Sunday, 23 August 2009

Ramsgate first class town second-class support, Sunday ramble.

For me top of this list is the airport and before I continue here I should make it clear that I am not against airport expansion, nor am I for it as frankly I feel I have never been informed enough or engaged with to hold a proper opinion.

Most of what the airport operator has to say just doesn’t make sense, the level of expansion that KIA are talking about is so massive that it appears to be completely beyond anything that could feasibly happen.

If any town other than Ramsgate faced this sort of proposed increase in over flying the matter would be the subject of a public enquiry and considerable TV media coverage.

My own investigations appear to reveal that the airport isn’t operating with proper environmental safeguards in place and although I have published plenty of information about this no one has come forward and refuted the information.

Most alarmingly is the problem that the airport is operating on top of our drinking water reservoir without an interceptor for the main runway or any apparent contingency plan for a fuel spillage on the grass part of the airport.

Next having read yesterdays Gazette article about the pavilion I gather Rank offered to return it to the council without charging them any premium and the council turned them down without any local consultation.

When all is said and done the pavilion should in my opinion be Ramsgate’s main arts and leisure building and should be a venue for music and other forms of entertainment.

I assume that if the pavilion returned to public ownership it should be possible to get grant money to sort it out so it can be used for what it was designed for, the towns main leisure venue.

I will add to this post during the day if time allows.

Having done some more research on the pavilion I gather that the repairs estimate is about £2,000,000 and as far as I can see Rank have to pick up this tab due to the tenancy agreement.

When one thinks that they kept most of the building unused and allowed it to deteriorate to its present uninhabitable condition perhaps they do after all owe a fair bit to repair the damage they have done to Ramsgate’s leisure facilities.

4 comments:

  1. Sadly I think long before anyone comes up with a plan for the pav it will have burnt down or been 'accidentally' demolished. That, I am afraid, is the Thanet way.

    As for the airport, Matt Clarke says the current night restrictions would cost airlines £4m. Great! Bring it on! That's £4m into the community chest. Think what we could do with that!

    Er, wait, no, I forgot. The council would rather bend over backwards to help a foreign investor create a few crappy jobs (none have been created so far) than consider the health and wellbeing of the people they represent. We're back to the Thanet way again!

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  2. As you say Michael, Rank are obliged to repair the place under the terms of their lease, so why should the council take time chasing grant money instead of taking time draging rank to court to repair the place they let fall into disrepair? I suspect the district auditor would support the council on this one

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  3. Oh cynic, fraid to say with the pavilion there is also a fairly good chance of it being washed away by the sea. As for the £4m I think this is just another of the crazy airport figures completely unsubstantiated and I would imagine just pulled from a hat somewhere as leverage on the council.

    14.30 I believe Rank have a bit more than that to consider, there is also the damage they have done to the town by keeping a major leisure resource mostly unused for all this time.

    The damage done by the large companies to Ramsgate first by damage to our heritage and then having been a parasite to our economy finally moving out of I notice some of them seem quite surprised that the host is still very much alive, rumour is that some are considering returning.

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  4. The current situation is that TDC is receiving grount rent for the pavilion and the leaseholder has the responsibility for keeping it in good repair.

    If TDC was to accept a surrender of the lease then this wouldn't necessarily get the pavillion repaired, and I can't believe that TDC would have any desire to repair the pavilion themselves.

    If TDC did accept a surrender of the lease, then their most likely action would be to add it to their asset disposal list - for sale, or for the grant of a new lease (a lot of property in the harbour area is leasehold). Given that the current owners don't appear to have had much success in selling the lease (which has quite a while run yet, at a pretty low ground rent for the size of the building), then TDC may not be in any better position in trying to sell it.

    TDC are probably better in trying to force the current (or future) owners to make whatever repairs are actually required. What repairs they can actually force the owners to do (or to pay for) may not necessarily be all of the work that TDC would *ideally* like done to the building though, as this will depend on the terms of the lease.

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