I often wonder what local conservatives make of us residents, whether they think we're stupid or what. Now most people associate the Tory party, as the party of the business, which it may well be anywhere but here in Thanet, a case in point, recent news that Thanet council paid three million pounds more than was necessary for the old Marks and Spencer building, just goes to prove that local conservatives, haven't got a clue.
Quite rightly Cllr David Green, has been critical of the amateur performance of Thanet district council under the leadership of Sandy Ezekiel, who recently admitted the massive losses over the purchase two years ago, of this strategic building.
I can remember vividly, Mr. Ezekiel announcing purchase of the old M & S building, at the same public meeting where Paul Carter (Leader Kent Tories), tried to put on some positive gloss, on Kent councils, abysmal mishandling of the Turner contemporary debacle (cost eight million pounds). This being the point at which I started my blog, I can also recall, attempting to get more detail on this purchase from various council dibdobs, since none of our local newspapers bothered to report this acquisition.
Not uncommon with the local council "officer" class, it took some time (in meetings) and probing before any of these highly import people, would confirm the acquisition details, and even then they seemed quite evasive. Which with hindsight is perfectly understandable, since no clear plan or idea was ever in place, on how to use the site, with the council eventually sending out about a year later a vague brief to developers, in the wild hope that, somehow a profit could be turned after they'd paid nearly twice what it is probably worth.
Rather incredibly in last week's yourthanet, councilor Ezekiel is quoted as saying that when council Green criticised, the conservatives administration's purchase, " he is referring to the buildings book value", (book value being a realistic sale price, which it might make at an auction). Councilor Ezekiel clings to the belief that the Marks and Spencer site was worth more than the council paid for it, its just a pity that no developer appeared to share Sandys view.
To sum up, in my opinion, Thanet council are guilty of acting in haste, purchasing this building only a few months after it had been vacated, having no clear vision of what to do with the site, not paying the book value, instead agreeing to some fantasy figure. I notice that Sandy Ezekiel makes some reference to the current banking crisis, which he blames on the labour party, conveniently forgetting that the banks problems are due to reckless lending whereas Thanet council's are due to reckless spending.
Just what sort of Muppets do local Tories think we are?