Thursday, November 28, 2013

Dover Cycling forum safer route for A258

Following discussions at the recent Dover Forum, we have mapped out the alternative safer route discussed, avoiding the A258. This would be a signed and promoted route.

It would run via quiet country lanes, starts at Route 16 at Guston, going via East Langdon and Martin (near Martin Mill station) past Ringwould (where the accident occurred) to Walmer, joining the existing off-road path at Telegraph Rd near Walmer station.

It is suggested that signs at key points along the A258 itself attempt to direct any cyclists on the main road towards the safer alternative.

See it on Google Maps at

Any comments and suggestions for improvement would be very welcome - there is a "comments" form on the web page.

The Dover Forum will approach County members along the route for support, access to Highways engineers and funding - also the Squires family to see whether they would wish to be associated with the proposal.

best wishes,

Ian Killbery
Chair, Dover District Cycle Forum
representing everyone interested in cycling in Dover District
affiliated to SPOKES East Kent Cycle Campaign

Victoria's Green Matters - 28th Nov 2013

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that the world stands within 30 years of using up its ‘carbon budget’ i.e. the amount of carbon dioxide it can emit without causing a dangerous 2⁰C rise in temperature and problematic climate change.

A recent study has shown that just 90 large companies around the world are responsible for two thirds of the green house gas emissions that are causing climate change. In fact, 30% of emissions are caused by just the top twenty companies. Many of these companies are sitting on significant reserves of fossil fuels and they know that the climate cannot withstand the burning of these reserves. Other large emitters are cement makers. These companies have also funded the climate change denial movement.

‘Our greenest government ever’ has come in for considerable criticism this week after various reports about the removal of some green policies. The most publicity has been given to the green levies that make up our energy bills – they are only actually 9% of bills – and go towards fighting rising prices in the future.

It is difficult to accept that any government could be ‘green’ when its Environment Secretary is a climate change denier but that does not mean that the green economy isn’t doing well, employing a million people and it has increased by 5% while other industries have stagnated.

Building a strong economy and carrying out policies that protect the planet should be one and the same thing.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dungeness under threat ... again

Hello friend of Dungeness!

Thank you for your previous objections and comments regarding the proposal to excavate shingle from the Dungeness nature reserve (made via the website). Your involvement in our campaign has helped keep the application at bay thus far (thank you); however, the applicants continue to pursue their quarry and recently submitted additional information to Kent County Council regarding their plans [1]. This information once again reveals that the applicants haven’t changed their plans at all. More alarmingly, the applicants also conceded at a recent public meeting that the twelve-year term of their planning application could be insufficient, and they may want to extend the operational life of the quarry beyond this! [2]
Dungeness is the world’s largest shingle structure and is the most diverse and extensive stable vegetated shingle in Europe. Excavating shingle from Dungeness would damage this internationally important and environmentally diverse habitat for generations. Both Lydd Town Council and New Romney Town Council have twice opposed the application for a quarry at Dungeness due to the fact that it is flawed—and, with some 70 lorry movements expected across the Dungeness nature reserve each day when the quarry is operational, our local MP (Mr Damian Collins) has stated that we are “right to be concerned about the number of proposed vehicular movements”.

We only have a couple of days to voice our concerns with the new information and reconfirm our objections to the quarry—and it would help enormously if you could send Kent County Council a message too. You can do so via our website (or email Kent County Council: Feel free to use the email we’ve drafted to Kent County Council below, regarding the latest information from the applicants.
Thanks again for your help protecting the Dungeness Nature Reserve from the proposed quarry. Please share this email with anybody you think may be interested (or alert them via our website).

[1] In case you missed it, the new information is available to view online – just search for the application number “KCC/SH/0381/2011” on Kent County Council’s website at and click on the “Documents” tab. The new information has a filing date of November 2013.
[2] From the Meeting of the Planning and Environment Committee held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, New Romney on Wednesday, 25 September. Minutes available online at

Draft response to Kent County Council (use as you please)
I write to oppose planning application KCC/SH/0381/2011, which seeks permission to excavate shingle from Dungeness in Kent, and to object to the recent submission made by the applicants (as published on the Authority’s website with a filing date of 5 November 2013).
The applicants’ state in their recent submission that their proposal will have only “Minor/negligible” effects and result in a “Low/negligible” magnitude of change on the Dungeness nature reserve. If the proposal is allowed to proceed, large-scale shingle extraction operations will clearly be heard and visible from across the nature reserve and the 70 lorry movements proposed per day will dangerously crowd the narrow road that winds through it. The quarry will obviously have more significant effects and greater impacts than the applicants’ suggest on this fragile Natura 2000 site, which is protected by the Habitats Regulations and the Authority’s own planning policies.
Dungeness is internationally important for its physiography, flora and fauna. Whether standing on its vast stone beaches surrounded by intense light and bright blue skies, or walking in the low coastal mist that makes the sky and the stones appear completely grey, the experience is always exhilarating and breath-taking. Permitting a quarry in this special environment—which is heavily protected by national and international nature conservation designations—would rob Kent of one of the jewels in its crown and set an extremely worrying precedent for other special and supposedly protected areas in Britain.
It is clear from both the application and the applicants’ remarks at a recent public meeting that the proposal to excavate shingle in Dungeness is poorly considered and inappropriate. (The applicants even acknowledged at a Meeting of the Planning and Environment Committee held in New Romney on Wednesday, 25 September, that the twelve-year term of their planning application could be insufficient, and they may want to extend the operational life of the quarry in the Dungeness Nature Reserve beyond this.) The proposed quarry would change the unique character of Dungeness for generations to come and won't provide local communities with the effective long-term flood protection they need.
I ask you to reject the application and to push the applicants to pursue a more effective and sustainable alternative that does not involve Dungeness.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Benefit evening raises £150 for Deal Station Garden

Good benefit evening for the Deal Station Garden last night at St Andrews raised £150 for the garden expansion.

Some great music and the raffle was a hoot - a recyled prize/ second use one. Some interesting items on that table ... its good how the right items seem to end up with right people.

A big thank you to our performers Sunshine Ukes, Lizzie and Sue, Mac & Clive, Deal Hoodeners and No Worries. Special thanks go to Adrian for the MCing and money raising and Sue for running the cake aspects of the evening.

Thanks also to everyone who donated raffle and cakes...

Victoria's Green Matters - 21st Nov 2013

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

The way that we will produce our energy in the future is a huge subject. We all know that we cannot continue to burn fossil fuels at the rate that we do now without causing catastrophic climate change around the world.

There are many ways to create energy but because burning fossil fuels is easy, we have not invested enough time and money into the research and development of less damaging techniques. Our basic way to produce electricity is to use water or steam to turn a turbine. Even nuclear energy is used to heat water to create steam to turn a turbine. We have recently heard reports about the new nuclear power station due to be built at Hinkley Point where ‘our greenest government ever’ has enlisted Chinese money and French expertise to produce the plant. Nuclear is carbon free but this outdated design will produce dangerous waste for years – no mention was made of this huge disadvantage.

In contrast, our government is to be asked to join with Iceland and benefit from their abundant energy from natural underground geysers and hydropower from glacial melt water conducted by an undersea cable. No carbon emissions here and it is highly reliable.

Our ‘first world’ society is extremely wasteful where energy is concerned and we should be aiming to build houses to a standard where it only costs £20 per year to keep warm (yes, really!) and this is only a drop in the ocean where energy conservation is concerned.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Reminder: Deal With It 'Chasing Ice' Film @Astor Sunday 17th Nov

Just a reminder to all our blog followers that 'Chasing Ice' Film Benefit for Greenpeace's 'Save the Arctic' Campaign is tomorrow Sunday 17th Nov - Film starts 7:30pm, Doors open 7pm £5 followed by a short talk from Tim Valentine from Canterbury Greenpeace.

Chasing Ice is a documentary byJeff Orlowski on the work of acclaimed photographer James Balog in the 'Extreme Ice Survey'. James used Time lapse camera to capture what is happening to our Glaciers and turn the planet's climate.

Deal With It have decided that all proceeds of this event will go to our colleagues in Greenpeace who are leading the fight to save the arctic from further Oil & Gas development and in support of the  30 GP  activists detained by the Russian Government.

For more details of the Greenpeace campaign to free the 30 see here

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Victoria's Green Matters - 14th November 2013

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

 ‘Keep Warm and Save Money’ seems like a pretty good idea, especially since we have had some quite cold days this week. As the year progresses towards Christmas, lots of us will dread the really cold weather and the looming cost of heating our homes.

There are lots of things we can all do to keep ourselves warm and there are lots of schemes out there to help us do just that; there are many sources of information such as the Energy Saving Trust and the CAB that can point you in the right direction. Simple changes can mean great savings. Loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, draught proofing, energy efficient glazing and heating controls are the obvious ones.

Under the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) the big six energy companies have to offer free installation of loft and cavity wall insulation and boilers to help to some households. This depends on where you live, whether your property is difficult to insulate or whether you receive benefits. Many local councils and other authorities also make funds available to help with home insulation.

There are also even simpler measures that can make a big difference in creating a cosy home. Thick curtains, draught proofing and such simple things as shutting the doors to unused rooms to ‘keep in the warmth’!

Older properties are much harder to keep warm because they lack the insulation of new homes but this can be remedied by retrofitting exterior insulation; better health and better lives result.

Victoria Nicholls.  Deal With It - Transition Deal.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Community Supported Agriculture Conference ....

Join us for the 2013 community supported agriculture (CSA) national conference...
View this email in your browser

Community Supported Agriculture National Conference and Network Launch
Tuesday 3 December 2013 9.30am - 5.30pm

The Subscription Rooms, George Street, Stroud, GL5 1AE
Evening social at Stroud Brewery


Farm walk - Wednesday 4 December 2013 9.30am - 2.00pm

Join us for the 2013 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) National Conference, where we will bring together CSA enterprises and practitioners from across the UK.

We will celebrate the growth of CSA over the past few years and the launch of the new CSA Network UK. The main day will provide interactive learning opportunities and the chance to shape new regional support networks.

We will share innovative grassroots solutions that have been developed by projects in the UK and further afield.

There will be workshops on governance, market collaboration, managing volunteers and setting up a new CSA project.

In the evening we will meet up for organic sourdough pizza at the award-winning Stroud Brewery.

After Tuesday's main conference on Wednesday morning we will head to Stroud Community Agriculture for a farm walk and lunch.

Book your tickets now
Conference - £12 plus VAT
Evening - £7.50 plus VAT
Farm walk and lunch - £6.50 plus VAT

For more information and to book your tickets:

To find out more or if you would like to book a trade stand:
Rachel Harries
0117 987 4601

Deal & Sandwich HS1 Funding Battle won!

From our colleagues at Trains4Deal:
Thank you for your support - continued pressure from rail users in Deal and Sandwich has had its first result! The existing HS services will now run after March next year, for at least a 6 month period. 

Talks continue on what will be in the timetables after October 2014. We will continue to press for this to include all-day and weekend HS, as promised.

"The Department for Transport (DfT) has reached an agreement with Southeastern to continue providing a key high speed route between Sandwich and Deal as part of a six-month extension to the franchise.

The train operator currently runs eight services each week day from London St Pancras International using parts of the High Speed One (HS1) network.

Rail Minister Stephen Hammond said:
“This is good news for passengers and local businesses along the route and provides certainty in the short term. Over the coming months my officials will be looking at developing plans for the new direct award franchise and I am keen to see this vital route continue.

“We recognise the importance of strong transport links to communities and the benefits it delivers to economic growth locally. This is why we are investing record amounts into our rail network, improving services for passengers and getting the best deal for taxpayers.”

Passenger groups had raised concerns over the continued running of the service while the Department negotiated the extension to the existing franchise with Southeastern. The Rail Minister Stephen Hammond agreed that this important route should continue.

The current Southeastern franchise will end in October 2014, after which a direct award will be put in place to continue services until the new franchise starts in June 2018. This is currently being developed by the Department’s franchising team.

Charles Horton, Managing Director of Southeastern, said:
“Our high speed services continue to achieve some of the highest customer satisfaction rates in the country. We’re pleased to be able to continue to provide the service to Sandwich and Deal. We know our passengers value this service and the faster journey times to and from London.”

The service timetable can be viewed at:

See full campaign updates at
Tom Rowland / Ian Killbery
Join the rail-users' group for the Deal area
Campaigning for High Speed trains to Deal - NOW!
Join the trains4deal group on Facebook

Monday, November 11, 2013

SEAS Winter Open Art Studios

South East Artists Winter Open Art Studios 2013 Deal and surrounding area. 

 Weekends 11am-5pm 23/24th November and 30th/1st December.

 Collect your ART TRAIL BROCHURE from: LANDMARK CENTRE, ASTOR THEATRE, JOANNE HARMER GALLERY, or download a copy here: Winter Open Studios 2013 guide

Including many artists inspired by our environment here in Deal and Planet 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fracking: Coastal Oil&Gas retreats from Kent ... for Now

from East Kent Against Fracking:
Friday, November 08 2013

Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd has abandoned plans to drill for coal bed methane gas in 3 east Kent villages.

The news was broken to the campaign group East Kent Against Fracking yesterday in an e-mail from Sharon Thompson, Head of Planning Applications at Kent County Council (KCC) explaining that the company had withdrawn its planning applications to drill exploratory boreholes at Shepherdswell, Tilmanstone and Guston after recent requests were made to provide further information about issues raised during the planning process.

Julie Wassmer, vice chair of East Kent Against Fracking, said: "On October 14th the Environment Agency wrote letters to KCC regarding each of the sites, stating that Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd had not provided sufficient information with their applications and the Environment Agency was therefore 'unable to advise whether or not the environment (in particular groundwater quality) can be protected from this development.' The agency further recommended that planning permission should not be granted on the basis of the information provided and that if the new information was not forthcoming, then the Environment Agency 'would be minded to object to the application.'" Ms Wassmer claims "The company's withdrawal of its applications clearly demonstrates that it was unable to satisfy the demands for information about how Kent water could be protected from contamination by drilling in this area. This is a victory in the sense that yesterday we had three applications for drilling in East Kent and today we have none."

All four parish councils relating to the 3 sites opposed the applications. The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (Kent) opposed the applications. Further campaign groups sprang up in the villages to oppose the applications (Keep Shepherdswell Well and Eythorne in the Side of the Drilling etc) and Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke also spoke out against the applications on site specific concerns relating to the threat to the local Chalk aquifer.

Rosemary Rechter, chair of EKAF said, "We are delighted to have won the first round, and want to thank all the people who have worked so hard to understand the true facts about this industry, and to share those facts. This industry will not provide jobs and cheap energy but will threaten our water and industrialise our countryside so the battle will go on."

KCC confirms that no further action will be taken on the planning applications. Any new applications will be subject to the necessary consultations and publicity.