3 December, 2020

Refurbishment Committee

October 2020 update – A Lee from a report by Jenny Olpin

The committee has been busy, with their meetings being held via Zoom and details being communicated by email.

Our lack of engagement in the day to day activities of life have seen the way we carry out some of our priorities change. We have closer links with Ashley Payne, Community Development Officer with Dover District Council. Ashley is co-ordinating information about shopping, prescription collection, foodbank operation, GP surgeries etc.

We noted, in the early months, a definite change, for the better, in the air quality. The lack of traffic seemed to draw our attention to the vibrant bird songs, which is always there, but we can’t normally hear it!

We monitored the tourist venues, such as Langdon Cliffs and the Castle, and were relieved how Dover began to awake with the ‘staycation’ visitors which was further stimulated by the ‘eat out to help out’ initiative. Of course, this was not perfect but hairdressers, hotels and public houses began to open, however, we are still concerned, but hopeful, that they can all survive the coming winter months.

A positive factor of the ‘lockdown’ was the support rough sleepers were given by Porchlight and Canterbury City Council in finding accommodation that afforded them protection. At our last meeting we were pleased to hear that there have been no ‘rough sleepers’ returning to Cowgate Cemetery despite the fabulous summer weather we have been fortunate to experience this year.

Toilet facilities in the town continue to be a priority. Despite the letters, campaigns and high-level profiling of this issue nothing appears to have changed. Refurbishment will re-visit the provision and opening times of our town’s conveniences during the coming months and publish the results on our website.

One benefit, with the decrease in pedestrians, has been less litter being deposited and the town looking much more clean and tidy.

Another focus is the suggestion of a tree planting scheme for Dover which enhances the corners, rough land and general appearance of several of our streets. We will keep you informed as to how we progress with this.

If you are interested in joining our Refurbishment Committee, which will be ‘virtual’ for the foreseeable future, then please email me. We have good discussions and it’s good to be able to have a chance to make a difference. My contact details are inside of the front cover of each newsletter.

My email address is; jennyolpin@gmail.com

June 2020 Update – A Lee from a report by Jenny Olpin
Langdon Cliffs

Our committee continues to grow as we widen our activities of lobbying and engaging with local sectors and issues of concern. Since the last edition we have re-engaged with a variety of Councillors – Town, District and County – with respect to the ongoing problems with toilet provision in our town. Our Town Councillors have responded and I am hopeful that we get at least some commitment to re-opening facilities, much improved signage and sensible opening times. An alternative to this could be the agreement of local businesses to provide access to their facilities. This happens throughout the country and is extremely successful in towns attracting tourists. I will keep you informed but do make representations when you have the opportunity!

One of our committee has been involved in a planting scheme at Morrisons. Do have a look at the hard work that has been going on during the winter months. We have also been in contact with local councillors regarding banners (i.e. events), planning notices etc. that are left in situ and not removed. Procedures have been in place previously and this is being checked. However, planning at DDC has been reminded to remove planning applications past their ‘sell by date’!

Graffiti and litter are perennial matters that occupy our meetings. One of our members is extremely active in picking up litter and returns to areas armed with the necessary bags and protection to clear the offending site. We really need to focus on prevention and it would be very good if we could begin with our schools, both primary and secondary. If you have any contact with a school do, in 2020, try to influence them into adopting an anti-litter identity.

This same Refurbishment member has been amazingly successful in getting drains cleared. Using the DDC online referral system this has resulted in, to date, 4 out of 5 of the drains referred being cleaned and emptied. This has prevented the accumulation of rubbish and puddles which has been a particular problem during our inclement autumn! We strongly recommend our members to use these online systems for either Dover District Council or Kent County Council for such concerns as rubbish clearance, drains, lampposts and any other problems. Do go on-line and have a look.

We are continuing to liaise with ‘Walkers are Welcome’ to look to the future development of our local footpaths. Particularly of interest to us currently are the pathway links with Langdon Cliff, the Castle, the ‘Zig Zag’ and the sea front. We are also keeping on our agenda the danger that pedestrians face on Upper Road.

In our next edition we will update you on our bi-annual meeting with Kent Police in March and the current policing issues in our town.

Jenny Olpin