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Campaigners gather outside Civic Centre to protest at council's 'failings'

PUBLISHED: 11:22 27 September 2016 | UPDATED: 14:32 28 September 2016

Protesters gathered outside the Civic Centre on Monday evening

Protesters gathered outside the Civic Centre on Monday evening

Archant

The demonstration is the latest to be held by the Backing Bromley group

Campaigners gathered outside the Civic Centre yesterday evening to protest at the council’s alleged failures and mistreatment of whistleblowers.

The Backing Bromley group staged the demonstration at the full council meeting and presented councillors with a petition set up by the group that has been signed by more than 5,000 residents.

Gary McLaren from Backing Bromley said: “There was a good turnout and we handed in the petition.

“The councillors accepted it and they have a policy whereby if they receive a petition with 500 signatures or more, then they have to respond.

“If we are not satisfied with the response, then we can go and say something to the council - we will have an opportunity to respond to that.”

Backing Bromley is compiling a dossier of alleged failings by the council that it is preparing to release next month.

Member David Christian accused councillors of burying their heads in the sand.

“It is time for Bromley’s elected representatives to take our concerns about the treatment of whistleblowers and the treatment of the old, young and vulnerable seriously,” he said.

“We are not going anywhere, in fact we will still be here in 2018 when councillors are up for election.”

Bromley Council’s deputy leader Colin Smith said: “We are obviously aware of Unite the Trade Union’s crude ongoing efforts to cause political mischief locally by sponsoring misleading information across parts of the Borough under the banner ‘Backing Bromley’ as we have stated previously.

“If anyone is in any doubt about Unite’s work, they only need to look up who owns the domain name of the website, which says it all and lists the contact address as being in Newcastle.

“In a Borough of over 300,000 residents, it is not surprising that occasionally, people may seek to complain or indeed, hold alternative views and this is part of the democratic process, but it should be noted that to date, Unite has conspicuously failed to raise any issue that the Council isn’t already aware of, has dealt with already or is in the process of dealing with.

“We will now examine the petition in accordance with our published guidelines and constitution which ironically, this ‘group’ does not appear to have either.”

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