County cllr: I’ll decide my position on science park

Wye’s county councillor will wait to see Imperial’s plans for its science park before he decides whether he will ‘go along with the village’.

At last night’s annual parish meeting, Charles Findlay faced several questions over his position on the proposal for the Wye Park and housing development on the college estate. At one point, parishioner Vinny McLean demanded: ‘When are our councillors going to get up to speed and start representing us?’

Cllr Findlay, who did not mention Wye during his review of the past year with Kent County Council, said that, as no plans existed, he could not form a view. He said: ‘I will take a view whether I go along with the village. I will listen to all the views.

Cllr Findlay: ‘Wait and see’

‘There are wider aspects here — Brook, Mersham and Aldington are part of me. It is wider than Wye.’

Cllr Findlay was questioned about KCC’s recent decision to include a new road from junction 10a of the M20 to Wye in its forward transport plan. The scheme was adopted at a full council meeting attended by Cllr Findlay and has gone to the Government for approval. Cllr Findlay said that he thought KCC’s notification that it would seek £5 million of government money for the road was ‘probably for the paperwork’.


About David Hewson

Professional novelist, published in more than 20 languages. Creator of the Nic Costa series set in modern Rome, Pieter Vos in Amsterdam, adaptions of the Sarah Lund stories in Copenhagen, and versions of Shakespeare worked for Audible.
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8 Responses to County cllr: I’ll decide my position on science park

  1. As Rome burns says:

    This comment was sent to me by someone – whose identity is known to – with the request that it be posted without their identity being revealed. In the circumstances and, considering the author’s position, I felt this was a reasonable request. Justin Williams

    Caesar puts down the rebellion

    I went to the Parish Council AGM last night eager in particular to hear the views of Councillor Findlay on Imperial’s Science Park proposals. I arrived just as proceedings began. I have never seen Councillor Findlay before (I suppose I am a relative newcomer to Wye having only lived in the village for a dozen years!), but by a process of elimination I marked him out. Sitting on the far side of the row of councillors, self-assured, he beamed out at the crowd, nodding to some acquaintances, winking at a more select few.

    When his turn to speak arrived, he got to his feet and an expectant hush fell on the crowd. He moved forward, a glossy pamphlet in his right hand, rolled like an Imperial proclamation.

    Earlier in the evening Liz Lovatt, the Community Warden had received a trophy in recognition for her outstanding work for the community. Now we were told of Councillor Findlay’s pride in the award, after all, establishing Community Wardens had been his idea. It was his award really.

    Next we heard about Councillor Findlay’s sterling work in the audit committee, a topic which he confessed to not knowing much about. The crowd were enthralled by the success that the Councillor had conferred on this committee.

    Paedophiles were next on Councillor Findlay’s list of successes. The Councillor was pleased to report that most of them lived in the south west and not in Kent. Whilst some credit for this had to go to the county’s headmasters, the crowd was pleased to hear that the ever- vigilant Councillor had not rested on his laurels, but had sent a strong letter to the headmasters to stiffen their resolve in this matter still further.

    And then he sat down.

    Silence from the crowd. Then, slowly, murmurs of discontent from the peasants. A question from the floor spoke for everyone. It was staggering that Councillor Findlay had not once mentioned Imperial’s Science Park. There were shouts of “hear, hear” and for a moment, Councillor Findlay looked surprised. Then, he rose once more to his feet, regained his composure and told us that he hadn’t mentioned the Science Park because that was what we would have been expecting him to talk about! Magnanimously he explained that he would, however, take questions on the subject.

    So, what was Councillor Findlay’s view on the Science Park? Apparently, he doesn’t have one. There are no plans and as such he cannot have a view. However, we were assured, when the plans become known, Councillor Findlay would consider them and decide where he stood. An impertinent question from another peasant wondered whether Councillor Findlay would consider the views of his electorate in coming to his view. We were informed that views would be listened to, but the clear implication was that they would not necessarily be considered. The signing ceremony for the Concordat was raised. Why was Councillor Findlay in the photograph, surely he knew of the scale of the plans? No, it was merely a photo opportunity. What about the £5 million provision for a road from Junction 10a to Wye? This was simply a prudent move just in case such a road were to be needed.

    So it went on until Councillor Findlay returned to his seat and order restored. I wondered when Councillor Findlay was next up for election and whether he would miss being a councillor.

  2. Mike says:

    What is this guy’s problem? What does he mean by there are no plans, will they appear when the Crown has been bulldozed? He sounds like he has been studying the Sir Humphrey book of government: deny until everything is too late and then announce that that nothing could have been done anyway. We are more likely to expect more help from Borys.

  3. J Arthur says:

    What a deplorable performance!

    Whilst there are no precise plans at present, Mr Findlay can, nevertheless, say whether he is for or against the principle of confining future development to the existing brownfield sites?


    Mr Findlay, the village and beyond await your

  4. appalled says:

    I also wanted to hear Findlay’s speech and was appalled at his complete indifference to the threat facing Wye. He has taken 5 months to say nothing and added precious little last night. After 9 years as our county councillor what has he ever done for Wye? A year ago today under the banner of “Standing up for You” and “Standing up for Kent and our local community” people voted this man back into office for another 4 years. Perhaps because his election leaflet (5 May 2005) claimed “He understands the countryside and is determined to preserve our rural way of life”. The man is an impostor and a bone idle impostor at that. No, the only thing Findlay is determined to preserve is his quiet life, his four figure income and generous expenses as a councillor. I hear that Findlay was being paid £34,000 a year when he was a member of KCC executive. Odd that when trumpeting his achievements last night Findlay failed to mention that he chaired the committee that decided to build the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery in the North Sea at Margate. This man was responsible for blowing £6.5m of our money on consultants etc. Only when the prototype fell into the sea within a day did KCC abandon the project. A gallery will still be built, but somewhere inland for about a quarter of the price. And what was the comeback on Findlay for leading this financial write-off and PR disaster? He admitted last night he knows nothing about auditing. So what did KCC do? They put him in charge of the committee overseeing the audit of its £1.5bn accounts. For a man who doesn’t know his liability from his asset, what harm could he do there?

  5. M Sorken says:

    I would like to echo mr Arthur’s comments, is a straight answer really too much to expect from Councillor Findlay?

    Thank you Save-Wye for all your hard work.

  6. J Arthur says:

    The debate still continues as to whether Mr Findlay has the bottle or, indeed, the sense of moral responsibility to answer the simplest of questions concerning whether he would support or not any development on greenfield/AONB land.

    Perhaps he doesn’t understand the question but in any event it will be quite obvious to the electorate what his true feelings are if he chooses yet again to dodge the issue.

    It is scary that important strategic decisions and multi-million pound budgets lie in the hands of people of this calibre.

  7. JACK WOODFORD says:

    Further to the comments above, regarding Clr Findlay and his position on the Imperial College Vision, I have it on reliable evidence that Mr Lee-Herrington, a senior official at KCC is now undertaking a Master Plan study into the projected Science Park at Wye, Clr Findlay appeared to be unaware of this when i raised the question, I shall riase it tonight when we meet with the Deputy Rector…As I have mentioned on several occasions, there was a choice of alternate candidates at the County Council Elections last year, but the electorate of Ashford Rural East…comprising not only Wye, but urban areas of Ashford ie Kennington, Little Burton Farm,decided to go with the established Political Parties, much the same thing has occured in the last local elections…with possible similar results up and down the country…we have our own local elections next May, so I would hope that local people will think more carefully, where to place their votes when that election comes around.

  8. J.Lo says:

    Well, the Kent Conservatives have fully supported this venture from the start, which is rather a pity as they have aligned themselves with Labour. It seems the village is well split at this time, for and against, which did not feature during the last elections. The next election will be to say the least, interesting. This project has stirred several staunch conservatives and it won’t be a foregone conclusion next election for those presently working against the Village and for Imperial that they will hold their positions.

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