Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Midweek Ramble

I have to admit to having glance at the comments on the last post just now and deciding not to bother turning anonymous comments back on for a bit.

Work is progressing rapidly on Ramsgate’s new Morrisons, which I am hoping will give King Street a much needed boost.

I am still working on reducing the books in my bookshop to prices cheaper than on the internet, the “True Crime” section today where for the most part the books on the shelves took a bit of a hammering with few left over £2.50 and a great many down to £1.50 or 99p.

The true crime customers, many who look as though they may very hard men under some circumstances, are some of my most charming and pleasant book customers.

I am still reeling a bit from Margate on Sunday, the bottom of the High Street is really showing signs of economic recovery. I guess this is the legacy mostly of the Sandy Ezekiel administration. Having, as a taxpayer, contributed to the several thousand pounds spent in keeping him locked up, the only benefit that I can see being that it will probably make things easier for him should he lose his car keys, I have some contradictory thoughts about the modern world.

Ramsgate has some particular problems at the moment with the disused council owned sites on the majority of the waterfront, Pleasurama, Pav and Port. Perhaps it would be possible for the council to find some temporary solutions for all or part of this next summer so we could attract a few visitors next year. 

I wonder would it be worth them paying for a flood risk assessment for Pleasurama, it would at least let us know if the foundations and pillars there would actually serve any function in an future development and if they wouldn’t, which seems likely to me, the site could at least be cleared for parking and leisure for next season.

Perhaps a lage funfair on the port site next year with some water attractions wouldn’t go amiss either and possibly get the Pav’s sun deck open. After looking at Margate on Sunday perhaps Sandy in the man for the job.

On thing is for certain with all these sites, both the freeholders and the leaseholders gain nothing from the whole area going downhill, all they get is a reduction of the value of their interest. I may ramble on here.

38 comments:

  1. I suggest you have made a wise decision in turning off the anonymous comments. It will come as a welcome breather.

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  2. Isn't Sandy out now? There were hints in last week's Gazette that he's been seen cycling around Thanet, or have I (or they) got that wrong?

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  3. Very well said John. I have never allowed anon posting in my site.

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  4. Good move, Michael, for you only have to look over on ECR's site to see what you are missing. A string of silly Manston comments have sprung up there with you know who having conversations with himself.

    Agree with you that Sandy might have been the answer for Ramsgate though it was never an option. Whatever his failings, he was a far more positive council leader than we are now seeing, but then, leadership is something sadly lacking in British politics at all levels these days.

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  5. William I guess the problem with Ramsgate’s problems is that successive administrations haven’t found any solutions.

    I guess it was Sandy’s administration that did the most to get us into the Pleasurama tangle by not pulling out of it when the officers recommended they did in 2009.

    This combined with the officers and council’s solicitor coming up with a development agreement that you could drive a coach and four through, seems to have left a tangle that no one knows the way out of.

    Granted it was Labour that got us into it in the first place, in terms of selecting a developer, that as far as I have been able to find out doesn’t develop.

    The Pav well the repairs notice was served, but there didn’t seem to be any teal effort by either administration to force some sort of solution, I guess a better council would have got the lease back and found some funding to turn it into a leisure attraction.

    I don’t think either the local Labour or Conservative groups have the ability or the drive to achieve something of this order. I am not looking for recrimination, just putting right the pervious administrations errors.

    With the port, I don’t think the recrimination is going to take us very far, perhaps if those pursuing the issue achieved their objective, we would get a resignation or two, in the case of officer resignations this would mean added costs and not much chance of getting better replacements, with councillors once again better replacements is the problem.

    The real energy on this one should be to find some alternate use for the site, both short term and long term.

    Talking to Ramsgate politicians, I think at all levels they are considering a unitary authority at the moment, with the Labour ones saying Canterbury is the problem and the Conservative ones Dover, although both lots when pressed seem to think it is the senior officers.

    But really I don’t think a seaside town with the majority of the waterfront owned by the council disused and either derelict or becoming derelict is acceptable.

    Yes Peter he is out, I had a chat with him the other week and he says he has no intention of returning to local politics.

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    1. Michael, would he even be allowed to return to local politics if he wanted to? I wish him well though.

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    2. Peter I wouldn’t have thought so, but it seemed as good a way as any of highlighting the problem we face, which I think frankly is that the Ramsgate council owned waterfront property is beyond the ability of either TDC political group or the TDC officers.

      I really can’t say that I have spoken any local politician that has even the remotest idea of how to take advantage of the fact that the whole Ramsgate waterfront, with the exception of a small and mostly thriving privately owned part is owned by the council.

      While in Margate Dreamland is being bought by the council at considerable cost and grant funding has been found to turn it back to leisure use, in Ramsgate the council position is one of owning lots of vacant lots.

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    3. Michael, agree that recrimination and trying to blame either previous administrations is pointless in that it takes as no further forward. We need people of vision to get the best out of some pretty sad situations and I am not sure we have them.

      That said, I do not think things are as bad as suggested by the Mirror report that placed Ramsgate as the 5th poorest seaside resort and Margate the 7th. The criteria may well have been based on employment and financial statistics, but there is still quality of life. I can think of a fair few theoretically wealthier areas I would not trade for Thanet as a place to live and we should perhaps look to a blessings a bit more.

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  6. Michael,

    I have long believed that a Unitary Authority would serve us better, and cost us less.

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  7. Michael, please expand on why a visit to Margate on Sunday has sent you reeling.

    "I am still reeling a bit from Margate on Sunday, the bottom of the High Street is really showing signs of economic recovery. I guess this is the legacy mostly of the Sandy Ezekiel administration."

    ....and why you consider the recovery is attributed to the previous administration? Or have I misread your comment?

    Local indie businesses, two in particular, brought about last weekend's vintage event without any public funding. The new businesses at the lower end of the high street really cannot be attributed to any local authority administration past or present.

    Thanks
    Wanda

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    1. Wanda made an interesting point here, and I'm surprised you haven't responded Michael.

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    2. Thanks for noticing Peter! I am still intrigued to know the answer.

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    3. No idea what to say Peter and Wanda, my guess is that if the old market and lower High Street were derelict then most of the blame would attach to the previous Conservative administration. I think the dereliction of most of the prime council owned sites in Ramsgate, the appalling state of the whole area behind the main sands, Pleasurama Pav and our other lumps, for example our equivalent to Margate’s Winter Gardens “Westcliff Hall” is another council owned derry, are very much attributed to the previous Conservative administration.

      Conversely the council have invested in Margate seafront area and the old town, in fact Sandy has just served a prison sentence for investing in the old town, which he presumably expected to prosper and property values there rise, to all appearances this is happening.

      In Margate this and previous administrations have been beavering away to buy Dreamland and turn it back to leisure use whereas in with Pleasurama Ramsgate’s fun fair site something else has been happening.

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    4. Ah, I think I understand your reason for 'reeling' - you consider the current economic recovery of Margate (old town) stems from the Conservative administration favouring Margate over Ramsgate. You may not be aware that it was that same administration who pulled the plug on the Margate Renewal Partnership a month prior to the Turner opening, before it had even finished it's purpose - and no-one knows why exactly. It practically vanished overnight without any public consultation and since then it's been the local indie businesses, in various ways, carrying on the unfinished work. That 'legacy' set back the recovery which had only just started.

      Not wishing to verge off-topic but there is absolutely no credit due to the local authority for any economic recovery in Margate (old town) since the Turner opened.

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  8. Take a look at the sidebar comments summary. The last half dozen comments, at this time, are on an older thread, the comments are mostly about anons and mostly from Hamilton and Holyer.

    Yet here they have an anon free thread to impress with their erudition. But appear to have nothing to say unless they have the "Usual suspects" to feed off. And when Anons are banned from this blog you can rely on the JH pair to read other blogs and then, off topic, to report on Anon activity elsewhere.

    Supposing a chap signs on the dole. "Enemy within, sort of occutard to be whinging about bedroom tax no such thing" (says Hammy the Way better fellow)

    The dole scrounger takes out his UB40 which reveals his name to be Trans Europa Ferries.

    "That is a very strange name for a dole scrounging enemy within", pronounces Hammy ("I agree", echoes Holyer in a less than pleasing falsetto). "How ever much public money has been directed at this parasite ? What !!!!! 3 million smackers of our tax payers' money !!!!"

    Hammy (The Way better update) is outraged. He immediately sets to work to find a "Usual suspect" or two to blame. "Blast", he ejaculated in a dribbling pool of invective, "You mean I can't blame Ian Driver ??"

    Usually Hammy would blame Ian Driver anyway and add in a few occutards and occasional Nimby and Socialist to his blame list.

    But Hammy's public is expecting his latest re-assurance about the Pleasurama Development.

    "It is Ian Driver's fault", Hammy begins his tortuous version of logic ......

    But at least Michael will be swiftly in with the moderator cut to re-assure Hammy that Thanet blogging pundits are not laughing at him.

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  9. Lyndon T Palmer 9:44 am,

    [In a more pleasing deep baritone voice] I appreciate that you are always unsure of yourself, who you are and what if anything you actually believe in. But pause for a moment, are you sure that you are not the Manston/0%/Aquifer/nutter?

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    1. John LTP is a well know spammer, give him an inch and he will take a mile, my guess is that after I have left this fairly innocuous comment for a small amount of time, it will be followed by a stream of comment trying to hijack this thread to his own ends. There will be links in them leading to various site some of the dubious and with considerable advertising.

      When this happens, as I believe it will undoubtedly do, instead of deleting them this time I will spam the lot of them which will most likely lead to google blocking his ip address, but frankly I just don’t have time to waste at the moment.

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  10. John Holyer, LTP is none other than Richard Card, sometimes just Rick, he of the illegal gun ranges, perjury committing councillor, Deal Bombing and fracking land grab to name but a few of his theories. If you debate with him he will refer you to some typical conspiracy theorist's delight of a site like Infowars. Perhaps I should also warn you that he recently claimed to have laid a whole rugby team horizontal single handed (please don't split your sides laughing) so don't mess with him! He is a hard case!

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  11. Replies
    1. I suppose it's on the cards for me to say something to follow suit

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  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. I see that Dr Moores is still objecting to Tesco in Westgate to make himself more popular!

    How about writing a blog post about this John Hamilton, or do you only write about left-wing NIMBYs that try to stop developments in Thanet?

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  14. Hello Peter,
    Haven;t spoken to you in a while. Haven;t really got a huge opinion either way re Westgate Tesco's if i'm honest. If it opens it will be a huge success as they always are. I think that if the shop unit was designed to fit in with the rest of Westgate, I can't really see a problem with it.

    People will shop where they choose, given the choice, and I believe they should ALWAYS be given that choice. Not as many plus's with the smaller Expresses, but certainly I use them a GREAT deal, and welcome any that open that i may use.

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    1. Yes John, both you and I know that, but my point is that he's very vocal in the campaign against it - just as he was with the bigger proposed Sainsburys - yet you never call him a "NIMBY". Why is this? Surely he's even more of a NIMBY in the true sense than those who oppose everything in Thanet (& beyond), as he does his best to stop developments on his doorstep yet seemingly has no opinion on anything more than 2 miles away!

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    2. Not really, Peter, for he is simply reflecting the views of the people in his ward who have approached him on the issue. You should remember that there is a lot of support for conservation in Westgate and, as proposed, the Tesco shop breaks that mould.

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    3. And what about the Sainsburys, the one they wanted to build on (still) derelict ground??

      The fact is he knows it's a vote winner, just like Worrow with his free parking for Birchington.

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    4. Peter, I think you misunderstand the role of elected representatives which is to convey the concerns of the people in their ward/constituency, even if they do not necessarily agree with them themselves. Again with Sainsbury's proposed store, you pick on one where there was massive opposition, both in Westgate and Birchington, and even police concerns about the access onto a busy dual carriageway. Whether such are vote winners remains to be seen, but I doubt there is very much Worrow could do to win votes however much he tried now.

      Elsewhere we see mainly popular proposal frustrated by vociferous minorities as, say, with the Arlington Tesco or the Broadstairs Community Centre. Not the same thing at all.

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    5. I haven;t really ventured an opinion re Tesco's in Westgate or the other one that opened recently Westbrook. They are not really a huge benefit or loss to any community, but as I said, generally, I support their opening anywhere, as they expand the choices for customers, and that can only ever be a good thing.

      The Margate development is a totally different kettle of fish, being the key to Margate and Arlington's regeneration. I don't comment on any and all developments not matter how big or small Peter, merely one's I believe to be important. Westgate Express isn't really that important ;)

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    6. The trouble with Thanet is that's it's full of self-serving cllrs who are more interested in mocking the opposition than serving the people who voted for them... and a public who do nothing but moan about everything (often anonymously) without ever trying to do anything about it.

      I'm seriously considering putting my money where my mouth is and putting myself forward for election as an independent during the next TDC elections! As my age is roughly midway between those of Scobie's & Latchford's then I'm probably at the right age (though I'll have to check with the Westgate "Dr"), and surely even I'm a better option than the shower who's currently "running" things and I'm certainly more enthusiastic about Thanet than Tony Flaig Margate's grumpiest man), Matt The Prat (Margate's laziest man) and Louise Oldfield (Margate's most negative woman - unless things fit her rather narrow view of things).

      See you in 2014 (maybe!) : )

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    7. Peter,

      You clearly have the courage of your convictions. Good luck in 2014.

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  15. "..the role of elected representatives which is to convey the concerns of the people in their ward/constituency, even if they do not necessarily agree with them themselves"

    Since when has any Thanet councillor done this? I remember having a conversation with a Tory councillor in Ramsgate. He was telling me how he didn't care about a petition against night-flights. I asked him what proportion of the population would need to sign before he took any notice; 10%, 50% 80% ? He brazenly told me that he wouldn't care if every person in Ramsgate signed the petition. He still wouldn't oppose night-flights because he thought they were a good thing. I guess Peter Checksfield isn't the only one who doesn't understand the role of elected representatives.

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    1. An unsubstantiated claim, no who, when or where, made by an anonymous commentator, unwilling to divulge their own name, contributes precisely nothing to the debate.

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    2. Oh no Mallinson has crept out again to stifle debate. I agree with 5:33 that Cllr Epps' comments were ridiculous and show little grasp of the role of elected representatives and he ducks the question, like most councillors, of what they actually do.

      I cannot believe that Cllr Driver was denied council documents and that none of the councillors seem to review the accounts each month. What are they doing? A glance around the towns tells us best perhaps.

      Cue Sandys and Hart to pipe up that everything is on the up.

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  16. Everything posted on a blog is unsubstantiated. You can cast aspersions about anything said by anyone, particularly when you don't like what they have said and don't want to believe it.

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