Thursday, 22 January 2009

Elected Mayor of Thanet

As some of you will know I have been promoting the idea of an elected mayor of Thanet click here to read my previous posts about it.

Now Malcolm Kirkcaldy who is a well know and respected member of the community is going to get on with this as it needs a person to make it happen and coordinate people in various parts of Thanet to organise petitions.

My reasons for wanting an elected mayor are mainly to do with the way democracy works locally, at the moment we have to core groups one Labour and one Conservative all with safe seats.

One of these two core groups form the council cabinet, depending on which party is elected and the new able and enthusiastic councillors are for the most part ignored and their specialist abilities shunned.

Ramsgate has suffered badly under both administrations, as have other parts of Thanet, in Ramsgate the previous Labour administration used a substantial grant to reorganise the seafront to suit Mr Godden’s plans for a factory outlet in the old Pleasurama building, the net effect of this was to remove nearly all of the car parking, effectively bringing the towns tourist industry to its knees.

They then compounded this disaster, when the building burnt down, by passing plans for a development that was in no sense buildable as it was too large to fit in the available space, work on constructing a road layout, which was done with no flood risk assessment and appears to be highly dangerous, has removed nearly all the remaining parking.

Among their many other failings they allowed the predestination scheme that was carefully designed to stop unfinished.

The Conservative administration has been no better they seem to have a hopeless attitude to leisure facilities, nearly all of which have now closed.

Their handling of the China Gateway development was just plain embarrassing and appears to have left us once again with plans passed that are unbuildable, in both cases the same architect was involved, which suggests a total lack of learning from experience.

My conclusion here is that both cabinets form deferential and far to close relationships with developers and other wealthy people, they also appear to have a naive approach to dealing with senior council officers following their wishes rather than those of the electorate.

A new elected leader would have no safe seat, owe no favours to other councillors and would have an incentive to chose the most able councillors to form his governing team.

As far as Malcolm goes he is prepared to go as far as standing for mayor if necessary, however who we get for a leader will be in the hands of the people of Thanet.

The latest piece of folly makes me ashamed, Ramsgate is a seafaring town with a long tradition of sea rescue, there are tons of wood, a serious shipping hazard that could easily result in loss of life on our main sands and it looks to me as though this wood is going to be allowed to float out to sea again on the next tide.

Click here for the pictures.


  1. I stand corrected they are dealing with the situation.

    The council has mobilised teams to begin removal of the timber, which is washing up on beaches around Thanet. The council is working closely with the police and coastguard, who are also on scene. We would advise people to stay away from the areas where the timber is being washed up.

  2. Michael, I thought you were more sensible than to go along with Malcolms mad ideas. The bloke is clearly sectionable

  3. The police were happily watching van loads of timber being removed this evening.

  4. Anon 1652

    And your distinguished military service is ...... ?

    Whereas Malcolm does have a distinguished military service history. He also has graduate level qualifications in science I think. Very useful in one rightly concerned about contamination of the Thanet water supply.


  5. Sounds cool
    I would of thought that President would have been more for Malcolm even I have a sense of humour

  6. "Would of" you really are Sandy aren't you ?

  7. Michael, these are themes I will be writing on I hope in due course on my blog. On Mayors I was a member of Lewisham in London when we introduced a Mayor. I have to say that despite a lot of government support the results so far are at best mixed. Mayors do get paid a lot more money. they do give more of a focus to elections and increase turnout, but not by much. I would be hard pushed to find an authoority with a Mayor and say that because it has the elected Mayoral system it is better than another neighbouring/similar authority. Which authorities are you thinking of when you recommend this sytem? I don't agree with your analysis but I do feel the quality of political life could be considerably improived in Thanet and that's one of the main reasons I have set up my blog. Looking forward to debating/commenting this issue with you.

  8. Anon 1838, No matter what his qualifications to kill people Loco Kircaldie could still be sectionable, there is but a thin line between genius and insanity. I happen to think he has crossed it

  9. People I don’t think it is Malcolm’s intention here to become mayor, although he has said that if no one better comes forward he will stand for election. I am surprised that there is so much anonymous mud slinging directed at him, one thing I can say is that once he has said he will do something he does so in all probability Thanet will have an elected mayor.

  10. That will be four mayors in Thanet. malocolm seems to spend his time wasting public money, perhaps he should go to Iraq and waste it there.


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