The latest with Cllr Dan Friend in Sandwich

CommunityAd cover the latest with Cllr Dan Friend, re-elected for another term and tackling the issue of Richborough HWRC.

 

Dear Readers,

 

The Summer is fast approaching with much to look forward to in Sandwich and the surrounding areas, do check out www.sandwichisopen.co.uk!

 

First off, I would like to thank everyone for their support at the latest Local Elections and returning me for another term. I am very glad to be here and remain a strong voice for Sandwich and Woodnesborough. I continue to work hard for you, championing your views and aspirations and supporting our community to grow and thrive.

 

My friend and running mate Harry Sampson continues to work extremely hard for our area, supporting our festivals, events, Sandwich is Open initiative and the Sandwich Community Caretaker programme.

 

I am pleased to share I have been appointed to the Shadow Cabinet, with responsibility for Social Housing, Port Health, Skills, and Education as well as sitting on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. These are critical positions in holding the controlling group at Dover District Council to account, ensuring that they deliver for our communities. I would like to focus on a matter of the upmost importance that has the potential to affects us all. There has been a proposal to consult on the future of waste disposal throughout Kent which could include the closure of some sites including Richborough Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC).

 

Let me provide some context for those who may be unaware of the current situation. Richborough HWRC has been a vital facility serving our community for many years, offering a convenient and accessible location for waste disposal and recycling. It has played a crucial role in promoting sustainable practices, reducing landfill waste, and safeguarding our environment.

 

However, the centre now faces an uncertain future, and our community must work together to protect it. The proposal to close Richborough HWRC stems from cost-saving measures, but the implications of such a decision are far-reaching. The closure would disrupt our waste management routines and have significant environmental and social consequences. One of the key concerns is the potential increase in pollution due to longer travel distances. Closing Richborough HWRC would force residents to travel greater distances to alternative centres, leading to more road congestion, longer journey times, and a detrimental impact on air quality. This situation contradicts our collective efforts to create a greener and healthier community.

 

Furthermore, the closure poses a severe risk of increased fly-tipping. Without a conveniently located and easily accessible disposal site, some individuals may resort to illegal dumping, spoiling our surroundings, harming wildlife, and tarnishing the beauty of our community.

 

The impact on our community as a whole cannot be understated. The closure would result in longer travel times, increased litter and considerable inconvenience for those seeking to dispose of their waste responsibly.

 

Families, the elderly, and vulnerable individuals who rely on Richborough HWRC would face additional challenges in managing their waste effectively. In response to these concerns, a dedicated group of individuals, started by Harry Sampson and me, have formed a united front to oppose the closure and fight for the preservation of Richborough HWRC. This passionate collective includes MPs, councillors, mayors, community leaders, businesses and concerned citizens committed to safeguarding this invaluable resource.

We have launched a leaflet campaign alongside our digital campaign to engage every community member, ensuring that everyone can contribute their voice, regardless of their internet or social media access. We aim to reach as many households as possible, spreading awareness and encouraging active participation. If you respond to this leaflet by returning the slip back to us in the post, and do not have access to a computer or email, we will deliver details of the consultation and how to respond, directly to you. We have participated in council meetings, engaged with key committees, and collaborated with other authorities to ensure our case will be heard by KCC. We are determined to build a robust response to the official KCC consultation process (lasting 12 weeks), expected to commence on 12th July 2023 to demonstrate the widespread support for preserving Richborough HWRC. It is important to remember, signing an online petition in the meantime does not replace the importance of your individual response to the official KCC consultation process.

 

It is paramount that everyone concerned about this potential closure communicates their views to KCC through the official consultation.

 

To stay informed and get involved, I invite you to sign up for our newsletter, which provides regular updates on the latest developments, actions you can take, and opportunities to have your say. You can find the newsletter and sign up at eepurl.com/ihodrv. By joining this mailing list, you will be alerted when the consultation opens, along with suggestions and tips on how best to respond to maximise the effectiveness of our response.

 

Spread the word about this issue within our community, share this column with your friends and neighbours, and encourage them to join us in safeguarding this vital asset. We will confirm a physical session where you will be able to drop in and we will have equipment and volunteers available to help you complete a response if you do not have access to a computer/the internet or need support. United we are determined to prioritise sustainability and protect this asset to ensure the preservation of this vital community resource for the benefit of current and future generations.

 

Thank you for your time, and I urge you to join us in this important endeavour. www.danfriend.co.uk/richborough

 

Warm regards, Cllr Dan Friend

[email protected]

07723 364042

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