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Online chat FAQ

Interactive chat with Councillor Andrew Bowles

Your questions were asked and answers given on our live interactive chat with Councillor Andrew Bowles, on Monday 16 September 2013.

Leader Come back to our online discussion at 17:30 on the parish review. We will be joined by Council Leader Cllr Andrew Bowles.

Cllr Andrew Bowles Joins us at 5.30pm for our online discussion on the Parish Review. We look forward to receiving your questions.

Admin Thanks to those who have joined us for this online discussion about the parish review. We are joined by Council Leader Councillor Andrew Bowles. Please let us have your comments/questions!

Guest What level of response has there been to date?

Leader Responses so far have been variable, far more interest from some areas such as Halfway. More responses would be very welcome.

Guest Why has the council decided to carry out the review?

Leader To coincide with change in Ward boundaries. Also as Central Government is offering Parish Councils more involvement in areas such as local plans.

Guest Can you guarantee that all associated on going costs would be picked by only by the areas which become parished via the parish precept?

Leader Going forward all costs would be met from Parish precept levied on Council tax payers within that locality.

Guest What will change if we get parish councils?

Leader If areas get new Parish Councils they will have local residents who can represent your views on Planning applications etc and feed those views through to the Planning Authority ie Swale Borough Council.

Guest Parish Councils opinions are often ignored at planning, that's not much of an incentive

Leader Guest3 Parish Council views are never ignored by planning. Sometimes other factors/representations including Planning Law may out way them.

Guest Yes indeed other factors nearly always out way the opinion of a parish council.

Guest I think the creation of Parish Councils is a great idea. Has there been much interest from people in The Meads and Kemsley?

Leader With reference to The Meads and Kemsley there has been minimal response.

Guest what support will be available to help new parish councils to set up?

Leader Guest 2 The Kent Association of Local Councils will work with and support all new Parish Councils through Member development, training etc.

Guest Is that not just another line of bureaucracy?

Leader Guest 2 Bureaucracy within Parish Councils is limited. Most areas of Swale already have PCs.

Guest3 How much extra will this cost residents?

Guest What is the cost per annum?

Leader Additional cost will depend on ambition of Parish Council created, currently between £13 and £63 per band D household per year.

Guest People in Sheerness feel put out because each town or village on Sheppey has representation in the form of a parish council but not so Sheerness.

Guest People in Sittingbourne feel much the same.

Leader Ref Sheerness: if people in Sheerness feel they are disadvantaged one assumes they will respond in favour?

Guest Would the Parish Council be responsible for historically sensitive buildings and would the conservation area stay the same as it is now?

Leader Historically important buildings would only become responsibility of Parish Councils if they were already in public ownership and this was transferred by agreement.

Guest Can you confirm that this will not lead to the creation of any further borough councillors

Captain Verbiage I am impressed that the council is using new technology - well done.

Leader Captain Verbiage: This will have no affect on numbers of Borough Councils. It is being.

Leader carried out partially due to recent review of Borough Ward boundaries which confirmed status quo re numbers.

(this response is in relation to the question regarding the query about further borough councillors)

Guest That is of course up to the said people but it does seem as though Sheerness is left out in the cold.

Guest3 I think it's a good idea. It gives people more say over their immediate locality.

Guest 2 Creations of Parish Councils is a great idea and I know people in already parished areas would pay even more than they do now to enable them to live in a better area. I hope people in non-parished areas do come forward to support.

Guest Absolutely guest 2 and can I say the more this format is used maybe the more people will involve themselves.

Guest I think I probably miss the point of Parish Councils. I know of one that doesn't listen to what locals think and just does what it feels like.

Guest3 I'm in Roman ward by the way. I hope this goes ahead.

Leader Guest3 Worth lobbying your Roman Ward Councillors to support. If they are not responsive feel free to contact me.

Guest3 They're Labour. They won't like it!

Leader Guest 3- Over to you. Do you want to stand against them?

Guest3 I might well do that.

Guest 2 Not all Parish Councils are like that. Some very good ones in Swale.

Leader Guest? If you feel your local Parish Council does not reflect local views why not consider standing?

Guest Too shy a nature I'm afraid.

Guest3 That's not really much to pay considering most people spread their payments out over the year. Well worth it.

Guest My Parish Council has been very good at supporting its residents, but the Council doesn't listen.

Guest I'm Sheerness and would happily pay for a voice.

Leader Guest from Sheerness - i trust you have or will respond to consultation.

Guest Will do now.

Guest Are households getting a copy of the information booklet delivered? I live in the Meads and haven't had one. This maybe why there hasn't been a lot of feedback.

Leader Guest? The Meads should have had leaflet drop - will see if we can follow up but if you provide your contact e-mail we will provide copy for you.

Guest Parts of Sheerness were missed as well.

Guest 2 Iwade hasn't had leaflets yet either.

Guest Were leaflets suppose to go to all residents in Swale because I know I certainly didn't receive one.

Leader If anyone out there requires a copy and has not received please e-mail and we will forward copies.

Guest3 This is great by the way. How often do these web chats occur? I only heard of it because someone posted it on Facebook.

Leader Guest 3 - This is our first, happy to do more if popular, please let us know.

Guest Go for it leader.

Guest3 It's a really good idea. Needs to be much better advertised though I think.

Guest 2 I follow Swale council on Twitter and like their facebook page. Keep up to date with things like this chat then. Poor Cllr. Bowles will be here all night now!

Admin Thank you to everyone who joined us this evening. The Parish Review will also be discussed at the Sheppey Local Engagement Forum tomorrow evening at Leysdown Village Hall. It is important to us that local residents have their say about what they want within their community. Alternatively view the details of more questions and answers at and let us know your views by filling in the online form. All questions will be answered from within the online chat and will be posted onto the faq section.

Admin This is a public forum, please do not put up any personal details/addresses etc. If anyone would like to know information about how it could affect you personally please email

Danielle So do I. But most people don't engage with local politics. More's the pity. This is why both web chats like this and parish councils themselves are such a great idea because the more thinking people involved the better for the community.

Guest 2 Excellent idea this. Hope to see more. Well done!

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