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Summating the Motion to Save Princes Parade

June 27, 2019 1:25 PM

Princes ParadeIn summating the motion to Save Princes Parade and reply to the debate on Wednedsday 26th June, I said something like the below (you need to react to what other people say, so it's a bit fluid!).

You can (for a limited period) see the speech as delivered on the webcast at https://folkestone-hythe.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/418553/start_time/8720000?force_language_code=en_GB

The vote was won 15-14 after an hour long debate. There is more on the motion and debate here.

"On May 2nd, every single Conservative District Councillor in Hythe and Sandgate lost their seats to candidates prepared to stand up against the development of Princes Parade.

"Councillor Mullard - I entirely agree with you. That's NOT NIMBYism. That's the will of the people.

"On the planning application, there are hundred and hundreds of comments against the development. There are thousands of petition signatories on the grounds of ecology, environment, amenity and cost. That's the Will of the People.

"This doesn't have to be an "us and them" vote. A new Council has been elected, and it is able, now, to change its mind. Listen to the Will of the People in Hythe and Sandgate and across the District. Be on the right side of this vote tonight.

"This is NOT a planning motion.

"We're not deciding, or pre-deciding, a planning decision.

"This Council has submitted a Planning application already - that horse has bolted. It can choose to withdraw it. We're asking this council to decide against building in Princes Parade. We can do that. We ask you to do so.

"We're heard from Councillor Treloar giving details of the wide ranging ecology of the site.

"We've heard Councillor Martin's professional opinion on the finances of the scheme. People keep coming back on different vvaulations. Saville's valuation is a comparable NOT residual land valuation. The only one that exists is Councillor Martin's.

"Councillor Hollingsbee said that if we get need to clear waste and asbestos off the site we'd just do it. That's not costed in. That's not in your costings. Have you any idea what that costs?

"As Councillor Shoob has said, this is right by our areas largest and longest Scheduled Ancient Monument - the Royal Military Canal. It harms it. Historic England says so.

"As Historic England say: "Scheduling is the selection of nationally important archaeological sites. Although archaeology is all around us, Scheduled sites form a carefully chosen sample of them, which are closely managed.

"While some change may be possible, there is a presumption that they will be handed on to future generations in much the same state that we have found them."

"You wouldn't build tower blocks in Dover Castle.

"You wouldn't put a hole in Hadrian's Wall.

"And you SHOULDN'T build houses in front of the canal at Princes Parade.

"I had understood the ethos of this administration, and the reason the UKIP members joined it, was to provide sound financial management for our District. Well with that comes the management of risk.

"On one hand, a Leisure Centre with low risk in a place accessible to Hythe AND Romney Marsh and their residents with an affordability gap of around £1million.

"On the other hand, with Princes Parade, a small centre further from the Marsh, the other side of Hythe, with a risk of losing £15 million, or maybe massively more, on it.

"Risk with Princes Parade. Certainty without Princes Parade.

"Yes, this Council has already spent £750,000 getting here. Yes, I'm suggesting writing off that money. Because that's still the lower risk thing to do.

"When in a hole, stop digging. That goes double if your hole is in an ex-rubbish tip by the sea and a scheduled ancient monument.

"This is a Council, not a Casino.

"So our motion tonight enables you to do the right thing, on many different levels.

"To vote to save and protect the valued Princes Parade area.

"To stand up for our environment, our ecology.

"To deliver a new, high class swimming pool and leisure centre that works for the Marsh AND Hythe.

"And to protect this council from potentially massive risk.

"That's worth doing. That's what we're here for. Please vote for the motion, with your head, and your heart."