LETTER: protesting is a democratic right

Kimberley cemetery chapel.
Kimberley cemetery chapel.

I am writing as a member of Kimberley Town Council to express my views over recent events.

The article in a recent editionregarding the police being called after a protest at a council meeting happened when I myself was unable to attend.

However the suggestion of calling the police has been made before when I opposed such action, as I would have done on this occasion also.

I believe that protest is a democratic right of any group that has strong feelings particularly if they feel they are not being heard. Recently when a proposal was put forward to invite members and former councillors to a sub group working on the cemetery chapel it was strongly rejected by a majority of the council.

I share some concerns that residents have regarding many issues relating to the cemetery chapel, local democracy, council finances etc and I expressed these at the recent annual town meeting. I feel the best way to resolve these concerns is by being completely transparent and if necessary consulting with the Kimberley community to establish exactly what they are concerned over and how best to move forward via a public meeting.

Currently there seems to be an impasse with confusion and high emotion from various groups.

I cannot say I agree with all Kimberley Residents Association (KRA) views, however I do absolutely support their right to have their views and express them, and for them to be taken on board by those elected to represent the town including myself.

The recent KRA newsletter delivered is inaccurate in saying no member of the town council has attended their public meetings as they are well aware I attended and spoke at a meeting held with Anna Soubry in attendance. I didn’t attend the most recent due to work commitments. I would have but for a request from the council for no councillors to attend.

It is not the first time I have said we need to work together, this is an election year and the council may or may not look different after next May so any work we do now has to be with consensus of all if it is not merely to be scrapped and started again in 2015, causing delays and additional cost.

Cllr David Kirwan (Green)

Kimberley Town Council