Thursday, 30 April 2009

Recent documents published by Thanet District Council

30/04/2009 - Agenda supplement published - Supplement Agenda : Supplement Agenda: Meeting of May 12 2009 7:00PM, Overview and Scrutiny Panel

30/04/2009 - Agenda supplement published - Supplement Agenda : Supplement Agenda: Meeting of May 12 2009 3:00PM, Corporate Improvement & Budget Working Party

Press Release: Austerity for who? - Purnell challenges Cameron

Stephen Ladyman Press Release

James Purnell MP, Labour's Work and Pensions Secretary, commenting on David Cameron's refusal to commit to maintaining child benefit and winter fuel allowances at the same levels as the Government, said:

"David Cameron has one rule for millionaires and another for parents and pensioners. He can promise a tax giveaway for 3,000 millionaires yet now he won't give a "running commentary" on his plans for millions of middle income parents who receive child benefit, nor millions of pensioners who rely on winter fuel allowance to heat their homes.

"When will this game of hide and seek end? This isn't about asking the opposition to make unreasonable commitments, it is about being honest with the British people about their public spending plans.

"Labour's plan for building Britain's future is set out in plain English in our budget. It is time the Tories talked straight. It is dishonest to preach austerity whilst refusing to say who will pay."

Stephen Ladyman MP, said:

“Mr Camerons proposals will hit hundreds of people in my constituency. He should own up to the pensioners who will lose their heating allowance and the families that will lose their tax credits exactly how much worse off they will be and who will be affected.”

Water Safety DVD

Thanet district Council press release

A new water safety DVD, aimed at primary and secondary school children, has been launched in Margate.

Aimed at those aged eight to 14 years old, “Water Safety in Thanet” is a partnership project between the Thanet Coast Project, lifeguards at Thanet Leisureforce, HM Coastguard and the RNLI. It focuses on the dangers around the Thanet coastline, how to stay safe, have fun on the beaches and look after the environment. A coastal education pack has also been created to go with the DVD.

Last night’s (Wednesday 29 April) launch at the Winter Gardens saw teachers from schools across Thanet attending to see the first public viewing of the DVD, with information about what the various organisations can offer schools.

Naomi Biggs, Thanet Coast Project Education Officer, said: “Getting the message across about water safety is vital, as in Thanet, the coastline plays such a huge part in all our lives. We know that children spend a lot of their holidays enjoying our beautiful beaches and that’s why we want to ensure that they know how to stay safe. We look forward to seeing this DVD being used in primary and secondary schools across Thanet to help get these vital messages across to pupils.”

Andy Roberts from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: “We’re fully committed to preventing loss of life, continuously improving maritime and foreshore safety and protecting the marine environment. This DVD is an excellent production that contains all the necessary safety messages. I have no doubt that it will greatly help in educating children in how to have fun safely on Thanet foreshores.”


Update by email

Hi MichaelMy name is Richard King and I run a local film production company called Positive Interaction Films, the film company behind the new Water Safety in Thanet DVD that was released on Wednesday 29th April as is featured on your Thanetonline blog website. We will soon be having a small feature on our website (www.pifilms.co.uk) about the launch event complete with a few photos and I was wondering if it was possible for you to edit my companies name (Positive Interaction Films) into the blog and provide a link to our news page (http://www.pifilms.co.uk/pages/latest-news.html) so that people can see a bit more about the event itself. I’d be more than happy to return the favour by linking to you when we get our links page up.

MP to race a Kawaski Superbike!

Stephen Ladyman Press Release

South Thanet MP, Stephen Ladyman, will ride a 200bhp Kawasaki Superbikein this year's Thundersprint Motorcycle Sprint on May 10th.Stephen is raising money for CALM, a charity that helps young men incrisis.Stephen Ladyman said:"Suicide is now one of the biggest killers of young men and CALM does avital job getting across its message that 'being silent is not beingstrong' and providing support for young men who contact them. I'mdelighted that


Thundersprint and Kawasaki are backing me and helping meraise money for them."Stephen will be riding a 200bhp Kawasaki MSS Colchester - the bikeridden by the Kawaski race team in last year's superbike races. He willbe joining the official Kawasaki race team for the day.Thundersprint is one of the biggest spectator events in Europe. It is amotorcycle sprint race held in Northwich, Cheshire.


This year it is onSunday May 10th."My first objective will be holding on and finishing the event in onepiece while getting as many people as possible to sponsor me and supportCALM. Frankly, as someone who loves motorbikes, I'll also be having agreat time.""I hope lots of people and companies are prepared to help.


Donations canbe sent to me at the House of Commons or, better still, by logging ontomy special JustGiving web site."The web site for donations is:www.justgiving.com/stephen-at-thundersprint"Suicide struck my own family out of the blue when my step-son Karl tookhis own life last year.


We miss him terribly but if CALM can save justone family from the heartbreak we have suffered then we need to backthem as much as we can."


If anyone wants to know more about CALM and especially if feelingdepressed, suicidal or in need of support then they should check theCALM website at http://www.thecalmzone.net/ or their help line on 0800 58 58 585pm to midnight Saturday to Tuesday.

A new addition to Chemistry's Periodic Table

The new element, Governmentium (Gv),has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons,and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.


Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected, because it impedes every action with which it comes into contact.


A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second to take from four days to four years to complete. Governmentium has a norma lhalf-life of 2-6 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of th eassistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.


In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganisation will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.


This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration.


This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass. When catalysed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element thatradiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.


Ed. I read this sometime somewhere and it seemed to me that it could amuse some of my readers sorry I have no idea who wrote it.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

The Gurkhas – to whom we owe so much

Laura Sandys press release

There are few more worthy people of our hospitality and our gratitude as the brave Gurkhas who have fought for our Queen and our country at the side of our armed forces.
It is both dishonourable and unjust not to give them the same benefits and treatment that we give all Commonwealth service men and women, and let them settle in the United Kingdom as valued citizens.


Those who know Gurkhas who have settled in Kent – many in Folkestone – know them to be extremely hard working, aspiring for their children in our local schools and make a very positive contribution to our communities.


Conservatives would allow pre-1997 Gurkhas to settle in this country. We would create a new tier in the Points-Based Immigration System to cover former service personnel.
Our shadow immigration Minister Kent MP Damien Green MP said. “"This is an insult to the Gurkhas. We have said all along that the Government should not try to challenge the courts and they would have done better to listen."

Let us hope that with all the publicity spearheaded by Joanna Lumley and all the political pressure that we are all putting on the Government, that they will reverse their decision. And if they do not have the honour to overturn their decision then maybe the courts will!


Go to the Gurkha Justice Campaign at http://www.gurkhajustice.org.uk/ to sign their petition.

BASKETBALL SUCCESS IN RAMSGATE

Thanet district Council press release,

More than 40 young people have taken part in the latest Street Hoops basketball event in Ramsgate.

Held on Sunday (26 April), at the town's sports centre, Street Hoops is organised by Thanet District Council's Sport Matters team and supported by Pie Factory Music, Thanet Leisureforce, Thanet Rhinos and Ursuline College.

The event, which takes place on the last Sunday of every month, gives young people the opportunity to play competitive basketball in teams of three or five in three different age groups, either 11 to 13 year 14 to 17 years and 18 years and over.

Local DJs from Pie Factory Music create a lively and vibrant atmosphere with new urban music, and you can even try your skills at scratching and mixing with the pie factory team.

Sunday's event attracted over 40 freestylers, who battled it on the court with urban beats playing in the background. The eventual winners on the night were Team LG and Team 'win' in their age groups. Kent police were also at the event, engaging with the young people and handing out water bottles on the night.

Colin Rouse, who led on the event as part of the Sport Matters team, said: "Once again, the event proved how basketball is developing throughout the district. It was great to have such high numbers, even with the weather being hot and sunny outside! We have one more indoor event left in May, before we take Street Hoops outdoors onto the community MUGAs, so we'd like everyone to come and enjoy our final indoor session of the season."

The next Street Hoops session takes place on Sunday 31 May, with registration from 4.45pm and the event taken place at 5pm until 7pm at Ramsgate Sports Centre. For more information, contact the Sport Matters team on 01843 577032 or collect a flyer from your local leisure centre

THOUSANDS ENJOY FREE SWIMMING

Thanet district Council press release

New figures show more than 3,000 people aged 16 and under or 60 and over have already signed up for free swimming in Thanet.

The new initiative, which aims to improve fitness, is being funded with government money and £40,000 from the NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent runs until March 2011.

During public swimming sessions, anyone in these two age groups can swim free of charge at either Ramsgate Swimming Pool or Hartsdown Leisure Centre, although the scheme does not include instructor led fitness sessions, private lessons or swim school.

To join the scheme, people need to fill out a registration form before their first swim, at which point they have to show proof of their age. They then receive a "free swim card" that they will need to show on each subsequent visit. They will also need a passport size photo at the time of registering.

In the first two weeks of the scheme, figures show that 563 people aged 60 and over signed up for free swimming, while 1,679 young people aged 16 or under also joined the scheme.

Sports Development Officer, Martyn Cassell, said: "This scheme has got off to a superb start and it's been really encouraging to see so many people signing up for free swimming. The fact that the launch came just before the school holidays gave a lot of young people the chance to take full advantage of the new scheme. Hopefully those, who may not have swum regularly before, will now keep it up, having experienced how much fun it can be."

Warren Reeves, Head of Operations for Thanet Leisureforce, added: "The uptake on the new scheme has been excellent and it's been great to see improved numbers of swimmers taking part in what is a fantastic activity that brings real benefits to everyone. The pool programme in place, especially over the school holidays is designed to allow access at different times by the creation of sessions throughout the day. We know the pools can - and did - reach capacity over Easter, and that's why the sessions are in place, so that we can offer swimming opportunities to as many people as possible. It's clear the scheme has been an overwhelming success and something that other areas of Kent are not benefiting from."

Full terms and conditions for the free swimming sessions can be found at the area's leisure centres.
Update by email


Hi MichaelMy name is Richard King and I run a local film production company called Positive Interaction Films, the film company behind the new Water Safety in Thanet DVD that was released on Wednesday 29th April as is featured on your Thanetonline blog website. We will soon be having a small feature on our website (http://www.pifilms.co.uk/) about the launch event complete with a few photos and I was wondering if it was possible for you to edit my companies name (Positive Interaction Films) into the blog and provide a link to our news page (http://www.pifilms.co.uk/pages/latest-news.html) so that people can see a bit more about the event itself. I’d be more than happy to return the favour by linking to you when we get our links page up.

Pleasurama development agreement to be discussed by cabinet on the 7th of May.

As one has come to expect with the Pleasurama development the press and public will be excluded, as the existing development agreement is in the public domain it is a little hard to understand why.

The detail of this agreement state:

1. On exchange of the development agreement, the developer will pay a deposit of £55,000.

2. Following exchange of the development agreement, within 3 months, the developer will enter into a highways agreement with Kent County Council as specified in the planning permission. The works refer to a new roundabout and bus lay-by in Marine Esplanade.

3. The Site Lease Completion Date is the date 10 working days after the date of completion of the Highways Agreement.

4. On the Site Lease Completion Date:

a. The developer is to pay £550,000 to the Council which will include the deposit of £55,000.

b. The Site Leases of the hotel suite, the mixed use site and the residential premises will be granted to the Developer.

c. The developer will enter into an option agreement in favour of the Council, whereby the Council will be granted an option to aquire the Developers interest in the hotel site and the cliff stairway lease.

d. The Developer will provide a £5.6m performance bond in favour of the Council.

5. SFP Ventures (UK) limited is not entited to assign the Development Agreement.

Recent documents published by Thanet District Council

29/04/2009 - Agenda supplement published - Supplement Agenda : Supplement Agenda: Meeting of Apr 22 2009 10:00AM, Airport Working Party

29/04/2009 - Agenda published: Meeting of May 7 2009 7:00PM, Cabinet

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Drinking water pollution issues in Thanet

Sorry there was no post yesterday I have been looking into water pollution issues in Thanet since I published the water quality tables see http://thanetonline.blogspot.com/2009/04/thanet-water-quality-arsenic-mercury.html I have been approaching this in 3 ways.

Firstly studying the documents on the Southern Water website http://www.southernwater.co.uk/ it takes a fair amount of navigating links entering your post code and so on, and I will leave it to anyone that wants to go there to do so.

Next by examining documents produced by independent consultants one of these that I found interesting is about the problems associated with the Richborough refuse landfill, it would appear from reading the document that this poses a threat both to the River Stour and to the aquifer from the south, I don’t suppose that this document is readily available to people so I have published it on the web click on the link if you want to read it http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts2/id91.htm

The other the information comes from someone I know who uses water for a light industrial process that requires water of a high quality, he has a private laboratory in Thanet where he tests our water on a daily basis, both before and after he has purified it by carbon filtration.

His opinion is that although our tap water is mainly stable and ok although chlorine levels get very high from time to time and that nitrate levels are above the EU recommended maximum.

Obviously the important question raised here is; is it safe to drink the water? The answer I am getting from scientists that are independent from any of the organisations involved is yes, but there is an exception that it could be harmful to very young babies, so I would recommend that people don’t make up powdered baby milk with it unfiltered.

There is also another factor here that it could effect yeast production when using it to make up powdered yeast for cooking, so if your bread won’t rise properly you could try bottled or filtered water.

The main issue here is that the more I discover about the state of our water supply the more convinced I am becoming that it is the main factor in determining if there should be any further development at Manston whatsoever.

Recent documents published by Thanet District Council

28/04/2009 - Minutes published: Meeting of Apr 15 2009 7:00PM, Planning Committee
28/04/2009 - Meeting held: Apr 28 2009 9:00AM, East Kent Joint Scrutiny Committee
27/04/2009 - Meeting held: Apr 27 2009 5:00PM, Standards Appeals Sub-Committee
27/04/2009 - Agenda published: Meeting of May 12 2009 5:00PM, Asset Management Working Group
27/04/2009 - Agenda published: Meeting of May 12 2009 3:00PM, Corporate Improvement & Budget Working Party
27/04/2009 - Agenda published: Meeting of May 12 2009 7:00PM, Overview and Scrutiny Panel
27/04/2009 - Agenda published: Meeting of May 7 2009 2:00PM, Local Development Framework Working Party

AIRPORT RECOMMENDATIONS AGREED

Thanet district Council press release

Recommendations of amendments to the draft Masterplan for Kent International Airport have been unanimously agreed at a meeting of Thanet District Council.

Members met last week (Thursday 23 April) and agreed in principle with the aspirations of the draft Masterplan, but that the airport owners Infratil be asked to amend it to take account of the consultation process they carried out and to include some specific alterations and additions.

These include more specific and measurable targets on carbon neutrality, sustainability and emission controls and more details about establishing an Air Transport Forum. Their remit would include looking at a greater use of public transport to get to the airport.

The recommendations came from the Manston Airport Working Party, set up by the council's Overview and Scrutiny Panel.

The Working Party's report, which runs to more than 30 pages, sets out the site's planning history, details of the Section 106 Agreement, planning policies and a summary of the draft Masterplan, before then going on to make a number of recommendations.

These include:
Requesting that the airport publish the results of its consultation and proposed amendments for further comments, before finalising the Masterplan. It also requests that consultation should be undertaken with statutory planning consultees.


Explaining how the Masterplan meets the requirements of the Section 106 Agreement.
Suggesting a series of amendments should be made, including more specific measurable targets on issues such as carbon neutrality, emission control and sustainability.
Including more specific proposals, explaining how development at the airport will be phased, what additional infrastructure improvements will be required until 2018 and details of approximate costs for these.


Putting forward more specific proposals, with timescales, for the implementation of environmental studies to assess the impact of the phased growth.

BROADSTAIRS TO GET NEW WATER QUALITY TESTS

Thanet district Council press release

A new way of predicting water quality at Viking Bay is set to be tried out this summer, as part of a national trial project.

In 2015, a new EU water directive will come into effect, which will require local authorities and water companies to comply with tighter controls and targets than are in place at present. One of the requirements will be improved information for the public, with daily water quality results provided. New signs explaining this will also have to be in place by 2012.

Viking Bay has been identified by the Environment Agency as one of ten sites in the UK where a trial project will be put in place, ahead of the new directive. This will predict the water quality 24 hours in advance and how poor weather will affect it. Information will be gathered from rain gauges to warn bathers of any potential short term pollution problems. The trial scheme will be in place between May and September this year and the existing signs on Viking Bay will be used to promote it.

All the bays involved in the trial have been chosen for this trial because they have a history of poorer water quality and the results will be used to provide the Environment Agency with information about how the system could work in practice. Should the trial be successful, it will be rolled out to be used at other resorts.

Principal Leisure Officer, Joe McCarthy, said: "We look forward to the water quality at Viking Bay meeting the excellent guideline requirement through the summer season. To be able to advertise that to visitors and residents on a daily basis will be a really positive step. Taking part in this trial scheme will also help to highlight the issues about water quality that we still occasionally have at Viking Bay. We've been exceptionally successful with gaining prestigious Blue Flags for Thanet in recent years, but sadly Viking Bay has never achieved that status. That's something I'm sure everyone would like to see, as it's an outstanding beach. We want to ensure Viking Bay has the same excellent water quality year round as the rest of the coastline and, if any problems are encountered during the season, it will help add weight to that campaign."

One of the problems faced by Viking Bay is rain water running into the bay. It is hoped that the Environment Agency will recommend future improvements to sewerage and wastewater treatment processes to help improve water quality. Southern Water will be submitting a scheme to OFWAT in April, who will make a decision on it in November.

Monday, 27 April 2009

A new age of austerity - Delivering More for Less

Laura Sandys press release

David Cameron stressed Britain needs “a complete change of direction” to deal with the new “age of austerity” in his 2009 Spring Forum speech.

He said the “age of irresponsibility” was coming to an end and we need to take “incredibly tough decisions” on taxation, spending and borrowing to tackle Labour’s Debt Crisis.

“The alternative to dealing with the Debt Crisis now is mounting debt, higher interest rates and a weaker economy. Unless we deal with the debt crisis, we risk becoming once again the sick man of Europe.”

David made clear that the age of austerity means “delivering more for less” – and that requires four big changes for Government:
A return to traditional public spending control

A new culture of thrift in government, including a contractual obligation on all senior civil servants to save the taxpayer money

Curing our big social problems not just treating them, with our plans for school reform, welfare reform and strengthening families

Using technology to transform the way public services are delivered

And he promised to stand up for “responsibility and thrift”:

“Yes, if we win the next election, we may not see the full fruits of our labours in the lifetime of our government. But if we stick together and tackle this crisis our children and grandchildren will thanks us for what we did for them and for our country.”
Read David's 2009 Spring Forum speech

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Duty and disobedience when questioning the council

There has been some debate on this blog this week about the ethics of my questioning the council and other government organisations particularly with regards to technical issues, see http://thanetonline.blogspot.com/2009/04/budget-and-blogs.html which I found particularly interesting.

For me a major issue here is the way in which my representatives, in this case councillors function and although this may seem strange my feelings are that too many of them have had too much experience of being councillors.

One way or another with the huge amount of legislation, regulatory bodies and being heavily guided by council officers a situation has developed where councillors appear to be trained to conform with council officers wishes, rather than represent the electorate which is supposed to be their primary function.

For me then I find the only course of action open to me is to question the officers directly, for example having acquired the water quality tables my main concern is the private boreholes that may not be properly regulated. For instance this week I will ask what treatment if any is used for the water pumped out of the ground for irrigation at Thanet Earth.

This is not because I have any expert knowledge of water contamination but is based on the premise that if the public water supply needs to be purified and diluted to be safe for consumption, it probably needs to be purified and diluted for the intensive growing of cucumbers and tomatoes that are by their very nature er watery.

A couple of things that I am unhappy about is that all the pesticides are grouped together in one table and my rather dated scientific knowledge leads me to believe that DDT bonds with the fatty acids in plants, I also believe that mercury would accumulate in the growing process.

When I asked about water draining into the ground at Thanet Earth I was told that it wouldn’t so presumably the water must go round and round in the growing process until it evaporates leaving most of the chemicals behind.

One of the great problems with contamination of the aquifer is that many people who would be likely to contaminate the aquifer, engineers and lorry drivers for instance would be unaware of its existence.

To this end I have asked if the council would consider signposting in appropriate areas and I am told that they are considering it.

Another thing that interested me this week was the complaint that I made that didn’t appear on the councils list of complaints, the council officer I asked assumed that I had emailed it to someone randomly and they had forgotten to record it.

In fact I used the online complaints form the essence of the complaint was to try and get TDC to post the dvds, of council meetings that they already make, to Kent TV so they could be available online in a way that would cost the council virtually nothing.

I eventually got a response that a committee was to be set up to find a more expensive way of doing this and at that point I just gave up on the issue.

Trading in the real world in this recession is not easy and that sort of thing makes one annoyed.

Anyway this complaint should have registered automatically so either the council have a serious IT failure here or they are adjusting the figures for some reason or another.

In terms of official complaints and freedom of information requests I am very reluctant to use them as I assume they cost the council a lot to resolve, for instance I believe I have only ever made 3 complaints 2 of which relate to Pleasurama.

With Pleasurama I am going to pursue its problems much more vigorously to ensure that we don’t get another 5 years of deserted building site, 3 years of delay was caused by the council sitting on the survey of the cliff façade and not taking any action.

It was only when I discovered the existence of the survey that action was taken, it may have been coincidental but the timing suggested otherwise.

Now I have suggested the access road is dangerous see http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/tdc/id50.htm and the answers I got from the council suggest that this may be the case, I would imagine that this has instigated some sort of survey, but just don’t know, if it says the road can’t support busses I am determined that they don’t sit on it for 3 years this time.

This is important because if it can’t support busses for the expected life of the new development, it will either have to be made so it can and I would expect the expense of doing this would be tremendous, or it will have to be closed to heavy vehicles.

If it is to be closed to heavy vehicles then the new development will have to be completely redesigned which would mean that it would have to be environment agency compliant.

Another problem I find with the various government agencies is it is very difficult to get them to view big problems as a whole, with the water issue there is now no doubt in my mind that Thanet Earth, China Gateway and airport expansion can’t all be allowed to happen on the aquifer.

Certainly there doesn’t appear to be any way that China Gateway can expand beyond phase 1 as we just wont have enough water if it does and with phase 1 being built it would seem highly unlikely that any airport expansion that involves more hard standing can occur.

Now regardless of your views on other aspects of these developments they involve businesses that are prepared to invest in this area and without Southern Water, the environment agency and the council setting some definite guidelines as to the amount of development on the aquifer that can be allowed it is not possible for these businesses to function properly.

I would say that the tremendous fluctuations in Commercial Group Properties share price is partly symptomatic of there being no realistic understanding both of how much they can expand and how they are going to manage the drainage for phase 1.

The fact that there was consultation with the council before the drainage plans that the council would have known would be totally unacceptable were drawn up shows just how much time and money can be wasted by the councils unrealistic explanation of environmental constraints.

The question I would like to ask those of you who feel I shouldn’t be using the methods I use to get the council to act in a more decisive way over issues that effect our safety and economy is; what methods do they think is should use?

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Thanet Water Quality Arsenic, Mercury and old lace.

I have published the charts of Thanet ground water quality on one of my websites for anyone that wishes to look at them.

It is a rather unusual web file due to the complex nature of the original document and the large size of it.

You need to use the arrows bottom left to move the tabs along the bottom that show the individual chemicals, clicking on the tabs then reveals the chart for each chemical.

You have to appreciate that this cocktail of chemicals is scrubbed out by reverse osmosis at Fleet reservoir (Nr Manston Airport) by Southern Water, the result is then diluted with water piped in from outside Thanet until drinkable quality is reached.

Thanet's potable (drinkable) water is blend of water from Plucks gutter (river Stour), the Thanet Aquifers and from Wingham Well.

My main concern here is the unregulated agricultural boreholes used for irrigation and crop washing.

Click here for the charts

Click here for some other document about local water that may be of interest

China Gateway and Commercial Group Properties share price rise

Some of you may be aware that I posted the other day about the extraordinary rise in Commercial Group Properties shares see http://thanetonline.blogspot.com/search?q=china coincidentally within an hour of that post Commercial Group Properties also made an announcement about this see http://www.londonstockexchange.com/LSECWS/IFSPages/MarketNewsPopup.aspx?id=2140933&source=RNS coincidentally again the following article http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/thanet/Deal-signed-attract-firms-Thanet/article-935622-detail/article.html has appeared on the Isle of Thanet Gazettes website.

You can keep track of their shares by clicking on this link http://www.londonstockexchange.com/en-gb/pricesnews/prices/system/detailedprices.htm?sym=GB00B1P70L34GBGBXAIM%20B1P70L3CMGP

Friday, 24 April 2009

Something nasty in the water

Any of you unfamiliar with the pollution of Thanet’s drinking water aquifer with the toxic chemical Cyclohexanone may wish to click here for my previous postings on the subject.

The problem with this and other pollution incidents here in Thanet is that because it was only discovered after it had been happening for many years it is difficult to ascertain if any toxic chemicals got into the drinking water supply or the water used for crop washing and irrigation.

There was a rumour some time ago that some of the professionals in the health service suspected that that some of the medical statistics in Thanet suggested that they could have done.

Richard Card was concerned about this and contacted the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate about this, they passed his letter about this to The Kent Health Protection Unit at Maidstone.

The director of the unit has now written to Richard Card saying that the matter will be investigated fully and the matter is being take seriously.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Budget and blogs

Having the budget very much on my mind and looking on many of the political blogs that I look at when some political event occurs the general feeling seems to be that it wasn’t a good budget, even on a lot of the socialist blogs the comment is pretty negative.

There is a remarkable amount of absence of comment about the budget on the local Labour blogs.

For me it seemed to lack the major banking reforms that I would have expected from a socialist government, to me the budget seemed to be much more aimed a forthcoming election than dealing with the current economic crisis.

I also would have expected the government to make use of the crisis to reform public sector pay and pensions, which are something we can no longer afford at the present rate.

I find it hard to see how the government can justify paying civil servants over £2,000 per week when the country is effectively bankrupt, and any employee who really justified a wage of that order wouldn’t have any problem getting a job in the private sector.

Certainly if there are civil servants that it is felt do justify wages of that order then they ought to have to regularly take some sort of postgraduate examination in their field of expertise to prove it.

When we are talking about individuals that for the most part only produce paperwork in most cases any competent clerk or secretary could do their jobs, in fact in many cases this is what happens anyway.

The public perception of the people running the country the county and the district at the moment is that a great many of the people involved put personal financial gain far ahead of any other objective.

Now the only way we can afford to pay these enormous sums is to borrow vast amounts of money.

I have to admit to wondering what happens when the point comes where there is no more money available for the government to borrow, or will this constraint never occur?

It’s certainly happening to businesses and their employees at the moment perhaps we should all work for the public sector and have a country entirely reliant on debt.

Are Thanet District Council massaging complaints figures?

I am trying to find out if Thanet District Council is massaging its complaints figures as I made a complaint using their online complaints form in February that hasn’t appeared on their list of complaints on their website.

Click here for their February figures at the moment like the question about life the universe and everything the answer is 42, that is 42 complaints for the month.

I wonder if anyone else who reads this blog has complained to the council about anything in the last year, if so you can check it was recorded by clicking here and going to the bottom of the page where there are a series of links to lists of complaints for the months they were submitted in, would appreciate it if anyone finding a complaint they made doesn’t appear on the list would let me know.

It is always difficult to say with the council and their use of the internet if it’s just another of their series of errors or if they are genuinely using it to conceal information and deliberately publishing misleading figures.

When I email their IT department pointing out errors to them I often don’t receive any reply so it is difficult to tell if they have received the information or not.

The amount of council workers time that must be wasted because they don’t publish documents in the public domain as a matter of course must be colossal.

The Budget

Laura Sandys press release,

The Chancellor described the worst recession, fastest rising unemployment, and the worst public finances since the War, but could not describe a credible solution.


On the Government’s figures:
- Over the next two years the Government will borrow £348bn - more than all governments up to 1997
- We will be borrowing £703bn over the next five years
- The national debt will double again to £1.4trillion
- Every baby will now be born owing £22,500
- Interest costs have risen again to £43bn a year – more than the schools budget.
- IMF say our budget deficit will be the worst in the G20 next year – 11% of GDP compared to 9% in United States


Britain cannot afford another five years of Labour's economic incompetence.
- Labour's answer is tax hikes on the many
- On average we have £1000 tax rises per family between now and 2012. £310 tax rise on fuel
- Unemployment one million higher in 2010 from the Government’s last forecast
- Labour cuts planned for AFTER the next election

o £2.3bn off the NHS capital budget next year
o £0.6bn off the Schools department capital budget next year
o £0.3bn off Universities and Skills capital budget next year

- In reaction long term interest rates on Government debt rose and the pound fell.

The CBI have said the Budget takes “big risks”. Richard Lambert said: “The key question for this Budget was whether it set out a credible and rigorous path for restoring the public finances to health. The CBI’s preliminary judgement must be that it does not.”


Conservatives offer a change from an economy built on debt to an economy that saves and invests

- Conservatives favour spending restraint over tax rises
- We would start that spending restraint now to pay for the recession measures and start reducing borrowing in the recovery from 2010
- Our priority is to avoid Labour's tax rises that affect the many not the few, like the increase in National Insurance which is a tax on jobs

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Thanet District Council Complaint

I have raised my concerns about legal aspects of the planning consent bond and financing of the Pleasurama development as a formal complaint to Thanet District Council. Click here to read it. It almost seems that they prefer to answerer questions via the complaints procedure than in the normal way.

The problem though is that all this sort of thing costs so much, most of the information that people want could easily be put online where people could access it, the documentation that relates to this large development can hardly be a secret, the value of the bond is already in the public domain, the relevant documents should be published with the plans.

While I was submitting my complaint online I noticed that the complaint about webcasting council meetings that I submitted on 19th Feb. doesn’t appear in the list of complaints on the councils website, so it would appear that the council are massaging their complaints figures.

One way or another I am determined that Ramsgate doesn’t get another five years of deserted building site while the developer, architect and contractor mess around submitting more plans that are not compliant with Environment Agency advice on fundamental safety issues.

Stephen Ladyman MP Welcomes a Budget for Building Britain’s Future

Stephen Ladyman Press Release

Stephen Ladyman has welcomed today’s budget. Speaking from Westminster after the chancellor delivered his statement, the MP for South Thanet said:

“When the global economic downturn struck Britain had record levels of employment, low interest rates and lower national debt than almost every other developed nation. That meant we were better prepared to face the storm than other countries and, because the British Government chose to step in and help businesses, the UK banking system and UK families, it is now also clear we will recover from the downturn quickly and the economy will be growing by the end of the year.”

“However, if you have lost your job, or if you are now struggling on a lower income, the fact that the economy will recover soon will be little comfort. That is why I welcome this budget because it provides real help for real families in my constituency right now.”

“I’m especially delighted that from January we are going to offer a guarantee for everyone under 25 who is out of work for a year that they will either have a work placement or be put on a training programme. Extra support for the unemployed and new money for those threatened with losing their homes after a drop in income will help thousands of people and sends a clear message – this Government will not abandon you when things get tough in the way the Conservative Government did in the 80s and 90s.”

“Last but not least, this budget not only sets out clearly how the money used to get us through this world crisis will be paid back, fairly and with the wealthy paying their proper share it also supports the fight against climate change. It is very much a budget for building Britains future. ”


Note for editors:

The Budget announced:

support for employment

including for Jobcentre Plus and the Flexible New Deal, and the offer a guaranteed job, training or work placement for all 18-24 year olds who reach 12 months unemployed;

support for individuals

including through an increase in the annual investment limit for Individual Savings
Accounts (ISAs) to £10,200, up to £5,100 of which can be saved in cash;

an additional payment alongside the Winter Fuel Payment worth £100 for households with someone aged over 80 and £50 for households with someone aged over 60 – which will support 20,300 people in South Thanet and 24,300 people in North Thanet.

Pension Credit: increasing the capital disregard on the level of savings that are not taken into account when calculating entitlement, from November 2009, from £6,000 to £10,000.

support for homeowners and homebuyers

including with a £600 million funding package of measures to build more homes, and an extension of the stamp duty holiday for all houses costing up to £175,000 until the end of the year;

support for the environment

including setting the world’s first carbon budgets and measures to encourage energy efficiency and low-carbon growth.

China Gateway shares rise

Shares in Commercial Group Properties, the company behind China Gateway have risen from trading at 3p on the first of this month to trading at 50p today. I noticed that they are hoping to buy the land at Manston that TDC and KCC bought for £6,286,250 for £3,000,000 and wonder if the two things are somehow related.

I know there were some concerns about the closeness of the relationship between Commercial Group Properties and the council during the Chinagate incident, so this large and sudden rise begs some interesting questions.
Update click here to view the title I had assumed the land was bought by EKOS not KCC so the loss £3,286,250 would fall to them.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Press releases from Thanet District Council and Thanet Politicians

With the council press releases though I only put them up because the council don’t seem to have grasped 21st century internet, i.e. the press officers should be able put their press releases directly onto the internet as soon as they release them the council press release pages should have Atom and RSS feeds for pages where they post press releases and if the have the facility for people to comment their should be comment feeds.

The reason that all of this is important is that the receiving of press releases becomes totally automated, people who want them can either subscribe to feeds or they can be used on websites like this to produce links that update, like the recent comments on the sidebar of this blog.

One thing that has happened in the last few days is that the council have started getting their press releases up much more quickly, I don’t really know if is because I have been emailing them about it as the don’t reply to emails about this.

They have actually managed to get the last two press releases they sent me published on their website the day they were published, which is an improvement.

They publish there press releases in two different places on their website here are the two links http://www.thanet.gov.uk/Default.aspx and http://www.thanet.gov.uk/news/latest_press_releases.aspx they only seem to be able to get the photographs they add to appear with their press releases on their homepage from where they vanish very rapidly.

On the occasions when they have sent me the photographs with the press releases they have been very good indeed so presumably someone on the TDC press department has gone to a lot of trouble. It really is a great shame that they only appear on their website as thumbnails and for a very short time.

Obviously we are paying for a lot of good quality photographs of events in Thanet does anyone know where they are going?

I am never really sure how readers of this blog feel about me putting up all the press releases that I do, I had thought of having a separate blog for them but frankly it’s time consuming enough maintaining one main blog.

I certainly think that putting up our national politicians and opposition candidates press releases in the same place is a good idea as makes malicious comment much less likely.

And as members of both sides of the political divide want to read the views of politicians of both sides of the divide I believe this is helpful.

Stephen Ladyman MP celebrates extended maternity leave

Stephen Ladyman Press Release

Steve joined a young family to celebrate the success of Labour’s extension of paid maternity and paternity leave at an event in Parliament organised by shopworkers’ union, Usdaw.

Currently, eligible employed mothers can take 12 months maternity leave, with 39 weeks of this being paid. Fathers can take two weeks leave with paternity pay provided they have worked for the same employer for 6 months.

Stephen Ladyman said:

“Having children is a great experience but it can be stressful too. Giving dad some time off to help with the new arrival can make a real difference. Giving mum more maternity leave with pay means new arrivals are given the best possible start in life and family income is maintained. These changes, introduced by this Government but opposed by the other parties, are about giving families real help.”


Jamie Gull and his partner Jo have two children – Benjamin who is 5 and Alexander who is 6 months. Jamie and Jo really appreciated the time off with their new sons:

“Being able to take two weeks paid paternity leave when my son was born made a massive difference. I was able to spend important time at home with my new baby and my partner, Jo. As well as bonding with my son I also know Jo appreciated having me around so soon after his birth.

“Jo is currently on paid maternity leave with our second son, Alex. I know she is really enjoying the extra time at home with Alex. The first nine months are important ones in a child’s life. Jo has said she will feel less anxious about returning to work this time at the end of the paid maternity leave period as Alex will be that little bit older.”

Maria and Jeremy Luff had their first baby, Benjamin, in May 2007. Maria was able to take 9 months paid maternity leave.

“The extension of paid maternity leave gave me more time to spend with Benjamin. It meant that I could enjoy my time at home with him instead of worrying about going back to work too soon. Now that Benjamin is that much older, he is much happier now that I am back at work.

“Paid maternity leave was especially important to us as Jeremy was made redundant on the day that Benjamin was born. Fortunately he soon found another job but it was a very stressful time and the extra paid leave made a big difference to us as I know it will for thousands of other working mums.”

BY-ELECTION FOR THANET VILLAGES

Thanet district Council press release

A by-election to fill a vacancy within the Thanet Villages ward of Thanet District Council will be held on Thursday 4 June.

It comes after the resignation of Cllr. Mrs. Audrey Pickering, who had been a member of Thanet District Council since May 1991, first representing Minster ward until May 2003 and then Thanet Villages ward from then onwards.

The election will coincide with the elections being held on Thursday 4 June for Kent County Council and the European Parliament, and for Ramsgate's electorate, Ramsgate Parish Council with polls open from 7am until 10pm.

Those electors whose names appear on the Thanet Villages Ward Register of Electors will be able to vote at this election. To check that your name has been included on the Register of Electors, or if you require a form to be registered, then please contact Thanet District Council's Electoral Services team on 577500.

The deadline for the receipt of claims to be registered as an elector for this election is Tuesday 19 May.

As well as casting their votes at the polling station, electors can use either postal or proxy voting for this election. If you are not already registered for this, you will need to complete an absent voting application form. Completed application forms must be received by the Electoral Registration Officer by the following deadlines:

. New postal voting facilities - 5.00pm on 19 May 2009.
. New proxy voting facilities - 5.00pm on 26 May 2009.


Application forms for the absent voting facilities or claims to be registered as an elector are available by contacting the Electoral Registration Officer on 01843 577500 or at electoral.services@thanet.gov.uk

Monday, 20 April 2009

Trains and Planes

I managed to get to Ellington Park for some pictures if the miniature trains, while I was there a plane came over fairly low and managed to get a few pictures of that too not very good as I was shooting into the sun and there were a lot of trees in the way.

18 to 55 mm zoom on a 35 mm camera to give you some idea i.e. zoomed right in it’s about a standard camera lens on a cheap camera that doesn’t have zoom.

It does help to illustrate that these planes fly fairly low over the town I am afraid that very seldom have a camera in hand when they come over, but I will endeavour to get some better ones.

Click here for the pictures I will endeavour to go through and delete the worst of them sometime.

Below the train timetable.
Proposed Running for 2009 - RADMEC
Date Venue Event
12-Apr-2009 Ellington Park Club - Public Rides
13-Apr-2009 Ellington Park Club - Public Rides
19-Apr-2009 Ellington Park Club - Public Rides
25-Apr-2009 Perimont Hall Hobbies & Past Time Exhibition
26-Apr-2009 Perimont Hall Hobbies & Past Time Exhibition
3-Ma -2009 Ellington Park Club - Public Rides
4-May-2009 Ellington Park Club - Public Rides
17-May-2009 Ellington Park Club - Public Rides
24-May-2009 Ellington Park Club - Public Rides
25-Ma -2009 Ellington Park Club - Public Rides
7-Jun-2009 Ellington Park Club - Public Rides
21-Jun-2009 Ellington Park Club - Public Rides
5-Jul-2009 Ellington Park Club - Public Rides
11-Jul-2009 Quexpo Steam Fair
12-Jul-2009 Quexpo Steam Fair
15-Jul-2009 Ellington Park EIlin ton Infants School
19-Jul-2009 Ellington Park Club - Public Rides
25-Jul-2009 Chilli Farm Count Fair
26-JuI-2009 Chilli Farm Count Fair
2-Au -2009 Ellington Park Club - Public Rides
16-Au -2009 Ellington Park Club - Public Rides
30-Au -2009 Lions Club Lions Event
31-Au -2009 Ellington Park Club - Public Rides
13-Sep-2009 Ellington Park Club - Public Rides

Note: -Club - Public Rides’ events at Ellington Park are open to all members of the public for Train Rides at our club track. All dates weather permitting.

Isle of Thanet Archaeological Society - Public Lecture

I would like to bring to your attention details of our first public lecture of 2009:-

30 April - Christ Church University, Thanet Campus, Broadstairs - open 7.15 p.m. for 7.45 p.m. start. Speaker: Ges Moody, Deputy Director of The Trust for Thanet Archaeology on "A Century of Excavations at Bradstow School, Broadstairs". £4 on the door, Students £2

Click here for the Isle of Thanet Archaeological Society website

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Sunday ramble

It’s been a difficult week with the shop window being repaired so that I missed my day off, one has to move a great many books to gain access to the widow.

The low level antisocial behaviour is continuing 4 incidents in the last week here the last being yesterday when a passing cyclist hurled a road cone at the shop front.

Looking at the video footage of the police injuring demonstrators that keep appearing I am beginning to think that we are heading into some serious law and order problems in this country.


There was the curious incident when Simon Moores old blog about controlling Net Crime http://netcrimeuk.blogspot.com/
last published to in February 2006 turned into a web page promoting Web Crime that he could neither control or delete, fortunately Google responded promptly and properly deleting it for him and giving him a new address for the legitimate blog.

I hope this never happens to me however if any of you notice anything of this nature on any of my web pages please let me know, I have hundreds of them some of which I haven’t looked at in years.

I notice that Simon is now referring to himself as the “Evil Hood” I imagine being a victim of this sort of thing will make him even better at tackling internet crime.

I have been concerned recently about the problems in nighttime Broadstairs and asked a few of the younger generation about it, the reply that Broadstairs wasn’t considered a safe place to go in the evening I found very alarming.

I believe the problem started with teenagers gathering there in the evenings to watch the weekly firework displays in the summer, when the fireworks stopped they still gathered but there was nothing for the to do so the trouble started.

I think much of these sort of problems lie in the lack of all weather leisure facilities for young people in Thanet, the problem being that nearly all of the remaining leisure facilities are funded by the sale of alcohol and with the overheads that relate to suitable buildings being so high we have a problem.

Oddly enough though there are a lot of large buildings in the Thanet towns that are not being used, I wonder if anything can be done.

The ongoing debate about the Turner Contemporary rumbles on, the problem for me has always been that the gallery space will be too small to make it of important national significance. How the hopes of regenerating Margate can be seen to hinge on the minority interest that is contemporary art baffles me completely.

We are looking at a town that is unable to support a bookshop, has no cinema where everything of a cultural nature that lasts for any length of time has to be subsidised.

Things seem to have gone very quiet on the Euroferries front, which is disappointing anyone know anything about any progress on this.

My concerns over Pleasurama are rumbling on and TDC don’t seem to be certain that they can legally accept money from the developer and be compliant with the money laundering act that came into force 15 December 2007 click on the link to view it http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2007/uksi_20072157_en_1 it would certainly be a novel situation if once the development were built they were unable to accept payment for the site.

A great deal of the councils problems stem from national and European legislation being so complex so it is quite possible that they don’t really know the answer to that one.

Some of the things that the council are required to do by central government are so ludicrous and wasteful it beggars belief, for instance TDC have to employ an anti smoking officer, what a waste of resources.

Ellington park miniature railway is running today

I will try and get there to take some pictures later, I don’t know how often they run it as I don’t go to Ellington park very often.

BUDGET PETITION FOR SAVERS

Laura Sandys press release

Sandwich, Ramsgate and Broadstairs Speak Out

At high street events across the South Thanet Constituency, we have received hundreds of signatures in support of the Conservative call to give savers a tax break!
“We are proposing the basic rate tax payers should not pay any tax on their savings and that pensioners personal allowances should be raised. Currently there is no incentive to support those who save and with interest rates low, incomes for those who have saved for a rainy day is being slashed.” Said Laura Sandys, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for South Thanet and Sandwich.

We hope that the Government will listen to our proposals and that the Budget will deliver much needed respite for our local savers and pensioners.

I f you would like to have your say then please fill out the petition on line http://www.telllaura.org.uk/home.php?page_id=13&p_action=view_petition&petition_id=10

Saturday, 18 April 2009

The Pleasurama questions and Thanet District Council’s Chief Executive’s promise.

I put three questions to Richard Samuel the chief executive of Thanet District Council on 26th March about aspects of the Pleasurama development, this is a quote from my email to him:

“I have been told that as work has started on the access road work is deemed to have started on the development and therefore the consent didn’t expire after five years.

1 Does this mean that planning consent is granted in perpetuity for this development?

I have been told that before work can start on the development a bond has to be placed in a bank account, last time I asked about a month ago and after the five years had expired the bond had not been placed.

2 Does this mean that work has not officially started on the development and therefore planning consent has expired?

3 I gather that SFP as a company would need to have supplied you with a certificate of authenticity for prevention of money laundering purposes does such a certificate exist?”

I am very loathe to go down the official complaint road with the council as it costs them and therefore us a tidy sum of money, so I have had a considerable correspondence with Richard since then trying to get answers to my questions so I was very pleased to get the following email from him promising answers this week.

“Subject: Re: Pleasurama
Date: 09/04/2009 19:18:20 GMT Standard Time
From: Richard.Samuel@thanet.gov.uk
Reply To:
To: MichaelChild@aol.com

An officer will reply to you on this next week. I have made some initial inquiries and I understand the obligations under the Proceeds of Crime legislation are not quite as you say. I think you may be confusing due diligence procedures with irregularities in the deposit of funds which do not come into effect until funds are received. However I am not the expert and you will receive a fuller reply shortly.

Richard Samuel
Chief Executive
Thanet District Council
Council Offices
Margate
Kent”

Strangely though I haven’t had any reply and I am now wondering if perhaps they just don’t know the answers, my main concerns are that we don’t get another five years of building site and another summer without temporary leisure use for the site.

Friday, 17 April 2009

A Levels GCSEs and how to improve secondary education in the UK

Talking to the youth of today about the standards in various local schools and the varied quality of teaching combined with the political adjustment of exams and exam results, we think we have come up with a solution to much of the problem.

Our suggestion is that the teachers should sit the exams with their pupils, this has a several advantages.

It would make the teachers much better at teaching the pupils to pass exams. Being taught say A level physics by a teacher who last sat an a level physics exam 35 years ago is much akin to being taught to drive by someone who last drove a car 35 years ago.

The examiner would be aware of a situation where the teacher didn’t know their subject properly and could make some sort of allowance.

It would be very difficult for the government to rig the exams, either to make the education system seem better then it is or to reduce university entrance for fiscal reasons.

I also suspect any really bad teachers would leave or improve very quickly.

Minutes published for TDC Cabinet meeting 9th April

Items discussed include Kent International Airport and Ramsgate Maritime Museum click here to read.

GO REAL TO SAVE MONEY

Thanet district Council press release

Thanet parents are being urged by the council to save money with real nappies with an information day being held later this month. (April)

As part of the 13th annual Real Nappy Week, an open information day is being held at SureStart Millmead Commuity Café on Monday 27 April. Parents, parents to be, friends and family are invited to come along for refreshments and cake anytime between 10am to 2pm.

Advisors will be available to show the huge range of modern washable nappies available and give helpful tips about how to use the nappies, as well as information about the financial and environmental benefits of using washable nappies. Local babies will be modelling a range of the colourful and modern nappies.

Thanet District Council has funded five new "nappy libraries", which will be available for local parents to borrow washable nappies for two weeks to see how they work for them and to help them decide which nappies best suit their babies.

This year, the Real Nappy Week will be concentrating on how parents can save money by using Real Nappies. Parents could save £1,000 by choosing washable nappies over leading disposable brands and there are further savings to be made when nappies are passed down and used again.

Fiona Jarrett, Thanet District Council's Waste and Recycling Education Officer, said: "It is incredible that for every baby in disposable nappies about two tonnes of extra waste is produced, which has to be collected and disposed of. As well as the environmental benefits of using washable nappies there is a considerable financial benefit. They are really easy to use and long lasting and I would urge any parent thinking about using washable nappies to take advantage of our new nappy libraries to help them make an informed choice."

Three billion nappies a year or eight million a day are thrown away in the UK. They are estimated to weigh 690,000 tonnes and 90% end up in landfill.

For more information about washable nappies and the open information day, please contact Fiona Jarrett at Thanet District Council on 01843 577827.

Council Forward Plan 1 May 2009 to 1 November 2009

Apologies for not putting anything up yesterday I had the shop window repaired and spent the day moving books and bookcases.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Pictures of the tall ships in Ramsgate harbour today

Tall ships update
The Race of the Classics, Europe's biggest classic sailing ship race, will now be leaving Ramsgate's Royal Harbour Marina between 11am and 1pm today, so if you would like to get photos / video etc., there are still opportunities to see them.

Stephen Ladyman puts his expenses online again

Stephen Ladyman puts his expenses online again.South Thanet MP, Stephen Ladyman, has updated his website to provide the latest information about his expenses.Stephen Ladyman said:"The recent furore about MPs expenses has brought all politicians into disrepute.

As well as reviewing the rules as the PM has promised, as individuals we have to do more to be open about how we are spending public money. Much of the information people need to see is already in the public domain so last year I provided some easy links to it from my website and added some other information not in the public domain about how organise my office and arrangements.


Now I have updated it with the latest information and links to the new rules that MPs must follow.""Most MPs are hard working and honest. I believe I provide good value for money to my constituents and I hope that those that check out my website will agree. In fact, the latest figures show 440 MPs claim more than I do.


"The website address is http://www.stephenladyman.info/ and follow the contents link to 'Steve's Expenses'.

SPORT 4NRG MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE


Thanet district Council press release


Sport 4NRG sessions at St. Peter's, which have attracted more than 100 young people, are helping to make a major difference to the behaviour of those who attend.

The football 3's sessions started in September 2008 to try and divert young people in the area away from the clubhouse, following reports of anti-social behaviour there. Offering young people the chance to play under portable floodlights, they were able to show off their skills in a safe and controlled environment.

Originally, the sessions were only planned to run for six weeks, but they proved to be so popular and had such a good impact, that they have been continued.

Boys as young as nine have attended with their older brothers, with the mix of ages helping the younger ones to get used to being in the company of older boys in an appropriate, structured leisure activity and helping their transition between primary and secondary school.

Since the start of the sessions, the local wardens now report that Wednesday nights, when the sessions are held, are now the quietest night of the week in St. Peter's for reports of anti-social behaviour.

Head of Sport 4NRG, James Gregory, said: "These sessions have had a huge positive impact on the behaviour of those who regularly attend. When we started there, there was constant squabbling and over the top play fighting, bullying, foul language and a disrespect for each other and the referee. Over time, this behaviour and language has vastly improved, due to the real mutual respect that has appeared between the NRG staff and the young people. This is what the NRG staff have been trained to achieve. It is so much more than football coaching and refereeing.

He added: "These young people often have strained relationships with other adults in their lives, like their teachers. The NRG staff take time to listen to the boys to make them feel valued, and not dismissed, just because they are young. This increases their feelings of self worth, which in turn, empowers the boys to make positive decisions in their lives. It has been a pleasure to see the positive changes in the boys behaviour. It has made all the late, wet cold evenings standing out in the middle of a muddy pitch worthwhile!"

The sessions take place every week on Wednesday nights from 6.30pm to 7.45pm at St. Peter's rec.

TALL SHIPS BACK IN RAMSGATE TODAY

A flotilla of tall ships from Europe's biggest classic sailing ship race has arrived in Ramsgate.

The Race of the Classics, now into its 21st year, sailed into the town's Royal Harbour Marina this morning, earlier than originally expected.

The 20 tall ships are spending today (Wednesday) in the harbour, before leaving at around 6.00am tomorrow (Thursday) morning.

The race started from Rotterdam, before heading for Ramsgate and Ostende in Belgium, before finishing in Amsterdam.

The race is organised by students and the ships are crewed by a mixture of international students, accompanied by professional sailors, all competing for the Challenge Cup. It is the largest event of its kind in Europe to involve non-professionals on tall ships.

Harbourmaster Captain Dominic Evans said: "It's wonderful to be welcoming the majestic tall ships back to Ramsgate. They make a beautiful sight and always draw huge crowds to the Royal Harbour Marina. It's one of the highlights of the year for us and we're delighted that they've been able to come over to visit us again."

Ed Click here for some pictures of them here the year before last.

New Kid on the blog

West Cliff GB has started a blog called Ramsgate News click here to take a look, I have put it on the recent posts on the sidebar but it doesn’t seem to be coming up yet.

LANDLORD EVENT

Thanet district Council press release

Landlords in Thanet can find out more about the council’s new landlord accreditation scheme at a meeting being held next week.

Thanet District Council is holding one of its regular landlord events on Thursday 23 April from 4.30pm until 7.30pm at the Margate Media Centre in King Street, Margate.

As well as opportunities to network with other landlords and agents, landlords will also be able to hear from the Kent Fire & Rescue service to find out about fire safety in housing and the responsibilities of landlords. There will also be the chance to speak with representatives from the council’s Housing Improvement, Housing Options and Housing Benefit teams and to visit information stands with lots of useful information and advice.

Cllr. Zita Wiltshire, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “The landlords event is really popular and provides an excellent opportunity for local landlords to get updates on the work of our Housing Improvement team and to find out more about issues that affect them. It’s also a great chance to network with other landlords from across the District and council officers and get answers to any questions that they may have.”

There is no need to book in advance and entrance and refreshments on the night are free. For more information about the event, call the Housing Improvement team on 01843 577437 or e-mail housing.conditions@thanet.gov.uk

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Low level antisocial behaviour

Back at work after the Easter weekend as you can see the shop window suffered a break during the break click on the picture to enlarge.

I have just had a chance to delve the other blogs and notice Simon on Thanet life also suffering from antisocial behaviour.

I believe that the general level of behaviour in this country from people swearing loudly and obscenely in the street, littering, dog fowling, graffiti to the drunken rowdiness into the early hours of the morning that make living in the town centres so unpleasant, is getting totally out of hand.

One way or another it is a problem that has to be addressed as at the moment the baseline of what many people consider to be acceptable behaviour is falling and this filters through society making behaviour worse at every level.

Now I know that the government are always producing figures showing that crime is decreasing, but I am finding Britain becoming a progressively more unpleasant place to live.

The shop window breakage was caused by a car wheel that was rolled down the hill opposite the shop, from the impact which shook the whole building my main feelings are thank god it didn’t hit anyone as it would have either killed of badly injured them.

Minister visits Marlowe Innovation Centre

The Minister for the South East has visited the Marlowe Innovation Centre in Ramsgate. He joined local MP Stephen Ladyman and Ramsgate County Councillor Liz Green to visit the centre that opened just 6 months ago.

"The Innovation Centre is very impressive and, despite only being open for six months, is already nearly full. It goes to show that with enthusiasm, energy and a little bit of support new businesses and small businesses can thrive in East Kent." said South Thanet MP, Stephen ladyman after the visit. "Jonathan was genuinely impressed by what the Centre has achieved.


"The attached photograph shows, from left to right, Stephen Ladyman MP, Cllr Liz Green, Gabrielle Wilson, Jonathan Shaw MP, Minister for the South East, Leza Riley, Ian Johnson, Principal of the Marlowe Academy and Trevor Minter.

Ramsgate Council elections

Just a reminder for those who wish to stand for election that time is getting close.

There is a briefing at the council offices on 20th April at 12.30 for anyone who is considering becoming a candidate. Application packs will be handed out at the meeting and then they have till 5th May to complete and return them.

You can also obtain the application pack from the electoral services section at Thanet Council. You have to live in the parish area or within 4.8 Kilometres 3 miles from it to qualify.

Council documents published today

§ 15/04/2009 - Meeting scheduled: Apr 15 2009 7:00PM, Planning Committee
§ 14/04/2009 - Minutes published: Meeting of Apr 8 2009 10:00AM, East Kent Joint Arrangements Committee
§ 14/04/2009 - Minutes published: Meeting of Apr 7 2009 6:00PM, Standards Committee
§ 14/04/2009 - Agenda published: Meeting of Apr 23 2009 7:00PM, Council
§ 14/04/2009 - Minutes published: Meeting of Apr 7 2009 11:00AM, Licensing Sub Commitee 14/04/2009 - Minutes published: Meeting of Apr 7 2009 10:00AM, Licensing Board

Nethercourt Touring Park

The Nethercourt Touring Park has applied for an extension for campers to use the park from the 7 months to 12 months. I have real concerns over this regarding the safety of my grandchildren playing in a park where there is traffic and transient persons. This park was given to the people and children of the then St Lawrence village for their use. We have already lost the amenities as the Council lease part of the park out, if my grandchild needs to go to the toilet I have to come all the way home instead of the toilets in the park. I also fear that if they can camp for 12months with the modern camping tents/vehicles this could lead to people living there.

Anyway I would just like to bring it to peoples attention as I feel that the little notice outside the park isnt sufficient. If you have concerns/objections please call 577000 and ask for the planning dept. or write to the planning dept at Thanet Council Offices.

Ed This post came by email from reader KIM, as I don’t use the park or have a clear understanding of the situation there I don’t have proper understanding of the subject.

If my memory is correct I believe that the main problem here is that road access to the part of the park used for camping is through the part of the park used to play in.