Friday, 18 May 2012

Mostly in the dark, pictures and thoughts

First off congratulations to Dave Green on his elevation to the cabinet.

Some changes at the council and some disapproval from a surprisingly few Conservative commentators looking at the other blogs

We were in The Belgian Café this evening, I did manage the picture above although it was really too dark to see what colour paint I was using.

I guess the difficulty with the lack of comment is that I don’t really think anyone much cares about the council committees and whether some Conservative councillor or some TIG councillor gets the allowance, someone will get it and 0.3p or whatever from our council tax will pay for it.

I asked a rather bohemian aunt of mine who was once a Hampstead councillor what “The Joint Transformation Board” would be and she replied “they are probably something to do with drugs darling”.

Of course the thing that most of us ordinary people want from councillors is accessibility, communication and action. Here in Ramsgate the prominent council owned properties Pleasurama and the pavilion come to mind. 
 I did take some pictures on my stroll round Ramsgate this evening, but is was fairly dark so they are a bit blurry, here they are


  1. That 0.3p may not be a lot but multiplied tens of thousands of times it means that it isn't being spent on things which may benefit the greater community.

  2. Just wait until the next budget appears, my guess is this council will be looking for a lot more than 0.3p!

    Funny how history repeats it's self, didn't Nero fiddles while Rome burned?

    I watched the council webcast the other evening and while political point scoring to some degree should always be expected, what I saw was beyond expectation. Continuation of the current political situation will inevitably have the following outcomes affecting all Thanet residents.

    Increased Cost
    Lack of representation on important local matters
    Time wasted debating issues outside of local governments remit
    Lost opportunities relating to employment and attracting business into the area

    In the week that saw KCC waving the flag to Boris Johnson to look at Manston, the week funding for the upgrading of the rail link to London and reduction of travel time was announced. The powers at TDC effectively pull the wool over their eyes and block any kind of future for Thanet on the basis of a hurried consultation.

    In my opinion such an important decision should be decided by a local referendum, surely the true meaning and aspiration of the localism bill! Alternatively continue on a similar path to where a single councillor managed to block the Broadstairs Community Centre development.

    Democracy rules, or does it?

  3. Michael I sill intend to come round for a cup of tea. Hope to do it soon Ian Driver

    1. Please do Ian, I look forward to meeting you.

  4. I guess as a bemused onlooker to what is being portrayed as bad local government by the Conservative group who had eight years of a good working majority to improve our lot in Thanet, I am taking the wait and see approach.

    I am and have always been in favour of both diversity and equality, so I have no arguments about supporting these issues.

    The maritime museum has reopened and there a heritage vessel on the heritage vessel pontoon, these are considerable achievements that enhance the local economy and benefit local businesses. The cost of funding arguments I got from the Conservative group on this one just didn’t make any sense whatever.

    The Theatre Royal didn’t go down the maritime museum road when the trusts funding collapsed.

    The Conservative group seem to have a very strange attitude to the night flights issue, which makes me wonder just what level of night flights they would like to allow and if this would be related to daytime flying in any way whatsoever.

    I guess with local government the proof of the pudding is in the eating as it were and so far the eating is improving. I see some danger in labelling everyone who supports equality, is happy to see the museum open, has reservations about airport pollution issues, is pleased that The Theatre Royal didn’t close for several years while the issue went the rounds and so as a reactionary socialist.

    1. Michael, as a reasonable and thinking man, how can you justify the creation of additional portfolios in a time of austerity, seemingly to secure the ongoing support of a minority group made up of people who turned their backs on their electoral promises. The Labour and Conservative councillors have parity in numbers on the council yet only one committee has a Conservative chairman. Compare that with the situatiion when the Conservatives had control. Then Hart has the audacity to talk of cross party support.

    2. Sorry Tom, I probably got the wrong end of the stick here, which are the additional portfolios that were created at Thursdays meeting, apart from the new housing cabinet post, which I can see the justification for?

    3. Selective as ever, Michael, and ignoring the disproportionate committee chairmanship representation. A party with three councillors, all formerly something else, gets two chairs, but the party polling the highest percentage of votes just a year ago, gets one. As for the portfolios, any increase in expenditure at this time is to be regretted.

    4. Correction to my above comment for the TIGs actually got three chairs fot just three council members, presumably so that they can all sit down at once, but at least Sober Jack, albeit a former Tory, had the decency to stand as an independent. He did not gain office on the back of a party machine and then ditch it.

      Michael, as you know, I have always had you marked down as a Labour luvvie, but how even you can justify this afront to democracy is beyond me.

    5. Tom you seem to be saying that that we would have to pay for these chairs anyway and that it is that they aren’t occupied by Conservatives, that concerns you.

      From where I am standing, or sitting, eight years of a Conservative working majority, produced a situation with the council owned properties in Ramsgate that one would normally associate with a war.

      We still have the two largest council owned sites, Pleasurama and The Royal Victoria Pavillion in battledress and frankly Dave Green on the cabinet may help to redress this situation.

      Where I am trying to trade, the road and pavement is all broken, the planned pedestrianisation was stopped by the Conservatives when they got into power, so it is one large mess.

      Now I am not saying that Labour, TIGs or anyone else will be much better, however it is difficult to see how they could be much worse, I would certainly vote and support The Monster Raving Loonies, if I thought they would get this mess sorted out and yes would pay more in council tax to get the towns main leisure sites functioning again. Added to that I am happy to pay some of the cost of getting Dreamland open again in increased taxation.

    6. Not what I am saying at all, Michael, but I cannot see how Clive Hart can claim cross party working when he almost totally ignores the party that had the most votes. After all, whatever the Conservatives faults may have been, they did apportion the committee roles fairly in proportion to represenation.

      Like you I would be happy to pay more Council Tax for projects like Dreamland. I am not happy though about funding allowances for minority groups and turncoats nor am I in increases in councillors allowances.

      Yes, I am a Conservative, although probably well to the right of anything Mr Cameron represents, and I have absolutely no confidence in Labour politicians capabilities to act repsonsible in power at any level. That said, I have little either in the Coalition save it would have been worse under Brown.

      This morning I watched the parade at Windsor Castle and could not help but feel that this countery and its political representatives no longer deserve our armed forces. Put another way, our armed forces deserve much better than they get.

    7. Michael, you could add that during that for the first 6 years of the 8 that Thanet was tory led, millions and millions of pound came Thanet's way in goverment grants.
      Gone are the days like when SEEDA gave TDC £3.5 millions for the Eurokent Business park development.
      Where did all the money go in the 6 years?
      Now Thanet is mainly at the mercy of the Thames centric South East Local Enterprise Partnership whereby local firms can just ask for a few thousands in loans.

  5. I have given up on TDC the ability behave like spoilt kids has been the order off the day for years and it shows no nsigns of improving.


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