24 JAN 2009

Buy local!

This afternoon I met in Deal with Jasin Kaplan, who runs the amazing new pier cafe and business leaders Jane Langstaff and Stephanie Hayman to discuss what can be done to encourage more people to buy local and support our local economy.

And we cannot just stand by and do nothing, you know. Shops are closing down locally and we need to encourage people to use our local high streets and support each other. In Deal, we talked about what could be done to boost tourism.

I'd love to see an art gallery to display all the paintings owned by the various local councils and showcase our great local artists, get a cinema back into Deal, a ten pin bowling alley and a venue for music and dance to support the Deal Music Festival. After all, Deal is the most amazing seaside place to go in Kent, so we should improve and market what a great place we have!

Jasin told me there is so much we can do, we just need the imagination and ambition. I departed inspired and determined to help chart a positive way forward! Watch this space . . .

3 comments

"I'd love to see an art gallery to display all the paintings owned by the various local councils and showcase our great local artists, get a cinema back into Deal, a ten pin bowling alley and a venue for music and dance to support the Deal Music Festival.� After all, Deal is the most amazing seaside place to go in Kent, so we should improve and market what a great place we have!" Charlie, Obviously a visit to the Landmark centre is long overdue.
- Richard Blackwell

Now that Walmart - AKA Asda - has pulled out of the Townwall Street redevelopment, the opportunity is there to provide some of the much-needed facilities for the town: a theatre/cinema; ten-pin bowling; modern sports facilities; etc. And yes - why not a public art gallery? Much of Dover's history is locked away from the public gaze or beyond the pocket of the average family. English Heritage not only doesn't do enough to provide a great family day out - it makes a family visit too expensive for many families! In the days when it was still operated by the Ministry of Works, access to the grounds was free, with a minimal entrance fee to the keep and underground works. The Town Hall has been effectively sold off to a Thanet-based company and most of the time it is either locked up or displaying "Today not open to visitors". This used to be not only a popular venue for dances, etc., but also a public building, open for people to look at the stained glass, flags and paintings. The ancient buildings of the Dover Priory, being within the grounds of a school, are even out of bounds for photographers trying to take pictures of them from the road, in case they accidentally get a child in the picture! The Napoleonic defences on the Western Heights are largely inaccessible, and the Citadel is completely out of bounds, being used as a detention centre. North Fall Meadow - once a popular area for picnics, and the site of the former prison - is now controlled by the National Trust, who charge for admission and lock the gates at night. Is it any wonder that tourists from the cruise liners bypass Dover on their way to Canterbury?
- Bill Beer

it would be good if we had some factories in Dover and District producing clothes and shoes, and textiles in general, for our local market and for Britain's greater market, and even for exporting. Many areas in Britain could follow suit. Instead of buying local, all we ever get is imports of clothes shoes and what not all from every and any eastern country, while milions of British people sign on! Textile machinery was invented in Britain, the textile industry used to be a pilar of British economy, Kent used to be famous in centuries past for producing textiles! New Labour has signed over everything to foreign countries, including all the modern machinery technology that was invented in Britain to produce textiles by modern standards. Are we to become a stone-age people?
- Amos Quito

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Charlie Elphicke

Here you can read about local news matters and what I've been up to. You can make comments too. I'd welcome your feedback, so please do feel free to comment!

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