County Councillor Karen Constantine Seeing Red: From community volunteers to an adoption apology

Cllr Karen Constantine

Huge thanks to all our community volunteers. 

Happy New Year! I hope you had a good Christmas and New Year break. I want to say an especially big ‘Thank You’ to all those involved in Ramsgate’s Advent Doors. What an uplifting experience and glowing example of community spirit it is. If you haven’t visited a door yet, I urge you to do so in December 2024 you won’t be disappointed!

I’d also make special mention to the boat owners who turn our Royal Harbour into a magical and atmospheric space. It’s utterly brilliant and delightful. Thank you.

Last but by no means least our local Salvation Army, who I know work extremely hard throughout the year, but especially so during these cold months looking after Ramsgate’s most vulnerable really deserve special mention and thanks. Their work is invaluable.

And I know there are many many other residents who quietly take care of our elderly, isolated and otherwise vulnerable residents. I take my hat off to you. Thank you – you are all superstars.

We couldn’t function without you.

The Ramsgate Cinema.

It was my pleasure to visit the new community cinema on Ramsgate High Street, again Ramsgate’s stalwart volunteers have proven themselves! They have set this fabulous space up so quickly. Well done and thank you to Kent Film Foundation led by the inimitable Jan Dunn.

Junior Doctors strike. 

As you will have heard Junior Doctors are on strike for seven days, the longest in the history of our NHS. The current round of industrial action will end next Tuesday.

Junior Doctors know that this strike will be tough on patients but are also undertaking this serious action, knowing that if they don’t, the situation inside the NHS will get worse for us all. This is because of very high waiting lists and a severe shortage of clinical staff. In fact the Health Foundation now predict the waiting list will top 8 million by summer. So much for Rishi’s pledge!

Junior Doctors deserve fair pay as Rob Laurenson of the BMA explains: “We’re fighting so junior doctors now earning just £15 an hour can earn £21 an hour instead.”

It seems the cost of living crisis and a faltering economy is impacting everyone.

No one’s happy about the strike. The current situation is a far cry from 2010 when David Cameron became Prime Minister. Patient satisfaction with the NHS was then at its highest level ever. This disastrous situation hasn’t happened overnight. It is the outcome of a negligent government. A government that won’t even enter into meaningful negotiations. On Thursday 4th the BMA stated that “the Government says we walked away from talks  – but it was them who walked away. Ministers can’t even explain why they won’t talk to us while strikes are planned, like they did with barristers.”

The BMA is asking the Government to get back around the negotiating table with a credible offer to end this disruption. Will they?

Dumpton Park Drive and Margate Road traffic measures. 

Residents and businesses on Margate Road are perplexed that the road is being remodelled meaning vital parking spaces will be lost. This will certainly impact a number of well used businesses. The works are being carried out using BSIP – Bus Service Improvement Plan – a national strategy which has placed a requirement on all Local Transport Authorities and Bus Operators to plan to improve bus journeys in terms of frequency, reliability and ride quality. I hope KCC are listening because there are hundreds of unhappy residents. Surely this money could have been put to better use?

Meanwhile on Dumpton Park Drive, following the tragic death of 18 year old Ethan Entwistle last year, residents are battling to get KCC to implement adequate speed calming measures. Bollards and improved signage are planned – but is that enough on this notorious stretch of road? The lack of adequate speed calming measures has turned this residential area into an accident hotspot, with two very sad fatalities in under two years. More and urgent action is needed. I urge you to sign this petition to show your support.

https://www.facebook.com/share/MkuPHKRJXjMMPfQx/?mibextid=K35XfP

Can you help me? 

As well as being the County Councillor for Ramsgate I hope that I will continue to develop as an emerging writer and am working furiously on a new book ‘Kept Unkept Surrendered.’ The stories of 185,000 unmarried pregnant women who were forced into mother and baby homes in the 50s 60s 70s and the impact on their children and the need for an ‘Adoption Apology.’

I’m so grateful for this opportunity and to those who have already contacted me about this. If you want to know more, or want to contribute, full details can be found here Mother and baby home stories – A social history project

And of course politically I’m doing all that I can to ensure this issue is on Labour’s agenda for immediate action. Because at some point this year there will be a General Election – and I do urge you to vote Labour, and I fully believe they will win – and this is one wrong that in power Labour can right. They can and they must.

The Conservatives have already declined to issue an apology, but that’s to be expected isn’t it?

Have a good New Year!

6 Comments

  1. Has the full accident investigation and inquiry been completed in respect of the incident where Ethan lost his life? In the absence of the full facts it’s surely a little too early to decide what may or may not need doing.

    The way you have written it, it seems as though you feel there is a link to the second fatality and speed, was this the determination of the investigation in that case? And was there any prosecution of the driver involved?

    Again full facts should be given to justify the actions some wish to see implemented.

  2. Despite contacting councillors and local authorities nothings been done about the dangerous crossroad junction of Holly Road, Saint Luke Avenue Ramsgate, the yellow lines which were due to be put at that junction. Were put at the wrong junction. There has been a number of accidents at the Holly Road junction, yet nothing is done about it vehicles emerging into that road due to cars Park close to the corners. Why has NOTHING been done despite a number of accident.

  3. This government is intent on blaming the victims, the Doctors! My state pension has been linked to inflation, so I haven’t lost out, and had the Doctors, and other public service worker had their wages linked the same way, there would be no need for strikes! Instead, this government is trying to force doctors and other public service workers to take a wage cut, to pay for their incompetent management of the economy! I would like to see all MP’s take a 35% wage cut, in solidarity with doctors!

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