My December Update

Last week saw a significant Parliamentary milestone passed with a motion to trigger Article 50 passed by a huge margin by MPs. This is the first stage as required under EU treaties for Britain to leave the EU. I hope that the Supreme Court judges note the motion so clearly carried. Although not carrying the definitive weight of an Act of Parliament, the intent is clear: that the Government should trigger the Article in accordance with their plan under Crown Prerogative. In my mind this is the clear and logical instruction by the electorate following the June 23rd referendum.

I have been following the various land assets on Thanet District Council's disposal register. I encouraged the public to make comments during the consultation period on the proposal to sell Cliff Field and Philpott field in Broadstairs, which have now, sensibly, been removed from possible threat. My attention now turns to Dane Valley Enterprise Units. An eclectic mix of businesses from blacksmiths to boat repairers and upholsterers occupying 22 small low cost workshops. Opportunities abound for new apprenticeships and for turning ideas into thriving new businesses within Broadstairs. I am now working to bring TDC around the table with the businesses, who have a credible plan to either take ownership or management of the site. If the site goes to auction, as planned, these great businesses could be turfed out and the site demolished.

I was pleased to speak at another hugely attended public meeting in Ramsgate to further discuss industrialisation of Ramsgate Port. The initial threat posed by Bretts Aggregates expansion may have receded, but one has to consider sand and aggregate extraction from the Goodwin Sands for the expansion of Dover. The port of Ramsgate is conveniently close for processing activities. It is time for residents to advance their ideas for the Port, which are more sympathetic to regeneration.

On a brighter note, it was my true pleasure to welcome representatives of the Taiwan representation to the UK (diplomatic wrangling with China over decades prevents the representation being called an embassy) to the constituency. Primarily to investigate the world leading renewable energy technologies we have locally as Taiwan seeks to reduce CO2 emissions, become less reliant on imported coal, gas and oil and wind down its nuclear energy, but I did take the opportunity to show the delegation other assets that we have, notably the port, Manston and Discovery Park.

My next article will be a New Year one. Have a very enjoyable Christmas.