Wednesday, January 28, 2015

One View or Two?

Not long in from Frankfurt and I've published Sir Roger Gale's 'View' of the Thanet Draft Local Plan, below.

Reading the Westgate Development Concerns Facebook page, I'm struck both there and by my conversations on the street, at how little people understand the process of local democracy and how it works; or not as the case may be.

A London View of Docklands
Far too many people appear to believe we are governed by an odd version of the American constitution; that councillors are well-paid and work for them, full time and that simply by signing a petition in one part of a local authority, policy for the entire area can be revised or rejected. I worry equally, that in Westgate, a handful of well-meaning and active residents are not and have not been entirely straight with people on what is or has actually taken place and how we might resist the danger of a 1,000 new houses or at least find a compromise of sorts, which I believe will prove to be the inevitable result over time. Sir Roger Gale gives a more considered view of his own role and the dangers we face as a community, further down.

Westminster Middle Left
Residents vote for councillors like me, who are not full time; unless perhaps they are retired or unemployed and are entitled to just under £5,000 in allowances each year. The Councillors can add their vote to an issue if it is bought before a full Council meeting and not decided directly by the Cabinet of the existing administration which in turn, directs the Council and it's civil servants, the officers.

In Westgate, we have three councillors but only three among over fifty across Thanet, who also don't want hundreds of homes across their wards. We can't unilaterally decide to reject a policy, even a draft proposal, like this one, here in Westgate. The final decision on where and when new homes are built by 2031, will be one take by the Council as a whole and we hope that with the strength of feeling expressed across Thanet and not just Westgate, the ruling administration will listen.

Another great 'View' coming back into Heathrow earlier, with the splendid London panorama laid-out below m Docklands, Dome and the Millennium Eye clearly visible.


Anonymous said...

Hi doc, if you are talking about the bottom of the picture, that's the mittal tower next to the olympic stadium. Canary wharf and the isle of dogs to the south, and my penthouse in royal victoria to the east.

Simon Moores said...

Sorry.. Quite right.. I uploaded the wrong photo! I will put the other one up too.. Nice view of the Dome and Docklands should be the first! Thanks

Anonymous said...

Where will our future generation's
live Simon? We have an additional 4 million people in the UK over the past 10 years. Obviously there will be work and consultation needed regards infrastructure/utilities/schools etc. But unless we look to the future for our siblings, then they will be without homes. We in Westgate need new blood to revitalise our stagnant shopping area, hopefully some will migrate towards Station Road and not Westwood!!

Don Wood said...

Anon 3:25 makes a good point Simon we do need Millions of new homes to catch up with those not built under successive administrations. No one wants them but many need them what is the answer?