Sunday, 27 February 2011

Sunday Ramble

I wouldn’t expect anything too coherent today, I have been out on various book buying missions and don’t have that much time to sort out my thoughts, so expect this to be a bit jumbled. I will add to it on and off today if the mood takes me.

Thanet District Council Election Purdah in One Month and open questions to councillors.

We all have one month before the council officers and the councillors will say they either can’t do it or they can’t say it because they are in purdah.

Looking at the local blogs you would be forgiven for thinking that local election fever has already started, this doesn’t have much to do with election promises, but does have a great deal to do with one party saying what’s wrong with the other party.
There is a strange aside with the local Conservatives here that is a bit bizarre, for the past few months we have had a new cabinet, ruled by Bob and this group of “New Conservatives”? seem to be saying that they are, what, different, better, than the old Conservatives, Ruled by Sandy, that have governed Thanet for most of the past eight years.

There is a strange aside with local Labour, which seems to revolve around the deselection of Mark Nottingham and even be moving into the higher county of the imagination, about who it that replaces Steve Ladyman.

This then begs the question of who to chose, I am a floating voter and when it comes to Thanet and Ramsgate in particular I will be ignoring the great national concerns, mostly where did all the money go, and will be selfishly voting for whoever I think can deal with Ramsgate’s and to a lesser degree Thanet’s problems.
Most fundamental of these is how to stay in business while the shops all around me close, the value of shops in this part of Ramsgate plummets, road, pavement, cleaning, general behaviour, parking, in fact anything conducive to running a shop goes out of the window.

In a broader sense there is Ramsgate itself, the main blights on the town as a tourist destination being the way previous councils have handled the high profile council owned assets that dominate the seafront, the bit the tourists come for.

The main blight among many of these blights being the council owned Pleasurama site that dominates the main sands part of the town. This site has come to another of the many deadlines that have been agreed with the council over the last eight years, by this I mean the current development agreement states that the structural frame of the hotel part of the site shall be substantially and materially commenced by 1st March 2011. Apart from six concrete posts right at the other end of the site, no work has happened there.
It also says about the pile driving that that should be substantially and materially commenced by 31st January 2010 and complete by 31st August 2010.

Don’t take my word for it, here’s the agreement, page ten I think http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/pda/id17.htm


Ask a councillor what is going on and you may not get an answer, ask a council officer, as I did this week and you will be told that the information may or may not be supplied within 20 council days, this means a month.

Don’t get me wrong here if someone could assure me that a safe and sensible development was actually going on there, then I would be happy to support it.
Like the other main council owned assets in the town, Westcliff Hall, Eagle Café, Clock House, Pavillion, Albion House, I would like to vote for a party that has some sort of plan and a party that would at least just tell us just what is going on with these major assets.

So any to councillors please tell us if you have any thing to say, before going into purdah. I am afraid your thoughts about what is wrong with the other party, your concerns about how they may mismanage the finances don’t interest me very much, what I would like to know is what you intend to do, if you manage to get elected?

With Margate and the gamble on art, the council seem to be doing its best to tidy the place up a bit prior to Turner and this does show some sign of an effort, I sincerely hope the gamble pays off.

With Margate once again I looks as though the rules are going to applied fairly over the football club planning application, and frankly Simon Moores is making a very good job of showing how a councillor can use the internet to explain the process.
But then why with the major Pleasurama planning application can’t the rules be applied properly and fairly? Is it because it is Ramsgate? There is no question that the developer is once again outside of their agreement. This is a new agreement entered into with the council on 3rd September 2009, do any of the councillors want to discuss this issue?

Sorry about that I will get off this hobby horse.
Looking at the local blogs:

I see Mark Nottingham has returned with a post http://marknottingham.blogspot.com/2011/02/jackey-bakers-play-area.html I really don’t know what to say about this, all that fuss, the post saying what he thought about deselection then deleting it so it’s now only available at http://birchington.blogspot.com/p/open-letter-to-clive-hart-from-mark.html even more annoying deleting all the comments that people had bothered to leave.

Then this post as though nothing has happened, what I mean here is what happens if he gets into some position of power and there is some major issue, would he just suddenly decide he didn’t like it anymore and rub out everyone’s thoughts and then just try to carry on as though nothing has happened?
Turner Contemporary TV this comes from a post on Thanet Waves http://www.thanetwaves.co.uk/2011/02/captain-birdseye-plays-washboard.html the Turner Contemporary now has its own video site, here it is http://vimeo.com/tcmargate and it is interesting to see what a big budget set-up like this van achieve, you will also notice that each of the pages with a video on has viewing statistics, giving you some idea of the popularity of what they are doing.

This sort of thing leaves me just lost for words.
Margate Architecture has a post about putting a big buoy on Margate seafront, see http://margatearchitecture.blogspot.com/2011/02/do-we-want-5-meter-high-buoy-on-margate.html this certainly made me chuckle. What with painting stripes on the lighthouse, that once there will have to be repainted over and over, I do wonder if people on Margate seafront need reminding they are in a marine environment. Perhaps a large illuminated plastic duck will be next.

Mustn’t leave out Tony Bignews Margate as he has been known to get fractious, his funniest post this week is directed at Clive Harts twittering http://bignewsmargate.blogspot.com/2011/02/if-only-i-had-something-worth.html I have to admit to trying twitter and what I achieved was if anything worse.

You either come up with something that looks as though you live a very important life, something along the lines of, 9.46 has audience with pope, 10.40 chaired committee on disarmament or it goes along the lines of Woke up, fell out of bed, Dragged a comb across my head, Found my way downstairs and drank a cup, And looking up I noticed I was late. Obviously nothing with any potential meaningful interest. Here is the link to Clive’s tweets http://twitter.com/CliveHart

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for the mention, Michael. It's good to be back!

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  2. Luke it’s still making me chuckle, fish fingers!

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  3. Morning Michael, I like your collection of photos of the rooftops of Ramsgate.

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  4. All taken yesterday in between zooming about dealing with books, not much on the camera card, but here’s the rest of it http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/netbook211/id12.htm

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  5. Would be lovelly if a Conservative Councillor could shed some light on SFP. No website - based in the British Virgin Islands. What a farce.

    Ben K

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  6. Ben things aren’t as bad as they were in as much as the developer are now using a local contractor Cardy Construction who indeed have a website http://www.cardygroup.co.uk/ and do now have some very limited information about the development on their web site at http://www.cardygroup.co.uk/projects/projects.php?cat_id=4

    The pictures that they have used relate to the first set of plans, for the development that was too tall with the tin roof, I think they intend to build to the latest set of plans the slightly shorter development with the rubber roof and the road behind it.

    The trouble is that I am not really certain what they are going to build and for something in a prime site that is about three times the size of the new Turner gallery building in Margate, this is not a happy state of affairs.

    I also think that SFP have registered a UK company although it doesn’t seem to be building anything else.

    ReplyDelete

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