News from British and Canadian Conservatives

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Town Sunday & Blessing of the Fisheries

This morning Town Sunday was held at SS Mary & Eanswythe's church, at which Cllr George Bunting was confirmed as Town Mayor for the coming year at the Town Cross in the churchyard, as has been the tradition since 1313. The excellent Sermon was delivered by Prof Ken Pickering, of the United Reformed Church of which the Mayor is a member.

After a roast lunch at La Vue, there was a further procession and open air service for the Blessing of the Fisheries. Folkestone's fleet, although musch depleted as a result of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy, remains the largest on the South Coast and is an important part of town life, as it has been for millennia.

Throughout the event, councillors were robed. The events were attended by numerous dignitaries, including local MP Michael Howard, County and District Councillors and, the Speaker of the Cinque Ports (currently the Mayor of Winchelsea) and visiting Mayors from various Cinque Ports towns including New Romney, Margate, Ramsgate, Deal and Broadstairs and St Peters.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Folkestone Harbour By-Election result

The residents of Folkestone Harbour have elected Mrs Emily Sanger (Lib Dem) to represent them following the resignation due to ill health of Cllr Enid Miles (Conservative). The election was remarkable only for its particularly low turnout, which was expected coming so soon after the General Election.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Just to prove that I really am Conservative!

Who should I vote for?

Your expected outcome:


Your actual outcome:

Labour -37

Conservative 47
Liberal Democrat -29


Green 5

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Letter to the Times

Today I had my first letter to the Times published. In it I argued that the UK should press ahead with the referendum on the EU Constitution. The French reputedly rejected it as too Anglo-Saxon, so we need to demonstrate that we don't find it Anglo-Saxon enough before our esteemed leaders start negotiations on the future direction for Europe. Also, it is inappropriate for our policy to be dictated by foreigners - our government should let us have a say on out future.

In my view, the EU should return to the idea of working as a free trade area, and should work with the WTO to achieve completely free and fair global free trade. Political and Monetary Union should be quietly forgotten by the politician who supported them in a vain attempt to write their names in the history books.

Bouverie Place Shopping Centre

Trent Developments report that the Bouverie Place Shopping Centre is now mosly let, with work due to commence this summer. This represents yet another delay to a project first proposed in 1962. However, the commercial interest makes the development sound hopeful.

Let's hope it's been worth the wait!

Folkestone Seafront

This evening new proposals for the redevelopment of the former Rotunda Amusement Park on Folkestone Seafront were presented to Folkestone Town Councillors by Trent Developments and Aukett. These mark a massive improvement on the previous scheme. The buildings will be smaller, similar in height to Marine Crescent, and less dense with clear views and passageways from the road to the sea. There will be 600 flats with underground car parking. The buildings will still be of similar design to those initially proposed, but I believe that the less dense format makes the design much more attractive. There will also be a glass fronted restaurant opposite Marine Crescent.

The view from the Leas will be enhanced by the creation of roof-top terraces for the penthouses. There will also be a leisure element to the proposal, including a 150 room 4 star hotel, 5 screen multiplex and an improved purpose-built nightclub. The leisure section will ajoin the harbour redevelopment site, which is also set to have a leisure element, which may include a marina and a casino, along with flats, cafes, bars and possibly a restoration of the ferry service.

Trent will also build a hardwood boardwalk along the seafront, which will be maintained out of the ground rent on the flats, and will extend the beach between the flats and up to the road. Also, money will be provided with a pedestrian link from the cliff top to the new development. This could be by way of refurbishing and funding the existing lift, or by providing a new lift. The latter is supported by the Folkestone Estate, but would probably lead to the closure of the 1885 lift.

Negotiations are currently taking place between Shepway and the Folkestone Estate for a renewal of the lease, with rumours suggesting that Viscount Folkestone is looking for a way to abandon the water-balanced lift, which I would strongly oppose.