Labour's Karen Constantine at work in Newington, Ramsgate, Thanet, Kent.

Karen Constantine: District Councillor’s Report, March 2017

Local issues.

Lancaster Close residents are ‘up in arms’ about changes to the egress and access to their homes whilst nearby building takes place. This inconvenience is likely to last for six months. I have been in contact with the housing director to organise immediate relief and solutions for the residents of the 44 homes affected. We have agreed some ‘solutions’ which will hopefully ease the situation.

Supporting local families.

I visit a number of local families who experience a range of complex difficulties. Sometimes there isn’t always a great deal of assistance that can actually be given – but it’s important as a councillor to be a friendly and listening ear. Our local residents have regular and extreme difficulties with housing in particular.

Newington Road traffic matters.

Following on from contact by locals about the disastrous impact of the closure of the swimming pool car park I have convened a meeting with the Chief Fire officer, the head teachers of St Laurence Primary School, the priest at the church and the estate office manager at the nearby NHS surgery. I will be looking at defining the impact on these parties, the increased risk to pedestrian safety – particularly school children. We are looking for a workable solution which ensures safety. The impact of the closure of the car park has been severe and is getting worse.

Corporate Social Responsibility.

I had a really interesting meeting with Director of HR for Debenhams. Following a series of ‘tweets’ over Christmas in respect of homelessness I had explained to them the chronic homelessness situation in Thanet and in Newington particularly. We met in London and we discussed the potential for a joint project under Debenhams Corporate Social Responsibility. This is being progressed. I’m hopeful that we will have a positive outcome which will directly and positively impact Newington residents.

The Super Council.

I have called for proper consultation on the topic of the proposed ‘Super Council’ and was pleased to be supported by the Labour Group to call for a referendum which was reported in the Thanet Extra. Full details of the East Kent Super Council story are here.

Stop crushing the NHS petition.

This has reached a 1000 signatories. Labour group leader and myself have been busy collecting these. I have now asked to meet Jeremy Hunt MP to hand in this petition.

Campaign graphic.
Stop Cursing Our NHS!

We have raised the following issues –
“Our local A and E is operating under increased pressure. With waiting times targets continually missed.

Our GPs are retiring and it’s proving difficult to replace them leaving our area with a much higher than average GP per patient ratio.

Our local people are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain emergency appointments at GPs’ surgeries.

Our CAMHS provision, child and mental health services are completely overwhelmed.

Social care for our elderly and needy is under calamitous strain.

Our NHS is being crushed!”

Sex attacks in Thanet.

Information from local MP, Craig Mackinlay. Evidence shows that Thanet is the Sex Crimes capital of Kent. Is this due to better reporting? Do we know what types of crimes are taking place? I am continuing to pursue the Police and Crime Commissioner on a FOI request, separating types of crimes. This was reported in the Thanet Gazette.

POW! Power of Women.

 

I participated in this running a very well received session in women rights, using hints and tips from my coaching and trade union role. Overall I felt POW to be a fantastic initiative for Thanet.

£10k Waste per month in Community Pharmacies? Where’s the evidence Craig?

I called for Craig Mackinlay to evidence his claims about ‘waste’ in community pharmacies. This was published in the Trade press. I’m glad to have put Craig Mackinlay under pressure on this issue – as reference to Hansard will show Craig frequently contributes to debate in this area.

Nick Timothy and Mackinlay’s expenses scandal.

Given the ongoing furore with respect to the Tories’ (and UKIP) elections expenses, I called for Nick Timothy to be thoroughly investigated by his employer The Civil Service Commissioner. This was refused. Channel four followed up my request.