen, I am working on a proposal for a new pier to be built on the site of the old Wildfire and Flushing Pier at Queenborough. The pier, being both a promenading and working leisure and commercial pier would benefit Queenborough, Bluetown and Sheerness and act as a major attraction for the island with excellent road links . It would provide facilities for the RNLI, coastguard,fishing vessels and offshore wind service vessels amongst others . I believe it would be an excellent use of the funds allocated to Sheppey by the government , being beneficial on a commercial, leisure , health and mental well being benefit. How can I get Swale council to back it ? Regards C.

Laws Against Archery in a Public Space

Date: Wednesday 8, December 2021
Name: Mr J
I am a hobbyist and currently I have taken an interest in archery. What I would like the know is if there are any laws about practicing in an open public place? i.e. the park. I have read that it is legal in most places, but that I should check with my local council. Also are there any written rules about practicing in my own garden? Thank you.

Parking Survey

Date: Monday 1, November 2021
Name: Ms O
I would respectfully ask why Swale Borough Council has denied the results of a democratic parking survey. The Council conducted a survey regarding parking in Edith Road. 19 responses out of 32 received. 10 objections - 9 supporters. The council has ignored the 10 objections and recommends action regardless. Swale Borough Council has made a decision in direct contravention of democracy. Please explain to me why our democratic rights are being ignored in favour of a minority

Restoration of a Well

Date: Friday 8, October 2021
Name: K
Hello I've recently found out about the Minster Abbey Wells, aka Holy Sacred Healing Well. I wished to take my elderly father to benefit from the healing waters. However, upon a bit of research, I found out the Well is closed off to the public due to danger as people were falling inside it! This was a gift from nature which is now wasted & surely the council could find a way of making it secure, & perhaps some simple pipe work to extract the water. This is a much needed resource especially at the time we're living in, with many people being sick & suffering with covid & many cancer patients. I wish to emphasise that this gift of mother nature is being wasted due to overlook & lack of enthusiasm & appreciation from Swale council. Please can you look into this matter as I feel it'd benefit a lot of people. Thank you kindly for your consideration.

Five year land supply

Date: Monday 21, June 2021
Name: Mr G
Faversham remains very vulnerable to speculative applications from developers as long as it does not have a five-year housing land supply. Because of failures under the previous administration, there is an additional 5% buffer. I understand that the housing land supply figure was miscalculated in the planning department. The Secretary of State’s decision on Wise’s Lane refers to this error. “On 12 January 2021 the Council wrote to the Secretary of State stating that it could now demonstrate a Housing Land Supply of 5.02 years. On 12 February 2021 the Council wrote again, stating that it was not yet in a position to be able to demonstrate a five-year housing land supply. The Secretary of State has proceeded on that basis.” Can you assure residents that this will not occur again? Are detailed planning applications being processed at an acceptable rate or are delays contributing to our failure to maintain delivery of a five-year land supply?

Consultation on building plans

Date: Sunday 6, June 2021
Name: Mr B
Please explain why residents next to a large proposal to build new homes ARE NOT sent letters informing local residents of such by SBC Once again there is a large planning application that affects every house in Nelson Ave , minster. We have not been informed by SBC ,yes an advertisement published in a local paper,but who buys those these days? We residents pay Council tax of £250k a year, so a letter to everyone would be small. I read SBC has a proactive approach to new home building in the correct places such as brown field sites. The application is on very green field. Please reply directly to me with the reason we residents are not being informed by SBC. Residents in Scocles,Drake, Back lane haven't been informed either. I would like to know exactly why not and who has made the decision. I do hope it is a councilor not a civil servant. Please advise so I may wish to inform local residents who the responsible for lack of action and lack of caring about the residents in the area.

Cost of alterations to A2 and A257

Date: Friday 21, May 2021
Name: Ms B
Can you please confirm the amount of money the council is paying for the alterations to the road junction A2 AND A257 in Faversham.I believe the amount is 7.5 million,outrages if true and should be audited.

Congestion in Faversham

Date: Sunday 9, May 2021
Name: Mr D
We deliver to farms in Ospringe and other places in Faverham. and my drivers have told me that the are hold up in the roads in and around Faversham with lost of the small roads being closed seemly for no reason than to make every can lorry and van use the A2 to grt in and out. so Friday I took the trip with one of my drivers and yes roads are closed so I took a walk along the first while my driver had to drive almost to Leaveland then through to Throwley then north to Painters Forstal to come back to a mile south of Ospringe. This took my driver a bit longer than it took me to walk the length of Partners Lane and across Brogdale road and wait at the start of Vicarage lane where I waited about 5 minutes for my driver. I could see no reason for the blockage in Partners Lane of 6 or so cones and a one ton bag of sand. With the new traffic lights at Brenley corner round a bout and the road works on the A2 it is adding over an hour and one half to each run to any of our Customers in your towns and villagers around Faversham. In this modem timer of making things Smoove-er and travel less, it would look to me that this is just a way of doing the oppose set and making a big traffic jam. ... So my question is how long is this going to continue and who do I sent the overtime bill to as this is costing us a lot of extra money.

House building around Faversham

Date: Tuesday 4, May 2021
Name: Mr A
Why are you allowing thousands of houses to be built around Faversham with no solar panels and no grey water usage …. While at the same time you plan to obliterate Graveney Marshes with huge solar arrays … Can you not see that this is insane ( and I do not use this word lightly). How can this vandalism make any sense whatsoever to an intelligent person?

Funding for road infrastructure

Date: Tuesday 4, May 2021
Name: Mr K
To whom it may concern, There is a lot of new housing estates being built in the Sittingbourne area, for example the estate on the A2 main road on the way to Bapchild. Can you please tell me if there is funding coming from these new housing estates to improve the road infrastructure due to increased road users because of these new estates. A249 is notorious for having very bad traffic and most people that cause that traffic are the people joining the M2 as soon as you pass that roundabout, the road to Maidstone is fine to drive to. I am sure that these new housing estates will bring in a lot of new civilians from the London borough who are going to still commute to London from Sittingbourne, which is only going to put more stress on that road and create even more traffic. My google maps is currently saying 38 minutes to Maidstone 15.8 miles, If I try for dover it is 40 minutes for 29 miles. This is at 3pm in the afternoon on a weekday.

Land ownership

Date: Wednesday 21, April 2021
Name: Mr A
How do I find out who owns particular bits of land or how do I go about getting council owned land Really want to to make a a safe legal place for people to come ride there off road bikes which in turn would stop people becoming a nuisance to police and land owners for riding illegal I've contacted many farmers local but nobody is interested I really think this is a great opportunity for a piece of waste land to be put to good use if its decent enough people will pay to ride aswell as they know they are safe from getting section 59 and risking loosing there bikes You've only got to go rushenden marshes or under sheppy bridge and riddham docks on a Sunday to see actually how many people would benefit from a place like this and that's just local to me Bartons point is another place that could be reopened with minimal work could make money on a weekend Please consider something please as there is nowhere to go

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