ED TARGETT, the Green Party’s candidate for North Thanet, is a big fan of Herne Bay and its people but believes its potential is not being realised. Asked by the Times what he believed was the town’s greatest asset, he said:
“Its sense of community, brilliant, no-nonsense people and fantastic array of independent shops and growing number of good restaurants.”
“What could be its second biggest asset is a rebuilt pier with a hotel and a marina. Unfortunately, despite having spent upwards of £60,000 of taxpayers’ money on reports chewing over the viability of doing so, the council and the Pier Trust have opted to plonk beach huts on the stub of the pier instead. I’d like to see a much bolder approach.”
The 32-year-old father of two, a reporter and editor by profession, is aware that, despite its many positives, the town in which he grew up – he spent his early childhood in Montague Street — is not quite the finished product.
“It has some antisocial behaviour problems and shops are certainly struggling with rates and rents,” he said. “I’d like to see free parking introduced in the town to encourage local shopping. Its biggest future threat is probably it being entirely circled by commuter homes being built on agricultural or other greenfield land, without any attendant increase in services or infrastructure.”
Mr Targett believes that Herne Bay’s health services do not receive the attention they should.
“I was disappointed that outpatient services were stripped from the Queen Victoria Hospital and moved to Whitstable. Herne Bay has generally been neglected, with outpatient services moved and mental-health services closed.”
If you were to associate any policy with the Green Party it might be that of renewable energy. With swathes of land around Herne Bay being taken by solar farms and some of the country’s largest wind farms offshore, is the area that Mr Targett seeks to represent taking more than its fair share?
“Solar farms that negatively impact the countryside and landscape are unlikely to be granted planning permission — and quite right, too,” he said. “Where that’s not the case, however, if land-owners want to put solar farms on their property, I see no problem with that. It’s their land, it’s going to reduce emissions, generate clean electricity and, correctly managed, can prove positive for wildlife.”
Herne Bay Times, April 15th 2015