Friday, 17 August 2012

Thanet history book sale, phoning the council, phoning the police and other Friday ramblings.

 I have just changed the local books window display and made up a sale of sun faded books from it, I have added various proofing copies, shop soiled local books and local books that probably have something or another wrong with them. Publishing and printing about 150 books about this part of Kent I get quite a few of these.
 I have been going round in the circles of phoning the council in order to find out what happened at last night’s overview and scrutiny meeting relating to the call in of The Royal Sands development agreement decision made by the council cabinet.
 Why the council don’t put this sort of information on their website, first thing in the morning on the day after the meeting, god alone knows, chasing around for an officer who was at the meeting for everyone who phones up to find out must be a considerable waste of resources.
 Anyway I now have an answer, which is scrutiny have asked for an external review of the financial side of the deal.
 For me the problem here is more the secrecy and not so much the council getting good value for the site. An example of what I mean here is the previous development agreement, I think it fair to say that aspects of this where not as well written as they could have been, the most problematic thing being that there is really no hard and fast time limit in it. As far as I can tell the developer could sit on the site for another five years blaming market conditions and not really doing anything.
 However back several years to when the development agreement came before cabinet, it was a secret document, so no one could say. “Look here chaps, you could drive a coach-and-four through this agreement.
 Of course after about a year of foi requesting I got the agreement but by then it was too late.     
 Part of the reason for the shop window change was a cracked pane of glass, I am afraid window dressing isn’t a vocation I have a calling for, so the windows don’t get changed very often.
Just looked at the picture above, the later one below shows the potential pitfall of building in front of the cliff.

 When I first opened the bookshop here in Ramsgate, the shop had very large plate glass windows and when one got broken, in the middle of the night, I would call the police who would turn up during the boarding up process.
 This is a situation that moved on the point where one would get woken up say at one in the morning, be boarded by about two and then woken up again by the police at about three. This then moved on to two police officers arriving the next day and asking me if I would like victim counselling and support, so in the interests of crime reduction I no longer report broken shop windows.
 A manifold improvement in crime statistics, being woken up in the night and great savings in counselling, though no so good for the glass companies, because as the big sheets were broken, I have had the made into smaller sheets.
 I will ramble on here, perhaps.


  1. Michael can you explain the concept of sun faded in 2012?? I feel your window display must be a left over from summers long long ago.

  2. Is Thanet to get more secret documents in the now approved CPO of the Dreamland Site? Maybe TDC need the cash from the Pleasurama site sale to go towards the CPO. I see schemes put forward for 474 dwellings at Dreamland which could put a price of over £20 millions on the site value. Michael, can give your view on the value of the Dreamland site and how TDC will raise the sum.


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