Is it time for a referendum?

Dear Residents,
In a conversation last year with Councillor Jenny Hollingsbee we were told that the proposed Otterpool New Town has overwhelming support from the silent majority. We have seen no evidence of this, in fact on a recent poll last December we found that from 151 residents interviewed, only two supported the proposal. We would therefore deduce that Councillor, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities, Jenny Hollingsbee has been given incorrect information from her Leader David Monk or others aligned with the desecration of our communities in an attempt to influence Government to support the expression of Interest in building 12,000 houses that are not needed, or required by LOCAL people.
Well now, we think that this so called ‘silent majority’ is a figment of our Councillors imagination. We also think that if they did exist, this is how our Councillors would view them.
Is it time for a referendum to ask the question: Do we need a 12,000 dwelling new town on our doorstep for London overspill. Moreover, should our Council be developing the area alongside the Reuben Brothers, whose only interest in all of this is profit for themselves.
S&DRA.

Not to be read during breakfast, lunch or dinner

Dear Residents,

You may have heard that local litter picking has been taking place all over the County this month. It seems that Sellindge has had more than its fair share of litter, or should we say human waste.
We are posting this letter from Vernon and Anne Morris on our website to highlight the situation that local residents encounter on a daily basis whilst walking or driving through areas adjacent to local roads or laybys. If Vernon and Anne Morris get a reply from our MP, Damian Collins, we will let you know. Fingers (tightly) crossed.

S&DRA

 

Damian Collins MP
The House of Commons
London SWIA OAA 13th March 2017

Dear Mr. Collins,

Continental Litter

On Sunday the 12th March Sellindge Parish Council organised a day to ‘Spring Clean the Village’ which was very well organised and attended.

Three of us volunteered to clear the verges on the A20 between Otterpool Lane and Newingreen. After 2 hours we had only covered 1/4 mile. We filled six sacks but were told not to remove anything contaminated ie. urine bottles or needles. My husband did pick up 30 bottles of urine, but I’m afraid I left all the ones I found. The point at which I was actually sick was when removing a pair of soiled underpants and our friend picked up a plastic back containing faeces which split open.

A lot of the rubbish and urine bottles is still down a steep slope into a field or caught in brambles which we were ill equiped to tackle.

A further point is the dust and mud which is covering the road and residential properties emanating from the lorries from the Airport Cafe and the site of the ‘temporary’ lorry park.

What is the long term policy ?
What is the short term solution?
Money? The lorry drivers make the mess. They should pay for the clear up.

Surely it is not up to the residents of the Garden of England to clear up this hazardous waste?

We await your reply and better still, action.

Yours faithfully,

Vernon and Anne Morris

Freight Action Plan for Kent

Dear Resident,

Here is the web link to ‘Freight Action Plan for Kent’ which KCC have issued to consult on their plans for the future. I believe that we should all respond to it as individuals and steer the KCC towards a network of smaller lorry parks instead of supporting the one huge disaster at Stanford. You can download the pdf document and a questionnaire document in Word. The consultation closes 12 March.

http://consultations.kent.gov.uk/consult.ti/freightactionplan/consultationHome

As you will see the Freight Action Plan outlines five key actions:

  • To tackle the problem of overnight lorry parking in Kent 
  • To find a long term solution to Operation Stack
  • To effectively manage the routeing of HGV traffic to ensure that such movements remain on the strategic road network for as much of its journey as possible
  • To take steps to address the problems caused by freight traffic to communities
  • To ensure that KCC continues to make effective use of planning and development control powers to reduce the impact of freight traffic.
  •  

S&DRA

Another brick in the wall

Dear Residents,

Please take the time to read the article below. Written by David Plumstead, it sets out the battles that we are all facing in this part of East Kent.

Here it be:

 

Another Brick in the Wall

If successful, Shepway Council’s latest attempt to treat its residents and electorate like mushrooms by holding Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting to discuss Otterpool Newtown behind closed doors may yet prove to be a mistake. Of itself an ill-judged decision but also another brick in the wall the Gang of (now) Seven and our sycophantic and self-serving member of Parliament are building around the Lubyanka in Castle Hill Avenue.

But we know what fate ultimately awaits walls erected to keep the public at bay.

The last wall I had anything to do with was in Berlin. 3mtrs high and made of solid concrete but that took residents on both sides just hours to knock big holes in once the politicians and the despots on the East side had been shown to be made of straw. Remind you of anyone?

So much is being done against the wishes of the electorate and residents of Shepway, now might be a good moment to remind ourselves of the growing list of outrageous, environmentally and socially unsustainable developments being foisted on us by our own despots, namely Alistair Stewart, David Monk, Jeremy Chambers, Susan Priest, Jennifer Hollingsbee, Susan Carey and Damian Collins. Here we go:

1. Otterpool Newtown – saying goodbye to the villages of Sellindge, Lympne, the Racecourse, Newingreen, Westenhanger, Stanford and West Hythe – 2. the M20 Lorry Park, 3. Princes Parade, 4. Shorncliffe Camp, 5. 1150 more plus shops etc etc at Nickolls Quarry and 6. another 8,000+ listed in the Local Development Plan or already approved/started and 7. umpteen disparate small and medium sized developments scattered across the District amounting to another couple of thousand at least.

8. Then there’s the grotesque blocks of concrete flats at Fishermans Beach where the new occupants are already lobbying to remove the inshore Fishermen and the Seabrook Sea Anglers and their huts because they are spoiling their view and their nets are ugly. Pots calling kettles black here!

I participated in the proposed Jnc 10a Planning Inquiry ten days ago and learned that within three miles of Sellindge we and the residents of Mersham are faced with a new complex of 1. really huge Warehouses – the biggest in the SE – and 2. yet another lorry park 3. the disappearance of the C12th listed Sevington Church to be buried among the 4. Houses 5. Houses 6. Houses.

Thousands of them at 7. Cheeseman’s Green soon to connect with an even bigger 8. Kingsnorth and bury 9. Aldington. The 1,500 houses of 10. the Finberry development continue all along the SE side of the Ashford ring road with Swans flying on the hoardings on the way to several thousand more at 11. Chilmington Green and 12. a further 950 at Court Lodge 13. 400 at Steeds Lane and 14. 150 at Pounds Lane making a total of 3,000 e & oe.

There are so many I have probably overlooked several and if I have counted any in twice they will make up for the thousands more we haven’t been told about. I may not have one foot in the grave but I feel bound to say “I don’t believe it!!”

Now Eddie Stobart management flew in by helicopter ten days ago during the Planning Inquiry to inspect the warehouse site rejoicing in the name of ‘Stour Park’ wouldn’t you know it. If that huge international haulage company sets up shop at Jnc 10a it will be a 24/7 operation offering no peace for the occupants of the Pilgrim’s Hospice dying immediately on the opposite side of the A20.

Officially the words ‘Stour’ and ‘Park’ may mean a river and a ‘large public garden in a town for recreation’ but they are new words in the English Planners’, Councillors’ and Developers’ lexicon, where the definitions, with apologies to the compilers of the Concise OED at the bottom of page 533, need to be extended to include warehouses, industrial and housing estates, sewage pumping stations and roads.

We need to be very conscious of the use Local Authorities and Developers now make of pleasant words like ‘Park’, ‘Green’, ‘Lane’, ‘Court Lodge’ and (river) ‘Stour’ when naming once precious places about to be covered in concrete. Our language is being highjacked from under our noses along with our open spaces.

David Plumstead
Shepway Environment and Community Network

Transparency – SDC take note

Dear Residents,

In line with our policy of total transparency and following up on our last post: ‘The Worm is turning’, we are posting an email conversation between a long standing Sellindge Resident and County Councillor, Susan Carey. Strong language indeed from our Resident but totally warranted if you consider the deplorable way in which Shepway DC treats us all. If you are in any doubt as to the validity of our Residents email, why not contact Ms Carey this (Sunday) evening; She clearly states it’s a good time to ring her.

If you have an email conversation in a similar vein, we’d love to hear from you.

Dear Susan Carey,

I read at the end of your monthly article that you mentioned that you had been pleased to serve such a beautiful part of the country, but we know that you are hell bent to ruining the area of Sellindge, Stanford, Lympne ,Otterpool and Princes Parade. Why?…. I used to take my grand children to the existing pool and the council failed to keep it clean and the changing rooms were a disgrace so we stopped going.

The same thing will happen in Princes Parade and the developer will fail to build ‘affordable housing’ like they did at Imperial Green. Wake up before SDC ruin a beautiful place that we can all enjoy. It is unique. We are fed up with all the lies and closed meetings.

Many people who have lived here for years and newcomers are dismayed that SDC turn deaf ears to all our pleas.

Yours Sincerely

Sellindge Resident.

Dear Sellindge Resident,

I do listen to you but I don’t agree with your view on Otterpool Park.  We need more homes and I believe a better way to provide them is to have a planned new town like Letchworth, Kings Hill or Poundbury.  These are beautiful places with green spaces.

Kind Regards,

Susan Carey

Member for Elham Valley, Kent County Council

District Councillor, North Downs West, Shepway District Council.

Ms Susan Carey is standing for re-election on the 4th May.

S&DRA.

Where are our SDC representatives?

Dear Residents, 
We have just been copied in with an email sent from Les Barratt, Vice Chair of Monks Horton Parish to Amandeep Khroud at SDC.
On reading, we found this to be both unbelievable and outrageous. Where are our representatives? All towing the same line? Unfortunately we won’t have a chance to vote for a change in our District Councillors until 2019, but we will all be voting in the forthcoming County election on the 4th May in the Shepway Wards. Change MUST come.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Dear Ms Khroud,

 
I refer to your email dated 15th Feb 2017 to Mr. Ashley Tanton which reads:
 
The report being considered on 7th March is a key decision because it “is likely to be significant in terms of its effect on communities living or working in an area comprising two or more wards in the councils area.”
 
Please would you explain to me, if the effects on communities are so significant, why are those residents within those communities not being included in any debate, or discussion on the 7th March. 
 
As you are Head of Democratic Services and Law, I would like you to explain to me, in detail, what your definition of ‘Democratic Services’ actually means.
 
I look forward to your response in the morning (6th March 2017).
 
Les Barratt. Vice Chair, Monks Horton Parish Meeting.

DISMISSIVE, INSOUCIANT OR LACKING INFORMATION FROM SHEPWAY DC – YOU DECIDE.

Dear Residents,

One of our residents has recently brought to our attention a communication from Ms Lisa Flounders which we think is unhelpful and bordering on dismissive. It relates to the ‘Community engagement’ in early December where Cozumel Estates (Reuben Brothers), held a 3 day, 4 venue event to introduce local residents to the notion of having a new town on our doorstep and how advantageous it would be to us all.

Here’s the email thread:

Dear Ms Flounders

There has not, to my knowledge, been any published information regarding the public reaction to the above presentations. Could you please advise me what level of support for the Otterpool Garden town scheme was indicated by the public meetings. I look forward to hearing from you.

Resident of Lympne

Dear Mrs xxxxxxx

Many thanks for your email.

We’ll be coming back again to the public this spring with further details, following the sessions in December.

Best wishes

Lisa Flounders.

Dr Ms Flounders,

Thank you for your email but you have not answered my question. Please let me know what level of
support for Otterpool was shown at the above meetings

Kind regards

Resident of Lympne

 

Dear Mrs xxxxxxxx,

Thank you for your email, I’ll be sure to contact you when this information is available.

Best wishes,

Lisa Flounders.

Judging by the response of Ms Flounders, one would assume that she possesses an insouciant quality that is far from being admired.

Her contact details: 01483 561119 or otterpoolpark@housegroup.co.uk or info@housegroup.co.uk. We’re sure that Ms Flounders would love to hear from residents expressing their concerns that evidence of support for the New Town is being withheld. Why not contact her and ask the reason why?

Considering that the ‘Community engagement’ was on the 8th, 9th and 10th December last year we would have thought that there would have been enough time between then and now to publish the findings of the so called Community engagement.
Ms Flounders actually works for a company based in the Guilford area (so much for local companies being used by SDC) called Property housemarketing. Acting as an agent for SDC, could it be that SDC has yet to communicate with Ms Flounders?

On a previous post we presented our own findings as residents entered and left the so called ‘Community engagements: In percentage terms, the support for building a New Town within our communities totalled (wait for it)…………….1.5%. Was this the silent majority that our Caribbean suntanned (more on that to come) Deputy leader and Councillor Jenny Hollingsbee told us was supporting the Otterpool New Town notion?

It would come as no surprise to us all that the requested information is being held back for fear of rocking the proposed ‘New Town’ boat. Moreover, it was only two weeks ago that Leader of SDC, David Monk said in a press article that the Community engagements would START in March of this year. Disregarding events and information seems to be a habit that Cllr Monk finds it very difficult to break.

It was also David Monk that told a great untruth on BBC radio last year intimating that the Council had the full support of 27 Parish Councillors for the New Town at a meeting on 7th June 2016 when in actual fact the opposite was true.

David Monk, Leader of Shepway District Council. If our information is correct, he will be standing as a candidate in the forthcoming County Council election on 4th May in one of the Folkestone wards. We would have liked to present a list of his qualities as our District Council Leader but alas, we just can’t think of any. We say that, but none that are actually printable. We’ll leave it there for now.

S&DRA.

Dear Residents,

Our friends at Shepwayvox have posted an alarming item that all Shepway residents should be taking very seriously. Moreover, the situation will, have no doubt about it, become worse, a lot worse given the fact that 20,000 more houses are planned by Shepway District Council; 8,000 homes for local people and 12,000 as an unwanted New Town, increasing the Shepway population by 41%.

With an already failing infrastructure and no new hospitals in the pipeline, can we bury our heads in the sand and hope for the best? The future looks extremely bleak, not only for us, but also for our children and grandchildren.

A giant rally is being planned for this coming April by S&DRA, (exact time and venue to be announced). It’s time to stop the rot in local government.

S&DRA

Transparency – not in the SDC vocabulary

Dear Residents,

It appears that Cllr Monk, Leader of Shepway Council is up to his old tricks again. If you thought about going along to the ‘Otterpool’ Cabinet meeting on the 7th March you may be faced with a firmly locked door to the public gallery. An eagle eyed local resident has contacted SDC with the email set out below:

 

Dear Mr Chambers

I can see from SDC’s website the meeting of the Cabinet regarding Otterpool will be behind closed doors.

See: http://www.shepway.gov.uk/moderngov/mgListPlanItems.aspx?PlanId=216&RP=142

I understand SDC will use LGA 1972 section 100A(3), and Paragraph 3 Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the LGA 1972

How are SDC allowed to use these sections of law when

Paragraph 9 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 states:

“9. Information is not exempt information if it relates to “proposed development” for which the local planning authority may grant itself planning permission pursuant to regulation 3 of the Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992.”

What legal precedent, if any, is SDC granting themselves permission to discuss these matters which relate to the proposed development of Otterpool Park, when Para 9 states very clearly that SDC Cabinet meeting behind closed doors relating to otterpool on the agenda cannot do this.

I look forward to your reply.

Regards

We await a reply from Jeremy Chambers, but in the meantime, please feel free to contact him yourselves at: jeremy.chambers@shepway.gov.uk

S&DRA