Saturday, 22 May 2010


A 'Shadow Cabinet role' at Thanet District Council is always a challenge but at the recent TDC AGM Cllr Linda Aldred had another 'watching brief' for Ramsgate Royal Marina added to her busy Customer Service & Business Transformation Shadow Portfolio.

Last weekend Cllr John Watkins, a former Naval Officer, Lifeboatman and the Boats Officer for the Ramsgate Maritime Museum, helped his fellow Labour councillor to understand just how problematic the issues are with her newly extended role by taking her on an inspection of the marina.

Cllr. Watkins said "the decline of facilities at Ramsgate Royal Harbour during the last seven years of Conservative control at TDC has been marked. A TDC Scrutiny Working Party was set up by Cllr Bob Bayford last July to look into the problems at the port but to date it has never met and the loss of the Golden Anchor and the downgrading of our Harbour to the bottom 6 out of 91 UK harbours, by the Yacht Harbour Association was not unexpected. Thanet's 'jewel in the crown' is in a sorry state, due to seven years of the Conservative administration's inactivity and neglect.

Under Labour's TDC stewardship from 1995 the Ramsgate Harbour saw the addition of the brand new 100 berth Western Marina and by 2003 the harbour was was equipped with a new port control room, the new 40 tonne boat hoist and a new fuel barge facility, plus new security gates and a CCTV system, together with two new amenity blocks for visiting boat’s crews.
Since the harbour's own dredger 'Ramsgate' was sold off by the Tory administration at TDC the build up of silt has been a constant problem.

Today, due to reports in the national boating press in recent years regarding departure delays and vessels grounding on the sand banks at the entrance, some yachtsmen are now avoiding our harbour. Less leisure vessel visits were recorded during 2009 and less permanent berths were occupied. There have been reports of accidents caused by unstable and poorly maintained pontoons and due to the build up of silt, the inner marina gate has had to remain closed for longer periods in order to prevent boats grounding in their berths.

I spent last weekend explaining these issues to my close colleague Cllr Linda Aldred and showing her the outer basin where the long eastern marina breakwater and pontoon has been out of use since last October awaiting major repairs, with still no firm date for when it will be available for mooring visiting vessels, and the rows of smashed light fittings on the east pier. I also pointed to the grade two listed Maritime Museum building with boarded up broken windows, standing closed and forlorn."

Following her tour, Cllr Linda Aldred said "On such a beautiful day it was a sad and sorry sight to see the neglect of this precious asset at close hand. We know money is tight but the harbour is an essential part of Thanet’s regeneration so surely it is a false economy not to invest in it. We must all work together to find some solutions urgently."

PICTURE ATTACHED - Cllr Linda Aldred & Cllr John Watkins inspecting the Marina.


  1. Shame that the only person willing to be shown round was a fellow labour cabinet member, and could you answer the question, Does she have a voice? or is she just shy?

  2. Naval officer? perhaps it should have been Navel gazing officer?

  3. The state of Ramsgate Harbour is an utter disgrace. Acting Harbour Master and Head of 'Regeneration' LOL Brian White should be sacked NOW.

  4. 1st job Mr White should do is remove those two muppets in the picture


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