Whitstable Society Programme 2014/15

This Saturday ( the 25th January) the committeee will be meeting to put forward ideas and suggestions for potential guest speakers at our monthly meetings.
We are very interested to hear any suggestions that you may have regarding the topics you would like to be covered, or indeed recovered.
If you are paticularly interested in a subject and would like to hear from someone about it please let us know.

You may of course be willing to speak yourself on a subject that you believe would interest others, or you may know someone who would be willing to come along and share their knowledge.

Please let us have any suggestions or ideas and any contact details prior to 25th so we can consider the options available, and put together a programme that you as members want.


The Canterbury Society – Campaign for Local Democracy

See below for information about a meeting on the 5th February organised by the Canterbury Society


Invitation to a meeting
This is an invitation to an important meeting which is taking place at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 5th February. It is going to all residents’ groups and parish councils in the area, and we hope you will pass the invitation on to your members.

The meeting is being organised by the Canterbury Society on behalf of the Campaign for Democracy in the Canterbury District, which is a broad coalition of local groups concerned about the current way of running the Council.

Why is the meeting taking place?
There are two main ways in which Councils can work. Canterbury City Council has what is called a ‘Strong Leader and Executive’ system. This was adopted in 2002 when the government of the day made all councils choose between this and an elected Mayor. The aim was greater efficiency, but in practice it seemed to some residents that many decisions were being made by a small group of councillors without wider consultation.

The present government, in the Localism Act of 2011, gave councils the option of changing to another way of working, the ‘Committee System’. In this the Council forms a number of committees, each responsible for a particular area of interest. The committees make recommendations to the Council and more councillors are involved in making each decision. Some councils in other parts of the UK have already chosen to adopt the committee system.

What will happen at the meeting?
The meeting on 5 February will provide an opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of the two systems and to decide on future action. Speakers will include:
Richard King, former Chair of Kent County Council, who will discuss the options
Individuals who will present the case for the Executive and the Committee systems

The public discussion at this meeting will inform the views of the committee of the Campaign for Democracy in the Canterbury District. If there is support for change, this group will lead in organising a petition and a referendum to find out what system the residents of the Canterbury area would like.

When and where?
The meeting will take place at 7.30 pm at the United Reformed Church Hall in Watling Street in Canterbury (note change of venue from earlier publicity). So do come along to express your opinions and to hear what others think. Refreshments will be provided and everyone will be very welcome.

Canterbury District Local Plan 2013 – Processing of representations

Canterbury City Council have now processed all the comments received during the consultation period.
They received just under 7,000 comments from about 1,300 individuals and organisations (including the Whitstable Society).

Copies of all the representations should be available in Whitstable library with a summary schedule of the comments (in Plan order).
All the comments can also be viewed on the Council’s consultation web-site at http://canterbury-consult.objective.co.uk/portal.
Click on the document you are interested in, and then you can view the comments by following the instructions.

The Council now has to consider the main issues arising from the comments and decide what changes to make to the draft Plan in relation to those main issues.

It is anticipated that the comments and proposed changes to the draft Plan will be considered by Council Committees in March, and the publication of the final formal draft (the pre-Submission draft) is likely to take place in April or May. This will be a final opportunity for people to comment on the technical and legal “soundness” of the Plan before it is considered by an independent Planning Inspector.

If you have any queries regarding the local plan process please contact the planning policy team on planning.policy@canterbury.gov.uk 01227 862199

The Future of Whitstable Museum – Public meeting

There is to be a public meeting this week to further discuss the possible future of the Whitstable Museum.

The meeting starts at 7pm on Friday 17th January at St Alphege School in Oxford Street, Whitstable.

Should you be unable to attend, but are able to offer any skills, are interested in becoming more involved, or would like to find out more about becoming a volunteer for the museum, please let us know and we will forward your details on to the museum steering group.