Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Midweek ramble, Thanet’s beaches do well in the good beach guide and Arlington Tesco is in the Royal Courts of Justice today and the Manston Choppers.



The link to the good beach guide is http://www.goodbeachguide.co.uk/ I guess the map says it all, the site is understandably running very slowly making it a bit difficult to extract the information, however it seemed that all Thanet’s beaches scored top marks apart from; Ramsgate Western Undercliffe, Viking Bay in Broadstairs, Joss Bay in Broadstairs and Walpole Bay in Margate, which scored a mandatory i.e. the met the minimum acceptable bathing quality standards.

Louise Oldfield is at the royal courts of justice and I guess will be tweeting about the Arlington Tesco case, here is the link https://twitter.com/search?q=%23ArlingtonMargate&src=hash



Next is the news that Bristow Helicopters are going to be basing recue helicopters at Manston in about 2015, I got a bit confuse over this being presented by the news as some sort of incursion by an American company, I didn’t think you could get much more British than a Bristow.   



There is a bit of a rumour here that this story was put to the Labour group with the suggestion that they should release it a local good news press release, this didn’t seem to happen.        
    


Not sure what happened here as Clive Hart tweeted the story and put it on facebook, certainly having air/sea rescue will be handy for anyone local making a navigational error, I have had a few close shaves on that front although fortunately to date they haven’t involved a helicopter, just a red face.         
 


I gather we are now in the pre election purdah period for the Kent county elections, I believe this mostly effects election candidates, however I think all local politicians are supposed to careful not to say anything that would effect the election results.

Strangely enough the problem here in Thanet is much more one of trying to discover who is standing for elections, what they stand for and what apart from collecting their allowances they actually intend to do for Thanet.

Certainly KCC is perceived as being centred on the west of the county, the only big project in Thanet that doesn’t seem to be something they have to do anyway being the Turner Contemporary, as I said I will revisit contacting our existing KCC councillors over problems there.      



Oh yes and the council has had to pay the live animal export companies £80,000 towards their legal fees, I guess this could have been worse as they were asking for £125,000.



Oh yes onwards and upwards, my bookshop has quietened down now so I will carry on here.

Cllr David Green, mayor of Ramsgate and TDC cabinet member has removed his new Ramsgate Matters blog which was at http://ramsgate1.blogspot.co.uk/

Once Dave Green’s Eastcliff Matters blog was one of the leading Thanet blogs, then we had a period of time when he hardly ever posted and then about three months ago he replaced it with the new blog and started on the difficult path of endeavouring to communicate, well now he seems to have deleted his blog.

This does raise the obvious question, did he jump or was he pushed?  

I will probably ramble on here

134 comments:

  1. Nice map, Michael, good news about the beaches, not fussed about Tesco either way, as its a Margate matter, but you did not include the new helicopters at Manston. Nice to see a bit of sun this a.m.

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    1. My biggest concern over Arlington Tesco is that there doesn't seem to be a viable Plan B, and if it doesn't go ahead we could just end up with another decade or two of boarded up shops greeting people as they enter Margate.

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    2. Peter. No necessity for any boarded up shops or a closed car park. TDC have had the means to deal with these problems all along. They have just chosen not to and left 'negotiations' to Iris. You may well ask why, especially being as Freshwater will be making huge profits from our land if they get planning permission and without paying us a penny?

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    5. Anon could you take your potentially libellous comment elsewhere.

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    6. Most of the old shops are boarded up because people stopped using them; no amount of money is going to make people shop at places that they don't want to.

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    7. Not so Peter. Freshwater refused to renew. I wonder why?

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    8. With Turner and the possibility of a heritage park etc, there is certainly demonstrable demand for a car park which is a term of the lease, especially if it is insured now (by the Council).

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    9. I never did get to the bottom over who made the application ie Freshwater or Metropolitan Property Realizations (Realizations being the operative word!).

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    10. Yes so anon. I know (or knew) many of the owners, and they gradually closed down or moved to new premises because of lack of business. Even when I moved here in 1999 & Dreamland was still thriving over half the shops in the arcade were closed.

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    11. Anon 3:01 It really doesn't matter who made the application. What matters was that they were seriously in breach of their lease. Had closed the car park which is a term of the lease, failed to insure it and allowed the site to degenerate into an absolute eyesore. Then they apply for a huge development that will generate massive returns and the landlords TDC, are going along with it. If it was a private landlord he would want a big return for agreeing to such a development on his land long before any planning procedures. For some reason TDC appear to be rolling over to it. Being as Iris has been negotiating on TDC's behalf, perhaps she could explain how much the developers are going to pay to get TDC's agreement to their proposals. On the other hand perhaps she wont.

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    12. Peter, listen to the lefty NIMBYs who've only been here 2 or 3 years. They apparently know far more than us long-term locals.

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    13. Hey, here is a great idea, lets take our money somewhere else and leave the locals who have brought Thanet to its knees to enjoy the company of thousands of Romanians who I will be letting my house to.

      A 'lefty Nimby ' who has been here only 6 years who knows much, much more than a long term loser

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    14. I doubt if you know much about the longterm unsuccessful history of Arlington shops though, so read & learn!

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    15. And that must be a HUGE house!!

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    16. The application for Judicial Review is because there are serious faults in the screening decision of the Sec. of State resulting in what is a huge site not having an Environmental Impact Assessment. The proposed store clearly has a wide impact on Margate seafront. Margate seafront is the reason why Margate as a town is here. The jobs provided by the visitor economy and the 1000s of visitors are why this application needs to have the appropriate safeguards attached to it. They can always build the smaller store they actually consulted on in the early days.

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    17. I don't understand how anyone can truly believe that a thriving supermarket will put off "1000s of visitors" when at the moment they're greeted by boarded up shops instead (and yes, many of those have been boarded up for decades, back when you were still living in Leeds or Sheffield or wherever it is you're from).

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    18. Understanding Thanet protests, Peter, is beyond the scope of most of us normal folk. Somehow one is supposed to believe that a Tesco, a revitalised car parking area and a face lift for Arlington House is worse than the present ugly facade, the boarded up shops, the seedy muggers alley that passes for an arcade and the litter and mattress strewn car park. The mind boggles, but then, that is Thanet I guess.

      By the way, I thought you said Louise was a nice lady. I do not know her, being Broadstairs based, but she seems to be coming over as the Margate version of Christine Tongue. On second thoughts, no one else could be that bad.

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    19. I've never met Christine, not that I'm in any hurry to do so...

      I like Louise, but I also like Roger Latchford, Roger Gale, Mick & Shirley Tomlinson, and several others whom I'm sure she doesn't approve of (and yes, Roger was well out of order saying what he said to Louise).

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    20. Peter, I don't think I've expressed an opinion about anyone or that I disapprove of anyone. I've reported what has been said to me. I'm not against a supermarket at Arlington. I believe I and many others would like whatever is proposed to be of an appropriate size for our Highways to cope with and that all checks have been fulfilled in terms of impact assessment.

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    21. Fair enough, Louise, but my one fear would be that endless delays, as we have seen with Dreamland and the Pleasurama site in Ramsgate, will result in an increasingly derelict site to the detriment of the town.

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    22. The vast majority of locations where people do a lot of shopping in Thanet (and nearly everywhere else) have roads that can't cope with modern traffic: Westwood Cross of course springs to mind, but so does Northdown Road, Broadstairs High Street and even Birchington High Street. I do think that the "anti" mob are vastly overestimating the impact on Margate seafront though, as many people will almost certainly be coming from the west (Westbrook, Garlinge, Westgate, etc). As there are still no other big supermarkets at this end of Thanet (thanks to the anti-Sainsbury's mob!), many people from these areas do their shopping in Margate. So an Arlington Tesco could actually have a positive effect on Margate seafront.... and why do people insist that lorries will be thundering along the seafront? Surely any supplies will also be coming from the west, unless they start shipping to Margate harbour!

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    23. We agree again Peter! The uninformed such as Louise and the nimby's of Arling whine about "thundering lorries" when in reality, the new store would have no more than 6 lorries a day, one every couple of hours, not to appalling.

      The number of cars they whine about is 18,000 over 2 days! Now it would appear that that is a perfectly manageable amount of traffic. It would also indicate that a HUGE amount of people want this store, and want to shop there, despite Ms Oldfield's interferance based on unsupportable "we don't like Tesco's/big business" rhetoric.

      You're right Peter, the lorries would come from the West, and wouldn;t touch the seafront at any point, as would a good number of the cars from all the people that so keen to shop there, and indeed the 100's of people that will be working there, but don't let that FACT stand in the way of some good ole fashioned bullshit.

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    24. The figure of 18,000 cars is the developer's figure. The lorries can only come in one way along with most of the traffic into Margate. They will then turn into the narrow All Saints Ave along with all the store traffic. The extra traffic is estimated by the developer at 18,000 cars over 2 days. The seafront will be affected and this will have to be managed. This is why the KCC approved Jacobs seafront scheme would have to be shelved. If the yes campaign is going so well, where are all the signatures and letters? How is that Yes To Arlington Tesco site and page going?

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    25. How will it affect the seafront, apart from perhaps delaying traffic approaching the roundabout a little? As for the "yes" campaign, we all know how the anti mob always shout the loudest.

      I seem to recall there being quite a bit of opposition to the Tesco in Westbrook, yet there's people queueing up in there even on sundays. It's also noticable that NONE of the other nearby shops have closed down in the year since it opened (in fact new stores have opened), but instead they've had to try harder (ie the ex-post office has far more bargains, Spar openes a hour earlier, etc). Similarly, the big Tesco at Arlington could be the catalyst to revive Margate, as could stores like Costa Coffee.

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    26. Peter 7:21,

      You make a cogent argument. Which I for one could support.

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    27. Louise does some good work (ie her cleaning up campaigns & her reporting of the Ezekiel case), but imo she's totally misguided when trying to discourage big businesses from investing in the area. Her rose-tinted view of a Margate containing nothing but coffee shops, galleries, classy hotels & small independent traders would be lovely, but it's not going to happen. The town needs all the help it can get.

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    28. Peter, honestly, I don't know where you get the idea from that my idea for Margate is all coffee shops etc. I fully support businesses that work with the local market and understand that different areas of the town are different and unique from one another.

      I don't understand why you have to make this so personal rather than the issue at hand. I don't think I resort to that with you. I simply haven't said anything like you are insinuating. The seafront area is obviously of key importance, as it always has been, to the visitor economy. That in itself isn't an exclusive economy. But what all flavours of the visitor economy share is that excess traffic in a key leisure environment is detrimental. This is no matter how much money you have or don't have.

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    29. Louise, I would dispute the comment 'it always has been' otherwise they would never have given consent for Arlington House in the first place. Also, as a result of Peter's suggestion, I visited your site and left a comment in response to one from Richard Card, wherein he wrote a load of ill informed nonsense about the NI peace process. You published his, but not mine, despite an absence of profanity or name calling, so I shall not bother again. You obviously practice the same sort of censorship mas Driver.

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    30. I'm not making it personal at all Louise, and if you're not one of those people who's already kicking up a fuss over the possibility of Costa Coffee actually wanting to open a store in Margate then I apologise. I'm just sick of people trying to stop shops that they don't personally approve of from opening in Margate & other parts of Thanet (and of course it's not just Margate High Street, half of College Square is also closed now!).

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    31. Good point 7:47 (about Arlington House that is).

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    32. Anon 7:47 Well, we might well ask why did Arlington House get approved in the way it did and in that location. I think you have to ask Mr Crittenden, Mr Maughan and Thanet Council. But that said, it's a building built for the visitor economy in the style and spirit of its ag. We could well do with those 500 car parking spaces open. I'm not sure why I decided not to publish your comment. There must have been a reason. Perhaps publish under your name and it's more likely to be published. I don't give the same weight to anon comments as named because bloggers are under pressure and anon comments don't often help!

      Peter, I think you said I was for not what I was against. My opinion about Costa is based on many things. Their approach to paying tax in this country for one. Now, what was it you said about what I want, where I eat, where I want people to sleep and how is that not personal?
      But more importantly, what are you doing for the regeneration of Margate?

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    33. So I was right then, you'd rather the Post Office building remain boarded up than have Costa Coffee there? Or are we going to find more "local" businesses to move into the building, as well as the empty buildings formally occupied by Woolworths, Burtons, Argos, etc?

      What am I doing? Encouraging (instead of discouraging) big businesses to invest locally; shopping local (not just just Morrisons & Tescos, but also fine shops like Monty's greengrocers in Birchington); donating regularly to charity shops; not driving (therefore caring for the local environment); promoting Thanet via my Naked in Thanet blog & FB group (many people hadn't even heard of the place previously); encouraging local people to both exercise & visit various other parts of Thanet via my Checker's Kent Treks business... ok, now it's yout turn Louise, what are you doing?

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    34. Louise has gone very quiet.

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  2. Louise Oldfield:

    Have been granted permission by Judge to move to apply for Judicial Review #ArlingtonMargate woot!

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    1. Sadly the nimbyism that has blighted the regeneration of Margate continues. Not sure what motivates Oldfield to almost singlehandedly scupper the regeneration of Margate, but sadly she costs 100's the jobs that Tesco's offers, and 1000's the store they clearly want.
      ~
      You should be ashamed of yourself!

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    2. Funny you said 'You should be ashamed of yourself". That's exactly what Roger Latchford shouted out to me at the Crown Court restaurant during the Sandy Ezekiel trial.

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    3. Surely Louise you do not subscribe to the Worrow theory that everybody who comments from the right on blogsites is Roger Latchford. Over the years I have been Latchford, Moores, Wise, Hamilton, a TDC Tory Councillor, a homophobe and a Nazi when, in reality, I am a retired Broadstairs resident with fairly middle of the road views and a love of Thanet stretching back to childhood. I would just like to see something progress to fruition in the area without the usual suspects objecting.

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    4. Hi Tom, no I don't think that. Just that the last time I was called that it actually was Roger Latchford. Not that it was my fault we were at Crown Court. And obviously the judge yesterday agreed with the claim.

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    5. Well Louise, It seems that Mr Latchford, Me and most of teh rest of Thanet are more than tired of you interfearing in a development that the VAST majority of Thanet want and need! I SO wish you could find something constructive to do with your time, rather than keep Margate residents out of work, and having to travel to do their shopping, just so you can exercise your vacuous political agenda.

      It's a shame you allow your aspirations to spend time in overpriced cafe's, espousing outdated political BS to overshadow others need to work and feed thier families!

      Once again, you should be ashamed of yourself!

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    6. What do you do, John to improve Margate?
      The planning file shows the ratio of people for and against the development. But it's not just me, John, is it. There are many people who have concerns regarding the planning process for this scheme. The move to judicial review would not have been allowed had there not been grounds.
      Were you and Mr Latchford at the trial? And why should I be ashamed?

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    7. Louise, as you can see by the comments on this post alone, many of the supporters either don't know the full facts or are outright liars; and there's similar BS is on the arlingtonmargate.com site (I don't know who's behind this, but just one example of their lies is the claim that last year Arlington Square was cleaned for the first time in over 10 years, strange as I saw regular sweepers in there as recently as 2006 when there were still a few shops open!). Read also my (& John's) comments above regarding your traffic claims. So I wonder how many of the "many people who have concerns" have been persuaded by untruths & exaggerations?

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    8. I would love to see planning applications that are submitted for development of public land filtered by one voluntary body for Thanet.

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    9. The point about the cleaning of Arlington Square is that it is the responsibility of the leaseholder. It clearly hasn't been kept open, clean or tidy. Yet TDC were out there assisting with cleaning a few days before the planning inspector arrived in town. If people wish to read the planning application files, they can, or attend the inquiry every day - where they could have applied to speak, they could have done so. They still could make their voice heard, this is a democracy. It's in the hands of Pickles.

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    10. The fact that they can organise big anti-Tesco campaigns but can't organise an occasional clean up says it all!

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    11. Solo Gays, 29 March 11:45 PM

      Your idea sounds plausible, but the devil is in the detail.

      How would you ensure that this voluntary body was impartial and did not contain those with vested interests? What would be their terms of reference? Who would set their terms of reference? Are you advocating a quango and if so so who do you envisage funding it?


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    12. Peter, the clean up was in the area locked off by Freshwater. As you know, there have been clean up, community gardening activities in Margate.

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    13. Yes, I'm aware of that, but did anyone actually try asking if they could get in there to tidy it up?

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    14. John

      When I attended the Arlington Tesco Inquiry the developers were submitting alterations to their plans right up until the moment the inspector declared the proceedings open. With those kinds of tactics how could anyone really have an opportunity to absorb the impact of what they propose? But that is the hallmark of developers such as these, talk about one thing but push through something completely different under our noses.

      A committee of residents, some with planning experience, and others with a passion for democracy, I suspect would root out this kind of thing. There is also a lot of confusion around over local, those most affected comment, and district wide consultation. I think this also needs clearing up and I suspect this confusion is also knowingly exploited by developers.

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    15. Sorry, Solo Gays, but if our elected representatives cannot protect our best interests how would you expect a group of appointed people to do any better. You would still have vested interest, political bias and personal preferences coming into play. Democracy is still the best answer, but the electorate need to be more searching in their voting trends, not just follow the rosette, and they need to keep in touch with their elected councillors to keep them on the ball. John is right when he says your suggestion has the potential to be just another quango and we all know how expensive and, in the main, inefficient they have been.

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    16. Peter, have you tried asking Freshwater if you can do anything? Good luck with that. The point about the clean up, and it is really minor, only answering because you raise it as a major issue, is that Freshwater have a responsibility to keep the shops open, the area clean and tidy and well maintained. They didn't and days before the public inquiry starts and questions about the lease are being asked, TDC assist in a clean up. Obviously it shouldn't be closed never mind in a dirty and unmaintained state. But for all of their £7,500 per year rent they pay while seeking to raise the value of the plot to bazillions, you'd have thought it could have been kept up better.
      Solo Gays is right, the inquiry revealed countless issues not yet specified or decided, new designs revealed hours before all to be assessed in the inquiry de novo without ever having being consulted on as is the right of planning inquiries. Such a shame isn't it that for a huge site and the architects having worked on it for 10 years that the people of Margate didn't get to be consulted on much of what was being asked to be decided on in a 4 days and having to attend the council chamber. The lack of access to public participation because of this paper trail of technical papers is one of the grounds for the judicial review.
      As for a lack of plan b vision, you are right. Aside from the supplementary planning brief from 2008, there has been not one £ spent on a vision for what it could be.

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  3. I've always wondered what are the justifications for a huge Tesco's on that site and why we should support it.

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    1. I've always wondered why we've had to put up with over 15 years of empty shops and why they don't build something that people want to shop in instead.

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    2. Which means I've been "always" wondering a lot longer than you have!

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    3. Well now you know Peter. TDC could have dealt with it instead of allowing Iris to do the negotiating.

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    4. Where else is that woman going to appear?

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    5. Who's this Iris that everyone is talking about?

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    11. Anon potentially libellous anonymous comment directed at a named local politician can result in one thin and one thing only, which is comment moderation on this blog.

      I can only assume that your comments hope to achieve this end and that you are against any open local blog dialogue.

      My recommendation to you is to get your own blog and mount your attack from there.

      If you don’t stop this I will turn off anonymous comments here and in the respect you will have won.

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    12. Again, most of the shops were empty long before Iris had anything to do with things. I'd still like to know where you (whatever your name is, I'll call you "Lefty woman with no make-up") think all these customers are likely to have come from considering few people used the shops when the car park was used for coaches full of visitors to Dreamland... so, what's the VIABLE Plan B??

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    13. Peter I married in 1978 and there were empty units there even then it has never been a popular shopping site. As an ex shopkeeper I would say its only real options would be either Tesco or convert to housing.. Business rates and rents would be better spent elsewhere. I never got to read the previous comments but I can imagine they were about a utopia where all shops earned a living and everyone lived on fluffy clouds with baby lambs gamboling around and they lived for ever and the butcher only sold quorn an the fluffy rabbits lived under the hedgerow etc etc #PASSTHESICKBUCKET

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    14. Exactly Don, it didn't work when Margate was busy so it doesn't stand a chance now. Even dafter are the suggestions to turn it all into cafes... erm, why would anybody want to sit under a crumbling tower block when there's plenty of other places with views of the beach, the harbour & the old town?

      I CAN understand people's concerns to a degree, but no-one has yet come up with a better alternative. So until they do I support Tesco!

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    15. We really do seem to agree on almost everything Peter! *goes for a lay down!*

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  4. Michael, Is that £80,000.00 purely for the costs of high tailing it out of the decision to stop the exports or does that include settling the £1,4000,000.00 damages claim as well?

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    1. I hope whoever was irresponsible will be made to pay.

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    2. Allan MallinsonMarch 27, 2013 6:59 pm

      It was all Ian Driver's bright idea so maybe he should pay.

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  5. £1.6 billion contract to keep 22 rescue helicopters around Britain for 10 years.
    Thats about £14.5 milllions a year to keep 2 at Manston.
    Looks like if Manston can survive as an airport until July 2015 this will bring very welcomed income.

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    1. Has there ever been any proposal to bring business or jobs to Thanet that was not attacked by a vociferous minority, invariably resulting in delays, at best, or a non event at worst. From Thanet Earth to Manston airport, Turner Contemporary to the Arlington Tesco, out they come with their protests and the sick part is that, quite frequently, as with the Broadstairs Community Centre, the protestors do not even live locally to the thing they are protesting against.

      I am Thanet brought up and educated yet a decade and a bit DFL returnee after a working career elsewhere so, perhaps, can see both angles. Certainly I get the impression we get some who move here on retirement and then want to obtain peace and tranquility at the expense of the locals jobs, but we also have indigenous who oppose all change as inevitably bad without giving it a chance. The Turner has revitalised Margate old town, but yet there are those still condemning it. Says it all about Thanet and yet, in reality, it is as ever that noisy and vociferous minority that spoil it for the majority.

      The best starting point would not be to build anything before we flatten the Red Hall first.

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    2. The usual main two arguments against local supermarkets are "No-one wants them" and "They'll take business away from other stores", which really sums up how confused they are!

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    3. The Red Hall Massive do not really care about anything except protest - revolution in their dreams - for its own sake. Their meetings are nothing more than a bit of self indulgence. Their influence is slight. The Red Hall Massive is politically harmless, rather like the the Workers Revolutionary Socialist Party, only without the massive talent and beauty of a Vanessa Redgrave.

      With the collapse of the USSR the dedicated British Marxists scuttled off to the Green Party. Where they can do some real damage.

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    4. Not totally harmless I am afraid, John. Their protests against the Broadstairs Community Centre and their exaggerated support numbers manage to convince Thanet Labour that there were votes to be won by going along with them. As a result, on gaining power in Thanet they promptly pulled the plug on the new lease necessary for the centre, which was within weeks of fruition, to be built. It was only when they belatedly realised that there was in fact majority support for the project in the town, and under the threat of legal action from the town council, that they climbed down and reversed their ill conceived decision. Unfortunately, that has set the scheme back by months.

      That was brought about by the Red Hall duo and a bunch of around thirty tree huggers, most of whom did not even live in Broadstairs. Check history, John, and time and again vociferous minorities have caused much grief for the more placid majority and you have even touched on it yourself with the Green Party.

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    5. I gather plans were redrawn as a result of protests? I was one of those concerned about the charm of the place being lost if the building encroached beyond the footprint of the huts that are there. I grew up in Broadstairs but don't live there anymore, but retain links and forge new ones.

      Perhaps Chris could clarify the situation for us?

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    6. Really, Solo Gays, you must stop believing all you hear from the Red Hall. The plans, drawn up over years of public consultation, involved replacing two old buildings with a new one having a smaller footprint than those replaced. This loss of parkland was the protestors claim but it had no substance.

      Chris Wells is now Chairman of the Community Centre Trust, but having debated this for years and given repeated explanations at the annual public meeting in the Pavilion, I am not sure he will want to go over old ground again. It is up to him.

      Suffice to say now that things are now going ahead and the protest changed nothing.

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    7. I turned up at the meeting of protesters in 2011 in the park, and what I witnessed was a sizeable chunk of local people very concerned about the development, so there had obviously been a breakdown in communication? I was unaware I was being tricked by Marxists?

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    8. The sizeable chunk numbered 38, that is out of a population of 23,000, and the photo in the local paper showed that it included the then mayor and mayoress, a couple of community trust members and a few others on the support side who had gone along to see what happened as well as a few children.

      There was no breakdown in communication, there was a full public consultation and the issue was covered at length at three annual public meetings in the Pavilion. In the 2011 election, the Christine Tongue, through a letter to the Gazette and a Thanet Press Release on line, called on the electorate to support candidates, who she listed, who opposed the community centre. At the election the good people of Broadstairs elected thirteen out of fifteen councillors who supported the community centre.

      Nonetheless, Solo Gays, you believe whatever you want for clearly you do not deal in facts.

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    9. That is why I am here Allan, to ascertain facts. As Tom has pointed out in this post, those of us who take an interest in local issues cannot always attend meetings all around the Isle.

      The recent TDC consultation on the matter I gather only fielded around 80 responses? Why the Isle wide consultation? If, as you say, this is a Broadstairs issue?

      I would in actual fact be quite interested in working with Chris to use the centre as a base for Thanet wide community heritage restoration projects. I think it would be an ideal pleasing central location?

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    10. Allan MallinsonMarch 28, 2013 1:31 pm

      The TDC consultation was an attempt by the then new Labour administration to justify their spiteful act when they realised the size of the backlash they faced from the Community Centre Trust and the Broadstairs and St Peters Town council. When then also faced with legal action, the awful realisation dawned that they had screwed up and they became all supportive again. History shows, and that would have been the basis of legal argument, that both Labour and then Conservative led district councils had encouraged and supported the community centre proposals, thereby causing the trust to raise and spend funds as a result in good faith.

      For the record, there was never going to be a loss of parkland, ancient woodland was not going to be destroyed, just a few self seeded sycamores, and the plans include relandscapiong the gained space and the planting of selected tree specimens to enhance the park. Nonetheless, never let the facts stop a good protest, eh?

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    11. Tom & Allan, I think that this fantastic support for companies proven to bring trade to an area clearly proves that Oldfield and the Red Hat simpletons have no interest in regenerating Margate, they merely seek to stiffle any change in a manner the luddites would have been proud of, and simply for the sake of protesting any and all progress;

      "I do hope that we don't have to start a No to Costa in Margate campaign to go with the No Tesco in Arlington, No Tesco at Westgate..."

      Delete
    12. Allan Mallinson 10:35 AM 28 March,

      I take your point, Allan. I was guilty of lazy writing in my use of the word harmless. Taking your example it is fair to say that the claims of the Red Hall Massive may sound plausible but do not stand up to even cursory examination. However, they are not deterred. Once thwarted they merrily scratch around in search of another protest. For the act of protesting is all that matters to them. Their grievances real or imagined come and go. The Red Hall Massive is at worst an irritant and at best self indulgent. I find them rather quaint.

      Delete
    13. Allan, March 28 1.31

      Has Broadstairs TC never commissioned a scaled model of the new building set against existing structures? I understand this is done elsewhere where civic schemes are proposed, and this would rightly involve those who are not comfortable attending town hall meetings, for them to comment.

      Delete
    14. Solo Gays, there was a full consultation, plans have been available for examination and inspection for years now and you only have to go to the park to see that demolishing the present park hall and age concern buildings, with the new building sitting on the site of the former, will create more space. Many organisations are waiting to use the new facility and it is sad that a few protestors have managed to set it back because of their unjustified and largely unsupported campaign.

      Delete
    15. Ok Allan, if no-one from the opposition is here online to debate the points we are raising, then we shall let the matter rest.

      Delete
    16. Solo Gays, probably for the best for these plans were drawn up by a democratically elected council, passed by the planners, amended following public consultation to take in various concerns raised and there have been ten years elapse over which to raise objections. It is indeed time to let it rest.

      Delete
    17. According to the Broadstairs Town Assembly on Monday evening, the plans for the community centre have to go through the planning process again so objectors can begin again! The town council chair actually said that the plans were being redrawn in order to lose fewer trees. So things have changed a little. The park is still a bad place for a large building - however useful it will be to the town.
      Christine

      Delete
    18. I take it you mean the Broadstairs Town Forum, Christine, and how exciting to learn that you and your rag, tag little band can start protesting all over again. You really do not get the message do you that more people want the centre than oppose it. Don't you have anything better to do than just oppose or dream up scandals that don't exist.

      Delete
    19. It's a shame that Christine's life is SO empty, all she has is trying to prevent others having the facilities to enjoy theirs. She is indeed a selfish, miserable and intellectually dishonest creature of the lowest order.

      Delete
  6. Michael, whilst other commentators have discussed the Arlington Tesco issue, I should like to pick up on the point you raise about Mayor David Green's blogsite closure, for this seems to be part of a worrying trend. From the heady days of say 2009/2010, when we had something of an abundance of sites dealing with local topical issues and encouraging lively debate, we are rapidily coming down to a mere handful, possibly just one.

    I will discount for the moment those pleasing little sites that promote nature, deal in history or expound on beachcoming, all make a valuable contribution, but it is the demise of debate that is to be lamented. Of our elected representatives the Labour ones, with David Green now packing up, have all disappeared for Mike Harrison and Will Scobie long since stopped posting. Is this Labour policy for all we have left on that side now is Thanet Labour and that seems to confine its postings to attacking central government rather than Thanet issues in the main. The almost total absence of comments suggests this either does not excite or that critical debate is not allowed.

    The Conservative side is not much better with only Simon Moores regularly posting on his Thanet Life site, James Maskell pops up occassionally and Chris wells contributes around a few sites from time to time. Tony Flaig, on the Liberal/Democrat front, closed down and, although now reopened, only posts something new occassionally.

    On the non politically obvious debating sites, with Eastcliff Richard and Bertie Biggles now into history, the debating forum is all but reduced to Thanetonline and, even there, the constant attacks of the insidious must raise the prospect of it eventually becoming too much to manage. Other than the increasing spam with all these "I haf just found your velly nice site' and payday loan interlopers, there are those who seem to persist in unsubstantiated attacks on individuals, councillors and council officers being top targets, at great risk to blog site administrators. Richard Card, or his impersonator, seems to persist, despite repeated warnings, in accusing people by name of crimes whilst the anonymous, oft referred to by John Holyer as the Aquifer Man, levels accusations of corruption at individual councillors and officers, also by name. Some, possibly the same anonymous, also dismisses all who seek to challenge or request clarification as idiots, stupid or senile. That hardly encourasges debate.

    These blogsites offer an opportunity to discuss local issues and to register differing views, perhaps for many of us, whose routines inhibit attendance at public meetings or who prefer the privacy of our own home/office, the only outlet. People like Michael are to be thanked for giving the time and effort to provide us such opportunity yet, all too frequently, there are those that seek to abuse the privilege so afforded. How difficult is it to express an opinion or even disclose something you think you know without naming someone in a libellous way? Similarly, how difficult is it to debate without resorting to insults? Surely we can agree to disagree in a civilised way without name calling.

    Having followed the Thanet blogs for a few years now I am appalled at how the scene has shrunk and at the loss of so many contributors. Hence, this is something of a call to all of you who, like me, enjoy a browse around the blogs, to keep it civilised, keep it legal and, in the process, to protect what we have left. If Michael goes internet debate in Thanet will join the dodo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tom having just had a good look at the whole of the local representation and any associated comment or debate I guess there really isn’t anything else much now.

      Frankly the part of it that makes it difficult is the un-moderated anonymous comment, something I now turn off when I don’t have the time to deal with it.

      I guess the problem for me with blogging is that I don’t get much time to do it, I don’t think it would be feasible to run comment moderation or to permanently turn off anonymous comments. Both of these actions being self defeating, you either have open and instantaneous debate or you don’t.

      I guess a lot of the problem is down to the blogger settings, you can’t for instance set it so only anonymous comments are moderated.

      I have on several occasions recently looked at the blog to find there are around 100 comments that need removing, mostly spam, some seem to be great chunks pasted from elsewhere, anything from Richard Card or aquifer man comments to stuff lifted from local history, sometimes they have odd obscenities or libels added and sometimes they don’t.

      The net result of this is that I am now immediate and fairly heavy handed with the spam and delete buttons.

      My recommendation to people is to get a blogger id, as comments posted by people who are signed on with their blogger account appear in a different colour and I am much less likely to delete or spam them by accident.

      How long I will bother is very much related blogger catching up with the recent spam problem and changing the way it is managed, at the moment it is a real pain.

      Delete
  7. David green announced he will not be standing for Mayor of Ramsgate in the may elections last night

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barry I don’t understand this one, we don’t have town council elections in May, perhaps this is some sort internal election where the councillors elect a mayor at a town council election. Perhaps the annual town council meeting on the 9th May, the mayor of Ramsgate isn’t an elected mayor in the sense that the electorate vote for a mayor, at the moment I think with the large Labour majority in RTC it would be more of a selection.

      Delete
    2. Michael, you are absolutely right about the choice of mayor being nothing to do with the county council elections in May. Our Thanet town mayors are chosen for a year at a time, though some continue longer, particularly when nobody else wants the role, usually from within the council. The political make up of the council is irrelevant and the position is often offered in recognition of years of public service or, in the case of Margate, to raise the profile of potential candidate for higher things. A mayor, of differing politics to the current council majority, is not uncommon in Thanet.

      Delete
    3. From FB this a.m. "sorry if my speaking offends, you probably gathered I am a very reluctant public speaker. You wont have to put up with me much longer as I stand down from Mayor/Chair of RTC in May." David Green

      Delete
  8. Where is everyone? Here was I hoping for some of the Thanet blogging scene cut and thrust on this holiday Friday and nothing. Are you all in church? Or maybe you are all struck speechless by TDC's pronouncements on equality and climate, possibly even guarding your valuables following Ian (the voice) Driver's warnings on the Great Thanet Art Theft. Whatever, the silence is awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't mean you 2:40, I meant the other anons!

      Delete
    2. I'll be posting over the weekend. How about you, anon 1:54? WIll you be blogging?

      Delete
    3. Louise, if you post something that stirs the old literary spark, I will be there. Otherwise I shall be imbibing a good 10 year malt out of a dark cholocate egg whilst keeping a close eye on my only painting of value.

      Delete
  9. What is odd is that John you don't comment about the blog posts I've written on my blog, but post them here?
    Why is that?
    You seem to post more on other people's blogs as comments rather than your own blog.

    I would have thought that your blog would have been one of the most popular blogs in Thanet given all the support that you have for your causes.

    And what have you done for regeneration of Margate?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Come on John, Tom, etc. It would be good to see more people commenting on the Margate Architecture blog.

      Delete
  10. I think John Holyer, John Hamilton and Tom Clarke are a 21st version of the Beverley Sisters. Not sure where Ren Wood fits in, though...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't know about the others, Anon 9:51, but frankly, I do not give a toss what you think. Mind you, you must be bloody old to remember the Beverley Sisters for I had to look them up on google. Apparently, one of them was a WAG which is more than can be said for you.

      Delete
    2. anonymouse 9:51 am,

      What are you doing here? You're depriving a village somewhere of its idiot.

      Delete
    3. Tom,

      The last time I saw anonymouse 9:51 he was walking down Lovers' Lane holding his own hand.

      Delete
    4. Hi John,

      You have a good Easter.

      As for Anon, well he has still not recovered from his annual confidential that said "Sets himself appalling low objectives and then consistently fails to achieve them."

      Delete
  11. Ooh, Babs and Joy (alias Holyer and Clarke) are rattled...

    Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a simple minded soul you are, Anon 7:28, but Peter is probably right, you have imbibed too much of the juice again. By the way, checked out the 'Sisters' number and that was Rosemary Clooney in White Christmas making you even older than I thought. You make sure you wrap up warm in this weather and keep taking the tablets.

      Delete
  12. Aw bless, Tom, you're funnier than a pantomime dame. I'm glad you're such a prolific silver surfer, but the Beverley Sisters did do a cover version - at least - of "Sisters". Now, about you accusing Louise Oldfield of subscribing to the theory that drawling extreme right-wing mumbo jumbo all originates from Roger Latchford, OBE (one can only imagine what that stands for!). Aren't you one of the little group of extremists who always try to suggest that anyone taking a stance AGAINST your right-wing views is John Worrow? Aren't you obsessed with "naming" bloggers about whom you have - when ensconced in your cosy attic wearing your Miss Marple gear - pieced together bits of information? Aren't you obsessed with trying to suggest you know who certain bloggers are, and telling tales on your favourite blogs? In the circumstances, I don't think, dear Tommy, that you are in any position to use your catapult to pelt others with pebbles. So put it away, there's a good person, and go and ask one of your Johns to give you permission to reply.

    I bet one of them will refer to "anonymouse". That's such a giggle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. anonymouse 10:30 pm

      You are the Manston Aquifer Man and you are a buffoon.




      Delete
  13. Tom,

    Thanks for the Easter Greetings and I hope that you enjoy the rest of yours.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sorry, Holyer, you're wrong as well as being persistently offensive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymouse 11:05pm,

      The only skill you have ever developed is the art of being obnoxious.

      Delete
  15. You know nothing about me, Holyer, so your observation is worthless. And I think for you to label anyone else as obnoxious is far funnier than your occasional attempts at humour. Whatever, if your thuggish language and attitude on here is the basis for your apparent superiority comes, then...oh dear...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymouse 8:56 am,

      I know this about you. Take the lies out of you, and you'll shrink to the size of a mouse; take the malice out of you, and you'll disappear.

      Delete
    2. Anon, a bit of light hearted banter is surely nothing to get all wound up about and, after all, it was you that kicked off with the Beverley Sisters comment. What I find really hypocritcal from someone quick to label others as offensive is your constant references to age, which in itself is an 'ism' these days. We all grow older and quite what constitutes decrepid escapes me. One is too old for gymnastics by 20, competetive swimming by 30, football and boxing 35, if you haven't made your first million by 30 you probably never will and so on. At the other end of the scale, some people climb mountains at 70 and write a best selling novel in their 80s. Some, on the other hand, are just miserable because they cannot come to terms with their advancing years and so they make perpetual references to the age of others.

      You take your pick.

      Delete
  16. Thank you for the holiday weekend humour, Holyer. Your thuggishness does make me smile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You fool nobody, Anon, for John Holyer gets right up your nose and your pathetic attempts at making light of his comments fail miserably. Tom Clarke wipes the floor with you and don't even attempt to take on John Hamilton for he is well out of your league.

      Delete
    2. Anonymouse 10:14 am,

      I am delighted to hear that you are grateful for my humour, one does one's best. A word of advice old chap, don't you think that you are rather overdoing your use of the epithet thuggishness to the extent that it has lost its meaning. Actually it's meaningless anyway. For I cannot find the word 'thuggishness' in the dictionary; but 'thuggish' is there. Never mind, take no notice of me. I know that you have a lot of well-wishers - they'd all like to throw you down one.

      Delete
  17. John Holyer, Allan Mallinson, Tom Clarke, John Hamilton... what a curious and rather distasteful little playground gang, occasionally bolstered by Ren Wood. I have no doubt that the long-out-of-sight Nora Batty would have been number 6 in the line-up were she still around. It is good that you 4/5/6 take yourselves seriously, at least. I guess you even snort approval at each other's thuggish (does that suit you better, Holyer?) and boorish behaviour every time one of your posts appears.

    By the way, Holyer, you must have a very large bowl (no extra "e" before you complain) if your alphabet soup forms an entire dictionary. I'm impressed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My, my, Anon, how do you live with your wit? Fancy discussing the make up of alphabetic soup, the mind boggles.

      Delete
    2. Anonymouse 3:27 pm,

      You are using some of words that I taught you. Still, there is nothing wrong with you that couldn't be cured with a little Prozac and a Polo mallet.

      Delete
  18. Wow, I raised NB from the dead. Clearly this resurrection game isn't so difficult after all. As for you, Holyer, well keep on laughing at yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  19. No wonder people are reluctant to take part in all this.
    Christine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But, Christine, they are taking part which is why this blogsite gets dozens of comments and your Thanet Watch one is lucky if it gets a couple.

      Delete
    2. Christine,

      Which people, in what are they reluctant to take part and how do you know this?


      Delete
    3. She doesn't know, John, she just pops up with her fool comments now and again, but please do not expect a debate. That is not her style.

      Delete
    4. Christine, perhaps I can ask you the same question that Louise asked me:

      What are you doing for the regeneration of Margate? Or elsewhere in Thanet?

      Delete

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