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Entries in Our Council (6)


Who will save the pierhead?

The Council won't and the Pier Trust can't

Today's HB Times HB Gazette (oops!) highlights the worsening state of the pierhead. Apparently it's outside the Pier Trust's remit, and the Council just watches from the shore to see if the lightbulbs need changing - their bare legal obligation. If we do nothing, time and tide will take their toll, and we will have nothing but rust and memories.

Write to your Councillors and your MP - click this link: WriteToThem.

Isolated at sea, exposed to the elements and crumbling, the old pier rotunda looks unlikely to survive the winter intact. This week outrage grew at the lack of protection given to the iconic building as recent storm damage to the battered structure became visible from the shore.

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Andy Lawrence stops the traffic in Mortimer Street

Local hero Andy Lawrence has been putting himself at risk, trying to keep Mortimer Street safe from idiot motorists. Drivers who are too stupid to read the traffic signs, or too selfish to take any notice, are driving along the street when it should be treated as a pedestrianised zone.

There's a simple and cheap solution (a lockable barrier across the road) but our Council has been dragging its heels, so Andy has taken to enforcing the traffic regulations himself.

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Herne Bay's growth threatened by Canterbury's greed

Herne Bay's future centres on tourism - it's a business model that is tried and trusted, it's well-understood and it's sustainable.

It makes sense to make the most of the most obvious quality Herne Bay has - the fact that it's a nice little town by the seaside.

Tourism is not isolated from the rest of the local economy, quite the reverse. Our vistors - whether coming for a day trip, a weekend, or longer - generate business and spread wealth at every turn. B&B room tabs, restaurant bills, pub rounds, shop tills, even parking meters.

Money, time and effort spent encouraging tourism in Herne Bay is not expenditure, it's investment.

But Canterbury City Council seems to think differently.

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Pier pressure

At long last our Council has described its vision for the future of our Pier. In a word: short.

Some of the trustees of the Pier Trust have been angling for a new Pier for years if not decades. All of the trustees have given generously of their time and expertise. They have drawn together a wealth of national and international experts to produce first rate proposals and business plans which they presented to our Council.

CCC dismissed them, and now we know why.

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The Friends' Fête and the Council's greed

Oh look, here's another good thing that Our Council seems to be hell-bent on stamping out. Like the recent bus rally (but much more worthy) it doesn't take many brain cells to figure out that the hospital fête is a good thing that deserves encouragement and support, not fleecing. CCC are happy to fritter £17,000 of our money on new ceremonial robes for the Lord Mayor (which will benefit how many people, and how?) but insist on chiselling £400 from the Friends of QVMH (which benefits how many people, and how?).

Street advert grounded by red tape

How much does it cost to put up a banner? Council bean-counters wanted £400 from hospital fundraisers to erect one over the High Street advertising their annual summer fete next Saturday. Organisers were stunned to be told of the cost - up from £200 last year and £120 the year before - and decided to scrap the aerial advertising and use the money to help patients instead. But Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital League of Friends spokeswoman Sandy Winkworth said it was a bitter blow to the hard-working team of volunteers.

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Bus rally threatened by Council

Our Council demanded £850 compensation for 'lost revenue' - and the red tape almost drove this Sunday’s Herne Bay bus rally off the road.

Organisers admitted this week they were considering cancelling the annual event when Canterbury City Council demanded payment for unused parking spaces. Julian Bowden, who took over running the rally last year with Nigel Coupe, said:

"The city council's events team and town co-ordinator Chris West have been brilliant, and know how many visitors the rally brings to Herne Bay. But then the council’s parking services department stepped in and dropped a bombshell by demanding £850 compensation for lost revenue from the spaces the buses use in William Street car park. It was virtually the same amount We raised for our chosen charity, Demelza children’s hospices, last year. We felt it was a little excessive."

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