Standard Quay Newsletter
3 March 2011    Issue 2

The Petition is Dead - Long Live the Petition

The Save Standard Quay e-petition grew faster and bigger than we ever hoped it would. Thank you.

In a mere three days, it reached the numbers needed to go on the agenda at the next Local Engagement Forum (a public meeting organised by Swale Council) and is now approaching 1,200 names.

But according to Swale Borough Council, which ran the e-petition, we have to close it on March 3 to make sure it can be discussed at the next LEF meeting on March 15.

So we’ve decided to end the e-petition on Swale’s website at the end of Thursday March 3 and continue it here at instead.

We’ve made a record of the names of those who have already signed and will add new names as they come in.

So, please keep asking people to sign up and point them to the petition’s new home. It is still running! Click here to sign

Thanks to Swale Borough Council’s officers for bringing the e-petition idea to our attention, running it and keeping it online. I imagine there were teething problems – the software was designed by Central Government not developed themselves.

The petitions officers have been really helpful throughout. It is not their problem that we have had to close the petition in order for it to be ‘acted upon’. I am not sure in what way discussing the petition at a public meeting (for this is what the LEF is) counts as acting on it, but we have been warned that if we do not close it on 3rd March then it may not be considered until after the local elections.

I can only assume this means that someone who wishes it not to be discussed could stand up and say that and Swale officers in charge of the meeting would have to specifically exclude it from the agenda. While I would hope that this would not happen, we have decided not to risk it, when it’s safer to transfer it to our own site at

LEF Meeting 15th March 2011, Alexander Centre Faversham, 7pm

Not many people usually turn up to these. But this one could be really important. Please come along and tell anyone you know who may be interested.

The Government is bringing in the Localism Bill and it appears that Faversham Creek is being used as some kind of experimental programme to test how this will work. The Creek is quoted in a large number of documents at Swale and it is not clear why it is there. The Core Strategy Consultation Document, which is supposed to be a general outline of strategy for the Borough, specifically mentions Faversham Creek.

The Council seems so far to have given no weight at all to our constant representations via the Creek Consortium that Standard Quay is already regenerating the Creek; is already a real live demonstration of how traditional vessels, traditional skills, traditional craftsmen all work together to maintain and build upon Faversham’s ship-building heritage; is already working in a practical, sustainable way to create both jobs and real tourist income for the town; already has real local employment, real training opportunities and a genuine and growing base of enthusiastic and interested visitors from all around the world,

So why is the Creek in so many Swale documents?  

Don’t let Swale hijack the new Localism Bill before we have had chance to use it as it is presumably properly intended to be used.

We should be driving how it works, not allowing it to be used to justifying yet more expensive new studies and new development plans foisted on us that deliver nothing but houses or other unwanted development. Please come to the LEF at the Alexander Centre (the future of the Alexander Centre is itself also on the agenda) and ask questions about the Creek and how the Council intends to replace the real jobs at Standard Quay if it won’t intervene or guarantee to retain its protection under the old Local Plan (there is a link to this on our website) or about the whole Localism Process.  

For those interested in more detailed planning matters, a look at how the new idea of the ‘Community Infrastructure Levy’ might be interesting with regard to development, developers and how this might possibly affect the Creek.

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