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Monday, 26 June 2017


Dear Residents,

Could a SDC representative ever be accused of being a Liar? Strong language indeed and one that our Association would be very reluctant to use unless we had strong and convincing evidence.

Are our SDC representatives so blase or complacent about accurately describing events or other SDC representatives positions in their vain attempt to promote the Otterpool New Town that they will stop at nothing to see our beautiful countryside concreted over.

Well, there have been countless occasions when certain SDC Councillors have, shall we say, been economical with the truth, and we don't have to look back very far for our latest example. 

Less than a week ago, on the 22nd June, one of the Otterpool Town Community engagements was held at Lympne Village Hall. Best described as lively, the presentation was well attended with genuine concerns being raised relating to an over population of this part of East Kent.
During the presentation, the Deputy Leader, Councillor Hollingsbee crept in and took a seat to the rear of the hall. 
Councillor Hollingsbee

A local Resident asked Councillor Hollingsbee her views on certain aspects of the development. Reluctant to speak, Councillor Hollingsbee eventually took to her feet and swiftly avoided the point made preferring to tell us how marvelously Susan Carey had achieved a bigger majority in the County elections, campaigning on the Otterpool Town development. 

Councillor Susan Carey

News to us Councillor Hollingsbee, because there was not one mention of Otterpool Town on her campaign literature (see our post: 8.5.17. Cunning Indeed. Wow, What a Cunning Stunt), unless she was thinking, of course, about the spoof literature that we provided for her, but sadly wasn't taken up by Ms Carey as it reflected a more accurate description of her position. 

So, did Councillor Hollingsbee make a faux pas or did she tell a lie? On this one occasion, we could excuse her mistake. Couldn't we? Well, Couldn't we.

Hang on a minute. Councillor Hollingsbee then went on to say that Damian Collins MP, increased his majority campaigning on the very same issue: Otterpool New Town. Did he? 

Damian Collins MP.

The campaign literature that came through our doors had no mention of Otterpool New Town on it. So Councillor Hollingsbee got it wrong again. Could we forgive her again on her massive faux pas? We think not. 

So, did Councillor Hollingsbee purposely tell a lie to convince us all that the overwhelming majority of Shepway Residents would like to see an urban sprawl in their Rural Communities. 

We'll leave you all to decide that.



Dear Residents,

The second round of so-called Community Engagements are now behind us. So what have we learnt from them? Of course, we all know that the only Consultation/Engagement that would have any legitimacy would have been for SDC to ask the question: Do you want a Garden Town in and around your Rural Communities? 

Shepway District Council, being what they are, have not sincerely engaged with local Parishes, and when they did, (7th June, 2016) we all told them that there is no local support for such a monstrous development.

Within 24 hours, (8th June, 2016) the SDC Cabinet then took a vote to go ahead with the 'Expression of Interest' to Central Government for their support of the New Town (12,000 dwellings) along with a £750,000 grant. 
There are many Residents who think that what SDC did was illegal and/or corrupt. We have listened to all their comments and will post more on this issue as times goes on.

In the meantime, we are attending and listening to Kevin Murray and Cozumel Estates at the so-called Community Engagements. The first round of these engagements produced a stream of negative comments, based on real concerns for the environment which SDC have chosen to ignore. 

On the issue of the public relations company; Kevin Murray, S&DRA's view is more or less in line with David Plumsteads' comments set out below, but let us not forget that many of the 'experts' employed by Kevin Murray are not experts at all as highlighted and exposed at the Lympne Village event when their Water 'expert' appeared clueless when questioned on Affinity's Water projected figures and the water usage of an additional 12,000 plus homes. The problem is, individuals, on a one to one basis are believing what these so-called experts are saying.

David Plumsteads' view:

Kevin Murray is in my view genuinely working to record people's views and concerns. His small company of associates is expected to comply with his professional ethos of objectivity, accuracy and impartiality.

We are not fighting Kevin Murray and his staff. Most of the heat generated in the Q&A session in the Sports and Social Club arose from general public mistrust and detestation of Leader of SDC, David Monk & Co. It came close to a question of shooting the messenger.

Kevin Murray is broad shouldered and used to it, but I did notice that consistent shouting tended to confuse/deafen his staff, getting in the way of their writing down what was being said.
I believe we are winning the 'Consultations' with hard unarguable evidence. We descend into rowdy name calling against the wrong people at our peril.

Please keep an eye out for more posts on the lies and deception that we have now come to expect from our District Cabal.


Thursday, 22 June 2017


Dear Residents,

These two pieces are a summation of what is wrong with the Otterpool Consultation process.  At root the biggest unanswered issue is why is this being proposed.  

If it is because of an "objective assessment" of housing need then publish that in a form that is comprehensible to everyone in Shepway.  And explain at the same time why these numbers have increased so dramatically compared to the numbers that have been presented with the same confidence over the past fifteen to twenty years of District-wide masterplanning.  Just why should we swallow these new numbers?

The questions remain "WHY THIS?  WHY NOW?  and WHY HERE?"

These questions were asked all through last year, and since.  They are still unanswered.

Read on for some indication of the attitude of the leading protagonists.

This statement is copied from the Otterpool Park website, buried deep, as a precursor to the public enragement meetings today, tomorrow and Saturday. 

" 500 people attended the first engagement sessions last year, sharing their views and concerns about Otterpool Park.

Andy Jarrett, spokesman for Otterpool Park, said: "We were pleased to see so many local people attend the sessions last year, and the feedback we've received will help to shape the proposed garden town. We hope to see even more people at the next events. Residents and other members of the community can see how their contributions so far have informed ideas, and importantly, can find out more about how we are addressing areas of concern for infrastructure, housing type and green space."

Andy Jarratt

Andy Jarratt, Head of Strategic Development Projects at Shepway district Council was interviewed on Radio Kent, broadcast 15 June 2017. 

It went like this:-

Who the homes will be for?

It will be drawing people from the local area.  It will have a particular emphasis on trying to ensure that affordable homes meet the requirements of those that are unable to afford homes at the moment.
But also that we are trying to introduce a new demographic to the area and to increase the economically active population. 

You are actively looking for people to move in from outside of the area then

We are looking to business to see what business requires and for new facilities we think that will drive a new skill base so it will be a mix of local people benefiting from that but yes and it will be open to people with skills from elsewhere to come to the area. 

Do you know where house prices might start from?

We don't I think it's worth recognising that this is a long-term project.  we hope to be on site 2020 but even then you can appreciate that things will change a lot. It will be important that affordability of homes is taken account of so there will be starter homes within the mix of that I'm quite sure I think it's likely there will be key worker homes available to the people with particular skill sets that we are trying to encourage. I mean affordability is very much in our mind. 

Roughly then how much would a starter home cost do you think?

I just don't know I don't think we know how much any home will cost into a three years time. It's got to be valuable it's got to meet the market it will be governed by the market conditions at the time. 

There has obviously been lots of protest about this development you know we had hundreds of people marching on the streets not too long ago. How are you trying to get those people on board and the concerns that they have. 

(Big sigh)
Well I think what we're trying to do through our own engagement really is to help people shape the settlement and it's not a question… You appreciate we are promoting the project our role in life is to make it work for as many people as we can. And I think we will have to assume that there will be some people who object to this proposal as people object to any significant proposal.  Ummm what we're trying to do essentially is to work with those who will work with us and to meet as many needs as possible. 

What would you say to those people who so far have felt a bit ignored in this process.?

(Bigger sigh)
... If there are people out there who feel ignored .... I think we need to draw attention to what we are doing and we have an open dialogue with all good will talk to us. I don't pretend for a minute that we will be able to meet everybody's requirements because some people don't want to see this scheme happen at all.  Some people don't want to see development happen at all.   But what is driving this is a need to meet the needs of the many, and this is based on an objective assessment of what future housing need is is required in the area and we have a responsibility I think to meet that need. 

Those people that aren't happy with the plan, they just have to put up with it then?

(Even bigger sigh)
While they have to...they have to put up with it, or they have to try and work with us to shape it.  
What we are not entering into is a dialogue about it not happening.

And that consultation on going of course......


Monday, 12 June 2017


Dear Residents,


Shepway District Council have announced further Community Engagement sessions around the area, casting their net further afield to persuade residents, not in the immediate Otterpool area, to get on board with the idea of urbanising our rural areas, increasing the Shepway population by 41%. 

This would be the second event of this kind, not forgetting that our survey during the first event showed that only 2 people out of 151 interviewed supported the notion of building a New Town in the Countryside.

To date, SDC has NEVER asked Shepway Residents whether they want the Otterpool development, kicking any pretence of a democracy into the long grass. We would therefore ask Residents visiting the event not to engage in any consultants survey until the initial question is posed on whether we want it or not.

Here be the events:

Community engagement session

June 22 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Tin Tabernacle, Hythe4 Portland Rd 
Hythe, CT21 6EG United Kingdom 
+ Google Map

(Presentations at 3:00pm)

Find out more »

Community engagement session

June 22 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Lympne Village HallAldington Road 
Lympne, CT21 4LE United Kingdom 
+ Google Map

(Presentation at 7:30pm) Please note stiletto heels may not be worn inside the village hall

Find out more »

Community engagement session

June 23 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
The MACH at The Marsh AcademyStation Road, New Romney 
Kent , TN28 8BB United Kingdom 
+ Google Map

(Presentation at 10:30am)

Find out more »

Community engagement session

June 23 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sellindge Sports and Social Club69 Swan Lane 
Sellindge, TN25 6HB United Kingdom 
+ Google Map

(Presentation at 3:00pm)

Find out more »

Community engagement session

June 24 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Folkestone Library2 Grace Hill 
Folkestone, CT20 1HD United Kingdom 
+ Google Map

(Presentations at 10:30am & 12:30pm)

Find out more »


Saturday, 10 June 2017


Dear Residents,

We've all heard the expression, 'Every cloud has a silver lining'. Well, indeed it does. You may remember not so long ago when Gavin Barwell, Conservative housing minister, came along to Shepway and was photographed with probably the most loathed pair of individuals in our area, at a time when he gave Government backing to a 12,000 dwelling commuter town in the heart of our villages. 
Well, we don't know if it was the fact that 5,652 Shepway residents temporarily relocated to Croydon to vote Mr. Barwell out, (the swing to Labour), or he was just 'found out'. Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure, Mr. Barwell isn't enjoying a brighter, more secure future as a Government Minister.


Pictured below is ex Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell with the local loathsome pair; Damian Collins and David Monk, purporting to be our Member of Parliament and Leader of Shepway District Council respectively. 

A grinning, self serving trio that are so far removed from being described as our three amigo's, that the only description that comes to mind of these three Gringo's is the not so good, the bad and the ugly. Take your pick on the suitors description.
Here we have the recently elected so called MP, Damian Collins whose call to generate and develop our rural communities would be a nail in the coffin for our rural communities, diverting investment away from our Urban areas where it's so badly needed.
Then we have David Monk, a well known or infamous individual who is prepared to stop at nothing, even lie on a BBC radio station, to promote the 12,000 dwelling Commuter Town, pushing young families further away from even thinking about owning their own homes. 
Last, but not least; Gavin Barwell, still publicly supporting the Prime Minister but he was probably resigned to the fact that come June 9th and with a majority of only 160 votes in the Croydon constituency, he would be out of a job. 

So, who's voting for the loathsome pair? What reasons do they have to vote for them. If you are someone that actually voted for these two individuals or know someone that did, we would love to hear from you. We would also love to publish your response on our website. We promise not to publish your names or contact details unless you state otherwise.
 Is it true, as some have already stated on social media, that some constituents would vote for a monkey or a goat if it wore a blue rosette? Is it true that the general view of Collins or Monk Voters are Elderly, Wealthy, Selfish, Educationally challenged, Politically illiterate, Not knowing the difference between a District, County or General election but voting 'tribal' or On a fat pension?
These are not the views of S&DRA, but of residents that we talk to. Please let us know your views.


Tuesday, 6 June 2017


Dear Residents,

Have you heard of the Carr-Hill Formula? It has been brought to our attention by one of Election Candidates, who just happens to be a health care professional, that it is a process of determining how funding levels are allocated to surgeries across the country.

The formula produces per patient weightings that vary very widely between practices, raising objections that such large variation lacks face validity, particularly given how many costs are shared by practices regardless of population characteristics.

Is it any wonder that GP's are reluctant to bring their much needed skills to our area when funding is so pitiful compared to neighbouring districts. Please read on:

The overall constituency picture:

  • GP Surgeries across Folkestone and Hythe are at breaking point. Folkestone East Surgery is scheduled to close and 5,000 patients will have no GP. 
  • Central Surgery in Folkestone was recently inspected by the CQC and was placed in 'special measures' due to unsafe provision of care
  • Manor Road Surgery in Folkestone has reported it is operating under 'unsustainable pressures' and may be forced to close - this could result in 7,300 patients having no GP.
  • If urgent action is not taken at the highest levels of government, and without the timely collaboration of the MP for Folkestone and Hythe then up to 40,000 patients across the constituency could lose vital GP access, as surgeries across the area close due to ongoing operational pressures.

The inequity of the Carr-Hill Formula considering the higher rates of social deprivation/patient profiles:

  • Carr-Hill formula is unequal and does not fairly reflect the higher rates of social deprivation and co-morbid profiles of many living in the constituency. The current Carr-Hill funding for Folkestone and Hythe per patient is £114, whereas the funding for a patient in Ashford is calculated at £191 per patient! 
  • This unfair unequal funding discrepancy must be urgently addressed, so that patients in Folkestone and Hythe receive increased funding. This is also vital for GP retention in the constituency - it is understandable from their perspective that they would choose to work in areas where they are better resourced, and also were the patient population may not place the same demands on their time and resources.

Our Member of Parliament, Damian Collins has been our representative, our voice in Westminster, for the past seven years. Why hasn't he made representations to the Health Secretary on our behalf to review such a paltry sum as compared to Ashford, upgrading to a similar patient amount?

Is it any wonder that our Surgeries are closing. Is it any wonder that appointment dates with Doctors and Consultants are getting further away. Is it any wonder that constituents opprobrium spills over into this:



Thursday, 1 June 2017


Dear Residents,

It has come to our notice that a few of the Damian Collins Election banners have been defaced. Should we condone the actions of someone, most probably a local resident, who has taken the time and trouble to purchase a canister of paint and carry out the dastardly deed?

We neither condone or condemn the actions of the perpetrator, but we do understand the emotions of ordinary folk who are sick to the back teeth of Mr. Collins, with his hollow words and the support he is lending to the building of the Lorry Park and New Town.

So is it surprising that NO TOWN was sprayed upon Mr. Collins' banner given the fact that no 'OTTERPOOL PARK' consultation has ever taken place with local people, and is it surprising that Mr. Collins should be ridiculed and be subject to the constituents opprobrium.

In a word, NO.

Please use your vote wisely on the 8th June.



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