Suggestions that Kimberley Town Council manages its finances without transparency and responsibility are both offensive and inaccurate, in my view.
Over the past two years, the council has worked openly and collaboratively. There have been no secret meetings and all councillors have been invited and entitled to contribute.
The council has indeed spent money but has done so sensibly but innovatively to benefit a wide cross section of our community.
Over the past two years, all major spending decisions have been taken following democratic votes. Wherever possible, apart from spending on staffing and contracts involving tenders, these votes have occurred in public.
We hold a minimum of sixteen public meetings per year (six full council and ten committee) at which citizens can and do question councillors.
The council also has a website and will shortly reinstitute a Facebook page inviting feedback. A quarterly newsletter is published informing people of events and council policies. How much more transparency can reasonably be expected? Since May 2012, whilst prudently maintaining considerable reserves, the council has departed from the practice of previous administrations by investing in a number of projects to benefit a wide cross section of our community. Here are some examples:
Through modest commitments from our reserves, the council generated external funding of almost £200,000 to provide a magnificent play area for our children on the Stag Ground.
We helped Kimberley Miners’ Welfare Football Club become established on the Stag Ground. For many years to come, the town now has an excellent football facility for local young people.
The council spent modestly to bring the Freedom Parade to Kimberley in May. This was one of the finest days in the town’s recent history and a source of enjoyment and pride to many.
The council funded a football scheme to help Youth for Christ work with some of the more challenging and disengaged young people in our community.
It was backed by the police and has proved outstandingly successful.
The council is intent on restoring our magnificent, unique Grade II listed war memorial. We have commissioned an essential survey to launch this project.
Kimberley Town Council has funded lunches for pensioners at Christmas and Easter and intends to hold another in the autumn. Last year we staged a summer fun day which attracted large numbers of families. We have also held free parties for children at Hallowe’en and Christmas. Reasonable investment was made last year in new and much admired Christmas lights. The switch-on event attracted record crowds. To enable caretaking staff to maintain our facilities and the ever popular flower beds the council bought a second hand van. Kimberley Town Council believes that politics should work for the benefit of all not just those who shout the loudest. We have worked hard on behalf of the entire Kimberley community. I am proud of having been part of a quiet revolution in Kimberley, and am confident that the real residents of Kimberley – the elderly, the young, families, those wishing to play sport and the silent majority who just wish to get on with their lives, support our endeavours and, in my opinion, are not impressed by the rhetoric of unrepresentative malcontents.
Councillor David Nunn,
Chairman of Kimberley Town Counci