Councillors demand a fair deal for town

MDB100210e2'kimberley town councillors looking to buy part of the old Kimberley brewery for council offices. Standing outside the old development kitchen Vice chairman cllr Roy Plumb, chairman Steve Brunt, cllr Dot Saxton, cllr Shane Easom and cllr Ian Cambell.
MDB100210e2'kimberley town councillors looking to buy part of the old Kimberley brewery for council offices. Standing outside the old development kitchen Vice chairman cllr Roy Plumb, chairman Steve Brunt, cllr Dot Saxton, cllr Shane Easom and cllr Ian Cambell.

KIMBERLEY town councillors have written to Broxtowe Borough Council expressing their disappointment at how the town has been treated over the past year.

After a unanimous vote of no confidence in their borough council, town councillors drafted a letter outlining reasons why they feel the town had been let town and ill-treated.

They are angry that borough council leader Cllr David Watts did not involve them in talks about the sale of the brewery site, say residents were not listened to when decisions were made about car parking charges, and claim it was unfair to remove grant aid from their budget and increase the town’s council tax by 17 per cent.

Town council chairman Shane Easom said: “It’s just blanket unfair how Kimberley gets treated. This letter is to let them know that we are not getting our fair slice of the cake.

“I think the brewery topped it off. They didn’t even inform the elected borough members of the council which is just wrong.”

At the end of last year Cllr Watts held secret talks with Barteak, a property developer which planned to buy the Kimberley brewery site.

But town councillors claim they should have been informed of the plans, and say this was the last straw for them.

The letter says the council leader had ‘little or no regard to the people of Kimberley’ and to councillors who had ‘far better knowledge of what the local people wanted for the site’.

Cllr Watts only involved fellow Lib Dem party members in the talks – a move town councillors claim was politically motivated.

But Cllr Watts said he involved Cllr Ken Rigby because he represented the town, and said he wanted to keep everything ‘hush-hush’ to save the sale falling through.

Earlier on in the year over 2,500 signatures were handed in to the borough council opposing car parking charges in the town.

Councillors argued Kimberley was too small for charges to be economically viable.

But they went ahead in Victoria Street car park anyway, and councillors say the people of Kimberley were ignored.

The letter finally goes on to point out that grant aid totally £11,160 was taken from the town’s budget, and claims council tax was unfairly increased by 17.1 per cent following the decision to share the cost of the borough’s recreation facilities across all areas equally.

A borough council spokesperson said they received the letter on Wednesday, but had not yet had chance to formulate a response.