Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Pragmatism and the Save Dreamland Campaign Group

I'm prompted to revisit the subject of Margates future, particularly in relation to the self proclaimed Margate Town Centre Regeneration company (Waterbridge) Reading-based firm. Now some seemingly long time ago, Waterbridge had their initial consultation with the great public at Margates Winter Gardens.

A reason for returning to the subject, is the fact that the Save Dreamland Campaign earlier this month, offered what appears to be a conditional offer of support to one of the least worse Waterbridge plan, irritatingly called the the ''Duke of York'' proposal, reasons for which I can only guess at, maybe the Reading based firm, thought by naming it after a Royal rank, it might lessen future protests, since even in the 21st century, how many of us would be inclined to tell Waterbridge where to stick the Duke of York.

As far as I am aware, it is still necessary for Waterbridge to prove that there is a case which substantiates their claims, that it is not possible to use the dreamland site for its historic purpose, so I really wonder whether, the Dreamland campaign group, should not, take a more confrontational stand against Waterbridge.

Going back to their earlier consultation at the Winter Gardens, if I remember correctly, in part relied on a presentation by the consultancy firm Tribal which appeared to rather exaggerate, changing attitudes and make favourable claims over improved transport links, which according to the facts in relation to train and journey times, and Margate in particular are questionable. In fact an article in last week's Thanet Gazette, suggested that a journey times from London to Margate will only improve by a rather meagre 11 minutes, leaving commuters a journey time of 1 hour 38 minutes.

I'm rather disappointed with the Reading based Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company, because I understood that they would put details of their consultancy firms conclusions on their website which they haven't, I just wonder whether their case is not strong as they would wish to believe.

With our doubt, the save Dreamland campaign group, have done more, than most to maintain the heritage of Margate, however I personally think that the Waterbridge case for changing the nature of Margate is weak, and really the campaign group should put a lot of effort into countering Waterbridge's claims. Still the Dreamland campaign, have been a lone voice against the destruction of Dreamland, and as far as I can tell have received no support from Thanets Politicians particularly the Tory group, so maybe they're right to be pragmatic.


  1. You have a short memory!!
    Do you remember the debate concerning the Local Development Plan. I do because I was the Labour spokesperson for Development Services. The Tories proposed to ignore the Plan Inspector's advice, which was not to relax ther conditions around developing the Dreamland Site. We (Labour) voted to retain the conditions. We lost the vote, the Tories subsequently won the following election (in Margate anyway!) That's democracy, you have only yourselves to blame.

  2. I have problems with my memory as you might guess and I try not to let facts get in the way of my opionions!

  3. Cllr Green, you are spot on here! The problem about Dreamland is one that has been caused simply by TDC ignoring the advice of the Planning Inspector's advice. It is illuminating that the illegal security fences are still in place on the site and that Godden's gap is still a gap and no-one has done anything about it at TDC! When I came to Thanet over 20 years ago, there was an ongoing scandal about money and Cllrs involvement in money in lofts; the present situation seems little different except that pecuniary advancement is probably more sophisticated; the whole thing about Dreamland stinks to high heaven!