Thursday, April 19, 2007

Margate the haves and have-nots

I've been ruminating on how slow developments have been over the last year, since I started publishing this blog. One motivation was then and still is, joining the debate, even if it's outside, the closed doors and closed minds of the local government.

Something I would like to see, is a sense of urgency, consider the almost embarrassed release, of news last year that the council, had with some wonga from South East of England Development Agency, purchased the old Marks and Spencer's building in Margate.

I now get the feeling, by the time the regeneration specialists, consultants and architects have finished with M&S and produced their concept of the future, all that Margate will need is a new cemetery to bury those businesses, killed by the lack of urgency.

It seems the council are blissfully unaware of Margate high-street's plight. A few weeks ago, it was noted in the local paper, the Thanet extra, how council staff monopolised the Mill Lane car-park. Today being a nice warm sunny day, I thought I would check out myself, to see if matters have improved they haven't.

Now just ask yourself why we use out-of-town shops, is it because we like the ambience of large tin shacks, or is it the free parking. Well if Thanet council can afford to give free parking, at a cost of a quarter million pounds a year, to its staff, why can't it offer the same facility to its community charge payers.

I've said before, that most of the staff at Thanet council are well paid, I noted today as I wandered round Mill Lane car-park, that there were some expensive cars, with free parking paid for by you and me. I reckon if you can afford a Mercedes or a Ford Jaguar, then you ought to be able stump up £2.40 a-day parking. Particularly when you expect the general public, to have to pay or run the risk of being fined.


It's really frightening that the council, have so far with government grants spent millions on improvements to Margate, are expecting the Turner Gallery some time in the next four to five years and yet when these improvements are made, there will be no where for anyone to park because the councils using all the spaces.

Thanet council are choking the supply of customers to Margate high-street, council chiefs have the cheek to expect to see us all use public transport, despite the fact, that we the public are subsidising their transport every day.

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