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Sunday, 28 August 2016


Dear Residents,

We have just picked this up from Facebook.

They say that every cloud has a silver lining and we thank our Gods that there were no fatalities in the awful accident that occurred yesterday on the M20. It has highlighted the real need for small lorry parks along our motorway networks that could be used in emergencies such as the bridge collapse. 

Susie Govett has just posted this:

Susie Govett
28 August at 12:15
Hello All :-) Apologies for the length but just wanted to let you all know of a statement we have just released. 
Following yesterday's incident on the M20, UKIP Councillors in Kent are highlighting the potential value in several smaller lorry parks across the South Eastern road network rather than one large lorry park, which is currently proposed at Stanford. 

A number of local, smaller lorry parks situated across the South East road network would help to ease the system when incidents such as today's events occur. Local, easily accessible lorry parks could temporarily relieve the local congestion experienced after such events, ensuring that traffic continues to flow via local diversion routes. They could also potentially provide very basic, easily accessible, temporary facilities such as water and toilets for families and/or lorries caught up in traffic chaos. 

Councillor Frank McKenna, who is a Kent County Councillor and Shepway District Councillor said "It's clear that Highways England are intent on delivering a pre-determined single lorry park at Stanford. One large lorry park is a more attractive investment for a contractor since it will be more profitable than a network of strategic smaller sites. We are saying that this issue is too important to be driven purely by profit." 

Highways England contractors have this week demonstrated their contempt of publicly elected representatives and the communities they represent in the insult accidentally delivered to Cllr Pete Maddox, describing him as "an unpleasant character". We find it unpleasant that the people of Stanford are having this thrust upon them and that Balfour Beatty have already been given the contract to build the park. 

This, combined with the typing error during consultation regarding the size of the site, which persisted for some time without anyone from Highways England apparently noticing, makes us question the ability of Highways England to competently consult with local communities and councils during this process. 


KCC Cllr Frank Mckenna 
KCC Cllr Hod Birkby 
Cllr Susie Govett 
Cllr Mary Lawes

Friday, 26 August 2016


Dear Friends and Residents,

Please help in our appeal:

Here's the amazing Emilee Boyce with Simon Eyre on our own YouTube channel now. There are CD's available in the Drum Inn, Stanford. Donations go towards legal costs to fight the monstrous lorry park.

Alternatively, please donate as little or as much as you can to our account with the reference 'Lorry Park fund'.

Lloyds: Sort code: 30-93-34.  Account Number: 57170968.

Many, many thanks.



Dear Residents,

Could it be true that Sellindge Parish Council have joined the ranks of Monk, Carey, Collins and Hollingsbee?

Chairman Stan Bull, Sellindge Parish Council

We have had several conversations with local Sellindge residents stating that Sellindge Parish Council is supporting the building of a new town in our area. To our knowledge, there has been no official position statement from Sellindge PC and therefore can not assume that Sellindge PC would consider such a notion. Moreover, Chairman Bull and three other Parish Council members attending the Civic Centre meeting in Folkestone on June 7th showed no support for the proposal that Shepway DC are calling Otterpool Park New Town.

Could it be that individual Parish Councillors are expressing their own, personal views, which they are perfectly entitled to do, leading residents to believe that Sellindge PC is out of step with the wishes of Sellindge residents?

Local residents in protest against Shepways' proposal for a new town.

Until we are notified, we will assume that Sellindge PC is adopting a neutral stance on the issue. If any member of Sellindge PC or any other resident can confirm the official Sellindge PC position, we will publish it on our website. 

We look forward to hearing from you.


Monday, 22 August 2016


Dear Residents,

You will recall our post of 13th August from a Monks Horton Parish Councillor telling of the 'Great Untruth' as performed by the Leader of Shepway District Council, David Monk on BBC Radio Kent.

Well, to our amazement, a reply was received, admittedly, after a prompt of 6 days of deafening silence. Is this the same David Monk that constantly invites residents to contact him to raise points relating to the proposed 12,000 sprawl housing estate. Councillor Monk even stated clearly 'on air' for residents to speak with him. 

The Great Untruth occurred when Councillor Monk stated that a question posed by Parish Councillor Les Barratt to 27 Parish Councillors at the Civic Centre took the form of 'Who thought it was a bad idea to build a new town at Otterpool'. -  No hands were raised.

When in actual fact, the question posed was 'Who thought it was GOOD idea to build a New Town at Otterpool' - No hands were raised. 

So, could this have been a 'slip of the tongue' or a faux pas by Councillor Monk. Definitely not: Councillor Monk has had six days to reflect on his 'on air' statement but states that he doesn't agree with Parish Councillor Barratt.

Is this the attitude that we can expect from the Leader of Shepway District Council ? Is this the attitude that we have all come to expect from Councillor Monk ? Can we expect more of the same from Councillor Monk ? 

It is clear that Councillor Monk had the intention of deceiving the people of Kent on a BBC radio station. It is also clear that support from local residents to build an urban sprawl in a rural location has no support from local Parish Councils and many individual parishioners. 

Councillor Monks' last dismissive email (see below) to Parish Councillor Barratt suggests that he ill equipped to enter into any form of debate or dialogue. 

As a servant of the people of Shepway and given the content of this post, do you think that Councillor Monk is fit to be our Leader ? You have every right to contact him and tell him what you think. You'll be lucky to get a reply, but if you do, please let us know.


This is Councillor and Leader of SDC, David Monk

Phone:  01303 891001

The email thread continues:

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 
Vice Chair, Monks Horton Parish Meeting

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

Kind Regards

Councillor David Monk
Leader, Shepway District Council.

Saturday, 13 August 2016


Dear Residents,

We have been copied in with an email from one of our local Parish Councillors in Monks Horton, sent to Councillor and Leader of Shepway District Council, David Monk. 

It appears that Councillor Monk has done his very best to put a brave face on the Parish Councillor Meeting at the Civic Centre on the 7th June by telling a great untruth. And by telling that great untruth, he inferred that David Plumstead was telling porkies when he pointed out that there is total opposition to the building of a 12,000 dwelling housing estate, thereby obliterating local villages. 

Councillor Monk is no stranger to controversy, but this time has he really come unstuck?  The evidence is solid and damning with witnesses to boot. From our position, this looks like a very serious allegation to make against a Leader of a District Council. 


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).


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 Otterpool Town 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.



Leslie Barratt.

Vice Chair, Monks Horton Parish Meeting.


It appears that Sellindge is the place to be for a plethora of information. Buy a rug, go to the circus, spoil yourself with a spa day or even look for a cat. But if you want information on how to oppose the idiotic developments that our local council and councillors are attempting to foist upon us, then you would have to take a trip to the Civic Centre, Folkestone.

Is there an information desk for residents ? Are our local Councillors finally agreeing to meet publicly with residents ? No, no, no, no, no. Take a look in the bins around the back of SDC offices - It's there that you are most likely to find posters and banners recently removed by the council to suppress any 'voice' that we have.

We will now clearly state that the official S&DRA posters and banners depicting our contact details were handed out to dozens of local residents to post in and around Sellindge with the proviso that they be placed in a public area and strictly within current regulations.

On a recent post we told of how a local resident was sent a fixed penalty notice of £80 for the most awful and hideous crime of fly posting. Technically, Authorities have the power to do just that; but when taken in the context or our plight here in Shepway is it not understandable that residents will go to extraordinary lengths (even fly posting) to ensure a modicum of democracy is maintained. The posters contained information on how to join the Hythe March/Demonstration.

The resident in question actually paid the £80 fine because she describes herself as a law abiding citizen. Moreover, in her innocence, she actually admitted to fly posting in a letter to SDC after the posters that she put up were taken down within hours when other commercial posters were left in place  We should also mention that a certain lady councillor was following her and her friend, noting the poster locations. Do we think that that lady councillor had anything to do with the removal of the posters: You decide.

So, where do we go from here ? We are calling upon the help of our residents. We need to stay within the law, that's for sure. We are in the throes of producing new posters (unless SDC decide to return all those removed) and are now asking residents to display them in their garden(s) as near to the public areas or highways as possible. 

Please email us and we will deliver them to any East Kent area. If you can make your own even better - as big as you can. We also have posters for your cars - just let us know where you are.

Just one other thing to say..... Shame on you local councillors....Shame on you Shepway District Council.


Friday, 12 August 2016


Dear Residents,

A local resident has been fined £80.00 for 'fly posting' by Shepway District Council. In a recent post on our website we stated that we have no official voice from our District or County Councillors or even local MP's. The only option for local residents to get the message across of opposition to unwanted developments to the electorate is via other avenues, one of which is placing posters in the most obvious places in the district. 
So why is it that we can see fly posting from companies for financial gain left in place, yet if our residents post banners of posters on fences and poles they are taken down by Shepway Council and now fined.
Democracy? We don't think so. A police State? You decide. 

More on this story as it develops.


Wednesday, 10 August 2016


Almost 450 shares of my post on here about the scandal of Highways England (HE) blatantly lying to the Transport Select Committee (TSC), who met three times in Westminster with lots of people giving evidence, a report written slamming HE for their methods, not following processes, not looking at alternatives to biggest lorry park in the world, then the Chair of the TSC said it was the size of Disneyland or 90 football pitches. Not only did HE lie to the TSC, they lied to the media and the people of Kent for nine months. They have just revealed that they are taking 250 ACRES - ONE AND A HALF THE SIZE OF DISNEYLAND. How can the BBC not cover this story, HE are a public body and should be held to account. Matthew Balfour, Roads minister for Kent County Council spoke at a meeting recently where he said 'HE cannot do anything at pace, they are hopeless and they got the consultation wrong, very wrong'. Eurotunnel don't want it, Port of Dover don't want it, CPRE are against it, BIFA and MOTIS have said it won't work. How many more people do they need to listen to to say that spending £250m on a mega lorry park will not solve the problem of Operation Stack. A network of Lorry Parks along major routes, smart technology, freight on rail and upgrading A2/M2 has been SOS Kent's message for nine months. Yesterday, KCC announced upgrades to the A2/M2.
There hasn't been an Operation Stack in over 12 months, 11 storms since November 2015 (check the Met Office), Dover Chaos, no Op Stack and Manston has set empty, rented out by HE in case Op Stack is required, to the end of 2017. This mega lorry park for 4,000 HGVs will sit empty, become a £250m white elephant as no-one wants to operate it. There are no toilets or wash facilities in the plan and HE will build it whether it is used or not. Kent Police want nothing to do with it as they will have to apply for funding and didn't get their £700k back from the Home Office, the cost to Policing Op Stack last year.

Last year's Op Stack was caused by French Industrial action which gave migrants opportunity to surge the tunnel and was at the same time as the start of our summer holidays. UK Government invested £4 million pounds towards improving security measures in Calais around the Port and Eurotunnel and since then (Oct 2015) there hasn't been one breach and there isn't likely to be. This mega lorry park is a knee jerk reaction to that event. Better solutions to Op Stack when they are a 'one off event' i..e happens some years, some years not and for 12 hours in most cases. To take 250 acres of prime arable land for something that might, might not happen is not the best solution or the best way to spend public money. Invest in smaller lorry parks, giving grants to commercial operators, not THROW THE GARDEN OF ENGLAND IN THE CEMENT MIXER

Tuesday, 9 August 2016


Dear Residents,

The weather Gods' were with us along with 750 local residents and a handful of dogs. The coalition demonstration last Saturday was a massive success, bringing together action groups and associations from Shepway and beyond. The sounds of whistles, drums and sirens filled the air as we all marched along the High street with banners aloft.

Hythe will never forget the impact that our demonstration had, not in a negative way but truly of a carnival atmosphere that had shoppers and shopkeepers smiling and clapping us along. But the message was clear: Listen to us Shepway District Council and listen to us now. We are tired of being bullied by your chief bully, David Monk at the helm of the inner cabal. Residents are saying 'enough is enough' This style of politics has got to change and it will. 

Starting off at Douglas Avenue, marching along the High Street and turning into the ring road, our appointed marshalls' did a fantastic job in controlling our procession and ensuring that safety was paramount: We even took the appropriate action in letting by an ambulance with siren blaring - Well done stewards. Another occasion saw a driver purposely swerve into a member of our procession. The registration was captured on camera and police informed. Other drivers waived and tooted their horns in support, smiling as they went.
Arriving at the High Street square, preparation was made to listen to speakers from various groups and conduct television interviews. Local press were invited and made great play of the massive turnout: cameras were everywhere. 
Then came the speeches: Representatives from Princes Parade, Shepway Environment Community Network, Sellindge & District Residents Association, Monks Horton Parish Meeting and Susie Govett, UKIP Councillor. 
The theme was consistent with the sentiment and purpose of the Demonstration. We are tired of unwanted development being foisted upon us from empire building SDC whose only motive is   
We were heartened to hear from Susie Govett, opposing the Lorry Park, Otterpool Housing Estate, Princes Parade and other 'out of scale' developments. We all agree that housing for local people is most welcomed, but only on a human and organic scale. This is the first time that we have heard a Councillor singing from the same hymn sheet as us - How we wish that our local Councillors shared her views.

Undoubtedly the Demonstration was a huge success which now provides the impetus to gather even more momentum. 

Bless you all for coming along - We'll see you at the next.


Monday, 8 August 2016

If you tuned in to Radio Kent this morning and heard the 'head to head' with David Monk and David Plumstead, we would suspect that your blood pressure has hit an all time high. 

Firstly, Councillor Monk invited residents to contact him to discuss the Otterpool Town Housing Estate. We've already tried that but he NEVER returns residents calls or emails. We then heard how he has been in consultation, but only with a few businesses in the area on developing commercial area's within the housing estate. 

He then told us that he met with local Parish Councilors but wouldn't elaborate further. David Plumstead then clearly stated how a vote was taken, by a local Parish Councillor at that meeting to establish the level of support for the Otterpool Town housing estate: There was, and still isn't any support for the housing development (see below). 

David Monk then had the temerity to brand that Parish Councillor as an 'anti campaigner'. It's clear at this stage that Councillor Monk is becoming even more muddled. So, does that mean that the Parish Councillor in question isn't a campaigner or is a campaigner? Perhaps Councillor Monk's definition of a campaigner (or anti campaigner) is a representative of a Parish or Community who is actually fighting their corner; something that local Councillors have most definitely lost sight of. 

For the sake of residents who have joined us after the 'post' date of DEMOCRACY IN SHEPWAY IS DEAD, 23rd July 2016, we have copied it here for your attention. We did notice that David Plumstead made a mistake when estimating that there were 350 people taking part in the demonstration. We're sorry David, you're way out. There were at least 750 angry, outraged people marching through Hythe High Street with others joining along the way.               

If you are outraged by the high handed attitude of Shepway District Council please ask your friends and family to join our database at 

Shepway District Council would like to leave residents, as they have always done, 'in the dark'. We have other plans: Through our website and the strong coalition with other groups in the area, we are now building a real force to have our voices heard. - Let's keep up the momentum. 

Bless you all for turning out in such numbers at the weekend. 



Dear Residents,
It wouldn't have escaped your notice that we have absolutely no official voice when it comes to 'having our say' in the way our communities and villages are shaped and developed in the future.

This week, our District Council, Shepway, revealed the content of the Expression of Interest' document that has already been sent to central Government to develop a New Town of 12,000 houses. Prior to the 'Expression of Interest' being sent, the SDC Cabinet held a meeting on 8th June to vote on taking this development forward. It was no surprise to us that the vote was unanimous in favour. But isn't this democracy working for the good of the residents? It would be if all views were taken into consideration. Although minutes have been published for the Cabinet meeting  on the 8th June, the minutes for the Parish Councillors meeting  on the 7th June are nowhere to be found. If they do exist, could someone at SDC inform us. This was the meeting where Susan Priest, Alistair Stewart and David Monk invited 27 Parish Councillors to a presentation at the Civic Centre, hoping to get Parish Councils 'on board', backing the Otterpool New Town scheme. To say that it backfired would be an understatement. During open questions it was obvious that Parish Councillors were having none of it. We had Parish Councillors accusing David Monk of telling great untruths, charging Monk as being a master of obfuscation, culminating in a plea from a parish Councillor to take a vote to determine support for a New Town. Monk flatly refused. It was only then that a Monks Horton Parish Councillor took the initiative and clearly asked all Parish Councillors for a show of hands in Support of developing a New Town within our communities. Not one hand was raised. 
So, where are the minutes for this meeting ? A meeting where minutes should be published, but aren't. Where are the voices from Councillors that purport to represent residents' views? Councillor Hollingsbee - Where are you? Councillor Carey - Where are you? Damian Collins, our MP, Where are you?
Out of frustration with our so called representatives, S&DRA placed posters and banners in and around Sellindge to show our opposition to the proposed Otterpool New Town.  At great expense, these were purchased and duly placed around the area. Within a fortnight they had all been removed. 
Last Sunday morning 17th July, our team placed more posters around the area. By the very next day they had all been removed. Removed from residents fences, residents gardens and various post and signs. 
Removing any evidence of opposition to the Council's determination to build a Town in our area and stifling residents' views is reprehensible. A scenario that you think would only exist in certain African states. 
We are now adding  Borough Councillors' email addresses to our address book in the hope that support will come from outside of the Shepway area. Our plea to those Councillors would be to help in any way that you can to restore some kind of democracy here in Shepway. The message to our residents is also a plea to assist further in writing to the  local and National press. You have our permission to copy and paste this document to anyone, near or far to help us in our cause. 
Here we have three Councillors that should be serving local residents. Instead, they have an agenda which is totally alien to the wishes of local residents. Councillor Carey, Councillor and Deputy Leader SDC Hollingsbee and Leader of SDC David Monk.

These are the three Councillors that we would like to meet with to ask the real reason why they are so insistent on ignoring residents' views. Still, they are unwilling to meet with us. Below are their email addresses. Please email them and ask the simple question. 'Why are you so reluctant to meet with us to discuss your insistence on misrepresenting your constituents.
Should you receive a reply we would be grateful if you would copy us in with it.
Good luck,

Friday, 5 August 2016

HYTHE, 6TH AUGUST. 10.30 AM. DOUGLAS AVENUE. (opposite Waitrose Car Park)

Dear Residents,

This is the last call for Shepway and Ashford Residents to band together to oppose unwanted developments that are being foisted upon us from District Councils, with support from Damian Collins MP.

The signs are good for a great turnout, so please bring your cameras to capture the moment. 

See you all there.


Thursday, 4 August 2016

Dear Residents,

The 6th August Demonstration Day is fast approaching. Please don't forget to be at Douglas Avenue (opposite Waitrose Car Park) by 10.30 am. Please leave enough time when leaving home to find a parking place. We are expecting a good turnout.

If you are unable to March with the masses,don't worry.. Just turning up at the Square (behind ALDI) in the High Street will show support for all local causes. 

The weather forecast is fine. We've done our best to publicise the event against Shepway District Council removing all of our opposition posters.

Let''s make it the best Demonstration Kent has seen. 

See you all Saturday morning.



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