The Wincheap Society Awards (Wizzies) for 2018
The Dodo Treading on its Own Last Egg Award ***
Canterbury City Council, in a World Heritage Site dependent on tourism as one of its two main sources of income, for approving hideous blocks of student accommodation in the middle of the city.
Plus EXTRA STARS because these are too expensive for students to rent, and -Canterbury Christ Church Uni says they’re not wanted anyway!
The Shooting Yourself in the Foot Award
Canterbury City Council (again!) for so mishandling the administration of Planning Applications that it’s now the subject of THREE judicial reviews.
Well done, guys! – though it could have been FOUR if only those wretched paupers out at Thanington had not had to give up theirs for lack of funds
The Services to Kent Vernacular Corrugated Iron Sheeting Heritage Award
Canterbury City Council (no stopping these guys!) and its architect(?) for the proposed multi-level car park at Station Road West. Our aged heritage panellist writes:
“How heartening to see a planned construction that pays homage to the intra- and post-war periods, when almost all agricultural and coastal fishing buildings were of rusty corrugated iron. Why, until only the past ten years or so train passengers approaching Canterbury West Station from the Ashford direction could catch a glimpse of an outhouse roofed in this very material adjacent to the level crossing – alas, now gone.”
The We Rely on Facebook and Mystic Meg So Don’t Bother Us with Your Silly Comments on Our Website Award
Canterbury City Council’s PR Rob Davies for saying after a Planning Committee meeting had rejected protestors’ submissions made via the appropriate channels:
“It’s generally the case that at planning committee, the majority of public speakers are against what’s proposed, but we know from previous consultations, public feedback and social media that there is a lot of support from local residents and we look forward to the project taking shape in the months ahead.”
The PR Trailing Coat Award
CCC’s Rob Davies (again!) for the following comment in the Gazette on Wincheap Ward’s Letter of Notification of a Breach of Duty of Care served on CCC, KCC and Highways England In January:
“We take our responsibilities on traffic congestion and air quality very seriously and reject outright the suggestion that the signatories to the letter have been treated with contempt. We would be very keen to hear of specific examples where they believe this to be the case.”
– which prompted the Winnies and the Thannies to compile their 50-page document “Evidence of Contempt” and post it on their blog wincheapcampaigns.wordpress.com.
Who says that CCC never achieves anything effective, eh?
The Graceless and Ungrateful Self-Justifying PR Award
The Chairman of Canterbury Conservative Association Greg Baker, when the CCA made a Stalinist decision to de-select former mayor George Metcalfe (a Thanington resident who then defaulted to the LibDems), for declaring to the Canterbury Journal:
“Local Conservatives decided not to select George Metcalfe as a candidate in next year’s council elections … local members and residents will be surprised at George’s decision, but we have set a very high bar for Conservative candidates and I imagine missing out on being selected can be disheartening. The most important thing now is to ensure personal ambition does not undermine cross-party trust and co-operation on the council.”
The Kafkaesque Idiocy in Public Office Award
Paul Harwood of Highways England who, when asked by the Wincheap Society how 60-foot lorries are expected to negotiate a hairpin bend down a planned contra-flow at the A2/A28 north-bound exit slip, replied:
“ … depending on the road layout, it is not necessarily the longest vehicle that will have problems. …”
– and then told us that everything was hunky-dory because swept path analyses had been done on lots of shorter vehicles, AND appended back to us the self-same analyses we had sent to him and of which we had questioned the competence.
The Chocolate Teapot Award
Our Canterbury South County Councillor and member of the Joint Transport Board Michael Northey for his successful efforts in manfully maintaining his non-involvement in the concerns of his constituents in Thanington and Wincheap about road design and safety, even when subject to a barrage of copies of correspondence and documents submitted by them to Highways England, KCC Highways and Canterbury City Council.
Atta Boy! – keep beating them off and making Kent Conservatives proud of you.
The Indignity in Dying and Death by Hairpin Bends Award
The Canterbury Bicyclist-Culling Award
All those involved in designing (or adopting others’ designs) or approving (or being told to approve and doing so) the double death-dealing plans for a 4th slip road exit from the A2 through the WIncheap Park & Ride and retail estate and that Kurrr-azy Kontra-flow system down the north-bound off slip road at the A2/A28 junction.
In addition to these wonderful Awards, we’ve a brand new thick felt-tipped pen for drawing swept path analyses that’s waiting for you when you identify yourself to the Wizzies Panel!!! Hurrry, hurry while stocks (and shops) last!
Unfortunately we have not been able to assign The Pass, Ignore or Deep-Six the Buck Award in respect of 2018, as there were JUST TOO MANY candidates (84 at the last count) in Highways England, KCC Highways and Canterbury City Council (including councillors) all of whom fully merited a win.
But never mind! YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE and can console yourselves that lack of virtue is its own reward (or something like that).
Panel’s decisions are final.
Wizzies Panel Chair: Her Indoors.
The Wincheap Society Awards (Wizzies) for 2017
The Making a Nonsense of Local Democracy Award
Kent County Council’s Highways Department and Canterbury City Council’s Planning Department, for services in binning all communications from residents and electors that might interfere with any KCC or CCC plans.
The Too Afraid To Do the Right Thing Award
Public servants in Kent County Council and Canterbury City Council for not joining NHS staff in speaking truth to central government power to the effect that they now lack funding and competent staff resources to fulfil their statutory duties, including close and critical examination of planning Applications and subsequent enforcement of Conditions placed upon developers.
The Avoidance of Contact with Not-So-Nice Constituents in Thanington and Wincheap Award
Those Canterbury District Councillors who confine their duties to getting instructions from the Conservative Party in Kent.
The Award for Successfully Applying a Wealth of Extraneous Detail Designed to Add Verisimilitude to an Otherwise Unconvincing Narrative
Peter Brett Associates, for their Transport Assessments, and Safety and other audits done on behalf of their Client, Pentland Properties Ltd.
The Donald Trump Empty Promises Award for Making Serial Offers You Can Refuse To Perform
Quinn Estate Ltd for making disappear in a puff of rhetoric offers of Wincheap roundabout traffic lights, eco homes, doctor’s surgery, etc.
The Insurance Industry Gratitude Award for Enabling them to Hike Up Premiums
The Most Hideous Houses Built in Canterbury Award
Pentland Homes Limited for designing and constructing the flat-roofed, yellow brick, crammed in together houses in Hollow Lane. Additional points were added for PHL’s abandoning the original vernacular, pitched roofs design in their first Application to CCC.
(Keep it up for the 2018 Wizzies with “Thanington Park”, chaps!)
The Dame Shirley Porter Occasional Award for Gerrymandering
The Electoral Boundary Commission for England, for services resulting from its decision to slice Wincheap Ward up at the County District level.
(The Panel look forward in 2018 to considering the BCE’s forthcoming efforts to reorganise the parliamentary boundaries of Canterbury, Whitstable and Faversham.)
The Sleeping with the Enemy Award
(Formerly the Joe Stalin Useful Idiot Award, until Czar Putin withdrew funding.)
Deputy Chair John Walker of the Canterbury Society, for services to developers by offering cooperation and assistance with Applications that shift proposed constructions from south Canterbury to Thanington and Wincheap.
The Downton Abbey Award for Maintaining and Widening the Class Divide
The Canterbury Society, Oaten Hill and District Society and Langton and Nackington R A for services to Mountfield Park opponents by never mentioning the plight of the residents of Thanington Without or Wincheap.
The Blinkered Snobs of the Year Award
The Canterbury Society, Oaten Hill and District Society and Langton and Nackington R A and anyone else who thought that the residents of Thanington Without and Wincheap were too stupid to notice that they were being treated as untermenschen.
Panel’s decisions are final.
Wizzies Panel Chair: Her Indoors.