I have briefed MR Puss, who is maintaining a stoic attitude, but he seems maybe a tad edgy
Seriously what sort of sickos are we breeding in ramsgate.
I have briefed MR Puss, who is maintaining a stoic attitude, but he seems maybe a tad edgy
Seriously what sort of sickos are we breeding in ramsgate.
After my somewhat unreliable report yesterday concerning the future of the M&S site, Thanet District Council officers have been kind enough to forward a copy of their statement concerning the future of this site, as you know I generally don't allow facts to interfere with what I have to say.
First things first as earlier reported, by the well-connected Arts and Elbows blogsite, Thanet council have released a brief statement, stating that in the next few months a planning application will be prepared setting out the future use of the site, the plan being to create modern retail space, that may include office and workshop space as well as residential units. They are also looking for short-term uses for the site to increase the amount of people in the high-street.
I understand that there is a desire on the part of those who know about regeneration, to put Cecil Square at the heart of the town, part of this plan is more Cafe culture, but more importantly is the objective to create a passage from the old M&S site, giving access the to the old town, and help open it up, as part of the regeneration.
Fortunately the part of the Marks and Spencer building which faces on to Cecil Square has a preservation order so there is little danger of any new hideous modern building to complement the red-brick civic buildings across the square.
I think I need to make an apology to those involved in the Regeneration business, whilst it is easy to criticise, we clearly have had some considerable benefit to Thanet as a whole from the developments that have taken place over the last few years.
If anyone cares to wander around Ramsgate for instance, and this weekend with the powerboat racing taking place, it will be an ideal time to do so, you cannot fail but appreciate how good the town looks particularly from the harbour.
Much criticism is made of the traffic at the centre of Thanet, and this clearly is a problem whether it is convenient to mention or not, but this has not all been negative, because I think a large a part of spending which previously would have gone to Canterbury, is now kept within Thanet.
Thanet probably has two major problems, the traffic, unfortunately this is something that is the responsibility of KCC, the regeneration of Margate, this is something within local control hopefully within a year or two will see some action and even better if KCC gets they move on, with the Turner contemporary, which Paul Carter promised for 2009 (keep a note in your diary).
Hopefully the council will be holding some sort of discussion or consultation with the local traders in July to get their views on how this plan will be developed further.
My estimate of how much was paid for the Marks and Spencer site, is apparently way off the beam and still subject to commercial confidentiality unless you got the time to query with the Land Registry.
It is still my understanding that Seeda has made available to Thanet District Council something in excess of £8 million, with which to help regenerate Margate, and since the officer I spoke to mentioned, that the immediate problem, was to stimulate foot traffic in the high street, I made the suggestion, that with the interest from this £8 million, maybe they ought to give a £1,000 away every weekend to passers-by in order to stimulate traffic well I no expert but it did raise a laugh.
It is easy for us not involved directly to criticise, but to be honest, the task to regenerate Margate is vast and in some degree, has not been helped by the handling of the Turner contemporary project, but this sort of redevelopment requires a strong will, a clear objective, and a lot of expertise. I hope they do well, and earn their money, because if they don't someone will only criticise which as we all know is easy.
This is my hypothesis (I think it means clueless, in Greek) , after many weeks and an estimated £6 million of taxpayers' money it looks as if Thanet council is about to make an announcement concerning the Marks and Spencer site.
After months of inactivity, and no news, Thanet council has, at last come up with the big idea. According to the blogsite Arts and elbows yesterday, months of apathy have paid off, dozens of Thanet council regeneration officers and other ranks, have been slaving night and day, I tried to speak with someone in the Regeneration Department but no one was able to respond possibly due to sheer exhaustion, except briefly to take my number claiming they would ring back pronto sadly they didn't have the strength.
I believe the big idea is to, have what I would describe, as an indoor and flea market (subsidised), with workshops and offices well worth the wait.
I assume this story will turn up in one of Trinity mirrors excellent rags (Gazette most likely) with perhaps a big picture of our glorious leader Sandy Ezekiel making a informal announcement.
I am a tad miffed on 27th April I received an e-mail from the council, telling me there would shortly be a press release, I did not realise this would be via the Arts and Elbows blogsite exclusive!.
Anyway what was I thinking, apart from the bad taste suit, I was thinking how lucky I was, which I still think today, my wife I never quite know. Still I don't think we've done to bad, as a month later, the Royal family had a similar if not slightly more brash affair which didn't last half the time but then that Family seems quite dysfunctional.
With all this talk of the delegations from the local council, going north and having discussions with amusement park operators elsewhere, why can't Thanet council, just suggest to the current owners, Margate Town Centre Regeneration company, that the only change of use they will ever receive, for the Dreamland site would be to turn it into a agricultural land. This way they might concentrate the business minds, behind this company, who appear to want to cash in, and increase the value of their land by building on it.
Thanet council is a facilitator in this matter, if they made it clear that they weren't about to give any favourable decisions as far as building was concerned, it would soon facilitate the Dreamland owners into using their asset as originally planned.
Apart from a putting a bulldozer through the site I'm not sure how you could make Dreamland look any worse than it does today.
I seem to remember when the Tories regained control of Thanet council, that they made statements suggesting that they had clear plans for Thanet, well so far I have seen nothing of that as far as it concerns Margate, the Turner centre appears to be nothing to do with them, they have purchased the Marks and Spencer's building and still apparently have no firm plans.
This administration seems clueless only able to mumble about regeneration, without actually completing anything.
The council have the money to do things is just ideas are in short supply.
Are Thanet council getting pettier, can any one explain why the council thought it necessary to cordon off large sections to Thanet outside of the air show arena. Also have the organisers got a section 106 agreement load of old nonsense as Manston airport does. I should think the council created more nuisance than Manston airport has in the last ten years.
Was it legal for the council to block areas outside of the showground or just arrogance please comment?
The Sunday times has a long tedious article about pampered pets with calls for pet asbos, Mr Puss seen here, relaxing on top of daddies car declined to comment (no bloody Fathers day card either), is I believe to be against such drastic action, despite being subject to a humiliating bullying campaign of terror, which has recently escalated into his lunch being stolen, by a beige cat known as, the beige cat. This cat is also wanted in connection with the theft, of a quarter pounder back in May, approach with caution.
Mr Puss is believed to favour dialogue and counselling rather than the heavy hand of an ASBO, me I’m investing in a water pistol in my own get tough policy.
THE EXCITEMENT OF THE RED ARROWS AND THE AFTERBURNERS FROM THE EUROFIGHTER PROVED TO MUCH FOR THESE BABIES (THERE MOTHER LOOKS ON HELPLESS)
With the promise of sunshine, on Saturday and Sunday and the temperatures reaching around 22 C, the choice must be either beach or airshow. Preparations are well under way at Palm Bay, with marquees, fairground attractions, and displays already being set up.
If you notice, in the photograph a fence has been erected, on the edge of the green, I'm told its part of some safety arrangement, I am not sure whether this means that the existing fence that runs along the cliff edge is not substantial enough, or whether it is being put their to stop despondent English football fans doing something desperate, not having been entirely convinced with today's match performance with Trinidad and Tobago. Perhaps if you know you could leave a comment.
Not knowing an awful lot about football, I sent my wife a text message at half-time (I'd already been told not to ring), with some inane comment like "come on you Tobagoans", this sounded vaguely like something she would shout at the telly, and as it wasn't the beloved Chelsea playing I thought, I was entering into the spirit of the thing. Apparently not, a reply text came " something off", fortunately England improved by the time she arrived home. I am hoping I'll be allowed to go to the air show.
According to Kent on Sunday website, the county council have just spent £5.35 million on purchasing Kent International Business Park at Manston.
The justification for the purchase according to Graham Gibbens, KCC Cabinet Member for Regeneration, as quoted is "There was a real threat that the Kent International Business Park could have been bought by a speculative investor, who would land bank it for a number of years.
Graham Gibbons is county council member for Canterbury City North East that almost makes him a local. At times I wonder why we have Thanet District Council with the growing influence or interference from Maidstone with might as well send all our money, straight to Maidstone.
The report does not mention, whether they bothered to consult with Thanet District Council or Sandy Ezekiel still I suppose they will do what they want and consult us later.
Viewers of Meridian's tonight programme, will have been reassured, that Thanet council is, on the case. The culmination of a significant policy change, is here for all to see. Whilst other councils dither Thanet council has shown that it has what it takes, were major issues need action.
Yes Thanet council in a brave move, have cracked that age old problem, what plants to use in a drought, yes artificial ones, now all they have got to do, is come up with a plan for the Marks and Spencer building, and regenerating, the lower high-street and the old town. Let's hope any plans or ideas they do have are real and not artificial.
I must say these flowers looked really rather good, as I cycled through Cecil Square yesterday afternoon.
Oh can you sort out the traffic, before you allow any more development, around Westwood.
According to the Isle of Thanet Gazette, project boss Mike Hill, is quoted as saying "we will be involving residents in the design process for the Turner contemporary and the whole regeneration process", I personally would just like to say Thank You, but I won't for this reason, most of the money for this project will not come from KCC, the project is to be built in Margate, and yet the whole thing is being led from Maidstone.
Clearly Mike Hill has an affinity with Margate, seeing as he represents that other run-down economically deprived coastal town of Tenterden, so for many he's a natural choice.
Given that most of the money is not KCCs , what I'd like to know is why are we allowing ourselves to hand this project to KCC. Why can't Thanet Council stamp its authority on this project, I know both councils are Tory run but why can't our local council have the balls to stand up for local people.
I think it is even more the case, now than in the past that we should run our own affairs, given that the debacle of what Paul Carter referred to as to "Turner offshore". Just remember that KCC played a leading role, in having apparently chosen the only design which did not make use of the Rendezvous site, as was originally intended, and then when it became apparent that costs were escalating out of all proportion seemed to take forever to terminate the project.
Perhaps the best news, is that I can find no reference to the word iconic in the gazettes report, which I believe is a term given to something being representative of a style or object, not as appears to have been the case locally, iconic meaning a hideous, expensive, ugly, possibly unstable building in the sea.
I think the work Roger Gale has been doing on tax credits, is beginning to pay dividends. The HM Revenue and Customs are clearly doing their best to make sure that there is no overpayment in the Flaig household.
I'm fairly sure that we haven't claimed a penny of tax credit in the last two years, but just in case I have been sent a letter confirming that I have been awarded £0.00. Just as they did last year how long before they except that I don't want their money, and just in case I forget to inform my wife they have the sent her a copy as well.
Personally I would rather that HM Revenue and Customs would stop chopping down trees, sending me and my partner 36 page booklets, that I will never read accompanied by incomprehensible and pointless letters.
Is the Kent Messengers, Thanet Extra, now Thanets dearest free newspaper. For maybe 10 to 15 years the Thanet Extra has been delivered free to my home, and when that wasn't the case you could always go in to the office, and get a free copy. There appears to be a change of policy and now when you go into the office you have to pay 45p.
Now I pay a similar amount for a very thin Thanet Times on Tuesday, and the price therefore is not extortionate. But I think there is a principle involved here the Thanet Extra, is presumably promoted to its advertisers as a free issue newspaper, now I have no problem if they wish to change their policy and charge for every edition because clearly it is comparable with Trinity Mirrors newspaper the Thanet Times.
So if I were an advertiser, I might just think if, I have a choice of whether to advertise in the Adscene or the Extra, and I wish to flog some houses, I would go for the Adscene since they only charge a nominal 10p. Given that most revenue for these newspapers clearly comes from advertisers asking 45p for a paper which in the main is free seems to be a little penny pinching.
I understand from staff in their Northdown Road office, that they are under no obligation to supply free copies, as they deliver 57,000 (although I checked the figure in the paper which was lower at 55,873) which is fair enough, its their business, but if your an estate agent, wishing to sell me a new property, or entice me to sell, or a business wishing to sell new kitchens or windows you might well consider the Adscene.
I rang Kent Messenger groups distribution on 01622794620, and was informed that my road would no longer receive copies of the Extra as would be the case for others in the adjacent area. So if you live in Dane Valley area the chances are that you will no longer receive a copy of the Extra.
Tough choice, free or 45p.
Is it any wonder, with the disproportionate significance given to England playing in the World Cup, and tabloid journalists dipping into their bag of cliches, that BBC News report an attack on a young German student, in Dane Park, Margate.
Roger Gale, rightly states that this has "brought shame on the town", and refers to xenophobia. Clearly this is something that could and probably does happen in other towns, however I wonder if it's about time that our tabloid newspapers started to act responsibly. A typical example of nationalistic reporting, was to be found in the Wednesday edition of the Sun newspaper.
Sun journalist Harry Macadam, is the scribe who takes a double page in the middle of the paper, to describe how the sun places a 7500 square foot beached towel, thus indulging in a typical caricature of the German behaviour we have come to expect from the Sun.
The thing is there are plenty of simple-minded yobs who read, this type of story and thus have their xenophobic views of Germans reinforced by this sort of ostensibly manufactured story.
There is no problem with being proud to be English, but stories such as Mr Macadams, make me feel embarrassed to be English, still presumably that's what the Sun pay him for, it's just a pity that visitors to this country have another price to pay for English xenophobia.
The words of the victim "I think the reason they attacked me is because we were German and the World Cup starts in a few days." .
I feel that the Sun is more entertainment than news, but really isn't it about time they got some fresh ideas.
Plans for the Westwood Bland cabbage patch development, are now with the local council. These were registered with the council on 24th May, with a decision by the council on or after 23rd August.
Clearly this is the only consultation that matters, if you attended the well publicised consultation that was held at Westwood Cross this was possibly little more than a public relations exercise. You may well have had, a copy of the leaflet that was handed out asking for comment, on the development, this was to be returned to The Development Planning Partnership (DPP), naive as I am I checked out their website as I invariably do, and discovered to my disappointment, that the role of DPP was not quite as impartial as I thought.
DPP make the following observations on their website, "We can help you obtain that valuable planning permission" "help you secure a favourable land allocation in the relevant local plan" "it pays to use an expert to maximise the chances of success"
So if you're happy to be stuck in traffic around Westwood, then don't go to the planning office and asked to see the application TH 060650, or write into the planning office with your objections to this plan.
The developers seemed so proud of the planned development, you would have thought that they would have publicised with as much effort there submission for outline planning on this project as they did with the consultation.
Now finally the developers plans are in line with the local master plan, but pause for thought, wasn't there a plan for an offshore art gallery once.
The Home Office is to back away from legislation to protect victims of forced marriage according to the BBC. The victims are mainly, South Asian, or from the Middle-East, the Balkans and Africa apparently they don't matter.
Any day now that mishmash of worthies who decide such things will make a fresh announcement re. The Turner Contemporary.
One things for sure according to AA Gill in todays Sunday Times mag, J M W Turner was a working class boy his father being in trade, I feel were he alive today, being working class, would probably exclude him from any decisions, involving art galleries.
Do you think this time; these worthies might have the sphericals, to offer us the choice from a shortlist not blinking likely. I meant to say F*"&!^g likely but I now how sensitive these types are.
This afternoon about 2:30pm, a robbery occurred whilst customers queued waiting to be served.
For a probably more accurate and professional version read Kent online
KCC has recently announced that it is set to pilot a pioneering random drug testing programme in a number of our secondary schools. Presumably KCC have carefully considered the implications of invasion of privacy ignoring people's human rights and forgetting that children are individual human beings who may well object to forced testing.
In the light of some decisions and policies, that KCC, our own local Council have, such as the aborted Turner contemporary centre debacle, backing plans to vandalise the village of Wye and surrounding countryside, and more recently TDC deciding to give employees what appears to be a fun day (see today's Gazette) maybe it is about time that the public started clamouring for random drug testing of our elected representatives and local authority employees.
Drug-testing is routine in many industries, perhaps it is time for our bureaucrats and functionaries submit to this indignity particularly as they are so keen to inflict it upon innocent children.
Roger Gale once again shows why he is such a good local MP, in this week's Gales View, he brings up the problem over payments with the family tax credit system and shows genuine concern for those constituents subject to this nightmare. The idea as I understand initially with the family tax credit system, was to give additional incentives to those people on low incomes and get some benefit from working. As Roger Gale points out, for many this has become a nightmare with, in his experience the average overpayment being something in the order of £2,000.
Presumably to government ministers this is a small problem, to those who have experienced low-pay, £2,000 is still a lot of money.
Apparently Revenue and Customs, take the view that people should have known about the errors, and should have put the money aside to repay the tax authorities. I myself know from speaking to people, that there have been errors with this system, from the start.
Clearly if anyone is to blame, given the fact that government must have known of the problems, from day one, maybe a more radical solution could be applied, instead of harassing threatening and generally frightening people on low pay, perhaps we could have a new system of civil service accountability, whereby cock-ups of it this magnitude, are paid for by taking money from they're generous pension funds or alternatively cutting their salaries, such action might actually concentrate the minds of these smug bureaucrats.
In many cases these hard-pressed families reported overpayments and were told to set the money aside, this is good advice if you are a well paid civil servant ticking off the day's until you receive your generous pension, but for someone who is just getting by it's not so easy to set hundreds of pounds aside, just because some government employee can't be bothered to sort the problem out.
I feel that our country, would be a better place, if people in the public sector, were more accountable and certainly they would be less smug if their salaries and pension benefits were determined on the basis of performance.