Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Copper thieves, no coppers about and other thoughts on the latest pictures.

I did manage to get out for a short walk yesterday and a very short one this morning so there are some pictures.

Looking at the pictures of the newly restored eastcliff bandstand you can see that nearly all of the copper band around it has now been stolen, a quick look on the web suggests you would probably get about a £1 a pound for copper from a scrap merchant.

I don’t know about anyone else but it seems pretty incredible to me that this should happen in such a prominent and overlooked site, it’s a depressing thought that our once proud town can’t even sport a copper strip round its bandstand.

I don’t really know what the solution is here, more CCTV, some sort of private police force like the one I encountered at Westwood Cross, using materials that have no scrap value.

I think much of the problem here in the eastcliff area of Ramsgate is that it is sliding into being an area of poor and very densely populated housing, some of this is due to the long term state of denial about what could be viably and safely built on the Pleasurama site and some down to poor planning control over residential conversions.

Weak policing and lax late night licensing means that the area is not so pleasant to live in and eventually it is going to wind up with a population of those who can’t get accommodation elsewhere.

I would imagine that if local government took decisive action now it would probably be possible to stop it from becoming a run down area without having to find massive funding.

On to the rest of the pictures, the very large shop opposite mine that was the Carpet Sale Centre, now empty and with planning permission is in for the upper floors to be converted to residential and the ground floor into smaller shops.

I hope that they have the funding to get on with this, I find that I am becoming surrounded by more and more empty and progressively derelict buildings.

The new carpet shop that opened further down the road is moving to where the cycle shop has recently closed.

Work is going on to restore more of the royal Parade balustrade which is good, however a fundamental problem with this structure is that when the major strengthening work was done to it, I think about 15 years ago the waterproofing wasn’t addressed properly.

This means that there are ongoing problems with bricks bursting due to the effect of freezing and many of the arches are either very damp or in some cases wet.

I was fascinated by the crane being used to lift the propellers from the slipway, as you see it sits on the back of a lorry and folds up very small, the operator controls it with a remote control, much like a TV.

Both of the chaps working on the cliff façade were wearing hard hats today, I suppose that’s probably a case of they will be cussing me right up to the point that something heavy falls on one of their heads, then perhaps contemplating the rest of ones life with severe brain damage will put a different flavour to their thoughts.

What worries me still though is that I don’t believe this was a quality repair and looking at the damp stains on the other panels it is obvious that there will be further problems of this nature.

Back to the bandstand for a moment it doesn’t look as though the restoration of the pillars that support the roof is lasting that well, a problem here is that people always seem to underestimate the problems associated with our exposed seafront conditions.

Here is the link to the pictures


  1. I live in the heart of the Eastcliff in a house fronting a main road but I have never suffered from any 'lax late night licensing' you refer to. If there has been any increase in problems in this area they are neglible, in my experience.

  2. At the moment Kent Police are in effect without a leader Michael.

    Adrian Leppard rejected for Norfolk good enough for Kent Mike Fuller in limbo

    In Thanet Magistrates Court on Friday 22nd there was a case adjourned. This was an abuse of process action brought by solicitors acting for Justin True.

    I understand that Justin was questioned about how long he claims that Kent Police have issued him an unreasonable number of vehicle documents producers (causing him to make more than one document producing visit to Margate Police station per day)

    I understand that Justin told the Court ever since 1995 when his dad got the 6th Thanet Gun Range closed. (By the MOD against Kent Police wishes)

    As I understand it Magistrates adjourned to ask further questions of police.

    Being careful because it is sub judice there appears to have been a hearing on Monday in related charges against Justin True and he elected Jury trial.

    One of the incidents at issue is from March 2009 at a time Chief Supt Hogben was under a duty to investigate the history of the 6th Thanet Range but had been notified of application for Judicial Review to compel the inquiry that he appeared to be refusing to conduct.

    The True family were listed as witnesses in the matters of alleged firearms and paramilitary training offences at the range.

    But it seems rather than visit them and take their statements, Chief Supt Hogben was in an unmarked high speed police car seemingly stalking and reporting on Justin True. No doubt this will be accounted in open court.

    You know another witness Michael so you know who to advise of this very serious development in the matters of how Kent has been policed for many years.

    If the police have a low morale perhaps they should blame themselves as much as they blame the Home Office and all the paperwork the Home Office generates.

    In the end the Law has to be master and maybe after some thirty years finally there is a slight glimmer that there will be determinations in Open Court.

    My hope is that Mike Fuller is not in authority at CPS at a time when decisions to bring serious charges against former Kent Chief constables (including himself) may have to be considered.

    I have informed the Chair of the Justice Select Cttee.

    I wait to see whether Baroness Scotland and the committee confirm FULLER in his CPS role. Meanwhile Kent Police are rudderless.

  3. SOME OF THE PICCIES LOOK oops a bit dreary even the town partnership office looks down at heel. still not as bad as Cliftonville thought. Maybe its just the light this time of year

  4. Eddie where I am the takeaways are open until 4am, I am told this is due to something TDC did when they took over as the licensing authority, believe me it’s pretty bad, what I am getting at here is different problems in different parts of the eastcliff joining up and bringing the whole area down.

    Richard as you say it’s sub judice and so I wouldn’t care to comment, out of my depth too.

    Don with the town partnership TDC have pulled their funding so it’s now just another empty shop, I think the problem is that all of the available funding is going into Margate and Cliftonville, Ramsgate is partly managing to bounce back of its own accord but it needs some support.

  5. As much I don't like to see or hear about vandalism and theft of items from our historic buildings, more worryingly common drain covers are also going missing, which the council no longer have suitable replacements for. The only solution is digging out the old and putting in costly new installations, which aren't always adequate.

    One directly outside our driveway is one example. Road drainage is no longer possible at that point, it's now just an inspection point.

    The council correspondent even went as far to blame the issue on ethnic minorities using racist comments over the phone, which was quite appalling in itself.

  6. I hope you reported him for his racist comments anon 23:35! I'm getting very fed up with so many people blaming others for Thanet's problems.

  7. I prefer to take a 'glass half full' view of the East Cliff. In the five or so years I've lived here, some things have got worse, others have got better.

    That said, if it doesn't all get better soon, I'll probably move to Whitstable!

  8. 23.35 I have to say that I am surprised about that for all TDCs faults I have never encountered racism when I have communicated with them and the staff dealing with telephone calls have always acted properly and courteously.

    The drain covers are something I haven’t yet encountered, but have heard about, not good the scrap value must be pretty low too, I am surprised the scrap merchants take them they must be easy to identify even when smashed up.

    Peter I am with you on that one and consider the people who have moved to Ramsgate from other countries seem to integrate very well for the most part, certainly on average no worse then people who move here from other parts of the UK.

    Richard I think that many of our recent problems stem from the misuse of social housing and gather that people have been moved to this part of Ramsgate that have caused problems in other parts of Thanet. If the council has social problems in Newington or Millmead evicting the people from there and rehousing them here and in other parts of Thanet isn’t a solution.

    As far as I understand it the council working in conjunction with the housing associations will evict problem tenants if they receive enough complaints, but when the problem people have been evicted the council then have a responsibility to rehouse them.

    Up to a point this is a national problem but I understand that TDC have welcomed problem people from other local authorities in exchange for money to support them and now that money is coming to an end.

    However the biggest blight on the area must be Pleasurama and this is a council generated problem caused by their state of denial over both the flood risk and the cliff safety issues, I am doing my best on this one and believe me it is an uphill struggle.


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