Saturday, July 19, 2008


I see from Paul Carter's blog that he and his intrepid cabinet colleagues have, this week been on tour in Thanet, and despite his wish to dispel the myth, that KCC is Maidstone centric, I am not entirely convinced.

With an open mind I was just thinking (alright in my East Kent biased sort of way), just how would those cabinet members, get to Thanet, what sort of preparations would they have to make, because I'm sure, most are probably more familiar with Maidstone & West Kent.

Assuming, that they may try to make it independently, rather than hire a charabanc, they probably want some traffic and travel information, and where better than KCC own web site click on Traffic & Travel and immediately your focused on guess? Thats right Maidstone, with Maidstone weather, a link to traffic webcams 16 of which are within 10 miles of Maidstone (4 of them on the route home for many KCC staff @ West Malling I assume so they can see whether they have time for another cup of tea before heading home).

Obviously Maidstones busy so fair enough, and your thinking of course they'll have similar coverage at say Dover or Dartford two of the counties major connections with rest of the world, well apparently not.

So crazy as it seems, I'm not entirely convinced that East Kent gets its fair share of spending from KCC because the admin is mostly around Maidstone, the transport infrastructure is superior like the A228 for those working at Kings Hill.

And whilst I'm on the subject of Kent Highways. If KCC is so blooming marvelous as they keep trying to tell us, how come their contractors seem to me to have made such a dogs breakfast out of improvements to the old town, the only thing that surprises me is that Labour haven't arranged for a politician to be photographed amongst the mess, looking slightly miffed and superior. Still with all Labours troubles nationally, maybe they don't have the heart for it.
As you know its rare for me to update my postings except when even I can spot the bad grammar (edjucated in kent so what do you expect) or think blimey I didn't mean to say that but any how thanks to one my contributors I have a link to Kevin Lynes Blog, which for some reason doesn't appear to approve many comments .
That said, that they actually did travel by charabanc well mini bus, anyway in the interest of balance for the full story from distant relatives in West Kent. CLICK HERE


  1. Tony,
    You may be interested to read the blog entry for Cabinet member Kevin Lynes on his trip to Margate

    The reason I mention him is because he going to help you all in Margate as the person to lead on the KCC localism agenda in Dover and Thanet. So you should know he is county councillor for Tunbridge Well!
    This fits in well with the west Kent Bias!
    From his declaration of interests he no longer appears to work other than picking up local goverment assignments.
    But then KCC cabinet member pick up at least £45,000 p.a with their perks. And he says he is City of London Liveryman. Now I think you can pay the £50 fee to join and they allow you to drive sheep over London Bridge as one of the privileges. Nothing to boast about.

  2. thanks for that have ammended my webpage.

    Interesting 50 quid for livery man, now that sheep thing would it extend to avoiding conjestion charges in london, if for instance, you had a couple of sheep as passengers?

  3. Eventually councils such as Thanet will be merged with Kcc to control/reduce public expenditure. as being considered in other areas of the Uk. This will certainly reduce current admin expenditure, in many areas as parking etc, ie Thanet administer their own carparks and Kcc's on road parking.Downside is that more influence is given back to the county council and ultimately more control has been given back to Central government, and the local area will suffer. On the plus side sure Kcc can do a lot more for Thanet than TDC have achieved, looking at Margate!

  4. As a local KCC member for Margate & Cliftonville I sent the following message to the KCC Cabinet members from across Kent in the week before before their visit to our town:

    To KCC Cabinet Members

    I see from the agenda that the next meeting of the KCC Cabinet will take place in Margate on 14th July. As a local member for Margate & Cliftonville I welcome your decision to meet outside of Maidstone for a change and I sincerely hope you all have an interesting and enjoyable day. Our towns reputation was built on hospitality and though things have changed enormously over the past few decades, greeting and entertaining visitors is still very much 'in our blood' here locally.

    I also write in order to ask that you try to take some time to see some of the town (if at all possible), particularly the few hundred yards around the Media Centre where the Cabinet meeting will take place. The full walk I suggest could take less than an hour of your time but please feel free to spend much more time (and cash) if you can.

    Please take a stroll around the outside of our Town Hall. This beautiful building is at the very centre of the 'Old Town'. The area concerned has so much potential and I have always had a personal vision that it really could become a miniature 'Covent Garden by the sea'. Unfortunately, the overlong delays with the towns regeneration schemes have meant that this area has become a desolate and empty place with outlets opening and closing at an incredible rate due to lack of 'footfall'. Ask yourselves - how can an area with such potential be allowed to fall into such decline?

    Please also take a short stroll up the lower half of our main Margate High Street. I simply love the quaint bend up the hill with the single storey outlets (on the right hand side) that I'm told used to provide access to the historic bathing machines. Some of the paving is also looking good at long last. The twelve week project to lay it earlier this year more than doubled to over twenty four and when the road was eventually re-laid it was found to be sub-standard and had to be dug up yet again. While digging it up, around fifty large curb stones were seriously damaged and these also had to be re-laid. These appalling delays were such that the works became the 'last straw' for some businesses and I would ask you to count the number of boarded up shops and properties on each side of the street.

    Please take time to walk along the harbour arm. This could be another wonderful asset for our town. It re-opened to a large fanfare a few weeks ago with bands and flags and everyone was very excited. From that weekend onwards little or nothing has happened and though one or two outlets at the end are trying very hard, unfortunately visitors are greeted by an expensive car parking area, several empty sheds and abandoned building works.

    Please walk back along the harbour arm and look up towards Fort Hill where Kent Highways are spending around a million pounds moving a perfectly good road for the benefit of developers. The works are being rushed through during the height of our summer season and you will see that it makes our seafront look like an army assault course. As I write there are plans to close the road in at least one direction for the best part of a week (during July?).

    Please take a look at the site for the proposed Turner Centre 2. It's the site where it was supposed to go originally, in the years before KCC decided to try to move it out to sea. There's nothing there yet, not one brick, and that's exactly how it's been for the last five years. This is the project for which your own administration gave itself 'excellent progress' status last year. I simply can't tell you how insulting that was to local people. Talk all over the town is of the millions of pounds already wasted, but for me the real shame for Margate are the wasted years during which the town I was born in and love has fallen into rapid decline.

    Lastly, I hope the weather is good on the 14th, and if so, do buy an ice cream, kick off your shoes and socks and take a stroll across the beach on some of the softest golden sand in Europe. This is the very place that the first deckchair was placed and despite its serious social and economic problems Margate & Cliftonville is a truly beautiful place in which to relax and enjoy life!

    Kind regards


    (Clive Hart - KCC Member for Margate & Cliftonville)

  5. Time to split Kent into East Kent and West Kent as in East and West Sussex.

  6. That blighter Lyne has stolen my photograph of Droit House! It originally appeared on my blog here, the day after I took it.

    I shall be calling my wolf pack of highly trained copyright lawyers first thing Monday morning.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. That's it boys. Make sure you don't detract from an important issue with petty squabbles.

  9. Tony, I see from a blog that has only every had one comment that you have retired from work. (I wont mention its name). Congratulations, you kept that quiet!

  10. My unreserved apologies to Kevin Lynes. I retract my earlier statement re comments not being published.

    And would like to thank Kevin Lynes.

    Please elucidate anon 12:09

  11. from Kevin Lynes blog :

    I was intrigued by this comment, so looked up Bignews Margate on Google. It's a blog site run by Tony Flaig, a retired track worker living in Thanet, and bills itself as "Thanet's Leading Politically Independent Blog",

  12. Blimey retired I ought to inform Mrs Me.

    50 plus the memory is not quite what it once was, still I can put to one side the various modules of Rulebook GE/RT/8000 and forget that upcoming 3day re-certification which varies from mind numbing training videos to panic as you realise the examination is tougher than you expected and remember that more experience people have failed.

  13. Margate is a beautiful place, but is time someone in authority stood up and accept responsiblity for the rapid decline of the town. The art is not the right thing for the town. Shops now close by the week, ie Mad Max and there is simply little in the town to attract people. Look at other stuggling neighbouring seaside towns, Canterbury district council have least made Herne bay etc attractive on the seafront. Here in Margate it is just decline and nothing left for visitors to do. Even TDC'S free parking is so low key and given no publicity and seems to show reluctance to help this decling town centre, as it may mean less revenue. This is not good for the town.

  14. Well there is plenty to do this weekend the town is heaving,lots of stalls bars etc on the harbour arm,free jazz on the front tomorrow,the cafe bars are heaving and my friends and I are having a fantastic time...also the beach is packed and there is a free artworkshop on the main sands and the childen are having a great time.