Tunbridge Wells Alliance resignations

TWA continues to push for change

It cannot be a surprise that there have been tensions within Tunbridge Wells Alliance. All political parties have internal tensions.

The three resignations are related, Dr Robert Chris, who somewhat reluctantly decided to stand for the chairmanship after Bob Atwood announced his intention to resign, and the two councillors, Becki Bruneau and Christian Atwood, had all intimated for some time that they were considering their future for a range of reasons.

The process of the selection of the Group Leader, late last year, lit the fuse for the recent resignations. Normally, the councillors of the party would democratically appoint a Group Leader who they feel will effectively advise and provide direction within the Town Hall. The appointment of the Group Leader was organised by the Chairman, and both the process and the pre-determination of the new Group Leader did not go down well with most of the councillors. The role of Group Leader was also misunderstood as being a much broader role with many more responsibilities that had never been discussed and agreed.

Feeling that she was not achieving what she intended, Becki Bruneau decided to quit, with Christian, who believed his father had been forced to resign as Chairman, seizing the opportunity to do so at the same time. Robert Chris had clearly been made aware of this, and, being the honourable gentlemen that he is, realised the issues were partly his responsibility, and resigned.

That leaves four fiercely committed and united Tunbridge Wells Alliance councillors to continue the very good work started in the Council. The need to clarify that Tunbridge Wells Alliance is not a single issue party is paramount and the successes in bringing about change in areas other than Calverley Square should be highlighted.

We must continue to question the Urbaser situation, have a thorough and truly independent audit of the Calverley Square Project, scrutinise the governance of all major projects so as not to repeat mistakes, deal with the bullying culture in the Council, and highlight and address the many borough wide issues.

We have shown we can work together to improve the Council, working with councillors from other parties, for the people of the Borough, and not for national political party interests.