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From "Your Shepway": yourlocalinterview with Lynne Beaumont

October 11, 2007 9:00 AM

Lynne BeaumontIn an interview with local Newspaper "Your Shepway", Shepway Liberal Democrat District Group Leader and Councillor Lynne Beaumont sets out how she would like to make Shepway sparkle and believes that Roger de Haan's vision for the future can help make the area a vibrant place to call home.

  • What do you particularly like about the Shepway area?

We are lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, with rolling hills and stunning beaches and coastline.

There is a strong sense of community, from the rural villages through to the vibrant urban towns, and people speak out about issues important to them - which I admire. I chose to live in Shepway in 1984 because it was where I wanted to bring up my family.

  • What would you change about the Shepway area?

I would make Shepway sparkle and do more to keep people safe from crime and anti-social behaviour. This area deserves to sparkle. It needs to be clean, green and safe. The civic authorities have failed local people by not keeping the area clean.

  • What changes have you seen in Shepway during your time on the council?

I have seen disastrous decision-making on the local council from both political parties, and this has hurt local people. On the one hand we had the decision to close local conveniences and, on the other, the waste of more than £1 million for a sports centre that was never built. All these decisions caused distress to local council tax-payers and their children.

On a brighter note, Roger De Haan's vision for the future of Shepway will make this area a vibrant, interesting and commercially lively place to call home.

  • What made you want to be a councillor?

I had been involved with my local community for many years.This culminated in my becoming chair of governors at a local primary school. When I was approached to stand for the council I had to decide whether I wanted to become far more involved in a broader sense. I am very pleased I made the decision and grateful to the people who voted for me. I would recommend this way forward to anyone who wants to be involved in their local area.

  • What aspects of being a councillor do you enjoy?

When someone asks me to help when the system has let them down, I will fight their corner to make sure that fairness comes into play. When this is successful, it is rewarding to know their quality of life has been enhanced.

  • What have you found testing in your role as a councillor?

Apart from becoming a parent, this has been the steepest learning curve of my life. Standing up for what you believe to be right, and not being able to deliver this because of the political voting system on the local council, is frustrating and does not represent the true feelings of the council tax-payers of Shepway.

  • What do you think are the challenges facing Shepway?

There are many challenges ahead. Regeneration, new affordable homes and new businesses are needed and welcomed. However, there has to be a maintained balance. The quality of life of existing communities must not be lost in the name of progress.

Working closely with developers and listening to local people has to be the way forward.

  • What do you think the Folkestone Triennial will bring to the town?

It will present the largest boost to the local economy seen in recent history. It is predicted that more than 100,000 people will visit over the three-month period. These visitors will have money to spend and will need places to stay and places to eat and drink. This will be an astonishing economic boost to our town, and local businesses will reap the benefits.

  • So it's all looking bright for Folkestone. Do you really believe the town can at last live up to its potential?

Folkestone will be a shining beacon in east Kent for culture and excitement. Along with the coastal redevelopment and the high-speed rail link, Folkestone will be reborn and become the most fantastic place to live.