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.