Friday, 13 January 2012

Friday the thirteenth, an auspicious day for Thanet District Council? Another councillor resigns the whip and other rambles about our little isle.

 The situation at the moment seems to be that we have now got 5 independent councillors as Ian Driver has resigned from the Thanet Labour group, I have to admit that this quite surprised me.

My reasoning being, having done this, how would a socialist in Thanet ever get elected as a councillor again without the support of the local Labour group? Perhaps I am missing something here but to me it seems that in Thanet there isn’t much political ground left of Labour or right of Conservative. I don’t think that standing as an independent candidate in the ground outside has much mileage.

 Do I think that these councillors that resign the whip should stand for re-election? Well frankly no I don’t think that party politics of the conventional sort is appropriate at district council level and I always vote for the individual and not the party.

At the moment I suppose what I want my councillors to be doing regardless of their political party is to try and get the best for the local area and to try to achieve something in the direction of what local people want in terms of the direction the council is moving in.
 Most of the local people I speak to are against the live animal exports and see to see Ian Driver more as a force in this area than a force for the political extreme left.

I guess this week most of us want to see our councillors supporting the council’s bid to get Dreamland and turn it into a visitor attraction and I am told that the lack of numbers at the public enquiry is being seen used by legal team who want to develop the site as mostly housing, as an indicator of lack of interest in the heritage leisure park.
 Obviously an important factor here is does this defection mean that the local Conservative group have a realistic chance of winning a confidence vote in the council and regaining Conservative control.

A busy Friday in the bookshop for me today, so I haven’t managed to get out and get a Gazette, obviously the leaked information about EKO Eurokent is of great interest to me, so here is the link to that story
 I guess that some of you are wondering what EKO is all about, clicking on this link may help a bit as it takes you to the posts I put up when trying to find out from a somewhat reluctant council.

Like the Dreamland site this is about putting more housing where perhaps housing isn’t appropriate, only in this case the property developer seems to be our local councils and the land seems to be prime agricultural land and our children’s playing fields.    

I spent a fair bit of yesterday evening looking at the equality issues that John Worrow is now to champion, see and am coming to the conclusion that there are still some very real issues here.

I suppose the problem for me is that being a white heterosexual male I don’t often come up against anything remotely like discrimination, I was one disabled but that was a long time ago when discrimination hadn’t really entered into the world of awareness.

Being in wheelchair meant being a cripple, if the disabled word had come along it was a new one, homosexuality was still theoretically illegal and the word gay meant carefree and happy.   

In the world of secondhand bookselling where almost everyone involved is fairly eccentric, I don’t think there is very much discrimination, certainly books have been a major factor in changing attitudes towards discrimination.

Although there are areas where there are surprising gaps, for instance you may wish to try and name three famous American feminist novelists, this isn’t as easy as you first would suppose. 

So now we come to what really bugs me about Ian Driver and that is total lack of any attempt to communicate why he has resigned the Labour whip to us lot the Thanet voters.

He has a blog a twitter account!/ianddriver so why not tell us, the local people what he is up to and why?

Mike Harrison is saying that this is a flowerpot issue see there are other indicators online see
I think and of course we won’t really know until he tells us that What Ian is against is the floral display budget about £20,000 and the events budget about £165,000, it think what he is saying is that there should be no council funded events and no council funded flowerpots next year, as this costs the council £185,000. This has to be put into the perspective of the council’s overall budget of about £22,500,000 which means that roughly for every thousand pounds the council spend about £1 is spent on events and flowers.

We now of course come to what happens at next Thursdays council meeting to approve the budget, see

Where for instance do the Conservatives stand, do they vote against the budget, because it is a Labour one on principle? I suppose the answer to that would be yes.

The rest of the independents, where do they stand, I would guess that they had considerable influence in the formation of this budget.

There is also of course where Ian stands, obtaining from the vote because he doesn’t want the flower pots is one thing, but obtaining on a vote of confidence, if this then means he lets the Conservatives get in could be something to live down for him.

So now we come to the really tricky bit and that is what are the solutions open to trying to deal with the serious problems that Thanet has.

Here in Ramsgate many of the problems that we have relate to council owned properties, Pleasurama, casino, museum, Albion House, Westcliff Hall and so on, so I suppose many of us here are waiting to see if the Labour group stay in power for any length of time whether any of these problems will get solved.

There is a perception in the town that many of these problems were related to spite towards a town that has mostly Labour councillors and I guess the Conservative stance that the business with the community centre in Broadstairs was an act of spite by the new Labour administration towards a town where the majority of councillors are Conservative lends more weight to this perception.
It does look as though Ian may have quite a lot on his plate at the moment as I think there were some interesting ramifications at last nights live animal export protest at Port Ramsgate, I think this facebook thingy will open even if you are not a member of it let me know if it doesn’t and I will fiddle with it.

I will ramble on here as the day progresses


  1. interesting that Cllr Driver has 'jumped into bed' with Cllr Worrow! How appropriate

  2. Tut, tut, chaps, where's your diversity training? Whoops, I've gone all male chauvanistic and assumed you are blokes. How sexist of me. I will have the Diversity Champion feeling my collar if I am not careful.

  3. 14.15, 14.39, 14.59 and 15.10 are you perhaps one onanistic individual?

  4. No, I will cough to 15:10 only though I cannot speak for the other three.

  5. One thing is for sure. Ian Driver wont be out in the wilderness as one local blogger has commented. Unlike many backbenchers who have no power at all.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. I am thinking of resigning too...lets see where that leaves everyone....

  8. 16.26 personal insults towards named individuals from anonymous individuals are not allowed here, so I have modified your comment below.

    Something may however be cause for concern is the use of four exclamation marks, you may be advised to seek help with this.

    Anonymous said...
    I hold my hands up to 1415.. but my views on Cllr Worrow are only personel.. I find him an annoying little ******* and that is no reference to his sexuality.. just him as a person!!!!
    13 January 2012 16:26

  9. What is the Chief Executives position on EKO i understand that she has been a director for several years ? A little mouse also tells me that tdc also had to sign off accounts that weren't strictly accurate, and have not been able to meet their obligations, regarding monies to kent county council.
    Questions need to be asked and answers should be forth coming.

  10. All I know is that I have made a formal complaint to the CAB about a Cllr's activities.

    On the matter of Officers and TDC, its about time Laura got Pickles to sort TDC out, or sack the lot of them as well as its Auditors?

    He (Pickles)should remove TDC in its entirety and give us an East Kent Unitary body that genuinely serves us and not spiv developments such as the EKO?

  11. Ian Driver was one of the crew who instigated, for political gain, that we did not have new year fireworks at Broadstairs, my Late Father would describe this Gentleman as if "you lie with dogs you catch Fleas" & judge a man's character not by what he says, but by what he actualy does, and on his watch we had guns disapear from margate museum........need I say more

  12. Anonymous 11.41

    If you suspect or have been tipped off and feel that questions need to be asked and answers should be forth coming then perhaps you should make a freedom of information request. You seem to be hinting at some serious things but without the detail it would be hard for anyone else to know what to ask to get to the bottom of the matter as it would be a wide target but the specific matter could be easily missed.

    One avenue is to request information via which has several ongoing requests involving Thanet and many past responses. It also makes the information available to all on the web and can avoid duplicate questions if you go through the past questions.

  13. Last posting should be to 23.41 13 January 2012 i.e. 11.41 p.m.


Please note comments that may be libellous, comments that may be construed as offensive, anonymous derogatory comments about real people, comments baiting internet trolls, comments saying that an anonymous comment was made by a named real person, boring comments and spam comments, comments in CAPs will be deleted. Playground stuff like calling real people by their time stamp or surname alone, referring to groups as gangs, old duffers and so on will result in deletion. Comment that may be construed as offensive to minority groups is not allowed here either, so think before you write it, remember that the internet is a public place, that it is very difficult to be truly anonymous and that everyone who uses it leaves a trail of some sort. Also note the facility to leave anonymous comment will be turned of during periods when I am unable to monitor comment, this will not affect people commenting who are signed on to their blogger accounts. When things are particularly difficult on the commercial spam front I may turn comment moderation on for periods.

If you feel that someone has left a comment that is offensive and directed at you personally please email me (link on the sidebar) asking to have it removed, you will need to tell which post and the date and timestamp of the offending comment. Please do not reply to the offending comment as I will assume you continuing the dialogue as meaning that you want the comments left there.