Council Leader names ‘NIMBYs’

What the garden looked like before

That’s the claim made by Borough Council Leader David Jukes after Calverley Grounds featured in last weekend’s Mail on Sunday as part of the title’s Save Our Parks campaign.

Tunbridge Wells Alliance Cllr Nick Pope backed the paper’s call for 100,000 to sign a petition to have the loss of UK green space debated in the House of Commons.

He is quoted as saying: “This [Calverley Square] is nothing more than a vanity project that will take away a slice of countryside in the centre of town and replace it with a drab city park.”

Cllr Jukes suggested the claim was ‘fake news’ and called opponents ‘NIMBYs’ [not in my back yard].
Cllr Pope’s address registered with the council is in Mountfield Road, a road within a stone’s throw of Calverley Grounds.

However, in the register of councillor’s interests it also lists a flat in Grove Hill House, which overlooks Calverley Grounds, and is said to belong to his wife.

In his full statement to the Mail on Sunday, which was only summarised by the tabloid, Cllr Jukes said: “This is not a campaign about saving a park which isn’t actually under threat.

“This is the most vicious and dirty political campaign I have ever seen in Tunbridge Wells. Donald Trump would be proud of it because it is based on false facts and personal abuse.”

The Council Leader added: “Several councillors, and particularly the cabinet member overseeing the project Tracy Moore have been trolled by email and tweet and subjected to bullying and insult, mostly anonymously.”

Former Alliance Chairman Robert Chris was also listed by Cllr Jukes as a NIMBY.
Dr Chris said: “It’s not a helpful way to argue unless your opponent’s vested interests are causing him to do something which is both to their benefit and to most everyone else’s disbenefit.”

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