Throughout each month I am posting links to media coverage where I have had active involvement in the story or have provided comment and a Labour Party perspective. As an elected County councillor I am often asked to provide local input on national stories and the socialist perspective on local issues.
This page will be updated throughout the month.
Environmental impact assessment delay is costing us £11,000 a week
With the berth used by Brett now out of action, supplies are arriving by road and costing Thanet District Council £11k a week. So reports The Isle of Thanet News. I have been calling for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the works for many, many months. Only when the old berth becomes unsustainable and is removed, does our local council realise an EIA is necessary. The delay is very costly and it looks like you and I will be picking up the tab.
Survey on paying more for less
Kent County Council is heading into a funding crisis. With incomes from business rates hammered by COVID-19 and money from central government reduced over the years, the local authority is at breaking point. A survey has been opened and we are invited to submit ideas for how money can be saved. Truth is, more money needs to be spent. Areas like Thanet will always suffer if funding isn’t directed where it’s most needed, where it will make the most marked effect.
This story in the Isle of Thanet News covers the announcement of the KCC survey and my comments on the impact of yet more cuts and higher council tax bills.
Confusion over live animal exports
This news report which initially details the fines protestors face if they turn up to demonstrate against live animal exports from Ramsgate during the COVID restrictions, also highlights confusion about the continued trade. In this piece I question whether live exports will continue post-Brexit. Preparations for live export lorry parking at Ebbsfleet have appeared in Brexit preparedness documentation from Kent County Council. This will be something I will be looking into as this barbaric trade cannot continue.
Read more in The Isle of Thanet News.
Seeing Red: more on live exports
On 21 November I used my regular column in The Isle of Thanet News to draw more attention to the trafficking of live animals though Ramsgate.
Manston lorry park plans fail transport workers
In this report, published on November 25, a number of local councillors were asked to comment on the plans in place for a Brexit lorry park on the former airport site.
I was specific about the need to look after the welfare of lorry drivers. We rely on these workers to deliver food and other essentials throughout the year. Merely providing hot and cold running water in Portaloos whilst the drivers and their lorries are held due to Brexit delays is not good enough. Read more on this story here.
Discussing Kent’s tier 3 status on LBC
With much outcry across the county at how “too many were having to pay the price for the behaviours of those in Thanet and Swale”, I went onto LBC radio and put the Thanet perspective to Matt Frei.
Thanet is a poor community. That has an effect on how people live their lives during a pandemic. Whilst many in Tunbridge Wells may be able to afford to stay at home and receive weekly Ocado deliveries, in Ramsgate regular trips to the corner shop are the reality. So too is the need to get to work when not feeling well. Statutory sick pay or no pay at all is not an option for many.
Listen to the recording of the conversation below.