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Ramsgate branch discusses the port of Ramsgate

At last night's meeting of the Ramsgate branch, members discussed the port and a motion was passed expressing the branch position.  This motion will be taken to the CLP's next general meeting to see if it can be adopted by the whole constituency.

The motion passed is below:

THE PORT OF RAMSGATE

Ramsgate Branch believes that the economic development of Ramsgate (and Thanet) is being constrained by the failure to have a forward looking and robust vision / strategy for the development of Ramsgate Port.

Currently the port is costing Thanet District Council (TDC) a considerable amount with no financial return(about £3-4m a year).  The current commercial designation of the port  and its usage (concrete, gravel and other heavy industry )  brings little or no benefit to the local economy, particularly jobs and thwarts any other more economically robust development that would be consistent with the growing strategy that Ramsgate should foster a visitor economy. Heavy industrial use of this type runs counter to the various environmental protection zones that exist  in the area

Ramsgate Branch believes that the port should have a mixed use designation , as have many other thriving redeveloped ports in the UK , with leisure and arts facilities/ hospitality/ housing and should include provision for fishing and other marine functions. 

The forthcoming consideration of the Local Plan provides the opportunity to create the right strategy for the port’s  designation .

 

Ramsgate branch passes motion on Port of Ramsgate

Ramsgate branch discusses the port of Ramsgate At last night's meeting of the Ramsgate branch, members discussed the port and a motion was passed expressing the branch position.  This motion will be taken to the CLP's next general meeting to see if it can be adopted by the whole constituency. The motion passed is below: THE PORT OF RAMSGATE Ramsgate Branch believes that the economic development of Ramsgate (and Thanet) is being constrained by the failure to have a forward looking and robust vision / strategy for the development of Ramsgate Port. Currently the port is costing Thanet District Council (TDC) a considerable amount with no financial return(about £3-4m a year).  The current commercial designation of the port  and its usage (concrete, gravel and other heavy industry )  brings little or no benefit to the local economy, particularly jobs and thwarts any other more economically robust development that would be consistent with the growing strategy that Ramsgate should foster a visitor economy. Heavy industrial use of this type runs counter to the various environmental protection zones that exist  in the area Ramsgate Branch believes that the port should have a mixed use designation , as have many other thriving redeveloped ports in the UK , with leisure and arts facilities/ hospitality/ housing and should include provision for fishing and other marine functions.  The forthcoming consideration of the Local Plan provides the opportunity to create the right strategy for the port’s  designation .  

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Corbyn: The strange rebirth of Radical Politics by Richard Seymour

2016
Pub: Verso, London
£12.99, paperback
219 pp

Book review by Helen Crittenden, Ramsgate Branch Secretary

This is not a book about Corbyn.  The real focus is in the subtitle: the strange rebirth of radical politics.  Corbyn is the symptom, the hook, on which this phenomenon hangs.

Seymour takes the reader through a well-researched history of the Labour Party, from the 1800's when the foundations were rooted in the philanthropism of the Church, through to the present day.  This enables Seymour to liken Corbyn not to the much derided Michael Fox of recent history (as many did following his first leadership win), but to the more respected George Lansbury of earlier days.

Seymour then considers how decisions made during the Blair years became weaknesses for the right-wing of the Party, in the context of changing global politics and communities.

Newer recruits to the socialist / Labour cause will find a digestible history, while the 'old guard' will recognise the events that go someway to answer the question 'what went wrong?'.  This historical analysis is one that will undoubtedly stand the test of time. However, written just before the leadership challenge of 2016 and, of course, the General Election in 2017, Seymour's final chapter on Corbyn's position, is already looking dated.

Serious historians may well complain of a lack of detail, it is after all only 219 pages.  But for most this is a very accessible insight into what brought the Labour Party from it's foundations to where it is today.  One for the bookshelf, my copy will not be going on loan anywhere.

 

The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics - Book Review

  Corbyn: The strange rebirth of Radical Politics by Richard Seymour 2016 Pub: Verso, London £12.99, paperback 219 pp Book review by Helen Crittenden, Ramsgate Branch Secretary This is not a book about Corbyn.  The real focus is in the subtitle: the strange rebirth of radical politics.  Corbyn is the symptom, the hook, on which this phenomenon hangs. Seymour takes the reader through a well-researched history of the Labour Party, from the 1800's when the foundations were rooted in the philanthropism of the Church, through to the present day.  This enables Seymour to liken Corbyn not to the much derided Michael Fox of recent history (as many did following his first leadership win), but to the more respected George Lansbury of earlier days. Seymour then considers how decisions made during the Blair years became weaknesses for the right-wing of the Party, in the context of changing global politics and communities. Newer recruits to the socialist / Labour cause will find a digestible history, while the 'old guard' will recognise the events that go someway to answer the question 'what went wrong?'.  This historical analysis is one that will undoubtedly stand the test of time. However, written just before the leadership challenge of 2016 and, of course, the General Election in 2017, Seymour's final chapter on Corbyn's position, is already looking dated. Serious historians may well complain of a lack of detail, it is after all only 219 pages.  But for most this is a very accessible insight into what brought the Labour Party from it's foundations to where it is today.  One for the bookshelf, my copy will not be going on loan anywhere.  

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Labour Kent County and Thanet councillors are concerned about the growing impact of low-level anti-social crime across Thanet.

 

Local residents and business owners frequently complain about 'anarchy' on Thanet streets. This ranges from street fights, rogue traders and petty thefts to night-time economy crimes such as street fights and drunken behaviour and more serious crimes.

Many local people report feeling uneasy and unsafe and want a more visible police presence.

Complaints bought to the attention of both Kent County and Thanet District councillors include scooters causing a disturbance and groups of youths hanging around to violent disagreements between neighbours, anti-social behaviour outside homes, takeaways and public houses and in other public spaces and even theft of food from the elderly. All these have an increasingly negative impact on the quality of life for residents and blight businesses.

This low-level crime and anti-social behaviour is creating a culture of fear and is not being adequately tackled as policing resource is focussed on more serious crimes leaving petty crime to flourish.

During a recent briefing to Thanet District Councillors from DCI Superintendent Andrew Pritchard, it was noted that serious crime is being tackled well by specialist officers, but DCI Pritchard said he had only so much resource 'pie' to go around and could not tackle everything. 

Cllr Karen Constantine asked DCI Superintendent Andrew Pritchard if the imposed cuts of 13% fewer Police officers and 8% fewer PCSOs between 2010 and 2016 had had a negative impact? DCI Pritchard acknowledged his budget was 'fragile' and said he would welcome more dedicated officer support so he could “slice the cake in the most effective way".

Labour councillors have no doubt at all that more Police and PCSOs are needed on the ground. 

DCI Pritchard explained that about 20% of Police time is spent dealing with people with mental health issues.

Labour Group Leader Jenny Matterface stressed "Thanet has high levels of deprivation and high levels of mental health issues. We need resources not only to deal with this but also to take preventative steps. Early intervention is vital".

The Labour councillors are writing to local MPs Roger Gale and Craig Mackinlay to urge the Government to allocate more police resource to Thanet.

Labour's growing crime concern

  Labour Kent County and Thanet councillors are concerned about the growing impact of low-level anti-social crime across Thanet.   Local residents and business owners frequently complain about 'anarchy' on Thanet streets. This ranges from street fights, rogue traders and petty thefts to night-time economy crimes such as street fights and drunken behaviour and more serious crimes. Many local people report feeling uneasy and unsafe and want a more visible police presence. Complaints bought to the attention of both Kent County and Thanet District councillors include scooters causing a disturbance and groups of youths hanging around to violent disagreements between neighbours, anti-social behaviour outside homes, takeaways and public houses and in other public spaces and even theft of food from the elderly. All these have an increasingly negative impact on the quality of life for residents and blight businesses. This low-level crime and anti-social behaviour is creating a culture of fear and is not being adequately tackled as policing resource is focussed on more serious crimes leaving petty crime to flourish. During a recent briefing to Thanet District Councillors from DCI Superintendent Andrew Pritchard, it was noted that serious crime is being tackled well by specialist officers, but DCI Pritchard said he had only so much resource 'pie' to go around and could not tackle everything.  Cllr Karen Constantine asked DCI Superintendent Andrew Pritchard if the imposed cuts of 13% fewer Police officers and 8% fewer PCSOs between 2010 and 2016 had had a negative impact? DCI Pritchard acknowledged his budget was 'fragile' and said he would welcome more dedicated officer support so he could “slice the cake in the most effective way". Labour councillors have no doubt at all that more Police and PCSOs are needed on the ground.  DCI Pritchard explained that about 20% of Police time is...

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On Saturday 19th August four Thanet Labour Group councillors met with our newly appointed MEP John  Howarth who has 'taken over' from Annalise Dodds since her election to Parliament in June.  A range of key issues were discussed.  

1.  Brexit. Its impact on our community. We've seen the sad demise of Kent company, Southern Salads. Put out of business by unfavourable exchange rates as sterling depreciates against the Euro.    

2. Security. In the wake of atrocities across Europe and in the UK, how will Brexit impact the collection and sharing of 'intelligence' via Interpol etc.  There must be a demand to maintain the UK's involvement for to our benefit and for the wider EU community.  

3. Manston. John was briefed. Whichever side of the fence you're on, the impact on Ramsgate and surroundings will be huge. Ramsgate Councillors are committed to ensuring that there is no possibility of a polluting air cargo hub or the potential for introduction of night flights.  

4. Dover and Euro tunnel crossing and impact on our border. We can't envisage how it can be seamless and the UK Government is seemingly not concerned with the impact on Kent ports. Can we can look forward to traffic jams and operation stack again?  

5. The prospect of having a 'hard border' at Dover. This doesn't seem to be fully considered.  

6. The importance of fishing and agriculture to our local economy. Where will the workforce come from after we leave the EU? 

7. Maintenance of Blue Flag beach status, so vital to environmental quality and to our tourism industry.  

8. The Thanet English language schools. We emphasised the need to ensure that these businesses with their positive economic impact are maintained and that Brexit isn't a threat. The value to the local economy is over £20 M per year. 

9. Statistics show an increase of over 34% since 2013 in the numbers of victims of human trafficking and we discussed ways of tackling this example of modern slavery.

County Councillor Karen Constantine, will be tabling two questions at County Hall, in due course, one on Manston and the potential for a negative impact on Ramsgate and surrounding areas, and also the potential for different treatment between East and West Kent constituencies. The second question will focus on Dover, and the impact of a 'hard border' traffic chaos, and the potential of relocation of immigration control from France.  

Kent Councillor Karen Constantine said

"I've been a union negotiator for 25 years, it strikes me that scant negotiations are taking place. There are simply so many questions and details to clarify, amend and agree that the timescale is utterly insufficient and the Government apparently lacks the impetus to resolve these myriad tasks."  

Labour Group Leader Jenny Matterface added

" the truth is many in Thanet are heavily dependent on income from the English Schools - we lose these at our economic peril. Many local people benefit from this industry".  

John Howarth agreed to come back for a public meeting to discuss thoroughly Brexit issues.  Please contact Karen Constantine Labour Group Press officer 07984 532212 karen@karen4labour.uk

Councillors meet new Labour MEP John Howarth

On Saturday 19th August four Thanet Labour Group councillors met with our newly appointed MEP John  Howarth who has 'taken over' from Annalise Dodds since her election to Parliament in June.  A range of key issues were discussed.   1.  Brexit. Its impact on our community. We've seen the sad demise of Kent company, Southern Salads. Put out of business by unfavourable exchange rates as sterling depreciates against the Euro.     2. Security. In the wake of atrocities across Europe and in the UK, how will Brexit impact the collection and sharing of 'intelligence' via Interpol etc.  There must be a demand to maintain the UK's involvement for to our benefit and for the wider EU community.   3. Manston. John was briefed. Whichever side of the fence you're on, the impact on Ramsgate and surroundings will be huge. Ramsgate Councillors are committed to ensuring that there is no possibility of a polluting air cargo hub or the potential for introduction of night flights.   4. Dover and Euro tunnel crossing and impact on our border. We can't envisage how it can be seamless and the UK Government is seemingly not concerned with the impact on Kent ports. Can we can look forward to traffic jams and operation stack again?   5. The prospect of having a 'hard border' at Dover. This doesn't seem to be fully considered.   6. The importance of fishing and agriculture to our local economy. Where will the workforce come from after we leave the EU?  7. Maintenance of Blue Flag beach status, so vital to environmental quality and to our tourism industry.   8. The Thanet English language schools. We emphasised the need to ensure that these businesses with their positive economic impact are maintained and that Brexit isn't a threat. The value to the local economy is over £20 M...

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Report from Cllr Karen Constantine on distressing case

"I meet and support residents across Newington and Ramsgate on the Isle of Thanet on a daily basis. The variety of issues and needs brought to my attention are considerable, but there are some definite themes. Quite often, the people I meet are at the end of their tether and don’t know what to do. They turn to me for help when others don’t seem to be listening. Sometimes they have contacted many people and ‘agencies’ seeking solutions. They must feel like they are on a ‘merry-go-round’. But often there’s nothing at all merry about the unmet and unsupported needs. Housing is a topic which comes up time and time again and I can usually provide some guidance that leads to hope of resolution.

Sometimes even I get frustrated with the hurdles and brick walls that get in the way. I despair at departments who respond with official lines that carry no empathy for the people I’m trying to help. These are people who already feel let down by society and the Tory government.

BBC South East report on this story - film on Cllr Constantine's website here

In recent weeks I have been dealing with a Newington family who desperately need support in the care of their two severely disabled children. The house that they live in is not suitable for the family. An alternative that they were offered by Thanet District Council (TDC) last November was deemed unsuitable by their occupational therapist and by other experts, i.e. the parents. Another house that they did want and that would have been ideal was given to a different family who had greater needs. My attempts at some sort of resolution have been met with cold bureaucracy. I fully appreciate we have a chronic shortage of housing, but I have found the lack of will at TDC to be alarming. I honestly believed that if those with responsibility for this family came to the house and experienced what the family deals with 365 days a year, they may change their attitudes and think twice before sending “computer says no” style responses.

I tried yet again and received another unhelpful response. In frustration and in an effort to gain traction for this family I took the story to the BBC. Within 48 hours they had aired a report which many have since told me they found shocking. Many others have said they see this sort of plight on a daily basis and this is how our Conservative Government chooses to treat those in need on a daily basis.

I’d like to see this family’s needs met. I won’t rest until that happens and until these two children can live in dignity. I take my hat of to Mr and Mrs Tozsu, I’ve rarely meet kinder, more caring people. But humans have limitations. TDC need to take action."

Disability housing plight

Report from Cllr Karen Constantine on distressing case "I meet and support residents across Newington and Ramsgate on the Isle of Thanet on a daily basis. The variety of issues and needs brought to my attention are considerable, but there are some definite themes. Quite often, the people I meet are at the end of their tether and don’t know what to do. They turn to me for help when others don’t seem to be listening. Sometimes they have contacted many people and ‘agencies’ seeking solutions. They must feel like they are on a ‘merry-go-round’. But often there’s nothing at all merry about the unmet and unsupported needs. Housing is a topic which comes up time and time again and I can usually provide some guidance that leads to hope of resolution. Sometimes even I get frustrated with the hurdles and brick walls that get in the way. I despair at departments who respond with official lines that carry no empathy for the people I’m trying to help. These are people who already feel let down by society and the Tory government. BBC South East report on this story - film on Cllr Constantine's website here In recent weeks I have been dealing with a Newington family who desperately need support in the care of their two severely disabled children. The house that they live in is not suitable for the family. An alternative that they were offered by Thanet District Council (TDC) last November was deemed unsuitable by their occupational therapist and by other experts, i.e. the parents. Another house that they did want and that would have been ideal was given to a different family who had greater needs. My attempts at some sort of resolution have been met with cold bureaucracy. I fully appreciate we have a chronic shortage of housing,...

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Karen Constantine reports on visiting Monkton Nature Reserve

It was a delight this Sunday to be invited to Monkton Nature Reserve for the official reopening of their Frenken Room. After eighteen months of refurbishment by Reserve volunteers, the room, which is part of the Field Study Centre, is once again showing off its eclectic mix of artefacts. Saving Thanet residents a trip up to London, this local gem easily rivals The Natural History Museum. There are pieces from wooly mammoths, elephant birds and I even saw a duck billed platypus.

Away from the cabinets, we got to explore the various trails that criss-cross this former chalk quarry. In the centre is an observatory where The Monkton Stargazers meet once a month. There was also a teepee full of birds of prey staffed by a volunteer from Thanet Countryside Trust.

Monkton Nature Reserve is a not-for-profit charitable trust set up for the people of Thanet. One of their goals this year is to encourage more local people to make use of the Reserve and support the Trust in its conservation work. If you have kids who love running through the woods, pond dipping or learning about pre-historic creatures, this is where to come. If you just want to wander quietly through some beautiful flora and fauna in a protected chalk based habitat, this is for you too.

Thank you to the volunteers for inviting me. I will be back soon with my grandson.

Where to find Monkton Nature Reserve

Monkton Nature Reserve is on the A253 Canterbury Road close to the A299 Thanet Way.
Monkton Nature Reserve
Canterbury Road
Monkton, Ramsgate
Kent, CT12 4LH

Open Day at Monkton Nature Reserve

Karen Constantine reports on visiting Monkton Nature Reserve It was a delight this Sunday to be invited to Monkton Nature Reserve for the official reopening of their Frenken Room. After eighteen months of refurbishment by Reserve volunteers, the room, which is part of the Field Study Centre, is once again showing off its eclectic mix of artefacts. Saving Thanet residents a trip up to London, this local gem easily rivals The Natural History Museum. There are pieces from wooly mammoths, elephant birds and I even saw a duck billed platypus. Away from the cabinets, we got to explore the various trails that criss-cross this former chalk quarry. In the centre is an observatory where The Monkton Stargazers meet once a month. There was also a teepee full of birds of prey staffed by a volunteer from Thanet Countryside Trust. Monkton Nature Reserve is a not-for-profit charitable trust set up for the people of Thanet. One of their goals this year is to encourage more local people to make use of the Reserve and support the Trust in its conservation work. If you have kids who love running through the woods, pond dipping or learning about pre-historic creatures, this is where to come. If you just want to wander quietly through some beautiful flora and fauna in a protected chalk based habitat, this is for you too. Thank you to the volunteers for inviting me. I will be back soon with my grandson. Where to find Monkton Nature Reserve Monkton Nature Reserve is on the A253 Canterbury Road close to the A299 Thanet Way.Monkton Nature ReserveCanterbury RoadMonkton, RamsgateKent, CT12 4LH

Help Sara take another Sandwich Town Council seat for Labour

The local Labour Party are delighted with the huge majority and swing to Labour achieved by Ian Venables in Margate.  So many local members came together to help with that campaign and contributed significantly to this success.

We've now got an opportunity to do the same in the Sandwich North by-election on 7th September.  Our candidate last time, Sara Trillo, was beaten, in this traditionally safe Conservative ward, by only 40 votes.  There is everything to play for here and with Sara standing again, this by-election can be won.

There are election addresses to be delivered, letters to be posted, stalls to be staffed in the town centre and plenty of back office work as well as canvassing on the doorstep.  Whether you've been involved in a campaign before or not, there is training and a very warm welcome to any and all who want to secure this seat for Sara and for Labour.

Street stalls in Sandwich will be held on Thursday 24, Saturday 26, Thursday 31 and Saturday 2 September - all between 10am and 12 noon - all are welcome to join us.
Another Labour member of Sandwich Town Council is another strong voice for fairness, equity and Labour politics at local level.  
If you are able to help, please contact David Wood (email dmawood@icloud.com) or Jeanette Timmins (email jeanette@timmins.eu)

We hope to see you in Sandwich soon!

A win for Labour and another now possible - how you can help!

Help Sara take another Sandwich Town Council seat for Labour The local Labour Party are delighted with the huge majority and swing to Labour achieved by Ian Venables in Margate.  So many local members came together to help with that campaign and contributed significantly to this success. We've now got an opportunity to do the same in the Sandwich North by-election on 7th September.  Our candidate last time, Sara Trillo, was beaten, in this traditionally safe Conservative ward, by only 40 votes.  There is everything to play for here and with Sara standing again, this by-election can be won. There are election addresses to be delivered, letters to be posted, stalls to be staffed in the town centre and plenty of back office work as well as canvassing on the doorstep.  Whether you've been involved in a campaign before or not, there is training and a very warm welcome to any and all who want to secure this seat for Sara and for Labour. Street stalls in Sandwich will be held on Thursday 24, Saturday 26, Thursday 31 and Saturday 2 September - all between 10am and 12 noon - all are welcome to join us. Another Labour member of Sandwich Town Council is another strong voice for fairness, equity and Labour politics at local level.   If you are able to help, please contact David Wood (email dmawood@icloud.com) or Jeanette Timmins (email jeanette@timmins.eu) We hope to see you in Sandwich soon!

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