Monday, 19 February 2018

Chris Wells steps down as leader of Thanet District Council

Thanet District Council Leader, Cllr Chris Wells and Cllr Bob Bayford (Leader of the Conservative group), met on Friday 9 February 2018 to discuss the changed group arrangements within the Council Chamber. Cllr Bayford indicated as Leader of the largest group he would move to form a fresh administration. Cllr Wells agreed to step aside to minimise disruption and maintain stability at the council by ensuring a vote for a new Leader without the disruption of a vote of no confidence.

Cllr Bayford said: "This is an appropriate way to recognise the changed council groupings and a sensible way forward following the fault lines that emerged across the Chamber during the Local Plan vote of 18 January 2018."

Cllr Wells has today (Monday 19 February) given formal notice of resignation as of Wednesday 28 February, allowing the calling of an extraordinary council meeting to take place on Thursday 1 March to elect a new Leader for Thanet District Council. Deputy Leader, Cllr Lin Fairbrass will be Acting Leader for the period between the resignation taking effect and the results of the Leadership election.

Cllr Wells said: "It has been a rare privilege to lead this council through some difficult times, facing declining budgets and increasing demand for services. My resignation recognises a simple fact of political life, that an administration needs to win votes to get policy through, and an administration supported by 13 or so of 56 Councillors would be a highly unstable proposition. The uncertainty that would create damages the smooth running of the council, something so many have worked so hard to maintain in challenging times."

Given the next stage will be a Full Council decision to elect a new Leader, neither Cllr Wells nor the council will comment further until the result of that election is known.

This really does beg the question. "Who would make a good new leader of the council? We have lots of people who have been saying resign, but given that the new leader is chosen from Thanet councillors by Thanet councillors, it may be a good time to decide who you want and tell your councillors, comment publicly on the internet blogs, Facebook and local papers. 

An alternative would be to lobby your councillors to change the system at TDC to the one where local people stand for the post of leader and we elect them. Obviously at the moment the councillors voted for the system where they choose a leader from one of their number  

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Some old photos Ramsgate, Margate, Broadstairs, a bit more sketching in Canterbury today and Rabbits.

Being neither a Man of Kent or a Kentish Man, having dfl’d in around 1965 I didn’t recognise these implements and thought they had something to do with wading after shellfish. As it is, I now know, having read the card, that this is your basic hop picking kit.

Time to rabbit on about something or another, is it? Suppose you all know the joke about the afterlife, Ethel want’s to know how her Ernie is getting on, on the other side. At the séance, “knock knock – is there anybody there?” “Ernie here, is that you Ethel.” “Yes dear, at a séance, what’s it like, are you in paradise dear?” “well not exactly, it’s very green here and there’s lots of sex.” “What on earth do you mean Ernie, the vicar hasn’t said anything about that?” “I have been reincarnated as a rabbit!”

Canterbury today, would these be indigenous Canterbury rabbits, escaped pets, decedents of escaped pets? Have you checked you hutch recently? These two both gone riverside, today in Canterbury.

Old Thanet photos which will probably expand if clicked on with enthusiasm.

At Ramsgate Sands with "you know" in 1907

August in 1905, the message which seems to be bilious may have lost some of its meaning down theyears.

I did a bit more painting in Canterbury Cathedral 

tried some panorama photos 

from where I was sittin, as you see a bit of a hot seat.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Nayland Rock Hotel Margate, because of T S Eliot, The Waste Land. Turner Contemporary.

I think if you chose your time badly and had asked TS Eliot how he was he could easily have said “dying, with a little patience.” Well it probably would do fairly well in a competition for the most depressing poem in the English language, oh how I wish they had done Old Possums Book of Practical Cats.

One way or another if JWM Turner hadn’t – oh done what? Gone to school in Margate, acquired a mistress in Margate – if TS Eliot hadn’t – oh done what? Got divorced been depressed by WW1, been American, well I wouldn’t have visited the damaged parts of The Nayland Rock Hotel today.

Anyway armed with my leaflet and disturbed enough by the typeface on the leaflet to be listening to William Burroughs on my headphones I took the Loop Loupe well anyway the bus to Margate.

I don’t generally take the bus but I find that blog posts mostly written on the bus have a different style. (see I was a good bloke and didn’t say “writing texture) I can’t help being a bit of a snob and feel closer to Lil on the bus than in the car – bring it on, The Waste Land.

Anyway why an American poet whose name is an anagram of toilets and had a pseudonym of Old Possum isn’t an Auzzie won’t become clear, busses are not as comfortable as my car.

Obviously a leaflet with a map is a demanding item and so yes I did visit some other places displaying things I didn’t understand and when asked claimed to be a watercolourist, but didn’t get tea and sympathy.

There are difficulties when trying to visually express a poem that broadly falls into the bracket “modern art” with contemporary art, now if we had a good old modern artist like Picasso or Bacon perhaps not Cézanne, because of the business with the island, well I would have understood what was going on.  

The view from the top end room is accompanied by a Lynchish film playing in the background as the sign on the door says not suitable for children, it may well be Twin Peeks, Margate though is really Lindsey Anderson country and begs a contemporary version of Oh Dreamland. 

you did want to see the pictures I took in Margate today, didn't you? Oh go on say, do say. here are the links to the pictures I took in Margate today

Meanwhile back at Turner Contemporary they were installing something loosely based on Henry or Hetty Hoovers that made children scream because it wasn't finished and they couldn't go init.

I stood in Eliot's shelter, well you don't like to sit down, not knowing what the various puddles and stains signify and surveyed the view panoramically

This is probably the link to the great big pictures that you would have to download to see if they are blurry or don't join up properly   

On the other hand, no silly - not four fingers and a thumb but the bookshop, having got some flack recently for promoting not only bookshops but art galleries would you believe here is the link to the pictures of the books in the bookshop in Ramsgate  

Back in Nayland Rock country as recently as I think 1990 Mick Jagger held a party there and the bit the artist's are using looks to be going through renovation after roofing issues.

 Here are the stones at the Winter Gardens in I think 1975, if you know what you were doing in75 you may have issues.

There will be a bit more of this blog as I haven't finished yet perhaps

Friday, 16 February 2018

Belgian Café, the end of an era old photos Manston and whatnot

I don’t know what was the saddest, seeing the Belgian Café closed today or watching its slow demise. It once was our favourite place to go in evening. Often sketched there taken photos and so on, here is link

Being in business I am only too aware of how tenuous a thing it is, how difficult it is to build up and how easily it collapses. The margin between the money coming in and going out gets trickier to keep as the years go by.

The first time I set up and opened a bookshop from scratch was in 1978 and it was so much easier then.

I did my best with the response to the Manston DCO consultation today, this was made much more difficult because of the rsp website being dysfunctional   

I think the rest are pretty obvious, this is the donkey stand at Newgate gapway in 1887

workwise the bookshop was pretty busy as it has been throughout this year, this is the link to the books that went out today

Food in The Pav Wetherspoons tonight, which was busy as usual
 I even got out for a short walk at lunchtime today, Ramsgate as you see being Ramsgate

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Maidstone today, a few old Thanet pictures, a couple of watercolour sketches

first the old local pictures

 Queen Street Ramsgate flooded in 1923 probably the most unusual
 This is Dreamland in 1920

This is one of the earliest local photos, Ramsgate around 1850 before the sands station was built around 1860

 My relaxation during the day were the watercolour sketches, this one is from Bill's in Maidstone

and this from the Wetherspoons which is named The Muggleton Inn and proved a great disappointment as they were expecting a Harry Potter theme
 full of muggles and no sign of Snape, Harry, Hermione

Oh well this is the link to what's on the camera card

and this the link to the books we put out yesterday