I understand that Thanet Council’s ruling Labour Cabinet and the TDC Labour Group of councillors have agreed to support the £34million Thanet Parkway Station scheme! This will be one of the most polluting and environmentally damaging infrastructure schemes to have been carried out in Thanet in over a decade, if not longer.
It beggars belief that less than a year ago Thanet Labour councillors, pushed a motion through the council declaring a climate emergency and setting a target of 2030 to make the district carbon neutral.
Just over one month ago the same councillors were, during the general election campaign, knocking on doors across Thanet promising that, if elected to office, the Labour Party, would out-green the Green Party by launching a Green Revolution which would help to roll back climate change and pollution across the world.
How building a station which will massively increase traffic on our roads, destroy hundreds of acres of farmland, lead to the felling of hundreds of trees, can help to tackle climate change and make Thanet carbon neutral by 2030 defies credulity.
There is no polite way of putting this, but Thanet’s Labour councillors, under the leadership of short-fused “Raging” Rick Everit, have revealed themselves to be a bunch of hypocrites who despite their claims to be green, demonstrate by their actions that they don’t give a fuck about the environment and climate change.
As much as it pains me to do so, I must, however, pay public tribute to TDC and KCC Labour Councillor Karen @Lushgate Constantine and Labour KCC councillor Barry Lewis, both of whom have publicly opposed Parkway station on environmental grounds. If only their colleagues had as much spine as they, then Thanet Labour would have avoided being exposed as the party of liars and hypocrites.
But it didn’t have to be like this. In the local council elections of 2011 Thanet Labour, quite rightly, opposed the building of Parkway station on environmental grounds. It was only in 2015 that TDC’s then ruling Labour Cabinet decided to dump their objections to the station. Who was it who played a leading role in changing this policy? You guessed it! It was short-fused “Raging Rick “Everit” . The same “Raging” Rick who persuaded the current Labour Cabinet and the current TDC Labour councillors to support a project which will cause incalculable harm to Thanet’s environment.
I have said it before in numerous articles, but make no mistake, the building of Parkway station will hugely increase traffic congestion and air pollution in Thanet. Hundreds if not thousands of acres of high grade farm land and wildlife habitat will be concreted over to build the station and car park and the thousands of new houses which will inevitably follow. Hundreds of trees will be felled and the village of Cliffsend will be absorbed into Ramsgate and cease to be a separate entity.
In 2011 the Thanet Labour Party was right to argue that our existing Thanet railway stations should be improved and upgraded rather than building Parkway. The party was also right when it argued that any new housing needed in Thanet should be built on already developed brown field sites, of which they are plenty. Now, thanks in part to their Leader Everit Labour councillors have jettisoned policies to protect Thanet’s environment whilst at the same having the brass neck to claim green credentials.
Apart from keeping Boris Johnson out of power, one of the reasons why I voted Labour in last years general election was because the party had for the first time made a serious and credible effort to prioritise climate change. Now, as least as far as local Labour and its Leader Everit is concerned, I feel betrayed and stabbed in the back by a bunch of hypocrites and liars who will say just about anything to get elected.
This is far from the last we shall hear about Parkway station. And if the planning application is, as fear it will be, approved then the people of Thanet should consider taking direct action to stop this unneeded, unwanted and unnecessary monstrosity from ever being built.