Dear Residents,

A little breezy, but overall, the weather was kind to us last Sunday, with a turnout of around 250 local residents and friends, taking part in the Great Hythe Walk.

The event organiser’s, the Sellindge & District Residents Association, representing the Otterpool group, made it a day to remember for all Residents from every corner of Shepway and beyond.  The fact that the event was only advertised on our website and Social Media, demonstrates the power of  the internet, which we intend to exploit in the months and years ahead.  Our membership is growing daily, promoting transparency on the issues that face us all, here in Shepway.

Struggling against the wind, our speakers were in attendance updating us on recent events:

The coming together was both heartening and encouraging on all fronts, from the organiser’s team, made up from all four groups. Walking and talking together, our Residents showed grit and determination against the loss of democracy in our part of East Kent.

A massive thank you to all who took part, raising in excess of £1,700. This will be distributed among the four groups; Lorry Park, Otterpool, Fisherman’s Beach and Princes Parade, funding banners, posters, flyers, expert and legal advice. It could well be that funding a Judicial Review is in the offing which will require in excess of £30,000. Digging deeper and working harder is a scenario which we are all prepared for in the coming months.

It wouldn’t have gone unnoticed that Kate Chesterman walked the walk on stilts, (or should that be stilted the Stilt) alongside our new recruit, Paul, who collected almost £100 in his bucket. WELL DONE KATE AND PAUL – Stars of the day.

Kate and Paul

It’s these events that bring ‘thinking’ people together to make a stand against SDC who are intent on destroying our communities.

Congratulations to Michael, Carol, Alison, Steve and Joan who won the five prizes on offer in our free raffle. Well done you.

More events are planed in the New Year. In the meantime, S&DRA and our associates will be working hard behind the scenes to keep our District a decent place to live and work. Please look out for announcements very soon.

Many thanks for all your support.


HYTHE WALK, 10.30 am 29th October, 2017.

The Hythe Sponsored walk is taking place on Sunday, 29th October and is a chance for ALL Shepway residents to participate in, whether they be from the main groups of SOS Kent -Lorry Park, Fishermans Beach Association, Save Princes Parade, No Otterpool Town or any other action group across our region.  This is a gathering of like minded people who are sick and tired of being bullied by our rotten Council and its glorious Leader, David Monk. Although the route is about 5 miles, we don’t expect everyone to walk the full the distance. Stop off for a coffee just a few hundred yards from the start and wait for us to return; the choice is yours. But what this event is really about, is raising funds to challenge the lies and hidden agendas that are now common place within SDC. There’s a free raffle with great prizes to all who the pay the minimum sponsorship fee of £5.00. Click here to download and print your sponsorship form.            Various speakers will be present to end the day, so bring your family, friends and neighbours. In a wheelchair, mobility scooter? No problem. The route is wheel friendly with not an incline in sight. Enjoy the beauty and open vista of Princes Parade alongside our open coast line. Bring your banners, whistles, flutes and drums. Let’s band together and walk the walk, along our promenade.

We plan to have a great day with all of our friends. See you all on the 29th, 10.30am.


Dear Residents,
Starting from the 2nd October, the M20 will be closed between 8pm and 6am. for 2 weeks, between junctions 10 and 11. A speed limit of 50 mph will be set in place together with slipways shut. See details below.
So why should this bother you? This could be a ‘taster’ of what our communities would experience, or in fact worse, should the proposed Lorry park become a reality. When the lorry park is in operation, junction 11 will be closed, making the movement of local traffic much worse. Moreover, a speed limit of 40 mph would be in operation on the M20 at the same time.
So why are Damian Collins and Charlie Elphicke still ranting about building the ‘white elephant’ at pace. Well, we know for a fact that they are confirmed apparatchik’s, ready to perform in the line towing process that any career politician would succumb to, but could it also be that the Road Haulage Association has funded a researcher to the tune of £22,500 to Charlies’ office. Just a thought.

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.

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.


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.


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.


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

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.

Wow, look at how much we all raised!

Dear Residents,

If you came along to the Barn Dance last night, we’re sure that you would agree that it was a night to remember; a resounding success.

With well over 300 people in attendance, there was something for everyone. It was great to see families and young children taking part in the dancing; with the dance floor heaving there was little room to spare.

The event was organised by SOS Kent with team leaders, Sharon and Alison breaking records for the amount raised to fight off the lorry park. Wait for it………………………..£7,000 raised…..Yes. £7,000. How was it achieved?: Ticket sales, raffles, Auction and the goodwill of local people donating prizes and auction lots, coupled with sheer hard work of all involved. It really was unbelievable.

There will be other events planned in the near future looking to raise even more money to keep our land free from the immediate threat of concrete, tarmac and intense pollution.


We will be supporting our friends at SOS Kent to strengthen our alliance and looking further afield to get even more groups on board.



SOS Kent responds to KCC

Dear Residents,

In response to yesterdays announcement by KCC for multiple lorry parks across our motorway networks, SOS Kent have issued the following statement:

SOS Kent agrees that we need more overnight lorry parking, but not just here in Shepway. It is needed all over Kent and indeed, beyond. We have been campaigning for smaller lorry parks across the whole road network in the South East as just one of the ‘smarter solutions’ to any rare need for Op Stack, than destroying 250 acres of countryside.

Properly managed, these multiple smaller lorry parking areas will not only help with Stack, but greatly help the daily/nightly problem of overnight lorry parking. So this announcement from KCC sounds encouraging and we look forward to hearing more detail.

We understand that plans to extend existing and develop smaller new lorry parks in the area have all been put on hold pending the outcome of the monster (3,600) lorry park proposed by Highways England. But with a judicial review pending, that could take months or years. Meanwhile, EVERY NIGHT trucks are being allowed to park dangerously, often chewing up verges, dumping rubbish and human excrement, refrigerated units keeping local residents awake and generally causing a nuisance and damaging the environment.

Having more overnight lorry parking spaces is one thing – and would be fine if they were to be used. Whilst the lorry parks do often fill up, HGVs (usually foreign) can still be seen parked on motorways and illegally elsewhere, even when there is still space in lorry parks nearby. They simply DO NOT WANT TO PAY TO PARK. Also, HGV drivers often want to park as close as possible to their Channel crossing point. So there is clearly the need to clamp down on illegally parked lorries right now. Urgent discussions and decisions need to be made about if, when, where and for how long lorries can be permitted to park in ‘legal’ free parking spaces such as lay-bys and residential streets.

The government could better use their £250m allocated for the proposed monster lorry park at Stanford by:

contributing to private developments to create 3000+ lorry spaces in smaller parks across the South East
Developing and installing smart IT to inform and coordinate lorry parking (overnight and for Op Stack)
upgrading the A2/M2
investing in freight by rail

Let’s hope the lorry parking penny is finally dropping at KCC. It is never too late for them, SDC and our own MP to start doing the right thing.

SOS Kent, Stanford.