Wednesday, 23 November 2016

What you need to know about air pollution- a guest blog, plus Manston cancer and UN Road Safety Week

A guest blog by Joe Thomas below, and my thoughts on UN Road Safety Week later on:

Air pollution is now one of the most pressing environmental concerns. While nine out of the ten most polluted cities in the world lie in India and Pakistan that leaves no room for complacency amongst other countries; partly because they too have their own issues and also because we live in a connected ecosystem.

What Is Air Pollution?

Air pollution is a complex topic as so many factors are responsible for the poor quality of our air. However, simply put, air pollution is any chemical, physical or biological change which causes the atmosphere to become dirty and thus risks not only our own potential for survival but also that of other animals and plants.

Air pollution can also be further divided into two distinct categories; visible and invisible. Both can lead to an alteration of the delicate balance of our atmosphere and cause problems to health on a local scale and also damage to the ecosystem globally in terms of depletion of the ozone layer leading to climate change.

Air pollution can arise in two main ways. First, pollutants can be released directly into the atmosphere and are known as primary pollutants. Second, primary pollutants can combine to form secondary pollutants and this can be seen in the formation of issues such as smog.

What Causes Air Pollution?

Fossil Fuels: A main cause of air pollution is the one you might expect, namely the sulphur released from the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal and petroleum. We rely on petrol, diesel and jet fuel to transport not only us but our goods around the world as we live in an increasingly globalised economy. In 2015 alone nearly 3.6 billion passengers, almost half the world’s population, were transported by the world’s airlines.

Vehicle Emissions: As our reliance on cars, trucks, shipping freighters and aeroplanes increases so do the levels of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides released into the atmosphere. 13% of global CO2 emissions, a major factor in global warming, come from transport.

Agriculture: We may not always immediately think of agricultural activities being connected to air pollution but methane and ammonia are both by-products of farming and are highly hazardous to our environment. This is compounded by the use of pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers, a heady cocktail of chemicals, some parts of which make it into the air.

Manufacturing: Heavy industry leads to the release of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and a soup of other chemicals, all of which can lead to a decline in air quality. Oil refineries also release hydrocarbons which pollute the atmosphere.

Deforestation: Deforestation is caused by clearing land for agriculture, manufacturing and ever growing urban areas. This lowers air quality because the fewer trees there are the less carbon dioxide they can absorb.

Mining: The result of mining on the health of workers and nearby residents has been clearly demonstrated over the years and in developing countries the quest to extract as many tons of natural resources as possible is having a devastating impact on the health of those working in the mines.

Indoor Pollution: What we use in our own homes is also leading to air pollution. Household cleaning products, paints and varnishes release chemicals into the air which contribute to poor air quality and many of us add to this chemical mix by smoking.

What Damage Does Air Pollution Do?

Air pollution damages our environment, and it also leads to a variety of health issues and even death.

Circulatory and Respiratory Issues: The particulates in the atmosphere have been linked to heart problems, respiratory issues and even cancer. Current estimates are that polluted air causes 5.5 million premature deaths per year.

Climate Change: The rise of levels of carbon dioxide, alongside other greenhouses gases, has led to global warming which has caused increasingly unpredictable weather systems and the melting of the ice caps.

Thinning of the Ozone Layer: As the levels of hydro chlorofluorocarbons and chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere rise this leads to a depletion of the ozone layer which protects the planet. As it does we are exposed to higher levels of ultraviolet light which can cause skin and eye problems.

Acid Rain: As sulphur and nitrogen oxides are released into the atmosphere they can combine with water droplets and fall as acid rain. The results can be devastating to fish, wildlife, trees and even the crops we rely on for our food production.

What Can Be Done About Air Pollution?

Air pollution needs to be tackled at a global level through legislation and international agreements which aim to reduce pollution levels, such as the Paris Agreement which was agreed in December 2015.

However, there are also steps we as individuals can take to lower our own environmental impact, particularly when it comes to air pollution.

Reduce Your Use of Private Vehicles: Where possible travel to your destination on foot, by bicycle, on public transport or car pool with others in your area. By lowering vehicle emissions you can reduce your carbon footprint.

Conserve Energy In the Home: Reduce your use of electricity by purchasing eco-friendly goods, keeping your thermostat turned down and insulating your property. Switch to sources of renewable energy where possible.

Recycle: Try to buy less from new and recycle household items as well as everything you are throwing out, even food scraps can go on a compost heap.

Reduce Food Miles: By purchasing more local food from farmers’ markets and growing your own fresh produce you can drastically reduce the distance your food travels to reach your plate.

Improve Your Indoor Air Quality: As well as the steps above you can also improve the air quality in your own home by asking smokers to light up elsewhere; avoiding harsh cleaning agents; minimising your use of synthetic air fresheners; opening the windows regularly; and including plants in your interior design.

While it is sometimes easy to dismiss poor air quality as something which doesn’t concern us, we only have to take a look at the statistics to understand the negative impact pollution is having on us and on our world. It is also important to remember that it is vital for us all to act today if we don’t want to leave a legacy it will be impossible for future generations to reverse.

Joe is a writer from the UK, on a range of subjects, including health and nutrition, sustainability and environmental issues. He believes living a healthy lifestyle will ensure a good platform for a happier life and raising awareness on such issues is important for progression - education is key.


UN Road Safety Week this week.

Clearly electric vehicles etc as detailed above will improve air pollution: upto 50M deaths worldwide.

Obviously it's almost impossible to measure/estimate accurately - certainly in Kent we've seen the removal and coverup of air pollution monitors and data with Infratil and TDC/KCC at Manston airport.

Data that informs Kent's air pollution statistics for aviation but also road transport.

An unpleasant cancer effect by those funded to specifically protect us as best as possible.

A horrifying failure by Berry, Button and Sproates and TDC and KCC management and criminal corporate manslaughter with Fitzgerald, Clarke and Buchanan and Bogoievski - many now at Lydd and Wellington airports rather than jail as yet and the Wellington NZ surely Asia's most dangerous airport if there are similar safety breaches?

The KCC Toxic Three of Carter, King and Wild were quick to talk up their meetings in the Infratil boardroom and Virginia USA flights with KCC tax and then scamper away from the real cancer effect.

But on UN Road Safety Week, if it’s a surprising and little-known fact that the mosquito is the most dangerous animal to humanity with c.600k deaths from malaria and dengue fever last year. And millions more throughout the previous years. Then it’s as surprising if not more humdrum that the biggest killer after air pollution and cancer (8M) and tobacco (5M) is road accidents: 1.2M deaths last year, more than all the wars and murders and suicides put together.

And equalling HIV and TB deaths.

Hence UN Road Safety Week this week and Project EDWARD the European Day Without A Road Death last month – I must admit a slight bit of surprise that EDWARD wasn’t scheduled 6 months earlier and during the Summer, from our Sincerity work we know the counterfactual point that drinkdriving deaths are at the highest then rather than Xmas.

And surely in my politics role I will be pushing for more rapid improvements in road safety. It’s appalling that KCC Public Health have allowed Kent KSI, killed or seriously injured, to increase to 54 road deaths and hundreds maimed and injured. Not even producing a pin-map of deaths for evaluation.

As KCC Leader May 2017 in opposition to Carter and the Toxic three and Shonk's Farageland I will:

• rapidly rollout 20mph zones in a 5 mile radius from Kent’s town centres – not just around schools

• release the aforementioned pin-map

• highlight traffic danger zones and design out the problems with sleeping policemen, chicanes etc

• highlight key areas/issues for the Kent Air Ambulance- and systemic funding and training - and Police and RNLI helicopters eg motorways/hospitals as well as blood/organs transit and Left is Life campaign

• zero drink-driving: just don’t drink and drive – not a glass of wine or half a pint of lager. Nothing.

• and stiffer penalties for drugs driving, driving uninsured and mobile phone driving – the phone should be in a bag or the glovebox if not switched off

• increase clamped and crushed cars eg yellow lines, pavements, schools etc and verify potential for Lucky Iron Fish manufacturing and MGD Laos p.56 44% malnutrition

• produce a DFID plan for surplus ambulances, cars, vans etc

• rollout the innovative Kent Police HGV truck

• ban live animal exports over 3 hours and from ports as a road/transport health and safety issue

• ban Hendon-issued jazz-hands white gloves except for traffic police and redeploy the savings to cops issuing parking tickets especially the night prowl car

• a weekend late-bus and timetable from town centres

• seek school curriculum on road safety and Red Cross First Aid training

• rollout paramedic training for all police, fire etc

• develop Kent Police Polish, Hungarian and Romanian language capability and traffic police exchanges/learning

• compulsory helmets for bicycles

• end Dungeness nuclear fuel traffic

• end road-rail level crossings accident blackspots

• review town centre CCTV –much of it seems not to work at all despite investment and promises -and TDC council staff car park cameras/funds

• tighten up the enforcement of smoking with children in the car: only 1 fine by Cumbria Police so far – a danger to the children in the car and, as with mobile phones, to those outside it

• review Kent’s road safety advertising: much of it is weak if not foolish – promoting a “shared path” for cars and bikes and pedestrians? No wonder pedestrian deaths have increased, and Lincolnshire Police are far more advanced in highlighting particular issues such as weather conditions, braking etc etc

Until robotcars reduce human error by 90%, there is far more that could be done on the 1,700 UK road deaths from both UN Road Safety Week and Project Gilgamesh.

Time for Change

* Private Eye: new court case from Kent police investigation of Essex Police and Lee Balkwell cement mixer drowning(!) - a surprising choice out of 43 forces investigation given Kent and Essex share management. But certainly less worse than Surrey cops and another Deepcut investigation or South Yorks Police and not one but two Chiefs resigning over Hillsboro. When Kent's Chief Pughsley is back form his holidays I'll be asking him to provide a review of Kent/Surrey/Sussex mergers: 43 force is far too much bloat sat in the copshop rather than patrolling or kicking in drug den doors - especially with zero rape arrests in East Kent

* BHS scandal: Frank Field MP confirms with the Pensions Regulator that Philip Green's yacht could be seized with any other assets to fill the £500M pensions theft - no doubt Lord Grabiner will be concerned with running not just BHS but the fraudsters at One Essex Court barristers and tame BSB investigations and whitewash. Little more than the courts being used as lawyers' ATM's.

* A good UN report on MDG/SDG30 - although slightly peculiar in talking about the transition form MDG to SDG30 given these were approved in January and being discussed for 3 years before that and many form part of MDG. But good points on Laos (P.56) and horrifying 44% malnutrition and review of Philippines activity - far better than UK. I can't see why waiting until 2030 to achieve UNSDG30 is viable nor why many goals are set so low ie poverty funded by 2030 as $1.25 a day.

* The UK funds UN via DFID and FCO budgets so it's a key UK issue to achieved UNSDG30 as rapidly and effectively as possible.


Friday, 18 November 2016

The collapse of Kent governance. The end of Carter's Toxic Three and Shonk’s Farageland nears.

Kent is now adrift with an almost total collapse in governance.

Neither at County or District or town level are there any policies at all.

The horrifying news that 200 children escaped from KCC Social Services Jimmy Savile Care homes – with 53 still missing is only matched by East Kent’s rape statistics of 67 rapes last year and zero arrests.

And that with KCC bleating about a few hundred extra refugee children taken in from the Calais Jungle - or £20M of savings on a £2BN budget and excessively padded staff rosters and reserves.

And still no tax cuts even considered, even attempts to breach the 1.99% limit, nor full FOI.

Zero in Year Zero and Ground Zero of a failed Kent.

And this week Dover and Ashford cited as Kent’s worst Crap Towns again.

Carter and the Toxic Three have created a Retard Nation in Kent. And the Medway slumtowns record Britain’s worst primary schools again – and CCU in the bottom third of UK universities.

As KCC Leader I will ensure at least one top 200 global university in Kent, cancel Beckham Studies courses that could be done at night school or by reading a book, and ensure literacy levels are at the claimed 99% not the current 83%.

Carter and the Toxic Three have failed as has Mayor Shonk and UK’s only UKIP council. And the Gang of Four criminal Latchford’s panzers long ago ran out of fuel on the lawns of County Hall.

Questions overdue on the contamination of the public at Manston and Thor.

The collapse of Manston – both Airport and New Town – with a selloff of Discovery Park announced this week by Gloag’s team, and the collapse of the secret Brett mega-cement works of 1M HGV lorries, is good news but leaves nothing except tumbleweed blowing through County Hall.

And surely the Gloag Stagecoach bus contracts in Kent need review against the Infratil missing monitors and fines with Lydd, Cargolux and KLM illegal cancer victim flights.

We await only the resignations and jail sentences for faking the Manston and Thor mercury pollution data and Infratil extraditions form Wellington Airport, surely Asia’s most dangerous aviation hub.

Would you really vote for 5 more years of Carter or Latchford or Shonk? What would they do different or better?

I will drive a stake through the dark heart of these zombie councillors shuffling and mumbling through Farageland and stand for Direct Leader for KCC in Shonk’s constituency in May 2017.

I will seek electoral reform to introduce the vote for 16 and 17 year olds with school and Kent 6th form proto-elections next May, and end double-hatter and parachute candidates.

The vote for 16 year olds seems good enough for Scots and Austrian youth, but not Kent’s youth most affected by Brexit and Kent’s shoddy governance.

It's when not if.

Discovery Park and Pfizer in Kent is drifting despite PMQ questions and support, with still only 2,000 jobs down from 7,000 – when it was the USA’s largest investment in EU - and many of those jobs Kent taxbreak relocations of non-STEM jobs and worthless housebuilding plans not yet cancelled.

Kent’s healthcare system is in meltdown at Third World levels with every hospital and now the Ambulance service in Special Measures, no early warnings of pandemics eg this week’s German swine flu outbreak, and no doubt the Flu and TB vaccines will run out soon, and BBCTV reporting a South East GP surgery closing every 10 weeks, and 38% of GP’s over 65.

Perhaps an NHS collapse is for the best given over 15,000(!) UK citizens die from preventable medical errors each year. An annual total, each and every year, greater than all the UK military deaths since 1945.

The last dictators such as Saddam or Gadaffi or Mugabe or Obiang or Bashir have failed where the NHS succeeds in early deaths. And not even a 24-7 or weekend service yet. And certainly no DNA rollout.

And G7 Britain becomes nearer G30 Britain, with a further 20,000 UK deaths each year from the gap in the NHS being worse than the best foreign health services eg Sweden and Japan both twice as good in new-born child care than UK.

While no focus at all through the research labs or 127 universities in ending the 200 cancers or new increase in Dementia deaths.

That's 35,000 deaths from basic improvements in the NHS each year and a further 100,000 deaths from ending Tobacco.

Making the 2% NATO pledge the highest than almost any other NATO nation - or corruption such as Sangcom guns-for-bungs, RollsRoyce fighter jet fraud or even raw MOD incompetence and bloat such as the Voyager £10BN refuel jets that can’t refuel or Royal Navy Bahrain base - is a hollow promise of cradle to grave care or homes for heroes from Remembrance Sunday.

Voyager, just one failing MOD project, is more than enough wasted funds to open libraries 7 days a week, free leisure centres and school grounds/facilities on an evening and weekend.

Or the horrific raw idleness in failing to remove 1970’s asbestos from 350 Kent schools, the shocking corporate manslaughter scandal of KCC preferring to pay £800M in corporate manslaughter compensation and allow 20 teacher and pupil deaths each year. Even with the long summer holidays.

A few headteachers and clerks in jail should help solve that public health hazard within 2 years.

Even a Kent Space programme with Surrey is stalling that could launch thousands of smartphone satellites to survey all the planets and meteor crashes and remove space junk.

As a future DFID Minister and ASEAN Trade Envoy, and Creative Industries Minister, I will ensure better use of public funds than this Whitehall farce – whether the next MP election is next year or 2020.

Astonishing though that the top 10 of DFID aid recipients: Pakistan, Afghanistan etc as you would expect, but only accounts for £2BN in aid - where is the other £11BN being spent?

Certainly the cut to the Cambodian £20M DFID budget seems minor tinkering for one of the poorest nations in the world. And given the importance of ASEAN to UK. To put it in context, a water well in Cambodia costs $100 and a malaria net costs $3. That sill leaves a lot of change from £11BN.

And worth noting that £2BN is the annual KCC budget.

In Kent I will ringfence 0.3% of international funds with the UK 0.7% aid guarantee for a nominal 1% and begin a ramp-up of UN Police, G20 0.7% targets and a Sahel tripwire of UK bases in Sierra Leone and Kenya.

The Royal Engineers and Medical Corps are sat in barracks peeling coal and painting spuds white. MOD bases in UK are 3x the size of London and still there are 5,000 UK troops sat in the bierkellars of Bielefeld and Paderborn drinking their way through the German economy on UK tax and frittering away the COld War dividend for bloat.

While dozens of Kent military bomb squads sit around on the rates – even failing to dispose of SS Richard Montgomery – or prepare for the Mediterranean Partnership with the EU and clearance of the North African minefields of Algeria and Tunisia and Libya and Egypt.

And HMS Kent berthed in the Solent or on Ambre Solaire tours to Jersey while 15,000 refugees drown in the Med since 2010. So many navies and so many ships doing so little.

While a Kent Meiji economic policy on rail with Hitachi and Network Rail HS1 etc and ASEANRail is needed to develop UK-Japan partnerships for international rail projects.

And the Liberation Route tourism project from Kent radar and codebreaking and Spitfires and Hurricanes, and Channel Dash and Fortitude to Gdansk and Arnhem.

Many of Kent’s Brexit pensioners won’t last the Winter with over 60 excess deaths from cold last year – more than the increased 54 road deaths with only silence on next week’s UN Road Safety Week - and I will introduce a zero nights rough sleeping or homeless policy as in London.

Every Winter dead pensioner or rough sleeper will be named and displayed on the KCC website home page.

The idiotic KCC investments in Tobacco and Fossil Fuels for civil service pensions will be sold off, before those funds go bust reducing public sector pensions, as well as further sickening Kent’s Climate Change population.

I will introduce a network of electric car charging points in Kent given Germany and Sweden have announced the end of manufacturing petrol cars before 2030 - and 2016 is already the hottest year ever again.

I will introduce Tobacco store permits, move to over-25’s purchases, and ask supermarkets to stop tobacco and vaping sales or at least divest tobacco profits to charity.

And call for HFSS (High Fat Salt and Sugar) products to be displayed on separate supermarket shelves/labelling, and sugar reductions within 6 months, as Tesco have already done with their own brand drinks.

I will cancel any HFSS contracts in Kent leisure centres – including the rebuilt Ramsgate swimming pool from the £8M Kent Fire Brigade station garage and gerbil gasmask idiocy (yes you read that right gasmask for gerbils and an £8M garage) - and gyms and schools and hospitals. Kent’s youth may have 20% unemployment levels - but they shouldn’t have to suffer the years of delays in public health reforms as with Big Tobacco disaster.

Nor should working on Carter’s building site of ticky-tacky houses on flood-plains be the only youth employment option in Kent: I will cancel Folkestone New Town #2 and Operation Stack mega-lorry park and Boris Island.

Even Kent bricklayer Winston Churchill would snap his trowel in disgust at such waste.

I will melt down the Boris watercannon stored in Kent for shovels and divert construction efforts to empty/derelict properties, solar panels, burying pylons and fast-forward the Paramount, Dreamland, EKFOS, KORA, Dreamland, Ebbsfleet, Lower Thames crossing and Thames Gateway slum regeneration projects.

I will reverse the feeble £5.9M spent by KCC on arts and sports, compared to billions on cement projects – and missed opportunity of the 2012 Olympics on Kent’s doorstep with the Canterbury Tour, Kent Football Leagues, and Ebbsfleet waterfront and East Kent Beach games, swimming pools and icerink.

And increase Kent suppliers from 54% on KCC projects to 90%: how absurd to take Kent tax and then spend it out of the county so reducing the tax-take...

And I will fast-forward the Bratislava Summit EU town centre free 5G wifi before 2020, and a town centre plasma screen showing the UNSDG30 goals and Kent’s contribution to Rotary polio and Lions fridge stickers projects.

And I will send Kent’s twin towns to Specsavers – not just to refocus on the missed opportunities of Virginia and Kaine or Hungary or Da Nang, but towns from Joburg to Juba and from Montreal to Moose Jaw and San Diego to San Salvador and Buriram to Battambang - to focus on cataracts and cleft palates surgery.

And how absurd with East Kent home to the largest Polish and Romanian communities outside Warsaw or Bucharest, that there is no East European strategy beyond Farageland hate and border fences - nor any preparation for the accession of Russia and Turkey to the EU.

And I will begin the Free Economy of utilities with free solar electricity and water rations and £1 transport fares and Yingluck free computers and smartphones for every schoolchild and pensioner.

And launch Project Johnny Appleseed to reseed the 90% of Kent orchards – and fisheries - lost since 1945, as Kent struggles to match Kenya’s world record for 5M trees planted in one hour.

The Libor frauds or BHS scandals of Green and One Essex Court cabal of fraud with Grabiner and Glick and Hollingworth, or KCC Airport frauds seem to mean nothing to most of the public sector except a chance for whitewash and tame reviews and the public to keep funding them from a bottomless bucket of tax.

Is Grabiner really still sitting as a High Court judge on QC - on tax and pensions cases? A real Enemy of the People.

I will also, as detailed by BBC South East, introduce the Aquanaut sea-sensors for both trafficking and Climate Change tsunamis as in 1953 and 1978, and the Yalding monkey-cheeks flood plans as Thailand environment plans, plus investment in Kent Orchids and the Battle of Flowers tourism programme.

And begin the cleanup of the Stour and Medway – the UK’s most polluted rivers - and Thor mercury contamination scandal on a par with Cato Ridge or Klity Creek.
So many clerks and councillors and yet so little done except ceremonial twaddle.

As Leader I will sack the unelected Lord Lieutenants prancing around in Ruritanian uniforms of their own making as a cavalier waste of drinking taxpayers tea and biscuits, and buy back Gale’s knighthood for failure with a Royal Mint commemorative £6 note worth one euro.

While both Kent Police and Kent regiments will need to develop an Argos catalogue of pretty uniforms and kit, and make their oath to parliament and the public not the unelected Royals to bring Kent kicking and screaming into the nineteenth century.

While a P45 purge of the excessive £100k-£300k Kent public sector salaries is required given failed council services such as Tim Howes TDC lawyer covering up the GIAA port corruption and Dreamland legal mess.

Indeed with the black hole of Brexit mess and drift, in Kent we should consider a North Sea Union and associated citizenship of the EU as Brexit becomes BackIN.

Indeed even free Irish or Scottish EU passports should be viable for any Kent citizen with Celtic and Benelux trade activity whether Panasonic, Alpro, Heineken, Lucky Iron fish or Lifebuoy.

Remember, Carter and the Toxic Thee and Gang of Four and Shonk have failed Kent – from now until the May 2017 election there is nothing.


Ground Zero.

Year Zero.

And a lonely Xmas with not even Project LearmonthLearjet for Kent citizen Joshua French still abandoned abroad to rot on Death Row Congo.

Time for Change


#excellent Hippo water roller and XO laptop and Lifestraw campaigns

#Pav asbestos silence from Wetherspoons and Sanderson and TDC – bizarre that only Clerk Bansted approved the whole site as Britain’s biggest boozer - without any councillor approval or oversight

#100 Se RD public concerns over Cllr Fairbrass role given Planning Director resigned and breaches of all the TDC local plan with overbuild

#Kent Police pedestrian and parking tickets better than before but bumbling along and not one but 6 weeks in raising the rough sleepers of the seafront – when the Chief is back from holidays I’ll be writing to him for a review

# public complaints over noisy radios and ASBO’s - bizarre that police are doing the council job for them and CCTV that doesn't work

# bizarre PCC policy of extending gun licences – as KP gun amnesty yields 100 guns plus ammunition: knife amnesty needed too

#concerning that 2 Myanmar newspaper editors jailed – Aung San regime drifting with Rakhine and Karen concerns and Shan heroin

#UK-Laos designed postage stamp still unknown and Laos Chevening scholarships

# Japan tourism peaks at 20M highest ever with preparations for 2020 Olympics - leading the way

#Spanish Armada plus Magellan Anniversary – Kent-Spain and Latin American universities

# No news on the Brett Phase 1 that slipped through at TDC and RTC

# peculiar Clerk Styles at RTC arrangement of secret payments to volunteers to apply for grants – and only 2 grants applied for in a year. The £50k grant hasn’t been spent after 6 months and the £1.7M grant is still competing against every other UK council – and would only cover the 5 year costs for RTC anyway. We're funding them to tell us there's no money to do anything. For a £400k budget, £40k salaries and 30% reserves it seems ludicrous to plop out a £2k own Xmas tree and d├ęcor. Hopefully it’s better than last year’s festive roadworks – but it’s not exactly Blackpool Winter Illuminations yet for East Kent's tourism towns is it?

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Gazette letter: dig up Manston runway and jail Infratil

Dear Editor

It’s good to see the Gazette letters page expanded – can we have more of Frederic Stansfield with the previous weeks view that Manston requires large cannon pointing across the Channel presumably at Paris or Berlin or Moscow. It’s certainly no more daft than LibDem Russ Timpson’s space-cadet view of Manston as the Cape Canaveral of Kent.

But surely not one but four lengthy letters from Save Manston SMA and SUMA and Why Not Manston, and with two letters from Riveroak’s PR agency and Riveroak’s lawyer, is a bit much even for the pro-Manstoners?

I’d hope you’d print this somewhat lengthy letter to stimulate debate on a non-airport future for Manston. For my view (since at least 2004) is that the runway should be dug up to protect the East Kent drinking water aquifer under the runway.

And Infratil’s directors should be extradited from their last airport in Wellington, New Zealand (Asia’s most dangerous airport?) to face corporate manslaughter charges from removing the pollution monitors and faking the cancer data, and fines for years – horrifyingly with TDC/KCC’s active assistance even now.
While Messrs. Gale, Mackinlay and Wells are surely overdue in providing their resignations given that they all made reopening Manston their main if not only policy in the 2015 election.

Rather it seems they deliberately misled SMA etc by promising to reopen the airport but realising the aquifer pollution would prevent that. Now, in less than 18 months of re-election (if not sooner with Leader Wells) they have achieved nothing at Manston and indeed done nothing.

An election wasted. They must go. If not also repaying their salaries and pensions. And Gale’s knighthood looks even flimsier than Philip Green’s.

It’s surprising too that Peter Evans the TDC Planning Chair has resigned over Manston yet he lives in Rainham some 50 miles away. How many other TDC councillors and civil servants are making decisions for Thanet while not living there? At least LocalCraig is open about bussing in supporters from Tory head office, as detailed by Channel Four, despite it being illegal.

And Why Not Manston has the failed PCC candidate Henry Bolton popping up with his views from Folkestone. And LocalCraig Mackinlay seems ever more confused as to whether he lives in Chatham or Ramsgate. It’s Chatham – a Medway slumtown that hardly bodes well for Ramsgate’s regeneration especially given the new Brett mega-cement works, and his Live Animal Exports Bill filibustered by his Parliamentary colleagues so as to urge unpaid interns in Parliament(!).

As with Wells and Gale, Craig has a political career now lying in rubble.

Ruth Bailey erstwhile Manston MP bizarrely mentions the aquifer pollution in her Gazette letter as somehow a problem for the SHP New Town but not a problem for a cargo airport. No doubt her friends and family and neighbours will be concerned at her cavalier approach to contaminating them.

Roger Gale MP similarly wrote on low-level radiation at Manston that precludes SHP but not an airport. Both of these bizarre characters ignoring the basic fact that Manston as an airport caused such pollution in the first place.

While Leader Wells has similar form in mega-projects with his £1M Broadstairs Scout hut cancelled around the same time as he jumped ship to UKIP from the Tories and glosses over his role on the Manston Committee in charge of the Environment.

While the corruption of Pleasurama and Dreamland and GIAA £500k Port fraud on his watch are shrouded in secrecy – as is his role in Brett- to prevent awkward questions from the public on how our tax has been spent.

The silence around the Thor mercury contamination, suggests an even larger toxic legacy from Wells and Gale and Mackinlay. Perhaps they should be on trial with Infratil and the KCC Toxic Three of Paul Carter, Alex King and Geoff Wild too?

In Flint Michigan, the contamination of the water has resulted in jail sentences for councillors and civil servants. Kent Police and the CPS have certainly been far less active than Flint Police so far.

I would say that Manston’s future is neither an airport nor SHP New Town – nearby Discovery Park is still only 2,000 jobs, down from 7,000 when it was Pfizer. And the Gloag/SHP/Stagecoach Manston pollution fines are as overdue as Infratil’s despite TDC’s best efforts at whitewash. Scotland’s richest woman paid only $1 for the Manston/SHP site from her Infratil friends – and not one cent in pollution fines yet.

Both TDC and KCC seem infected with the idea that every piece of land needs to be sold for housing or mega-cement projects such as the Road to Nowhere or Parkway railway.

Certainly Manston and the aquifer need to be protected as parkland and the sooner bulldozers move in to dig up the runway the better – but what do Thanet’s public think as they are the ones drinking and bathing in the water from it?

Tim Garbutt, Ramsgate


* good that the Brett Port mess has been cancelled by KCC but a full inquiry is needed as to how Leader Wells and TDC councilors developed this since July on the quiet and on the rates...even a large crane and mini cement works slipping through
* More on Trump later but what relevance a far right idiot to East Kent is I do not know

Friday, 4 November 2016

Idle RTC council - and Brett scandal and Rape Nation grows

A quick post on the inefficient and frankly lazy councils we have: RTC first. Below is a series of emails between me and RTC asking for how many grants etc they've applied for this year. You have to read it form the bottom up for time-flow ie latest email at the top.

To save you time, it's 2 grants (awaiting the latest excuses) - both prepared by volunteers not the actual civil servants(!).

You couldn't make it up and Richard Styles excuses as Town Clerk are special.

This on top of his lengthy note (see previous blog) that they'd put some flower pot planters out as justification for a year's worth of activity for £400k.

Two other brief points:

* shoddy publicity for RTC Remembrance Day: a note on the bulletin board jut this week
* no news as yet on the Xmas tree in the own and Xmas events - you can guess...last year's tree was particularly weak looking like roadworks. And only in EK could you leave the town Xmas lights up all year...

Time for Change


* astonishing that Leader Wells of TDC admits today that he led the presentation for Brett way back in July - why the sudden announcement now for 1M freight lorries. With Manston, Wells needs to resign as do Gale and Mackinlay. Brett is justification in itself of shoddy governance

* With Abigail Raymond TDC Planning Director resigned off - as with Edwina Crowley a year ago - we need a review of 100SE Rd garden grabbing etc - all in breach of TDC's own Local Plan

* More astonishing revelations of Dreamland now with Caymans tax haven companies as with Pleasurama and BVI - Wells needs to fully explain these before he resigns

* As KCC Leader in May 2017 for direct Leader against Carter and the Toxic Three and to oust Shonk and Kent UKIP failures I will reverse all the above - the weak turnouts: less than 20%, almost-instant failure of main policies and utter incompetence show we cannot let these buffoons and criminals continue

* A long service medal needed for Kent Police's DCI Morgan Cronin (call 101 for yourself to check what he's doing)for service in long-delaying the 2015 election fraud by Channel Four on head office staff bussed in for elections - hopefully Kent Police have been using the delays to catch rapists: 67 rapes in Thanet and zero arrests. Yes, that's zero.

* more points later

--RTC emails on grants etc:


Thanks but these seem rather elaborate excuses for inaction.

I've never read anything like it.

Can you also email the £10k economic plan.

Points repeated for reply:

* your point 4: £10k on an economic plan? RTC does this from its salary/remit?

Can you clarify the other £40k? It seems to have been spent beyond Harbour st? Invoices are available under FOI?

* your point 5: is the £1.7M bid? Shortlisted to c.50 other councils?

Stagecoach provide bus shelters?

No other bids in a year have been developed or won?

On the last point it's concern that £400k RTC funds a year has resulted in just 2-3 bids this year and those prepared by volunteers?

Were any bids prepared in the previous year?


Tim Garbutt

From: Eileen Richford
To: tim garbutt
Sent: Tuesday, 1 November 2016, 12:02
Subject: RE: RTC bids and funds

Dear Tim,

See response below which the Town Clerk has advised me;

1. Out 450 bids now shortlisted, our bid is one of 54.

2. It takes weeks and many hours of patient, plodding work to deliver even the simplest application nowadays. Unless has ever has ever done one, they could have no comprehension of the work required.

3. The competing bids are likely to be done by professional full time paid bids from big city Councils. The Ramsgate CCT bid is being done on a shoestring in comparison, but it is nevertheless being done as well if not better than the paid professionals.

4. A Town Clerk has many functions and this is but one tiny part.

5. The Town Council costs every house holder less than a round of drinks or a half tank of fuel for an average family saloon per year. The money RTC raises in precept is a tiny amount in comparison with the amount needed for investment in the Town and therefore it can only work on the margins of the problem at the moment. Even TDC and KCC are under resourced in comparison to amount needed to revive the local economy.

6. The problem is so large and so deep seated, that you can have no conception of the amount of money required. The Town Clerk estimates that Margate has had over £100m in the last 10 years and still its economy is not firing properly. Ramsgate would need more (est £250m) to encourage investment, regeneration and reducing the educational attainment deficit in the Town. If aspiration is to supplant distrust and anger in this community, that is the sort of money that will need to be invested from a range of sources.

7. The Coastal Communities Team is but a small part of a movement to get that investment. We may fail, but we will have tried and will try again.

That is all that we can tell you on this matter at this point in time.




From: tim garbutt []
Sent: 31 October 2016 15:58
To: Eileen Richford
Subject: RTC bids and funds

Thanks Eileen:

* your point 4: £10k on an economic plan? RTC does this from its salary/remit?

Can you clarify the other £40k? It seems to have been spent beyond Harbour st? Invoices are available under FOI?

* your point 5: is the £1.7M bid? Shortlisted to c.50 other councils?

Stagecoach provide bus shelters?

No other bids in a year have been developed or won?

On the last point it's concern that £400k RTC funds a year has resulted in just 2-3 bids this year and those prepared by volunteers?

Were any bids prepared in the previous year?



From: Eileen Richford
To: tim garbutt
Sent: Monday, 31 October 2016, 14:33
Subject: Your enquiry

Hi Tim,

I have now got the information your require;

• The Coastal Communities Team is a partnership of RTC, the Town Team and the Neighbourhood planning group.

• It is therefore a part voluntary, part Town Council organisation. Most of its work is done voluntarily(even the RTC input) and seeks to deliver much needed investment in the Town.

• There is no guarantee of success, but if successful it will deliver more investment to Ramsgate than has been delivered for many years.

• The £50k was awarded by the Coastal Communities Fund to the CCT and the Ramsgate Society to fund the professional work needed to deliver the evidence for the Ramsgate Society Heritage lottery bid for the Clock house and the CCT project which became known as the Compass Plan. The CCT spent its half as directed on the Compass plan bid in survey fees, drawings and background information, including a planning application for 33-35 Harbour St. We also helped out the Ramsgate Society in meeting its architectural fees for the Clock house and its immediate area, because it was part of the original brief and is also included in the Compass plan. Some remedial work in Harbour Street was done. £10k was received to deliver an economic plan for Ramsgate and this has been achieved. There are some funds left which will be spent as required if more survey work or emergency repairs are needed.

• It looks like we have been successful in obtaining a grant to carry out an in depth consultation with the entire population of Ramsgate and not just those who respond in the conventional manner. I am also putting in a bid for a grant for the Leopold Street bus shelter.

• In the next phase of the Coastal Communities Fund other organisations can put their project bids into the application for funding, but they will have to make sure that their bids are fully worked out and are not just want lists. The CCT will help them in their applications but will not run their project for them.

• TDC are the responsible body for this money.

It is the Town Clerk’s intention that all spending will be available to the public via the website towards the end of the financial year.

Best regards,