What is it that lies at the heart of AFRA? It’s simple: people who care about our community, regardless of their politics or personal situation.
AFRA members are all highly active members of the community… so it’s not surprising they get stuck into the issues which really need to be dealt with. At the same time, we also put forward suggestions at a strategic level – the right sort of planning which would eliminate many of these problems before they happen!
Examples of ongoing AFRA campaigns – which tend to get a positive response – working with the District and Town Council and other community groups…..
Some of our website visitors may find this report by the New Local (formerly New Local Government) group into community engagement interesting reading.
AFRA is continuing as a group to press for a better approach to consultation over the future of the Town.
While welcoming the initiation of some consultation work intended to contribute to the Place Plan, there is more work needed if this is to be a credible exercise. Many individuals have already pointed to many oversights or errors in detail; this highlights some of the problems in the approach used.
This is a significant moment for our town – with a coherent approach to CoVid19 recovery urgently needed to take our community forward with confidence.
Cllr David Wimble, Cabinet Member for the District Economy for Folkestone & Hythe District Council, said:
“Although we’re at an early stage the ambition of this Place Plan is very exciting. Folkestone is brimming with potential and we will do our bit to make sure that we are proactively engaging and using our influence to create a town fit for an extraordinary community that surrounds it.”
AFRA and our member organisations have registered an interest in being involved – as have a number of other groups and individuals. We’ve heard nothing back so far, so cannot really comment on the consultation approach – as there hasn’t really been any consultation yet.
Given that the contract runs for 6 months from 7 December 2020 to the end of May and will presumably finish with a report in early June it is surprising that so little has been heard in the public domain of this major initiative.
For those interested in the levers and mechanisms governing development, there are links provided here fo the white paper Changes to the Current Planning System consultation, which closed recently. The key information on proposals are contained a further second stage consultation on the Planning for the Future white paper and its consultation, which closes at 11.45pm on 29 October.
As these matters affect our lives and our environment for generations to come, we hope this information will be useful and that some of our readers will respond with their views on these proposed changes.
AFRA was born from a simple concept: we want to make a difference by working together.
Who are we? We started meeting as a group of Residents Associations representing communities in and around the Folkestone & Hythe District. Over time, some additional members have joined the group, reflecting a common set of interests.
Will it make a difference? We hope so.
In place of the very justifiable expressions of frustration that we all get involved in from time to time, AFRA is all about working together to come up with positive ideas, solutions and suggestions for making Folkestone and Hythe a better place to live and work.
If we don’t make constructive suggestions, then we can’t complain if things don’t get any better.
And one thing that the CoVid19 virus has shown all of us: we are all in this together.