Shogun Showdown

The Corporate Director at Folkestone and Hythe District Council for Otterpool Park is John Bunnett. He will be holding the £100,000,000 to spend as he, along with Andy Jarrett, thinks fit.  Is that a good move?

As we understand it, our good friends at Shepwayvox have been taking flak from certain Council employees for exposing the actions of senior Council staff.

Let’s face it, if any local Government employee being paid from the public purse kicks back against being scrutinised alarm bells should ring. Here’s what the Shepwayvox team has to say about Mr. John Bunnett:

https://shepwayvox.org/2020/01/28/john-buy-me-a-car-bunnett/

And don’t forget to read the comments.

Well done Shepwayvox.

S&DRA

 

Climate Change – Kent in firing line.

Dear Residents,

Climate change is in the news almost daily.  With David Attenborough calling on China to take the lead as western governments stand back, or even denying that there is a climate emergency, it’s easy to be confused about what is really going on.

The event publicised below is an opportunity for you to find out what is happening behind the headlines and to find out what you can do about it, locally.Climate Catastrophe Leaflet A5 jpg-page-001 (1)

 

LOW INCOME HELP.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, as the saying goes, but there is almost a free drink. If you’re family income is less than £16,105 per annum and your water bill is over £100.60 you should be applying for a reduction in your water bill from Affinity Water. Here’s what Affinty Water are saying:

If you qualify, your water charges will be fixed at £100.60 per year from 1st April 2019 (not applicable for the sewerage element of your bill). If your current water charge is less than £100.60 you may not qualify. Please note that the tariff is applied and calculated from the date your application is received and cannot be backdated. You will need to upload supporting documents from either your computer or smartphone. If you are unable to provide your documents in this way, please call us on 0345 357 2406.

And here’s the link to apply for the Low Income Fixed Tariff – LIFT:

https://www.affinitywater.co.uk/billing/lift-apply

Please share this information via social media, tell your friends and family or anyone that you think may qualify.

If you are outside of the Affinity Water area, please contact us for help.

Good luck.

S&DRA.

 

2019 GENERAL ELECTION.

Many of us will be voting next Thursday on National Issues, some of us on local issues. Our group, as always, is focusing on local issues which will affect our way of life within the District of Folkestone and Hythe.

Last Wednesday we emailed three of the four main candidates (4.12.19) standing in the General Election to ask their views on the proposed Otterpool Park development. Here are the emails received:

Laura Davison. Labour.

I am opposed to the Otterpool development. We urgently need to tackle the housing crisis we face through a programme of council house and genuinely affordable home building. At the November full council meeting I voted against drawing down £100 million for the Otterpool project. At a time when we have local people facing eviction, homelessness and poverty these sums are unthinkable. As your MP I would work together with local people to solve these problems not ignore you and ride roughshod over your wishes. Labour created the concept of the Green Belt and we will defend it. 

Georgina Treloar. Green Party.

At the last full council meeting I voted against the £100m drawdown because I could not see anything in the report that ensured that the development would be 100% environmentally sustainable and carbon zero.

I understand that the council must meet housing targets. But, we’ve also declared a climate and ecological emergency. I need to know that if I’m voting for any development of that scale, that it would be an absolute exemplar in terms of mitigating for and adapting to climate change. There’s nothing in the current plans and setup that guarantees this.

I’m also not comfortable with the council shouldering such a large financial risk. And I’d like to see a greater commitment to affordable housing provision.

Simon Bishop. Liberal Democrat.

No reply received.

Damian Collins. Conservative Party.

Mr. Collins’ views on the proposed Otterpool Park development is well known and is in line with FHDC. Build Otterpool Park over farmland, build on Princes Parade and build a truck park on Stanford West.

Henry Bolton. Independent. 

Opposed to Otterpool Park as well as Princes Parade and the Stanford West Truck Park. More information: http://www.votebolton.uk

Rohen KapurYoung People’s Party.

Views unknown on Otterpool Park. More information: http://www.yppuk.org/

Colin Menniss. Social Democrat Party.

Views unknown on Otterpool park. More information: https://www.youtube.com/8623d8e6-5f18-422d-800e-a812ba6b0425    https://sdp.org.uk/policies/

Andy Thomas. Socialist Party of Great Britain.

Views unknown on Otterpool Park. More information: http://spgb.net

 

Previous generations of our great country have sacrificed much to enable each and every one of us to cast a vote. Please take the time to exercise your democratic right.

 

S&DRA

IT’S A NO BRAINER.

We are all familiar with the expression ‘It’s a no brainer’. These were the words uttered by Councillor Ian Meyers (UKIP) prior to voting to support the motion by Councillor Monk to borrow 100 million pounds last Wednesday (20.11.19) to fund the Otterpool 12,000 dwelling Housing Estate. It should be noted that the remaining FHDC cabinet members all voted in line with Councillor Meyers except for Deputy Leader Jenny Hollingsbee who declared that she wouldn’t be partaking in the vote due to a significant interest near to the border of the planned development.

That very same evening it was the turn of the full Council to show their support for the Monk motion to borrow 100 million pounds.

It may come as no surprise to you that Cllr. Wimble (IND), Cllr. Mullard (UKIP) and all Conservative Councillors voted to support the motion. But here’s the thing; 1 Green Party Councillor, Rebecca Shoob also showed her support and voted for the motion, with John Wing (Green Party) abstaining.  It should be noted that Cllr Wing recently won the seat of Hythe Rural which includes Lympne; an area whose residents are vehemently opposed to the Otterpool development.

Prater  Cllr John Wing 2 Cllr Rebecca Shoob

Would it also surprise you that Councillor Tim Prater (Lib Dem) also showed his support and voted with the Conservatives when previous comments made by Cllr. Prater suggested that Otterpool Park was purely a cash cow for FHDC. It was only last year that the local Lib Dem Chairman, Ross Clark, stood on a platform with us and declared the Lib Dem’s opposition to the Otterpool development alongside other representatives from UKIP, Labour and The Green Party.

So there you have it: 15 for, 10 against.

Et tu, Brute.

 

S&DRA.

For more on this, please visit our friends at:

Otterpool Park Update: The Council grants itself £100,000,000.

CONNED BY A KIPPER ?

This coming Wednesday, 20th November at 5pm, FHDC cabinet members will be meeting at the Civic Centre in Folkestone to discuss and vote on the recommendation to borrow 100 million pounds to kick start the Housing Estate being branded as Otterpool Park.

From our discussions with constituents across the district, the borrowing of this amount of money to build an unwanted and unneeded town on farmland is unacceptable given other social issues across the district that need to be addressed.

Our friends at Shepwayvox published an excellent post on the subject below. Please click on the link to view:

https://shepwayvox.org/2019/11/13/otterpool-park-update-council-need-100-million-to-deliver-project/

In the recent District elections many of us voted for a candidate that purported to oppose Otterpool Town. Many others would have read a political party’s manifesto and felt assured that a member of that party would adhere to the manifesto pledge of building on brownfield sites and using existing sites, thereby, protecting green spaces.

It would appear, judging by the tone of the statement below, that one member of the FDHC Cabinet, Ian Meyers (UKIP) is supporting the building of Otterpool Town.

Meyers traitor
Ian Meyers

In a recent post, dated 13th November, 2019, Mr. Meyers writes:

I have spent the morning accompanying Andrew MacKey, the Customer Service Excellence assessor, who is assessing our council touring our recently purchased asset, Westenhanger Castle, and discussing our plans for its restoration as part of our “Otterpool” Garden town project.

As the Cabinet member and portfolio holder for customers part of my job is bringing forward our plans of how we will use this to promote Health & Well being for our community and how we might do so.

The possibilities this presents are just fantastic and our aspiration is to incorporate its grounds and the old Tithe Barns as part of our 100 acre country park that will be free for the public to visit.

The UKIP manifesto clearly states that:

UKIP opposes the bedroom Tax. UKIP wants to provide incentives to reuse empty homes, and to protect green spaces by encouraging new homes and business development on brownfield sites. UKIP national policy is to scrap VAT on renovations.

So there we have it. A Councillor to whom many of you trusted. As it stands, Mr. Meyers joined the majority Conservative cabinet headed by Councillor Monk, and appears to be supporting a very unpopular and controversial development against UKIP policy. Is this really the individual that you supported and voted for just a few months ago?

We will be reporting back on the 21st November.

S&DRA.

 

 

5G – Good, Bad or just plain Ugly.

For many of us technophobes, the likelihood of us reading anything about 5G is probably  infinitesimal. Conversely, teenagers, IT mangers and those with minds attuned to the very latest technologies will welcome 5G with open arms. But is there a darker, secretive side to 5G that we are not aware of, or worse still, not being made aware of by our mainstream media.

It was not until one of our members contacted us that we realised the possible health implications for our communities.

We would recommend setting aside a few minutes of your day to read what our Member has to say and set aside even more time to view the links.

5G: A real boon?

5G , the new development in radio frequency communications, is much in the news these days, but perhaps with only part of the story.

5G is the shortened name for the fifth generation wireless communication network. It will allow not only communications between people (messages, images) and entertainment at very high speed (downloading of movies, games, etc.) but also communication to and from devices (heating systems, lighting, fridges, washing machines, self-driving cars, up to the ultimate ‘Smart Cities’ and ‘Smart Roads’).
For an introduction to what is happening in the UK look up  https://5g.co.uk/guides/what-is-5g/

While looking to find out more about this development I came across this appeal:  https://www.5gspaceappeal.org/the-appeal/
Here there is a lot of information from competent sources (judge for yourselves) , and it seems that some of these nice things we shall be able to choose to use or otherwise; however others will be imposed on us as the only way of life for the benefit of ‘the economy’ , ‘health care’ , ‘the environment’ , ‘our entertainment’, etc.
There would indeed be  some advantages, but would life improve and would this network be managed to deliver them? Could things be improved already with proper management?
Already signs are emerging of undesired effects of the use of the ubiquitous mobile phones on young generations and social life, with consequent need to control their use .
Apart from the diverse opinions and possible downsides , one of the things we shall not be able to decide upon will be being bathed in the electromagnetic fields from these various appliances and machines – that will be one of the prices to pay.
The subject of interaction between living organisms and these signals has been controversial for many years now, starting from the first signs that cases were observed of people with a strong sensitivity to electricity in  their neighbourhood intimating possible relationships between living near electric power station or electricity pylons.

Much as these effects (tiredness, organ malfunction, leukemia’s, even cancers) have been discussed at length, especially with the explosion of the use of mobile phones and although apparently  no definitely accepted conclusions have been reached, the subject hasn’t died out, and some effects have been suspected on wildlife as well.
This has partly been due to some people being convinced from their own experience that these effects were there, but also to some fortunately open minded scientists that were more curious to find out the truth behind some of these claims. Both physicists and biologists became aware that certain molecules in our cells  could be affected by radio waves of very low intensity if they were of the right frequency and present for a long time.

The usual criterion applied for many years, quite often for the benefit of the industry on an economic basis, has been that of comparing the surrounding environment to a microwave oven. If it doesn’t cook you then it’s fine, you will cool down and survive. However the story is not that simple. Since many years ago now there have been suspicions that electromagnetic signals at certain frequencies and very low levels can still have an effect if present over a long time.
With the advent of mobile phones more research has been done, and phone use and WiFi have recently been under scrutiny by researchers and some public authorities and companies, who have recommended a reduction of use or elimination in working places.

The mentioned international appeal has been launched by scientists, doctors, environmental organizations and concerned citizens  (40,346 signatories  so far) for a moratorium on the deployment of the 5G wireless network due to various serious concerns about the consequences on people, animals and living organisms in general  being bathed in these modulated high frequency fields 24/7 at various levels of intensity. This even apart from considerations on social aspects of this extremely intensive planned networking (see IoT, or Internet of Things, if you haven’t heard about it yet).

As things are now, this mega project is already on course and antennas are being deployed, see
( https://5g.co.uk/news/vodafone-manhole-covers/4644/ )
Plus we are having the first legal cases for objecting, encountered by hostility by the local authorities, e.g. : https://www.technocracy.news/the-people-won-britains-first-5g-court-case/

In fact, the remit to the latter is not to place obstacles in the way of installation of the new coming network as long as they do not infringe the present planning regulations; given that these relate only, I understand, to masts taller than 12 meters, while the new 5G transmitters will be of very small dimensions and able to be attached to various props, street lampposts possibly being some of the preferred ones, it appears that next to no consultation is required for installation. It will be a surprise.

If you are interested in this subject the link to the appeal has enough further links for you to have most of your questions answered; you can try enquiring with your local Council, but I wouldn’t expect much – I have tried and have been referred to the government ‘portal’ on planning regulations. However , from this document the situation is rather clear:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/740441/National_Planning_Policy_Framework_web_accessible_version.pdf

Of particular interest is chapter 10, p.33, which shows how local authorities should try and be favourable to applications for new installations, including 5G – notice the mention of self-certification from companies to be approved. It’s not a long chapter, but will give an idea of how the legislation will encourage this new development bypassing public scrutiny.

I am only presenting what I have found for those who like me were not well informed about the issue and would like to know more . Maybe people concerned could start lobbying various groups that might have a say in this or discuss how to be represented at legislative level.
On the other hand,  most people might  welcome the idea of having a fully controlled house with  a fridge ordering items in short supply while downloading a full ‘action’ movie in 10 seconds flat, or , perhaps more important, know that they would also have a chance of  a much faster automatic response from their surgery; nothing wrong with that, but it would be good to know what would come as collaterals , which would probably be the main reason why all this is being implemented.

For those of you with less time, 3 minutes will be enough time to question the roll out of 5G across our local communities.

 

 

Many, many thanks to all our members who contribute to our website.

S&DRA

It’s official: No Stanford Truck Park required.

A caller to LBC recently stated that there are now 150 pop up truck parks across the UK, as well as mainland Europe, where drivers can register their loads prior to entering the port of Dover. The clear message is: DON’T ENTER KENT UNLESS YOU HAVE DONE SO. Listen to the short conversation between the caller and Ian Dale. There is no more to be said.

 

S&DRA.

IT AIN’T OVER TILL THE (OTTERPOOL) FAT LADY SINGS!

OTTERPOOL PARK PLANNING APPLICATION.

Your opinions and thoughts do matter. Don’t keep them to yourselves.

FHDC planning has said that the date for comments has been extended beyond the date set by the minimum statutory requirement.  They say….

“Please make any comments by 27 May 2019. Failure to respond to this date may jeopardise the chances of your comments being considered in determining this application.”

That date has now passed and hopefully you will have made your views known to FHDC planners.

But we also know that this is a very complicated and enormous proposal.  You might think of something else you wish you had said about it; you might read something another resident has said and want to add to that.

Just because the date has passed does not mean that that is an end to it.  It is very likely that further information will be added to the submission documents, and that those will have to be put out for public consultation on their own account.

If you want to add something keep on sending your comments in.  

Or if you missed the ‘deadline’ for some reason still send your comments in.  

Keep on writing.

Let them ignore you at their peril.

For commenting on the outline planning application Y19/0257/FH for Otterpool Park the email addresses to use are …..  

planning@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk

otterpool.applications@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk

For more general questions and enquiries you could try emailing these two addresses…

A thought here is that the planning department will not enter into a correspondence with you from your comments on the application, but the promoters of the scheme might do.

Certainly they are both inviting questions about the development. Try not to disappoint them!

Pillory Barn

If you have a question or would like to learn more about the development and masterplanning process, please contact our marketing partner Pillory Barn on 01622 684407 or email otterpoolpark@pillorybarn.co.uk.

Pillory Barn is a Public Relations company employed to handle marketing/PR for the project. (They were filming at the two latest events. Have a look on their website to get an idea of what they do.)  www.pillorybarn.co.uk )

Folkestone & Hythe District Council offers this:-

Any comments or questions should be emailed to: 

Otterpool@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk

Whatever you send in, please remember to copy your comments to us at sellindgeresidents@gmail.com

It really does help us to know what you have to say about this, and what is important to you. If there are things you like about it we need to know that too.  

Keep on writing! Otterpool Park is a 30 year long project! They’ll have plenty of time to read your comments. 

IT WON’T BE OVER UNTIL THE FAT LADY SINGS,