Tea room trio stir up a storm as they rebel over land sale

    IT was good news for Keep River Lawn Green protesters on Monday [June 19] as three borough councillors met to begin their official opposition to the sale of the town centre land.

    Cllr David Cure, of Judd Ward, had previously stood alone as the only Conservative opposed to the planned disposal of River Lawn. But now, after a discussion at Nancy’s Tea Rooms in Lambert’s Yard, with Cllr Sarah Spence, of Vauxhall ward and Cllr Georgina Thomas of Trench, there’s an organised element of dissent within the 54-member council.

    “We are putting pressure on the council to reconsider. We want to see the land retained as a nice green area” Cllr Cure told the Times after the meeting.

    “We are not opposed to the building of the medical centre [at the former Teen and Twenty site]. And even the property on River Walk [former Citizens’ Advice Bureau] could be developed but we think it should be a joint venture so that we can receive a regular income, rather than just one big sale.”

    He pointed to Sevenoaks District Council as ‘really setting the example’ after becoming the first authority in England to achieve financial self-sufficiency with a bold property investment strategy that delivers significant revenue returns.

    Persistent campaigning from the Keep River Lawn Green group, including a ‘protest picnic’ on Saturday [June 17] has forced the borough council to debate the issue at a meeting on July 11.

    The trio of councillors are now calling on their colleagues to speak up on the divisive issue, believing that five other Tonbridge-based councillors are having doubts.

    “I want all our colleagues to get on board. Even the one from outside the town who may never have visited the site. We need their support,” said Cllr Cure.