Thanet Star

When will KCC take action on dangerous junction?

At least once a year there is a nasty prang in the same part of Dane Valley. Always it is when a car is making a right hand turn out of Tenterden Way onto Millmead road.

The accidents are all, as far as I can tell, caused by the same thing - the complete invisibility of traffic to the right of the junction. The oncoming traffic may be invisible but so too is the turning. I have to tell people who give me a lift, a surprise turning is coming up and they still sometimes miss it.

The total invisibility is caused by people parking on Millmead Road combined with the hill and the slight curve in the road.

There are two schools on Tenterden Way and traffic can get pretty heavy there twice a day. Surely, it can only be a matter of time until someone, possibly a child, is killed in one of these accidents.

My two sisters and mother were hurt in a crash at that junction. The doctors were very worried about youngest sister as she was pregnant at the time. Her belly was purple from bruising and they wondered if she would lose her baby.

Post-crash baby-belly

That story has a happy ending and this Wednesday saw my niece's sixth birthday. We got lucky but luck should not be what keeps us safe on the roads.

After that, I wrote to KCC and asked for a mirror to be put up. They said no because of health and safety. If that makes sense to you, would you please explain it to me.

Next, I took the issue to TDC. At the time TDC was run by Labour who promised double yellow lines. This is far from the best solution as yellow lines are only going to make life harder for the people who live by the junction and own cars and do nothing to physically prevent people from parking there. The double yellow lines order has been stuck in development hell ever since. UKIP led TDC seem deeply unwilling to chase up on it. Here's the 2013 order from TDC to KCC which says The order was made 11th December, 2013, and its provisions will come into effect on 16th December, 2013.

So I am back at it again. KCC could put up a mirror; they could paint the junction to raise awareness of it (like they did in the lead up to the Victoria Road traffic lights); they could lower the speed limit, or they could come up with some other plan. KCC could do any one of a number of low-cost things and yet - nothing.

So I started a petition to force KCC to take action. For the petition to work it needs at least a few hundred signatures.

Last week I was featured in the local paper because of this petition ("Activist demands action at 'terrifying' junction"). The journalist reporting the story confirmed what I had seen - a litany of injuries and nasty accidents at that junction.

How long before we read of a fatality there?

It does not take long to sign the petition all you need to give is your name, postcode, and email address. I'd also appreciate it if you could share it on social media and tell your friends. KCC needs to act before someone is killed.

Sign the Petition Here

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It's a bit hot out there

It's that time of year again when everyone seems surprised by the weather. Summer has well and truly come to Thanet and we're panicking like it's the end of days. I saw a notice at the train station reminding us to keep a bottle of water with us at all times. Don't get me wrong, it is jolly warm out there, but it's summer, it's supposed to be jolly warm.

The same as every year that I can remember, warnings are being broadcast everywhere that they can get them. Drink lots. Wear sunscreen. Stay out of the sun between 11 and 3 because that's when the sun is the strongest. Surely we know this at this point? I understand that this weather is dangerous to some, and they should follow that advice, but, honestly, do we need to get told every year that the sun is trying to kill us? News sites are littered with heat wave warnings. Those same reporters will tell us how cold it is in December, too. It being hot in July isn't news.

So, if, like me, you're tired of hearing about how hot it is, let's just enjoy the sun why we've got it. It won't last long but at least we'll be getting a load of Vitamin D in our system for healthy bones, right?

Perhaps while enjoying the sun you could try and catch some Pokémon? (I had to get that in here, didn't I?) Feel free to let me know any good spots, I'm sick of Pidgeys.

David Chitty is a local fiction writer who spends far too much time tending to his beard. He can be found on davidchitty.com or you can like him on Facebook.
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Post-Brexit Thanet

The dust is settling, to some degree, after the referendum results were announced. We have a new Prime Minister, the Cabinet has been changed, and now people are left wondering how the result will affect them. So what does all this mean for Thanet?

Unfortunately, the answer is money. A lot less of it.

Between 2000 and 2006, Thanet directly received £26m in EU funding, including: £3.2m for a new electricity sub-station and improved electricity infrastructure to increase capacity and support industrial development within the area; £700,000 for the Thanet Campus Phase 2, with a bias on business and technology; and £1.3m for the Thanet Innovation Centre.

Thanet has also benefited from EU grants worth millions for the High Speed 1 rail link which runs between Margate and London; improved energy efficiency and lighting within Kent schools; investment into nature reserves; Chamber of Commerce, the promotion of business and enterprise, Business Link, and self-employment training for those starting businesses; funding to support and help 5000 'at risk' teenagers across Kent and Medway; English, Maths and IT training to Level 2 for adults who did not achieve qualifications in school; supporting the tourism industry throughout Kent; preserving archaeological heritage and local history; Sure Start centres throughout Thanet; grants for the harbour and refurbishment of the historic arches in Ramsgate, Viking Bay in Broadstairs, the Turner Contemporary and the Creative Quarter in Margate.

As of now, we need to look at how we are going to move forward as a community without financial support like that in the future. Infrastructure, new businesses, arts and culture, coastlines, tourism; somehow we need to continue supporting these areas, as without them Thanet is doomed to slump.

Whatever way I try and write this piece, I cannot offer good news. Both sides, Leave and Remain, have had to acknowledge that the promises made during the referendum campaign were hollow and without substance, and now we all face a new reality together that we have made. The big changes in government are just the start, and so much more is going to happen over the coming months and years it is almost impossible to predict the outcome, other than places like Thanet will once again be side-lined.

We need to pull together to prevent Thanet drifting back into the gloom. This vibrant area is a wonderful place to live, and the positivity and proactivity of the residents will surely prevail, no matter what challenges come our way. Simply put, we need to cast our differences aside and unite to save Thanet.

About Seb: When he is not writing guest posts for Thanet Star Seb Reilly is a fiction writer and occasional musician from Thanet. Seb maintains a website at www.sebreilly.com.
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Thanet Writers Launch Education Policy

Thanet-based writing collective Thanet Writers have launched an Education Policy, allowing some of their content to be used by educational establishments for free. This is another positive, community-based step from the group, who already offer two writers' groups a week for authors and poets to gain a critique of their work.

Having reviewed the policy, it is clear that schools, colleges, universities, and adult learning facilities (providing free courses) will all benefit from this. The content made available under the policy is mainly what Thanet Writers call 'Essays' - non-fiction articles about writing, along with book reviews and some videos.

Thanet Writers are proving to be a resourceful and forward-thinking group (three of our regular contributors also write for Thanet Writers), and Thanet Star has learned that the group are planning more community-based projects for the future. The content on thanetwriters.com is also incredibly interesting, featuring short stories and poetry alongside non-fiction articles. It is definitely worth checking out, so head over and take a look!

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UKIP & Tory Councillors vote in favour of racism

The motion before Thanet District Council tonight was a simple one, agree to continue to oppose racism and discrimination. But, the UKIP and Troy councillors were united in opposition.

Tonight Thanet District Council, under the direction of UKIP and Conservative councillors, voted in favour of racism in Thanet.

The motion, which was met by applause from the public, was quickly squashed by UKIP with a motion to not debate the motion.

A point of order was raised pointing out that by not allowing ten minutes for debate the motion would "fall" and therefore would be rejected by the council sending the message that Thanet District Council did not plan to continue to oppose racism.

This was met by smirks from UKIP councillors.

A vote was taken on whether or not the council should debate the motion (or reject it) and every UKIP, every Tory (as far as I could see) and everyone else with the exception of four Labour councillors swiftly voted to allow the motion to fall.

As the vote by show of hands was called there was a hush of disbelief from the public. As the vote was counted there were hisses and cries of this says so much, not in my name, and you're a disgrace from the public.

It fell to the public to remind councillors this goes on record, but they ignored the public and pressed forward with a near-united vote.

The public became more agitated with general cries of protest and not-too-subtle suggestions that each vote was a racist vote.

Tonight the UKIP and Tory councillors in TDC voted against an anti-racism motion allowing it to fall without debate. Thereby indicating that not only were they not in favour of pledging to have the council continue to oppose racism but they were not willing to even allow it to be discussed.

This was followed by a large-scale angry walkout by all or most of the general public.

Only five Labour councillors voted in support of the motion.

This is our council at work. Voting in favour of racism.

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