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Thursday, 11 February 2016


In a recent (20.1.16) posting, we described a Shepway Cabinet Meeting as Pure Theatre – Poules sans tete (Headless Chickens). David Monk and his Cabinet cronies went through the pretence of debating and voting on who would like a lorry park between Stanford and Sellindge. Surprise, surprise all the cronies voted for it. Could they all be excused for not realising what a white elephant it would be or the strength of feeling against it in Stanford, Monks Horton, Stowting, Postling and Lympne. Well at least one Councillor knew but she still voted for option 1, Alternative 3 – Jenny Hollingsbee. But at least she made it a matter of record that Operation stack would still have to be implemented even with the biggest lorry park in the world. Towing the party line most obviously the order of the day here.

But hang on. Where is Sellindge in all of this? Confusion reigns, but is it still reigning?

Through the grapevine we heard that Sellindge PC were in favour of a lorry park, albeit only for 2000 in Stanford/Sellindge. Still four times the size of the largest lorry park in the UK. But how could this be and what's the reasoning behind it. Last Tuesday (9.2.16) evening we were all treated to another tranche of theatre, but this time we were all going to the movies: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY.

At least 60 good local residents attended to pose questions to Sellindge PC along with residents from Stanford and Monks Horton (also good).
The opening salvo from a local resident was 'Why did you think that supporters of the lorry park were intimidated by residents who opposed it as you have already stated'. (This was in response to the PC's statement that residents were afraid to show HE support).  The Chairman's reply was because they didn't show their hands when asked to do so, or words to that effect, followed by a good spattering of 'we assumed'.

During the questioning and the PC's garbled answers we understand that the PC's main reason for supporting the HE proposal was to reduce the lorries passing through the village. Are we all missing something here? Unless Sellindge PC can support this claim or notion with some real evidence, then it is completely unfounded.

Chairman Bull had already adopted an aggressive attitude and looked to be taking no prisoners. As the evening progressed and the questioning more probing, Chairman Bull's attitude became even more hostile and bullying, reminiscent of an unsavoury, beleaguered old gringo. The scenes were ugly.

Residents were incredulous with the rudeness and idiotic remarks (I'd shoot the lot of them) being made by a Chairman in public office, purporting to represent the 1600 residents of Sellindge, making judgement's and decisions on their behalf. I heard one resident say 'Could this be Donald Trump smuggled into the UK and disguised as Chairman Bull?' Another resident shouted 'He's an idiot wrapped up in the skin of a moron'. (I take it he was answering the other resident on the Donald Trump issue).

If it wasn't so serious, it would be funny. But it is serious. So serious that resident's would rather have no Parish Council at all rather than be represented by Chairman Bull and Co.

At this moment in time, we have a Parish Council that has decided to support Damian Collins and Highways England to construct the largest global lorry park on our doorstep and they haven't even taken the trouble to conduct a simple survey to judge the mood of the people, whose lives will be massively impacted. They have ignored any structure or framework that belies the foundation of any decent Parish Council.

For fear of being prescriptive, may we suggest to Sellindge Parish Council to reconsider their position, take account of the majority view, tell HE that your position has now changed to one that reflects the wishes of local residents and stand alongside neighbouring Parishes. Moreover, you can ask Damian Collins to remove Sellindge Parish Council from his list of 'mushroom' Lorry Park supporters who are so conveniently being kept in the dark and tell Mr. Collins to start coming up with a few honest facts.

So, we've already mentioned the good and the ugly. You decide who's bad.


Thursday, 4 February 2016


Dear Residents of Sellindge and neighbouring villages.

We have conducted a simple survey of which you would have all been aware.

The number of residents agreeing with the general principle of building a massive lorry park in the Stanford area as set out by Highways England amounts to 3 residents.

The number of residents opposing the building of a lorry park as set out by Highways England amounts to 101 residents

As a reminder: The scheme is to build a 3,600 lorry park West of Stanford, East of Sellindge. 

The biggest Lorry Park/Truck stop in the UK, as confirmed by 'Highways England' is 554 (Essex)

The biggest Lorry Park/Truck Stop in Kent is 390. (Ashford)


Tuesday, 2 February 2016


Cast your minds back to the Highways England Lorry Park Exhibitions and visualise Paul Harwood standing between the pink blobs on barely discernible maps telling us that one big lorry park is the only way forward, and that multiple lorry parks are out of the question because 'smart' signage simply would not work. Then cast your minds back to Westenhanger Castle where our Member of Parliament, Damian Collins said the same thing when questioned on the very same subject by local residents.
As Mr. Harwood and Mr. Collins were not forthcoming on any statistics to back up their claims, we can only deduce that great untruths were being told. 
Capita Group is a FTSE 100 company operating in the support sector and this is what they are saying:
Since 2005 our transport technology team has worked on Highways England's Traffic Information System (HATRIS) which is used to monitor and report on vehicle journey times on the motorway and trunk road network. The system enables Highways England and the Department for Transport to identify trends and to design new schemes based on solid evidence of traffic flows. Highways England has also appointed us to provide a new asset management system and associated consultancy services for its road maintenance teams.
We're also involved in developing and managing other important high tech schemes, including:
·                            active traffic management
·                            managed motorway systems
·                            road user charging and tolling systems
·                            tunnel control and monitoring
·                            real time passenger information
·                            technology enforcement systems
·                            traffic monitoring and control systems.

 Was Mr Harwood or Mr. Collins not aware of HATRIS ?  Well I suppose we could forgive Mr. Collins for not knowing about HATRIS because he is only our MP, but Mr. Harwood should be 'up to speed' with all developments, or has he had a (very convenient) mental block for the past 11 years. 



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