Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Happy New Year!

I wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year and look ahead to the ten things that 2008 has in store:

1) Sadly the New Year won't start off well for commuters who, as likely season ticket holders, will from tomorrow face an average 6.8% rise in their fare, set by the Government. Even non-commuters in Kent will face a 4.8% average rise, set by the train company. How this encourages people to get out of their cars and use public transport I simply don't know.

2) Meridian Girls Under 10s will complete their first season in the Kent League. It has been a bit of a baptism of fire for all involved including the coaches but we look set to survive the season and have had a fair amount of fun along the way.

3) Business leaders and finance experts predict that the year ahead will be uncertain and there are mixed messages on the stability of the housing market. However it has been predicted that house prices in Chatham are set to increase because of the new high-speed link into London - good news if you are a seller, but not such good news if you are a first time buyer.

4) Kent County Council will hold a massive county-wide school games competition for children aged between 7 and 16 in sports including athletics, basketball, cricket and swimming, culminating in a grand final.

5) Plans for the re-organisation of blue-light services at Maidstone Hospital look set to be approved meaning that those in need of certain A&E services will have to travel the extra 40 minutes to Tonbridge. An absolute outrage.

6) We know that Gordon Brown won't be calling a General Election! He ruled out a 2008 election at the same time he bottled an October/November election last year.

7) During 2008 I will publish my 200th post on this blog and if it continues as it is at the moment it will have received over 30,000 hits - most of which I am pleased to say are from local users.

8) The Green Belt will continue to be under threat from the Government's plans to build more houses. Medway Magna has yet to indicate that it has listened to the massive opposition from local residents to its proposals to build 9,200 houses on the Capstone Valley - hopefully they will do in 2008.

9) Kent Cricket Club will host the touring New Zealand side in April and the women's one day international between England and South Africa in August. This is great for the club and great for Kent cricket fans.

10) Tottenham will hold on to Berbatov, who will inspire the team to rise out of mid-table obscurity and make it into the Champions League...or maybe not.

Whatever else is in store, I hope 2008 brings you peace, joy and prosperity.

1 comment:

John M Ward said...

Happy New Year to you too!

Your Number (6) isn't quite accurate, in that Gordon (Mr) Bean said an election this year would be "highly unlikely".

It seems to me that this was a deliberate ploy to make people think it wouldn't be called, but giving himself a get-out if the polls suddenly changed direction significantly and particular pressures made it advisable and beneficial to him -- and his party, though his primary aim is to protect his own position.

On (8), I doubt that Magna are interested in local opposition, so will not change their view. Their plans will have to be rejected by the planning authorities -- which power, owing to the way the planning system has been devised -- especially in its new incarnation -- ultimately lies with outsiders, not locals.