Wednesday 29 June 2011
Tuesday 28 June 2011
Monday 27 June 2011
Saturday 25 June 2011
Thanet District Council, No News is Good News, even a Sub Head in the local papers but really a ramble.
Friday 24 June 2011
This is one of the largest local events, just outside Thanet on the road to Wingham and is on tomorrow and Sunday.
Hare are the links to the pictures of last years event:
here is their website:
http://www.prestonrally.co.uk/ you may note this site doesn’t work properly in Internet Explorer.
If you have looked at some of the pictures then I don’t suppose there is much I can do to explain the event further, certainly if you were thinking of camping this weekend it’s well worth considering doing so there and if you want a day out it’s a good one.
Preston Steam Services has a museum run by the same charitable trust that wants to run Ramsgate Maritime Museum http://www.thesteammuseum.org/When it comes to the Maritime Museum that closed two years ago, it is very hard to see how the blame for its continued closure doesn’t mostly belong to Thanet District Council.
My understanding is that for several years now the steam trust, which is a charitable trust, wants to run the museum for the benefit of local people, has been negotiating with the council.
I think the stumbling point is that the building is one of Thanet District Councils iconic Ramsgate assets, others are or were, Albion House, The Royal Victoria Pavilion, Westcliff Hall, The Pleasurama Site, Nero’s, The Eagle Café and The marina Swimming Pool.
This is particularly ironic while the council is engaged in making a compulsory purchase of the Dreamland site in Margate, while these council owned assets in Ramsgate suffer their various fates at the hands of the council.
What is certain is that for the steam trust to run the museum they need grant funding and to obtain this they need security of tenure in terms of a reasonable lease from the council.
More irony here as at the same time as the council pulled out of the lease they had promised the trust on the grounds that long leases had to be seen as asset disposals and would therefore have to go through a long and probably expensive asset disposal process, they handed out a 199 year lease to the Pleasurama development developer without going to asset disposal.
Since then my understanding is that the trust said they would accept a shorter lease and this lease has been subject to a further couple of years prevarication by the council, now I think it likely that the trust may have given up the idea. Mostly on the grounds that the council are just to difficult to work with.
Whatever the ins and outs the museum remains closed and anyone seeing the obvious resources that the steam trust has to offer would be forgiven for wondering why the council are not welcoming them with open arms.
I would say that the main thing now in Ramsgate’s favour is that we really haven’t got much else in the way of council owned assets to lose, what remains at best is empty and at worse derelict, demolished or abandoned.
Update I have just heard from the council with an update on the situation that sounds encouraging:
“I am pleased to advise that latest iteration of the proposed lease setting out
the Council's preferred position as prospective Landlord, is now with the Steam
Museum Trust for consideration.
I hope that if there are still some issues to be resolved between the Counciland the Trust, none of them will be too difficult to overcome.”
I will add to this one as I get time
Thursday 23 June 2011
Today’s pictures from the camera card, via my notebook with the very small screen so I haven’t seen them properly prior to publication so apologies for the bad ones in advance.
and the Dickens Festival ones here, I will add them to the rest when I get time
I know that there are people who just like to follow the pictures and my rather aimless meanderings and I also know that I have been rather lax in putting them online recently.
The main observation today was yet another cliff safety problem here in Ramsgate, the picture above is a detail from one of the ones in the first batch, link above, shows part of what I am concerned about.
This relates to the part of the cliff above the new extension to the rebuilding of the Granville Marina Restaurant as flats.
Since they started on this building I have been impressed by the quality of the build but have been expressing my concerns about the cliff structure behind the extended part.
I have general concerns about the way the council are managing our cliff structures and most particularly I have concerns where those cliff structures are adjacent to residential developments.
What you can see in the picture is a few bricks being displaced by vegetation growth and I would think anyone can see that eventually they will fall off if left unattended. This is a relatively minor side effect of the whole problem, the chances of there being someone underneath them when they fall is not that great and I would say an absolute worst case scenario it that when they fall they would kill a couple of people.
What worries me considerably is that the condition of this brickwork shows that the much larger concrete lump the bricks are sitting on, hasn’t been properly maintained and like the Pleasurama site the intention is that local people will be living where the debris would fall if a large part of it collapses.
My understanding is that the responsibility for maintaining both the cliff in the picture and the one behind the Pleasurama site is Thanet District Council’s and the responsibility for monitoring the safety of these structures is also the council’s..
With the Pleasurama site there is the added problem that the council benefits financially from the development of the site.
With the Pleasurama site I think the thing that worried me most was the business of me crying wolf over the undermining of the arched part of the façade, strangely the council seemed quite happy about this. However the fundamental problem here still hasn’t been resolved and that is that the council and the council’s consulting engineers carried out a cliff survey and a £1m repair based on the same information that caused me to report this part of the façade as being dangerous i.e. that the panels between the arches were block when in fact they are cast concrete.
In other words both the councils engineers and their consulting engineers made safety predictions, carried out a major survey and repair contract without understanding the basic construction of the structure. Or they spent a lot of our money surveying and repairing a brick house, then pronounced it safe, when I came along and said to them actually it’s a wooden house, their reply was, oh so it is, but is still safe.
Wednesday 22 June 2011
Of all the peculiar ideas, those of the last Labour administration about the regeneration through retailing, are some that seem to have backfired in strange and peculiar ways.
I think much of the problem relates to traffic infrastructure, based on the idea that people were going to use public transport and bicycles much more than they in fact do.
Equally peculiar is the way is the way that the local Conservatives took on these ideas with great enthusiasm and I suppose the gridlock and parking difficulties that often occur at Westwood Cross are the most familiar symptom of this.
In Ramsgate we are all familiar with the Impact scheme to improve the shopping centre that was suddenly curtailed in an uncompleted state for no apparent reason.
The strangest of all of these projects for regeneration through shopping, was the one that occurred behind Ramsgate main sands, considerable lottery and EU funding was ploughed into something based on the idea that the affluent would suddenly start shopping there by bicycle.
Perhaps thinking about it this may have started even before the last Labour administration at TDC wasn’t Impact a Tory idea, oh well this is all lost in the mists of time.
Anyway sometime around twenty five years ago local shops, leisure facilities and parking became a sort of target here in Thanet with Ramsgate being the frontline testing area.
The Eastern Undercliff main sands area had numerous leisure facilities and considerable free public parking along the one-way road behind the main sands that emerged on the Eastcliff.
The leisure facilities here have been demolished, abandoned, burnt and a few have been turned into car parks.
As far as the road to nowhere goes though the appearance of the yellow peril, in terms of no parking and no loading stripes of one sort or another, has now passed anything I have ever seen outside of the busiest roads where even the slightest congestions causes massive traffic jams.
How exactly people are supposed to unload granny or the children, deckchairs, sunshades wind breaks, I don’t really know.One thing is certain though, the message to any tourists is, you are not welcome here.
As you see the great wide yellow splodges know no end.
Strangely the adjacent road seems to have no restrictions.
In the picture above you can see that there are times you can park but not unload.
What which council are trying to achieve here defies the imagination, perhaps what they are trying to achieve on dead end road that is very seldom busy is probably in file somewhere only accessible through the information commissioner.
Tuesday 21 June 2011
Monday 20 June 2011
The same group seems to have something to do with the Manston Business park site see http://www.eurokent.org/manston%20park.html none of the links on their news page seem to work http://www.eurokent.org/news.html all in all this seems to be another site with lots of roundabouts mostly not leading to much.
I have just remembered that Bertie had things to say about Eurokent, click on the link to do a Google search of his blog for Eurokent http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=eurokent+site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fthanetstrife.blogspot.com%2F&hl=en&num=10&lr=&ft=i&cr=&safe=images&tbs=
Saturday 18 June 2011
Here is the first video
I have put the pictures through autocorrection with the video going up onto youtube they may take a while to appear at
I will add a bit more text
Friday 17 June 2011
Thursday 16 June 2011
Dear Mr Child,
Customer Feedback Reference:28711
Thank you for your email which was received on 15/06/2011 and for bringing this
issue to our attention.
We have investigated the problem and discovered that this has occurred due to an
issue with Google provided readers and not as a result of bug within the TDC RSS
I agree with you that the Margate Big Event should feature as the main news
event on our feed and indeed it does. The top article in our feed is “Line up
for Margate’s Big Event” and this is showing as the top article in all readers
not provided by Google. It appears that Google has been caching a few old posts
incorrectly which has resulted in old posts showing at the top of feeds viewed
through their reader.
This should be an isolated incident but we will monitor this and have reported
this to Google directly.
In promoting the Big Event 2011, we use a variety of channels to ensure maximum
coverage. These include:
Leaflets handed out over May Bank Holiday and at the Margate Meltdown as well as
30,000 delivered to households across Kent.
Flyers to local Margate schools.
450 Posters at many locations in East Kent.
Banners on thanet.gov (on every page), This is Margate, Youth Matters, visit
Thanet, visit Kent, visit Britain and Kent online.
TDC switchboard phone message.
Eposter, posters and leaflets to our partners to distribute.
A direct Mail campaign across Kent.
Press ads in Thanet Extra, Canterbury Extra, Folkestone Extra, Ashford Extra,
Medway Extra, East Kent Mercury as well as front page editorials and double page
features in our free local papers.
1 week of radio promotion across KMFM.
We expect the Big Event 2011 to again be well attended. In addition, the new
location of the Margate seafront will help to boost income for local businesses
and promote Margate as a tourist destination.
Thank you for the support you are showing to the Big Event and for highlighting
the problem you have encountered with the RSS feed. I hope that clarification of
our promotion campaign resolves your concerns about attendance and that you
enjoy the weekend.
I hope that this response resolves the matter to your satisfaction.
If you are not happy with our response, you may write to us with your reasons
within the next ten working days, requesting a further review.
In order for us to respond as efficiently as possible, please ensure that you
quote the above reference number and address your communication to ********** - Customer Feedback Co-ordinator, Business Services.
Corporate Information & Communications Manager