Thursday, December 17, 2009

Will Fidel attend Environment Exhibition?

Forget the will he/won't he rumours about Barack Obama attending The Copenhagen Climate Summit. The question that is now on everyone's lips is 'Will Fidel come to the 'Deal With It' Library Exhibition?'.

The odds are on that Fidel (Deal Library's only feline member) will not miss this exciting event, given he is a highly intelligent cat, no doubt concerned that mankind seem intent on ruining the planet not only for themselves, but for every other species too.

The exhibtion at Deal Libray starts on Saturday 19th December and runs throughout the Christmas period. Please come down and have a look at our displays and information, including what 'Deal With It' have achieved this year, activities by other local organisations as well as pointers on how you too could make 2010 a greener year.

Cat lovers who haven't read Fidel's story click here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas at the Calyx

On Friday 18th December The Bay Trust and Village Energy Group welcomes you to 'Christmas At The Calyx'from 4 til 6pm. Come along for mulled wine, mince pies and a few hearty carols.There will be lots of festive cheer with story telling and live music for children.

At 5pm a brief presentation will illustrate the progress made in St. Margaret's over the past 18 months in reducing carbon footprints, saving money on energy bills and other efforts that have contributed to a more sustainable future for the village. A positive local response to the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pick up here - drop off there - cheap cycle hire in France's pioneering eco-town of La Rochelle.

Here's how to sign our on-line petition on local transport in Deal and East Kent. Wouldn't it be great if it were easier to bike-train-bike to work as in La Rochelle!! On-line petition for you to sign here

Thursday, November 12, 2009

On Saturday 5 December 2009, ahead of the crucial UN climate summit in Copenhagen, tens of thousands of people from all walks of life will flow through the streets of London to demonstrate their support for a safe climate future for all.

Part of a global series of public actions, The Wave will call on world leaders to take urgent action to secure a fair international deal to stop global warming exceeding the danger threshold of 2 degrees C.

The Wave, organised by the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, will show mass support by people from all backgrounds for a better, low carbon future for the UK and the world.

We want the UK Government to show leadership at Copenhagen. We want them to Protect the Poorest, Act Fair & Fast, and to Quit Dirty Coal now, to inspire the deal the world needs..

Join The Wave - the UK’s biggest ever demonstration in support of action on climate change. For more info go to: There is also a bus going from Canterbury. Please email us for further details.

The Stupid Show

With just 25 days left till the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, which many say is our last chance to get the treaty which could bring global emissions down fast enough to avoid triggering runaway climate change, the makers of the environmental film 'The Age of Stupid' now believe it is urgent to channel their energy into maximising our collective chance of success at Copenhagen.

Hence, the Stupid Show - a 20 min daily web TV show, produced by AoS team, live from the Copenhagen climate summit. Hosted by Mark Lynas, climate change author and Franny Armstrong, AoS director - their mission is to make the talks comprehensible to ordinary mortals.

But the team need your donations to help finance the show. For more information go to:

Power to the People

On Friday 30th October Deal With It and the Greenerway Cluster were very pleased to welcome the Rt.Hon. Michael Meacher, the distinguished Labour MP, to a crowded meeting in St.George’s Church. Mr Meacher who has served 29 years on the front benches and who has been called the “greenest ever Minister for the Environment” spoke on renewable energy.

Never mincing his words and refreshingly truthful for a politician, he explained where we are now, which is just about bottom of the European league, only producing 1% of our energy from renewable sources compared with 18% in Germany and 47% in Finland. He went on to describe where we could be, and what the obstacles were to achieving a more acceptable target. He felt this was a depressing and shameful position brought about by vested interests and lack of Government will to change. However Mr Meacher raised our spirits by pointing out that the technology to meet our needs with clean energy already exists and that we are favoured by both our natural island geography and our natural inventiveness.

So what is standing in our way? A failure at all levels to address the problems we face and to wake up to the fact that we are heading for catastrophe and must change course. He continued by outlining the huge economic advantages of making that change, both at the personal and national level. He stressed that change in both the way we think, and the way we live was essential. He also praised Deal With It, with it's “brilliant name”, for what they were doing at the local level and for the warm atmosphere of community.

Alistair Gould of the Pines Calyx, long-term local activist on issues of Sustainability spoke next on “Power from the People - How generating clean energy from within our own communities can be practical and affordable”. He explained how this can be achieved and told us of the progress they are making at St.Margaret’s Bay, stating that they are within 2 or 3 years of achieving their goal of making the community energy independent. The meeting ended with questions from the audience and a sense of being inspired to redouble our efforts.

Monday, October 26, 2009

'Celebrate Your Deal'

A beautiful autumn day welcomed hundreds of visitors to the Landmark Centre yesterday to celebrate all that Deal has to offer. Our first 'Celebrate Your Deal' event, was classified an unprecedented success by both stall holders and visitors who were given the opportunity to buy from and network with, an amazing range of local businesses, artists, community groups and craftspeople. The two large halls in the Landmark centre hosting stalls were packed with people almost from the time the doors opened and the atmosphere was one of fun with a huge helping of community spirit thrown in.

Children were entertained with pumpkin design competitions by Rippledown Environmental Centre, creative writing workshops from Gary Studley of Deal Writers and face painting and portrait sketching by local artist Penny Bearman. The theme for food was definitely “local” with Kent Produce showcasing their locally sourced fruit and veg, Bistro Oregano putting on a delicious spread of home made goodies and Petham Vale promoting local honey and cider. Delicious locally made chocolates were also available from Kieran Renihan of Chocolution while Vicky Feldman spoke about the clear benefits of keeping whole grain in your diet- benefits that were ably supported by her wonderful range of whole grain bakery items.

The community was well represented with amongst others, stalls from North Deal Community Partnership, the Astor Theatre Group, Deal United Nations Association and The Deal and Walmer Lions. People could learn the arts of spinning, fabric making, pottery and stained glass and there was entertainment inside and out by the Hoodeners, Bill Howarth and Mac Mckean and Driftwood.

Helen Reeve-Stoffer who co-ordinated the event said “The aim of the day was to demonstrate that you don’t have to go far to find everything you need and that supporting your local community is hugely important to long term sustainability”. “Everyone seemed to have a smile on their face which to me indicates that the day was a success.”

Click on the link below to see photos of the event. To see them in slideshow format click the screen icon in the top right after clicking on this link:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Walmer Picnic On The Green

‘Deal With It’ joined lots of other community groups for the annual ‘Community Picnic on Walmer Green’ and enjoyed a beautiful sunny day on Saturday 8 August.

As this was a free event, it was a great opportunity for community groups to advertise themselves and to recruit new members. Vicki, with help from husband Tony, had put together a board with photos showing all the things that ‘Deal With It’ had done and was joined on the stall by Rosie and Becky. We gave out numerous leaflets and even managed to sell some of our cotton bags! We had a very interesting visit from Luci Ransome from Transition Scotland, in the area visiting family, who will come and talk to us when she visits again in September.

Other ‘green groups’ present were Rippledown Environmental Centre and Friends of the Earth and there was plenty of interest from visitors to the stalls.

Many people had come along to the green, in large family groups, bringing picnics with them, attracted by the lovely weather, music from the Kingsdown Band and other attractions. A very good afternoon was had by all.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Request from Ed

Ed says:

In December, world leaders will meet at Copenhagen to decide on a make or break agreement on Climate Change.

But this isn’t about what other politicians and I will be doing there - this is about you.

I'll be pushing for clear action to get a global climate deal that's ambitious, effective and fair. This means ambitious cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, keeping countries to their word and supporting poorer countries in adapting to climate change.

But the efforts of those of us at the summit will be all the more potent with the backing of real voices demanding action.

Please pledge your support for a deal at Copenhagen below

Thank you

Click on the link below to pledge your support

Sunday, July 19, 2009

'Cashback' Pledge for Green Power

Households which contribute electricity to the National Grid are to receive payments under a new government scheme. Communities will be encouraged to generate wind, water and solar power, and be paid for how much they produce. Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said the project would "help create the clean energy of the future".He denied reports the government's energy strategy would cost each UK family £230 a year but admitted there would be "upward pressures" on prices.

He said the "high-carbon route" would mean a greater dependence on imports and exposure to price fluctuations, while the alternative "low carbon future" - which he said was "the right way to go" - would mean "mean some costs to transition".He added: "Individuals and communities can both play their part in the kind of clean energy revolution that we need."

At present, anyone in the UK who feeds electricity into the National Grid can get a reduction on their fuel bills through smart meters.Similar "clean energy cash back" schemes already operate in 19 European countries including Germany.

Critics warn that small-scale production is expensive and projects may require government subsidy.In Germany, whole towns have grouped together to buy wind turbines, build biomass plants and erect solar panels.They are then paid a guaranteed fixed price for every kilowatt hour of energy they produce - a higher sum than for electricity made from fossil fuels in traditional power stations.Three wind turbines can make £15,000 a year for a single village.Since so-called "feed-in tariffs" were introduced in Germany, some 400,000 homes,particularly in the sunnier south of the country, have installed solar panels.But the government has had to subsidise such projects in order to keep them viable.At present, only about 2% of Britain's energy comes from renewable sources, but the government has pledged to increase that to 15% within the next 12 years.

see for original article.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

'Celebrate Your Deal'

The autumn winds of October will herald the hottest event of the DWI calender. It's time to get ready for the first 'Celebrate Your Deal' - a show that will bring together all that's great about Deal. 'Local' and 'Sustainable' are the key themes and the event will raise awareness of what sustainability means and why it's important for happy, thriving communities. The Landmark Centre, Deal's buzzing community space plays host for the day to all sorts of independant businesses, local producers, artists, musicians and community groups. They'll all be there, showing off their wares, demonstrating their skills and getting to know their public even better.
This is a free event that will be a great day out for the whole family. The Landmark is a huge venue and we'll be making full use of it, with all the spaces chock full of things to see, do, buy and try - they'll be free samples in the food hall, fun workshops, a mini-cinema, live music, thought provoking presentations and demonstrations by the experts ...from bee-keeping to bike maintenance to jewellery making.
We've already started the search for stallholders and community groups. If you would like to be part of making a great day happen, get involved and get in touch

Recession Bites

Click on the links below to read and watch very interesting BBC articles on how the recession is affecting the way we shop for food. Do our concerns about the environment, climate change, fairtrade, health and animal welfare go out the window when times are tough?
News article:
TV Programme:

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Supermarkets - "Doing the Right Thing"?

Marks & Spencer has recently launched a national advertising campaign pushing its £200m ethical plan and chiding rivals for giving up on "fashionable" eco-policies due to the recession.

The national press and internet campaign, "Doing the Right Thing" trumpets the key tenets of its £200m five-year ethical trading initiative, called Plan A, a five-year 100-point 'eco' plan" which includes becoming carbon-neutral by 2012."It's the only way to do business," insists the company. "There is no Plan B."

The retailer said that it has achieved 39 of the 100 commitments outlined in the plan and that the £200m cost has been more than offset by savings made through policy changes relating to energy efficiency and waste.

So should we be applauding M&S and other supermarket chains as the new friends of the Earth? The environment is certainly a big seller for them and there is no doubt that these large chains can affect the buying habits of a wider public with their glossy campaigns. But can we trust them and their motives?

The slow change in attitude from the supermarkets over the decades must surely be partly thanks to consumer pressure, environmental campaigning and government legislation. However, it is also the rise of corporate social responsibility that leads many supermarkets to make claims that they are setting higher standards for themselves than any government would dare to impose through regulation. Marks and Spencer, for example, has promised to become carbon neutral and to cease sending waste to landfill by 2012, and to stop stocking any fish, wood or paper which has not been sustainably sourced. Tesco promises to attach a carbon label to all its goods. These standards, moreover, are rather higher than those the British government sets for itself. M&S has pledged to use carbon offsets (paying other people to make cuts on its behalf) only as “a last resort”.The government uses them as a first resort.

So these days, are the campaigners and the politicians redundant? Not a bit of it. The corporate social responsibilities adopted by any company are only voluntary - just because they set high standards or make lofty promises it does not necessarily follow that they will deliver on them. It must fall to the government and the public to hold retailers to account.

Sir Terry Leahy, CEO of Tesco has said that he aims to cut the distance that Tesco’s products travel, especially by air. He will also switch some of Tesco’s road freight (he did not say how much) to rail. But he said nothing about reducing the journeys made by his customers. Shopping accounts for 20% of car journeys in the UK. By closing their out-of-town stores and replacing them with warehouses and deliveries, the supermarket chains could both reduce the energy costs of their buildings and (according to government figures) cut the traffic caused by shopping by 70%.

And what of the dominance of the superstores? The Competition Commission is investigating the “land bank” accumulated by Tesco - a huge portfolio of sites on which the company appears to be sitting until it can obtain planning permission. Many of them are out of town. If Tesco develops them, it will drag even more cars onto the road. Out-of-town shopping is incompatible with sustainability.

One decision the big supermarkets will not make voluntarily is to relax their grip on local economies. It will always be harder for small businesses to work with the supermarket bullies than with the local baker or butcher; Tesco’s economy will continue to favour the big, distant supplier over the man down the road. And what of the sense of community independent small shops help to foster, which encourages people to make their friends close to home? If so-called 'love miles', those essential (emotionally at least) journeys to far-flung friends and family, are the most intractable cause of climate change, we need to start cultivating as much community spirit as we can.

In any case, shouldn't we be trying to consume less? Less is the one thing the superstores cannot sell us.

The big retailers are competing to convince us that they are greener than their rivals, and this should make us glad. But we still need governments, and we still need campaigners.

See the M&S campaign for yourself at

This article is a summary of a collection of articles written by George Monbiot, Fred Pearce and Mark Sweeney.

Monday, June 29, 2009

It's Good To Talk

On Tuesday 23rd June 'Deal With It' members met with Gwyn Prosser MP to lobby him on climate change and environmental issues.

Deal's MP, who has campaigned with Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, met members of the group in Trinity Church, where a wide range of questions were raised around the topics of climate change and resource depletion and the corresponding local and global consequences.

Speaking after the meeting Gwyn said:

"We had a friendly and lively exchange on a whole series of subjects which varied from waste recycling and plastic bags to Heathrow expansion and public transport in Deal. We didn't reach full agreement on all the issues but I've promised to take their message back to Government and I readily agreed to meet with them again.

"I think it's fair to say that we agreed that while the Government had made big strides in some areas to address global warming there was lots more to do and we all looked forward to achieving a global deal at the Copenhagen Summit in December."

Friday, June 19, 2009

What A Makey-Do!

Come to Sandwich Guildhall on Saurday 11th July for a day of craft workshops, hands-on activities and handmade goodies for all ages.

The event is supported by BASH - Bringing Alive Sandwich Heritage, a not-for-profit group of volunteers that include teachers, artists and craftspeople, youth workers and individuals with an interest in history, heritage and culture.The BASH committee works alongside community groups and the STARR regeneration group to deliver projects in the town.

Bring the whole family and shop, create, relax and eat cake in the company of other relaxed crafty types.

If you're one of the first through the doors at 10a.m you'll receive a wonderful goodie bag.

Eat, Drink and Be Merry - It's Festival Time

Kent’s best festival, ‘Lounge On The Farm’ returns for it’s fourth outing on the weekend of 10-12th July 2009. Set in the idyllic surroundings of Merton Farm in Canterbury, ‘Lounge On The Farm’s rustic charms will play host to 160 bands spread across 6 stages, from local heroes to renowned heavy hitters.

The festival is about having fun, good tunes, local food, drinks in the sunshine and above all has something for everyone who appreciates a good musical cocktail and a lot of laughs among friends.

LOTF is a local festival aiming to involve as many local businesses, community groups, artists and producers, in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint and promote local sustainability. A wonderful selection of local foods will be on sale over the weekend, meaning less food miles. The organisers have also got their eye on green travel. Shuttle buses from both of Canterbury's train stations will be provided and there will be secure parking for bicycles.

It's very much a family festival and it's not just about music - there will be a whole field dedicated to theatre, cinema, green issues and kids' stuff. Transition City Canterbury will be represented, as will Canterbury Greenpeace. So come along and bring your best mate, your favourite auntie, all the kids and granddad and get ready for lounging on the farm!

Rainforest Robbery

The island of Madagascar is a veritable Noah's Ark of biodiversity, and this natural wealth is the country's primary treasure and opportunity for future ecologically sustainable development. The Korean company Daewoo Logistics intends to lease half the agricultural land in Madagascar for 99 years, industrially producing maize and palm oil on 1.3 million hectares that are now biodiversity rich rainforests and gardens. There already exists a severe food crisis nationally and local peoples, who are soon to be dispossessed from their land, are protesting, causing a major government crisis.

If you want to tell Daewoo that the people of Madagascar have spoken,and to shove off and leave Madagascar's rainforests, peoples and land alone click on the following link to find out how.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Join the Mili-Band

News from Canterbury Greenpeace

On 4 July, thousands of people from the UK will come together to form a human band, surrounding Kingsnorth power station in Kent, in opposition to building a new coal-fired power plant. This event is called the ‘Mili-Band'.

We’ve made huge progress on the coal campaign in the last few weeks with Climate and Energy Minister Ed Miliband finally ruling out any new coal fired power stations that don’t capture a proportion of their carbon. However, with this new proposal he’s not gone nearly far enough. The next few months will be crucial in persuading Ed to go all the way.

People gathering on 4 July are from a diverse range of communities and organisations, including Oxfam (who are co-ordinating the event), Christian Aid, People and Planet, The Women’s Institute, the World Development Movement, National Union of Students, Woodcraft Folk, RSPB and Greenpeace. This will be a low-arrest risk event!

We can pick up a free shuttle bus to the site from outside Rochester train station in Kent between 9.30 and 11am but we must arrive at Kingsnorth by 11.30am so we would want to arrive at Rochester at about 10.30, as it is a bit of a walk to the power station from Kingsnorth village.

These events are a lot of fun, bring a picnic.

New Urbanism

The Age of Stupid

Deal With It are proud to bring you a screening of The Age of Stupid on Friday 22nd May at the Pines Calyx, St Margaret's Bay, (near Deal) CT15 6DZ.

The film stars Pete Postlethwaite as a man living alone in the devastated world of 2055, looking back at archive footage from 2007 and asking: why didn't we stop climate change when we had the chance? Take a look at the trailer:

The Age of Stupid: final trailer Feb 2009 from Age of Stupid on Vimeo.

The £450,000 budget for the film was raised by 'crowd-funding' - selling shares to individuals and groups - and is therefore completely independent.

The venue, Pines Calyx, is home to one of the UK's most sustainable conference buildings. Tickets are a very modest £3.00 and doors and bar open at 6pm. Bring a picnic to enjoy in the beautiful 6 acre gardens that surround the venue. The film starts at 7pm and will be followed by a question and answer session by guest speakers and a live webcast featuring the director of the film, Franny Armstrong, Nicholas Stern and George Monbiot.
See for more info.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Canterbury Looks Forward to the Future

Get over to Canterbury for 'Preparing for a Sustainable Future’. It's set to be a really inspiring evening with top speakers and lively discussion. Take the opportunity to meet up with the members of Transition City Canterbury.


Caroline Lucas MEP and leader of the Green Party

Ben Stewart of Greenpeace on Kingsnorth

Patrick Holden of the Soil Association

Paul Mobbs on Peak Oil

7.00 p.m. 18th May 2009

St. Peter’s Methodist Church, High Street, Canterbury
(near Oxfam bookshop)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Transition Times

Click on the image to read a recent article from The Times on one man's journey to Transition.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Green new deal?

Below is a shortened version of an article from yesterday's Guardian by Andrew Simms, author of 'Do Good Lives Have To Cost The Earth' and Policy Director and head of the New Economic Foundation's Climate Change programme. Click on the title to see the full article.


The UK economy faces a triple crunch: a recession triggered by a major credit crisis, the looming reality of runaway climate change and critical resource depletion. As a result we face serious challenges to our livelihoods and increasing threats to our fuel and food security.

Whatever the mistakes that allowed this situation to arise, there is growing international consensus that the best way out is via a green new deal policy package. Parts of the UK economy are in freefall with unemployment rising rapidly. At the same time, with less than 100 months to go before the world enters a new, more dangerous phase of global warming, there is an urgent need for the rapid environmental transformation of the economy.

A green new deal demands a comprehensive array of new checks and balances on the financial sector and a range of new economic instruments ranging from new bonds to business incentives and taxes.

But what is the government actually doing that is new and additional to stimulate the economy by spending on the environment? Spending included in the green stimulus package of the government's pre-budget report of £100m is astonishingly small compared with other recent spending commitments, at just 0.6% of the UK's £20bn recovery plan. This key element makes up just 0.0083% of UK GDP. In stark contrast, in the wake of the banking crisis nearly 20% of UK GDP has been provided to support the financial sector and the stimulus package allocates £2.3bn to the car industry.

Estimates for necessary new annual spending on environmental economic stimulus and transformation range from £11bn, according to Lord Stern, to £50bn, according to the Green New Deal Group.

With the G20 taking place at the moment, the government needs to understand that true international leadership means putting the UK on course to climate safety. That will deliver inspiration to other countries, make the necessary changes and help ensure the UK's own climate and energy security.

The overwhelming benefits of this course makes the government's reluctance to act hard to understand. How often in politics does a triple win opportunity emerge? If they don't take it, they really are not fit to govern.

10 Ways to save the world

Click on the title to see last Sunday's article from The Independant.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Poetry in Transition

Poet and broadcaster Matt Harvey takes a sympathetic look at the Transition Town movement. He talks to Transition Town movers and shakers in Totnes, Stroud and Brixton, including Rob Hopkins, author of the Transition Town Handbook, and shares his discoveries with a live Wondermentalist audience in Totnes...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Keep It Local

A spoof Tesco ad from Friends of the Earth highlighting the destructive effect of supermarkets on local shops.

'Sustainable Communities Explored'

On Wednesday 8th April the Carbon Free Group will host the 'Sustainable Communities Explored' event at the Pines Calyx, an award-winning eco conference centre situated in a stunning cliff-top garden location near Dover in Kent.

There has been a lot of talk in the past 12 months about building sustainable communities, particularly as food and fuel prices steadily escalate, but the realities of the challenges involved are rarely addressed in any depth. This event is about learning from people with real-life experience of creating sustainable communities; it is about understanding what works and what doesn't; it is about sharing pragmatic solutions and it's about being inspired by what has already been achieved by others.

The day will focus on examples of successful sustainable community development in the UK. Topics to be explored include local economic systems and currencies, housing/community building, co-housing, rural sustainable land use and food cultivation training. A number of communities will also be looked at from the perspective of how they function, how they are managed, what they are like to actually live in and what they can teach us. St Margaret's-at-Cliffe, the village where the event is being held, will be discussed as a case study of a community transitioning to a sustainable future.

A small number of places for this event are available at the special rate of £65+VAT to Deal With It members. If you are interested in attending at a reduced cost please contact in the first instance. The event is aimed at both those with professional involvement in the field of sustainability, and also individuals interested in learning more about a topic that has increasing relevance in all aspects of today's society.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dover and Out

Opposition to Dover District Council’s plans to build 14,000 new homes continues to gather momentum.

A well-attended meeting at Studdal Community Hall on Friday, March 6th led to calls for a Vote of No Confidence in Dover District Council.

Time is now short, with the deadline for submitting any more objections to the Council’s plans set for March 25.

The meeting began with a well put together presentation from Whitfield Action Group’s Jeff Goodsell.

Also speaking at the meeting convened by Kent County Councillor Eileen Rowbotham were Brian Lloyd of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and Rosie Rechter from the “Deal With It” group.

An hour from the trio was followed by an hour’s questions and answers.

Jeff put forward a compelling case against the District Council’s plans.

The Whitfield Parish Councillor questioned the sense of building so many houses when existing major employers such as Pfizer and the Port of Dover were shedding jobs.

Highlighting the Council’s decision to ignore the strength of opposition, he said just 32 people out of over 11,000 favoured the council’s preferred Option 4, with 1,594 supporting Option 1 (for 6,100 homes).

To widespread agreement, he said the council’s strategy was not thought through properly.

As he put it: “The Council’s plans will move the population and economic base out of the town. But you have to ask the question: what will attract people into Dover?”

Brian Lloyd of CPRE called the Local Development Framework “High-risk, undeliverable and inappropriate.” He explained that the plans unbalanced the overall development strategy for the South East, and questioned how many people would be willing to move to this area.

Rosie Rechter of ‘Deal With IT’ called the latest LDF document ‘intimidating’ and pointed out how DDC is completely ignoring the opinions of most of the people it consulted. She spoke of “serious anxieties” surrounding the plans and mentioned the amount of derelict land in Dover Town Centre – seven per cent – as against zero per cent in Canterbury.

She meanwhile pointed out the fragmentation of the existing town’s communities, owing to the geography of Dover. She believes planned new housing over four miles from the town centre will only make things worse. To loud applause she concluded: “We should all support the campaign Jeff Goodsell has been running.”

Questions from audience raised numerous points of concern. These were not revolutionaries by any stretch of the imagination, but solid, civilised citizens, representing many Town and Parish Councils and other community groups throughout Dover District, united by their passionate concern for the future of the District. People who simply want the best for the area and share the belief that DDC’s plans will not deliver it.

One member of the audience summed up the mood when she asked: “What sanction do we have against a District Council which is ignoring public opinion?” She went on to ask about a Vote of No Confidence in the Council.

Charlie Elphicke, the District’s Prospective Conservative Parliamentary Candidate, thanked Eileen Rowbotham for holding the meeting and raising the issues. He urged everyone to work together against the plans and said “I feel we should be creating jobs and prosperity, not building houses.”

Kent County Councillor Mike Eddy explained that something called a Community Call for Action might be possible – in effect, a petition organised by the local population.

Subjects of other questions concerned the problems of putting infrastructure in place - especially water - and the serious environmental impact and loss of Greenfield land.

Whitfield Action Group will meanwhile be convening a public meeting at Whitfield Village Hall at 7-30 on Friday, March 20. All are urged to attend.

Quotable quotes:

“Dover District Council’s 2020 Vision is for a World Class District; what we are getting is a world class ASDA and a world class housing estate.”

“The council is putting the cart before the horse.”

“Fourteen thousand houses represent an unjustified and unexplained change in strategy.”

“Quite frankly it is an unsustainable strategy. Effort should be placed in regenerating the economy of the district.”

“We have a fantastic opportunity. Please let’s not waste it.”

New 'Deal With It' Blogspot

This is the new 'Deal With It' blogspot. It's a first draft so I would be grateful if you could contact me with all your suggestions, questions, corrections, articles and photos.