Faversham News – 21 March 2013 – Page 17

Columnist Mike Gardner says: “Market is vibrant for the first time in a generation … Under Faversham Town Council, then Swale council and finally commercial companies, there was little noticeable improvement in either the appearance or running of the town’s ancient street sales area. But since the operation was taken over by the market traders themselves last year, there has been an immense and obvious change for the better.”

Lessons to be learned …?

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5 thoughts on “Faversham News – 21 March 2013 – Page 17

  1. Mr Michial (the pikey) Street .

    I thought i was the only one concerned about the creeks future .
    But it warms me and pleasantly surprises me of the concern and love which we
    all share . x

    Reply
  2. Hilary Whelan

    This goes back a long way. Quote from the ‘history’ page on the Faversham website http://www.faversham.org: “Unlike some other places, the town has never been into ‘dependency culture’. When new amenities are needed, it has often provided them itself rather than go begging to the ‘powers-that-be’. Examples are legion, from the original Grammar School building of 1587, put up by community effort, to the modern open-air and all-weather swimming pools” (Swale Borough Council is now retrospectively claiming the pools as a prime example of localism!)

    Reply
    1. Sue Cooper

      To be fair, Cllr Barnicott, while I had many disagreements with him over many other things (notably the Creek and Abbey Park and first Safeway and then Tesco being allowed to take over the whole of the Whitbread site), did a very good job of helping the town’s representations with regard to the swimming pool and that could actually be seen as an example of localism.
      It was an occasion on which he seemed able to truly represent the Town on the various committees he was on rather than being used as a vehicle for council policy as so often appears to be the case. We need to persuade our current representatives that they can do something similar with the Creek.

      Reply
      1. Hilary Whelan

        I agree, the swimming pools are GENUINE localism and we could certainly do with more of that, it’s just a little galling to see them used as an example to sell the new localism agenda, which, in the context of planning policy at least, seems to be anything but.

  3. Sue Cooper

    I think this is really important. Look at what has actually physically happened on the Creek in recent years:

    Standard Quay barge repair and maintenance:- run by Colin and Brian, not landowners, not paid by public money, not using developers cash, not connected to the Council;

    Berth clearing and dredging: being done by Eric; not a landowner, not using public money not connected to the council, no developer input;

    Faversham Creek Trust – working hard to reinstate the apprentice scheme pioneered on Standard Quay; providing practical evidence and need for opening the gates, working towards opening up the basin for boats, providing new workshop space for maritime crafts – and again, not connected to the Council, not landowners, no developers cash.

    Lena:- prime mover behind the nautical festivals, traditional craft races and attractions, – no council connection, no developers cash, not a landowner

    Sixer:- working tirelessly thinking up new ideas promoting uses of the creek and fund raising – again as above no big organisation connections.

    There are many others.

    All of these are local, Faversham people working hard against the odds of rising land prices to cling onto and expand the real uses of the working creek and its real assets for no personal gain beyond a love of the town and a desire to see the Creek continue to be the public asset that it should be not a private money-making resource for landowners to develop.

    The real assets of the Creek are the water, the tides and the mud (The mud IS an asset: artists love it, boats can be repaired on it, flat bottomed vessels need it – it needs controlling, but it won’t go away). The land is not the real asset. Developers and Planners see land and land values.

    The Faversham Creek Area Action Plan from 2008 is well worth a read. It is extremely hard to find unless you know where to look but I quote from it:

    “The Council considers that levels of new housing have reached the point where further proposals will damage the area and it will now resist them as both contrary to the strategy for the Local Plan and the policy for this AAP. Additionally, the Council considers that frontage development not involving active use or management of the creek itself, or that which prevents use of the creek by vessels, should not be permitted.”

    Local people are demonstrating that they are acting on the ideas behind the 2008 policy. Surely the council should be assisting this and not creating additional barriers such as massive hikes in land values along the banks which are actually totally contrary to their own policies.

    AAP2 2008 is here:
    http://maps.swale.gov.uk/LocalPlans/LP_document/section_253182620651.html

    (it is also interesting to be reminded that the plan was for a Special Planning Document to be the guiding policy document to be worked on after the AAP was finished. It was SPECIFICALLY NOT to be a development document since at the time the Council did recognise that development was an inappropriate concept since it automatically implies potential inappropriate change. )

    Reply

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