iFAQs: Protesting on the peninsula

For inFrequently Answered Questions this week, we decided to take the pulse of the Hoo peninsula. With increased development, local discontent tends to be building, with a protest – led by political upstarts Medway People’s Voice – even being held to demand better infrastructure.

With Peninsula being the ward with the largest number of announced candidates, we decided to contact them all to get their views of the situation in the area, as well as their thoughts on the protest.

As usual, all responses are posted below entirely unedited. In a break with convention, Cllr Pendergast decided to post his responses on his Facebook page last week, so apologies to both readers who may have already read them there.

1. Do you believe development is putting an unreasonable strain on the peninsula in regards to infrastructure and public services?

There is no doubt that the out of control unsustainable develepments on the Peninsula have had and will continue to have a detrimental impact to those living and working on the Peninsula,the total lack of transport lincs means that we have to rely on our one road on/off and all those problem it brings.And the fault of these problems lie at the door of Medway Councils inability to formulate a housing plan in my opinion  a complete dereliction of their duty.
Ron Sands, Independent

Yes. The evidence is undeniable. With the increase in homes and new businesses, such as Amazon, there are an increasing number of vehicle movements to and from the whole of the Peninsula, which does not stop at Hoo but extends as far as Grain and Cliffe. These now occur on a main single route that was not designed for such volume of traffic. Recently, we have seen gridlock following the partial blockage of the Four Elms roundabout. People could not get to work, businesses lost money while others missed medical appointments. I have emailed Alan Jarrett, the leader of Medway Council, several times asking whether there is a contingency plan for such an event occurring again. It is a simple question and requires a simple yes or no answer. To date, several months on, he has failed to respond.
There is a very real fear that a combination of a traffic incident blocking this vital thoroughfare and a medical emergency or serious fire will result in tragedy.
With increased traffic and the removal of green space to provide housing, the natural lung decreases and pollution directly increases.
Similarly as more people populate the Peninusla, pressure grows on schools, and primarily on the provision of health services such as GP Surgeries. While there may be sufficient buildings there is a lack of personnel such as Doctors, Nurses and support staff to run them.
Anything that seriously affects peoples heath, access to healthcare and ability to get to work has to be considered unreasonable.
Cllr Mick Pendergast, Independent, Peninsula

Peninsula residents are right not to trust Medway Council who are in collusion with housing developers making grotesque profits who find every legal loophole possible so they do not have to build affordable housing, or fund infrastructure or services to make housing sustainable. Medway Council knows that communities are being destroyed by these housing developers who are just walking away from massive communities problems and health inequalities they have created.
Cllr Roy Freshwater, UKIP, Peninsula

2. Some individuals are planning a protest in regard to these issues on Saturday 12 January. Do you support the aims of this protest, and will you be taking part yourself?

This protest is a way of highlighting that very problem of one road on/off, and I fully support it and will be attending,
Ron Sands, Independent

For too long the Peninsula has been the forgotten area of Medway, the dumping ground for houses and developments that politicians of the main two parties do not have the courage to spread equally around the Medway area.
New development is all well and good if there is the infrastructure and services to support it, but now the situation is simply unsustainable. I wholeheartedly support the protest and will be a very vocal attendee.
Cllr Mick Pendergast, Independent, Peninsula

l Certainly support the protest, will be attending but not sure if such a protest is the right way forward to show Medway Council the strength of community feeling against the continuing Council policies destroying rural and Peninsula communities.
Cllr Roy Freshwater, UKIP, Peninsula

We received no response to these questions from Cllr Phil Filmer (Con), Clive Gregory (Green), Harold Ogunfemi (Con), or Gloria Thienel (Con).

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One Reply to “iFAQs: Protesting on the peninsula”

  1. Roy Freshwater DID not attend the protest. Following the protest some people turned at up Cllr Pendergast’s pub and informed us they had been told the protest was at 12 noon and a meeting point was Bells Labe Hoo. As a result they missed being there.

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