General Meeting - Live - Speaker - Ben Fitter Harding CCC

Thu, Sep 16th 2021 at 7:30 am - 8:45 am

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Thursday, September 16th – Ben Fitter-Harding

Ben Fitter-Harding is the leader of Canterbury City Council where he is the councillor for Chestfield.



Breakfast Meeting 07.30am 16th September 2021 @ the Golf Club


Present:               Dave C; Margaret; Pippa; Spyros; Marian; Jean & Andrew M; Paul; Andrew B; Robert; David K; David M; Nick; Godfrey (Chair); Pat.  Kathy & Pete attended on Zoom.


Apologies:           Elaine; Hilary; Iain; Jackie; Lesley; Sue; Myfannwy; Maureen; Reggie.


Guest:                  Ben Fitter-Harding, local councillor


Grace:                   Said by Paul.




Ben Fitter-Harding:  Ben is a councillor for Chestfield and leader of the council.  He talked about developments in the last few months.  The council have taken over managing the council’s housing stock, and also waste management.  These are both important elements of the new Corporate Plan.  The local planning process is still being consulted on, and the draft plan will be available for comment in 2022; it will include information about proposed new housing developments.  The next council elections will be in May 2023.

                                Ben talked about the impact of the pandemic.  Council tax only contributes 1/3 of the council’s income.  The other 2/3 comes from sources which were hit by the pandemic.  Thanks to past prudence, the council had £12 millions in reserve funds.  Much of this was used to support services during the pandemic.  However some services eg supporting local tourism can no longer be sustained.

Q:           Is recycled domestic waste really sorted and recycled?  Yes it is; only the remaining general waste is incinerated – and this is used to generate heat.

Q:           Will we continue to have to book a slot at local recycling centres, and doesn’t this encourage fly tipping?  There have been local and county studies, but no clear evidence whether or not booking causes more fly tipping.  Whether or not to retain a booking system is being consulted on at the moment.  Comment from some members that fly tipping has been encouraged by a rise in the cost of disposing of trade waste.  Comment from members that staff at the recycling centres locally were very helpful.

Q:           Comment that owing to a lack of mowing verges, ragwort is rampant on the latter.  Ragwort acts as a slow poison for farm animals.  Ben commented that no mowing was an experiment to increase bio diversity which is not likely to be repeated.  Kent being a large county it is difficult for a central authority to be on top of all outlying areas, so it is likely that verge maintenance will be devolved to local areas.

Q:           Comment about planning of road maintenance.  Sea street in Herne Bay was felt to be particularly poor and in need of resurfacing.


Any Other Business:        None


Upcoming Events:            The speaker for next week’s evening meal has had to pull out, he has to be in court.  David K has re-booked him for next February.  Next Thursday, David K has kindly stepped in to talk about the individuals who might be regarded as the founding fathers of Herne Bay.


Greetings from other clubs:  Spyros brought greetings from two members of Saffron Walden club.


Raffle:                   was won by Andrew B, and Dave C


Next meeting:                                   7.30pm Thursday 23rd September, her at the golf club


Happy Birthday to David B – 86 today!

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