Sunday, June 10, 2012

Westgate on Sea by election - Some words from Bill Furness

I  was asked two weeks ago if I would be prepared to put my name forward to the selection committee to be considered as a candidate in the forthcoming by election, I agreed that I would, but as a gesture of respect for the family and friends, only after the funeral of Brian Goodwin.

At a recent meeting  the Thanet branch of the Liberal Democrat Party has agreed that I should be the Candidate in the Westgate on Sea by- election.

Bill is currently Vice Chairman of Birchington Parish Council, a retired Managing Director Bill moved to Scotland for a few years before settling down here in Thanet to be near his family.

Born and educated in Winchester, he first became interested in politics at the early age of 16 (he fought his first election on his 21stbirthday!) he studied politics through Ruskin college Oxford, he served 4 years as a Town Councillor and won a by election to be a Borough Councillor in Eastleigh Hampshire where he served for another 12 years.

He has had experience as a  School Governor and on the police liaison committee, a very keen environmentalist he fought hard to preserve parts of the Itchen Valley from the ravages of the construction of the M3 motorway, and is very well known for his stance on pollution.

He instigated the intervention of MEP Catherine Bearder in the fight against the lengthy transportation of live animals through Ramsgate port.

He is well know for his opposition to the construction of the proposed Sainsbury superstore on The Canterbury Road due it being entirely the wrong location, Sainsbury’s are great store but not here,

Before taking up the more leisurely sport of bowls he did a spot of rally driving, golf, and a keen archer playing in Canada, the USA andFrance, I enjoy living in Thanet and I am very keen to ensure that the area is free from dog fouling. litter and graffiti as these are a blight on the area if not constantly monitored, I have and will continue to play my part for the community.


  1. So what does he think on night flights, free parking schemes, increased councillor allowances, Dreamland CPO, disposing of Thanet's assets, Thanet new senior post of employing a regeneration officer on about £80K?

    1. Surely the best bet is to attend one of his meetings or ask him when he knocks on your door. That is always assuming you actually live in the ward which your concern about night flights suggests you might not.

  2. Can I acknowledge Bill Furness comment regarding the decency of waiting for Brian's funeral; and thank him for the courtesy so profoundly ravaged by others.

    I note with interest that Bill fought his first election at 21 - elsewhere we seem to be spending much time debating 'young' candidates as something new!

    However I wish him well, and a contented second place to James.

  3. Anon 9.23

    Manston Airport,this airport plays a very important part in the economy of the Island,I am disapointed in the Labour Party in their stance against night flights,once again the party whip ensured that this decision went through without thought about the possibility of inreasing job opportunities.
    It is important for the Islands economy to ensure that this airport remains open for jobs and for those people that use the airport for holidays,saving the trek to Gatwick or Heathrow and the resultant increase in traffic.

    Free car parking.
    I am opposed to any plans to place parking meters in Westgate,with free car parking offered by the local supermarkets and stores, this would really help kill off
    Westgate as a viable shopping area with Labour ready to give the go ahead for another Tesco and Sainsbury store
    on Canterbury road FREE car parking is essential,I was pleased that Birchington has got a free 1/2 hour parking scheme.

    What a fiasco,this was Margates GEM but due to past neglet on part of the owners and the TDC administration over the years this helped in the decline in Margate as a tourist attraction, C.P.O.s are alright once you know what the plans are going to be for the site! no point in just doing this at great expenditure for the taxpayers.

    Disposing of Thanets Assets
    Selling off ones silver to tide us over is not a good idea,
    seems as this is the only way that we can pay the exhorbitant salaries to Council officers,if TDC was a private company it would have gone bust years ago.
    It is far better to keep top salaries down and employ additional road sweepers.

    These are my personal thoughts.

  4. "It is important for the Islands economy to ensure that this airport remains open for jobs and for those people that use the airport for holidays,saving the trek to Gatwick or Heathrow and the resultant increase in traffic."

    The guy's an idiot.

    1. A very well thought out and reasoned response from the troll at 10:23. If you have a case then make but don't simply insult other people.

  5. Clearly this man hasn't bothered to read any information around the subject regarding the impact of night flights. His trite little response has nothing to do with the issue of night flights specifically, just about the airport itself. Yes, preserve the airport and the current jobs but not blight an area outside his ward with night flights. And who holidays from there? His ignorance does himself a disservice.

  6. Manston has been one of those issues swept up by Labour, it's become clear to me that Labour party members, are too embarrassed to use their own names when posting to this site, not just because of the blatant opportunism, but allowing themselves used.

    Yes of course, there are honest objections to Manston, but why is it 10 23 and 10 28 doesn't give his or her name maybe because they are one of those Labour councillors who spoke with some passion about supporting night flights and jobs not so long ago.

    Ask your self this just why does the likes of David Green, Will Scobie, Mike Harrison and Clive Hart keep schtum or maybe they dont anon 10 23 & 10 28

    Labour members must be uncomfortable when they see how easy it is to use join Labour to get elected, desert the party and then get rewarded. No wonder they don't use their own names.

    1. Tony,
      I do not feel uncomfortable about anything. I was elected because I opposed night flights on the door step. Therefore I stick to that pledge as it is the will of the electorate.

    2. Only in a restricted area of Ramsgate is there opposition to night flights. Elsewhere in Thanet there is support or, at worst, disinterest. Whilst Tony B might be comfortable with the decision, TDC are supposed t represent the whole of Thanet.

    3. That's fine then - if it's only a matter of a minority of voters, I mean people, who'll be affected by sleepless nights, associated health risks, jobs based on running hotels and B&Bs, etc. then let's push this thing through. Of course the rest of Thanet wants it - what have they got to lose? Except a lot of the people who are regenerating properties and businesses in Margate in particular are part of that 'restricted area'. What a short-sighted, narrow minded view you hold. Happy to decimate the lives of thousands with no proven gain just on the off-chance without weighing up the balance. Truly depressing and unimaginative.

    4. Tony why use the pseudonym Beachcomber, if your so proud of Labour, I just wonder if your proud that Clive Hart rewarded a councillor for using the Labour Party to get elected, and then resigning over what was a point of principle, such principle that now that same councillor is more than happy to accept a post and allowances from calamity Clive.

      Proud that Labour fought against social housing to get votes, Tony B you are the exception but still to shy to use your own name.

    5. 01:19

      Strangely enough it is called democracy. In every decision there are winners and losers, but the majority prevail, or at least should.

    6. Strangely enough there was a democratic consultation, identical in style to others carried out by TDC, which came back as Thanet generally, and Ramsgate in particular, not wanting night flights on the grounds that on balance the impact outweighed any positives. Democracy in action?

    7. A very targetted consultation that produced a little over 2,000 reponses out of a population of 132,000.

    8. Nevertheless, based on respondents it was 75% against night flights. And it was a resounding no from respondents outside the flightpath too. But clearly not the result you were looking for so best to ignore it then. And the independent reports that discredited the airport claims. And the WHO reports that say it damages health. More enlightened politicians are pushing to reduce or remove night flights altogether from their local airports within their constituencies (mostly Tory by the way in the case of Heathrow) - pity we have only the ignorant unimaginative ones down here.

    9. Except that most people outside the targetted area did not even know the consultation was on. A similar and more widely publicised consulation run by the airport owners showed a reverse result.

      Before you scream, well it would, I would suggest both were probably loaded to get the desired result.

  7. Good Luck to the LibDem candidate. If national trends of his party's support being halved from 20% to 10% since the coalition was formed then he will need a lot of door knocking.
    A lot of people no longer have any trust in them and the influence of their policies on government.

  8. Labour, traditional, back scratching family friendly folk, not afraid of a bit of nepotism, nothing wrong with looking after wives and girlfriends, good luck I say.

  9. Not True - He instigated the intervention of MEP Catherine Bearder in the fight against the lengthy transportation of live animals through Ramsgate port.

    As one the leaders of the live animal export protest I can state categorically that it was the campaigners who contacted Catherine Bearder & alerted her to the issue. Councillor Ian Driver then workerd with her office to arrnage the visit. Furness is no telling the truth. typical politician

  10. Anon, 09.38

    If you would like to contact Catherine Bearder she will confirm that I did contact her and met up with her to discuss the problem prior to Cllr Ian Driver, who everbody agrees has tirelessly worked hard against the animal exportation,no matter who did what first. the welfare of the animals is the main priority.
    Shame anon has to hide their name.

  11. I wonder who will work tirelessly hard against the child traffickers/forced adoption consortium commonly known as KCC; its a pity Bearder & Driver are not so vocal on this issue which is far more important than live stock, although both are treated in the same way for profit.

  12. Has anyone noticed the silence is deafening when it comes to dealing with real issues,no wonder no one bothers voting anymore. Although in some places you could put up a stuffed poodle for election and it would still get in.