Swaffham residents set up forum due to town council concerns
A forum of Swaffham Residents has been created to promote greater transparency in the town.
Worries over the council’s ability to carry out the planning and advertising for the Days Field site, in which 51 new homes would be built, is how the forum first emerged.
One forum member, Ian Pilcher, was one of two nominations for the vacant town councillor position following the resignation of Steve Allen.
However, Mr Pilcher’s nomination was unsuccessful as Stewart Bell was appointed at a council meeting on Wednesday instead.
Graham Edwards of the group said: “It all started when Swaffham Town Council said they would develop a site themselves. They are such a muddled group that their ability to do this is worrying.
“They can’t even come to a decision over toilets for the recreation ground, so how can they be property developers?
“A whole group of us has got together because we are absolutely seething at the prospect of the council undertaking this risky £6million project which may well be an absolute catastrophe for the people of this town.”
The forum is composed of a variety of people including a former mayor and a former councillor.
Mr Edwards said: “After the original concern over the council becoming property developers, we started to find other things come up and we are now questioning whole swathes over what they do.
“At a council meeting, I asked who manages the council’s audits and affairs, but the town clerk did not want to name names.”
A prospectus for the forum, dated Thursday, December 6, said: “There appears to be two competing camps, councillors and members of the community.
“At the Days Field open meeting as an example, we were somewhat shocked at the conflict with, and lack of confidence in the town clerk. This is not how it should be.
“The broader community and the town council should be working together, to build upon the history of our historic market town and to enhance its assets for future generations.”
In response to the forum Mayor Colin Houghton said: “Any residents in Swaffham are entitled to express views and they are welcome to do this through a forum.
“However, I must say we would like them to be sure of their facts before they start expressing opinions.
“The town’s audits are all public information so that is misinformation. We are quite happy to speak to residents about proper facts.”