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

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

Forget the politics, we are all Shepway resident.

Dear Residents,

We were more than pleased to accept an invitation as guest speakers at the local Labour party meeting at the Stade Court Hotel in Hythe today to update members on the proposed Otterpool Park New Town situation. Also in attendance was Lesley Whybrow speaking on behalf of the Save Princes Parade group.

The turnout was great, culminating with questions from the floor.

There can be no shadow of a doubt that the common theme that runs through the whole of Shepway is no matter what political persuasion residents are, we are all singing from the same hymn sheet when it comes to our rotten Council in terms of lack of transparency and lack of consultation when it comes to developments across Shepway.

Last year we formed alliances with various like minded groups in the Shepway area, going from strength to strength in terms of people power. At last our message is getting out there:

If you’re a Shepway Councillor, irrespective of your political allegiance, and you push against our views, choosing not to represent us, towing the line of your party, your days are numbered.

Information sharing is the key to building our numbers. Today, we hope that our message has hit a chord with 750 Labour party members and look forward to further engaging with them, and others, in terms of realising democracy across our communities.

Finally we would like to thank Aaron Roche, Vice Chair (membership) Folkestone and Hythe Constituency Labour Party, for inviting us along to listen to what we’re about and look forward to meeting up, in whatever form, in the very near future.

Les Barratt. Co Chairman, S&DRA.

Time to reflect and look forward

Dear Residents,

As we enter 2017, there will be many of us who will reflect upon the past year using many an adjective. Perhaps incredulous or astonished would be a couple. A wake up call to many who have now witnessed, first hand, the shenanigans of local and central government, who purport to be our representatives, foisting upon us, and supporting the monstrous Lorry Park and New Town against residents wishes.
For some of us though, it only confirms what we already knew: that honourability, integrity and loyalty is a commodity that very few of these individuals have been blessed with.

For the majority of us, the two developments that have kept many residents awake at night are the Lorry Park and the 12,000 dwelling Housing Estate that SDC are calling Otterpool Park.

As I write, my radio tells me that there will be affordable homes built on brownfield sites with government help for first time buyers. The price: Up to £250,000. On further research, we found that there would be none available in East Kent. Even if there were, who could afford one? And what does affordable mean? And why aren’t they designated as ‘for local people’? Unanswerable by our ‘so called’ representatives.

The ‘so called’ Otterpool Park notion still rumbles on like an out of control super tanker, with little respect for local residents or local Parish Council opinion.
The 3 day ‘Community Engagement’ held at Sellindge, Folkestone Racecourse, Hythe and Lympne saw a good turnout out of residents, (no thanks to SDC advertising, or lack of it) where opinion was massively against the desecration of good farming land to build 12,000 houses. – Our survey results will follow later in the week.
Councillor, Jenny Hollingsbee would have been aware of the negative response to the Cozumel Estates feedback form but still she made no mention of it in the Sellindge Monthly Newsletter. Being economical with the facts seems to be a thread that SDC is encouraging at every level.
Leader of Shepway DC, David Monk has already told us that SDC would have gone ahead with the Otterpool scheme even if they didn’t get the backing of central government. Being ‘in bed’ with the Reuben Brothers, (Cozumel Estates) with their amassed fortune has given him the confidence to make that statement. We are sure that Mr. Monk and SDC have done their research most thoroughly and found the Reuben Bothers to be the most respected, scrupulous business partners, ensuring that any profit from the Otterpool development doesn’t end up ‘off shore’ at the expense of local people/taxpayers.

The Lorry park development to date is on hold, even though our pointless Member of Parliament, Damian Collins is still mentioning it in local journals and telling how wonderful it will be to keep our economy moving blah, blah, blah. The same old rhetoric really does become a bore after a year of listening to it. Here’s the thing: Collins has never had a career in Civil engineering or anything linked to infrastructure development in any way. He is a career politician; that’s his job. If he’s told to jump by his superiors, he simply say’s ‘how high’, If he’s told by Highways England that they have the solution, he believes them because that’s the ‘line towing’ culture that he (and many of his chums) are about. As far as representing the views of his constituents go – forget it.
Thanks to the hard work of SOS Kent and Stanford Parish Council, along with other associated groups and individuals, a legal challenge has now been launched against the Lorry Park. Strange how Collins or SDC don’t like to mention that.
Launched by Westenhanger Castle with an interest from Stanford Parish Council, it has a good chance of succeeding and keeping 250 acres of good arable farmland preserved for our future generations and maintaining the rural lifestyle that Stanford residents so rightly deserve.

Over the year our Association has organised three very well attended and successful demonstrations: Sellindge. Hythe and Folkestone. All very effective, getting the message across that we want our voices heard. Other groups have now joined our newly formed alliance to strengthen their individual voices. Together, we are now lending support to each other as a real band of brothers and sisters. This has only been achievable through information sharing via social media and email streams. Information sharing is essential if we are going to have success in the future in opposing schemes or developments that our Council is hell bent on foisting upon us. It’s with this in mind that I would encourage you all to spread the message across Shepway that there are organisations willing to stand and fight against unwanted development, but we must have contact details of your friends, neighbours, work colleagues and family. With strength in numbers, we can make a real difference.

To conclude we must ask ourselves, why are we suffering the onslaught of massive industrialisation and urbanisation of our beautiful rural area. The answer to that is simple: Damian Collins and Shepway District Council respectively. It was Damian Collins who lobbied central Government for a solution to operation stack. We’re not saying that what he did was totally wrong, but we are saying is that he should have listened to local residents concerns and worked through a solution that would have been acceptable to all. Instead, he listened to Highways England spouting absurdities at their exhibitions, making inappropriate claims over and over again until in the end even they had to admit that a Lorry Park would not solve operation stack. By then it was too late to save face. Sure enough Damian Collins will pay the price at the next election.
As for the New Town, it was Shepway District Council that invited the ‘Expression of Interest’ from central Government after purchasing farmland for 5.2 million pounds. We are all aware of the events that surround that purchase, leaving residents in no doubt that transparency was a dirty word to SDC.
So are we, the residents saying ‘no’ to all development across Shepway? Of course not. But we are saying let us have real consultation as set out via the Local Plan and let us all contribute in the way our district is formed for our future generations – DEMOCRATICALLY.

The aforementioned demonstrations have taken place because we are not being listened to. The bully boy leader, Cllr Monk never listens or returns our calls when messages are left. The majority of his cabinet are little more than sheep, towing the party line with little regard for their local residents who they are supposed to represent.
With our alliance growing and information being shared we would suggest that their days as Councillors are numbered.
There is a very important KCC election coming up in May this year. A Ms Susan Carey will be up for re-election: one of the Councillors supporting the building of the Lorry Park, Princes Parade and Otterpool New Town.
We would have liked to her to come along prior to the election date to tell us how she was going to improve our lives but she, along with Cllr Jenny Hollingsbee has flatly refused to meet us at any public meeting. Are we surprised?
More details of the election will be streamed through our website: Please watch this space for further details.

It just leaves all the team at S&DRA to thank you all for your support throughout 2016 and wish you all a very healthy and Happy New Year.

S&DRA.

Suspected bribery press release

Dear Residents,

As promised, we said that we would bring you more details of a press release by Lydd Airport Action Group pertaining to suspected bribes being accepted by Shepway District Councillors.

If you are of the mind that SDC Councillors make a habit of voting against the wishes of local residents, as they are with the Lorry Park and Otterpool 12,000 housing estate, you wouldn’t be wrong.
It appears that they are running to form with the Airport fiasco as well. We’ll leave you to decide what the reason for that could be.

Here it be:

Kent Crime Commissioner urged to speed up delayed Police investigation into suspected bribes accepted by Shepway District Councillors
LAAG has written to the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott, urging him to take steps to ensure this case is given priority by the Kent Police. The case involves the reported giving of material undisclosed gifts to Shepway District Councillors by Lydd Airport ahead of the determination of its planning application for its large scale development in March 2010.

The case arose from a 2011 High Court judgment (Neutral Citation Number: [2011] EWHC 354 (QB) – Case No: HQ09X00332) involving litigation between the former Managing Director of London Ashford Airport Ltd (Lydd Airport), Zaher Nicola Jeries Deir (Mr Deir) and Fahad Bin Saleh Mohammed Al Athel (Sheikh Fahad al Athel) – the owner of Lydd Airport and associated companies.

There were a number of claims and counter claims by the respective parties in relation to Mr Deir seeking payment of unpaid directorship fees. The substance of the claims against Mr Deir included that he misused his company credit card and incurred excessive expenditure. Some of the items challenged were items that Mr Deir said constituted gifts to councillors. The judgment makes clear that there is evidence available and that the sums involved were material.

At the determination meeting on March 3rd, 2010, 66% of the 41 councillors present voted for LyddAirport’s development. This was in stark contrast to the 66% of local residents who voted against the development in the earlier referendum conducted by Shepway District Council. There was also strong opposition to the airport’s expansion from the UK’s main national environmental organizations and local opposition groups.

This case was first brought to Kent Police’s attention in February 2012, but it was April 2016 before theKent police confirmed that the matter was being investigated (case reference number ZY/035502/14 in the Police National Database). The investigation is on-going.

High priority should be given to the solving of this case as years have passed since the gifts were allegedly made. Valuable evidence is in danger of being destroyed as institutions are only required to keep records for prescribed periods. Of more concern to local residents is the knowledge that many of thecouncillors present at the time are still in office, proposing and making decisions about equally controversial developments.

Louise Barton
Lydd Airport Action Group
The Hook
Madeira Road
Littlestone
Kent, TN28 8QX
01797 361 548
blmbarton@aol.com