Kent ready for lights, camera, action as Law is passed.

Kent ready for lights, camera, action as Law is passed 
Kent has landed a leading part in the film industry after its Parliamentary bill to assist filming in the county received Royal Assent and became law today (Tuesday). 

Kent County Council asked Government to push through the bill that has made Kent the only authority in the UK outside London to have legal powers enabling it to temporarily close roads for filming.  

The bill was the result of Kent County Council's passion to support local business and Kent's economy by maximising the multi-million pound benefits from the industry. 

It became an Act of Parliament much earlier than expected after passing through without objection. 

Kevin Lynes, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development said:"This is fantastic news.  Filming brings a serious income into the Kent economy, so we're absolutely committed to nurturing the industry and making Kent a national and international contender for filming. 

"Our wonderfully diverse county has everything from dramatic landscapes and historical settings to modern, urban backdrops and the new law means we can offer filmmakers an even better package." 

The Kent Film Office, run by Kent County Council, has generated more than £14million for the county's economy in the four years since set up and has attracted projects including BBC drama 'Emma' featuring Michael Gambon and 'Is Anybody There?' starring Michael Caine. 

Other Hollywood names to have filmed on location in Kent include Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana for the Other Boleyn Girl, Reese Witherspoon for Vanity Fair and Daniel Craig for The Golden Compass.   

The new law aims to attract even more filmmakers to Kent, bringing benefits to Kent businesses, tourism and residents.  Although the new law gives legal powers to close roads, the Kent Film Office will continue to work closely with local residents and businesses and take their needs into account.  

Tanya Oliver, Director of Strategic Development and Public Access added:"This is really exciting for Kent.  We can now offer filmmakers a real flexibility to meet their needs and that's going to make us an even more attractive prospect. I think our county is set for stardom that will benefit everyone." Kent County Council unanimously approved promotion of the bill across all three political parties when it was voted on at Full County Council.

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Government scraps new school at Hartsdown.

Firstly let me say that I know tough decisions are having to be made and it will effect everyone.

I am angry that the incompetence of the last government has forced the new coalition government to have to even think about some of the cuts there are proposing.

The announcement of the complete halt to all BSF projects , including the next wave 4 came as a complete shock to many including myself. Ten schools in Thanet have been left in the lurch, including Hartsdown, Foreland and the Ursuline.

In Thanet we will have half and half now, with no apparent consideration for the void that is left in the community, the disappointment the pupils and staff alike have.

Hartsdown Technology College , a good school with many outstanding features, prides itself in , not just working with, but being a part of the community. It is top 2% of similar schools and 2nd most improved school in Kent. All this in spite of the condition of the fabric of the building.

In 1964 the school opened to the newspaper headline "buildings inadequate for the future". As one sixth former said to me today." It's like we have been pushed to one side, and we will feel like second class Citizens".

We, at minimum, need a guaranteed investment from the Government and Kent County Council, to bring the school building up to an acceptable standard to enable Hartsdown TC to compete on a level playing field with other local schools.

I will be taking this stance when I see the Leader of Kent about this later this month. I hope we will take this to government to be looked at again.

Three years of planning, designing, an using the existing budget to carry out a careful maintenance programme. This must be compensated.

Hartsdown Tech will pick itself up from this and will continue being a excellent school in an excellent community.

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Councillor in Hartsdown

I had a really good morning today talking to members of Hartsdown school council. Discussing the issue of safety outside the school. Very intelligent ideas put forward to tackle the issues. I am looking forward to next week.
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