Thanet Star

BBC show Thanet may be overdeveloped

According to statistics, Thanet may be overdeveloped.

Admittedly that's not the official line but it hard to see how else the figures can be interpreted.

A new BBC page, "How much of your area is built on?" shows that Thanet is heavily developed.

According to the page, Thanet has less than 1% of land in a natural state compared to the national average of 35%.

Likewise, 27% of Thanet is "built on" compared to less than 6% of the UK as a whole. To give that some perspective - before this value doubled twice, Thanet would be 100% buildings. Dover, by comparison, is only 8% built on. Canterbury 9% (with 16% of land still in a natural state).

The only comparable area for buildings is Medway (which contains Rochester and Gillingham) which is 28% built on but still with 10% natural land.

See the figures for yourself.

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Thanet writers charity (re)launches website

A writer based charity from Thanet has relaunched their website to cater for all creatives in Thanet.

After voting through a subtle name change from Thanet Creative Writers to Thanet Creative, the charity says we feel that the new name better encompasses the fact that we are a charity that cares about poets and other forms of creative expression too.

The new website, which is very similar to the old one is part of a social network for creative writers, poets, and authors.

In the past, they said, we've had a problem with mean people cyber-squatting names we should be using and trying to cause people to confuse them for us. We hope that this name change will end all that and clarify what we care about - being creative. No one has time for all this childish drama.

The new website, also called Thanet Creative, is free to sign up to and accept submissions from all members.

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Spate of serious accidents in Cliftonville

After a spate of accidents in Northdown Road, is it time that speed cameras were installed?

Since the start of June there have been multiple serious accidents and, no doubt, many more unreported near misses. At least one of the accidents resulted in the death of 90-year-old man.

This has left many wondering if enough is being done to prevent accidents in the area.

Locals report that speeding cars and bikes have become a regular occurrence in Northdown Road. The stretch between Northumberland Ave and Princess Margaret Ave being of particular concern.

Seriouse accidents

A woman and four children were been taken to hospital after a collision involving a car and a group of pedestrians in Northdown Road. Reported by The Isle of The Thanet News (1 June 2017)

The air ambulance flew a man in his 80s to hospital after a serious crash between a car and a pedestrian in Northdown Road. Reported by Kent Live News (12 June 2007)

A pedestrian suffered serious injuries after being hit by a motorbike in Northdown Road. Reported by Kent Online and The Isle of The Thanet News [twice] (19 August 2017)

A 90-year-old man was killed in a collision in Northdown Road. Reported by Kent Live News, The BBC, and
The Isle of The Thanet News (20 August 2017)

Are speed camera the answer?

One local man told me he never thought he would say it but he thinks that we desperately need speed cameras on Northdown Road.

Like many people, I have my doubts about the effectiveness of speed cameras but in this case, I have to wonder if they might be needed?

While hated by motorists, studies seem to suggest that the number of serious accidents are reduced by about a quarter when speed cameras are in place. So the question has to be asked - would a speed camera have saved a man's life?

Time for action

Many have been left wondering when the local authority is going to take action.

How many more people need to die before the danger of this stretch of road is given high enough priority in the shrinking local budget?

Is there time before Brexit, to get some EU money to make improvements?

There are many questions and few answers. I have reached out for comments and will publish a follow up when I get some replies.

Tell us your story

Have you been affected by speeding traffic in Northdown Road?

Do you feel more could be done?

Give us your view of this issue in the comments.

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Jon Snow's speech shows why Thanet needs bloggers

Jon Snow has said that the media elite has lost touch. They dropped the ball, but we can pick it up.

Of all of the words spoken, written, or broadcast this week, a fifty-minute oration stands out. A speech made by Jon Snow. Not the Game of Throne character but the anchor of ITNís Channel 4 News.

Jon Snow was in Edinburgh giving the 2017 MacTaggart Lecture at an annual Television Festival.

Snow spoke truth to power. He asked serious questions of journalism. He highlighted the need to connect the elite with the truth of the wider community, the forgotten, the marginalised, the "bottom end of society".

There is a massive disconnect between the wealthy and the less-well off. This disconnect gives voice to the wealthy and hides the poor from view. Local newspaper services have all but died and taken that voice with them.

Sure, The Isle of Thanet News has popped up. It is run by the ex-editor of our one remaining "local paper". Something anyone of us could have done, if only we knew how.

It's not the technology - we all have access to that.

Even here there is a disconnect where those with the connections, the training, the skills, they are in too high demand elsewhere.

The way I see it, we have few options.

  • Remain voiceless and just suffer the consiquences
  • Hope that the media elite decide that Thanet worth talking about again
  • Wait for someone to freely offer up the knowledge of how to run a true local news hub
  • Create one anyway by simple virtue of critical mass - enough people, enough blogs, working at once.
  • Allow rumour and disnformation to run rampant...

Surely the only answer from our side of the fence is to create a critical mass of blogs. Sure, any given blog will probably be a bit poor, or published irregularly, or only occasionally interesting.

Together though, we might get the attention of the national papers.

We've done it before.

There is a whole list of free places we could be blogging from. There a few blogs still talking about Thanet. Not as many as there once was, but some.

Jon Snow may well be right that the media elite has lost touch with us. He might be right that they need to try harder. But waiting for a hand out is not our only option.

Clips from Jon Snow's speech, understandably, did the rounds on social media but the whole thing is worth 50 minutes of your time.

Jon Snow said:

Like my fellow journalists, I have spent many hours around Grenfell. I have come to know a number of the survivors, and I speak to them regularly by phone or e-mail.

So casually written off as nameless migrants, scroungers, illegals, and the rest. Actually, and it should be no shock to us, the tower was full of talent. Not least the wonderful and talented Khadija Saye, who died with her mother, on the verge of a major breakthrough as an artist.

He also said:

We the media report the lack of diversity in other walks of life, but our own record is nothing like good enough.

The Sutton Trust has revealed this year that just under 80% of top editors were educated at private schools or grammar schools. Compare that with the 88% of the British public now in comprehensives.

Itís why I want to urge anyone and everyone in this room with the power to do it: give individuals who work with and for you the space to do something, anything, in the wider community we are here to communicate with.

We have the technology to create that space for ourselves. We have the freedom if we are willing to take it.

If you still feel that you need permission to be part of changing the world, you will wait until the end of time.

Go and make waves.

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UKIP's vile legacy in Thanet

After gaining control of TDC UKIP was been keen to prove it has what it takes. They failed spectacularly.

Since this victory, UKIPs time in power has seen an almost instant u-turn on their support of Manston, a vote in favour of racism, budget problems, indiscessions, a leader that failed (again) to pay tax to his own council (he was not the only UKIP councillor to do that), increased racists attacks, defections, broken promises, and Dreamland in entering administration admist suggestions of the (UKIP) council not pulling their weight.

Not exactly a glowing report.

UKIP did it's best to brand itself as the party of the people at the last local elections but the truth they seem eager to avoid is that they are a mixed bag of ex-tories and less than trustworthy fakes. After all, UKIP is a party that put forward a fake war hero and bigamist and stands accused of flouting of electoral law.

It was a UKIP councillor that was filmed saying compromising things while the chair of the planning committee. Shortly before he switched party citing UKIP's failure over Manston. Says, election pledges before the 2015 election have been largely unfulfilled.

In 2015 Thanet UKIP were forced to expell another member after her extraodinary racist rant on national television.

That embarrassment came around the same time UKIP lost overall control of TDC over its failure to carry out the only election promise it made. Then, a few months later, a report found that the only UKIP controlled Council had less than one-third of what a council of its kind should have.

That shortage of funds goes a long way to explaining why UKIP are so keen to over see a questionable merger of TDC with other councils. The shortage also explains why UKIP are considering selling off 8 council owned properties (including the Quarterdeck).

After the thrashing they received at the last election, it seems the Tory side of UKIP have seen which way the wind is blowing. Reports of UKIP members jumping ship back to the Conservatives do not seem all that uncommon these days.

Jumping ship from UKIP might be the only sensible move politically. After all, the national party is being asked to repay £150,000 of miss-spent funds and locally UKIP are losing votes faster milk turning sour in the hot weather.

So much for running the most boring council in the world.

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Byte Sized


We got a mention in 5 ways to blog from Thanet now.

Byte Sized


Thanet Creative have a new webiste and a new name

Byte Sized

Local Art

Local Artist, John Wooster-Brown has a new website.

Byte Sized

Like to write?

If you love to write then the Thanet Creative Writers blog might be the ideal place to connect with your nearest writer group.

Byte Sized


For those interested in blogging local news in and arround the UK this BBC article from last year is sure to be of interest.


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