MP Craig Mackinlay: Last column of 2018

Craig Mackinlay

As we approach the New Year, this is a fitting time to reflect on the last 12 months, and look forward to the challenges and opportunities we face in the coming year ahead.

While Brexit has taken up much of government’s time, no one can seriously question the exhaustive efforts of those – from the Prime Minister down – who have been engaged in this process. That’s why it’s so frustrating that much of that effort has been misplaced, not least because essential parts of the legally-binding Withdrawal Agreement and non-binding Political Declaration are wholly unacceptable.

For the UK to pay £39bn to continue to be subject to great swathes of EU law without being able to influence them and without any binding promises of a trade deal is ridiculous. Canada paid nothing to the EU for its CETA deal and nor should we. We’re the fifth largest economy and should not be afraid of being like most of the rest of the world working on World Trade Organisation rules.

‘Despite Brexit’, as the adage goes, the government has much good news to tell: unemployment at a record low; real wage growth the highest in a decade; and 1.9m more children now in good or outstanding schools. Great achievements that are improving the lives of families in Thanet and across our country.  The economy is in a good place.

Stroke service review

Locally, I’m calling upon the NHS in Kent and Medway to look again at the proposal to improve stroke services in the county given that it’s a practical impossibility for Thanet residents to travel to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford within an hour.

The only satisfactory outcome is a 4 centre option which upgrades QEQM to include a hyper acute stroke unit for Thanet. Dental provision in areas of the constituency remains a pressing issue for many. While the temporary reprieve I secured for New Street Dental Practice in Sandwich is welcome, my fight to reverse the lack of NHS dentistry locally continues.

Openings and closures

Like so many areas around the country, Thanet has suffered the loss of a number of bank premises in recent years so I was pleased to be able to officially open two Post Offices, one at Newington, the other in Broadstairs High Street. These new services have been warmly welcomed by residents.

Looking ahead, my main short-to-medium term aims for Ramsgate are to ensure that the town receives its fair share of government regeneration funding, combined with private, heritage-led regeneration. I am working hard to find a long term solution to Ramsgate Port that will create jobs, investment and tourism.

Thanet Riviera

Broadstairs is also a special place at the heart of the Thanet Riviera, and I intend to do all that I can to ensure that it remains so. Indeed, my constituency office and most Surgery appointments with constituents are held in Broadstairs. I have also seen a lot of private investment-led improvements in Cliftonville over the years, and I intend to focus on keeping those improvements rolling in, just as publicly-funded regeneration in Margate has delivered such a positive impact on the whole area.

So there’s lots to do. Do enjoy what’s left of 2018 and I’ll see you in 2019 for what will be a significant year.


  1. Craig, no mention of the increased number of children eating the cheapest food in cold homes, of the families ground down by austerity and feeling that they are not part of this rosey picture you paint?

  2. Craig, there is no way Thanet can endure any more cuts to its health services. From the ill advised proposals to remove the Stroke service, which you now agree with me on, to the distracting debate about hospital reconfigurations. South Thanet needs it’s A&E, it’s Stroke Unit, preferably a HASU, and it needs its fully functioning maternity services. No more cuts. Thanet residents deserve better!

  3. Nothing says riveria like a Royal Harbour, a marina and being the largest conservation area in Kent. This you have seemed to have forgotten as you do much about Ramsgate.

    Please start reading up on some reports for example –

    – which clearly states that the MACH approach is regarded as a model for culture- and heritage based regeneration that could be applied elsewhere in the district, and for which Ramsgate in particular may be suitable.

    Ramsgate was chosen in 2016 as one of the first ten Historic England Heritage Action Zones (HAZ), places selected for targeted action by Historic England, to build on the heritage of the area to stimulate economic growth. The HAZ encompasses the whole town, within which Ramsgate Conservation Area lies.

    It is time for you – Craig – to actually show pride in Ramsgate and all the fantastic people, businesses and events that are going on and making sure we get the investments and support we deserve.

    • Craig doesn’t give a monkeys for Ramsgate. Why else would he support a land-grab that ostensibly turns Ramsgate into a noisy, smelly, polluted industrial hub. He’s also a member of the party that has destroyed support for the poor and disadvantaged while continuing to give money to their rich friends.

  4. Thanet Riviera? Could be if a luxury yacht builder and maintenance facility could be attracted to port Ramsgate with moorings for luxury yachts in the outer harbour. Mainly shallow draft and owned by wealthy folk this simple idea could attract steadily increasing new revenue without the need for ferries and HGV’s.

  5. Craig likes to walk around with his eyes closed. He tells us that 39 billion goes to the EU. More than half that amount comes back, plus billions of pounds in trade and tourism the reason we are the 5th largest economy in the world [ at the moment] could be due to the fact that we are in the EU. I expect at the moment Craig has a lot on his mind. So he may have overlooked all those sleeping in the street or the queues outside the food banks. Or being a member of a totally useless government who could not run a bath let-alone a country.

  6. Perhaps Craig would like to visit the Thanet Winter Shelter one evening and talk to the guests there who would otherwise spend their nights on the streets through the winter months. Maybe then he’d hear why some are homeless due to benefits cuts, universal credit delays, a lack of affordable homes, low wages, insufficient mental health beds, rehab facilities etc. These are among some of the most vulnerable residents forced out of their homes on to our streets. Maybe he’d like to meet the families dependent on food banks or the single man I visited yesterday who had to go to a food bank as he had no money due to his benefits being delayed. I could go on but I think Craig has got the picture.

  7. Craig, when you sit down to your Christmas lunch on Tuesday, perhaps a thought towards addressing the following statistics might turn your turkey and trimmings into ash in your mouth:
    *13m or 21% of the UK population is in poverty.
    * 600 homeless people died on the streets in 2017.The life expectancy of homeless persons being 43.Not 90+ as in parts of Broadstairs.
    * The significant growth in the use of food banks.
    * Private debt exceeding the pre -crash levels.
    *Austerity and universal credit wreaking social and economic damage in coastal communities.
    * High streets in serious economic decline.
    * Anaemic economic growth.
    * Car production down 19.5% compared to 2017.
    * A divided country, with the real possibility of the British Isle being balkanised. Remember it was 100 yrs ago that Ireland was divided in part,because home rule was opposed by your party.

    I have not mentioned the ‘B’ word, Housing, the railways, Adult Social care,education,potholes,community policing, infrastructure etc etc.
    Also when mentioning your constituency, remember that Ramsgate is your biggest town, otherwise we might think you don’t care about us.
    My advice for what it is worth, is to resolve to be a bit more inclusive in future, otherwise it won’t only be Jacob Marley jangling his chains next Christmas.

  8. What was the outcome of the court case. I am searching the net and can find no result regarding the 3 people on trial. Of course I am assuming it is over

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