Monday, July 16, 2007

The politics show calls on the usual suspects

The chances are that yesterday, despite the appalling weather, you had something better to do than watch BBC south east's politics show. Now for those of you who missed this, the programme highlighted the decline of coastal towns, Margate being the prime example, if you click here, in the next day or two you should be able to see the program in question.

Now local author Jane Wenham-Jones gave an "expert" opinion in her report on Margate, at one point posing the question " what's gone wrong here?" Unfortunately I don't think she gave the answer or even pointed us in the right direction, still this is my highly subjective opinion.

At this point I will digress slightly, and ask the question, apart from being a local celebrity and author, couldn't the producers, have come up with someone perhaps a little more involved in Margate affairs maybe one of Labour's local councilors, or even one of Margate's carpet bagging developers.

Anyway once the, rather depressing report, packed full of clich├ęs (odd camera angles of derelict shops) had terminated, we had the usual suspects lined up, local council chief Sandy Ezekiel, and Thanet Sorth MP Stephen Ladyman. Obviously budgets are limited at the BBC, and presumably the easy option is to get Sandy & Steve to put in an appearance. The way I see it, is that we have heard, both of these politicians more often than is good for us, admittedly they need the publicity, but us the viewing public could use some fresh ideas.

I reckon that the BBC could spend another 10 minutes in preparing this programme, and maybe throw up, local businessman or other local community members.

Finally coming back to a question of what's gone wrong here? To me it's pretty obvious, weak local government, has allowed developers and others into Margate with their own agendas, key to the future of Margate, is the rebuilding of attractions and places of work, unfortunately for you and I who live in Margate, those in charge of local government are under the delusion that building thousands of new homes is the answer to regeneration. Building homes is one aspect of the town's regeneration, giving people somewhere to work and earn a living is far more important, unless of course Thanet's conservative administration wish to encourage a dependency culture.

PS.Why didn't Jane point the damn cameras at the old town area for a second?


  1. There is absolutly no reason why Margate should not be a sucessful town, it has a large population, visitors, lovely beach and a town with alot of character etc. Margate needs a vibrant High St,to reattract inward commercial investment,and this has been overlooked. Margate and Broadstairs town centres encourage traffic users rather than being pedestrian freindly that encouarges shoppers,the cafe society etc. Shoppers fight their way across the lower part of the High St to the upper section, many not using the installed pedestrain crossing, as it does flow. A weekly market in Cecil Sq for example would attract shoppers to the centre, the Council would increase revenue from this even if the pay and display meters were suspended.The Councils appear very reluctant to suspend such, maybe they simply have not done their maths and simply more concerned about protecting existing revenues. The Old Town looks great and looks impressive, but remains empty of people, this would be more sucessful if the High St was revitalised. Money has been wasted on buying the M&S building etc. Thanet Council and Co should be totally ashamed at the state of the High St on it's very own doorstep. Vistors need more than a beach to attract them to a large seaside town, they need entertainment, shops etc this encourages them to spend more time in the town and spend money etc thus revitalising the local economy. No wonder the London Taxi Drivers were considering cancelling their charity run as they felt there was no longer anything for the kids to do in Margate! We need to get Dreamland back on the map as soon as possible and the visitors. The Turner Centre will attract people to the town, but Margate must cater for all tastes. The Council has also not managed a healthy mix of residential buildings in the town, and there are too many new retirement flats, social housing etc, this does not encourage people who are more likely to be wealth generators to the town. The Council needs to listen more to local views rather than just making an intial consultation. Public funds are becoming increasingly streached, the Grant Gravy Train may soon dry up,and people will then question. What Happened to Margate???? How will S&S+Co respond then.

  2. Why oh why does jane w jones have to be interviewed about margate-it beggers belief.and yes why were there no shots of the old town piazza or sunsets.margate enjoyed a fantastic weekend with FREE jazz on the piazza.It was packed full of people enjoying a high standard of music and my friends and i spent a fabulous late afternoon enjoying the music(anywhere else people would have had to pay good money for this)Well done to all the traders and all who were involved in making this the success it was and more is lined up for next year as it continues to go from strength to strength.Jane w jones should stick to writing her grotty books and leave margate alone unless she can utter some sense.jax mellor

  3. Margate has recently recieved alot of bad TV coverage..reports, filming only the worse aspects etc . Hopefully this gives a wakeup call to the Council's PR. Outsiders to Margate seem to have a very different perception of the area than Thanet Council thinks they have.

  4. Tax Free status for ThanetTuesday, 17 July 2007 at 01:39:00 BST

    We don't need Dreamland, we need a couple of very good attractions, Aquarium, Art Centre, A tall viewing platform like the one planned for Brighton and restaurants, bars, shops will follow.

  5. p/s If dead posh houses are put on part of the Dreamland site I hope they can bypass the social housing part, we have plenty of scuzy social housing thanks and need some posh people 'ere. Who wants to share a street with neighbours breaking up battered old Ford Escorts on their drives and watching little Ryan aged eight from number 12 whizz by on his mini-moto having delivered an ounce of skag for Pop.

  6. Have to agree with you Tony. It seems that the people makign the decisions are very weak-willed and get pulled along by the 'developers' who only have their own interests at heart.

    I also can't believe the way that money gets wasted, and hate to hark back to the Turner Centre, but think of the good that £8,000,000 they wasted could've been used for.

    My spirits are lifted by knowing that there are like-minded individuals around and peopel who will do their best to try and change the situation and raise people's awareness.

    I don't think there is an essy solution....

  7. The Only Sensible Voice in ThanetTuesday, 17 July 2007 at 23:28:00 BST

    Nothing wrong with Margate that a hundred million pounds wouldn't fix. Shame you bunch of armchair generals couldn't muster more than hundred quid between you.