Published: 10:19, 22 May 2019
| Updated: 22:12, 22 May 2019
It has been more than 50 years since Sheerness last had its own dedicated council so Monday night's meeting of the new town council at the Healthy Living Centre was an historic occasion.
The first meeting lasted 32 minutes and was mainly taken up with legal necessities like picking a chairman, Matthew Brown, and vice-chairman Brian Spoor.
Six members of the public, including a two-strong deputation from Minster parish council and Cllr Spoor's wife Val, witnessed the proceedings upstairs in the Abbey Room.
Noticeable by the absence were Swale council's Labour members for Sheerness Angela Harrison and Mark Ellen, who both campaigned against the creation of the new council, and Conservative county councillors Ken Pugh and Andy Booth. All four had been invited.
Swale council's chief executive Mark Radford had been planning to attend but was in hospital.
As only eight people put themselves forward for the nine places the council is to advertise for offers of interest from anyone who would like to fill the vacant seat.
Cllr Brown said: "We want to be the eyes of the community and hear any ideas from residents."
Peter McDonald from Minster parish council said: "I congratulate all councillors for their public spirit. I am absolutely delighted Sheerness will have more of a voice. I know there were some objections but this is a very positive step. The town has deteriorated in the past 60 years."
The new council comprises Cllrs Brown and Spoor plus Amanda Green, Chris Reed, Lee McCall, Cherise Moorcroft, Chris Foulds and Malcolm Staines.
Meetings will be at 7pm on the third Monday of the month. The next is on June 17 at the Healthy Living Centre in the Sheppey Leisure Complex.