So, the first shots in the battle to have our Hoo Peninsula recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) by way of my motion to Medway Council was defeated despite fabulous support from Medway Labour Group with wonderful statements from Cllr Vince Maple (Labour leader) and Cllr. Simon Curry, and support from Cllr Mick Pendergast our other Peninsula independent Cllr. The conservative group voted against the motion, but as I said, just the first shots in our battle.
I have also been working hard on a ‘Peninsula Planning Forum‘ to bring a combined discussion to planning and associated matters that affect us all on the Hoo Peninsula Bringing together Parish Councils and Peninsula stake holder groups to respond to Planning applications in a professional way will mean a collective united voice and begin to give rural residents a real voice. In this time of the seeming overwhelming changes to our villages, I believe we would be stronger and more confident with one voice.
The primary aims of the Peninsula Planning Forum are to provide:
A united response to planning applications that affect the Hoo Peninsula.
A vision for the principles of land use on the Hoo Peninsula
Analysis of proposed Medway Council Planning Policy for these areas.
Recommendations for sustainable growth informed by environmental, social and economic drivers.
I have written to Stake holders and Parish councillors to ask for their views and support. It is even more important during this Covid emergency and with the restrictions it brings, that a connection and on-going interaction and debate is continued, albeit virtually.
With the approaching Remembrance Sunday when we fall silent in tribute to the fallen of the two world wars and other conflicts, can I gently and respectfully remind all to wear a poppy with pride and give what you can to the British Legion Appeal in memory of those who gave all.
Whilst we remember the fallen, just take a minute or two to also think about those wounded in the service of our country, be it physically or mentally, and for the sacrifices they made that allow us the freedom that we all enjoy.