Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Huge Corrugated Iron Shed appears in front of the Ramsgate Mayor's Parlour, Roger Gale sings a strange song over Manston and a ramble.

I assume that most readers are familiar with the new plans for the new Hornby Visitor Centre on the slipways at Ramsgate, which we were told would all be a very tasteful building in the late Victorian or Any Edwardian style.

Much of this came about because members of the previous Labour town council members didn't like the view of the working slipways from their rather palatial accommodation upstairs in The Custom House.

I think the thing that they liked the least were the corrugated sheds, which have just been demolished, so you can imagine my surprise at seeing a huge corrugated shed being built right in front of the windows of The Mayor’s Parlour.

Here is the view from the mayor’s window

and here are the mockups on the mayor’s table of the attractive buildings he or she, depending on when expected to see being built there.

I asked the chaps building the shed if it was a temporary building while the new one is being built and they said no it’s a permanent structure.

I tried to speak to the planning officer at TDC who is dealing with this application but he was in a meeting and will call me back.

I think the alternatives are.

1 This is a temporary structure.

2 That the council has made a mistake and passed plans for something totally unsuitable for the site.

3 It is being built illegally.

On to the Manston, TDC cpo meltdown, I was going to write a blog post about this yesterday and what with the council considering taking legal action against MP Sir Roger Gale and having received some fairly stiff legal letters from the council over Pleasurama, I thought I ought to speak to a council officer first. So I phoned the council and asked to speak to an officer about the Manston cpo issue, the answer I got I have to admit astonished me. The officer on the council switchboard said they are no longer allowed to pass on calls about Manston to officers. I then asked to be put through to the council’s legal department and was told firmly no. After being moderately firm I was told they would arrange for someone to call me back, which hasn’t happened yet.  

I tried again today and the situation seems to advanced to the point where the council now put you through to an officer specially delegated to tell you that the council won’t talk about Manston.

Well the local media and social media are overflowing with the Manston issue, so I have selected what I think is the most unusual comment from the most experienced local politician, it’s in the form of an email thread and I have redacted Sir Roger’s constituent’s name.

“From: ***
Sent: 05 October 2015 11:32
To: GALE, Roger
Subject: Tony Freudmann
Dear Sir Roger,
I understand that you have known Mr Freudmann for some years.
I understand that in October 1993, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal ordered that he be "struck from the roll" for misappropriating client funds.
When were you first aware that Mr Freudmann had been struck off the solicitor's roll?
Best regards,
Herne Bay
On 5 Oct 2015 9:03 pm, "GALE, Roger" wrote:
.I am also aware of the facts behind this case.
You, clearly, are not.
Sent: 06 October 2015 08:35
To: GALE, Roger
Subject: RE: Tony Freudmann
Dear Sir Roger,
I am grateful for your swift reply, but it does not address my original question: when were you first aware that Mr Freudmann had been struck off the solicitor's roll?
Best regards,
On 6 October 2015 at 19:53, GALE, Roger wrote:
Mr ****,
Mr Freudmann`s record was considered at the time of his earlier involvement with Manston and was public knowledge. I am surprised that you appear to be unaware of this.
Sir Roger Gale MP
From: ****
Sent: 07 October 2015 09:29
To: GALE, Roger
Subject: Re: Tony Freudmann
Dear Sir Roger,
Once again I am grateful for your reply, but once again it does not answer my question. To repeat and clarify:
When were *you* first aware that Mr Freudmann had been struck off the solicitor's roll?
Best regards,
GALE, Roger
10:23 (1 hour ago)
to me
Mr. ****
As I have already told you – and in concluding this futile correspondence – at the time when Mr. Freudmann was first involved in Manston: I cannot put a date on it but it was years ago.
For the record – as you clearly have the time to chase up blind alleys – Mr. Freudmann is not a Director of RiverOak and the project is being managed by one of their senior Directors.
Sir Roger Gale MP”

So Sir Roger who also seems to represent or be related in some way, to RiverOak, the American hedge fund trying to acquire the Manston site seems to be saying That the man who appears on both RiverOak’s websites http://www.riveroakic.com/about.html as the Managing Director isn’t actually a director.

This is Thanet and when it comes to our local politics where UKIP have just lost overall control of TDC, you couldn't make it up, if it was fiction it wouldn’t be... Oh I’m lost for words.

28 UKIP councillors and 28 others, and as the chairman has a casting vote on some issues perhaps lost control is an overstatement

On my bookshop blog http://michaelsbookshop.blogspot.co.uk/ you can see the books going out on the shelves everyday in Ramsgate, which is an indicator of what local peole are reading, I have been looking at this blog trying to work out if it has something to do with our bizarre tastes in litrature, that throws up such perculiarites in our local politics.

I should stress here that his is what they are building and not knocking down.

Update, I think everyone will be pleased to know that the developer has just popped into my bookshop and has assured me that this corrugated shed is just a temporary structure to keep the slipways running while the development is built.

He said he will send me the drawings of the new slipways workshop tomorrow, when he sees the architect.

Nearly forgot, letter of the week.

And the reply

From: GALE, Roger Sent: 13 October 2015 07:30 To: 'madeline.homer@thanet.gov.uk' Cc: 'victoria.williama@thanet.gov.uk'; 'cllr-Chris.Wells@thanet.gov.uk' Subject: FW: Letter from Madeline Homer, Chief Executive - Thanet District Council
Madam, I acknowledge receipt of your attached communication and have noted your comments. I stand by my observations which are neither defamatory nor libellous.
You appear to need to be reminded that I have been elected to represent, promote and protect the interests of my constituents and I shall continue to do so without fear or favour at every level of government.
Noting that you have chosen to release your own e-mail publicly and that comment indicates that I have not responded I am making this communication, also, publicly available.
Yours, etc. Sir Roger Gale MP

I have just taken the picture below from the council's planning website


  1. Wow what an eyesore, I do hope it's an illegal build and TDC's planning office haven't OKed it. Sad if it's been given the go ahead.
    On a brighter note, I do hope TDC's CEO can bring RG's outbursts under control with a hefty law suit :)

  2. Om so much easier dealing with the private sector, than ringing the council where no one seems to know anything or be able to make any decisions.

    The developer has just popped into my bookshop and has assured me that this corrugated shed is just a temporary structure to keep the slipways running while the development is built.

    He said he will send me the drawings of the new slipways workshop, which will be in the same stile as the rest of the development tomorrow when he sees the architect, for some reason they don’t appear on any of the mockups.

  3. Do you remember Michael when the council spent thousands of pounds modernising No 1 slipway the winch was right across the pir yard where the toilets were and it was a complete failure the winch layed up the town yard and rotted,I can see this lot going the same way,they must be really desperate to build in that area.


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