Sunday, 25 September 2011

the big society in action

I often walk around the Ham Marshes and occasionally call in to The Shipwright at Hollowshore at the junction of the Faversham and Oare Creeks. A couple of days ago a notice outside the pub indicated that Ken County Council had proposed that the area around here, about a quarter of this marsh, might be used as a gravel mine and subsequently an industrial waste dump. The pub owners were understandably alarmed; an excavation like this would put the pub out of business. I trawled a few websites discovering that the Council had been secretive about this. Even the local member for the Borough of Swale hadn’t been told about it. The Ham Marsh is at present working farm land. It is part of a continuum of marshes: Oare Marsh across the creek to the west, and Nagden and Graveney marshes across Faversham Creek to the north and east. Oare and the coastal strip of the other two marshes are maintained by Kent Wildlife as important breeding places for birds. Mining would be a bad enough intrusion but who in their right mind would want to establish a waste dump on marshland? David Cameron’s ‘big society’ seemingly only exists for the ‘big people’ i.e. the mining companies and investors.

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