By Pip Hazelton / Latest News / 0 Comments
Last week’s opinion piece ‘Pandemic will shape how we live and work in the future’ by Richard Scase makes interesting reading. Working patterns have changed for large numbers of people and working from home, at least some of the time, is certainly going to be a feature of many office workers’ lives. Not having to travel to offices has benefits but can also leave people feeling isolated or struggling to find space for paperwork and laptop in what may be already cramped living conditions. If we can offer these new locally based home workers flexible and affordable access to office spaces  – underused council office space perhaps? – then the local economy can benefit from money spent in our city at lunchtime and after work that previously would have been spent in London or on petrol and fares. 
Shopping habits too have changed – and with online shopping here to stay, our high street needs to offer leisure, social activities and other experiences as well as the traditional goods from shops.
Equally, our World Heritage buildings and fabulous city walls and gardens could be so much more enticing for visitors if only they were encouraged to spend more time exploring and enjoying what we have to offer.
In order to entice workers, shoppers and visitors to energise and stimulate our city centre economy, I propose the City Council takes the bold step of abolishing Park and Ride charges. Removing at a stroke a major incentive to drive into the centre, we can clean up our environment, move more quickly towards our carbon neutral target and breathe much needed life into our city centre. Many people say that out of town shopping centres offer a soulless experience but at least the parking is free. Well, why not beat them at their own game? We could have a city economy full of pedestrians who have flocked here from across the county and beyond to enjoy the city and spend their money  – a better way of filling the council coffers than the current stale failed formula of ever increasing parking charges.
Pip Hazelton
Labour and Co-operative candidate Westgate
Old Watling Street
By Pip Hazelton / Latest News / 0 Comments
Dear Gazette
I attended a fascinating Zoom meeting organised by Canterbury City Council this week about their Pollinator Plan. Council officials, bee experts and others with considerable knowledge in the subject of bio-diversity, described the pressing need to create bee friendly corridors around Kent to help our many endangered pollinator species. Without these pollinators our crops and hedgerows, gardens and parks will struggle. I learnt that not all bees are the same and that different crops need different bees to make them grow.
 The Council has set up a working group to consult on and inform this plan and it was clear from the presentations that an existing Bee corridor that stretches along our North Kent coast, is vital for the survival of many species of bee. There also appeared to be widespread recognition of and support for the need to create a second corridor from Ashford, through Canterbury along the River Stour and on to the sea at Sandwich. If the habitat gets broken up, built on, sprayed with too much insecticide etc then the bees won’t be able to travel far enough afield to do their vital work. The council staff involved are knowledgable and seem committed to working with landowners, environmental experts and others to create their Pollinator Plan. Why then did the same City Council dig up flower beds in the Westgate Gardens intending to turf them over? Talk about the right hand not knowing what the left is doing! Apart from the environmental vandalism, what on earth were they thinking? – Surely they must know how attractive and welcoming those flower beds are are, close beside the river and the Westgate Tower. They must be among the most photographed spots of our beautiful city and apart from the pleasure they give, the sharing of those images is free publicity world wide for Canterbury as a holiday and visitor destination. 
To their credit, the council has realised their mistake and responded to the widespread outcry, by promising to restore the flowerbeds.  Well done to the community groups and individuals who have brought about this change of heart. 
Pip Hazelton
Labour and Co-operative Candidate Westgate
By Pip Hazelton / Latest News / / 0 Comments

Pip Hazelton and Mel Dawkins have been litter picking up your way and listening to you about the things that matter.

Pip has stopped taking her granddaughter to the play park because the swings were taken down months ago and STILL haven’t been replaced:

“I’ve noticed lots of children have these new scooters and I’m worried that the lack of action by the council in sorting out the parking at the junction by the green, means that there could be a serious accident before long”.

Mel has seen how the worn-down speed bumps and neglected road surfaces make the estate look uncared for as well as being a safety issue:

“The verges and pavements need better maintenance too. This could be a much nicer place to live if the councils just got their act together”.

Your current County and City Councillors don’t seem to have been able to get these things sorted!

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