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The city council has lost the plot

I have been following the debate, kicked off by Dylan Hampshire of
Cockett’s Mattresses, about the need for a town council for Herne Bay
(“Call for town council to end ‘democratic deficit'”, Times, June 21). I
certainly believe Canterbury City Council has lost the plot and we
should return to more local control of our affairs.

Canterbury is just not doing the job and causing a lot of problems.

My wife and I settled in Studd Hill in August 1986. One of the
benefits was being able to stroll to the seafront for a swim using the
ramp opposite Standard Avenue. Ten years ago Canterbury City Council
allowed jet skis to use the front without any reference to residents.
While we would not deny the few jet—skiers the use of the seafront, a
new ramp was provided for them at great expense next to the boat house.
The jet-skiers then started using the area reserved for swimmers but our
city councillor was unable to help.

Now our roads in Studd Hill are being badly damaged by lorries well
over the 13-ton weight limit. In Wolseley Avenue the bungalows are very
attractive but city planners have allowed a two- storey semi-detached
house to be built on a single plot. This type of building will turn the
area into a slum, doubling the number of cars and people. Would members
of the committee who approved this application like to live in the same
conditions? I invite them to come and see the damage they are
responsible for.

All building work should be stopped until repairs have been carried
out to the roads. Part of the cost should be met by the council because
of its planning decision. Builders should not be allowed to double up on
single plots. A bond equal to ten per cent of the value of any new
building should be paid before any work is started. This will ensure
roads are correctly restored.

Under the new boundary suggestions, neighbouring areas will be
included in Herne Bay which will boost its population to 78,000. This is
why we need to consider restoring our own Town Hall. One idea would be
the burned out ruins of the former Bun Penny pub, which is due for
restoration. Rooms could be rented out to pay for the running costs.

It would appear the city council is also using parking fines in Herne
Bay as a cash box to the detriment of shops and traders. A traffic
warden has been handing out fines to cars parked at the bottom of
William Street between Mortimer Street and the Bun Penny. I am meeting
the person in charge shortly and will point out that the town is also
plagued by an abundance of parking meters.

To save money on council tax I also suggest reducing the number of city councillors to one per ward.

Harold Lloyd, Wolseley Avenue, Studd Hill


Bay councillor Peter Lee said:

Mortimer Street between Greensteads and Iceland is closed to all
traffic on Saturdays between 10.30am and 4.30pm except commercial
vehicles loading and unloading between the same times on Monday to
Friday. Any car in this area, moving or parked between these times, is
subject to a penalty. A blue disabled badge does not exempt the
vehicle. 

People often say parking charges should be abolished or reduced but
never come up with any suggestions how the council can replace the lost
revenue, or which services should be cut to reflect the lower income. If
you have any suggestions, please let me know and I will feed them into
the budget discussions I will be having with officers this month.

HB Times 13th Sep 2012


Incidentally, this is the same Peter Lee who told us in August that
the Council had saved £465,000 thus boosting its cash reserves to £3.8
million, meaning “we will be able to do what we want in the next few years”.

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