News from British and Canadian Conservatives

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Cheriton Drum n Base

Tonight the meeting of Cheriton Drum n Base confirmed the constitution and Youth Protection Policy agreed at the last meeting. We have agreed to open a bank account, and will be applying for funding in the first instance from the National Lottery Awards for All programme. We will also contact the Noise Abatement Officer at Shepway District Council to see whether they have any confiscated equipment which we may be able to use.

Monday, May 30, 2005

European Constitution

For once the French did something right. For years they've been burning our sheep and blockading out ports, but now they've turned their fire on something much more sinister: The EU.

The rejection of the EU Constitution is most certainly welcome. I am opposed in principle to written constitutions, as they take power away from our elected representatives to unelected judges. We already spend far too much on legal proceedings, so to allow the courts the final say over our daily lives would be horrendous. Moreover, the EU Constitution proposes yet more Human Rights, for the courts to uphold, without any mention of Human Responsibilities.

The EU Constitution is also poorly drafted. It is deliberately confusing and ambiguous, to prevent the man in the street from understanding it (and hopefully scaring him off questioning it). This also represents a further transfer of power to the courts, as judges decide what this nonsense actually means.

In addition, the EU Constitution goes far beyond a basic framework for the operation of the EU. It is an attempt to medal with every part of out day to day lives, which must be stopped.

It is still imperative that we hold a referendum on the treaty in the UK. The French have sent a signal to the European leaders that the constitution is too English. We need to make sure that any renegotiation does not simply turn into an excuse to bash our culture and way of life. We need to stand up and say that we object to the constitution as well, because it is too French.

Furthermore, such a rejection from the 2 ends of the spectrum will send a clear signal to the EU leadership - there cannot be a United States of Europe or a European Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, because the different peoples of Europe simply don't agree how it should be run.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Dover Road

The gas board has finally finished the roadworks which have cause disruption at the junction of Dover Road and Canterbury Road, by the skew arches. However, the road now undulates, where before it was in good condition. It would seem that heave equipment must have been kept just to the north of the Canterbury Road junction, where there is a large crater.

I will be on to the local highways unit as soon as their offices reopen after the Bank Holiday, as it clearly isn't acceptable for a private company to make a mess and expect taxpayers to pick up the bill for sorting it out.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Creative Quarter

Last night the Creative Foundation held its AGM, after which a selection of Creative Quarter buildings were open to view, with art exhibitions, a buffet and some information about the work of the Foundation both last year and in the year ahead. Of particular note was the Wedge, which is now almost completely refurbished. This formerly derelict building is now a shining beacon at the top of Tontine Street, which can only enhance the whole area. Also on view was the new florists in the Old High Street, with a magnificent window display.

The exhibition of the Foundation's work included the work on renovating the old glassworks as an art campus, and proposals to redevelop the old Tontine Street Post Office as further creative workspace, including a large expanse of glass which is set to transform the front of the building.

If the Wedge is anything to go by, the future is most certainly looking up for this run-down part of town, thanks to Roger De Haan's vision (and wallet), and the inspiration of the growing local artisan community.

Annual Meeting

Folkestone's second annual meeting, held last night on the Bayle, passed without hitch. A number of District and County Councillors also attended to report on their activities, including the newly elected Conservative County Councillor for Folkestone North East, Dick Pascoe.

The Town Centre Manager also reported on his organisations work in promoting and beautifying the town. He stressed that he is keen to work with the Town Council in order that we may better serve the needs of the town.

One member of the public also spoke, on behalf of the New Folkestone Society. He raised some important issues about the condition and maintenance of local trees, which the Town Clerk and SDC Cabinet member Cllr Hugh Barker pledged to raise with Cllr Mrs Newlands, SDC Cabinet member for the Environment.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Folkestone Town Council's new website

Folkestone Town Council finally has a website! It is not yet fully operational, but does include details of forthcoming meetings, as well as news and upcoming events. It is available at www.folkestonetc.kentparishes.gov.uk. A shorter web address will be available to link to the site once it is officially launched.

Annual Meeting

Meeting: Annual Assembly of the Town Meeting for the
Parish and Town of Folkestone

Date: 26 May 2005
Time: 7.00pm
Place: Woodward Hall, The Bayle, Folkestone

To: All Town Councillors, County and District Councillors, Kent Police and Town Centre Manager

YOU ARE HEREBY SUMMONED to attend the Folkestone Town Meeting on the date and at the time and place shown above to transact the business shown on the agenda below. The meeting will be open to the press and public.


L R Avory
Town Clerk

Prayers

1 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
To receive any declarations of either personal or prejudicial interest that Members may wish to make.

3 OPENING OF PROCEEDINGS BY THE TOWN MAYOR

4 MINUTES
Minutes of the Town Meeting 29 July 2004 previously agreed and adopted (attached). To receive the minutes of the meeting of the Folkestone Town Council held on 7th April 2005 and 27th April 2005 and to authorise the Town Mayor to sign them as a correct record.

5 TOWN MAYOR’S REPORT 2004/05


6 STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS 2004/05
The Town Council has approved the Statement of Accounts and Annual Return for 2004/05 which has been submitted to the Audit Commission (attached).

7 REPORTS BY COUNTY COUNCILLORS
County Councillors representing Folkestone will provide an update of matters and issues affecting the Town.

8 REPORTS BY DISTRICT COUNCILLORS
District Councillors (Folkestone wards) will provide an update of matters and issues affecting the Town.

9 REPORTS BY KENT POLICE AND THE TOWN CENTRE MANAGER
Kent Police and the Town Centre Manager will provide an update of matters and issues affecting the Town.

10 OPEN FORUM
To provide an opportunity for the Towns people to raise issues with their elected representatives.

DATE OF NEXT TOWN MEETING
20 April 2006 (Provisional)

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Mayor Making 2005

The Mayor Making and AGM of Folkestone Town Council held on Friday 20th May, 2005 resulted in the election of Cllr George Bunting as the first Conservative Mayor of Folkestone since 1985. His deputy will be Cllr Mrs Janet Andrews (People First). Both were elected unopposed.

The retiring mayor Cllr Mrs Ann Berry was presented with a vase engraved with the Folkestone Crest and an iscription commemotating her Mayoralty, which I presented along with Cllr Lynne Smith, following brief speeches.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Kent County Council

A stunning night for Folkestone and Hythe Conservatives saw all 6 County Counil seats in the constituency return Conservatives for the first time. Folkestone North East and Folkestone West were both Conservative gains, while majorities were increased by the Conservative incumbents in Folkestone South, Hythe and Romney Marsh and Susan Carey successfully defended the Elham Valley seat vacated by the retiring Conservative John Palmer.

The result in Folkestone West was particularly fitting as it saw the Conservative Leader of Shepway Counil oust the former Lib Dem Leader of the same authority after 14 years in the seat. Congratulations to Robert Bliss, whose election the Morehall team fought so hard to achieve.

Election Result

Last night's election saw the return of Michael Howard as our MP once again, this time with a massive 12,000 vote majority over the Lib Dem challenger to the seat. The fantastic result was the culmination of much work by Folkestone and Hythe Conservatives' activists. I thoroughly enjoyed the action, having spent much of my time in the thick of it as Chairman of the crucial Morehall Ward and Vice Chairman of the very active Young Conservatives. Thanks goes to all of those who helped to bring about this result!