Month: December 2015



So what do you do to save a tree you don’t want someone cutting down?

You get a TPO – a tree preservation order – put on it.

But how do you do that?

You get onto the council’s planning department . You can write to the Planning Department, Thanet District Council, PO Box 9, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent, CT9 1XZ and/or email them on . Or, if you prefer, ring 01843 577150.

Tell them where the tree is and why you think it shouldn’t be cut down.

Good reasons to save it include…

how good it looks

how important it is to the landscape, your view

how it stops you just looking at boring old buildings,

how important it is for the wildlife – the birds, insects etc.

Other phrases that may help, depending on where the tree is…

“It is a significant neighbourhood amenity.”

“Cutting it down will only create pressure to remove more trees.”

“It’s important piece of green space.”

“It’s a stepping stone… linking together the few remaining havens for wildlife.”

“It ‘s in an open landscaped areas.”

Tell them, too, any reasons you have for thinking the tree might be under threat.

Typical reasons are…

you believe the person who owns the land wants to get rid of it to build something there,

or – on a smaller scale – the landowner doesn’t don’t want it shedding leaves on their path or spreading its roots about their garden and so on.

The council will check that the tree is “healthy and stable”.

Watch out for this as they will often justify cutting a tree down by saying it’s “diseased”. It may or – may not be – diseased enough to cut it down.

So, if you’re really serious about saving this tree, get hold of a tree expert to give you an independent opinion and pass this onto the council.

Finally, ask the council when they’re likely to make their decision about the TPO and then chase and chase them up.

If you don’t make headway with the planning department, contact your councillor in Thanet District Council and ask her/him to do something about it.




It’s a lovely morning, you’re going down the road – then suddenly, you have this strange feeling… Something’s missing.

Something wonderful and beautiful.

What is it?

It was part of your world. But now it’s gone.

It was a tree!

People who come to live in Thanet often notice that trees in short supply.

And those trees which do exist show a frightening tendency to disappear overnight.

It’s horrifying – and not just because trees make the world less ugly.

Trees are vital entities which, ultimately, we can’t live without.

So why do some people hate them? Why do some people seem so dedicated to cutting them down?

It’s a mystery.

But at least now there’s somewhere you can go to register your support for, delight in and solidarity with for Thanet’s trees.

It’s a Facebook page called Trees Please and this is the address:

Go there, join up. Save Thanet’s trees. We need them.


NEWINGTONOn Thursday 21st of January people in Newington, Ramsgate, will go the polls to choose someone to represent them on Thanet District Council.  The election has been caused by the resignation of the UKIP councillor Vince Munday. Newington is a high unemployment, high poverty area. Below a woman, who’s lived in Newington all her life, gives her view about the coming election.

When you say you live on the estate, some people give you a look.

That’s because they think we’re all single mothers on drugs and benefits, hopeless people.

It’s right that it’s a very poor area.

Half the people haven’t got jobs. Lots and lots of people are on the sick. Lots of the don’t go to school and there are gangs who cause trouble.

There’s a lot of brains around here that’s all messed up.

But families around here still stick up for each other,  and are kind to each other, I’ll say that for them.

Mostly things are bad because people haven’t got any hope, anything to look forward to.

But it didn’t use to be like that.

When my gran and grandad lived here, back in the ’50s and ’60s there was work.

That’s why they built these council houses, because in those days the country NEEDED working people.

But they took the jobs away, didn’t they?

In the ’80s they just closed everything down.

Mrs Thatcher, she closed the mines, factories. She just wanted the country to live off the banks and the get rich quick city types. Loadsamoney people.

She wasn’t interested in working people or working class jobs, so she got rid of them all.

So people around here they were left like marooned here.

Stuck on an island on Island Thanet.

And so when the Labour Party or UKIP or the Tories or anyone comes around here looking for votes, that’s what I’m going to ask them…

What are you going to do to bring the jobs back?

Don’t talk to me about immigrants, because it wasn’t immigrants who landed us in this mess.

You can blame the immigrants for everything, but it’s not true.

It wasn’t immigrants who took the heart out of this place.

It wasn’t them who took our jobs away, back in the 1980s and 1990s. It wasn’t them who didn’t give a toss about people like us.

It was Mrs Thatcher and her sort who decided you could close the mines down because they didn’t turn a profit.

But then years later, they decided banks had to be kept going no matter how much they they lost

No, they shouldn’t cut our benefits – because that’s just going to make things worse.

But that’s still not the real answer, is it?

We want jobs, that’s the answer.

Jobs that are worth doing and jobs that are worth having.

Not part time, not zero hours.

Proper jobs.

And that’s what I’m going to say to anyone who comes to my door looking for votes.

Where’s the jobs?




There has been uproar over the unexpected closure of the Royal School For The Deaf in Margate with many people calling for its reopening. But NIGEL UTTON, until recently head of Bromstone Primary School in Broadstairs, takes a different view

I’m afraid I won’t be signing any petitions about saving the Royal School for the Deaf.

When I was a head-teacher in Thanet, my school had close links with the Royal School, as we did with all the special schools. My staff and children learned British Sign Language and we welcomed many BSL users into the school.

My school was recognised as the most inclusive school in Kent. We did our best to cater for all children’s needs whether they were physical, psychological, intellectual, social, racial, religious, sensory or gender issues.

I know some of you swapped your children from other schools because of my school’s welcoming reputation. The teachers at the Royal School were doing a wonderful job from what I saw and have amazing skills.

I just don’t believe that in the 21st century there is any need for segregated education.

Their skills should be used in all schools. Our society gets better when our children learn to love each other by being together, not segregated.

Kent is probably one of the least inclusive counties with its dreadful selective system at age ten, which is why the battle for fully inclusive education here, with a grossly unfair funding system eventually defeated me.

Despite this at Bromstone we proved that it can be done and it is a wonderful thing.

This is what I think our Labour Party should be fighting to establish.

So count me out of the campaign to save the Royal School for the Deaf









People from all over Thanet gathered at Broadstairs war memorial to protest against the bombing of Syria on Saturday 12 December.

The protest was organised by Christine Tongue of the Thanet Stop The War group.

Christine said: “It was a very moving occasion. We had readings and a song and people expressed their opposition to the British government’s decision to join the bombing.”

She added: “What saddened me the most was to hear how many hundreds of civilians have already died in bombings in Syria. And I fear that the British bombing will lead to yet more innocent people dying.”

Christine explained why the Thanet Stop The War group decided to hold their meeting at the war memorial.

“The war memorial is a monument to those who died in war. What better place to come together say that we don’t want more deaths?”

She said that there will more protests in the future if the bombing continues



On Saturday 12 December at 2.30pm people will hold a peace vigil at the war memorial in Broadstairs to show their opposition to the bombing in Syria. The following was written by one of those taking part.

The idea of bombing Syria is to destroy ISIS, but will it work?

In November the French government said 30 of their air strikes destroyed an ISIS training camp and munitions dump in Raqqa in Syria.

But a media activist in Raqqa said that the French air strikes hadn’t touched ISIS.

“It has been two insane nights,” he said. “People are horrified and everyone here lives in fear.”

He said that in the past few days Russian air strikes had caused the most destruction.

“Last week, Russian air strikes destroyed one of the main bridges in the city in addition to the national hospital. Most hospitals in the city have been destroyed in Raqqa,” he said.

“The US, Russia and France are all bombing Syria. How many more countries want to bomb us?

“Raqqa is devastated. Raqqa has endured the unbearable and we live in fear under ISIS’s dictatorship.

“Not everyone who lives in Raqqa approves of ISIS. I am a citizen of Raqqa and I refused to leave my hometown just like many others did.

“What the world needs to know is that we live under ISIS control on the ground, and constant air strikes from the sky. We are trapped,” he said.

In December, on the eve of the vote in Parliament on bombing Syria, the Observer newspaper spoke to Raqqan exiles in Turkey.

Most of them feared that more bombing would cost more innocent lives in their city.

Many were baffled and frustrated that the city’s fate was being decided in distant capitals and conference rooms where the people of Raqqa have no presence or a voice.

The Syrian activists known as Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently said:  “We are against the UK strikes on Raqqa; all the world is bombing Raqqa; UK will not make any change in the situation Syria. If UK want to help people then they should accepts Syrian refugees in their country and not close the border.”

The UK-based monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights puts the number of civilians killed in coalition airstrikes in Syria already at close to 400 since September 2014.

The number of Syrian civilians killed by Russian warplanes is at least twice that figure.

Just on Tuesday of this week (Dec 8) the Syrian Observatory received reports that  26 people,including 7 children and 4 women, were killed in Syria by Coalition airstrikes.

Many others were wounded  and the number of the dead is likely to rise.

There is an estimated 500,000 people in the Raqqa, and one million people in Raqqa province, including almost 150,000 children.




Tory MP Gordy Henderson about to pen a blockbusting yarn about ISIS drowning Margate maybe..?

So what about this for a story…!

Isis terrorists sneak into Kent and detonate a bomb-filled World War II battleship, sunk in the Thames estuary.  The bombs go off causing the largest non-nuclear blast in history.

This creates a “tsunami”-type wave flooding coastal towns in Kent and Sussex, including poor old Westgate on Sea and Margate.


And as if Margate didn’t have enough problems with Dreamland in financial meltdown!

Reading this astounding story in the local press, Moley went into emergency research-mode.

The battleship in question is the American ship, the SS Richard Montgomery which, one night in 1944, while the captain was slumbering, ran aground on a sandbank in the Thames off the Isle of Sheppy

And the ship did indeed contain 1,400 tonnes of explosives which is still there and which, in theory, if it went off, it would cause one heck of a bang.

So if some ISIS terrorists did find out about this wreck and did manage to set it off…

Wait just a doggone sec, Deputy Dawg…

Moley discovers that bookshelves of writers have been there long before ISIS.

Back in 1977 a novel called Blockbuster has an extortionist threatening to blow the Montgomery up, causing serious flooding in central London.

A few years later the novel The Action of the Tiger theorises that the sunken ship contains America’s first atom bomb, undisturbed since the war until the present when, of course, some nasty neo Nazis find out about it.

More recently the 2009 book Timebomb spins a yearn about a group of European terrorists financed by a “dissident Saudi” (now who could that be?) attempting to ram a semtex-packed speed boat into the wreck.

And finally in the 2010 novel, A Loyal Spy, returns to the idea of trying to flood London (Thanet not being an important enough target of course), by planning to blow up the ship at the same time as a surge of high tide.

All great action-thriller fun, of course, but very unlikely to actually really happen.

The ship’s been sunk in the sea there for over 70 years, most experts think the bombs are extremely unlikely to go off, and would ISIS really take such a big chance at such a complicated plan, when they’ve got much more straightforward methods at their disposal? They may be murderous and fanatical but they’re not stupid.

So then who would seriously hold up the likelihood of some fiendish foreign types blowing up a sunken battleship in the Thames?

Who would have some interest in whipping up fear of alien conspiracies, no matter how far-fetched and foolish?

One of those delirious political chaps who puts ALL our problems down to those ghastly folks beyond the channel, perhaps?

Step forward Gordon Henderson, MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey.

It was Gordon who asked the transport secretary in September what steps the government is taking to protect the wreck of the ship from the terrible terrorists which in turn triggered these wild headlines.

The minister reassured him by telling him all the precautions they’ve been taking anyway to keep an eye on the sunken explosions.

But our Gordon has form in harbouring fantasy fears of foreigners.

He’s a supporter of the Better Off Out campaign which calls for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union and has stated that the non-Conservative politician he most admires is UKIP’s Nigel Farage.

In fact, so in love was Gordon with our Nige, that in 2014 there was speculation he might actually defect to UKIP.

Eventually Gordon said he’d considered defection but decided against because he viewed some of their policies as “muddled and contradictory.”

Poor old Nigel must be kicking himself that Gordon didn’t  take his shilling.

The man has such a wonderful imagination.

old mole