Residents' association 'not working the way I want it to' says chairman of Hertsmere Ukip (From Borehamwood Times)
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Frank Ward criticises newly founded Elstree and Borehamwood Residents' Association
The leader of Hertsmere UKIP has condemned a new residents association as inadequate and badly run.
Frank Ward, who is on the committee of the Elstree and Borehamwood Residents' Association, said it was not “working the way I want it to”.
However the association's chairman Andrew Lewis said the group was only in its infancy and it was not up to Mr Ward to decide how it worked.
Speaking at last night’s meeting at the Threeways Community Centre in Arundel Drive in Borehamwood, Mr Ward criticised the way chairman Andrew Lewis hosted the association’s second public meeting earlier this month.
The former councillor said Mr Lewis gave too much floor space to the chairman of Governors of Hertswood Academy, Graham Taylor to explain why the school needed to demolish and rebuild the Ark Theatre.
He said: “The association is not tried and it is not tested. I’m afraid Mr Lewis does not impress me with his leadership as a chairman.
“The issues need to be more focused, at the moment they’re talking about a lot of things.
“They spend too much time talking about speed humps and not about things that matter such as overdevelopment in Borehamwood.”
However Councillor Richard Butler, who also attended the residents’ association meeting, said Mr Ward was being unfair in criticising an association only in its infancy.
He said: “Remember it’s a new born baby, it won’t start walking and talking straight away, but it is addressing the concerns of residents and it will be a valuable link with the council. Andrew Lewis is doing a great job.”
Mr Ward said he was part of the association as Frank Ward, a member of public, not as Frank Ward, chairman of Hertsmere UKIP.
But other councillors said in order to work as a voice for the people, no active members of any political body should be involved in the committee and said they were worried Mr Ward would try to appropriate it.
Councillor Sandra Parnell said: “Having a political person on the association will spoil it.”
Mr Lewis was not present at the meeting, but he said afterwards Mr Ward’s comments had been unfair and unjust.
He said: “We only started at the end of November and are just getting ourselves together. Does he expect us to run before he can walk?”
Mr Lewis defended his decision to allow Mr Taylor to speak for so long as the topic of discussion had been demolishing Hertswood Academy and the Ark Theatre, and he wanted to give Mr Taylor the chance to explain himself.
Mr Lewis added: “I am extremely upset and distressed about Mr Ward’s comments. It is not him who decides how the association works but us as a group of people.
“We’re not political and if he thinks he can make it a mouthpiece of UKIP, then we don’t want him.”
Mr Lewis said he would consult with other members of the association about Mr Ward’s future on the committee.
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