Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It's been an awful year, so welcome 2014

Everyone has a different perspective on this last year, for me just looking at how things have degenerated in public life, I've little confidence, that things are likely to improve.

In Thanet,it seems to me that in particular, Labour has shown themselves to be at the very least, less tolerant of scrutiny.  It's easy to understand why given the thinly spread talent that makes up Labours front bench.

Thanet councillors seem to expect the mere fact of being elected demands respect, whereas those of us in the real world know that is earned.

In my view, Thanet council officers and council members exude arrogance, one reason I no longer go to meetings is the level of harassment which would not be out of place in Russia.

Having myself been bullied by council staff and forced to leave public meetings,  it was with some sadness, that I read back in October how once again, a local blogger was forced to leave another public meeting apparently with the involvement of Kay Dark the labour appointed council chair.

Coming to more recent history, the councils standards committee I guess felt honour bound to resign after Labour led by Clive Hart objected to conclusions in a recent report suggesting councillors distrust of the public, the local suspicion of secrecy corruption and distance between council offices and the reality of people lives and needs of the community.

Let's face it, local politicians throwing their toys out that pram is nothing new, demanding that an independent group of, I suspect honest decent people volunteering  themselves to serve local democracy, should have to rewrite a report to suit Clive Hart and his cronies is outrageous.

Moving on,  I suggest Labour take lead from Bob Bayford's Conservative group who rather than have a hissyfit, following  a Standards Committee meeting held on 21 November, thanked committee members for their hard work, making councillors aware of the "fragility of their reputation" with Cllr Bob Bayford adding  “We accepted the report’s main conclusions on Thursday and we repudiate the torrent of criticism directed at the report and its authors during Thursday’s Standards Committee meeting.”

If Clive and his colleagues in the Thanet Labour group want a better 2014, I suggest they take good hard look at themselves in the mirror and look beyond the empty headed sloganeering. Probably the best way forward for Labour would be dump Clive Hart and that other genius Alan Poole who seems to specialise in blaming the public when the council cock's up, blimey they TDC cannot even empty the binds round here.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

"I’m doing some – somewhat vague – research" says BBC Bod referring to Blunkett's views

I often get emails from people wanting some insight into what goes on in these parts, little do they realise how shallow my knowledge is, including the BBC researcher who emailed me this week.

The Mail yesterday gave the government a rather blunt wake up call, as we all know most of us are profoundly disturbed by the levels of migration of last decade, concerned by the future schooling of our children, worried about overwhelmed health and welfare systems and bemused by the lack of any open honest debate about the implications.

Clearly the government controlled BBC, has chosen not to rock the boat, in recent times by reporting the facts on migration except when it reflects or supports a "liberal" view that we should celebrate mass migration for some vague utopian view that we have been culturally enriched ignoring our oversubscribe health, education and welfare services.

My own knowledge of Roma is pretty much zero, I sometimes walk or cycle through Northdown Rd, or central Margate and perhaps it's me but I find groups of men congregating on street corners shouting across streets up to people hanging out of windows nothing if not least alien upto intimidating, whether they are Roma or not I do not know or care.

According to the Express 3,000 Roma people have set up home in Margate already, several questions pop up in my mind, how do they support themselves? and secondly assuming the figure is true, why have none of the local newspapers such as the Gazette or Extra ever addressed the issue, obviously it's not a issue the BBC Radio Kent, would cover because of their inherent bias.

Anyhow I had a chat, with the researcher who'd contacted me, because of the incredible tolerance inherent in we British , I myself have heard little if anything of concern other than the unease of having an area which appears to have a non-english population with non-British customs.

What do you think, I pointed the researcher toward Cllr Clive Hart, Labour leader since its his area, and of course he and his Labour party colleagues are responsible for the social experiment represented in Cliftonville.

Along with Blunkett and the Daily Mail I have serious concerns, Britain is overcrowded, and no control over its boarders, and is subservient to Brussels, helped by cretinous affluent "liberals" who dont have to chase employment, or compete for school spaces, health services with migrants who have little connection cultural or otherwise with Britain.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Will Scobie speaks bollix? and the BBC let him?

Some of you, who still have the ability to think and question,  will have been offended by Labours Cllr Will Scobie had you watched the Sunday Politics show on BBC.

Why you ask, well once again BBC South East bias appeared to be in evidence ( in my opinion) when Scobie was allowed to infer that UKIP are refusing to represent their constituents. 

Anyhoo this is what I understand Labour Will to have said referring to UKIP "Because of their stance on immigration they are alienating people, and people feel they cannot get in touch with them. There are people who may have come to this country from other countries who erm may need help getting into there local primary school and they don't feel like they can get in contact their ukip county councillor, so they are contacting me. he goes on to say there are "... large communities that are not being represented by there county councillors."

Surprisingly or rather not if you follow BBC South East, the journalist didn't challenge this assertion, so if BBC wont ask the question then Bignews Margate will er..  Will where is your evidence! and have you before slurring you fellow members of KCC, had the courtesy to put your concerns to your UKIP colleagues before grandstanding with what appears a rather offensive allegation?

It is my experience that after all the rhetoric, most politicians are decent people irrespective of political affiliation.

Still schooling is one of those things that cuts across all social classes and I dare say that there are people concerned at provision made for children whose first language is English since as I understand many schools have a large intake of children from migrant communities a result of Labour's ill thought out social gamble, some might prefer not to talk to a Labour activist who has no job or life outside of Labour party politics.

These days people no longer feel comfortable talking about real issues particularly when they involve daring to touch on national issues or interest, sad really but Labour lead the way in undermining any idea of national interest, we live in a world in which are expected to accommodate celebrate diversity of all sort while any interest in preserving national identity is frowned upon.  Schizophrenic

Monday, November 04, 2013

Sort it out!

On the eve of the new waste service here at Flaig Mansions hurried preparations are being made for tomorrows collection. Well not really, I've no wish to encourage cockroaches indoors or rats outside by leaving rotting food waste in tacky plastic boxes.

Saturday or was it Friday a scrumpled note was stuffed through the door,  producing a what the feck type reaction. Thanet council announcing the start of the new muchly awkward new waste regime, rather helpfully, didn't bother giving any information, other than it wont be on the same day? and an irratating clue mentioning a calendar. (the calendar I understand from the Gazette they'd managed to cock up anyhow)

Well since both I and Mrs Me work for a living, we don't like playing games, so why not having taken time to stuff a note in the door, mention which day and what flippin hoops we have to jump, to satisfy the power crazed Thanet Labour council.

Incidentally  I previously mentioned that the new dust carts come with cameras, and I can only assume that some officer of the council will, with the zeal of officialdom, be scrutinising the bins, and using the full range of anti-terrorism legislation which these blighters have at there disposal, blimey if they can waste your money on pursuing, vendettas against Cllr Ian Driver for scrutinising some the odd business transactions done in secret (like 3 mill plus gifted to TransEuropa) what hope for us with no clout. Bast....!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Where do you start

Before I start, a quick mention for Sainsbury's ebooks, I'd not be troubling you with my personal angst, had Sainsbury's offer, of a Free ebook attached to my grocery receipt, been honoured.

I've come to the conclusion that Thanet is, really as badly run as is possible, and that most people in public life really are incompetent and self serving as we suspect, the reason amongst others I find it tooo depressing to ponder local issues.

Things I've resisted the urge to comment on include the outrage of council officers and politicians continuing hostility to free access to meetings, a month or so back, a member of the public was encouraged to leave for allegedly daring to use a tablet computer. Interestingly the "Gazette" wrote up the story IMHO without the usual toadying to the council, when this happened to me, I found the mention of the incident slanted, inaccurate and plain wrong, still those with their nose in trough, would of course dismiss my claims as sour grapes..

The public sector in all its grisly forms, has thrown up some disgraceful examples of abusing the public, they're meant to serve, the police and I don't mean those out on the street, continue to be exposed as less than honest and more than capable of perverting justice, perhaps most sinister being the recent controversy in which a member of the government become a victim in a politicised police force. Fire service, are currently in dispute over pensions despite, and believe it or not this is common view of working people that fire service having a well paid job with pretty good conditions, able in many cases to run their own businesses such as building works, so it was quite annoying to see fire officers walk away from a fire. ( As I understand it Fire service jobs are generally much sort after so, perhaps those who walked away could be sacked and easily replaced)

In national politics, Labour and the Unions continue to bring themselves into disrepute, Unite when they are not facing accusations of ballot rigging have now stumbled further into the gutter, by demonstrating outside the homes of directors of companies whom their in dispute, clearly some such people are low life immoral swine, but surely their families children and partners are entitled not to be threatened by moronic union activists. Locally Labour leader Clive Hart was shocked to see the need for "Food Banks" clearly he has no understanding of the damage his party did, to the economy during Blair/Brown years, which is why Food banks are necessary.

One recent news item, was the suggestion that Thanet council had been bought into disrepute by Cllr Ian Driver, now I myself have criticised him for grand standing, (but hey he's a politician!), the council have apparently spent big bucks, with lawyers, investigating Driver for having dared to photograph an incident in which it was suggested two councillor got a tad heated? God forbid that anyone should accuse councillors and officers bringing Thanet into disrepute by ejecting members of the public from council meetings or losing millions of pounds to TransEuropa ferries for which both Tory and Labour should apologise and not give silly explanations claiming they have not lost money.

Anyhoo coming back to where I started, I shall now down tools myself in mid rant! coming back to ebooks being a cheapskate I shall now trawl through project gutenburg or google books for a free out of copyright read, for those of you interested in local history a search such of this should give you something to occupy your afternoon.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Boost for inexperienced Labour candidate - Farage to stand for Thanet South

It looks like Christmas has come early for Will Scobie, Labour's parliamentary candidate for South Thanet, as it is reported in the FT that Nigel Farage UKIP leader, will stand against Conservative incumbent Laura Sandys.

I imagine that Nigel will take more votes off the Conservatives than he will from Labour, since much of Labour support comes, either from the non-working or public sector both of whom are dependent on government giving money away, from hard working people.

Scobie so far has yet to show his hand, apart from being much praised by his Labour cohorts, we don't hear much from him, whether studying politics is an appropriate path to a parliamentary career I don't know, I do know that those who've got some experience outside politics are generally more credible. I'd have some respect if Scobie spoke out about such things as the TransEuropa fiaso.

Certainly Farage will appeal to those mainly hard working people, who fear for the future as  the European dream consists of being priced out of work and housing, experiencing squeezed health services and education, without any benefit whatsoever.

I've meet both Farage & Scobie and have to say that Farage doesn't talk in that abnormal way of professional politicians. Tough choice Farage who says the things people want to hear, Laura who seems to be her own person and young Will who says whatever the dinosaurs in his own party want to hear.

It seems to me that the least qualified and person, could get elected, Scobie is not a bad person just the wrong one at this point in time, still our electoral system is as it is. 

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

New plans for Manston

New plans are being promoted for a rail station to serve Manston Airport , with BBC radio Kent reporting the issue, this breakfast.

Surprisingly or maybe not for once, our leader of the council Cllr Clive Hart was not being interviewed, at least not at the time I was listening.

I just wonder whether this was a journalistic decision, or maybe given Labours previous u-turn perhaps Clive was unavailable, still even the No to night flights campaign viewed the suggested of a new rail station as a positive. 

Earlier in the year Clive refused to get caught up in promoting KLM's new service. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Labour out in force for Godwin Rd art installation

Residents of Godwin Rd. may well have been a tad perturbed to find vehicular access blocked on Sunday, however I'm sure they will be relieved to find it was in a good cause.

big day for Thanet council "events" bods to publicise the new outdoor sculpture of Alex Chinneck, basically craftsmen have attached a facade to the building giving the impression that the front of the building has slipped into the garden, revealing part of the top floor.

Quite a crowd gathered which presumably was why the road was closed, present also was a cherry picker which appeared to be there to allow the public to view the surreal art work from roof top level. ( Trust all the proper risk assessments were done, although if it were my worksite I might insist those in the basket twenty foot up would be safer with a harness)

A big thanks to the sponsors who include, you & I via the arts council, TDC, and also commercial companies.

As you might expect although the reason is unclear five Labour councillors, were present, presumably there to be snapped by local press, not entirely sure what their contribution is but politics is politics. Wonder if they'll ever pose in Dalby Square.

Anyway the artwork is unusual, we'll worth taking a gander, I'm told that it will there for the next year, a marvelous addition to Margate's growing arty ness credentials. 

My moneys on Cameron - Millibands all fracked out!

It's that last week of the political conference season, and while I'm no apologist for conservative politicians on the basis of what's on offer, and performance, David Cameron, is the best realistic choice for the next parliament.

This morning the Prime Minister, on the Andrew Marr show gave a confident performance, the sort of questions that Ed Milliband stumbled and tripped over, Cameron seemed to glide through, of course both, say little of substance and what they do say is crafted to please everyone, a particularly awkward subject the question of women wearing a veil, the PM suggested it wasn't a subject for legislation but supported individual choice, however some institutions insist on rules requiring that a women cannot hide which he also agreed with, I think with Ed viewers witnessed him struggle in a clumsy response as he searched his brain for the right answer.

As much as Nick Clegg is the best of the bunch and represents the middle ground of political thinking with its heart in an equal society, the leader of the next government will almost certainly be Ed or David, and I have to say this about Labour politicians, principal and even morality have long left the building, in the last government, they could not have done more harm to working people if they tried, lying and cheating all the way.

Labour politicians these days are soulless hulks going through the motions, a bit like fracking, pump a lot of hot air into their heads about past heritage of welfare, health service, working people, and they're momentarily revived, new energy is released, in small numbers, Labour politicians, are harmless but once they reach a critical mass, the side effects are cracks and fractures in both the economy and society.

Maybe it's the training at Eton or Conservatives sticking to their core values that allows Cameron to out perform Milliband, perhaps David appears better as Ed's been well and truly fracked as pressure builds from inside and outside, comparisons with Kinnock seem generous, pity really.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Councillor Rick Everitt - Who's not a reasonable person ? or Labour sink to personal abuse in harbour debacle.

Now there's a surprise Thanet labour party member Cllr  Rick Everett and significantly also a cabinet member, responsible for finance has decided to use personal attack, in an apparent defense of a policy, which has deprived the local tax payer of well over 3 million pounds.

In a letter to the Thanet Gazette, the well tested and flawed argument that Thanet council is not responsible or negligent for the loss of revenue, from Ramsgate harbour following it's decision to allow an unsecured, multi million debt to accrue with TransEuropa ferries, councillor Everitt has changed tack, stating that "Sadly, Mr Driver is not a reasonable person." ( Rather discourteous not to refer to he as councillor Driver) Cllr Driver is generally quite passionate about his politics and just like most of us is shocked at the casual attitude of those privy to the TransEuropa finance arrangements kept secret until recently. 

No surprise that Cllr Everitt, falls to mention that not to long ago, presumably he, along with his leader Clive Hart, fully supported Labour's decision to support Cllr Ian Driver as a Candidate in Northwood over Mark Nottingham a hard working loyal long time Labour member.

In my view if Rick Everitt, thinks he is correct why doesn't he accuse his fellow councillors, those other independents who've also criticised Thanet council of not being reasonable persons, why I think he doesn't, is because those others, are perceived as moderate sensible people.

Now before diehard labour dinosaurs, bleat as they invariably do about me being mean to them, I have to say that Conservatives have to take as much blame (as a party that represents the business community) for TransEuropa there should have been someone with wit to understand the implications of not securing, what became an open ended credit arrangement.

It's clear that other creditors took steps to secure at least some of the money, including the port authorities of Ostend, why our council failed to protect taxpayers money is frankly a complete mystery.

In Cllr Everitt's letter he quite rightly suggests that it is reasonable for the council to look at all options for Ramsgate harbour, still unreasonably, he and others of his ilk refuse to accept that money had been lost, failing to understand that just because TDC didn't give money to TransEuropa, they did give them use of a capital asset owned by the community and no doubt continued send money on maintenance.

Going by the of Everitt, Clive Hart, Bob Bayford, Sue Mcgonical, those of you who rent property, hire cars, etc need not feel to concerned about running up debts and being expected to pay up.

The argument that we have somehow benefited, by allowing TransEuropa to trade while apparently insolvent is nonsense in my opinion, and the more labour argue the case the more stupid it seems, presumably TDC would have buried their heads in the sand, until the end of time.

Instead of insulting the intelligence of public, those who agreed to unsecured credit which amounts to a loan of your money, let's have some candour. 

Finally had the council either had the smarts or indeed minimal business skills to secure revenues owed, or pulled the plug three years ago there is a clear possibility that money could have been generated by attracting another solvent operator.

I suggest Mr Everitt consider who he represents, his consitutents or himself his colleagues in the Labour party/ Conservative councillors and of course well paid officers who presumably allowed the debt to mount uncontrolled.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Same old Labour as big Ed offers everything and nothing

How familiar, Ed Milliband, the latest in a long line of no-hope Labour leaders and I might say, leaders who offer to sort out corrupt union thugs, and never do, appeared on this mornings Andrew Marr show, failing to commit to union reform or anything sidestepping pretty much every question instead offering allsorts of inducements from apprenticeships to increase wages but clearly no substance to back any of his vague offer of jam tomorrow. 

Ed Milliband gave a masterclass in evading simple questions, still one thing's for sure, long after Ed's a blip in Labour history, crooked union leaders will be exercising their own prejudices on behalf and against their own people, in the grey malevolent way of "we know best socialism".

If you didn't see it yourself, I suggest you watch on iplayer, when it becomes available.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Clive Hart's Thanet Labour council launch fleet of spy vehicles

I sometimes suspect, that the Labour party have not evolved too far from those gray days of the 1970's when they seemed more in tune with the totalitarian regimes of East Europe, than a free open society.

Taking a gander at the new Thanet council website, I was frankly shocked and surprised, not that they have wasted time and money on a new website but a notification on the site that for reasons best known to the council a fleet of fifteen new dust carts, are to be fitted with security cameras covering 360°, which we are informed, will film continuously.

Now the reasons for this extraordinary addition of surveillance cameras to your normal refuse truck are given, as helping resolve disputes, monitoring staff and helping settle insurance claims, all of which are I don't doubt true, but as you might expect no details of how or if information and images gathered from people's homes will be protected.

Since once a week, a waste vehicle, will appear outside almost ever home in Thanet, I don't think it unreasonable to query how images gathered, will be handled, who will have access, will those who have access have had criminal records check since I assume the spy cameras will presumably be able snoop over fences and hedges in to people private spaces.

I think most readers will feel I'm being a bit alarmist, but confidence in Thanet council officers is frankly at an low point given the rather odd dealings and subsequent obstructive flow of information concerning the TransEuropa fiasco, and of course compliant docile politicians (sadly Tory & Lab).

I also take a glib view that many council staff put pettiness and nit picking adherence to trivial regulations above serving the public. Even if these cameras are not misused by snooping or nosy jobsworths, from the council should staff,  doing a tough job probably not the best paid, be looking over their shoulders, throughout the day knowing that the boss or bosses are recording their every move. God knows that some managers at TDC are hardly fit for their own jobs let alone sitting in judgement hard working bin men.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

One photo op Labour won't be taking

Excuse me I've been away on holiday , on the island of Mallorca, a favorite of mine' arriving home at the weekend was a rude shock given the drop in temperature.

Catching up on local media things were pretty much the same as they had been two weeks earlier, three million pounds is even less likely to be repaid following the Transeuropa debacle , and still officers, politicians have yet to resign or even say sorry.

Sunday I thought I would go for a cycle, not wishing to be tough on Margate my journey on the bicycle did seem to be lacking in several ways one of which was the heat and secondly the vista, groups of noisy young men guzzling cans of lager was not as therapeutic as palm trees and brilliant blue seas.

Near the Lido I turned of up toward Northdown Rd, cycling through Dalby Square, and was pleased to see new housing, which in my view now compliments Dalby Square, which if I recall rightly was supported by Thanet conservatives.

A rat infested site containing a derelict hotel has been transformed by building of new homes in the area, and the thought occurred, why hasn't Labour boss and local council leader Clive Hart had his usual photo opportunity and then I recalled how the labour party, had, led by Clive Hart gone all nimby and decided to fight this development even though it as I understand provides affordable housing. ( around the same time they also took an opportunist anti jobs stance against Manston)

I only mention this having read a letter from Clive Hart in the Gazette, claiming that he cares about local residents, as you might expect I found this almost as sincere as his recent endorsement of Will Scobie as a parliamentary candidate, thinking if he was so confident in Will's ability why wasn't he part of Thanet councils front bench taking the place of one of the dinosaurs.

Still let's not be to harsh, Clive Hart commands there same respect as Ed Milliband does at national level, which is er....

PS Well done to Cllr Driver and ECR for continuing to expose the ineptitude of those involved in the TransEuropa fiasco.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

There are probably bigger fish to fry but

I see Labour appear to be claiming ownership of the recent Dreamland developments as if they are the only people involved in the whole long process.

You'll have to excuse my lack of commentary just recently but apart from the disheartening state of local politics which drains the life out of me, some of us have to work for a living.

As we all know local labour here in Thanet are an honest bunch, just like their national counterparts and if I may say their Tory colleagues on Thanet council, anyway again I'd like to apologise for the current malaise, which for me set in when both Lab & Cons closed ranks with TDC officers over Transeuropa. Remarkably not one member of labour or indeed the conservatives appear to have a backbone.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What relief it's grimmer up norf

 It's a relief to see that Ramsgate is placed 5th and Margate 7th in a report listing the countries poorest coastal resorts. 

I would have thought with increasing crime,  notoriety for drug abuse, we here in Thanet would have come top. 

I think how bad would things have been without the sterling efforts of Clive Hart, Bob Bayford and the now discredited Sandy Ezekiel.

Celebrate! Things are on the up! Its official Skegness and Blackpool are the pits!

Monday, July 29, 2013

1801 + 14241

Blogging how hard can it be, think of a subject and add some words, easy, the right words, grammar and punctuation, is the tortuous part.  I have opinions on most topics.

Israel for instance, yesterday I listened to BBC's Last Word, a programme featuring obits of significant people, who've pegged out, in the last week, the first subject was Helen Thomas, a well respected Washington Journalist, who commenting on Israel said this "There no real freedom of speech in this country(USA) if you mention Israel" which I believe is sadly true, in the news today, talks are to restart concerning Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine, will they resolve anything, will Israel stop abusing Palestinians, will they commit further war crimes, what do you think, for myself Israel has a right to exist but not to abuse it's neighbours, admittedly it's not a terrorist state in the way, we in the western world understand, since it's unlikely to attack us, whereas their enemies are.

The Royal birth, I honestly don't recognise the nation as described by the media, good luck to the Windsors and baby,  but please could the BBC and Sky News quit it, with all the sycophantic reportage, the nation celebrates!, er, no they don't, most of us have a mild interest, significant numbers in our community and work life, have little or no attachment to this country. Society has changed, I assume that, the elite that control output of broadcast news live in a bubble, people who are insulated, the sort that celebrate not only royal births but multiculturalism although they probably don't encounter either. I work pretty much daily in London, the cultural centre of our British nation I'd be surprised if  more than half those I see on the streets can even speak English, maybe there's an oasis somewhere which replicates the sort of world presented in the 1944 film "This Happy Breed" 

Another issue that I could blog on, is the outrage in some quarters, caused by the Home Office publicising the suggestion that illegal immigrants should go home, in one article in the Sunday Times an outraged lady accepts that there maybe a million plus such people but clearly thinks to mention it, is rude and no doubt racist ,I couldn't read the whole damn thing.

Anyway thanks for taking the trouble to read this far, I've the day off, I'm frankly bewildered by the propagandist nature of current media, and the lack of honesty or representation of normal opinion. Britain has been overwhelmed by "liberal" commentators, who justify the crazy social change which effects our daily lives, one local item of news is the continuing strain on school places, in Kent a story apparently promoted  by Labour, caused I suspect by newly arrived from europe.

Finally this is the posting number 1801 according to blogger,thank you for the 14241 comments agreeing or disagreeing and the handful of death threats etcetera, once I've published this I will later go back and add subtract commas words to make some sense of it all. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Clive's delighted are you? - Will Scobie tries for Parliament

This is my personal view, of the announcement by Thanet Labour that Will Scobie, is to stand for South Thanet at the next General Election. 

Firstly you need to ask, why a clearly intelligent, articulate young man with some talent has been sidelined from Thanet politics. Now some of you will think Will 's role as Margate mayor involved him in Thanet politics, well not really, it sidelined him to cups of tea and ceremony usually reserve for old duffers, you know politicians in their twilight years, but helped any way, it him get elected to the Kent county council.

My view is that, perhaps ThanetLabour leadership have a fear of ability, Will Scobie if he is going to represent Thanet South he could benefit from being a part of TDC Labour cabinet, why hasn't Clive Hart made him party of the team.

Just what Will has to offer the people of Thanet South is not clear, on the plus side, he is one of the few local councillors  in favour of open reporting of council meetings, on the negative side he has limited experience, and could be that most useless of MP's, the professional politician.

Still perhaps the biggest millstone around Will 's neck is not Thanet's challenged dinosaur colleagues but his failure to take a credible stand on the astonishing handling by Clive Hart, of the multi million pound debt accrued by the council which of course will never be recovered.

Who will vote for Will Scobie, while he fails to criticise the Transeuropa crisis, what many see as negligence of Thanet council officer's and his fellow councillors lamely endorse.

As you will know such is Labour commitment to free speech, they don't allow comments on their website but if you would like to comment on this post or indeed theirs, knock yourself out, you can publish your views by using the comment feature,but please keep it clean.

Finally Clive Hart spares little in his praise of new candidate for Thanet South, so why doesn't he use such talent, perhaps he could have advised Clive and his challenged colleagues on the wisdom of allow a massive debt to develop?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A sign of the Times

Seeing the above road sign, on the way to work, my initial reaction was, what the hell does that mean, "modified speed cushions", naturally I quickly decided that Transport for London, had become car friendly replacing the cruel speed humps designed to cause pain and damage to vehicle suspension with something altogether softer and humane.

Wrong, where there had once been manageable speed bumps, in this particular North London road, it appears to me that some sneaky mean group of road planners who probably don't drive have decided to inflict maximum hurt. The "cushions" are a cruel joke offering extreme discomfort.

Language evolves, words change, the urge to invent new ways to express never seems more important than when involving communication with us proles.

Why? often to sweeten the unacceptable and unreasonable, locally we now know that a three million pound debt accrued by a foreign ferry isn't a loss? Britain has the best police force in the world but is regularly on the news for corruption.

Without euphemistic language covering the backsides of the incompetent how would we get through day, without a revolution.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Crime out of control? Dane Valley deserves better

It seems daily we read negative stories about our police, everything from rewriting police statements after the Hillsborough disaster, giving info to the newspapers,  perhaps more revolting is the recent revelation that metropolitan police actively sought negative information about the family of murdered Stephen Lawrence.  

One common feature to many failings of our police is that many of their shortcomings are motivated by senior officers trying to present themselves in a more positive way and as we've seen this is done regardless of the hurt it causes to innocent victims of crime. 

Here in Kent our local force, has recently been criticised over failing to record crime correctly, one that did however get reported was the theft of some medals from a police officers home. 

The medals were apparently for representing the "service" during the Jubilee and Olympics and only issued to officers, on personal note I worked during the Jubilee/olympics and understand that the rail industry will not be issuing medals, not even for the night i worked on a bridge that her Majesty sailed under a few hours later,  while bored British Transport police looked on. 

Anyhow on the subject of burglary, I know how distressing this is, and as it happens recalling some recent excitement about increased crime I thought I'd look at  local statistics. 

A quick unscientific look at info from UKcrimestats here reveals that Dane Valley offers a truly awful indication of just how effective police services are in Margate during the first fours months of this year burglary has increased by almost 3 times to 48 incidents (assuming they've been correctly accounted for) over the same period in the previous year (2012, 17 burglaries). 

Just what if anything is being done to resolve this crisis, can I suppose, only be answered, by Kent police, as I understand it, little or no feedback is offered to victims, people of Dane Valley clearly deserve better policing than they are getting.

What hope is there, little unless Kent Police along with pretty much every other police force in the land accept there is a problem,  with police attitudes, any public service ethos seems to have disappeared many years ago, when senior officers started thinking that they're more important than the public who pay their salaries and pensions.  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Lunch time interruption -Celebrate West Cliftonville Community


Sorry for the late nature of this notification, just opened an email referring to the above event, apparently an extravaganza is to take place, er about now 12:00 to 16:00 in Northdown Rd. 

This is a celebration of Cliftonville West community, for a tenth birthday, just who's is not clear, at least to me. 

Given the enticement of Live Music, street entertainment, free refreshments, how sad that it is taking place on a working day and not weekend.  

Still all is not lost I see that the Mayor of Margate will be in attendance along with the deputy chair of Thanet council Harry Scobie and I suspect maybe their comrade Labour boss Cllr Clive Hart, imagine the joy to those work free citizens of West? Cliftonville. 

This is all I understand arranged by the Cliftonville Partnership, more info here  http://www.cliftonville-partnership.co.uk/

This event is sponsored by tax payer so why
not have it on weekend???????????

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

NHS Management and Labour

Like so many zombies with fixed expressions  health "professionals" (by that I mean the managers thin on competence but fat on salary) have been  paraded on tv screens in the last day or so to comment on the emerging scandal highlighting around 13,000 deaths due to inept hospital management, perhaps the most irritating, was not a health professional but former health minister Andy Burnham who's blaming, yes you've got it the coalition government.

No surprise that one of the contributors, to the Keogh report, highlighting this tragedy,  Sir Brian Jarman, has accused Labour ministers of presiding over a "denial machine" ignoring his findings of high mortality rates, given the childlike denials Labour have for the economy I doubt few if any are listening to Labour on this topic.

Admittedly the Stafford hospital scandal was not the first  failing hospital and as we've been seeing in the last few days, a significant number of hospitals are similarly poorly run.

Nobody's asked for my opinion, however the root cause if you were stupid enough ask, is this, arrogance generally emanating not from true professionals clinical and technical staff the ones with degrees, but the administrative bods, who might well be a dab hand with a power point presentation, or creating a spreadsheet, but useless with anything practical.  Still maybe, visitors and patients should be questioning more.

I visited Stafford hospital quite often in the nineties, at the time I would have said it was vastly superior to Canterbury and Margate hospitals based on superficial criteria.

Over the years I've seen poor welfare in several hospitals, in recent times, I make a point of reporting poor practice, and this week has shown you can't trust the health trusts or Labour. 

Clearly health staff are under pressure, that said if you think, you've  relative being neglected, make sure you express your concerns.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Sunday ramble in Margate

Sorry for the ramble, as a rule I leave this up to others but I have not been around Margate old town or indeed the High Street so I was much please to see that much has improved since my last stroll around the town.

Particularly impressive apart from the Joke shop and more gallery/gift shops which is the real spin off from Turner, a new hotel (Sands Hotel) which looked smart tidy and of high standard, secondly a new cocktail/restaurant Rickus were I and Mrs Me enjoyed very good lunch with top service and at a reasonable price.

Also I see that the new sea defences/steps are proving a popular seating area for just taking in the ambience, and on a sour note I noticed Labour using it recently as a photo oppotunity as if they've done much if anything for the area, anyway in the manner of Michael Child here's some photos.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cut cut cut

A communication* has been issued from Thanet's revolutionary forces "The Peoples Assembly" centred in the hotbed of discontent and revolution Broadstairs, it seems that the fight back against responsible government has begun with a mishmash of the usual suspects having gathered in the town,  no doubt to wallow in misery of the delusional mindset of those who believe in entitlement.

Entitlement being that irrational idea shared by large herds of the public sector employees and benefit claimants who feel that they have a god given right to a comfortable life style irrespective of economic reality, this being evidenced in the public sector by examples such as BBC executives helping themselves to unearned bonuses or local government officers involved in unsecured loans to foreign companies and not resigning or being sacked,  and whether you like it or not those who have made welfare a lifestyle choice, such as those who are incapable of work through drug abuse, shear laziness or poor family planning. 

Christine Tongue of the "Red Hall" seems to be a spokesperson for the apparently self appointed Thanet Anti-cuts vigilantes of the left who have formed yet another new group of Thanet benefits saviours, not sure what if anything they are doing is going to help those who are genuinely in need through disability or age but maybe these activists could contribute more by fund raising for charities or getting a job.
Last week Cllr Ian Driver was once again leading from the front, protesting at the Prime Ministers visit to Margate, frankly I think he would do better concentrating on his admirable work in exposing Thanet council officers and councillors for agreeing a multi-million pound unsecured loan to a foreign company without it looks, even having the diligence to get a credit reference, and shocking as it is no one has yet been sacked!

Clearly the majority of benefit recipients are honest deserving people, and some are clearly victims of Labour's term in office in which they not only deliberately undermined British working people by encouraging exploitation of East Europeans, failing to protect UK interests have left the Schools, Health Services, Defence and Law enforcement services under pressure.

I understand Hariiet Harman a member of the government that did so much to make spending cuts a necessity also recently visited the Turner Contemporary, for some reason local leftwing crazies didn't think it fit to confront her with a demonstration.

Those mindless morons who speak endlessly about "cuts" ought to take a chill pill and accept where the blame lies and its not with the banks, business or some grand conspiracy, the blame lies fairly and squarely with Labour's negligent time in office, when they failed to regulate the banks,  failed to manage the economy, failed to get skivers off their sofas and failed to protect British national interest plumping for a Euro-blancmange we now inhabit.

Most of us just go to work, pay tax, and look after ourselves and empathise with those who need help, and accept the reality that you cannot fund welfare with a blank cheque.

Finally how many times do we have to hear the phrase "Its not worth getting a job", what the heck is that about, anyway reminded that David Cameron's visit was linked to the alternative energy industry and the London Array, how about this as an alternative energy source, why not build treadmills linked to an electrical generator, healthy claimants could maybe be asked to generate electricity say for four hours a day, five days a week, leaving them time to continue to apply for work and with a sense of contribution removing the stigma, Yes I know this will infuriate but what the hell!

*Bonkers PR release below (in my opinion) 

JULY 2013


The first meeting of the national People’s Assembly Against Austerity in Kent took place last week (Thursday July 4) in Broadstairs.

Over 140 people attended the meeting which was addressed by national figures in the People’s Assembly movement, including Jeremy Corbyn MP and Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party.

The speakers declared their opposition to cuts in public services and warned of the growing privatisation of the National Health Service.

One of the organisers of the meeting, Christine Tongue of Anti Cuts Thanet, said:  “Britain’s public services are under attack like they never have before. Now everyone must come together to fight back. This meeting marks the beginning of that fight back.”

“The cuts are justified in terms of the financial deficit, but this is nonsense. The government is using the financial crisis as an excuse to push through policies they wanted to adopt anyway. 

“The Welfare State was founded in 1945 when Britain was bankrupt after the war. People knew it was needed then and it’s still needed today.”

The meeting voted overwhelmingly to support a national demonstration to protect the NHS.

Another meeting to discuss local actions will be held on Tuesday August 6 at 7.30pm in the Red Hall, 11 Grosvenor Road, Broadstairs. More information from Christine Tongue on 01843 604 253. and 07989 070843.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

MIck, Keith, Charlie, Ron Thanks for a great night

I doubt that any member of the Rolling Stones needs the money, so thank you for continuing to entertain the public and still being at the top of their game after 50 years.  

I can't think of any performers of the Stones vintage that could appeal to young'uns through to pensioners in the way they can. It's only the second time I've had the privilege, my only regret, not being able to secure more than two tickets, as clearly for many this was a family event with grandparents throu to grandchildren.

Going off on a tangent I had this thought, the band love their music, are hard working and very talented, enjoying what they do, a situation that many approaching retirement will not be in, for myself as much as I might enjoy getting up before dawn, building railways and coming home just in time for a quick meal and bed I wasn't too happy to receive a letter from Graeme Wallace Pension Director (DWP), telling me I have to work till my 66th birthday to get my pension, the letter didn't give a reason but I suspect that much of my last year working will be required to contribute to his and other public sector workers fat heavily subsidised pensions. 

Finally closer to home, I'm always surprised that more is not made of icons of British culture, Jagger and Richards link with Kent and Dartford, maybe Dartford council could have a bill board proclaiming Dartford as the birthplace of the greatest rock and roll band in the world.

Some out of focus random photos below and this classic Gimme Shelter from youtube 

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Will? MP for Thanet South?

Surely Labour are having a laugh, Will Scobie candidate for Thanet South at the next general election. I just stumbled upon a letter in this weeks Thanet Gazette from Barry Coppick extolling the accomplishments of the relatively young inexperienced Labour councillor.

Here's, why I think it's a joke, as far as I know Will Scobie has been immersed in politics educationally and vocationally, not helpful I feel in giving the sort of life skills or work and business background needed to understand wider issues, ideals, theory and training are quite separate from harsh reality.

So far Will Scobie, has been a Thanet Councillor for a couple of years, and probably as a result of being made Margate Mayor a narrow victory for Kent county council.

I've been busy of late but last time I looked, Thanet council leader Clive Hart has yet to use his talents in his cabinet.

Thanet Labour along with the national party represent that awful "entitlement culture" quick with the "Cuts"  begging bowl but thin on solutions, and if we are honest ignorant of their own treachery to working people.

In fairness I believe Cllr Scobie has shown some promise, such as when council dinosaurs debated using mobile phones and tablets at the council, but then during the recent shameful crisis in which Thanet Council has given away THREE MILLION pounds plus to a foreign company Transeuropa what was his contribution, well I don't know other than a well publicised picture of Scobie looking into pot holes.

Still I don't doubt that current member for Thanet South, Laura Sandys MP would not be too perturbed at the choice.

If you'd like to know more about Will Scobie click here for his comments about potholes such as reporting twenty himself or "potholes can be dangerous"  not as dangerous as Thanet council officers and councillors agreeing THREE MILLION POUND unsecured credit with a foreign company and has he reported this to the councills auditors?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Photo that should never see the light of day!

Today I have taken the bold decision to release a photograph into the public domain, prohibited by the jobsworths and pompous inhabitants of Thanet council, the proceeding description does not apply to all staff and councillors only those opposed to public access but those of us who sometime visit the council chamber might have noticed the offensive restrictions on using cameras and recording devices in the taxpayer funded supposedly democratic arena.

Some of you will know of the hostile attitude by some council officers and councillors at the mere idea of the public recording for posterity the efficiency and adult conduct of public meetings. I myself have on at least three different meetings been so obstructed by officers and staff that it was necessary to write to the Thanet chief executive to complain. The last and most serious event I was forced to leave a public meeting due to an "overzealous" member of staff.

Recently I enquired with a TDC press wallah, having witnessed Thomas Brown of the Gazette, film part of council proceedings as to the criteria, for allowing such practices, a fair bit of waffle ensued about "accredited media" responsibility, it seems the bottom line, is this, they will not allow anyone to record proceedings unless they happen to be part of the traditional cosy establishment, interestingly the first two video's from the council meetings seemed to happily highlight Cllr Worrow's excitable outburst about "hate crime" perpetrators, and Cllr Driver giving a deserved  passionate performance, asking about the honesty and conduct of  Thanet Council in giving away £3.4 million away to insolvent TransEuropa ferries. The more reasoned videos from the TransEuropa debate wasn't published till some time after something the Gazette could explain.

As we all know in this country our media and press organisations are without reproach, who could question the high standards of the countries key news provider News International or indeed the ethical standards of journalists, just what was all that silly business with Leveson.

Anyhow I have to fess up to the crime of taking an unauthorised photo at a recent council meeting, this was purely accidental, still publishing isn't, I have no doubt that leaders of the council will once again join together as they always do over crisis and controversy like Arlington, TransEuropa, Pleasurama etc. to condemn my actions.
To you and I the photograph shows a foot, a bit of carpet and the creaky uncomfortable seating in the public gallery of the council chamber, still to the Senior Bods such as Cllr Clive Hart, Cllr Bob Bayford and Chief Exec Dr.Sue McGonigal, I can only guess that they see a dangerous pro democracy intent (which is why I included the Chief executive's Dr title since this seems to be used to add gravitas in press releases).

I have made several requests over the last few weeks, admittedly these were by phone to the press office but so far no permission has been given, for me as a responsible blogger with some track record of honest reportage to be allowed the same privilege as the Gazette, to me this shows a clear political bias. 

As has been reported elsewhere the Communities Minister Eric Pickles has clearly indicated that councils should allow bloggers access, still it seems that Thanet council as with Pleasurama, Arlington, prefers to do business in the dark away from scrutiny, perhaps for all we know everything is predetermined down the lodge?

Vue Cinema - Man of Steal, Ears of Cloth?

In my view the world of entertainment has moved on, cinemas such as Vue offer comfortable seating and quality projection systems.

Still that said, can someone explain to me, why it was necessary, when I watched, the film Man of Steal with an advertised start time of 11:00hrs, the film actually started a half hour later, I checked the time on my phone (in Airplane mod) 11:26 and believe that a couple more trailers were squeezed in after, the sound levels in my opinion were uncomfortably loud and although not necessarily accurate or indeed scientific at one point I checked the sound level with a phone app which indicated that the noise was over 90db. 

At work I use power tools so carry ear plugs for protection,  should I now do the same thing when going to the cinema. I'm no expert and maybe the big sound is of some help to those with auditory impairment, for me however it detracted from the film.

Vue offer a premium product, comfortable seating, convenient parking which would be brilliant if they could add accurate start times for feature films (I called them and if I understood right, they have no control over such things as the film distributor bundles advertising features with the film) also, sound levels the result of projection equipment and not controlled by the cinema?

Finally if cinemas cannot get the balance right, in future, I'll wait for the dvd, admittedly there is no substitute for the big screen picture but at least I chose when to watch a film without losing half hour of my life to all the dross of adverts and trailers also I wont have to pay more than the price of budget dvd.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Margate regeneration new blow? as Seafront Tesco's and New car park confirmed

Being in a pickle will soon have new meaning as residents and visitors are likely to be caught in fresh traffic jams on Margate seafront, its official, Eric Pickles MP and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government department has reached the conclusion that the development of a Tesco Superstore should be allowed to go ahead.

Grim news for anyone living in Margate or even Thanet, the inspector assessing the appeal against this Tesco development thought  "that the proposal would be unlikely to have significant adverse impact on investment, or the vitality and viability of Margate town centre". 

I just wonder whether the governments inspector will be moving to Margate or Westbrook anytime soon, will he be spending time in the inevitable traffic jams along the seafront, or spending time on Margate beach reflecting on the incongruity of a hideous retail development, adding to the equally awful Arlingtion House which has blighted Margate many years.

Thanet Council and Thanet have become a byword for all that is negative in local government, the Communities and Local Government department have in my opinion by endorsing Thanet council planning committee decision  have highlighted the reputation for airhead thinking and shoddy decision making we victims, know so well.

Cold comfort is added by the highly competent and inspirational leader of Thanet Council Cllr Clive Hart who had this to say “There can be no doubt that the area immediately surrounding Arlington House, which is the entrance to Margate, is an eyesore." You'll note that he doesn't mention failings of his administration and those past, in its dealings with the landlords Freshwater.

As if to add to the despondent mood of us local residents further response to another calamity as Clive added "our role now will be to get the best possible outcome for the residents of Margate and Thanet and to ensure the site complements and enhances the wider regeneration of the town.” God Help Us!

It would be unfair to just blame Labour councillors, Tory are, as inept as are independents and of course officers, elsewhere in the media Thanet council once again features in Private Eye's Rotten Boroughs column not for this one, but the extraordinary waste of approximately three and half million pounds gifted to a foreign ferry company and of course begs the question why no council officers have resigned or the cosy consensus of Cllr Bob Bayford (tory leader) and Clive who secretly agreed a very shaky multi million pound credit facility with little hope of repayment unless you include Bob Hope and no hope.

Anyhow we can count ourselves lucky, nobody has proposed building a flipping abattoir or sighting a blimin scapyard on Marine Terrace lets hope neither Clive and Bob are ever put to the test eh!

Other reading The GrocerTelegraphFacebook, FT, Kentnews, Arlington Margate

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Thanet Council- A question of trust

In April Thanet Council issued a statement with this opening line "The article published in the Isle of Thanet Gazette today (5 April 2013) regarding the council’s Economic and Regeneration Manager Mr. Rob Hetherington includes several inaccuracies which the council would like to correct."

Rather oddly if you ask me it goes on to say "It is incorrect that Mr. Hetherington has been informed of any decision in relation to his leaving employment with the council or that the council is in talks with him over any severance package."

Surprisingly this weeks Gazette announces the departure of a Rob Hetherington, not surprisingly Thanet Council seems to have a strict policy policy of not advising, us taxpayers of such matters, lets hope that Thanet council haven't dipped into taxpayers pockets to pay some humongous severance package although it's generally the way with local authorities and generally to insult to injury councils usually include a gagging order with such payments.

Secrecy seems a big thing with Thanet council, would the public really have remained quiet as Thanet Council built up a massive £3 million pound debt with some shaky ferry company. What else are officers sitting on apart from their bottoms.

It is my view that the council press release of April was misleading and perhaps Council leader Clive Hart and or Council boss Sue McGonical ought to explain why?

Finally I just wonder what press or media bods do at Thanet Council other than cover the backsides of officers and councillors with the council. Could someone please remind those highly competent bods such as Cllr Clive Hart, Cllr Bob Bayford and importantly the Chief Executive Dr Sue McGonical that it is our money that they are using.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Thanet Council Extraordinary Cabinet Meeting 29/5/13

With great power comes great responsibility" a line I recall from the Spider-Man film circa 2002, whether Thanet council wields great power or any sense of responsibility is something we might find out tonight.

A couple of contentions items are on the agenda tonight, one the never ending saga of the royal sands development, of which Michael child is expert and best placed to discuss

Next a more recent foul up, (please note other four letter words are available) the Transeuropa debacle, so far from my cursory view of the evidence we've had a couple of its not me Guv type communications from Tory and Labour, with no likelihood of any one putting their hands up.

I write this as I travel home from another hard day at the office (building railways) wondering if it's worth traipsing over to the council offices, for what it's worth I feel it's most likely to be a bit of a disappointment.

Will council officers be suspended/resign pending an enquiry, will Clive Hart admit that his lot are incapable monitoring the council finances, or Bob Bayford admit to reckless deals?

Please excuse the usual grammar spelling title cockups I'm posting this on the trip home.

UPDATE After the meeting

Neither Clive Hart or Bob Bayford or indeed the TDC Chief Exec or any officers resigned

Also this is my understanding hampered by an abysmal sound system  £3,300,000. owed by Transeuropa is apparently just an illusion, to make it simple, they just failed to pay for services at Ramsgate Harbour Simples!

Just imagine you rented an asset like a house or this case a harbour and your customer failed to pay accumulating a debt of three million with no security, of course you'd just laugh it off.

Clive Hart and in this instance  his alliance partner Bob Bayford, failed i'd say to convince most of the public of their joint defence.

The only members of the council with any comprehension of basic business principals  seemed to be those independent members. Big Thank you to Tom King for articulation of the problem and Ian Driver for conveying the incredulity of the general public.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Transeuropa torpedo Thanet council finances

Now there's a surprise the recent demise of Transeuropa ferries is going to cost Thanet council 3.3 million pounds.

It seems that the entrepreneurial brains of Thanet council thought it a great idea to prop up the ailing ferry company back 2011.

The grisly details of this debacle are attached, to be honest I don't have the stomach, as always the victims of local authority, dabbling in the entrepreneurial world, will be those who can least afford it as housing benefit funds have been ear marked for plundering.

As always you can be sure that staff pensions are safe, free priority parking at Mill lane and no doubt from time to time the upper echelons jollies to meetings and seminars.

Does it matter, well only if you pay tax, still the cost spread over the population of Thanet works out at around twenty five quid each.  I wonder if a full detailed report will be issued to us the paying public naming and shaming those responsible. I doubt it Clive Hart was recently featured in the local paper bemoaning, people daring to ask, as their right, for honest info from the council.

TDC P R announcement

Transeuropa outstanding debt

Cabinet members at Thanet District Council are to consider how to tackle an outstanding debt of around £3.3 million from Transeuropa, the ferry company who recently ceased trading out of Ramsgate Port.

At their meeting on Wednesday 29 May, members will be reviewing the council’s debt position with the now insolvent company, and will consider whether to approve the use of funding identified by the council’s finance department to deal with the debt.

The council provided temporary financial support to Transeuropa following discussions in March 2011 which made it clear that this support was needed to ensure the on-going future of the business. This temporary support was subsequently extended until an investment partner could be found. Although an investment partnership was entered into in November 2012, the promised funding was not released and ultimately led to Transeuropa ceasing operations.

Although the council will take whatever action it can to chase the debt, and has already lodged this debt with the company administrators, good accounting practice means that the council needs to provide for the debt in full within its 2012/13 statement of accounts.

 It is proposed to use the following sources within 2012/13 to fund this debt:

  • A sum of £1m has been identified in respect of prior year adjustments to housing benefit subsidy. This is a highly volatile budget due to the impact on the subsidy of increases in caseloads and errors in benefit calculations and so normally any underspend would be put into the Customer Services Reserve to mitigate any future overspends. However, the current balance in this reserve is considered appropriate for this purpose and therefore this budget underspend can be utilised to offset the Transeuropa debt position;
  • Unallocated unringfenced grants of £92k have been identified;
  • A balance of £43k remains on the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant reserve which is unallocated;
  • A sum of £1m will be drawn down from the New Homes Bonus;
  • Savings in the cremator project of £196k will be utilised;
  • Carry forward budgets of £257k from prior years have not been utilised and will therefore be taken to offset this debt;
  • A sum of £200k will be taken from the Priority Improvement Reserve which will still leave a balance of £405k to support invest to save and one-off initiatives;
  • A sum of £196k will be taken from the VAT Reserve;
  • The bad debt provision has been reviewed and a sum of £200k can be taken to contribute towards this debt.
The above funding sources give a total of £3,186k. It is anticipated that the balance of the outstanding debt could be covered by the councils underspend for 2012/13.