About this Blog

When I started this blog I had intended to write about health, something that affects me in particular. However, after careful consideration I have decided to write about local issues.

Where is local? Well, I live in Deal a small town of some 30,000 people 8 miles north east of Dover in the county of Kent in England. For the organization and supply of local services, Deal comes under the Dover District Council.

For our American friends, if Sarah Palin is anything to go by, I had better explain that England is part of an Island that is just off the west coast of Europe. The island is known as Great Britain, aka The United Kingdom, and it comprises 3 separate countries England, Wales and Scotland. So as not to cause confusion, Ireland is a separate island off the west coast of Great Britain. Ireland comprises 2 countries, Eire and Northern Ireland.

Europe is a continent north of Africa. Africa is another continent and not a country. Europe is also west of Asia, yet another continent. Not confusing you with too much information, I hope? Europe is separated from America by the Atlantic ocean, a three thousand mile body of water that is one of the two great oceans of the world. The other great ocean is the Pacific, in which lies Japan and Australia.

Dover is also known as the Gateway to England. It is situated at the far southeastern tip of England, 21 miles from Calais, in France. France is part of mainland Europe. Dover is best known as being a ferry port but it is also now a thriving liner terminal. Dover has a large castle, one of the most famous sights in Europe. Within the castle grounds is the Pharos, the remains of a Roman lighthouse. The Romans came from what is now Italy and around 2000 years ago had an empire that conquered and governed the majority of Europe, much like Adolf Hitler was trying to do for the Germans during World War 2. Dover Castle is called a Norman castle because it was built by the Normans, invaders from France who conquered England in the 11th century AD. The most famous Norman is probably William of Normandy, known in England as William the Conqueror. Dover was also known more recently as the town where thousands of illegal immigrants arrived from Africa and Asia. Like illegal immigrants who attempt to get into America from Mexico, most of these immigrants were fleeing poverty and oppression. Some have now been identified as coming to Britain to force their own religion and way of life on the indigenous population. The British government is now aware of the problem and is opposing free transfer of people between countries within the European Union. Why did I mention the last issue? Because the numbers of immigration officials placed by the national government and the cost of providing health and housing services to immigrants impinges directly onto the budget of the local council.

Deal, being some 8 miles from Dover, has been less affected by the influx of immigrants. The amount of money available for services, however, is related to the immigration issue because Deal is administered by the council in Dover. Deal has a town council and various parish councils but the money available to them is affected, if not directly, by the charges raised by the Dover council. The more the district council charges, the less will be available for the town and parish councils: that is if the councillors wish to keep their seats. As Britain runs a form of government based on democracy, issues affecting the lives of ordinary people can be reflected in elections. If a council raises too much in taxation then councillors can be voted out at the next election. Elections for district and regional government are held every 4 years; in some instances, however, a portion of council seats can be put forward for election every 2 years. This means that although individual councilors are each voted in for 4 year terms, the political make up of the council can change every 2 years. Confusing, huh?

Dover District Council is now run by the Conservatives as opposed to Labour or Liberal Democrats. Conservatives tend to be known for their ability to act professionally while Labour is radical and socialist. Many people still do not know what the Liberal Democrats stand for and it is doubtful if Liberal Democrats know themselves. I must declare an affiliation here – I am a Liberal Democrat. In recent years there have been many changes to basic political philosophy. Labour has become staid and conservative while the Conservatives have become radical and people-oriented. The Liberal Democrats still do not know where they stand, apart from wearing green wellington boots and demanding that the countryside remains green.

More later …

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