Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New years honours and predictions

Thanet seems to have missed out on the OBE stakes for 2014 although a couple fo KCC councillors feature:

Councillor Paul Benedict Crossland CARTER Leader, Kent County Council. For services to Local Government.

Councillor John David SIMMONDS Member, Kent County Council. For services to Local Government.

Oh and Roger de Haan who gets a knighthood and becomes Sir Roger de Haan

The whole list is here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-years-honours-lists-2014  in case I missed someone or something.

This is a recent photo of highland haggis hunting a popular hogmanay sport apologies for forgetting to illustrate the post earlier.  

On to trying to predict something for 2014

As a shop assistant I will start with that.

Retail

I think the main recent change here has been browsing the shops and then buying cheaper online, with the smartphone aspect of this being cutting edge at the moment.

I can partly explain this in teams of secondhand books, something I sort of understand, this is becoming a bit of a double edged sword with pretty much everything hanging on the price. In simple terms if the price in the shop isn’t competitive with the price (including p&p) online, then for the most part this spells the end of the shop.

Now most of the secondhand books I buy from other shops are for resale and the internet sites, particularly Amazon and Ebay - the main sources of secondhand books - have changed the values of secondhand books, meaning that when it comes to pricing I am no longer as much of an expert as I was. Which means I generally look book prices up on the internet before buying them, if I can’t get an internet signal on my smartphone then I mostly don’t buy the book.

So my prediction here will be more shop closures and I guessing that the balance has shifted so there will be probably more at Westwood Cross than in the Thanet towns during 2014.

TDC

Are there any more big skeletons in the cupboard? Not sure here I may come back to this later.

I intend to work on this post on and off today as I get the odd bit of time or I think of something.

Thanet

Airport
I would guess the airport is more likely to go one way or anther, I would predict that the last fifty years of loss making commercial aviation there will come to an end fairly soon although I am not sure this will happen during 2014 but I would say the sale price of £1 was an indicator. 

Ramsgate

Pleasurama
With Pleasurama I guess the February 2014 date when the development agreement completion date expires, word on the street is that the developer can’t come up with the funding and isn’t likely to. Despite this I am predicting a long and expensive legal battle between the developer and the council.   

Port Ramsgate
I guess Port Ramsgate has a bit of a history of making losses while Ramsgate marina makes a profit as an expensive boat park. The history of this is difficult to extrapolate due some creative accounting where the marina profits and the port losses get a bit tangled up. The prediction here is that the port will produce a loss again.  

Pavillion
I guess the big question here is whether Wetherspoons are going to turn the Pav into another Mechanical Elephant, I don’t know what to predict with this one, but will go with it remaining a council owned derry.  

Albion House
Well this one is finally under way and should soon be Boutique Hotel, which is what I am predicting.  

Tunnels
The tunnels are due to open to the public in June and as they are the largest all weather leisure space in Thanet I am expecting this to be a very significant development attracting more visitors that The Turner Contemporary. 

Westcliff Hall
Project Motormouth as it has become known locally still has a very long way to go as far as I can see, so I predicting that this will still be anohtere council owned derry by the end of 2014. 

Slipways
Plans to turn the working slipways into a bar and café have been passed, but the council own the freehold and the lease at the moment stipulates that the site can only be used as a boatyard.

Of course the other side of the coin here is that the developer owns the freehold of The Custom House and leases this to Ramsgate Town Council, so factoring this in I would say it will turn into a bar and café and would expect work to be well underway by the end of 2015.    

An amusing aspect of this is that the council has commissioned a boat hoist to replace the slipway but word on the street is that they have ordered the wrong hoist and it isn’t big enough to lift the windfarm cats.

Margate

Turner
Well with this one I am still waiting for the first showing of a major exhibition that will be a big draw for the artistic community worldwide resulting in gallery rage queuing and a monetary return for taxpayers, don’t hold your breath in 2014. I am predicting further catalogues where the exhibit numbers don’t match and further mechanical breakdowns. 

Dreamland

Tesco

Lido

Broadstairs

Blogs

I am predicting that the days of open anonymous comment will be over in 2014.

44 comments:

  1. Simon seems to be implying some sort of impending scandal on his blog, but I haven't a clue who he's referring to (presumably someone else apart from John Worrow).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lyndon,

      I have often woderd about your word 'strawman, what is a 'strawman'?

      Delete
  2. Peter. Who is the chair of that committee? That gives you your answer and it's not a new scandal just one that is taking its time to work its way through the legal minefield

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://democracy.thanet.gov.uk/mgCommitteeDetails.aspx?ID=114. Apart from substituting Finance for Governance this is the committee to which Cllr Moores is referring

      Delete
    2. You don't mean Shirley? I hope she hasn't been drinking when she shouldn't be again (something I recall Simon saying that she "had no choice" but to resign)... Nope you've still lost me, but I never was good at riddles.

      Delete
    3. Now you're being either deliberately obtuse or you really are stupid. The chair of that committee is clearly indicated at the bottom of the list of members but to save you the effort, it is Cllr Worrow. But you knew that all the time.

      Delete
    4. No I didn't know that... as for "obtuse", why couldn't you or Simon have said that in the first place and saved your silly games for midnight?

      Delete
    5. No one has commented on his guilt or innocence. Whichever way the enquiry goes you can be sure that there will be some sort of fuss.

      Delete
    6. What I find strange is the fact the alleged offences occurred in 2010 so why now?

      Is there any truth in rumours that say there is a political aspect to the events happening now and is there a revenge element is accusations being made 3 years after the events are alleged to have taken place?

      Delete
    7. Maybe the offences weren't actually reported until later. That's often the case with alleged sex offences, look at all the aging celebrities who are having their collars felt sometimes decades later.

      Delete
    8. There was a brief blog mention of an alleged incident involving a public figure in a Margate pub toilet about 2 years ago

      Delete
    9. That could've been anyone... or is this another of your little riddles for us to solve?

      Delete
    10. To be fair the defamation laws then, as now, precluded mentioning names, but it was clear from the descriptions just who was being talked about. I would have to check but I'm sure that you had your six pennyworth at the time.

      Delete
  3. Happy new year to all and do not forget the fireworks this year midnight Ramsgate harbour. and Michael my prediction is your blog will keep going

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barry also don’t forget that Margate has New Years fireworks for the first time for ages this year.

      Yes I guess the blog will keep going but frankly I don’t think I can be bothered with the anonymous comment any more.

      Delete
  4. Airport. A bit Mystic Meg there Michael. It will either succeed or it will fail. Indeed.
    Cllr Scobie wants to let Ramsgate Station continue to fall into an advanced state of dilapidation because the future is a Parkway Station in the middle of a field and even further away from Ramsgate town centre than the present one is. Do you think that Mrs Gloags £1 purchase and the sudden interest in south Thanet railway infrastructure are related?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, Cllr Scobie does not think that at all. What I believe he's actually saying is that it's a waste of time, effort and money investing on the Ramsgate Station forecourt if there's going to be far less passengers in the not-too-distant future - and I agree.

      As for "an advanced state of dilapidation", a slight exaggeration methinks. Take a walk along the seafront from The Lido towards Palm Bay to see true dilapidation.

      Delete
    2. The back of the Winter Gardens looks the same rusty mess as always Peter.and true dilapidation is alive and kicking on the pleasurama site where hopefully News will happen by the end of the week

      Delete
    3. The back of The Winter Gardens was rebuilt and painted for the 100th anniversary in 2011, so it doesn't look bad at all now.

      Delete
    4. Why would there be far less passengers? The population of Cliffsend is a tad smaller than that of Ramsgate. Peter demonstrating his Margate bias as usual.

      Delete
    5. Because it's more central to Thanet, and if high speed trains stop there then it will be viable for people as far away as Sandwich and Birchington.

      Delete
    6. As for my "Margate bias", I believe it was I who suggested that they reopen Ramsgate Station on the seafront. The current station is more St. Lawrence than Ramsgate.

      Delete
    7. So people trekking across to Cliffsend from Birchington and Sandwich will mean less people using the concourse of Ramsgate station? I would have thought that most of people using the concourse would have come in from the street outside and they are most likely residents of Ramsgate. I'm not sure that many people from other areas bus into Ramsgate so that they can catch HS1; like you they probably either catch the train at Margate or get on the HS1 at Sandwich.

      Delete
    8. I thought the whole idea of a parkway station was that people drive their cars to it and park there.

      Delete
    9. There are only 3 High Speed trains per day from Sandwich, so the station is of little use for fast journeys much of the time (and like Dumpton Park and Westgate-on-Sea, many trains don't even stop there).

      Delete
    10. Presumably that includes people driving from Ramsgate Michael.

      Delete
    11. Peter if we use the train at the moment we walk to Ramsgate Station, if the train was only available from the parkway station we would drive there.

      I guess though my underlying worry here is public money being used to try and make Thanet – both airport and port – into a transport hub. The fundamental geographical fact is that due to the shape of Thanet the catchment is from a very few spokes the rest being sea with fish making poor customers.

      My take is that fifty years of the airport and various sea crossings from Thanet to Europe have only produced a series of bankruptcies. What I would like to see is some public money invested in south Thanet that produced a more sustained benefit to the local community.

      The mindset of local government seems to be that Margate is a tourist town and therefore gets tourist related investment which seems to be working, but that Ramsgate is an industrial area which needs investment into foreign transport infrastructure.

      Had a small proportion of the millions of public money spent on redundant transport infrastructure in south Thanet over the past fifty years been spent on some sustainable all weather visitor attractions I think the situation would have been much better.

      Delete
  5. Scobie said that he didn't see the point in spending the money if the station is going to decline in use. I don't see why the Cliffsend station is going to have much impact on Ramsgate station and surely we shouldn't be encouraging more car journeys by building the railway equivalent of Westwood Cross. Won't affect Peter since he makes a virtue out of not driving so i would guess that he would be horrified at the thought of all those cars. Not to mention all the Cliffsend residents who have only recently lost the endless traffic through the outskirts of their village.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hopefully there will be good facilities to lock up bicycles there... and no, whether Ramsgate Station expands, thrives, declines or closes won't make even the slightest difference to me personally.

    Not sure how many train passengers it takes to make "endless traffic", you're starting to sound like one of those anti-Arlington Tesco losers!

    ReplyDelete
  7. You obviously never tried to get through Cliffsend in the pre dual carriageway days. I too am not affected by Cliffsend Station. I live within 5 minutes walk of a HS1 station and I don't even need a padlock since I dont need to use a bike to get there. Nonetheless I am not convinced of the merits of this proposal which was originally put forward as the salvation of Manston Airport but which nowcseems to be aimed at another market.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What I find difficulty in understanding is why worry if Railtrack want to spend £400K on Ramsgate it is not council tax money after all. Let them get on with it and if later Parkway gets built so be it. I think it strange he would need to comment at all.

      Delete
    2. I've cycled via Cliffsend to Sandwich many times, even back in the late 80s when there wasn't any cycle paths or pavements. It's far far safer for cyclists almost everywhere in East Kent than it was 25 years ago.

      Delete
  8. So as long as we're not paying for it then it's ok to waste money?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That comment applies equally to Cliffsend station.

      Delete
    2. It's debatable whether or not that is a waste of money though. To be honest I'm not quite convinced either way.

      Delete
  9. Michael, I think John Simmonds is an old boy of Chatham House if that counts as a Thanet honour?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not if he lives in one of the more salubrious parts of Kent now William, only a Thanet honour if it's a case of a local politician batting for Thanet

      Delete
    2. Whitstable I understand so is that salubrious or just outside the planet? Also he did some battling for the old school whilst member for education, when some, including Ladyman, wanted it sold off for redevelopment and some monstrous comprehensive built on Pysons Road. Anyway, happy new year to you.

      Delete
  10. Honours explained: MBE = My bl**dy efforts; OBE = other bug***s effort; CMG = call me god; KCMG = kindly call me god; GCMG = god calls me god.




    ReplyDelete
  11. Surely the Parkway station is just a red herring to get planning permission for hundreds of houses, I cannot see that the economic position of Thanet can anyway justify Network rail or anyone else spending millions relocating or building a new station.

    ReplyDelete

Please note comments that may be libellous, comments that may be construed as offensive, anonymous derogatory comments about real people, comments baiting internet trolls, comments saying that an anonymous comment was made by a named real person, boring comments and spam comments, comments in CAPs will be deleted. Playground stuff like calling real people by their time stamp or surname alone, referring to groups as gangs, old duffers and so on will result in deletion. Comment that may be construed as offensive to minority groups is not allowed here either, so think before you write it, remember that the internet is a public place, that it is very difficult to be truly anonymous and that everyone who uses it leaves a trail of some sort. Also note the facility to leave anonymous comment will be turned of during periods when I am unable to monitor comment, this will not affect people commenting who are signed on to their blogger accounts. When things are particularly difficult on the commercial spam front I may turn comment moderation on for periods.

If you feel that someone has left a comment that is offensive and directed at you personally please email me (link on the sidebar) asking to have it removed, you will need to tell which post and the date and timestamp of the offending comment. Please do not reply to the offending comment as I will assume you continuing the dialogue as meaning that you want the comments left there.