Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Westgate Village Green Public Enquiry Closes

Top field adjoining Ursuline Drive Westgate

After a torturous week of evidence where a formidable legal team headed by a barrister were fighting against the application to register this land in Westgate as a village green faced up to a team of law students from the Kent Law Clinic from the University of Kent.
It was obvious that the barrister was very skilled at cross examination however the students conducted themselves both professionally and courteously despite constant interruptions from  the barrister.
With these cases the registration of village greens which on the face of it looks fairly straightforward now relies on opinions of  the law lords on every point including trying to define what is a 'neighbourhood'. If you were to ask a 100 people you would probably get a 100 different definitions. An industry has now sprung up to fight applications to register village greens. The intentions of the Act by parliament have become ever more complicated and is now a tangled web of arguments.
I just hope that inspectors at public hearings can remain fair minded and ensure that proceedings are conducted on a level playing field in cases where applicants do not have the funds to engage an expensive legal team.
The hearing closed on Friday 22nd November and the inspector will write a report in December and recommendations will be made by the end of January 2014.
For those interested the law states:

Section 15 of the Commons Act 2006 enables any person to apply to a Commons Registration Authority to register land as a Village Green where it can be shown that:
‘a significant number of the inhabitants of any locality, or of any neighbourhood within a locality, have indulged as of right in lawful sports and pastimes on the land for a period of at least 20 years;

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Hot off the Press

Printable copy in link bottom right. Click on" WWRA minutes Oct 13"







Tom King councillor and chairman, forty three members, Kerry Boyd (Ch of Garlinge RA), KCC Cllr Jeff Elenor, and three members of TDC staff promoting Thanet’s improved recycling scheme.

The chairman welcomed all attending.


Apologies had been received from Mercia Beach, Mick Rooney, Samantha Secomb, and Chris Wyer.


The chairman introduced Graham Laws and Susie Hooper who spoke about the new TDC recycling and waste service.  This is due to start on 4th November, and the day of collection may change.  The percentage of waste recycling has been unsustainably low but should improve considerably with the new system.  Details of the new containers and correct contents were explained to members.  There are to be new vehicles with different sections for the various types of recycling.  Food waste will be collected each week.  Some properties where there is difficulty in storing the bins or filling them will be given special consideration, and arrangements will be made to start these during 2014.  Each dwelling has or will receive a welcome pack with an information booklet, a calendar denoting collection dates, and stickers for the bins.  The web page also gives further information, and there is a “Frequently Asked Questions” section.

Answers to questions raised at the meeting included the present blue and black lidded bins will be retained and used as part of the new procedure, small amounts of food fats bagged should go in the black lid bins, as also do cards with metallic decorations. Shredded paper is placed in the red bags and should be covered.  Food recycling is going to be sent to an anaerobic digester and the gas resulting will be used to produce electricity, compost will also be produced.

The TDC staff members were warmly thanked for their time and clear presentation.

The Chairman then gave a brief update on Thanet Families in Need sent from Kerry Keating who had addressed our general meeting a few months ago.  This is a very worthy cause and has been helped by many organisations, and up to four hundred people had received items in one month.  A new premises had been found and it was hoped to open a soup kitchen.  Warm clothing, furniture have been put to good use, and the operation has helped social services keep mothers and babies together.  Tom reminded members that a food collection box is in the Bake House, which is open each morning.



The minutes of the last meeting, (9th September 2013), which had been circulated, were adopted on a prop by James Brazier sec by Richard Charlton, and signed.



1)      Marc Lawrence Memorial.  Tom King reported attending the Military Covenants meeting at Manston when he put in an outline of the bid which will be appropriately circulated and we are now waiting to hear.  Quotes from stonemasons are being obtained.

2)      Beach Clean St Mildred’s Bay.  Carried out on Beachwatch weekend 21st September, and helpers were warmly thanked.

3)      Steps Clearing at West Bay (by the CafĂ©).  Stephanie reported this had been completed and thanked all the helpers.

4)      Tesco Westgate.   This application has gone to appeal, the result is awaited.

5)      General Meetings Venue.  Today’s meeting was changed to Westgate as the Westbrook Bowls Club was not available, and although detailed in the minutes these could not be accessed on the usual website, and apologies were made for any inconvenience caused.  Tony Sykes offered to put general meeting minutes on the WASPS website, and a notice will be displayed in the Bake House door or window to confirm the venue for the November meeting.  The venue will also be shown on the W&WRA Facebook site as shown in the magazine.



KCC Cllr Jeff Elenor:

1)      Station Road Westgate.  Three trees in planters had been ordered, there was a discussion about the cost and type of trees.  Some plants in planters had been vandalised previously, this time hardy plants will be planted deeply with two bars to try to resist vandalism.  Rubbish bins are needed near the station entrance so hopefully the planters will not become receptacles for rubbish.



1)      Ron and Elsie Wellingham had sent a letter of thanks to members for the card and good wishes received.

2)      Village Green Application (Canterbury Road).  Graham Rickett now has details for the public enquiry which is to be held at the Swan over the week 18th to 22nd November, and asks for maximum support.

3)      Westbrook Undercliff.  Tony Sykes reported that TDC had given the field one cut to encourage wild flowers for next year, and thanked the volunteers for their help in looking after the patches with trees and shrubs.

4)      Food Bank for Thanet Families in Need.  A letter of thanks for support had been received.  350 to 400 people have received help and it is hoped to set up a winter soup kitchen.  (The box for donations is in the Bake House).

5)      Electoral Roll.  All residents should complete registration forms recently received to secure their vote.



1)      7, St Mildred’s Road.  Application for erection of two storey extension and pitched roof.

2)      47, St Mildred’s Road.  Application for single storey side extension.

3)      36, Westgate Bay Avenue.  Application for three new dwellings, thought to be in the garden to the side of the house.  One member understood this was to be a high quality build, Tom agreed to check if this development was reasonable.

4)      4, Cliff Field.  Application for part single, part two storey extension.

5)      Lockwoods Site Fence.  The enforcement officer has been made aware that the wall was listed and should go back (with the letter box at present being stored by the Post Office) however there is a legal obligation to have the site safe and secure during development.  James Brazier has supplied a photograph of the old wall to Nick Dermott.



No Report.



Derek informed the meeting that the magazine is ready to go to the printers.



Margaret reported that two cards had been sent out this month.



No report.



Civic society meetings continue on the first Thursdays in the month at 7.30pm.

Westgate Heritage Centre is open from 10.00am to 12.00noon with a talk on the first Saturday of the month.



1)      Friday evening suppers.  The next evening will be on 1st November and will include a quiz by Richard Charlton.

2)      New Year Lunch.  To be held on 12th January 2014, menus and booking forms available at the Bake House.



1)      Garlinge Residents’ Association Quiz Night.  This is 26th October 6.45 pm for 7.00pm in the Old School Hall, cost £5 includes fish and chips.  Teams of six to eight.

2)      Westgate Pavilion.  Fancy dress evening Thursday 31st October, 6.00pm to 10.00pm, £1.50 children £2.00 adults.


NEXT MEETING Monday 11th November, at Westbrook Bowls Club.


There being no other business the meeting concluded at 8.52pm.