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KCC approves 20mph in Faversham? Don’t celebrate yet…

I think we need to be very cautious about this announcement.

It talks about “many of the roads” not “all of the streets”.

It says they “may be suitable” not “are suitable”.

It says no 20mph on the A2. The A2 is possibly the one place where 20mph should be introduced asap, at the junction of The Mall and the Ashford Road, to alleviate congestion there.

It says only 20mph in “appropriate parts of Faversham”. A piecemeal approach is not what we have been campaigning for. Piecemeal is the wrong approach. We’ve covered the arguments for this before so I won’t go into them now.

It says KCC won’t fund this – what does that say about their commitment to the health and safety of vulnerable road users.

In my view this is no time to celebrate. Instead, it’s time to push back and demand an explanation for KCC’s reasoning.
KCC’s email

KCC have reviewed the proposal, as made by Faversham Town Council working in conjunction with the ‘20s Plenty’ group.

In principle many of the roads, which fall within the Faversham town boundary, are potentially suitable for the introduction of a 20mph speed limit; the A2 would not be suitable.

Kent County Council are happy to support Faversham Town Council in their taking this proposal forward, through KCC providing advice and guidance, in order that Faversham Town Council may be able to implement 20mph zones in appropriate parts of Faversham.

KCC would not be looking to fund this scheme at this time.



Now is the time for a 20mph speed limit in Faversham

Kent County Council typically over-designs and over-costs transport projects. In contrast, a 20mph speed limit can be implemented at a fraction of the price of conventional, car-centric solutions such as the hugely costly and unnecessary A2/Ashford Road roundabout.

Faversham has a clear “urban footprint” with a small number of ways in and out – and therefore a small number of places that need gateway signage. The Town Council has already identified the need to upgrade the gateway signage to update and improve the existing signs. It has already identified funding to do so. Adding a 20mph roundel to the gateway signage should now be part of the sign designer’s brief. By combining budgets in this way, more can be done with available resources.

Faversham needs more joined up thinking as well as a more joined up network of routes that are safe and convenient for walking and cycling. Now is the time for action.

Future generations will judge us on what we do next.

Does Faversham deserve the best? Of course it does. 

We’re told we should do our best. And that’s right. But I believe we need to do more than that. We should do the best. This means we need help to do more than we can do alone. We need to surround ourselves with people who can form a team to do the best. 
Does Faversham want a plan that’s fit for purpose? Of course it should have one. But how about a plan that is at the top of the game? That sets highest standards? That wins awards?

I believe Faversham deserves the best. Not just our best – the best. 

Cyclists – you’re not welcome in Faversham

Boy do some elected members in @SwaleCouncil & #Faversham Town Council not like cyclists! All sorts of insult & scaremongery was manifest at yesterday evening’s Local Engagement Forum. 

Here’s a selection of their views: Cyclists kill. Cyclists are anti social. Not just the young ones but the old ones too.

I intervened to point out:

– towns and cities throughout the UK are positively encouraging greater levels of cycling because they see cycling as part of their sustainability strategy, part of their economic regeneration strategy, part of their health strategy

– the UK’s population is changing with greater levels of younger people and young families who want to cycle if they are given the option

– if Faversham is seeking to ban cyclists then it is going backwards

– cars kill, injure and intimidate much more than cyclists yet we don’t talk about them in these pejorative ways

– rather than victimise people who choose to cycle we should be encouraging a culture of civilised behaviour throughout the town

– the 20s Plenty campaign is key to this 

– and, by the way, on the point that Faversham isn’t the Netherlands, Bristol has the UK’s highest levels of cycling. Bristol has hills. Faversham has slopes. 

The senior police officer there, speaking in a personal capacity said that if it was up to him he would deregulate rather than regulate. Remove signs not add more of them. He quoted the case of Ashford where the urban design approach there has led to lower levels of injuries and fatalities. He thanked me for intervening. 

It makes me wonder – if we left it to experts like this officer, how much better, more civilised, convivial and economically successful could Faversham be?

VOTING RESULTS for St Ann’s Ward, Faversham Town Council

The count was held last night – I’m afraid I didn’t quite make it:

Cosgrove (Conservative) 1,116 Elected

Abram (Conservative) 937 Elected

Kay (Conservative) 934 Elected

Green (Conservative) 891 Elected

Jackson (Labour) 653

Stonor (Independent) 644

Durkin (Labour) 639

Hanna (Labour) 596

Bryans (Labour) 552

Chester (Independent) 535

Hinton (Independent) 454

Cumberland (Independent) 424

McGregor (Green) 409

Simaan (Green) 333

Watling and Abbey Wards were also won by Conservative candidates at both Town and Borough.

Priory Ward was won by Independent candidates at both Town and Borough.

My congratulations go to all the elected candidates.

Thank you for all your help and support in the past few weeks. I have enjoyed the process and will continue to help the town in any way I can.

Best wishes

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Tim Stonor
46 Tanners Street, Faversham, ME13 7JL

The art of the possible – cooperation, not confrontation

In the last few days of the election campaign there is much talk of horse-trading, deal-making, dark rooms and red lines. And rightly so. With no obviously clear winner in sight, we should not expect the election process to end upon the declaration of the count. The process will have consequences in terms of how those elected seek to govern: how they engage with each other, with their electorate and with their wider communities. And, since Faversham Town Council has limited direct powers it also means working effectively with the Borough and County Councils.

This means negotiation.

So how should this process of negotiation take place? By seeking to obstruct or seeking to influence?
By influence.

And should this influence be offered by threat or by assistance?
By assistance. 

Should people seek to assist by shouting or speaking?
By speaking in conversation. 

And what kind of a conversation should take place? A confrontational conversation or a constructive conversation?
A constructive conversation.  Continue reading The art of the possible – cooperation, not confrontation

Assembling a cultural database

Sir Tipene O’Regan
Māori indigenous local and world views

Notes on the creation of a cultural database using digital technology. Lessons for Faversham.

“Culture needs to be cultivated.”

“We must remember to remember.”

“People who have no memory have no future.”

Cultural mapping – “Stories of death, lust, more lust & bravery”. Google Earth database of >4,000 names with historic references. Songs, stories too.

“We have to be the proprietors of our own cultural database.” This applies equally to any community as it does to the Māori culture that inspired the sentiment. “Something that is authentically ours with an authentic base”.

“Walk into the future with your eyes on the past.”

Could Faversham be the most engaging online council in the world?

For a town council without a “proper” website – nested instead within the excellent and informative – it may sound like a foolish suggestion for Faversham Town Council to become a world-leader in the field of online citizen engagement. Yet the Council’s relative weakness in this area may be an unexpected asset because, with no existing infrastructure, there is no technology inertia. All that’s needed is the desire to act.

Elsewhere in the world – as I’m currently discovering in New Zealand – great strides are being taken to transform democracy from being (or at least being perceived to be) a remote, top down process to one that truly embraces the views of the electorate. Continue reading Could Faversham be the most engaging online council in the world?