By Councillor Val Kenny / JobsLatest News / / 0 Comments

The temporary one way system in Whitstable has caused real difficulty for local shops these past three weeks. Isn’t it time the council considered how we could use our car parks to support local business better?

At one point last week, drivers venturing into Whitstable would have found themselves turned away from Middle Wall Car Park, Cromwell Road, Cornwallis Circle and struggling to park centrally as the capacity of Gladstone Road car park has been halved. The temporary one way system caused by the closure of Sea Street and the development of the Oval may be coping, but local trade on our high street has drop substantially and confused many residents who rely on local buses to venture into town during the week.

Last week myself and fellow candidate Chris Cornell visited local shop keepers to talk to them about the disruption. One shop keeper was clear that something needs to be done. “For years I’ve been saying to the council that the strength of this high street depends largely on the Gorrell Tank Car Park and for the third year in a row it is about to be temporarily closed” said one local shopkeeper. “The council really appreciate that their actions affect our takings”.

As the council roll out more infuriating machines to car parks down the high street, Labour would like to see local residents given half an hour’s free parking to encourage them to use local shops. Freeing up the high street would make buses run easier, prevent queueing and make it far safer where roads are narrow. It would stop our loading bays being filled with people popping in for a print of milk.

Canterbury City Council already use free parking as a means to attract shoppers to Herne Bay, so why not Whitstable?

As the council continues to raise the price of parking in our car parks and outside your house, we think that the money their new automatic plate recognition (ANPR) machines swallow because the machines don’t give change, could be better spent. A Labour council would run a honest, independent consultation on parking in town and support local businesses by using the council car parks differently.

By Councillor Chris Cornell / Justice / / 0 Comments

Social media has been raging recently with crime stories in Whitstable. Local Conservative councillors have responded by unfairly criticising serving officers and describing them as no better than cardboard policemen.

Instead of complaining, Labour candidate for Gorrell, Chris Cornell, has written to the Chief Constable Alan Pughsley asking him to assign a new Town Constable to Whitstable as part of the roll out of 90 new front line officers paid for by the recent increase in our council tax. Read his letter below.

Dear Chief Inspector

I, like many residents of Whitstable, welcomed the recent decision by the Police & Crime Panel on the 7th February to provide additional funding to local policing decisions in the context of substantial under investment in the last few years. Whitstable lost its High Street Police Station in September 2012 and, since this time, fear of crime or anti-social behaviour has notably increased, particularly online.

In the twelve months leading up to the closure of our police station, 1,947 crimes were committed in our area. Last year over the same period we recorded 2,910. That’s a staggering 49% increase and substantially above the rate of increase across the county during this period (11%).

Whilst we understand that crime across the whole county is increasing and resources remain tight, we believe a town of over 30,000 residents deserves a dedicated police resource, particularly when it has a higher per capita crime rate than nearby Herne Bay whose police station responds to 999 calls in our area.

As such I’m writing to formally request you consider our town for a new town centre Constable to increase the police presence and improve co-ordination of services across our town. With additional funding identified for 90 extra community police officers, a new town centre Constable for Whitstable is affordable and would go a long way to providing a ‘visible reassurance’ to visitors and residents of our town.

It is clear from Met Commissioner Dick’s recent comments that police numbers have a direct impact on the amount of crime, particularly violent crime. We believe a new town centre Constable could compliment the excellent work of local PCSOs and prove an additional resource to tackle shoplifting from repeat offenders, the rise in threatening or intimidating behaviour, particularly during school holidays, as well as anti-social behaviour on our beach at night. The number of licensed premises in our town is increasing whilst volunteer ‘‘street pastors’ are the only roaming presence in our town on busy nights out.

I would appreciate a response to my letter.

Yours truly,

Chris Cornell


By George Caffery / Latest News / / 0 Comments
“The bit of Island Wall I walk over every day has been severely damaged. I have spoken to my local CCC councillor, CCC planning and KCC Highways. Their attitude seems to be that Island Wall is so bad anyway the damage the constructors have caused doesn’t make any difference. CCC and KCC have both stated that the road looks the same as photos they took in 2015. Not only is this nonsense it is also insulting to the many residents who have taken photos of the damage and the trucks ignoring the weight limit. Because we have complained as individuals we are just individually fobbed off. A tactic employed until the project is completed, too late to do anything about our road.

If the Local Authority has granted a dispensation to the contractors to exceed the weight limit, because that is what it looks like to residents, it is extremely dangerous, a 3 tonne weight limit is nothing. Many of us have complained of gates being bent out of shape, walls and fences out of true. There has been a huge catalogue of complaints going on for months now about this development. The Local Authority has a duty of care to its Citizens. It should not just pander to the desires of developers for revenue.

Developers could not care less about the damage the environment or the distress to residents their actions cause. None of the Local Authorities are going to pursue the builders to repair the road when they have finished.

Be assured the residents are all collecting photographic evidence to develop a collective response.  If in the end we get KCC to resurface or repair our road it will come out of the public purse. Thus the public end up by stealth funding private companies. When this project went to planning we were told there would be temporary road around the golf course to gain access to the site, so objections were kept to the minimum. I am convinced that the developers should pay for repairs. After all, most reputable contractors should be insured for this kind of damage.