Doing the Can-Can in Cannes

Dear Very Angry Residents,

Our friends at Shepwayvox have followed up on their recent article on the Riviera trip for our Council Leader Monk and chum. Are they ashamed that they are spending our money on such an unnecessary trip; probably not. Would they rather we knew nothing about it; of course.
This was evident when at a meeting at the Civic Centre last night. Andy Jarrett, head of strategic developments at SDC (You’re having the New Town, no question) said that SDC would be looking at international markets to promote / build the New Town at the MIPIM event. He was very careful not to mention that it was being held in Cannes. It wasn’t until Ian Meyers (UKIP) pointed out to all in the Chamber and in the public gallery that it was being held in the celeb’s playground of Cannes that Andy Jarrett conceded that, that was the case. So there we have it; not actually a lie, not in the league of a cunning stunt, more of being economical with all the facts. Are we surprised. It’s the same old story. Or as they say in sunny Cannes; C’est toujours la meme histoire.
S&DRA.

OTTERPOOL RIP OFF – NO THANKS… REAL AFFORDABLE HOMES – YES PLEASE.

Dear Residents,

 
For those of you who didn’t watch the Dispatches, Affordable Homes programme, we are asking you to click on the link below:
 
Please click here

 
This is just the tip of the iceberg on what is happening all across the UK, not least, right here in Shepway. As you will see, young people being interviewed express their concerns at not being able to afford a home, even a modest home. 
 
Our Association is looking for local Developers, Land owners and Agents who could help us in taking forward a development that would give local people the chance to buy or rent at affordable prices and have somewhere that they could call home. If you are one of those people or know someone who could help, please email us at sellindgeresidents@gmail.com
 
S&DRA

Consultation results of community engagements

Dear Angry Residents,

 
Following on from the Otterpool New Town Sham Consultations, or Conmunity Engagements of June 22nd, 23rd and 24th, we can now publish our poll of polls. 
 
It should be understood that not all residents were interviewed simply because we couldn’t keep up with the flow of residents entering or exiting the Lympne, Sellindge and Hythe events.
 
On this occasion we will break it down into venues just to highlight the interest generated in venues furthest away from the Sellindge/Lympne areas.
 
                                INTERVIEWED                AGAINST.                   UNDECIDED.                 FOR.                               
                                                
HYTHE                              21                                19                                   0                                2 
 
LYMPNE                            14                                13                                   0                                1
 
NEW ROMNEY                  7                                   2                                   5                                0
 
SELLINDGE                      18                                17                                   1                                0
 
FOLKESTONE                  11                                 10                                  1                                0
 
 
All New Romney and Folkestone Residents visiting the venues were interviewed as both of these ‘consultations were very poorly attended. Our team were polite on all occasions.
 
It must be stated that at the Lympne, Sellindge and Hythe venues, Residents anger was very much in evidence. If, as Deputy Leader Jenny Hollingsbee states, that the Otterpool Town proposal is supported by the silent majority, we would like to know where they are. 
Does she mean the majority of the Council Cabinet? If someone at SDC could provide us with the evidence that there is majority support for Otterpool Town, we will publish it. Until then, we will openly state that our so-called representatives; Monk, Hollingsbee, Carey et al, are misleading the Shepway electorate together with Central Government.
 
S&DRA.

Leaders Monk and Hollingsbee are correct

Dear Residents,

We at S&DRA think that Leader of SDC, David Monk and Deputy Leader, Jenny Hollingsbee are actually telling the truth when they say that building a new town in and around our communities would ensure that houses would be available for their Grandchildren.
Of course they would.

If most working class people had a property and/or Land portfolio like our Council leaders to pass on as inheritance, their Grandchildren would be ‘sitting pretty’ and would be able to afford the outrageous South East prices that’s so detrimental to our young families and lowest earners in securing a home.

If we are to accept that ‘Everything is relative’ we have no argument against the likes of Monk and Hollingsbee given that a fiscal helping hand would be available to the few. But if we were to adopt the same principle of ‘Everything is relative’ to our lowest paid workers and residents whose chances of an inheritance windfall is zero, the average price of a mid terrace house is way out of reach.

So when we hear the term ‘affordable homes’ should we laugh, cry or despair?

So far, we have heard nothing from our Council that would convince us that the majority of our children or grandchildren would ever enjoy setting up a home that they could call their own, either being rented or purchased.

There are many options available to Councils when considering homes for our lowest paid residents. One of them is CLT’s: Community Land Trusts are being initiated and developed globally and provide the alternative to the mainstream PLC developers, like Taylor Wimpey (TW), whose only raison d’etre is to accumulate profit for themselves and their shareholders (according to Digital look, the prospective end of year yield or dividend for TW is 7.5%).

For a simple explanation of how a Community Land Trust operates, please click here.

Having heard and seen the sham Consultations last December and June, 2017, it is obvious that between Shepway District Council and Cozumel Estates (based in the Offshore, British Virgin Islands), the overriding reason for foisting a 12,000 dwelling Commuter Town upon us is MONEY.
Money for Cozumel and SDC.

If the 12,000 dwelling Commuter Town gets the go-ahead, investment would be drawn away from all of the other Shepway areas to the detriment of non Otterpool Residents, leading to services in their own areas being drastically reduced. Moreover, services would be concentrated in one area area of Shepway, leading to massive congestion in and around the villages of Lympne, Newington, Sellindge Stanford, Westenhanger.

So if you’re living in an area where you think a 12,000 dwelling commuter Town won’t affect you, think again. This isn’t a case of ‘Not in my backyard’. Given that the Shepway population increase would be over 40% (8,000 homes in the Local plan, plus 12,000 dwelling Commuter Town), we should ALL be saying NOT IN EAST KENT.

S&DRA.

Community engagements

Dear Residents,

The second round of so-called Community Engagements are now behind us. So what have we learnt from them? Of course, we all know that the only Consultation/Engagement that would have any legitimacy would have been for SDC to ask the question: Do you want a Garden Town in and around your Rural Communities?

Shepway District Council, being what they are, have not sincerely engaged with local Parishes, and when they did, (7th June, 2016) we all told them that there is no local support for such a monstrous development.

Within 24 hours, (8th June, 2016) the SDC Cabinet then took a vote to go ahead with the ‘Expression of Interest’ to Central Government for their support of the New Town (12,000 dwellings) along with a £750,000 grant.
There are many Residents who think that what SDC did was illegal and/or corrupt. We have listened to all their comments and will post more on this issue as times goes on.

In the meantime, we are attending and listening to Kevin Murray and Cozumel Estates at the so-called Community Engagements. The first round of these engagements produced a stream of negative comments, based on real concerns for the environment which SDC have chosen to ignore.

On the issue of the public relations company; Kevin Murray, S&DRA’s view is more or less in line with David Plumsteads’ comments set out below, but let us not forget that many of the ‘experts’ employed by Kevin Murray are not experts at all as highlighted and exposed at the Lympne Village event when their Water ‘expert’ appeared clueless when questioned on Affinity’s Water projected figures and the water usage of an additional 12,000 plus homes. The problem is, individuals, on a one to one basis are believing what these so-called experts are saying.

David Plumsteads’ view:

Kevin Murray is in my view genuinely working to record people’s views and concerns. His small company of associates is expected to comply with his professional ethos of objectivity, accuracy and impartiality.

We are not fighting Kevin Murray and his staff. Most of the heat generated in the Q&A session in the Sports and Social Club arose from general public mistrust and detestation of Leader of SDC, David Monk & Co. It came close to a question of shooting the messenger.

Kevin Murray is broad shouldered and used to it, but I did notice that consistent shouting tended to confuse/deafen his staff, getting in the way of their writing down what was being said.
I believe we are winning the ‘Consultations’ with hard unarguable evidence. We descend into rowdy name calling against the wrong people at our peril.

Please keep an eye out for more posts on the lies and deception that we have now come to expect from our District Cabal.

 

S&DRA.

Like it or not, you’re having it

Dear Residents,

These two pieces are a summation of what is wrong with the Otterpool Consultation process. At root the biggest unanswered issue is why is this being proposed.

If it is because of an “objective assessment” of housing need then publish that in a form that is comprehensible to everyone in Shepway. And explain at the same time why these numbers have increased so dramatically compared to the numbers that have been presented with the same confidence over the past fifteen to twenty years of District-wide masterplanning. Just why should we swallow these new numbers?

The questions remain “WHY THIS? WHY NOW? and WHY HERE?”

These questions were asked all through last year, and since. They are still unanswered.

 

Read on for some indication of the attitude of the leading protagonists.

This statement is copied from the Otterpool Park website, buried deep, as a precursor to the public enragement meetings today, tomorrow and Saturday.

” 500 people attended the first engagement sessions last year, sharing their views and concerns about Otterpool Park.

Andy Jarrett, spokesman for Otterpool Park, said: “We were pleased to see so many local people attend the sessions last year, and the feedback we’ve received will help to shape the proposed garden town. We hope to see even more people at the next events. Residents and other members of the community can see how their contributions so far have informed ideas, and importantly, can find out more about how we are addressing areas of concern for infrastructure, housing type and green space.”

Andy Jarratt

Andy Jarratt, Head of Strategic Development Projects at Shepway district Council was interviewed on Radio Kent, broadcast 15 June 2017.

It went like this:-

REPORTER.
Who the homes will be for?

ANDY JARRATT
It will be drawing people from the local area. It will have a particular emphasis on trying to ensure that affordable homes meet the requirements of those that are unable to afford homes at the moment.
But also that we are trying to introduce a new demographic to the area and to increase the economically active population.

REPORTER.
You are actively looking for people to move in from outside of the area then

ANDY JARRATT
We are looking to business to see what business requires and for new facilities we think that will drive a new skill base so it will be a mix of local people benefiting from that but yes and it will be open to people with skills from elsewhere to come to the area.

REPORTER.
Do you know where house prices might start from?

ANDY JARRATT
(Sigh)
We don’t I think it’s worth recognising that this is a long-term project. we hope to be on site 2020 but even then you can appreciate that things will change a lot. It will be important that affordability of homes is taken account of so there will be starter homes within the mix of that I’m quite sure I think it’s likely there will be key worker homes available to the people with particular skill sets that we are trying to encourage. I mean affordability is very much in our mind.

REPORTER.
Roughly then how much would a starter home cost do you think?

ANDY JARRATT
I just don’t know I don’t think we know how much any home will cost into a three years time. It’s got to be valuable it’s got to meet the market it will be governed by the market conditions at the time.

REPORTER.
There has obviously been lots of protest about this development you know we had hundreds of people marching on the streets not too long ago. How are you trying to get those people on board and the concerns that they have.

ANDY JARRATT
(Big sigh)
Well I think what we’re trying to do through our own engagement really is to help people shape the settlement and it’s not a question… You appreciate we are promoting the project our role in life is to make it work for as many people as we can. And I think we will have to assume that there will be some people who object to this proposal as people object to any significant proposal. Ummm what we’re trying to do essentially is to work with those who will work with us and to meet as many needs as possible.

 

REPORTER.
What would you say to those people who so far have felt a bit ignored in this process.?

ANDY JARRATT
(Bigger sigh)
… If there are people out there who feel ignored …. I think we need to draw attention to what we are doing and we have an open dialogue with all good will talk to us. I don’t pretend for a minute that we will be able to meet everybody’s requirements because some people don’t want to see this scheme happen at all. Some people don’t want to see development happen at all. But what is driving this is a need to meet the needs of the many, and this is based on an objective assessment of what future housing need is is required in the area and we have a responsibility I think to meet that need.

REPORTER.
Those people that aren’t happy with the plan, they just have to put up with it then?

ANDY JARRATT
(Even bigger sigh)
While they have to…they have to put up with it, or they have to try and work with us to shape it.
What we are not entering into is a dialogue about it not happening.

REPORTER.
And that consultation on going of course……

 

S&DRA

DEMOCRACY AT SHEPWAY IS DEAD. (again)

Dear Residents,

Do you think your council tax is being spent on worthwhile and essential services: Ones’ that you feel you’ve have had a say in. Ones’ that have followed the path of democracy?

Think again. Our friends at Shepwayvox have highlighted 4 payments to the proposed New Town Master planner’s, Arcadis.

The ‘eye opener’ is here

S&DRA

Cunning indeed

Dear Residents,

 
WOW  – WHAT A CUNNING STUNT.
 
Well, she pulled it off. Going on the old adage that you can fool some of the people, some of the time has most definitely worked for KCC Councillor, Susan Carey. She convinced one in five of the Elham Valley electorate to go along to the polling station and place a cross next to her name. But were they aware that Ms Carey was not, shall we say, putting the electorate totally in the picture. Did they vote for the smiling Susan that you see pictured below, stating that she would safeguard the environment, give young people the best possible start in life, campaigning for better broadband and mobile phone signals. Of course they did. They were also probably of the mindset that they had always voted Conservative so why would they want to change a habit of a lifetime when all appears so hunky dory. 
 
But hang on a minute; did they realise that there was another side to Ms Carey: one that she is actually ashamed of. Yes, ashamed of. If she wasn’t ashamed of her involvement in the urbanisation of our countryside or the fact that she voted to support the building of a lorry park, why didn’t she shout it from on high. Quite simply because it would probably have altered the voting pattern of the election and ensured that her KCC salary and expenses would be extinguished in one foul swoop. 
 
Pictured below is (also) the smiling Susan Carey that we have used on our spoof election material to keep the electorate completely in the picture. Obviously it didn’t reach 1 in 5 of the electorate that actually voted for Ms Carey, but it better reflects what Ms Carey is all about.
 
My name is Susan Carey. I support the urbanisation of our countryside in and around Lympne, Sellindge, Newingreen, Westenhanger and Court at Street.
I voted for the concreting over of 250 acres of good arable farmland to build a Lorry Park that would never actually solve the problems that Operation Stack brings to this part of Kent.
I voted for and support the building of 150 homes and a leisure centre at Princes Parade, Hythe.
I fiercely rebuffed any suggestion from Councillor Mary Lawes that existing homes should be upgraded before building a New town that would bring 30% open space (as opposed to 100%) to rural communities.
I, along with deputy Leader Hollingsbee, have always maintained my position (since the Lorry park and New Town announcements) regarding meeting the Shepway electorate: NO PUBLIC MEETINGS WHATSOEVER. If you would like to talk with me and Jenny Hollingsbee, please contact me to arrange a meeting. I will only speak to individuals.
 
 
There we have it. Susan Carey didn’t actually write any of that, but it more accurately reflects her position as a Councillor. So, was she dishonest or economical with the truth on her election material? Was she too ashamed to mention all of the facts above? Is she fit to hold public office? We’ll leave you to decide all of those things. So, if you happen to meet a Carey voter, ask them if they actually know what they’ve voted for. Chances are, you’ll be met with a vacant gaze and the old adage: “They’re all the same, whoever you vote for“.
 
God help us.
 
S&DRA.

What a turnout

Dear 4th May Voters,
A massive thank you to all who turned out to show their disgust and anger at the way Shepway District Council treats us all. Their lack of transparency and devious dealings over unneeded developments across our District has led to this backlash by Shepway Residents, calling for resignations and justified claims of dodgy dealers and worse.
S&DRA

Hunt the Monk

Dear Residents,

Today, Thursday, 6th April, 5 candidates attended the Hustings at the Civic Centre:

Stephen Priestley, UKIP. Tim Prater, Lib Dem. Martin Whybrow, Green. Aaran Harvey, Labour.
Bryan Rylands, Independant.

Unfortunately, Councillor and Leader of Shepway District Coucil, David Monk was scheduled to attend but pulled out due to: Your guess is as good as mine. We would have loved for our leader to attend so he could justify his actions over Otterpool, The Lorry Park, Princes Parade and the partnership between SDC and the Reuben (offshore, thank you very much) Brothers, but alas, it wasn’t to be.

To be honest, there wasn’t a lot to choose from between the candidates, with the main theme being concentrated on the NHS, Ward closures and lack of funding. With members of the audience being paid up members of the Fifty Plus group, it was hardly surprising that the NHS took centre stage.

The issues surrounding Otterpool New Town, Princes Parade and the Lorry Park were obviously raised with all candidates speaking with one voice. (Perhaps Cllr. Monk felt too embarrassed to attend on those issues alone). Lack of transparency within the Council cabal was mooted with one candidate likening our area to a police state. An abuse of power, indeed.

 

The mood in the hall was most definitely anti SDC with the audience fully aware of the shenanigans of Monk and his Cabinet Cronies. It wasn’t just the audience that voiced their dissent: At the candidates top table, speeches were interspersed with the words Corruption, Lies, Dodgy dealings, Closed door meetings and more. It’s clear that more and more residents are becoming familiar with the authoritarian regime that exists at Castle Hill Avenue. It’s also clear that the Civic Centre swamp needs to be drained, sooner, rather than later.

We can start on the 4th May by casting your vote for a candidate that will actually serve you. In other words, anyone rather than an incumbent Shepway Tory.

S&DRA.