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Letters from Issue 6

To the Editor, Faversham Eye

Feeling a trifle under the weather and – as a septuagenarian – somewhat concerned, I hastened to my local health centre (Newton Place) as fast as my orthopaedic equipment allowed to make an appointment.

I was informed that the earliest appointment available was one month hence but I could turn up at 3pm that day for the urgent care clinic.

I arrived early but found at least a dozen hopefuls already in a queue waiting to register. Within minutes the queue behind me lengthened and feeling slightly queasy, I decided to sit down.

This, I soon realised, was a big mistake. On leaving the ailing line-up, I had lost my place in the pecking order – as had the other early birds too frail to remain upright.

Estimating that the ever-extending line of seekers of NHS succour meant waiting for several hours due to the lack of monitoring of who had arrived early and who hadn’t, I reluctantly decided to go private, leaving the less affluent to continue their vigil in my absence.

John Wellard


Hello Eye,

Thank you for terrifying me with your report on Cleve Hill. I prepared an objection document about a year ago and sent it to the Faversham Society, who I knew were about to prepare their own analysis. In it I expressed concern about the batteries, but I had no idea how dangerous they really are. They pose a threat approaching Chernobyl proportions.

This brings me to the rush to put huge numbers of electric cars on our roads, favoured it seems by all political parties. All these cars will have to have some form of lithium batteries in them. Lithium is a rare, and now we know, dangerous element. The rush to electric will probably be even more misguided than the rush to diesel was, both done to “save the planet”. As it is unlikely that the public will soon lose its taste for car ownership, a much better option is hydrogen fuelled cars. The hydrogen can be produced using wind and solar generated electricity to extract it from water, and when it burns it produces water. A very neat sustainable cycle, and it could be possible to convert existing internal combustion engines to use hydrogen as fuel.

Let’s keep the lithium in the earth!

Best wishes, Eldon Hinchliffe


Dear team,

Where to begin? Thank you for the Faversham Eye, much overdue and tackling important issues. The scolding first:

Don’t be so negative about everything, leave ugly benches in public spaces and environmentally friendly, albeit less-than-cottage-garden-pretty planting baskets well alone!

How about a section that only contains the good stuff? Like some of the idiosyncratically unique shops and places we have in Faversham. Gulliver’s, provider of fine bird food, seed potatoes, home-carved flower bed enclosures and home to the best ever cobbler comes to mind.....But maybe not. Word might get out.

1. Post Office: Thank you for reporting. I had actually sent an email to Kent Online to bring out a more critical follow-up to the idiotic article you mentioned. Well, they didn’t.

2. Hop Festival: Is there any way of finding out the takings of the many Shepherd Neame tied pubs and thus profits might for the brewery? Their small financial contribution to the festival is always lauded as an example of “giving back to the community” but I harbour the suspicions that their profits are substantial. Should they be made to pay more towards cleaning up?

3. Funding the Faversham Eye: I would be willing to pay for the Faversham Eye on a subscription base. I can’t remember how often you publish. I would be willing to pay up to a fiver if I feel I will continue to get my money’s worth of “investigative” journalism on the home front.

4. Solar field in Graveney: I had a chat with my husband who, in his capacity as a bank employee, has financed quite a number of infrastructure projects and has a particular interest in renewable energies. Although we both strongly support renewable energies and had, in our old house, a self-funded solar system, he shares your concern about the size and dangers of the battery/storage system and believes that in its heretofore untested version, this particular power storage installation is dangerous in case of fire, especially in view of the close proximity of the village and school.

That’s it for today. Thank you again,

Best wishes J Christopherson


Dear Editor,

Reducing our country’s carbon footprint by obliterating carbon capturing wetlands with solar panels makes perfect sense.

We should follow this up by felling Epping Forest to build a wind farm. It’s a no brainer!


Dick Hedley

The Mental Environment Movement


Dear Faversham Eye,

As we near the annual Remembrance Day I would like continue the debate around the memorial garden, before it all goes too quiet. Faversham has someone who is worth remembering, but I would guess that many are not aware of him, I refer to Lieutenant General Sir Philip Neame, VC, KBE, CB, DSO. He is named on the Sittingbourne memorial on Central Avenue, I am not sure why, whilst in Faversham he is memorialised on a paving slab!

The said slab is to the right of the entrance to the Guildhall and unless you know you will miss it. It is routinely covered by a market stall, the stage for the various events in the Market place or the band. Recently the film company which is using Faversham as a back drop, for a film about WW1 I understand, painted a yellow line over the memorial stone - probably without reading the inscription.

I have in the past approached members of the previous council and the former Mayor, who all agreed that it is badly placed, but failed to do anything. The memorial garden project could have been an opportunity for the town to give some prominence to someone who had distinguished military career, fought in both world wars and lived and died in our area.

We have plaques around the town remembering many historic personalities perhaps some thought could given to raising the profile of Lieutenant General Neame VC and stopping him being walked over.

Yours sincerely

Nigel Clark


The Eye,

My change of voting at the last election had nothing to do with Brexit. I simply did not agree with the million pound purchase and development of 12 Market Place and as the whole council was voted out it would seem many others agreed with me. In the 1930s when number 12 was a butcher’s shop there was a slaughter house behind it with access from Back Lane, so slaughtering has been revived.!

Peter Stevens,

St. Catherine’s Drive


Facebook comment:

Fantastic paper, thanks. But the lifts at Faversham station remain disgracefully unreliable despite recently-claimed MP interest. But of course Whately Watch can’t do everything at once. Next time.

Main question: Where has been the public outcry about Cleve Hill/Lithium batteries ? Have I missed it? Your excellent article is a proper source-backed investigation that I thought would have closed the debate at a stroke.

HOW much time and money has gone on enquiries, submissions etc up to parliamentary level ?! Yet one apparently belated expose like this surely means case closed.

HOW much financial interest can it take to go on propping up a proposal to locate a terrifying fire hazard on a flood plain despite water promoting its ignition, that produces toxic fume like WWI chlorine only worse, which could arrive at Graveney Primary School within one minute ? Please tell us how this is being presented to the decision makers.

Again, thank you.

Valerie Jeffries


Dear Editor,

Recently the Faversham News, along with its sister papers in Sittingbourne and Sheppey printed a story about Swale Council receiving £1.6 million extra council tax in the first part of this financial year. This was likely to give a false impression as only 10 percent of that would go into Swale accounts with the bulk going to Kent County Council, police and fire services.

I wrote to all three editions and it was reasonable to expect them to publish this clarification. The Sittingbourne and Sheppey editions did but as far as I can see the Faversham News did not. Instead there are a number of letters from Canterbury City Councillors . If I have missed publication I apologise to Faversham News but I am concerned that Faversham people think that Swale is less interested in them than the rest of Swale I do think the press ought to publish clarifications if they publish stories with false implications.

Roger Truelove

Leader Swale Borough Council


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