Friday 30 December 2011

New Year Fireworks in Ramsgate but not in Broadstairs.

 There will be a firework display over Ramsgate Harbour at midnight on Saturday 31st December 2011 to welcome in the New Year.

There won’t be a firework display in Broadstairs to welcome in the New Year as it has been cancelled for health and safety reasons.
 I hope this information is right as there is no mention of either event on the various council what’s on websites and phoning up the tourist information office reveals they are on holiday, as does phoning the council.

The Isle of Thanet Gazette’s front page story is about leaked emails about the Broadstairs cancellation from the new council cabinet.
Here is the online version of the Gazette article not an easy thing to find. 

The pictures, are of the Ramsgate Festival of Britain illuminations, although I am not completely certain of the second one down.   

And this is a picture of Dinah Sheridan who did the turning on, of the illuminations that is. 

I am wondering just what TDCSAG (Thanet District Council Safety Advisory Group) is all about, who it comprises how much they all get paid and why they concluded that a firework display that has been held for the past few years with the same safety arrangements is dangerous this year.

Perhaps if I could find contact details for them then perhaps I could get them to look into the Pleasurama safety issues.

Onto the new Labour cabinet and their misuse of ITC, very funny I though ccing the wrong people in the email exchange, when it comes to touch screen devices I don’t think I want be the one casting the first stone though.  

Personally as a – not sure even middle-aged is a good description here unless we can expect people to live to about 120 – man with large sausage like fingers and a creative approach to spelling, I find predictive text and virtual keyboards a bit of a challenge.   

Then we come to another question, is the local press politically biased? I am always being told that this blog is, I suppose one answer to this is that after the accidental email exchange they may be.

I think, the press are stupid intentionally or not, is obviously the best Michelle Fenner quote of the year, in fact in view of the time left she will have to be pretty sharp to improve on it.

Some interesting thought here on the difference between press that is stupid by mistake, for instance not checking who is cc’d when you send an email and a press that is stupid deliberately. I find as a blogger being stupid deliberately can be a fallback when all else fails trying to get some point across.

Oh yes I have just discovered Professor Emin was guest editor on the Today program on Wednesday, as she was interviewing some local people readers may want have a listen. Linking to Auntie is not necessarily a straightforward business so the link may not last or it may not work, if it does you click on the links on the page you get to hear bits of the program   

I will ramble on about this one. 


  1. I seem to remember an incident involving a scurrilous comparison between Tony Flaig and a beached whale. This was blamed on finger trouble with a iPad. Yet when Alan Poole has similar problems this claimed issue with iPad keyboards is ignored. Let he who is without sin.....

  2. Tim, what strange comments you make around the blogs for a claimed Conservative. Are you by any chance a double agent or is this all part of the new TDC spin machine?

  3. I think the TDCSAG is this TDC Event Organisation and Land Hire dept and only covers events.

    With another whale in Thanet today I hope that Tony (or anybody else) is not insulted again and the blame put on an IPad.

  4. Touched a raw nerve did I 2021, or should I say Simon? No, I can still be a good Conservative and dislike Simon's double standards. He blamed his indiscretion regarding Tony on his iPad but is seemingly unable to accept that others might equally struggle with a keyboard that he only last week blamed for dropped apostrophes. Others have hinted at the disquiet felt in Conservative circles outside the Island about the behaviour of the local party so I am not alone in my concern.

  5. Tim, debate and criticism within an organisation is healthy, but airing dirty washing and such like simply feeds ammunition to ones opponents.

    No, I am not Simon, but move in senior Conservative circles nationally. Other than in allegations raised by the now floundering John Worrow, I have encountered no disquiet elsewhere with Thanet conservatives as a group. Individuals may come in for criticism from time to time, but that is pretty standard around the country in all parties.

    Hence, I repeat, you are a strange and very questionable party man.

  6. Shame no fireworks but I am enjoying reading the comments on this post, they are not fireworks but are a bit sparkley.

    Michael the second picture down is the best of the bunch ( other than Dinah) I find it strange to cancel a long standing event that has gone off most years without a hitch still I never intended going to either display so I for on wont be affected

  7. No fireworks, at least its good news for the many pets and other animals in Broadstairs.

  8. 0937 I don't think people who move in senior Conservative circles nationally hide behind anonymous handles. If you are so important maybe you ought to suggest to local Conservatives that they are a bit more careful. Cllr Moores left himself wide open with his iPad criticism of Cllr Poole. He is doing more harm to local Conservative aspirations than anyone else and really needs to learn that he is only a servant not a master. I applaud his connecting with the public through his blog but abhor his acerbic and condescending tone.

  9. Tim, think about it. Blogging anonymously allows one to express personal views and feelings, something that one's position in life, or to be more correct office, does not permit. Unfortunately, if an MP, councillor or known party official expresses an independent view there are those that will herald that as party policy.

    Even you assume I am important. Actually I am not, but am simply related to some who are.

  10. Sorry to butt in on this private debate about Cllr Moores, and I do appreciate he gets up a few noses, but he has been one of but a handful councillors to engage in an open forum and try to answer queries raised.

    Even Michael Childs applauds him for that, though they have some lively debates in the process. We cannot all agree about everything, but attacking each other within the same political persuassion publicly is a dangerous precedent.

  11. Tom

    You are quite right. I shall only point out that the dirty washing was first exposed when Simon chose to criticise someone publicly for something he had done a while back and is still prone to do. That's the dangerous precedent, as indeed are some of his blogs pre-dating his original electoral success.
    I only wish that more of our Council engaged with the public like he does, and that, just occasionally, entrenched positions were surrendered rather than defended with a variation of I know better than you because I am a Councillor and you are not. Chris Wells illustrated this perfectly the other day when he took off his party political hat and explained, clearly and concisely, the issues surrounding car parks.
    We on our side of Centre should all join together to congratulate Roger Gale, especially since I may have just been arguing with Suzy! We should also try and persuade our local representatives to drop the party political posturing and get on with regaining control of TDC. As I have said before, hearts and minds.........

  12. 1323 I shall call you S from now on to save effort. I take your point and that indeed is why I comment under a name close to but not my own, for exactly the same reasons as you. And to halt the enquiries before they start, the Tim is correct, the Clark is close. The difference is that there is but one "Tim Clark" commenting here but countless "Anonymous"s.

  13. Presumably then, Timothy, you must be Jeremy's brother?

    Take your point about the numerous anonymous posters.

  14. Tim, already congratulated Sir Roger over on Big News and agree that honour is well deserved.

    I also take on board what you say, but would rather have people like Simon, who at least try to engage, than those that hide behind a self important wall of 'need to know basis' secrecy.

    Agree with you 100% on concentrating the efforts to win back control, preferably before too much damage is inflicted on the area.

    Happy New Year.

  15. Tom
    Beginning to look like some sort of mutual admiration society.
    100% in agreement with your last post. Labour to remain in power for only as long as it takes for them to show the electorate their woeful level of competence, thereby hopefully preventing a repeat lefty administration for many years. Someone materialise with enough clout (S, your relative?) to persuade Simon to stop talking down to us all. Conservative councillors and prospective councillors across the Island to engage in debate with the electorate - not just the ones who vote Tory - to win over hearts and minds.

  16. S, no 'fraid not. Nice idea but cars to me are only a means of getting from A to B.
    To win over the electorate we need to be squeaky clean - and that means above criticism. So we come back to the saying about the inhabitants of glass houses and projectile launching. As I said to Tom, Simon just needs to curtail his habit of talking down to us and maybe occasionally concede some ground. If he can achieve this then he could become a very potent force.

  17. Dinah is turning me on too... Happy New Year Everybody!

  18. This blog article typifies what’s happening in Thanet. A ten year old tradition (with a proven safety record) is ending because of some strange notion based on hypothetical circumstances and all people can do is squabble along political lines. How bloody childish, and how funny it would be if this attitude wasn’t destroying OUR community at OUR expense.

    The simple answer to the Broadstairs fireworks issue is to hold an enquiry in the cold light of day and decide if there is a problem with safety. If there is, dismiss anyone connected with the event in the past. If there isn’t, dismiss anyone connected with the current debacle. The event can’t be both safe and unsafe, so someone has got it wrong and need to go.

  19. My guess 21.09 is that some time in the council’s history a clerk probably on a salary of about £30k was allocated to smooth the way for local events, a further guess is that this developed into a department, responsible for local events with a senior officer on about 50k with about four assistants on about £30k.

    Various negotiations made them unsackable with guaranteed pensions, a whole department costing say £250k then had the brilliant idea that they could charge for licensing local events, bringing in say £150k, i.e. a net loss of £100k.

    The next stage is to regulate local events with ever more complex rules, so there are less local events and therefore less income. In local government terms the culmination of this should result in a net cost of £250k and no local events.

  20. 21:09 The people in Broadstairs who organise the fireworks are a small group of unpaid volunteers from the town. Don't think you can actually sack them from non existent jobs.

    You hit the nail on the head at the outset. The event has gone on for years, not just at New Year, but also frequently in the summer. Why now does some beaurocrat over at Cecil Square suddenly find a flaw in the risk assessment when they didn't before.

    Of course, some people will link this into the change of political control and why not. TDC has taken shit for years, probably for many things outside its control, when Conservative so why change for Labour. Certainly Hart and co see the implications hence all the painicky press releases.

    The real sad things is that the first highlight of the town's new year calender did not happen and a lot of people were disappointed. Bars and restaurants will have also missed out on the extra trade the fireworks normally attract.

    Truth is that with genuine goodwill and effort on TDC's part there was time to sort it and it is ridiculous to blame the organisers. They only issued cancellation notices when it got too late to give proper notice to proceed to the contractors.

  21. Tom I am wondering if this could be related to officers not liking the change of administration, I can’t think of anything that could have been within the timeframe and in a Conservative stronghold that could have caused more resentment towards the new administration.

    As far as I can see the existing safeguards were well inside national law, if anything the national government is going for less regulation of this sort of thing, not new rules and regulation making it more difficult to hold events than it was last year.

    I am not being anti Conservative here, more thinking that the ideology of the previous group was perhaps not so much Conservative, but more something that officers had formed in their own image. Perhaps if there had been such long period of Labour leadership we would have seen a similar situation and the display in Ramsgate would have been cancelled on health and safety grounds.

  22. No way of knowing, Michael, but inevitably people will draw conclusions along political sympathy lines.

    As you know, for a long time the more Labour sympathetic Ramsgate folk have complained of too much effort going into North Thanet under the Conservatives. Probably not true, but since when did politics and truth have much in common.

    Let's hope you are right about deregulation and increased local democracy so that town and parish councils have more control over their own affairs.

    Happy New Year to you.

  23. Tom don’t know as a Ramsgate retailer which terrifies me most the largesse of Labour, last time this involved the removal of the seafront car parking and one of the new labour cabinet told me he wanted to destroy two of Ramsgate’s surviving beneficial assets our grammar schools or the enmity of the Conservatives destroying Ramsgate’s council owned real-estate.

  24. Always found it strange how Labour politicians are obsessed with the destruction of grammar schools, the very institutions that allowed so many from humble backgrounds, including Labour cabinet ministers, to achieve their true potential.

    Happily the Ramsgate Grammar Schools are well out of the reach of local politicians for the time being at least.

    The decline of Thanet's heritage demonstrated in the failure to properly maintain its architectural gems is not unique to Ramsgate or even Conservative administrations. Many of our great buildings have been in decline for years arising from shortage of funds. From Northdown House in Cliftonville to Pierremont Hall in Broadstairs, both in mainly Tory heartlands, you have fine period architecture crumbling through years of neglect from TDC, regardless of who has been in charge. It is not unique to Ramsgate.

    My own view is that they would be better sold off to those who can afford to look after them rather than allowed to decay, but that seems to get protest groups excited. Frankly I just do not think TDC has the money, regardless of will, to preserve these classics.

  25. Tom Hart, 12:05 - Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear (anonymous 21:09). In no way did I intend to suggest the organisers were responsible for the closure, quite the opposite in fact as it was the organisers who have been responsible for the long and proven history of this event. The organisers are owed a debt of gratitude from everyone (including TDC) for their service to the community over the years.

    It is officers of TDC who both permitted and prevented the event, so we need to know which decision was correct. Someone MUST be responsible for the outcome and in the real world this would end up as disciplinary action, if not dismissal owing to the seriousness of the outcome. I think Michael is correct with his analysis of how these things are allowed to happen.

    At some stage officers must be held to account for their actions, as in the world of private enterprise. In the UK we have a strong tradition of being allowed to do things unless specifically prohibited. With licensing, overregulation and bureaucracy we are getting dangerously close to not being allowed to do anything unless it is specifically permitted.

    We must fight this nonsense, not just submit to it. Just on this one occasion alone several thousand people were affected, and that needs looking into and acting upon.

  26. Tom it is very strange as the councillor in question was himself an ex grammar school pupil.

    With the iconic heritage council owned buildings and prime leisure sites it is the number of them in Ramsgate that is exceptional. Pretty much all the ones the council own in the town 7 really big ones and a few others, to the point that this is perceived in the town as malice.

    In one case when I asked the council what the problem was they said the tender had fallen through, so I approached the other businessmen in the area, found them a reasonable tenant and they haven’t even come up with a rental offer after nearly a year. There is also the museum where they are dealing with a charitable trust, the heritage pontoon, well the list goes on, but many of the councils actions over the last eight years relating to the property they own in Ramsgate has reduced their income.

    Pleasurama though is the main blight on the town, I think it would take the Conservative group explaining why the decided to go against the advice of the council’s head of finance and continue with this development to convince me.

  27. TDC politicians criticising one another and jockeying for power, heavens, what is this modern world coming too.


Comments, since I started writing this blog in 2007 the way the internet works has changed a lot, comments and dialogue here were once viable in an open and anonymous sense. Now if you comment here I will only allow the comment if it seems to make sense and be related to what the post is about. I link the majority of my posts to the main local Facebook groups and to my Facebook account, “Michael Child” I guess the main Ramsgate Facebook group is We Love Ramsgate. For the most part the comments and dialogue related to the posts here goes on there. As for the rest of it, well this blog handles images better than Facebook, which is why I don’t post directly to my Facebook account, although if I take a lot of photos I am so lazy that I paste them directly from my camera card to my bookshop website and put a link on this blog.