Dear Faversham Eye
I just wanted to say thank you for your hard work and the articles and the fact-based investigations you have undertaken. I particularly enjoyed your reply to Helen Whatelys' letter. I send her a fair few emails myself :-)
My partner and I moved here from London five years ago and love Faversham. This town is fantastic and has so much potential to thrive and grow through its residents' dedication to the community and their immense and diverse talents. It has been, I have to admit, very frustrating to watch the various barriers to this growth since we have moved here. As a comparative outsider to this town I have hesitated describe my observations but in no particular order they include:
1. Increasing number of shops becoming empty
2. Reduced number of visitors/tourists. The previous council did very little it seems to me to promote this town. Or if they did it was not effective. Our local shops and businesses need support if they are going to stay open. Why didn't the Conservative council do a deal with the owners of empty shops so that local artisans, artists and others could share the empty space whist the owner was looking for a permanent occupant?
3. No police on the streets. In a particularly poignant touch I have been told that our police station is to become a police museum.
4. Increasing low level public disturbances, noise, damage, rowdy behaviour etc. Not surprising since there seems to be very little for young people to do.....where are the youth clubs etc?
5. Huge residential developments surrounding Faversham with no apparent infrastructure e.g. local corner store, cash points etc. Most people that come to live in these expensive-to-buy developments will need to drive into Faversham with all the issues that that brings. There are of course benefits e.g. more council tax. But where is the truly affordable housing and how are we going to translate this population growth into real, long-term benefits for the town and its existing businesses and residents?
6. Ineffective, costly and generally unpopular decisions by the previous Conservative-led council e.g. the new war memorial, 12 Market place purchase.
7. The lack of progress on the renewal of the creek bridge and the development of the basin.
As I say. Faversham is a great place to live. I hope that our new Lib Dem-led council will be able to offer the opportunities that we need to thrive and clear the decks of the dross that the old council left.
Keep up the good work
The people of Faversham might be hugging themselves over the election results but they do so at their own peril.
They have been heinously misled by a tiny minority of troublemakers who arrogantly claim to know what's best for our town, rather than our long-serving councillors who really knew far better and were stabbed in the back by these rabble-rousers.
The victims of this vile coup were conscientious, tireless and honest servants of Faversham's citizens who knew exactly where and how public funds should be wisely and prudently spent.
This is a sad day for our town but make no mistake the Tories will rise again like ashes from the Phoenicians*.
(Editor's note: I think Mr Bogstrive means 'like a phoenix from the ashes' – but perhaps he knows something we don't.)
I think the Faversham Eye is the best paper to come out in Faversham. It gets right to the point. I have lived in this town all of my life and it’s great to see a paper that can find out what is going on and let the Faversham people know. I had looked into the new council office but did not find all that information that they have so please keep it up and thanks from an older family person.
ed. Thanks Richard. That's exactly why we started The Eye: to give Faversham the paper it deserves and help people find out what they have every right to know.
Whilst I commend the attempt at transparency the Faversham Eye seeks out for our local community, the recent articles leave a bad taste in the mouth. I have no interest in local politics, despite the obvious family connections, as I've witnessed first hand how it can wear people down when all they are simply doing is what they consider best for the town, and not for their own personal gain. I can only hope that the incoming councillors are as closely scrutinised by the Eye as their predecessors, and embrace the role by working hard for their communities without anyone putting their hand up their back. Sadly, the Eye and this page clearly have their cards on the table as to their political bias so let's see what sort of ride the new council get given...
ed. We were critical of the previous council, which happened to be Conservative. That's not the same as being critical because they were Conservtive. Important difference. Any councillor who wastes taxpayers money on unpopular, secretive vanity projects and treats public opinion with contempt can expect to be held to account by the Faversham Eye, regardless of their political affiliation.We will hold the new council up to exactly the same scrutiny as we did the last administration, although we sincerely hope for the sake of the town that they will conduct themselves in a very different manner.
The Eye is a welcome and much needed addition to what passes for local media. Congratulations and thanks for the initiative and generosity in funding the operation. In which regard we would like to make a donation, albeit modest to the cause. Please let me know the process we need to follow. One point; obtaining a hard copy has proved to be particularly difficult not least because I'm unaware of the publishing day and do not use Facebook. I did wonder if, as the content is digitised whether a pdf version could be made available?
Finally appreciative thanks to everyone concerned for the work and financial investment that has gone into this enterprise; one which is genuinely providing a public service.
Susan and Malachi Doyle
PS I hope Private Eye (Rotten Boroughs) and the national media are on your mailing list.
ed. Thank you very much Susan and Malachi. It genuinely means a lot to us when people appreciate what we're trying to achieve with the Eye. As you rightly say, we're an addition to existing local media rather than a rival, covering previously unreported stories and digging a bit deeper. It's also very kind of you to offer a donation towards our costs. As it happens, we've been thinking about how the paper might be funded in future and exploring the idea of voluntary subscriptions and how we can deliver copies to readers. You can read more about it on the back page (p24), along with information about where you can pick up printed copies in Faversham
I simply wanted to express my admiration and support for what you're doing with the paper. I'm a long time resident with no inclination towards being involved in local affairs but was bowled over by the quality of writing and investigation when I chanced upon the latest issue. Your 'gotcha' exposure of Brian Flynn was rather marvellous too, as much it was embarrassing for him and his clunky accusation. I'm very much looking forward to your next issue on the extraordinary volume of house building - something which I have no NIMBY objection to in principle but find astounding has been agreed in one fell swoop without any communication to the town or idea about how infrastructure - particularly schools - will cope.
ed. Cheers Adam and thanks for your support. As you say, the house-building story is huge; too big for one issue, so we’ll be investigating further in future editions of The Eye. As for Mr Flynn…The inhabitants of glass dwellings should probably stick to throwing marshmallows.