News, Local history and Thanet issues from Michael's Bookshop in Ramsgate see www.michaelsbookshop.com I publish over 150 books about the history of this area click here to look at them.
Friday, 17 August 2012
Thanet history book sale, phoning the council, phoning the police and other Friday ramblings.
I have just changed the local books window display and
made up a sale of sun faded books from it, I have added various proofing
copies, shop soiled local books and local books that probably have something or
another wrong with them. Publishing and printing about 150 books about this part of Kent I get quite a few of these.
I have been going round in the circles of phoning the
council in order to find out what happened at last night’s overview and
scrutiny meeting relating to the call in of The Royal Sands development
agreement decision made by the council cabinet.
Why the council don’t put this sort of information on their
website, first thing in the morning on the day after the meeting, god alone
knows, chasing around for an officer who was at the meeting for everyone who
phones up to find out must be a considerable waste of resources.
Anyway I now have an answer, which is scrutiny have asked
for an external review of the financial side of the deal.
For me the problem here is more the secrecy and not so much
the council getting good value for the site. An example of what I mean here is
the previous development agreement, I think it fair to say that aspects of this
where not as well written as they could have been, the most problematic thing
being that there is really no hard and fast time limit in it. As far as I can
tell the developer could sit on the site for another five years blaming market
conditions and not really doing anything.
However back several years to when the
development agreement came before cabinet, it was a secret document, so no one
could say. “Look here chaps, you could drive a coach-and-four through this
Of course after about a year of foi requesting I got the
agreement but by then it was too late.
Part of the reason for the shop window change was a cracked
pane of glass, I am afraid window dressing isn’t a vocation I have a calling
for, so the windows don’t get changed very often.
Just looked at the picture above, the later one
below shows the potential pitfall of building in front of the cliff.
When I first opened the bookshop here in Ramsgate, the shop
had very large plate glass windows and when one got broken, in the middle of
the night, I would call the police who would turn up during the boarding up
This is a situation that moved on the point where one would
get woken up say at one in the morning, be boarded by about two and then woken
up again by the police at about three. This then moved on to two police
officers arriving the next day and asking me if I would like victim counselling
and support, so in the interests of crime reduction I no longer report broken
A manifold improvement in crime statistics,
being woken up in the night and great savings in counselling, though no so good
for the glass companies, because as the big sheets were broken, I have had the
made into smaller sheets.