Whilst on the surface it may appear that nothing much has been happening with the campaign, we have actually had an interesting few months.
The MoD is muddled, DEFRA is dithering and the Environment Agency is in denial: they consider that data collected from Deal Pier in 2006, is 'the best available information to have been used to model the likely impacts of the dredging'. In contrast, Historic England is so aware of the year on year changes in the sand movement on the Goodwins that they have commissioned twogeophysical surveys of six designated wreck sites, each one year apart (2017 and 2018).
We have been encouraged by the success of the Stop the Dumping in Whitsands Bay campaign in Devon and Kent's own Stop the Lorry Park in Stanford fight, which both won their cases at, or rather just prior to going to, a Judicial Review. We remain determined to seek our own JR should the MMO grant the dredging licence. Co-ordinators from both campaigns have given us invaluable advice to help prepare for this eventuality, which is very much appreciated.
Advisors from as far apart as Devon and Dundee continue to support us with their expertise and experience, clearly demonstrating that the fight to protect the Goodwin Sands is not a case of NIMBYISM but is of national concern.
We recently met Nigel Farage, our MEP, to ask his help in researching the EU funding for DWDR. He was charming and helpful and more to the point, very astute: quickly assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the campaign. As one would expect, he was rather cynical about the whole issue of EU funding! Fiona and Joanna also met international best selling author William Horwood who spent part of his childhood in Deal and is a staunch supporter of the campaign.
Meanwhile, the MMO has completely gone to ground and the meeting promised four months ago with Trudi Wakelin, Head of Marine Licensing has still not materialised. Perhaps they are all hoping we will get fed up and go away but in the words of Winston Churchill we will 'never, never, never give up'.
Once again, thank you for your continued support for this important campaign and please don't forget to share this petition with your friends (and foes).
With best wishes,
Joanna, Fiona and Andy