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Entries in Jean Law (7)


Tesco at Herne: villagers fight, councillor gives in

The Herne villagers fighting Tesco are being stitched up by Cllr Vickery-Jones. The villagers and the parish council are refusing Tesco's "cash contributions", but the councillor is happy to take the money on behalf of CCC, contrary to the wishes of his constituents.

The Council is perfectly well able to make life difficult for people using the planning process, but Cllr Vickery-Jones seems very willing to throw up his hands in surrender when it comes to Tesco. It wouldn't be the "cash contributions", would it?

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In Bloom outfit's confidence grows

Blooming lovely: From left, Margaret Burns (HBIB publicity officer), Andrew Babbage (RHS judge), Jean Law (KCC councillor) Colleen Ashwin-Kean (HBIB secretary) Jim Buttress (RHS judge), Derek Sidaway (HBIB chairman) and Chris Sears (Serco representative)It's going to be a long summer for the Herne Bay in Bloom (HBIB) team as they wait to see what judges thought of their colourful campaign. Organisers must keep everything crossed until September, after the judges visited on Thursday. Spokeswoman Margaret Burns said she was cautiously optimistic:

"It's always hard to say, but we got some very good vibes. We all felt very positive about everything. Even if we don't get a gold, I think everyone felt very good about what we'd managed to achieve this year, and we feel the town has been looking really nice."

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Best of a bad bunch?

As predicted, some time ago...

HB Times 23rd Jun 2011


Making allowances

Council leader John Gilbey once again tops the table for take-home pay among city councillors, new allowances figures show. Mr Gilbey, who represents Blean Forest, earned £32,382, more than half of which came from his special allowance of £21,361 as council boss. The Tory's expenses included £2,000 in mileage and £570 for his mobile phone.

Conservative vice chairman of the council's executive and Seasalter representative Jean Law was runner up with £17,235 – her basic allowance of £4,710 topped up by special responsibility allowances totalling £8,502.

Executive member Peter Vickery-Jones, who represents Herne and Broomfield, came next – his £13,093 including £5,505 in special responsibility allowances and £408 for his mobile phone.

Lib Dem leader Alex Perkins, who represents Wincheap, earned £12,378.23 including £6,611.78 for special responsibility, while former Labour leader Julia Seath, who did not stand in this year's elections but used to represent Harbour in Whitstable, claimed £6,134.

The figures were released by the council last week and broken down into basic allowance, special responsibility, travel and subsistence and PC allowance for the financial year to 31 March 2011.

HB Times 9th June 2011


Mixed reception for development plans

Ambitious plans for a £35 million regeneration of Herne Bay town centre have been met with mixed reactions. Scores of people packed into the Salvation Army Hall on Tuesday as Bay councillors gave their views. The scheme, led by developers Denne Construction and regeneration experts Coplan Estates, includes a supermarket, shopping centre, homes, multi-storey car park, hotel and a medical centre. It could be complete as early as 2014. Concerns have been raised that the development will draw people away from shops in Mortimer Street, but that suggestion was shot down by finance guru Cllr Peter Lee.

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Gale's View: Blacksole Bridge

Blacksole Bridge has become an accident waiting to happen.  That is not only my view, it is a concern shared by the Bay's three County Councillors, David Hirst, Jean Law and Alan Marsh, and also by many of the City Councillors representing the Town.

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Jean Law wins Herne Bay by-election for Tories

Jean Law's stunning victory at the Herne Bay by-election was overshadowed by an angry mob of protesters. Activist Bunny La Roche and five cohorts gate-crashed the vote count and launched a tirade of abuse at British National Party candidate Dennis Whiting.

Chants of "Nazi scum" and "homophobe" echoed around the Christ Church Parish Hall in Underdown Road as the BNP result was announced. One protester screamed: "When are you going to f***ing die Whiting?"

The 75-year-old, who once advocated the introduction of a £5,000 grant to send former Herne Bay Times reporter Connie Lee "home" to Malaysia, looked sheepish as Conservative Cllr Law tried to calm the rowdy mob. Later she said:

"That is what democracy in Britain is all about - being able to say what you believe. Bunny is a great lady. Her protests didn't spoil my celebrations at all. She was just showing how she feels. As a politician you have to expect to be criticised. It's the nature of what we do."

Mr Whiting was less than impressed with what he described as an "unwarranted verbal attack", he said:

"It was totally inappropriate and just indicates the closed minds they have. People like them think as long they don't do anything physical they can shout whatever disgusting abuse they like. I've never been thick-skinned but I've been in the game long enough to know what to expect. It was a shame for Jean Law because it completely spoiled the atmosphere for her. I wish the lady no ill will and hope she gets on well in the future."

Cllr Law now steps into the county council seat left vacant by the sudden death of her husband John in August. With almost half the 5,186 votes, a 23 per cent turn out, Cllr Law easily beat off competition from her nearest rival, Liberal Democrat candidate Margaret Flaherty. Cllr Law said:

"I am absolutely exhausted. I have to thank the people who supported and voted for me. I just hope their trust is not misplaced. I am so passionate about Herne Bay and will do everything I can at County Hall."

Cllr Law's husband died suddenly after a stroke at the couple's home in Whitstable. He had been county councillor for Herne Bay for seven years, most recently alongside David Hirst. Cllr Law said:

"It is a huge legacy to carry on because John left so many things that I hope to continue. But as much as I love him, this was not his election. Every election belongs to the people and it is up to them who they want to choose. I didn't really know what to expect but I'm delighted. I have been working 14 hours a day for more than a month."

Despite her victory, Cllr Law, who polled 2,474 votes, is only guaranteed eight months because the seat comes up for re-election next June. But she insisted:

"I'm definitely in it for the long run and will stand again."

She had come under fire from other candidates for not living in the town and confessed:

"It upset me because I am as passionate about Herne Bay as the next person. John and I were under police protection for two years because we campaigned for the new Thanet Way bypass. I have been championing Herne Bay since before my kids were born."

The by-election had been dubbed a two-horse race but Cllr Flaherty, with 1,524 votes, finished almost 1,000 votes behind her rival. She warned:

"I'm obviously a bit sad but we'll be back in June for another fight. The turn-out was disappointing. I would have thought the people of Herne Bay would have been more pro-active in voting for their county council representative. But I've congratulated Jean on her victory. She worked very hard. I've also been working hard since the election was declared so I'm quite looking forward to putting my feet up. I need to do some housework and spend time with my family. My boys are starving."

Despite languishing in second place, Cllr Flaherty was miles ahead of the remaining three candidates. Labour's Michael Britton polled 537 with Mr Whiting picking up 399 for the BNP. UKIP's Brian Macdowall was busy sunning himself in the Caribbean when his 252 votes were counted. Results:

  • Conservative: Jean Law – 2,473
  • Liberal Democrats: Margaret Flaherty – 1,524
  • Labour: Michael Britton – 537
  • British National Party: Dennis Whiting – 399
  • UK Independence Party: Brian Macdowall – 252

thisiskent 17th Oct 2008