A Freudian slip, a senior moment, or other? You decide.

Dear Residents,

The recent publication of the KM Folkestone & Hythe featured, on page I and 2, an article put out by Councillor Monk stating events from his perspective of just how the public meeting at Hythe Bay School, 12th September, ran its course when some 300 people turned up to hear how Otterpool New Town would affect the Residents of Hythe.
According to the article, Councillor Monk said ” Someone even shouted out calling me a liar. I’m not a liar, and I went there in good faith”.

“I’m not a liar”

We have strong evidence to show that that statement from Councillor Monk could be incorrect.

Our own independent research has shown that Councillor Monk did tell a great untruth on Radio Kent last year. Thanks to the honesty and transparency of Monks Horton Parish Councillor Les Barratt, details of (what we are calling) the Great Untruth, have been disclosed to the S&DRA team.

Please take the time to read the following thread of emails. (It should be noted that this is not the email thread in its entirety, but relates to the most pertinent points). It only confirms what we have already stated; Councillor Monk is not fit to hold Public Office of any kind.

 

12th August 2106.

Dear Councillor Monk,

My name is Leslie Barratt. I am Vice Chairman of Monks Horton Parish Meeting and reflect the views of Monks Horton residents on all issues. The issue in question here is the Shepway District Councils’ proposal to build a new town of 12,000 dwellings in and around the villages of Westenhanger, Lympne, Newingreen and Sellindge.

You will recall that you invited me along with our Parish Chairman to attend a ‘Parish Councillors meeting’ on the 7th June 2016. You will also recall the general negative response that you received from all 27 Parish Councillors in attendance towards the development of a New Town which you are calling ‘Otterpool Park’.

At that meeting I listened intently to all comments from across the chamber and finally raised my hand to speak. I politely asked if, through the chair, we could have a show of hands of how many Parish Councillors thought it would be a good idea to build a Garden Town as proposed by your Council. You flatly refused. I asked again. You flatly refused. You then raised your voice as if to dismiss my request. My initial thought was ‘where is the democracy here’? I then raised my voice and put the question to the 27 Parish Councillors in the chamber: ‘Can we have a show of hands please: Who here, thinks it’s a good idea to build a New Town in Otterpool’.Not one hand was raised. I recall you remained vocal after the vote was taken. You certainly appeared disgruntled.

I now refer to your recent interview on the 8th August alongside David Plumstead on Radio Kent.

I was astonished to hear you refer to me as an ‘anti campaigner’ whatever that is? To be honest, you sounded somewhat muddled: I believe you meant to say that I was a campaigner. If that is what you meant, then you are quite correct; I do campaign for the people of Monks Horton. As a democratically elected Parish Councillor, I campaign on their behalf, as do the other democratically elected Parish Councillors that were present.

You then stated, on BBC radio, that I asked the 27 Parish Councillors at the 7th June meeting ‘Who is against the proposal’ (to build a new town).

I believe that when you said ‘Who is against the proposal’ on Radio Kent, you knew it to be untrue. You deliberately misled the people of Shepway, using a BBC radio station to broadcast that across Kent.

In an effort to deceive the electorate into thinking that there is a high level support for the proposed OtterpoolTown you have only confirmed to the listeners that you are not fit to hold any position of public office. Moreover, your plea for residents to contact you is disingenuous. We have evidence that you never returned your calls or emails to those that have tried to contact you.

Mr. Monk; from conversations I have had with residents over the years, it is clear that your standing in the district could at best be described as ‘waning’. From the conversations I have had with residents in the past four days I am sure that there would be thousands of Shepway residents requesting that you now consider your position.

I look forward to your reply at your earliest convenience.
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18th August 2016

Dear Mr. Monk,

It has been six days since I sent my email to you. Please inform me when I can expect a reply.

Leslie Barratt

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18th August 2016

Dear Mr Barratt

You and I are not going to agree, I see little point in continuing this conversation.

Kind Regards

Councillor David Monk
Leader of the Council

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29th August. 2016

Dear Councillor Monk,

Thank you for your email of the 18th August.

Although your response is dismissive, I feel that a response is needed to clarify my position along with the parishioners that I represent.

You have taken a position which I find somewhat baffling. You state that we are not going to agree when there is nothing to agree on. A clear statement was made by me on the 7th June at the Civic Centre when you did your utmost to silence me.
You clearly heard what I said and you saw the response from 27 Parish Councillors. You then told an untruth on BBC radio knowing full well that it was inaccurate in a feeble attempt to extinguish total dissent for a proposed new town.

This is not the conduct that we would expect from a District Council leader and certainly not a servant of the people of Shepway.

Given the seriousness of your conduct, I would expect a full apology to be made, not only to Mr. Plumstead and me, but also to the people of Kent,

Please arrange for your apology to be made, on air, via the BBC stating that you was incorrect in a statement previously made. Please make it very clear that the fact of the matter is: 27 Parish Councillors present at the said meeting showed absolutely no support for the development of a new town that you and your council are calling Otterpool Park.

A speedy reply would be appreciated.

Regards,
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4th September 2016

Dear Councillor Monk,

Once again, it’s been 6 days since I emailed you. When can I expect a reply?

Regards,

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6th September 2016.

Dear Mr Barratt,

To confirm that you and I are not going to agree on this matter, therefore, I see little point in continuing this conversation.

 

Kind Regards
Councillor David Monk
Leader of the Council

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We will leave it you, the Residents of Shepway, to decide on whether Councillor Monk is a liar or not, or whether he is fit to hold Public Office.

S&DRA

Hythe – getting a raw deal.

Dear Residents,

Last night (12.9.17), we were all treated to the usual display of ineptitude and grumblings of Councillor Monk and two of his Planning Officer’s; Chris Lewis and Julia Wallace at the Hythe Bay Primary School, courtesy of the Hythe Civic Society.

Council Leader David Monk

The evening kicked off with Councillor Monk telling us that he didn’t realise that it was a public meeting “so hey ho”. We wonder if he would have turned up if he was aware of that. It really does pay to check out our website.

The usual old rhetoric ensued for about 7 minutes when he then turned to Julia Wallace to present a slide show on how wonderful Otterpool Park would be and how we should all be embracing this chance to develop a town with their collaborative, bed fellow partners, Cozumel (BVI Offshore, tax haven) Estates.

The Reuben Brothers. Cozumel Estates, based in the British Virgin Islands.

Next up was Chris Lewis; speaking in quiet mode, at nineteen to the dozen, any points made seem to melt into a stream of meaningless jargon. It was at this this point, after an hour, that a lady member of the audience stood to remonstrate against the endless form of fillibustering, quoting the chairman as saying the presentation would be 45 minutes with the same amount of time for Q & A. It was only then that the Q & A commenced.

The audience wasn’t happy, in fact, it appeared that the presentation strengthened their resolve to ask the most probing and direct questions of Councillor Monk, which in most cases he couldn’t answer or dismissed the Resident’s points out of hand with a wave of his hand: No change there then.

One of the points made by a Hythe Resident was the availability of water to the new town. Councillor Monk retorted; “We’ve been in talks with Affinity Water and if they need money to deliver water we’ll help them out” What does that mean was the cry from the audience. Councillor Monk then admitted that a desalination plant could be a possibility. Readers of this website would know that we posted a spoof article just five weeks ago on the building of a desalination plant in or around Hythe. It seems that we weren’t far off the mark. So should Hythe Residents be concerned? They should be very concerned indeed.

To date, we know that the Environment Agency, through a FOI request, have not been in discussion with Affinity Water pertaining to the proposed Otterpool Park new town and the consequences of groundwater depletion in the Dour (Shepway) region.

We were also told, via Adam.Warner@affinitywater.co.uk; “We are not planning to build a desalination plan in the South East”.

So, there we have it: Affinity are not planning a desalination plant, but that doesn’t mean they won’t build one in the future.

SDC, if Councillor Monk is to be believed, have already had a discussion with Affinity on the lack of water in the Dour region and the possibility, going forward, to meet demand from the New Town.
Now, here’s the thing. SDC are offering capital, Council Tax payers money, to a water company whose shareholders receive a very healthy dividend, offering to build a power hungry, saline polluting industrial unit in our coastal area, just because Councillor Monk didn’t realise that getting blood from a stone was impossible, or in this case, getting water from a severely depleted aquifer would be impossible without causing major detriment to the environment.

If you would like to make your own representations on why a severely water stressed area is about to become a suburb of London, or as CPRE put it: London-on-sea, why not write to the CEO of Affinity Water, Simon Cocks, and ask why he hasn’t lobbied central Government against the urban sprawl of Shepway knowing full well that at least 90% of our water is pumped from the ground with no substantial emergency measures in place to meet the needs of existing Residents during dry winters. We are sure he’d love to hear from you.

While you’re at it, CC in Roy Burvill, based in Folkestone. Working only two days a week now, but still a very helpful point of contact.┬ároy.burvill@affinitywater.co.uk

Now, getting back to the meeting. Was the evening a success for Councillor Monk and his Officer’s?
We’re sure that they were hoping to have this one in the bag, in terms of support for London-on-sea, but alas. it wasn’t to be. The audience, by this stage, had had enough of Councillor Monk and his bully boy tactics. It was time for a vote on who was in favour of building a new town. Although a member of the audience discreetly asked the Chairman to ask for a show of hands towards the end of the evening, the Chairman chose not to carry out the request. Just as Residents were leaving their seats, a local Parish Councillor sprang to his feet and posed the question. “Let’s have a show of hands on who thinks it’s a good idea to build a new town just up the road from here”. Two people raised their hands. Just to ensure fair play, the question was posed “Who thinks it a bad idea to build a new town”. Well, it was unanimous. Together with a mighty cheer, all (except for two) raised their hands. So what was Councillor Monk doing whilst all this was taking place. Wildly gesticulating, pleading NO NO NO.

Thank goodness for democracy.

The evening concluded peacefully, with good grace.

S&DRA.

How long cannes Monk stay in office?

Dear Residents,

Our friends at Shepwayvox have outlined the problem with rising house prices and the affordability factor. Please take the time to read and decide for yourselves whether Leader Monk is a peddler of inaccurate detail or not.
Just to point you in the right direction, wasn’t part of the criteria to build a New Town supposed to have local support from Parishioners. Did Leader Monk tell a porky to Central Government? If he did, isn’t that deception?