Saturday, July 31, 2010

Concerned Council trial new off street parking

Didn't get chance to comment on anything last week, still taking a gander at this Friday's Gazette I see residents of Arlington are concerned about the parking situation in the vicinity, NO WORRIES! Thanet council are on the case!

It would appear that officers are working hard to a provided solution, as can be seen by the photos at the top and bottom of this post, clearly showing a truck with TDC logo casually slung on  the pavement along the Marine Terrace, for a considerable time last Saturday afternoon, of course the pavement is just too damned wide, allowing visitors and residents a chance to saunter along soaking up the ambience, at their own pace.

Admittedly Thanet planning bods, have yet to show any evidence of strategic thinking concerning provision of parking for Margate, but at least this is a start.

Of course various administrations of Thanet Council have done Jack, about providing sensible parking for Margate's visitors, and by implication, local business and employment prospects and lets face it why would they, since complacent TDC employees have managed to commandeer pretty much the entire Mill Lane car park (costing many thousands to local taxpayers) even those in the fat cat classes are too mean to pay for parking, which is probably the main reason Margate High Street has become a retail desert.tdc offstreet parkingPS note that the cyclist in the corner has at least had the consideration to risk life and limb by cycling in the road although without the truck parked on the pavement where it is the pavement is adequate for both pedestrians and cyclists.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thanet Pride

Thanet Pride as successful if not more so than earlier years and the entertainment is as good as ever. Will add more photos later.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Thanet Pride in Margate

Margate doesn't have as much going for it, as it should, due to various factors, Kent council choosing to build an art gallery out to sea, owners of Dreamland bulldozing the site, still that's nothing to do with local people.

Events that have been organised, by local people and organisations have proved successful, Thanet Pride being a good example, in terms of all round benefit this is probably one of the best, since its held on the front and grows in popularity each year.

Thanet needs events like this every weekend, and not just in Margate, an awful lot of money has been spent on the Turner Contemporary, which should have opened a couple of years ago, Kent council received compensation from the architects responsible for the seaborne gallery, had local Tories had any gumption they would have asked, those greedy Tory colleagues at Maidstone, to divvy up to compensate Margate and Thanet, apologies for the digression.

Anyhow go along tomorrow, enjoy the entertainment its free and spend some money! Details available from Thanet Pride Website here

Thursday, July 22, 2010

No justice from Director of Public Prosecutions

The death of Ian Tomlinson, tonight has caused fresh concern over the honesty of our justice system, widely reported at the time, when film evidence showed Mr Tomlinson being battered from behind by a police officer, in an operation by the Metropolitan Police to control G20 protests.

At the time the public were astonished that, in London it was possible for a police officer, to attack a member of the public on their way home from work in what appeared at least to me and I suspect many, a cowardly and unexplained manner.

Well over a year later we hear from the Director of Public Prosecutions that no prosecutions will be forthcoming. The reason one pathologist who is accused of misconduct thought that Mr Tomlinson died of natural causes although it's understood he was unaware, that he'd been attacked by a police officer. A second pathologist not accused of misconduct, had agreed that he had died of internal bleeding as a result of blunt force trauma, furthermore a third pathologist working for the copper involved agreed with the second.

Its my view that the suggestion that our judicial, legal system and police force are trustworthy or honest could not be proved and is beyond reasonable doubt.

Shame on the Crown Prosecution service and Metropolitan police force for refusing to prosecute this case, and adding further hurt to Ian Tomlinson's family. I feel that both the Crown prosecution service and Metropolitan police would not be out of place in some third world country.

What a bloody scandal, its time the police and police authorities, understood their purpose is to serve the public, here in Kent we've had the spectacle of Kent police acting illegally over the climate protest and so far nobody has apologised to the public of Kent.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Use it before you lose it

I like parks, they're great places to escape whether you live on the edge of civilisation here in Margate or a busy metropolis, I find they instantly have a calming effect, admittedly I don't get the chance to loiter much these days but maybe I should make time.kearsney abbey grdns2
I find that parks in cities are more welcoming just for the simple reason that there more precious and more populated, it seems whenever I visit my local park, the chances are that I'll be the lone person walking through who hasn't thought to bring along a mutt for company, and the ubiquitous plastic bag to collect what ever dogs like to leave behind.kearsney abbey grdns3
Its a pity, parks already ain't what they used to be, during the 80's 90's well tended sometimes elaborate formal flower beds that used to decorate parks disappeared in favour of shrubs that needed less time to sort out, and I just fear that, in the current climate of exaggerated slash and burn economics, our recreational spaces could be endangered more than is already the case.kearsney abbey grdns4
Anyway may I suggest if you get the chance visit a park, do sometime soon, today I visited Kearsney Abbey, most of you will know this is at the back of Dover, anyhoo its your choice and tomorrow will hopefully be a pleasant day.
kearsney abbey grdns5

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Manston Airport is it an issue

Is there any real problem with Manston, I'll point out at the beginning, that Manston Airport has never caused me a moments thought as to the environment although from time to time, concerns are manufactured by those middle aged articulate types seeking a cause, to give a direction to their middle aged angst, bit like me and my blog.

In the old email in tray comes a reminder of hysteria generated by "activists" or Thanet busy bodies (a description which could apply to myself), as part of the proper monitoring function of Thanet council, a regular meeting of Airport Working Party, will take place on Monday 19th. Details here The key part of this meeting I guess will be a verbal report given by either Brian White (dir.of Regeneration) or Doug Brown (Major Developments Manager) or even both, presumably the reason the report will be verbal is so that it cannot prejudged by the likes of me and Thanet's luddite tendency.

I refer to hysteria so lets put a bit of reasoning behind that here's the text of the email I referred to earlier

Even if you don't live on the flight path, the expansion of the airport could affect you because
1. Any subsidies given to Infratil, to bring the company to Thanet, will not be available for other things you’d like TDC and KCC to pay for [Who’s paying for the new access road currently being built for the airport?]
2. Airport expansion means loss of land for food growing
3. Traffic on roads and trains would increase – people getting to and from the airport

Lets address these concerns for the hard of thinking, and those of delicate nature,    Point 1. What subsidies, What access road?    Point 2 What loss of land for food growing any proposed development is on land within the current boundaries, which as far as I can tell haven't produced so much as a sausage in the last 70 years,    Point 3, Traffic will increase on roads and trains, yes traffic would increase on the M2 eastbound in the morning when most traffic is London westbound, offering much convenience for air travellers hacking through the M25 to Gatwick/Heathrow or bunging up the Blackwall Tunnel/ Dartford crossing heading for Docklands/Stansted.

Its interesting that some of the most vociferous opponents have never bothered to actually attend meetings of the airport, or concern themselves with the facts, even less the employment and business opportunities that might come as a result of a thriving local airport, still its not surprising that those most vocal are often recent arrivals.

I tend to keep away from this subject because of the campaign of vilification by some Manston opponents, one more extreme eccentric anonymous protagonist has in the past, resorted to posting or allowing comments on their own website apparently purporting to come from me, refusing to remove them and then having been a victim of defamation this blogger astonishing complains that I have played lip service to freedom of speech having campaigned against the KCC and its big businesses partners.

Anyway moving on from petty rivalries,  just ask yourself why assisting Manston Airport in its business objectives has been one of the few areas of agreement in Thanet Council, because it offers a sustainable future.

On the environmental issues, most of the land surrounding Manston will remain untouched for the foreseeable future even with further development and I'd imagine the effect on our locality will be much less than that of say the Thanet Earth complex, which recently relying on 12 road tankers a day to provide water for its operation, and as I understand is only half built.

Politicians don't know everything but its my view that cross-party consensus exist on Manston and much of the anti-Manston attitude is imported from prosperous exiles who have moved to this area to take advantage of cheap property prices, which are achieved by having few decent work opportunities locally.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Seen in Debenhams

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Just had to photograph this chair in Debenhams the sign says "Please do not sit in or play with this chair", I wonder how often passing shoppers had either sat or played with the chair without the correct authorisation.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Northdown Road – Loading Bay and Tennis Court hoarding

image Sometimes it's the little things in life that irritate, couple of things recently, I've noticed, one is the apparent commandeering of part of the Northdown road as a loading bay for Tesco Metro, the other a  sign plastered to the fence of tennis courts on the cliffs overlooking Palm Bay.


Fortunately the good citizens of Margate ignore the 6am to 6pm curfew on parking, much of time, and so far no I've not heard of any Margate vigilantes mounting a campaign against the council allowing advertising banners along the fence of the Tennis courts, despite the clear hypocrisy of council officers harassing honest business types in Ramsgate for placing similar posters to promote business on the say so of Ramsgate's cultural vigilantes.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Thought for the day - Could you imagine Labour ever doing this

image We read daily hysterical reports and critiques by Labour leaders and supporters, clearly disturbed by the publics rejection, Labour politicians are insisting on and foisting their own judgements on a government which has been in office less than three months. It really is too early to judge the coalitions economic performance, Labour having made a pigs breakfast of the economy.

Many commentators go on about Lib Dems and how could they work with the Conservatives and here is still one aspect of government we can judge thus far, the morality of this government, handling right and wrong, well so far we've seen David Cameron make a quick and formal apology for "unjustified and unjustifiable" killings of Bloody Sunday, after Lord Savilles inquiry reported, which was probably, not necessarily the easiest thing to do, given the bitterness and prejudice of Northern Ireland politics.

This week David Cameron announced a judicial inquiry in this countries involvement, in torture and rendition, since the al-Qaida 9/11 attack, we're told that rewritten advice has been recently issued to our security services.

I'd like to think Labours recent leaders would also have apologised for Bloody Sunday but just wonder if either Blair or Brown would have thought an inquiry into torture necessary.

In these most important issue's which reflect this countries morality, I feel that whatever your political stance David Cameron, has underlined Britain's core trait, fairness and honesty, something to make us all proud of being British except of course with our right wing press.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

New Kent Police chief says jobs could go – as well as his?

 Ian Learmonth Jobs could go says Ian Learmonth, Kent police's new Chief Constable talking about cuts, as reported by the BBC, his included if reports elsewhere (KM) are anything to go by as the government are discussing proposals to have directly elected police chiefs rather than selection on the whim of local police authorities, such as that headed up by Ann Barnes in Kent.

Quite what the police authority actually does is frankly ann barnes bit of a mystery, apart I assume from choosing new police chief constables, and maybe meeting occasionally, to agree how wonderful Kent police is and remarking, on how young chief constables are looking these days, over tea and biscuits.

Still one thing I have actually been meaning to do, is to write to Ann Barnes and ask why her or rather our police authority, haven't been more proactive in asking Kent Police to apologise to victims, of the more high profile and in some cases illegal treatment of the public and all those outrageous scenes at the Climate Camp protests.

As far as I know Ian Learmonth is untarnished by such embarrassing incidents, and lets hope his time in Kent is an improvement on Mike Fuller's reign. For myself I don't think electing police officers is necessarily a good idea, as this will result in police becoming politicians, which if Westminster is any guide would result in some very dodgy types.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

What's happening – Dreamland and the scenic railway

Yes I know that some heritage groupies, are seeking vast amounts of money, to launch the world's first and probably last Heritage theme park (museum to you and I), anyhow as I cycled around Margate yesterday my eye caught that view of the now derelict site, which was briefly the centre of attention, more than two years ago in 2008 when the Scenic Railway, mysteriously caught fire, having spoken to one of the owners when Waterbridge who I understand have since gone belly up were doing all that PR stuff, I know just how upset they must have been.

Regulars will recall my youtube video, made as the embers of the scenic railway were being dowsed, I mentioned the likelihood that many a crocodile tear would be shed, and it seems time has possibly proven me right, for this reason, I have always thought that there would be some obligation of the then owners to rebuild the scenic railway, and yet not so much as a matchstick (excuse the reference I was trying to think of something insignificant and wooden) has been so far forthcoming.

Anyway the plan was that the £12 million Heritage (Yawn) Park,  would be financed with a £3.8 mill govt. grant (lets hope it's not a post dated cheque), £3 mill from gamblers anonymous (Heritage Lottery fund), £4 mill from site owners and rest coming out of your pocket (local councils).

However things change and the last update I heard was this, from  Richard Samuel TDC's Chief Exec with this old chestnut "economic conditions meant the site's owners would no longer…. blah, blah yeah righteo Richard, about next months council tax, "economic conditions …..   you just know TDC would be sending the bailiffs round in short order. (This country still sends people to jail for not being able to pay council tax (13 years of Labour) ).  Sometime soon the owners are due to divvy up with the land around the scenic railway and the cinema rather than folding stuff..

I just hope that the Dreamland thing happens it would have been nice if the project was for a contemporary park theme, and as a PS its worth noting that Dreamland is still a brand that is recognised throughout the country, which is why when it was controlled by earlier imaginative people it was capable of attracting 2 million a year.

It probably seems ungrateful to those who are behind the park's current project, its just as someone who lives here I'd like the best for this area, I'm sure many Thanetians have visited Thorpe Park, Chessington, Blackpools Pleasure Beach and Alton Towers not I'm sure who goes just to see some prehistoric Wurlitzer but what do I know, anyhow by the time this happens this grandad will  need a parking bay for the Zimmer and somewhere quiet to sit.

Even local news these days is omnipresent Yourthanet Tom Betts Twitter feed being one of the most reliable I spotted a mention from him that a donation of $5000. from American enthusiasts (God Bless America) has just been given toward sorting out the scenic railway.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Bignews - News Blackout from Clive Hart’s “Local” Labour Bunker?

I happened to be sifting through my email inbox and the thought occurred what ever happened to Thanet Labour supremo Clive Hart’s regular Labour “Press releases” which use to make a break, from all those impertinent emails, offering money making schemes, Russian brides and ones which make insulting personal assumptions, offering suitable chemical cures and equipment.

I then chanced on Michael Child's Thanet Press releases, and a quick nose through this handy local reference, I found myself once again engrossed in the wit and wisdom of Local Labour (like Labour but deeper in denial), I then realised that since I happened not to back err Mrs Hart's campaign in the Dane Valley By-election not entirely because I happen to be a Liberal but probably more to do with Labours move to the right, which saw Labour looking after big business rather than the British people, even in the dying days after Labour had effectively bankrupted the country, Lord Mandelson's rather spiteful attacked your basic freedom to information by introducing the Digital Economy bill which effectively allows spiv's in the music business to disconnect, your internet connection without any right of appeal.

Either beleaguered “Local Labour” are unable to communicate with the outside world or they have instituted tough Stalinist controls on the flow of information, well whatever the reason, it seems to me that Clive Hart's "Local" Thanet Labour party are denying themselves the oxygen of publicity since in the past I've had no problem with publishing the odd statement (it saves a lot of tpying), it's probably all just an oversight, I'm sure Cllr Clive Hart would not be that petty.

The last Thanet Cabinet Meeting I went to, I did note that the Labour shadow team were surprisingly subdued, maybe it was the loss of the general election or the loss of not only a parliamentary seat, but the former occupier Dr Stephen Ladyman, who just like Norman Tebbit's dad, has got on bike (not necessarily metaphorical) and found himself a job, as MD to a company that which builds private care accommodation for the elderly, still many of Labours past, present and future casualties will not be as fortunate.

Just going off at a tangent I was quite impressed with the new leader of the council Cllr Bayford who seemed more relaxed and less combative than his predecessor during the last Cabinet meeting, even offering more cooperation if Labour were interested.

Admittedly I haven't publish everything sent by Labour but currently all I see are anonymous comments from bitter Labour supporters.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Tesco’s does your opinion count, as Margate seafront becomes access road for superstore

NO to be honest, the debate over Tesco’s plans to develop the Arlington site, will effect nothing, Thanet Council will do what officers tell(advise) the council, they will be aided by unelected bodies such as Margate Renewal Partnership, Tesco’s and Freshwater (the land owner).

In recent years from memory, there have been several consultations, over Margate front, with the great public, various plans none of which seem to realistic, including the hideous Arlington given facelift, a hotel, traffic diverted from Marine Terrace, so that one can sup gin and tonics, or quaff latte’s sheltering under palm trees from the harsh midday sun.

Que sara sara,, what will be, will be, Tesco’s will no doubt bulldozer its way on to the sea front, possibly their final frontier, they’ve taken most key out of town sites and have been mopping up the last few independent traders in recent years with the “Metro”.

We’ll just have live what we’re about to receive, which could be worse, Tesco are the best supermarket, the Turner Contemporary (please god they have popular exhibits hopefully not tripe, like some unmade bed passed on from “our Tracy” to Charles Saachi) and of course if the money doesn’t get withdrawn a revitalised Dreamland Museum with prehistoric, knackered fairground rides, maintained by out of town anoraks.

Still whilst Thanet District Council planning are negotiating, maybe they could suggest to Tesco’s, planning could be made easier, if they bought the old Mark’s & Sparks building in town centre and bung in a Metro store there at least that would create some business where its needed. Some of you will remember the M&S building being purchased by TDC at well over the odds and as is the way of these things, no clear idea, what to do with it, a massive waste pointed out by me at the time and others.

Still what do the public know, leave it up the experts, what can go wrong!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Apple fix your Iphone operating system 4

Technology companies seem to operate a different set of rules to the rest of business, Microsoft for instances has frequently sent upgrades to my PC which have the effect of screwing up my email settings, currently they are trying to foist something called Office Genuine Advantage Notification, now the purpose of this is check my copy of Microsoft’s Office which I don’t have (too expensive and bloated) instead I use the much better OpenOffice which is free, the only advantage is for Microsoft who nosey around my PC, and track illegal copies of their software, a bit like those offensive warnings on DVD’s about piracy, which probably have the opposite effect.

CLICK FOR VIDEOclick picture for video

I do, as suggested usually update my techno stuff, as per manufacturer suggestion, as in the case with my recently acquired Iphone* I’ve now found that some of the much promoted “apps” don't work, like the Telegraph, which is understandable since the Telegraph’s business is news but the note taking app which comes with the Iphone is I presume part of the apple phone so why is it chewing up my words and then replacing it with text from elsewhere or deleting saved text.

I realise that the likes of Apple and Microsoft might be flogging cutting edge technologies but then so are the likes of motor manufacturers like Ford or Toyota and you wouldn’t expect them to retrofit all the time. Why can’t tech firms sell a finished product?

If you work for either please feel free to explain yourself!

*(not my first choice I would have gone with the HTC Desire, if my previous provider Three, had they not in my opinion, employed tough sales prevention methods, in place of rudimentary basic customer service)