Labour campaigners braved the drizzle this afternoon outside Wincheap Primary School, to raise support for an issue close to locals’ hearts. In July 2017, Wincheap Park received a long-overdue re-vamp, transforming it into a venue that has become very popular with children and parents alike. Walk past it on a sunny day after school closing time and the numbers speak for themselves. Until, that is, a child requires a trip to the toilet. The former toilet block on the site served the main road for a number of years, until recent problems with drug use closed it permanently, resulting in the sale of the site. Currently, children either opt to return home, which is sometimes a considerable walk, or to go behind the bushes. Labour’s campaign, to encourage the Council to “spend a penny” was well-received by parents at the school gates, who recognise the need for the toilets’ return.

Campaign leader Paul Todd understands the difficulties facing parents due to the lack of facilities. “Being a father of four children,” said Mr Todd, “all of whom attended Wincheap Primary and made good use of the park over the years, the closure of the toilets means that this wonderful resource is being under-utilised. I’m passionate about putting it back on the Council’s agenda.”

While the site is currently in private hands, the building stands vacant, unkempt and over-grown. If the existing toilets could not be returned to Council ownership, space exists for an alternative block, or even a single toilet, within the park boundaries, subject to its opening hours. Unmanned toilets have been a success at Toddlers’ Cove and in the Dane John Gardens, where ultraviolet lights have addressed the issue of drug use. While the Council may consider Wincheap’s park to be on a smaller scale, of interest only to locals, the issue is a matter of quite some importance for parents, and the nature of the busy A28 means the park also attracts passers-by. Labour campaigners will be submitting their arguments, and the petition, to the Council in the coming weeks

By Chris Cornell / Environment / 0 Comments

Local residents are calling on local elected officials to block the proposed building a solar energy farm the size of 600 football pitches on the marshland between Seasalter and Faversham. The £400m plan is five times as big as Britain’s largest existing solar energy farm and a home to rare nesting birds.

The huge farm will be visible from Seasalter with its 989,000 solar panels mounted 12ft tall frames in case of flooding.

Seasalter ward organizer Naomi Smith commented “no one is against renewable energy but this proposal is just wrong. It’s not a solar farm but a solar factory, the owners of this scheme will make a huge profit but with very little local benefit or additional jobs. The removal of this space enjoyed by many local people I know will be awful.”

Jenny Reeves, Chair of the Faversham Labour Party, who are fighting the plan, said ‘with so many fragile species relying on the marshes it’s inconceivable that any mitigation could be enough to make any difference. Global warming is a fact, but fighting it must be done with the preservation of the existing ecology at the forefront of our concerns and not profit.’

The group campaigning against the extension has broad cross party support from Labour, Liberal Democrats, Conservative and Green politicians.

The final decision to proceed on this project will be made by national rather than local government given its size. The local party is calling on residents to read up on the scheme at www.savegraveneymarshes.org

The latest round of public consultation on the proposals end on the 13th July. The developers have to receive any, and all, feedback, so people can object and make suggestions about the scheme. You can even ask for local community improvements should it go ahead.

The online form for commenting on the proposal is available here.