Monday, December 08, 2008

Northdown House

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

Dear Sir,

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


  1. Northdown House needs many thousands of pounds to keep it in a condition that makes it worthy for use as a 21st century catering events/facility.

    There are many privately run organisations and businesses that could do with the money that comes from the kind of events or meetings that Horthdown House currently hosts. e.g. Trinity Church.

    Advocats of maintaining NH as a TDC run facility are either wallowing in nostalgia (Tony Flaig), or engaging in cheap political sniping (Clive Hart and Iris Johnson).

    And as for the proposition that the building be returned to Farmer Friend - just take a look at the damage he has done to the buildings he owns in the Northdown Conservation Area. This man is a disgrace and should be prosecuted.

    At a time when we all face on-going huge bills as a result of the profligacy and mismanagement of Gordon Brown and his government, I think we should be grateful that TDC are looking to make best use of our assets, and to close down those that cannot be justified.

  2. anon 8:35 your point would be very interesting had not the same comment already been posted.

    I suggest you are most likely an insider who, knows the true motive behind the ill conceived attempt flog Northdown House.

    Assuming you happen to be part of that clique self serving tories, we'll take your offensive remarks for what there worth. Nothing.

    Now lets reflect on the competence of TDC's handling of this subject 1 they've wasted money by refusing business for Northdown House.

    2 Still unable to produce a clear set of figures to justify the sale, giving every impression that they don't have a clue.

    3 The leader of the council appears to differ from his deputy over the reason TLF no longer take bookings

    4 This is just so indicative of the way Sandy runs the council.

    5 Margate museum, Ramsgate maritime museum, Margate cave, Dreamland all gone under Sandy as has the 4.5 million spent on the M&S Building.

    6 If your a conservative councillor its time you woke up and smelt the coffee and got yourself a leader we can all be proud of.

  3. You represent only yourself and a few like minded ignoramuses who have no idea about the details of what TDC thinks or is involved in.

    None of the museums, etc. that you refer to should be run by a council. As a council tax payer I object to subsidising facilities that could and should be run on a charitable basis. The fact that they are not is indicative that there is nobody in Thanet with the knowledge and ability to run them, or that they are not worth preserving in the first place.

    Dreamland went under a long time ago because not enough people wanted it, and you are wallowing in nostalgia again thinking that it could ever be revived as it was.

    And if you read the local rags you would know that the M.& S. money was not TDC's but SEEDA money.

    You are clearly big on rhetoric, but short on knowledge and common sense. And as I have said before, your tone is as the school yard bully.

    And we all despise those.

  4. anon 10:00 and earlier your insults would have some value if you had the balls to use your own name

    As suggested before i imagine your some third rate tory self seeking idiot who does not understand how bad TDC are

  5. anon 10pm, TDC, KCC, SEEDA - wherever it comes from ,taxpayers are paying for it.

    The only taxpayers who don't seem to give a sh1t about these monstrous wastes of cash (turner + m+s for example) are the ones who work for those money wasting machines.

    Tony - you've become infested by council workers .

  6. or unsuccessful tory candidates!

  7. We know who you are! and you are the same person who has been writing all the same stuff all along we had our suspicions then but now you have revealed yourself!

  8. think you will find Tony he is one with his own agenda and perceived advantages to be had by the status quo!

  9. And anon at 8.35 lives in such a splendid well maintained house with manicured gardens and tidy grounds - not !

  10. Angry anon will note that investment in an area from outside is stimulated by variety in civic buildings and general amenities secondary to public buildings and "things to do". This leads to an increase in the true average wage, an increase in quality of life and more money from which to pay taxes.

    On the other hand selling off and closing down reduces the variety and is likely to attract less investment making things worse.

    If angry anon is so knowledgeable they will be aware of such things surely?

    If angry anon is in the political system then they are stupid beyond measure to not recognise that the "few" represent the vocal portion of a larger silent majority. Generally people calling it as they see it is a good measure of the success or lack thereof that an effort has achieved.

    In short any bad spending is bad for everyone. It reduces the total pool of available money across all sections and niches, "ring fencing" and other money management separations. The result is that things that matter to the people (for whom this money is ultimately being spent) suffer.

    In short this topic under discussion is archetypal of the issues that Thanet faces.

    I think Tony is absolutely right in seeking answers and it is damning of all concerned that these answers have not been forth coming.

  11. Angry anon is only this way because everything isnt going his way as he hoped. He has been rumbled!
    How he knows about a church that he doesnt even enter is interesting.

  12. Tony you may need to have comment moderation because of Mr Nasty one other blogger has had to institute it - this Mr Nasty can also be racist.

  13. The simple fact that TDC seems to ignore is that Northdown House has the potential to be a premiere location in Thanet. if Leisureforce have screwed up (what does District Auditor reveal on costs?) then why not get Frank Thorley interested in a commercial operation/Community use project. Thorley Taverns has the expertise and acumen to make this a vibrant hospitality/community use location. Somebody needs to talk to Frank?