Change the record: listen to our community voice

Change the record: listen to our community voice

In May, local voters emphatically chose a change of administration at Folkestone and Hythe District Council.
Many of the political parties’ manifesto statements referred explicitly to the need for community voice to play a far more significant part in the leadership of Folkestone – demonstrating real change in approach and democratic commitment.

However, we also – all of us – expected and need a clear signal of practical actions: not just a series of photo opportunities, where elected representatives turn up to the opening of an envelope, as they say.
Good to be seen out and about. Even better to be seen making a difference.
So what do we need to happen, three months in?
Here are three suggestions for the new leadership:

And for everyone else – please click here for a listing of your elected representatives – it’s time to tell them what we think and to work together as a community to find a positive future for Folkestone….

1. A statement of intent

In preparing for office, months if not years before the election, all political candidates and groups will have considered strategic priorities for our community: economic; social; planning; regeneration; addressing disadvantage and so on.

It is time to publish a broad Statement of Council Intent….. “these are the issues and priorities we are working on, dealing with.”
We were promised a stronger community voice: now it’s time for the Council ‘to put our money where our mouth is…’

2. Revisit The Place Plan

The Council should revisit and revise the Place Plan, in the context of three significant new factors affecting Folkestone:

  • National economic outlook – reports emerging of a five year downturn
  • KCC budget and service cutbacks
  • The Seafront development

The plan should be updated, to priorities the show community assets and other key features and opportunities within our town which were unforgivably overlooked – it should be revised to reflect the new context and to become more appropriately A People Plan

3. Publish an interim local economic strategy

The Council should develop and publish short to medium term economic planning linked to the revised longer term strategy for our community, supporting the Town Centre and addressing inequalities across the town.
The outline should be prepared in discussion with community leaders. Soon.

Leas Pavilion Development….

6th October 2022:
a local resident’s update on traffic management issues and other matters…

We are beginning to experience the consequences of the decision of FHDC’s Planning Committee, when they consented to the Leas Pavilion development.

Since they came on site, Ant Yapi the construction company, despite the terribly confined space they find themselves working in, have co-operated and communicated with local residents.  They have taken on board all the concerns of the local population regarding transport and deliveries, something Highways, FHDC Planning Department, and The Planning Committee (watch the video) certainly did not.

They have come up with the best solution they could and it is now in place.  This solution had to go before Highways for consent, now obtained; it took them long enough to agree to something that they must admit is the lesser of lots of evils.  Only time will tell.

Time began this morning when, because a motorist parked illegally on the double yellow lines, an Iceland delivery truck could not negotiate the corner into Longford Terrace and had to drive over The Lees Lawns in order to back in to Longford Terrace.  Nice big truck ruts over the grass.  

The illegally parked car caused the problem.  However, having happily given consent to the removal of the parking spaces, despite residents protests (already short of spaces) especially the disabled, this is going to happen. One wonders, how much is the developer paying FHDC to have those spaces taken out? 

People are desperate and are having to park further and further away from their homes. 

Safety of our residents is paramount.  Ant Yapi are aware of this and have done their very best to work with what they have got.

Hopefully this is the first and last incident.

Unfortunately, another truck from Macdonalds could not negotiate the badly parked car and decided to go round the one-way system into Sandgate Road and right in to Cheriton Place and left into Longford Way, going against the 3T limit placed there a good number of years ago because of a cellar under the road and the car park opposite. 

This warning sign was dismissed by highways as being irrelevant and dismissed in the consultation.  However, lots of concrete appeared to be poured into that corner some weeks ago, and the 3T sign is now given prominence.