Thu, 02 Mar 2017
A GREENHAM parish councillor walked out of a meeting about the troubled control tower project.
Labour’s Gary Puffett was unhappy to find out that fellow councillor Julian Swift-Hook (Lib Dem) would play an active role in the control tower commitee meeting on February 15.
In January 2016, councillors voted by a majority to remove Mr Swift-Hook from the project – which aims to convert the Cold War tower at Greenham Common into a visitor centre and café – and stripped him of his responsibilities.
However, in January 2017, Mr Swift-Hook was elected as Greenham Parish Council chairman.
The council’s standing orders state that, as a result, he is able to play an active part in all committees as an ex-officio member.
Mr Puffett said: “A resolution was passed by full council this time last year that Julian would not have anything to do with control tower project.
“As far as I am concerned, that resolution still stands and has not been overturned.
“Julian would argue that because he is chair he is able to play an active role in all groups, but that to me is wrong
“He was removed from the control tower committee because of his leadership. Nothing has changed.
“I accept he has been voted in as chair of Greenham Parish Council but I don’t accept he should be involved with control tower committee.
“Ex-officio members can play an active role on committees and can vote, which runs against the resolution
“I don’t think it its appropriate or ethical and that is why I left the meeting.”
The Newbury Weekly News was unable to reach Mr Swift-Hook for a comment before going to press.
An audit report found that Greenham Parish Council operated beyond its powers and without proper legal authority for two years during its botched handling of the project
Last January, Mr Swift-Hook said: “Removing me from the control tower committee doesn’t fix the underlying problems, it only adds to them.
“All I’ve done for the last three years is dedicate myself to getting the control tower open to the public, as the chairman acknowledged.”