Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dungeness shingle quarry threat

We in Deal know how disruptive just adding shingle to our beach has been ... the threat to quarry shingle from Dungeness has come back...

From our colleagues at 'Love Dungeness'

Hello there,
If you have previously sent an objection to Kent County Council about EDF and the EA's plans to excavate shingle from Dungeness then you should have received a letter from the Council about a new Summary Document recently published by the applicants*. The applicants claim that this document represents a “significant amendment” to their original planning application, “building on feedback obtained from public meetings”…
Make no mistake—nothing has changed in their plans whatsoever… Worse, the applicants have invented some new (although bogus) excuses to justify their proposal—including claims that the local fishermen will struggle to launch their boats if the EA and EDF Energy aren't permitted to take shingle from Dungeness! (The fishermen have confirmed that this claim is absurd.)
* In case you missed it, the Summary Document 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 16 January 2013.

Please help us stop the quarry

It would help our campaign enormously if you could send Kent County Council a message objecting to the information in the Summary Document. You can do so via our website (or you can email the Council at Feel free to use the email we’ve drafted to Kent County Council below, regarding the applicants' new Summary Document.
Thanks again for your help protecting the Dungeness Nature Reserve from the proposed shingle excavation works. Please share this email with anyone you think may be interested (or alert them to our campaign via our website).

Victoria's Green Matters - 31st Jan 2013

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
 There was a very encouraging article in last week's Mercury concerning the proposed closure of the Richborough Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC). We all know that if Richborough is closed, there will be more visits to the Deal HWRC in Southwall Road, exacerbating the problem of traffic congestion in this residential area. There could be as many as 60,000 more vehicles using this narrow road over a year.

Campaigners have been trying to save Richborough for the last few months and after a visit by the county council chairman to the site, they are much more hopeful of their success. They have proposed a plan which aims to turn the site into a business, creating re-use shops and generating money for local charities. Kent County Council could use the weighbridge and accept trade waste to create income to help with falling revenues.

Our society today has become very profligate with the world's resources. Not only do we throw away perfectly good furniture and electrical goods, we also throw away food without a second thought as to how it could be used. We spend millions of pounds in this country alone on food which we will never eat whilst there are people who have to rely on food banks because they are hungry and have no money.

The world's resources are finite. If we continue to waste them at the rate we are doing now and the population continues to increase, our world will be a very different and inhospitable place.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

East Kent FOE Letter to Laura Sandys on Energy Bill

Our Colleagues in EAST KENT FRIENDS OF THE EARTH GROUP are lobbing Laura Sandys MP on The Energy Bill before Parliament

"Dear Laura.

I am writing to you on behalf of my group to urge you to amend The Energy Bill to include a target for clean power by 2030.

The Energy Bill presents a massive opportunity to set us on the path towards clean power, to get us of the hook of expensive dirty gas and to bring green manufacturing jobs to East Kent and the rest of The UK.

But without the inclusion of a 2030 target for clean power dubbed a "green jobs ammendment" The Bill will not deliver the clear long-term signal to investors needed to kick start this transformation. As demonstrated during The Bills Second Reading there is massive and growing support for a clean power target. This includes support across all the main political parties, The Governments official adviser The Committee on Climate Change and a broad cross section of business. Energy Secretary - Ed Davey recently said the vast majority of business support a target in The Bill and and he could not find any companies that oppose it.

Experts agree that the cleaning up of our power sector by 2030 is the most effective way to meet our legally binding climate change targets. The role you play on The Energy Bill Scrutiny Committee and your influence at DECC will help de-carbonise our energy future for decades to come. Please support and speak in favour of an ammendment to support clean energy and a 2030 target.

Thank you.

Stuart Cox
Group Coordinator
East Kent FOE Group."

Monday, January 28, 2013

Soul on Sunday at the Landmark

This Sunday saw the relaunch of  'Soul on Sunday' at the Landmark Community Centre in  Deal.

A real sense of the local community coming today with an eclectic mix of local folk, jazz, poetry, singing, Deal Camera Club snapping away and home made Sunday Curries.

The Landmark was packed and at one stage there was queues for a tables.

Well done to Pete and all those to took part ....

This is going to a monthly affair - last Sunday in each month.

Next one is on Sunday 24th Feb

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Big Garden Bird Watch this weekend ....

Don't forget to take part in the Big Garden Bird Watch this weekend!

All you need to know about taking part

Taking part in Big Garden Birdwatch couldn't be easier, simply follow these three steps:
1. Watch the birds in your garden or local park for one hour on the weekend of 26 - 27 January 2013.
2. Record the highest number of each bird species you see at the same time. Don't count the total over the hour as you may get the same birds visiting more than once. Also, please only count those birds that land within your garden - not flying over.
3. Once your hour is up, tell us what you've seen. Even if you didn't get as many birds as you expected, or your 'regulars' didn't appear, do still please let us know. It's all really useful information. Our form will be open from the Birdwatch weekend until 15 February 2013 for you to tell us what you've seen.
4. Yes, we know we said three easy steps. But you'll like this step as we just want to say 'congratulations - you've done the Birdwatch!' Along with hundreds of thousands of other wildlife lovers, you've taken a step for nature and helped us find out more about our garden birds. Thank you.

Lets top up those feeders out there .... ;) 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Victoria's Green Matters - Jan 24th 2013

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

How are you coping with our very wintry weather? Keeping warm is paramount for us while temperatures are low so spare a thought for all the wildlife out there that does not have the benefit of central heating!

For those of you who saw the marvellous ‘Winterwatch’ on TV last week, you will remember seeing the wildlife coping with some very harsh winter conditions in Scotland. Now we have that very cold weather here and we need to think about helping our local wildlife to survive.

It is easy to feed the birds in your garden, on a small patio and even on a balcony if that is the only space you have. The very small birds such as sparrows and blue tits need lots of protein and fat to keep their tiny bodies warm through the night and help them roost together to limit heat loss. If you have nesting boxes in your garden, several small birds may squeeze together inside to survive the night.

At one time, we were always told only to feed the birds in winter but now that so many habitats have been lost and natural food is unavailable to the birds, we need to feed them all year round. Our constant use of pesticides and nitrate based fertilisers has made our soils devoid of the organisms that sustain our wildlife and where woodland and hedgerows have been removed, our wildlife has nowhere to live.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

CPRE - Fracking Workshop on 26th Jan

PROTECT KENT have organised a workshop on “shale gas extraction” this weekend.

Saturday 26th January 2013 , 10:30 am until 1:30 pm , at the Lenham Community Centre* (James Hatch Suite)

If you wish to attend, please reply to this e-mail as soon as possible. Numbers will be limited, although we are hoping to accommodate up to 45 people.

As recently advertised, the event will be “A seminar and workshop to discuss our concerns about shale gas exploitation, our response to the Government's recent announcements, and our actions to mitigate or prevent the impacts from this industry before the 'dash for gas' causes irreparable damage to our communities and countryside” .

The intention is to begin the morning with speakers from appropriate organisations talking about their concerns, starting with ourselves (CPRE Protect Kent). We will be presenting our case, covering CPRE’s views on shale gas extraction and what actions we are taking to have the impacts removed, controlled or mitigated. Other speakers are invited to follow this lead.

These presentations will be followed by a semi-informal ‘open floor’ debate; we may split off into two or more work-groups for this, depending upon numbers attending.

The overall aim of the workshop is to understand each other’s approach to shale gas extraction and hopefully form a collective view from which to promote further lobbying.

If you wish to speak on behalf of any organisation, please let us know as soon as convenient.

Once we have received replies on attendance and speakers, a more formal agenda will be compiled and issued.

We look forward to hearing from you !
*details of the venue can be found at :

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dover and district Cycle Forum - 1st Meeting of 2013

Thursday 31st January 2013,
7.30 - 9.00pm
at Tom Rowland's house, North St, Deal 

This will be our AGM - Agnda to follow,

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 - Jan 13th 2013

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
It is becoming apparent that we are treating the natural world with an increasing amount of contempt and then we wonder why natural events begin to affect us more and more.

A recent article by Prince Charles, printed in the Daily Telegraph, illustrates that as the economic situation continues to be problematic, the importance of looking after nature seems to be pushed down the list of things to do. It is estimated that the benefits and services that we receive from nature are about double the Gross Domestic Product of the world! Yet we continue to ignore these benefits.

The 'Green Revolution' which came into being in agriculture in the 1960s, while enabling food production to expand dramatically also damaged soils worldwide, caused huge losses of biodiversity, depleted fresh water supplies and has made a huge contribution to climate change. Every part of nature is interdependent; it is impossible to change one aspect without this change reflecting on another.

There are many examples of how nature is essential to our lives; from the rain forests that give us water for our crops and oxygen to breathe, to the pollinating insects that are vital to our food production and the scavengers that clear up waste and help to prevent disease.

But we continue to destroy green spaces as if they are of no account and pollute our water courses with fertiliser run-off from the fields, destroying habitats for both plants and animals. We must respect the natural world and its wonders.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Victoria's Green Matters - Jan 10th 2013

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

2012 was a bad year for our planet with floods, hurricanes and droughts blighting large portions of it. If you are a climate change denier, you may be able to close your mind to what is happening everywhere, not least what is happening in your own country. However, you will not be alone because governments worldwide seem able to ignore what is blatantly obvious and decide to do absolutely nothing to stop the climate warming out of control.

It was the 20th anniversary of the first Earth Summit which heralded a new age of climate responsibility - so much for that! The climate change meeting in Doha at the end of the year finished with governments more or less deciding to do nothing at all which leaves our world heading for increases in temperature of 4-6°C which will mean more disaster for many.

Here at home we have our environment secretary deciding that the public need to be persuaded that genetically modified (GM) food will be good for us! - and we thought that argument was won. Perhaps it would be better if a little research was done into the disadvantages of GM crops that are manifesting themselves in other countries. 

Nearer to home we have the disaster that is unfolding at Coldblow Woods. How can it be that one person has been allowed to destroy a local, much loved area?

If you care about this please join the 'Save Coldblow Woods' campaign and sign the petition which will be in the local shops.