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Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Patience is a virtue

Eight weeks ago the Executive were alerted to their imminent criminality. I replaced my blood with espresso to ready myself for the frenetic pace of their response. They wondered. Legal pondered. Time dragged. I could have saved myself a fortune in coffee bills: I should have got some decent time-lapse photography kit.

From which you will have gathered that not a lot has happened. But I am neither perturbed nor dismayed, because I went to The Great Exhibition at the King’s Hall. CCC treated us to their vision of our future, in the form of the Area Action Plan. This consists of 10 objectives, the last (but by no means least) of which focuses on their conservation credentials and environmental ambitions:

“Located to the East of Herne Bay town centre are sites of exceptional importance in respect of rare, endangered or vulnerable natural habitats and species within a European context. They consist of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) that seek to protect wild fauna and flora and Special Protection Areas (SPA) which seek to protect wild birds.”

Joy of joys! A clear and simple reason not to allow private development of public open space. If they’re half-way serious about this, there’s absolutely no need to involve lawyers (always a good thing). Instead, we can all just concentrate on the fact that we’ve got an accessible piece of semi-wild land that should be conserved. I’ve been finding out about Duncan Down in Whitstable – seems to be a very good model to work from.

As my spell-checker confirms: hop sprigs eternal in the hum an beast.


Sunday, 22 March 2009


Well, with a bit of luck and a following wind, we may be getting hints of activity over the coming week. Just maybe. The Executive will be huddling on Thursday week (2nd April), so I should find out this week whether CCC's lean, mean legal machine has decided on the legality of the bonkers proposal.

Until that glad day arrives, do skip over to have a peek at some of the other things that have been sporadically hijacking what's left of my attention:
  • PlanesOverHerneBay a sturdy and increasingly plausible stand against (in descending order): planes needlessly flying over Herne Bay, when they could easily divert out to sea; unrestrained and unmonitored increase in flights through Manston; local democracy being played like a puppet by commercial interests.
  • KentAndKentish a long-term, ongoing survey of the stuff I like about Kent, starting with the things my tastebuds like about Kent.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

WBC: boxing clever

Wordle: WBC
No, not the World Boxing Council, the Whitstable Beach Campaign. Plenty of sweat and tears, but much less blood. There's a delightfully lucid explanation of a complex situation on the front page of their site which describes the rather odd way Whitstable meets the sea. WBC have dedicated themselves to:
safeguarding Whitstable's beaches for the enjoyment of the public by protection against commercial development.

Keen followers of this blog will have pounced on the spooky parallels to what we're trying to achieve here on The Downs: keeping the space both open and public.

One of their founders, whom I shall refer to as "N" in order to create an air of mystery, invited us over to plot and seethe over mugs of tea. Very useful, heartening and fun. (As an aside, I must say that this really isn't how I ever expected to be spending my time - more on this another day, perhaps.) If I can get cracking on half the things we covered, this campaign will be broader, deeper, more polished, and hopefully more effective.

Stay tuned.

Friday, 6 March 2009

A little bird told me...

...well, Graham Finch (my favourite Democracy Services Officer at CCC) told me: the Executive can't yet make a recommendation to Council about the beach huts, because they don't have a report from their legal boffins. The Executive next meet on 2nd April - with luck we may have both activity and progress by then.
The law does grind exceeding slow. I hope it turns out exceeding fine. Fingers crossed.