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Blood from a stone

Press editing

For those of you who are interested in such things, you can play spot-the-difference between what the local press gets sent, and what it publishes. Below is the un-cut version of the letter “whingeing” Kim sent the local press – see “Blood from a stone“. I’ve highlighted the bits that ended up on the cutting room floor.

Open letter

With regard to your Article in last week HB Times

I am disappointed that the Pier Trust has been embroiled into your report of my communications with the Council regarding their historic efforts to rebuild the pier since 2004. I feel the matter has flared out of proportion and would like to put events into perspective.

The Pier has long been pawned as a vote catcher at election times, including the current, and by various political parties and it is interesting that the Pier was the catalyst of Survey subjects put to prospective MP’s and reported in local papers last week. Quoting: “Our local and regional councillors are the ones who decide. MPs of course do their best to exert this influence”.

I do not feel it at all unreasonable to want to know what efforts the owners of the Pier (Canterbury City Council) have made to rebuild the pier since 2004 when the glimmer of hope was given in the commissioned Herne Bay Pier Report. This report was commissioned by Canterbury City Council, Kent County Council and a Tourist body. I have asked all three parties the same question: “What action was taken by them following the report to progress the rebuild of the Pier, what decisive action was taken to secure funding, when and with whom and what the outcome was.” I, and I am sure many others, would like to know what action has been taken by the owners to maintain, restore and or rebuild the property they hold for the Town. I want to know how the Council feel justified in simply stating there are no funds to rebuild the pier without challenge from the electorate.

Similarly I contacted the KCC Councillor representing Herne Bay (Jean Law) similarly I contacted my MP (Roger Gale). It is fair to say there has been a strong resistance to communicate at all on the subject. Pursuing the question over several months I received various evasive responses but not one factual answer. Pursuing those responses I have received further evasive and somewhat personalised rebuffs detracting from the specified information requested. Now my communications on historical efforts by the Councils, Councillors and MP seem to be considered the Trust’s concern which, quite frankly, I do not. I continue to seek factual information directly.

As an individual, I believe I am entitled to contact my council(s) on issues that matter to me, equally with elected Councillors and my MP. I believe that if, more often than not, my contact is ignored or the subject is avoided, side stepped or “spun” I am justified in pursuing the subject. Sadly as is often the case with a handful of Councillors, communications degenerate into personal attack. I appreciate that is often to deflect the situation and avoid the subject but I continue to feel justified in pursuing an honest straight forward factual answer.

I am a Life Member of the Pier trust, give my total support to the cause and hold the trust members in the highest of esteem. They have a thankless task ahead and work tirelessly. Two New Trusts Members were announced at AGM last evening and I believe there are exciting times ahead.

I would just like a an honest factual straight forward answer to a very straight forward question: “What action was taken by them following the report to progress the rebuild of the Pier, what decisive action was taken to secure funding, when and with whom and what the outcome was”.

Kind regards

Kim Hennelly

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