Updated: 17/03/21 @08:40
Charles Dickens put it most aptly when he said
“Now, what I want is Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts; nothing else will ever be of any service to them.”
So here is a FACT: The Shepway Green Party have recently run a misinformation campaign about the North Bank of the Royal Military Canal.
In 2019, Folkestone & Hythe District Council grounds maintenance team planted in excess of 1,000 new trees, according to a power point presentation seen by the Climate & Ecological Working Group chaired by Cllr L. Whybrow (Green), behind closed doors, in Sept 2020. The presentation states the Council will “reduce the number of trees planted in our parks and open spaces over the coming years in order to ensure their establishment.” It also stated the Council will plant “between thirty to forty trees” annually. These are undeniable FACTS
This means our Council, as part of its carbon action plan, overseen by the Cabinet Member for the Environment, Cllr L Whybrow (Green), will plant less trees than it has ever done previously. That is a FACT.
Here is another FACT. On Dec 3rd, the Shepway Green Party proudly announced that one of its elected Cllrs – Cllr Jim Martin (pictured), and a number of other councillors and volunteers, had been busy planting [420 trees] along the north bank of the Royal Military Canal between Seabrook School and the Sea Road bridge.
It is a FACT that when you plant trees within the boundary of a scheduled monument – such as the Royal Military Canal – as Cllr Martin and his elected colleagues did, one needs consent to disturb the ground. Historic England makes it very clear “ground disturbance” within a scheduled area, including planting a tree/s needs consent from them.
It is a FACT, Cllr Martin and his elected colleagues did not have the necessary consent from Historic England to disturb the ground to plant the trees within the boundary of the scheduled monument known as the Royal Military Canal. As such under s2 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, the Shepway Green Party committed an offence. The Council did NOT.
Also the document below; which is in the public domain –
shows consent for planting trees on the Canal lapsed in 2019. No new document granting consent has been published by the Council. So much for proactively disseminating environmental information, as is required under Reg 4 of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
Furthermore, it is a FACT any new tree plantings should be made at a minimum possible depth and advice sought from English Heritage with regard to the location. New planting of trees, saplings, whips and bush plantings should not be installed on the canal earthworks although replacement of existing plants is allowable.
After conversations with English Heritage, they have confirmed neither the Council, or its Cllrs sought advice from them.
So for the want of being Green, Cllr Martin and his elected colleagues have it would appear, broken the law. And remember ignorance is NO defence.
On the 8th March, Green Party Cllrs, Cllrs L. Whybrow,M. Whybrow, Georgina Treloar, Cllr Doug Wade and Cllr John Wing accused the Council of damaging wildlife habitat on the North Bank of the Canal.
As reported by Kentonline on the 8th March – Cllr Lesley Whybrow, leader of the Green group [and Chair of the Climate & Ecological Working Group, who meet behind closed doors] said: “A week after the council committed itself to a greener Folkestone and Hythe, I am dismayed at the extent of this clearance work.”
“We should be protecting biodiversity not destroying it. This action shows a disconcerting contempt for transparency and the concerns of Hythe residents. The council claims it is green, but this action is vastly to the contrary and I would go as far to say utterly hypocritical.”
However, it is a FACT that in a Climate & Ecological Working Group meeting chaired by Cllr L. Whybrow, behind closed doors, it was recently noted:
The Royal Military Canal has been managed to increase the species count for the last 15 years. A biological survey will be carried out this season to show the results of this management programme. The Grounds Mainteance teams have been closely working with the BumbleBee and Butterfly and Moths Trusts and spent many volunteering hours planting moths, butterfly and bumble bee friendly habitat.
It is a FACT the Council are increasing biodiversity along the whole length of the canal, not destroying it as Cllr Georgina Treloar declares. Cllr L Whybrow was aware of the FACT biodiversity had increased, yet still allowed her Green colleagues to contradict the FACTS she signed off as chair of the Climate & Ecological Working Group. Surreal!
It is a FACT the Greens planted trees on the canal without consent from Historic England, nor sought advice from Natuarl England as was required
It is a FACT that biodiversity along the canal has increased, not decreased as the Shepway Green Party claim. And it’s a FACT that after declaring a Climate & Ecological Emergency, our Council will be planting less trees than ever before; and we only have the Shepway Green Party to thank for that.
Yes a pesticide motion was passed, but still we use this dangerous chemical Glyphosate which has been classified as ‘probable human carcinogen’ by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
A final parting FACT: Shepway Green Party Cllrs voted with Cllr David Monk’s Tory led council to give you the highest Council Tax bills in Kent, which over the last few days have landed on your door mat.
The Shepway Vox Team
Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful