I hope to give you more information shortly when Thanet District Council reply to my freedom of information request for figures that would give us some indication as to what exactly profit or loss TDC has made in regard to Northdown House.
In the meantime I have received this letter refering Hannah Thorpe recent communication. This echoes some of my own concerns particularly the new haste involed, that is a consultation just a week after Latchford and co seem to have changed their mind.
Response to “News release” “The future of Northdown House” from Hannah Thorpe 1/12/08
Unfortunately I shall be out of the country on 10/12/08 and wish my views to be recorded.
In this short bulletin you use the cliché “AGREED SURPLUS TO THE COUNCIL’S REQUIREMENTS/NEEDS” twice. Agreed by whom? The council have a plethiora of highly paid officers who have to be supplemented by even more expensive consultants costing millions because they themselves lack the required expertise. Is it these officers who have recommended and the council who have accepted vicariously on behalf of local residents? Certainly the Council holds no mandate from the Thanet residents to categorise Northdown house as surplus to their requirements.
Permission for Thanet Leisureforce to let Northdown house for an additional 3 months is derisory. No potential customer would entertain such deliberately contrived uncertainty.
The “Open day” is a small step forward. However extremely short notice means difficulty “in spreading the gospel” exacerbated by a time of year when pre-christmas arrangements and preparations are paramount to individuals. No doubt the council would be highly disappointed if the turnout (in common with local elections) was low!!
Two options are postulated. That for “public use” includes social housing, Northdown house is completely unsuitable for such a provision. The second option envisages passing the yoke of moral and legal responsibilities presently on the council to a private organisation/individual. This is interesting but the council would need to spell out what assistance, financial and otherwise might be expected.
Name and address supplied