The Leader of Dover District Council has said it is reviewing its involvement with the Kent Resilience Forum after Dover endured another weekend of chaos and gridlock.
Cllr Trevor Bartlett has written to the Chair and Strategic Lead of the Kent Resilience Forum, the Chief Constable of Kent Police, the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, the Leader of Kent County Council, and the Chief Executive of the Port of Dover to tell them that local residents and businesses have had enough and were rightly asking what went wrong.
If the plan and its implementation were sufficient, then why was Dover gridlocked?”
“This is an all too frequent event and we appear to have a plan which is not sufficiently comprehensive and does not have adequate resources and speed of implementation to prevent gridlock. If the plan and its implementation were sufficient, then why was Dover gridlocked?”
With the town effectively cut off, it was a body blow for local businesses looking to rebuild following the pandemic, whilst vulnerable local people were left isolated without adequate access to carers, medical support and emergency services.
Council’s warnings were not adequately heeded
Describing an avoidable situation, Cllr Bartlett said that DDC Officers had raised concerns ahead of the Easter getaway, but these warnings were not adequately heeded.
Dover appears to be the ‘acceptable sacrifice
“Dover appears to be the ‘acceptable sacrifice’ with the KRF’s planning based on the acceptance of gridlock at Dover,” said Cllr Bartlett. “Whilst I acknowledge the hard work of those on the front line at the weekend, I have to conclude that the views of those of us who know Dover best are being ignored.”
With further pressures expected this weekend DDC has said it is urgently reviewing the circumstances under which it would declare a major incident to elicit a more robust response.