We respond to reader requests and add a sporting touch to the paper

Tunbridge Wells Retreat hotel

When we started planning this newspaper in the autumn of 2014, we took a deliberate decision not to include sport in our pages.

And that was a tough decision taken by people who love all sports, but it was a decision based on available resources.

All papers today are under financial pressure and have limited resources. We decided that ours, at least initially, should be used to generate news and features – the backbone of most weekly publications.

Since our first edition in March 2015, however, we have received numerous requests from readers to include local sport.

This week, largely in response to those calls, we launch the Sporting Times. We believe it completes the editorial package, adding the final touch to a newspaper that hopefully can do our town proud and reflect all aspects of life in our local community.

It was Prime Minister Harold Wilson who first used the phrase in the mid-1960s: “A week is a long time in politics.”

Well, how about three years? That’s the amount of time former borough council leader Roy Bullock has been officially out of local and county politics.

Since then he has not really been heard from – until last week, when he wrote a letter to this newspaper attacking the borough council for its approach to redeveloping the town centre.

It was, of course, seen as an open attack on his successor, current Leader David Jukes.

It’s all to do with spending £17million on an underground car park to supplement the new civic centre complex. Mr Bullock cannot understand how the project ‘ever got past the Conservative group’ on the council.

Mr Bullock believes the council, who no doubt were advised during the whole process by its officers, performed a ‘massive U-turn’ when it realised it would get a poor financial return on the initiative.

Whatever the reasons, it’s disappointing that a former leader of the council should launch such a public attack on an authority that over the years he himself helped shape.

At his final county council meeting in 2013, Mr Bullock told members: “Watch this space”.

If today there are failings in the way the borough council functions and operates, what does that does that say about his legacy?

Richard Moore, Editorial Director

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