Saturday, December 31, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
I would particularly like to thank all contributors for their comments over the years (all 10,883), some I agree with, some I dont, but it's a free country so keep them coming, and lets hope next year is better than the last.
Friday, December 23, 2011
Anyhow in the meantime Cllr Chris Wells agreed to be a guest blogger, and my apologies for not publishing earlier but blame channel four news, anyhow belatedly Chris continues the parking discussion, commenting on Labours recent press release. (PS If anyone from Labour or indeed elsewhere would like to do us the honour email@example.com)
Understanding the Politics of Press Releases
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I chanced upon this small festive market in Margate old town tonight although I was vaguely aware I have not seen a lot of promotion for this enterprise .
I understand that the market will be open till seven o'clock tonight and the same again tomorrow Thursday, 22 December 2011 , if I get chance later today I will write a few more words around with the photographs , I will say that the christmas tree and decoration add a subtle glitter and charm to the old town if that is not pushing the bounds of credulity .
I suggest if you have time it's worth a gander tonight or tomorrow.
Monday, December 19, 2011
The Conservative group, have just released the following Press Release ( Text below) from a quick glance it would seem that the new coalition government in Thanet consisting of Labour and group of Independent's will be expensive if Cllr Worrow and Cllr Cohen are to see their demands for free parking in Birchington, since to give free parking for thirty minutes will cost the council around forty grand.
CAR PARKING REVIEW – Conservative Group Statement
Amid all the recent angst and comment regarding parking charges across the island, it seems pertinent to remind all of the nature of the parking review which was underway when the Conservative administration left office on 8 December.
Parking had been withdrawn from the annual fees and charges review, and a changed parking regime was to be consulted with members and others across the island in January 2012; for public consultation after presentation to Cabinet in March, for implementation in June.
The highlights of this review were:
# parking to be more demand led
# free parking to be available to help traders every Saturday of the year in one car park in each of the towns: Alpha Road, Birchington; Harold Road, for Northdown Road; Mill Lane, Margate; Cannon Road Ramsgate; Vere Road Broadstairs
# this represents an affordable model at a time of restricted budgets, costing £12,000 approx to the parking budget
Chris Wells, Shadow Cabinet Member for Communities added:
‘We left in place a simple, affordable model for parking, ready to be consulted upon for implementation next year. In addition the parking review was set to investigate what could be additionally done to assist lives of residents near and around the QEQM Hospital, many of whose lives have been reduced to misery by the hospital’s poor management of their own parking facilities. I hope the
incoming administration has the common sense to adopt these simple proposals, and not skew them in favour of particular areas of the island for political reasons.’
# the cost of implementing 30 minutes free parking in Birchington car parks would be a little under £10,000
# the cost of implementing 30 minutes free parking for Birchington High Street as well would be more than £40,000
# the cost of implementing 30 minutes initial free car parking across the island would be £233,000; more than 43% of car parking income
# these sums would have to be made up from council tax increases, or reduced budgets elsewhere
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Now I have to acknowledge, that it's easy being sentimental about a cat, certainly he is the only pet our family has had discounting Tom, Dick and Harry (goldfish), it had never been my intention to have a pet, but the cat sort of subtlety ingratiated himself, and despite already having a home, moved in, still he has never had any reservations in helping himself and has regularly invited himself to meals with neighbours for years.
Until this morning, he has always been reliable, turning up for meals on time, demanding a share of any open tin of tuna, when I'm on nights he's generally sort of greeted me by walking up to where I've managed to park.
Not being at the back door this morning, I whistled which generally gets him flying from the shed, next doors garden or from upstairs in the house.
Admittedly losing a pet is not the same as losing a person, but even so he will be missed.
Anyway I mention him on these pages perhaps for the last time although he has frequently featured and here is a sort of retrospective selection.
Mr Puss calls for calm in fat cats row
Mr Puss Hacked off by Media
Mr Puss Issues a Statement
Mr Puss Disappears in Snow - Feared eaten by Foxes
Kent's big Cat danger
Cat trivia is the BBC dumbing down
Plain Speaking from local author jane
End of the road for Bignews Margate?
Still at the center of family life captured for the last time this Saturday morning with the youngest member of the family.
Monday, December 12, 2011
I guess Cllr Paul Carter and his administration has wasted well over a million pounds with it's handling of senior staff in the last three years.
My view of the last few days, is that Paul Carter's cabinet have not been as open as they could have been which is disgraceful in my opinion the press release issued on the 16th November seems like a master class in mis-information.
We like to think we live in a democracy, and we like to think, general principles like equality, honesty, and transparency exist, and also in a democracy we don't like to see, nor do we expect resources paid for by taxpayers to be used in a political manner.
I'm taking a guess that the new slim line management at KCC in which no "officer" has overall charge of management, has more to do with justifying and side stepping, this latest embarrassing debacle than any concept of management.
I understand a number of Conservative county councillors are annoyed at Paul Carters handling of the latest departure, a feeling shared I would guess by most of us taxpayers. Lets hope Paul Carter's the next to disappear from KCC.
Katherine Kerswell in Three KCC Press Release's confusing and meaningless to me but that's my view.
1 April 2010
16 November 2011
Since joining Kent County Council in May 2010, Katherine Kerswell has been an outstanding Managing Director. In a very tough financial climate and against a background of severe budget cuts, she has done a great deal to relieve the financial burden on Kent council tax payers and has implemented Paul Carter and the Cabinet’s strategy for reshaping the council. Significant savings have been made possible through the continuing restructuring process and the new operational framework presided over by Katherine Kerswell and the Corporate Management team so far.
We would like to make it clear that Katherine Kerswell is and remains the Managing Director of Kent County Council. It is completely untrue to suggest that she has been dismissed or put on garden leave.
Neither the council nor Katherine Kerswell will be making any further public statement.
8 December 2011
Friday, December 09, 2011
This is my personal view of the night Labour gained control of Thanet Council, made more unreliable, in that my smartphone didn't save the notes, from the first half of the meeting, so I'll go big on atmosphere and er backdrop.
I left early for last night's council meeting thinking everyone knew that Labour would be taking the reigns of power, that is except for Cllr. Clive Hart who apparently didn't, and claimed he didn't think he would be getting the support of Cllr Worrow toward the end of the meeting, even though its likely everyone else thought he would be doing the dirty, to his former colleagues, that is voting against his former Leader Cllr Bob Bayford, anyhow as I parked the car , the Harts strolled past, I'm not sure they saw me, because I'm sure Clive & Sandra would have given me a smile and a wave.
Shared the lift up to the council chamber with Cllr Driver, didn't seem he was in any mood for chit chat particularly not since my conversation with him over that publicity stunt at the Turner Contemporary, when his Labour membership was not clear, still it good to see that he still has a home with Labour particularly after all that independent talk earlier in the year.
I must say things were crowded in the public gallery, good to see, fellow bloggers James Maskell, and Luke Edwards, taking an interest, in addition to a couple of proper bods from the Gazette.
Still although change was obviously on the way, the atmosphere was fairly muted, I guess the Tory group dreading losing and the Labour lot dreading winning, since they'll have to put their money where their mouth is.
Mention was made of Conservative Cllr Simon Moores being on his way back from Amsterdam or somewhere similar, a quick metal image formed of Thanet's most qualified, strapping himself into a cessna and battling the elements in what would have been a futile effort to save the day.
In my view it didn't take long for Labour gloom to pervade the atmosphere of the Chamber, particularly , with our new leader quickly adopting the victim role for Thanet with mentions of the area being badly treated and injustice, lets hope things lighten up.
Still I can't help thinking that, the next few years will be dominated by political minows, chopping and changing, I still have difficulty with councillors who jump ship, I'm fairly sure I could ingratiate myself with either Labour or the Tories, and get elected but having always been a Liberal it would be just like asking Mrs Me to swap her Chelsea season ticket for blimin Arsenal, it aint going to happen.
Not sure how little old ladies of Birchington South will take to the news that two councillors Worrow and Cohen are voting with Labour, or indeed just how shallow Cllr Worrows allegiance to his colleagues in the conservative party.
Still Worrow has got support for his free parking in Birchington, campaign, which I dare say his constituents will need once Labour start jacking up council tax.
Anyway Good Luck to Cllr Clive Hart lets hope he can do a better job running the council than has done with Labour, who might well of won the district elections, had it not been for that unseemly business of removing Mark Nottingham, or fighting against social housing and lets not forget jobs.
Finally it was good to see that the temperamental sound system was working, although the timer isn't however, a lashed up system was created courtesy of www.online-stopwatch.com a laptop and projector.
Thursday, December 08, 2011
It will be interesting to see if Clive Hart is up to the job, I'd like to think he is but I'm afraid. ....
Anywayh the vote in favour was confirmed at 20:29 twenty eight for Hart twenty six votes for Bayford.
Sunday, December 04, 2011
No wish to offend Unison members but having witnessed the distressing news that otherwise tough union bods couldn’t take a poorly constructed joke from Jeremy Clarkson in his usual bad taste style about last weeks public sector strike, I feel I should go easy.
Still having seen last week a never ending line up of, as I’ve mentioned before selfless nurses, teachers and other generally heroic public sector workers presented to the media by unquestioning reporters, I find it difficult to not comment. Taking a gander at the Gazette’s coverage, I was reassured to find them following the mainstream.
I was much surprised, by the claim of local Unison branch secretary Steve Albion, stating that many low paid women could not afford to take time off before Christmas, as far as I’m aware, employed workers are entitled to 28 days a year holiday, admittedly employers can dictate when holidays can be taken but really that statement is in my view completely misleading as of course is much of the propaganda by the Unions.
I can’t help also wondering how people are being manipulated in all this, taking a quick reference to the Thanet Trades Council and Anti Cuts Thanet campaign next meeting the Red Hall, Broadstairs, I wonder if it would be worth nipping over to their next gathering December 7th, 8pm and asking what, if any, relationship exists between themselves and the Marxist Socialist Workers Party?
Don’t get me wrong, I have the greatest sympathy with the low paid getting a fair deal and a living wage, and if you trawl back through this weblog you’ll find plenty examples, over the last few years, much of it criticism of Labour’s cynical betrayal of just such people in favour of cutting deals with big business such as the Murdochs.
The problem I have is that I don’t see why, the very lowest paid, working in the commercial sector, should be expected to pay tax to provide for pensions for say head teacher’s on seventy grand or council chief execs on hundreds of thousands or indeed middle ranking employees on say thirty grand plus.
It’s about time, that public sector workers stopped believing they’re special, at the end of the day, how cretinous do say teachers sound when bleating about having to work to sixty five, hardly a tough physical job, pity they give no consideration, to those doing manual jobs, creating the wealth so that thy can have three months holiday a year and an easy life.
Is there anything more irritating than that first Christmas reference, the inappropriate advert in September, “seasonal merchandise” in shops in October and flipping mince pies in early November, or worse still cynical mentions by er…..;-) well anyway its out there I see Simon Moores, is worried that he might overlook someone, me (Billy no mates) I have no such concerns I just hope, I manage to navigate my way through Christmas and out the other side without offending more than usual although it’s a policy of mine, not to ingratiate myself with anyone just, my honest views, some get it some don’t.
Not being a christian, other than by birth, schooling and perhaps in a future deathbed, born again sort of scenario, I have to say that I don’t think you can beat mainstream Christianity for laying on a good excuse for the British population, to eat drink and lounge about for two weeks each winter, more exotic religions seem to have a contempt for fun and humanity in general.
So far, Christmas has yet to manifest itself here at Flaig Mansions, although no doubt any day now, Mrs Me will either be ordering me into the loft to retrieve tinsel tat, untangle lights, assemble Christmas Trees a particular favourite of mine, especially last years Marks & Sparks one, which after I checked the price, provoked a brisk conversation along the lines of how flippin much, creating an atmosphere almost as chilly as last years rather arctic blast.
Anyhow there should be no further upsets over trees, as apparently last years will last years, I’m semi convinced although the attic contains a forest of trees from the last thirty years or so.
Enjoy Christmas, it’s one of those defining things, that makes us British, I’m sure whether you’re a christian or not, the legacy of freedom, decency, justice, humanity and honesty is worth celebrating, certainly preferable those alternatives with dubious attitudes to women and humanity in general.
Still as glib as I might seem I always look forward to being able to listen to Kirsty Macoll and the Pogues, Fairytale of New York, and it’s one piece of music I mentioned before (2007), I hate being mucked about with as I think Tesco’s current TV ads have done, anyway enjoy Christmas.
****UPDATE FROM MRS ME *****
Mrs Me having just read this post would like me to correct “This load of B*ll*cks!” pointing out that last years Decs “have yet to reach the Flipping attic!” adding something like “is this the sort of Sh…………………………….” you write, Ouch! and er yes as it happens,
Before things turn too ugly I’m off to Tesco’s for veg!