Monday, 29 March 2010

NEW CHEAPER PHONE NUMBER FOR VISITOR INFORMATION

A new, cheaper local rate phone number has been introduced for Thanet's visitor information service, following feedback from visitors and tourism related businesses.

Previously, anyone wanting to call the council's visitor Information team had to dial an 0870 number, which costs more to call than a local number.

Now, both visitors and residents can contact the team on 01843 577577. The saving for customers comes, as changes and improvements to the way visitor information services are delivered in Thanet are about to come into place.

This year will see the team heading out to even more events across the area, using their mobile Visitor Information Centre, to ensure that they can target resources to where visitors are.

Key Information Points will also be provided at key locations across Thanet to ensure that information regarding the area is even more accessible.

RAMSGATE & BROADSTAIRS SEA CADETS

A CHANCE TO HELP THE YOUNGSTERS – BUT ONLY ONE DAY LEFT

Can you please spare the time to send one e-mail, or make one telephone call?

Chandlers Builders Merchants have started a Community Fund, and are giving £500 to one deserving cause each month. This first month £100 will be awarded. The Sea Cadets have been short-listed with two others, and the winner will be decided by a public vote.

The Sea Cadets are not funded by the Navy, and rely heavily on fund raising and donations to survive. The Unit is costing around £150 a week to keep going, and we have precious little reserves. Boys and girls are given the opportunity to experience real adventure and discipline, helping to make better citizens. Winning this vote will make a huge difference.

Voting is by e-mail to chandlersthanet@pmwcom.co.uk with Sea Cadets in the subject box, or by telephone to Sally Bason on 01403 783400. The deadline is 5.30 p.m. Wednesday 31st March

Thank you for your help.

Jeff Kirkpatrick

Chairman

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Last weeks planning applications,

Ed. The TDC planning website is one of the most bizarre websites I have ever come across in as much as the web addresses of the pages on it change after a few hours so you can’t publish links to them. If you want to look at any of the applications you need to go to the site and enter the application reference in the search box, this link takes you to the site http://www.ukplanning.com/thanet15 Mar 2010


25 Mar 2010
F/TH/09/0937
25-27 TURNER STREET RAMSGATE CT118NL
current
25 Mar 2010
F/TH/09/1050
188-192 CANTERBURY ROAD, EAST, BIRCHINGTON, CT7 9AQ
current
25 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0007
47 STATION ROAD, WESTGATE ON SEA, CT8 8RB
current
25 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0012
FLlNTSTONES, EGBERT ROAD, MINSTER, RAMSGATE, CT12 4DF
current
25 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0041
10-14 VICARAGE CRESCENT RAMSGATE ROAD MARGATE CT91LH
current
25 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0088
4 WILBROUGH ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT79DY
withdrawn
25 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0183
364 NORTHDOWN ROAD MARGATE CT93PH
current
25 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0197
LAND ADJOINING FOXBOROUGH HOUSE, FOXBOROUGH LANE, MINSTER, RAMSGATE
current
25 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0198
W W MARTIN (THANET) LTD DANE PARK ROAD RAMSGATE CT117LT
current
25 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0201
RECLAMET DEMOLITION LTD WOOD CHURCH WOODCHURCH ROAD WOODCHURCH BIRCHINGTON CT70HL
current
24 Mar 2010
F/TH/09/1031
adjacent to 11 Stone Road Broadstairs Kent
current
24 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0024
LAND AT THE REAR OF BIRCH GROVE, OLD ROAD, SARRE, BIRCHINGTON
current
24 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0179
40 DANE ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT79PT
current
24 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0211
79 ALPHA ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT79ED
current
24 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0223
LAND REAR OF 7 QUEX VIEW ROAD, BIRCHINGTON, CT7 aDZ
current
24 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0228
17 RHODES GARDENS BROADSTAIRS CT101BP
current
24 Mar 2010
L/TH/09/1030
adjacent to 11 Stone Road Broadstairs Kent
current
24 Mar 2010
L/TH/10/0203
AMBRY COURT SHUART LANE ST. NICHOLAS AT WADE BIRCHINGTON CT70NG
current
23 Mar 2010
CU/TH/10/0057
PRESTON PARK CARAVAN SITE PRESTON ROAD MANSTON RAMSGATE CT125AR
decided
23 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0092
KIOSK MARINA ESPLANADE RAMSGATE CT118LX
current
23 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0167
1-3 BYRON AVENUE MARGATE CT91TU
current
23 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0168
2 CHANDOS ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT101QP
current
23 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0169
8 VICARAGE CRESCENT MARGATE CT91LH
current
23 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0172
20 ORCHARD ROAD MARGATE CT95JS
current
23 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0190
74 KING STREET RAMSGATE CT118NY
current
23 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0200
WHITEHALL SERVICE STATION WHITEHALL ROAD RAMSGATE CT126BU
current
23 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0202
43 BURSILL CRESCENT RAMSGATE CT126HA
current
23 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0210
28 GLADSTONE ROAD MARGATE CT95ST
current
23 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0214
47 PRINCES GARDENS MARGATE CT93AS
current
23 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0217
6 THANET ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT101LF
current
23 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0221
33 BELMONT ROAD RAMSGATE CT117QG
curren

New documents published by Thanet District Council,

24/03/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Apr 1 2010 10:00AM, Constitutional Review Working Party

23/03/2010 - Meeting held: Mar 23 2010 7:00PM, Overview and Scrutiny Panel

22/03/2010 - Issue Published: Free moorings and the use of the commercial quay at Ramsgate Harbour for the Ramsgate Branch of the RNLI to hold fundraising event on Sunday 22nd August 2010.

22/03/2010 - Decision Published: Free moorings and the use of the commercial quay at Ramsgate Harbour for the Ramsgate Branch of the RNLI to hold fundraising event on Sunday 22nd August 2010.; Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services and Ramsgate Marina

18/03/2010 - Meeting held: Mar 18 2010 6:00PM, Joint Transportation Board

18/03/2010 - Agenda supplement published - Supplementary Agenda - Motorcycling Scrambling Centre : Supplementary Agenda - Motorcycling Scrambling Centre: Meeting of Mar 23 2010 7:00PM, Overview and Scrutiny Panel

Friday, 26 March 2010

LAND USE POETICS

OPEN EVENT: Sunday 28 March 2010 from 11am
at Crate Studio & Project Space Margate

Land Use Poetics is an international workshop and an exhibition about spatial practices, technologies and imaginaries. During an intense four day workshop ten artists and researchers from around Europe will gather in Thanet for an improvised field study of its everyday environs. Through walks, observations, interviews, or other more or less artistically influenced methods – the group will attempt to explore, understand, map out and scrutinize the area and its different forms of land uses, the tentative result of which will be made public at an open event at Crate
Space in Margate, Sunday the 28th of March, from 11am.

The project is pursued with the support of The Swedish research Councils FORMAS and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond; UCL, Bartlett School of Architecture, and Crate Space, Margate.
For more information please visit http://www.cratespace.co.uk/

Crate Studio and Project Space6 Bilton Square Margate CT9 1DXCharity No: 1105867Company Limited by Guarantee 5163003
Crate is designed to give artists access to affordable space and resources.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

COUNCIL LEADER TO STEP DOWN

Following a meeting of the Conservative Group last night (Wednesday 24 March), Cllr Bob Bayford has been elected Leader of the Conservative Group. It is expected that he will be proposed formally as Leader of the Council at the 13 May Annual Council meeting. In the meantime, Cllr Sandy Ezekiel will continue to be the Leader of the Council and Chairman of the Cabinet.

Cllr Ezekiel said: “I told the Conservative Group at our Annual General Meeting last year that I would not be taking the group through the local elections in May 2011, and therefore did not put my name forward for selection as Leader. I am delighted that Cllr Bayford will be leading the group next year and into the local elections in 2011.”

Cllr Bayford has been a district councillor for Kingsgate ward since 1991; he is also a county councillor for Broadstairs and Sir Moses Montefiore division, and a town councillor for Broadstairs and St Peter’s.

Richard Samuel, Chief Executive, said: “I would like to record my thanks to Cllr Ezekiel for his contribution to the council and to Thanet over the last seven years as Leader. He has led the council through a period of many changes, and I would like to offer him my best wishes for the future.”

“Officers have worked closely with Cllr Bayford as Deputy Leader from 2003-06 and also as the current Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny, where he has overseen considerable reform and improvement to that Committee’s work in recent years.”

WELCOME FOR £200,000 FOR THANET'S SEASIDES

Thanet District Council has welcomed the news that more than £200,000 worth of funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government will be coming to Thanet to support deprived seaside communities.

The money is part of a national £5 million funding package from the Department for Communities and Local Government. This has been awarded to support the 25 most deprived seaside local authorities to boost action in tackling unemployment and drive regeneration in their priority seaside towns.

The announcement is part of the launch of the Government’s new national strategy for seaside towns which is published today (Thursday 25 March), and refers specifically to Margate and Ramsgate as seaside towns eligible for the grant funding.

This funding is particularly welcome, following on from the Coastal Conference held in Margate in January, which highlighted the particular issues facing coastal communities.

The money will be received in the next few weeks and the council is already considering how it plans to use that money to make the most difference in Margate and Ramsgate.

Cllr. Roger Latchford, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “This is fantastic news for Thanet and fits in with the work already being done in regenerating our coastal towns. We are delighted that the unique challenges facing coastal towns have been recognised by the government and welcome this boost to our regeneration efforts.”

CLIFF FACE WORKS FOR STONE BAY

Work is due to be carried out to the cliff face at Stone Bay over the next few weeks, following a series of chalk falls in the last few months.

The emergency work is required, after the recent spell of cold and wet weather led to chalk falls that were more frequent and larger than any which have occurred in recent years. The work is currently out to tender and it is hoped that it will be completed in early May.

The work will see fencing that’s two metres tall being put up at the back of the promenade, just in front of the cliff face. The aim is to stop people entering this area, as previous chalk falls have included lumps of chalk that were the size of a small football.

As a result, the beach huts that are usually sited at Stone Bay at this time of the year cannot be put back until the work is completed. All beach hut owners have been contacted and offered refunds for this period.

Other options, such as putting netting on the cliff face to protect it, have been considered, but this would not be as effective. Usually, in cases like this, loose material would be removed from the chalk cliff and the angle of the cliff face altered to make it more shallow and less prone to falls, but at Stone Bay, there is no room to do this, because of the close proximity of the footpath at the top of the cliff.

Cllr. Roger Latchford, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, said: “It’s critical that we get this work done and as soon as possible. We’re doing everything we can to ensure that the work is out of the way before the main summer season begins. We can fully understand how annoying this may be for those who have beach huts at Stone Bay, but the most important thing is to keep people safe on our beaches. I’m sure everyone can understand that this could seriously injure someone and we just can’t take that risk.”

Cool seas comes back to school

Four lucky primary schools in Thanet will again be experiencing the delights of the life-size seals, dolphins and whales of the ‘Cool Seas’ roadshow, when it returns on Monday 29 March, thanks to the Thanet Coast Project.

The ‘Cool Seas’ roadshow will start on Monday 29 March, and is a spectacular marine wildlife learning experience for schools run by the Marine Conservation Society that has been brought back to Thanet schools by the Thanet Coast Project with support from the Big Lottery.

The Cool Seas Roadshow last visited Thanet in 2004 and has been touring primary and junior schools throughout the UK for the last few years. Andy Starbuck, the presenter, thrills pupils and teachers alike with his life-size, inflatable whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles, seals and porpoises. He runs a series of interactive role-plays with volunteers from the audience and explains the threats our marine wildlife face, and how we can all help in protecting these amazing creatures.

Thanet Coast Project Manager, Tony Child, said: “The Cool Seas Roadshow is a great way to bring our marine wildlife right into the classroom and to show the children how we should be looking after the marine wildlife from their point of view. It’s always a pleasure to be working with the Marine Conservation Society and this roadshow will inspire local children in marine life that’s just on our coastal doorstep.”

The schools hosting the roadshow are: St Ethelbert's Catholic Primary School, Ramsgate; Newington Infant School, Ramsgate; Holy Trinity and St John’s Primary School, Margate and Cliftonville Primary school.

Further information about local marine wildlife can be found at the Thanet Coast Project website www.thanetcoast.org.uk or for more information on the Cool Seas Roadshow visit www.mcsuk.org

Labours boost for Thanet seaside towns

Stephen Ladyman MP welcomes £200,000 boost for Ramsgate and Margate
Stephen Ladyman MP welcomed the announcement today of an extra £200,000 to help
create jobs in Thanet, support business and to improve the skills of the
long-term unemployed. Thanet Council will receive the extra £200,000 particular
to support work in Ramsgate and Margate.
"This is good news" said local MP, Stephen Ladyman. "As the advert says, 'Every
Little Helps'."
"But the big news for my South Thanet constituency is the extension of the Sea
Change programme. I want Thanet Council to look long and hard about working with
Ramsgate Town Council and local partners at what could be done with the
Victorian Pavilion in Ramsgate because a Sea Change grant might be exactly what
is needed to start the ball rolling."
"We got £3m towards Dreamland and we could get a substantial contribution to the
Victorian Pavilion for the right project. I've already spoken to the Tourism
Minister, Margaret Hodge, and I know she would welcome a bid from us. It just
needs Thanet Council to put some effort into moving things forward."
The announcement is part of a package of support for seaside towns published
today in the Government’s Strategy for Seaside Success.
The strategy also includes
* new licensing rules for councils over Houses of Multiple Occupation to
tackle problems around low quality housing - a paticular problem in parts of
Cliftonville and Ramsgate
* a pledge to extend the Sea change Programme beyond 2011 - Margate has
already had a £3m Sea Change investment for the regeneration of Dreamland but
the extension of the programme means other projects, perhaps including the
Victorian Pavilion in Ramsgate could bid too
The new funding comes on top of this years targeted grants to help local
authorities address some of the specific problems that seaside towns face.
A Conservative government would not have provided this funding since they
opposed the government’s package of fiscal support to help the country through
the recession, and would have cut £1 billion this year from the Communities
budget.
"With The Thanet Array wind farm nearing completion and the London Array to be
built from Port Ramsgate we also have a good chance to capitalise on today's
announcements about wind farms and green technologies. There are big
opportunities for Thanet if we show the determination to grasp them."
Note to editors:
The Seaside Town Grant Initiative Fund
· The Seaside Towns Grant will be used to provide additional help to
tackle disproportionate levels of worklessness and deprivation in priority
seaside towns.
· It will be allocated equally to each eligible district through a
one-off un-ringfenced grant. It will allow local authorities to use their local
judgement and discretion in the use of funding.
Other announcements today included:
o Extension of the Sea Change Programme to help improve seaside
infrastructure after 2011
o Encouragement to regional authorities to explicitly address the
economic challenges of seaside towns in the new single regional strategies
o Encouragement to seaside authorities to exploit their natural and
locational advantages and be in the forefront of the shift to a low carbon
economy, including a focus on green skills, training and jobs, to diversify
their economies. This includes:
§ New UK offshore wind farm licences worth up to £75bn which could
create 70,000 new jobs, many of which would be in coastal areas, by 2020.
§ Interest free energy efficiency and renewable energy loans to help
small businesses buy energy saving equipment.

SEVEN SAD YEARS OF CONFRONTATION & DECLINE

For seven years he did his best, but as each year passed Cllr Ezekiel steadily lost effective control of TDC. Despite his volatile behaviour being reported in national magazines, he clung desperately to power and Thanet suffered accordingly. Who knows what effect his 'style' of leadership has had on inward investors?

His legacy is somewhat depressing. Early this year Cllr Ezekiel led TDC into the unknown with his panic to push through the 'shared services' scheme for East Kent. TDC is now tied in to long, expensive and binding agreements with it's neighbouring authorities with no clear financial savings yet established and substantial financial penalties to find should the ventures fail. Just days after that decision the council was presented with a Financial Risk Assessment in which its own financial officers described the 'shared services' project as probably the largest risk facing the council to date and that the likelihood of shared services not being progressed was also deemed to be high risk.

More recently we had the Montefiore Village Green application hearing. What a sorry state of affairs? A long, drawn out legal battle between a local council and it's own residents. The public had to sit through days of complex legal wrangling, the penultimate step in a process that has drawn on for years and still has months to run. Goodness knows how much this has cost us all as local ratepayers?

Sadly, under Cllr Ezekiel's leadership Margate's High Street has also been branded one of the dreariest in the country and Ramsgate Royal Harbour has been downgraded to the bottom six of ninety one UK harbours.

I congratulate Cllr Bayford on his reported election as Conservative leader, but seven years of Cllr Ezekiel's leadership has left our district in a very sorry state indeed and turning this situation around will be a major task.

Cllr. Clive Hart. Leader of the Opposition at TDC.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

EASTER COAST PROJECT ACTIVITIES

Surfing taster sessions, coastal storytelling, Rock Doc walks and Great Egg Case Hunts are just some of the free activities on offer this Easter around Thanet’s coastline.

The Thanet Coast Project has organised a variety of events between Easter Monday (5 April) and Thursday 15 April.

Two-hour surf taster sessions take place at Joss Bay for those aged 8 to 18 years old on Easter Monday and Monday 12 April. You can learn basic surfing with the Joss Bay Surf School or try out your kayaking skills, if there’s no surf that day. The Rock Doc will be taking adults out and those over the age of 14 around Kingsgate on Easter Monday, with a Geology Rocks session at Botany Bay the following Monday, aimed at 4 to 14 year olds.

‘Scandalmongers’ will be telling the Thornback Tales, a wild and wacky storytelling walk, with games and sea creatures. You can join the birds in a race for the throne and discover why crabs run sideways. The first session is on Margate Main Sands on Tuesday 13 April, followed by a second on Ramsgate Main Sands on Wednesday 14 April. Both are aimed at 4 to 14 year olds.

There’s also a chance to volunteer to help clean up Ramsgate’s Sea Garden on the Eastcliff, with a spring clean task planned for Saturday 24 April, at 10am for 3 hours. All are welcome, the more hands, the better! Equipment, gloves and bags will be provided. All these events must all be booked in advance through the Thanet Coast website at www.thanetcoast.org.uk

You can either book in advance or turn up on the day for the Great Egg Case Hunt, a chance to hunt for clues of what lives in our seas and to create a marine masterpiece in the sand. The hunts take place on Tuesday 6 April at 1pm on Ramsgate Main Sands, meeting outside the Maritime Museum and on Wednesday 7 April at 1pm on Margate Main Sands, meeting by the Nayland Rock shelter.

You can turn up on the day for any of the Easter Blast events, which the Thanet Coast Project team will be attending. Organised by the Engage Partnership, these are aimed at 11 to 19 year olds and take place on each day from 1pm to 4pm. The first session takes place on Thursday 8 April at Dane Park, Margate, followed by Victoria Gardens, Broadstairs on Friday 9 April and the Warre Rec in Ramsgate is the final venue on Thursday 15 April.

To book for any of these activities or to find out more, visit www.thanetcoast.org.uk All the above events are free and are funded by the Big Lottery.

In addition, the Thanet Coast Project has joined up with Horizon Sea Safaris to run a number of special ‘Sea Safaris’ boat excursions going out from Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour. These will view wildlife and the coastline around Kent’s largest National Nature Reserve at Sandwich and Pegwell Bay, where there’s also a chance to see local seals. These special taster sessions all last for one hour and are run at one rate for all – at only £12 per place. These can only be booked and paid online at www.thanetcoast.org.uk

Ladyman welcomes a budget of jobs growth

South Thanet MP, Stephen ladyman, has welcomed today's budget statement describing it as a budget to secure recovery and grow jobs.

"The chancellor laid out a clear path to reduce the deficit that won't choke off a fragile recovery and will protect the services that we all rely on. This was vital because across Thanet and Dover there are too many people on low incomes and too many out of work and they are relying on the Government's efforts to support their families and get them back into work as soon as possible."

"David Cameron's response to the budget was vacuous. He ranted and raved but said not one iota about what he would do."

"This budget statement will secure our recovery and grow jobs. The Labour Government made the right choices during the recession and the Tories got every call wrong. We are right now and they are wrong now. We have to protect jobs, protect the recovery and protect families and that is what this budget does. It is good news for East Kent"

Note to editors:

Growth forecast:

* Growth is predicted at 1 to 1.5% for 2010.

* Borrowing will be £167bn this year - £11bn lower than the earlier forecast of £178bn.

* Debt will be £100bn lower by 2013/14 than predicted at last year's Budget.

* Inflation target set at 2% economy to grow at 3%.

Home Buyers:

Stamp duty threshold raise to £250,000 and stamp duty doubled for houses over £1m.

PENSIONERS:

* The Government is looking at scrapping the compulsory retirement age.

* The number of hours for the over 60s to qualify for working tax credits will be cut.

* The pensioners' higher winter fuel payment, brought in during the worst weather this winter, will continue into next year.

Young people:

* The guaranteed offer of work or training for those under 24 who are unemployed for more than six months will be extended until March 2012.

Personal taxes:

* Fuel duty rise planned for April will be staged over 12 months

BANKS:

* Everyone in the UK is to be guaranteed access to a bank account - extending the facility to more than a million people currently denied it.

* The UK to press for an internationally co-ordinated tax on banks.

* The Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds will lend £94bn to business - at least half to small and medium-sized firms.

* Setting up a Green Bank controlling £2bn of equity to focus on investing in greener, cleaner energy and transport - first on wind turbines.

Beware of Budgets Bearing Delusion

We await the budget with anticipation on Wednesday but beware about what Labour might claim. Some Labour MPs are claiming that “only Canada is in a better position” than the United Kingdom. This is simply beyond belief – this year the UK is borrowing more than any other country in the developed world.

The debt racked up by this Government will cost every person in the Thanet £23,000 by 2015 – should not a responsible government try and reduce this burden on every Thanet taxpayer as soon as possible?

Using the credit card analogy, everyone knows that with your credit card debt, the longer you leave it the worse it gets. It’s time government learned the same lesson. Failing to deal with Labour’s debt crisis will cause international investors to lose confidence and force up interest rates. That will increase your mortgage payments and mine. Thanks Gordon! That sounds like something that no home owner in Thanet wants to experience with a quarter of people with mortgages in fear of repossession if the rate increases.

Our borrowing is already the highest on record and almost twice as much as when Denis Healey had to go cap in hand to the international pawnshop. And our debt is still increasing day by day.

Delusion will get us nowhere. What we need is a credible plan to deal with the debt, and a strategy for growth that rebalances the economy. Saving and business investment must replace debt as the foundation of prosperity. Our exports must grow. Jobs must be created in the private sector and we must get value for money from the public sector. We need to free up our small companies by cutting red tape and lowering tax rates, supporting them financially to take on new staff, and breeding a culture of entrepreneurship that will drive forward growth and prosperity. But this Government has done the reverse, hitting our small businesses, including with a new tax on jobs, the increase in National Insurance – our local pubs are being squeezed, post offices have closed, and in Thanet our amusement machine companies are on their knees.

So much more could have been done! For example, no off-shore turbine manufacturer is based in this country, even though Thanet could have really benefited from the jobs that this could have created, and even now our local language schools are under threat from ill thought through legislation.

Rebalancing our economy from debt to sustainable savings and investment, and from the public sector to the private sector is the only answer to our dire economic problems, and with their lamentable track record, there is no way Labour can claim to be the champion of small business. The history of past Labour Governments is that they always leave us up to our eyes in debt – and the Conservatives always have the job to sort it out.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Success for Thanet Mile

More than 100 people rose to the challenge over the weekend (Sunday 21 March) and completed the Thanet Mile in Ramsgate for Sport Relief.

The runners were encouraged on the start line by Olympic 2012 hopeful Jack Green, who represents Great Britain at under 20 level in the 400 metres hurdles.

The event, at the first class Marlowe Academy Community Athletics Track, had been organised by the council’s Sport Matters team in association with Sainsbury’s Thanet.

Prior to the race, representatives from national partners Bannatynes Health and Fitness, were on hand to perform a group warm-up for the runners. Spectators who turned out to cheer the runners on were also able to take part in health tests performed by Thanet Leisure Force, while Skip2bfit were on hand, providing skipping challenges.

Thanks must also go to The Marlowe Academy for providing the facility and the Thanet Cricket Board for providing the catering.

Cllr. Shirley Tomlinson, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “The Thanet Mile was a huge success. We were aiming to bring the community together for this event and we certainly achieved that aim. Our Sport Matters team were delighted with the number of people who took part and ran either the one, three or six mile. It just goes to show how many people enjoy taking part in sport in Thanet and helping a worthy cause out at the same time.”

Look out for more events happening at the Marlowe Athletics facility in the near future!

Monday, 22 March 2010

NEW REPAIRS CONTRACT

Council housing tenants in Thanet are set to see a new way of working, whenever repairs are needed on their homes.

Mears have been selected for the new repairs contract, which begins on Thursday 1 April. It comes after a thorough selection process, with tenants involved in assessing the submissions from companies and interviewing selected contractors. Although Mears previously held the contract for repairs, the new contract does not cover kitchens, bathrooms or gas servicing.

Tenants will see a difference to the service they receive, with two hour appointment times given when work needs to be carried out. The aim will be to carry out the repair on the first visit. There will also be a Tenant Liaison Officer working for Mears, who will visit estates and hold mobile surgeries with tenants.

All tenants will also receive a repairs handbook by 1 June 2010 to help identify the repair correctly and support the “first time fix” approach.

Tenants have an opportunity to monitor and improve the new repair service in a variety of ways and can get involved by contacting the Tenant Participation Officer.

Cllr. Zita Wiltshire, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “We’re committed to improving the service our tenants receive and we believe this new contract will help to achieve that. The aim is all about resolving the problem as quickly as possible and ideally on the first visit, as we know there’s nothing more frustrating than having people come back again and again to fix something. We want to see continuous improvement from the repairs contract and we will be regularly checking performance to ensure this is happening.”

BENEFIT FRAUD SENTENCE

A Ramsgate man has been given a 12 month suspended prison sentence, after pleading guilty to benefit fraud charges that led to overpayments of more than £35,000.

Wayne Curry (35) from Broad Street was in receipt of Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Income Support on the basis that he was a single person on a low income with a child. In his applications for benefit, he failed to declare that his partner had actually been living with him for four years.

In an interview, under caution, he initially denied living together with his partner. Later, he then admitted it and he stated it was always on his mind and he wanted to do things right.

As a result, he received Housing Benefit overpayments of £14,881.48, Income Support overpayments of £20,619 and an overpayment of £2,475.08 for Council Tax Benefit.

Mr. Curry was prosecuted in a joint case between Thanet District Council and the Department of Work and Pensions. He pleaded guilty at Canterbury Crown Court to all charges and was sentenced on Monday 15 March.

He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years and 100 hours community service. He was also ordered to pay £5,000 compensation and was given a six month curfew order. During this time, he will be electronically tagged and will not be able to not leave his home between 9pm and 6am.

Mr Recorder Tomlinson, who sentenced Mr. Curry, said he was “close to going to prison” and that “when defrauding government bodies over a long time, can expect to go straight to prison.”

He continued to say that he placed the restriction on Mr. Curry's liberty to show how close he was to a custodial sentence by imposing the curfew order of the electronic tagging and not being able to leave his home between the hours of 9pm to 6am.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

New documents published by Thanet District Council,

18/03/2010 - Meeting held: Mar 18 2010 6:00PM, Joint Transportation Board

18/03/2010 - Agenda supplement published - Supplementary Agenda - Motorcycling Scrambling Centre : Supplementary Agenda - Motorcycling Scrambling Centre: Meeting of Mar 23 2010 7:00PM, Overview and Scrutiny Panel

17/03/2010 - Meeting held: Mar 17 2010 7:00PM, Planning Committee

17/03/2010 - Publication of plan: Forward Plan for period from 1 April 2010 to 1 October 2010; Cabinet

16/03/2010 - Meeting held: Mar 16 2010 6:30PM, Governance and Audit Committee

15/03/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Mar 23 2010 7:00PM, Overview and Scrutiny Panel
15/03/2010 - Agenda supplement published - Procedures for Items to be included on the JTB agenda : Procedures for Items to be included on the JTB agenda: Meeting of Mar 18 2010 6:00PM, Joint Transportation Board

The Last weeks planning applications,

Ed. The TDC planning website is one of the most bizarre websites I have ever come across in as much as the web addresses of the pages on it change after a few hours so you can’t publish links to them. If you want to look at any of the applications you need to go to the site and enter the application reference in the search box, this link takes you to the site http://www.ukplanning.com/thanet15 Mar 2010
C/TH/10/0207
25-27 TURNER STREET RAMSGATE CT118NL
current
15 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0149
6 WINDSOR CLOSE BROADSTAIRS CT102TF
current
15 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0194
47-48 HAWLEY SQUARE, MARGATE, CT9 1NY
current
15 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0208
15 GRANVILLE ROAD, BROADSTAIRS, CT10 1QB
current
15 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0213
BRADSTOW VINCENT ROAD MARGATE CT94LH
current
15 Mar 2010
L/TH/10/0139
QUESTEDS 76 CANTERBURY ROAD WESTGATE-ON-SEA CT88JX
current
15 Mar 2010
L/TH/10/0195
47-48 HAWLEY SQUARE, MARGATE, CT9 1NY
current
15 Mar 2010
L/TH/10/0206
50 BELLEVUE ROAD RAMSGATE CT118LA
current

Friday, 19 March 2010

Chai Stop goes national

Award winning Chai Stop frozen curries now delivered nationwide using eco friendly sheep’s wool insulation

- Holistic health through ayurvedic properties of herbs and spices- Naturally grown local and organic produce- Outside catering and dinner parties- Free local delivery
Chai Stop, the award winning authentic hand-made frozen curry company based in Minster, Kent are now available nationwide, thanks to the innovative use of sheep’s wool as an eco friendly insulating material. A recent trial order successfully completed the 250-mile overnight trip to Bath. The dishes arrived still completely frozen and the customer was so delighted that she has set up a weekly “curry club” for her friends.

Chai Stop’s Indian and Thai curries have been available to in East Kent direct from their own and local farm shops since 1999. The company currently sells around 500 curries a week, with production set to double having just won a prestigious Taste of Kent Award for Best Kent Food Producer from Produced in Kent, allied to the nationwide distribution.

The company is run Tina Cesbron and Isobel Moore, who share a long-standing interest in holistic health from the ayurvedic properties of herbs and spices and, sourcing as much local produce as they can. All its meat is reared outdoors and the vegetables, lentils & pulses are organic wherever possible. All dishes are what and gluten free.Indian customers are curious how “two English ladies” make curry just like their own mothers. Testament to their skill is being asked to cater for Indian celebrations. “The integrity of the cooking comes from years of experience, trying and testing recipes and listening to our customers,” said Tina Cesbron, who displays an honest love of cooking and a passion for naturally grown local produce.
Isobel’s father was bought-up India, spending the first few years in an orphanage. His mother meanwhile trained as a cook and went on to become head cook at the boarding school he attended, just to be close her son. Isobel has acquired a treasured hand-written book of recipes from this time.

Tina was brought up in the family catering business and after extensive travels to India, where she was trained by master in Indian cookery, she came back inspired by the sheer colour, vibrancy and variety of India that transcends into its food.
The curries are made in small batches of between 30 and 50 servings, “Any larger than that and it’s impossible to maintain the authentic taste of real curry,” said Tina. “Despite following traditional family recipes which have been perfected over the years, each batch has tasted throughout preparation and the ingredients adjusted.” With fresh and natural ingredients, the taste of spices can vary according to the weather conditions in which they were grown and harvested.

The business’s origins go back over 20 years – ladling-out platefuls of steaming homemade curries from a van, to hungry students at Kent University. However, with small children and a van that kept breaking down, the pair would have “thrown-in the towel” but for a couple of mums at the school gate asking them to stock-up their freezers with the curries.

The Chai Stop came into being in 1999 when Tina and Isobel went into partnership, cooking at Isobel’s house in Whitstable. Business went from strength to strength, eventually outgrowing Isobel’s kitchen. A chance encounter led to Ebbsfleet Farm near Sandwich, where they were able to design and install their own kitchen in the original dairy. The recent addition of a new member of staff, who is being training in the art of cooking curry, takes the team to six.

Invigorated by the Taste of Kent Award, Chai Stop is making its frozen curries available nationwide. Its delivery company uses sheep’s wool as an insulating material. Which is good news for the country’s sheep warmers. International wool prices are at an historic low and wholesale prices do not cover the cost of shearing. Some farmers are resorting to burning wool in the field.

We plan to continue growing step-by-step, ensuring we retain the very essence of the Chai Stop – which is genuine hand-made authentic curries, cooked in small batches to ensure the finest quality.

Chai Stop offers a complete outside catering service for dinner parties, business seminars, fund raising events, weddings, private functions, and film locations The services includes menu design, equipment, seating, table and tableware, waiting staff – even the washing up.

Main dishes cost around £4.95 to £5.95, vegetable dishes cost £3.60, dhals cost £3.40.

VIEWS NEEDED ON CONSERVATION AREA PLANS

Residents of one part of Cliftonville are being asked for their views on the idea of declaring it as a Conservation Area.

Thanet District Council’s conservation team is looking at designating a Dalby Square Conservation Area. This would cover Dalby Square, part of Arthur Road and Dalby Road. Letters are being sent out by the council to residents in these areas, ward councillors and local community groups to ask them what they think.

The Dalby Square area was first developed for visitors heading to the seaside in the late part of the 19th century. The area included the Cliftonville Hotel, which was the largest in the area, with 300 bedrooms, a ballroom, palm court and facilities for croquet, tennis and archery. During its early years, it was housing more than half the visitors to the area. The hotel eventually closed in 1939 and was demolished in the 1960s and replaced by a bowling alley, pub and flats.

Luckily most of the other fine 19th century buildings in the area still survive and are seen by the council and other national bodies such as English Heritage as being a very good example of historic seaside architecture.

Initial discussions have already taken place with local community groups. There has been significant support for Dalby Square and the surrounding area to be designated as a Conservation Area.

Two informal drop-in sessions will be held at St. Paul’s Community Trust, St. Paul’s Road for people to come and see the proposals and speak to council officers about them. It will also give them a chance to find out more about what living in a Conservation Area would mean to them.

The first will be on Tuesday 30 March between 11am and 2pm, with the second taking place on Thursday 1 April between 5.30pm and 8.00pm and people are welcome to call in at any time.

Cllr. John Kirby, Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services and Ramsgate Marina, said: “Thanet already benefits from a number of Conservation Areas that help to protect the heritage and history of our beautiful district. There’s been a lot of interest in recent years in Cliftonville, as it is home to some beautiful architecture, dating back to the days when it was a magnet for holidaymakers in the Victorian era. We’ve responded to that interest and that’s why we’re looking at the idea of creating a Conservation Area around Dalby Square. Now we’re keen to hear what local residents and community groups feel about the idea.”

People can comment in writing to Louise Dandy, Thanet District Council, PO Box 9, Margate, CT9 1XZ or by e-mailing louise.dandy@thanet.gov.uk by Monday 5 April.

LETS END GAMBLING, CONFRONTATION & NEGLECT

From Cllr. Clive Hart - Leader of the Opposition at TDC.

"For seven years they've struggled on, but over the past month the current Conservative administration at Thanet District Council has finally lost any control they ever had of the local authority. Instead of running the District properly and cautiously they've been gambling with essential local services, fighting expensive legal battles with our own residents and the people of Thanet have been consequently punished for Tory neglect.

In February the Tories launched TDC into the unknown with their hurried 'shared services' scheme for East Kent. Decisions were rushed through that could see TDC tied in to long, expensive and binding agreements with it's neighbouring authorities with no clear financial savings yet established, but substantial financial penalties should the ventures fail. These changes will mean the loss of local democratic control of housing, waste collection and support services and effectively allow major decisions to be made for the future by just a tiny group of council Chief. Executives and council leaders. Jobs could also be lost to Thanet, as due to our geographical position any centralising of management in East Kent would be unlikely to be based on the isle. Within just a few days of making these decisions the council was then presented with a Financial Risk Assessment in which their own council financial officers described their 'shared services' project as probably the largest risk facing the council to date and that the likelihood of shared services not being progressed was also deemed to be high risk. The Tories are gambling with our essential services.

At the beginning of March we then had the 'summing up' session of the Montefiore Village Green application at Albion House in Ramsgate. This matter should never have descended into this sorry state of affairs - a long drawn out legal battle between a local council and it's own residents, who just want to retain some green space for future generations. For several years now, the current Conservative administration at TDC has been behaving like the most ravenous of property developers but this latest episode simply beggars belief. At the 'summing up' the public had to sit through over four hours of complex legal wrangling but that was just the penultimate step in a process that has drawn on for three years and still has several months to run. Goodness knows how much this has cost us all as local ratepayers? When a council is directed to behave in such a confrontational manner towards its own residents it really has been pushed in a very dangerous direction indeed.

And during the past month Margate's High Street was branded one of the dreariest in the country and Ramsgate Royal Harbour was downgraded to the bottom six of ninety one UK harbours.

Seven years of Conservative rule has culminated in a month of gambling, confrontation and punishment for neglect. The current Conservative leadership at TDC should stand down - NOW!



Published by Thanet Labour Group Press Office - 44 Northdown Road, Margate, Kent, CT9 2RW.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

NEW ISSUE OF THANET MATTERS OUT

A pink feather duster, advertising the major new consultation about clean streets in Thanet, is the eye catching design on the latest edition of the council's magazine Thanet Matters.

There's a double page spread on the work that the council does to clean up the streets of Thanet, along with details about how you can get involved with the new consultation, called How Clean is Your Street?

After the council recently set its budget for the next financial year, there's also information about what your money is spent on, with the council receiving £4.04 per week from the average Council Taxpayer.

The magazine looks ahead to all the events taking place in Thanet over the Easter holidays and into spring. You can also find out how people have helped to shape council services by giving their views in recent consultations.

Thanet Matters is now available from the following local supermarkets: Tesco Extra at Westwood, Tesco in Broadstairs and Manston, Sainsburys at Westwood, Asda in Broadstairs, Morrissons. Copies are available from Thanet's Gateway Plus, local libraries, Hartsdown Leisure Centre and Ramsgate Sports Centre and the Margate Visitor Information Centre.

The magazine is also available online at the council's website at www.thanet.gov.uk You can be added to the mailing list for "Thanet Matters" by calling 01843 577034 or e-mailing press.office@thanet.gov.uk "Thanet Matters" is no longer delivered to homes door-to-door via the free newspapers in a move that saves £10,000 per year.

SAVING THANET'S SECRET GARDEN

Community invited to discuss future of Margate's secret garden.

A public meeting will be held on Wednesday 24th of March, 6pm at Holy Trinity and St John's School, St John's Rd, Margate.

The aim of the meeting is to discuss the future of The Countess of Huntingdon's Zion Chapel Burial Ground, Addington Square, Margate.The community is invited to share ideas about how to make best use of one of Margate's hidden gems.

The graveyard and chapel were built to serve the congregation of the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion who was a very rich woman and keen follower of George Whitfield and the Wesley brothers.

It has remained hidden away and through neglect become a secret garden and haven for wildlife despite suffering from repeated acts of vandalism.
Some notable occupants of the burial ground are:

Thomas Gardner, Queen Victoria's body guard

The famous Cobb family memorial with Francis William Cobb:

Stephen Wells who laid claim to have constructed the shell grotto.

Louise Oldfield, Chair of The Margate Conservation Area Advisory Group said, "The garden is a magical place. I couldn't believe it when I stumbled across it.


It's really great there is revived interest in the garden through local and family history, bio-diversity and nature trails. I hope that people will come along and find out more and get involved.

"The meeting takes place at Holy Trinity and St John's School, St John's Rd, Margate, CT9 1LU, 6pm March 24th. Parking is available on site.There will be a brief storytelling session as introduction from The Tom Theatre in Cliftonville.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

PLANNING APPEAL OVER MARGATE HOMES DISMISSED

An appeal by the owners of a former raillway line in Margate has been dismissed by a Government Inspector. The council had previously refused the planning application for eight new homes on the site between Nash Road and Nash Court Gardens. The reasons for refusal included the fact that it would be on undeveloped land and that the proposed scheme would look out of keeping with the surround ing ar ea. The council was also concerned that the scheme would not provide for a cycle route through the site. The Government Inspector agreed with the council on all of these points in dismissing the appeal, as the site is not allocated for housing and he did not believe that it had been developed previously. He also decided that two of the proposed dwellings would unacceptably overlook neighbouring properties.

SPORT MATTERS THIS EASTER

Young people in Thanet can go wet and wild or take part in a World Cup football tournament this Easter, as part of the events being put on by the council's Sport Matters team. The activities kick off on Tuesday 6 April between 11am and 3pm with an NRG World Cup football tournament on the Hartsdown five-a-side pitches in Margate. The cost is £1.50 per player and it's aimed at 13 to 17 year olds, with everyone allocated to different teams, representing different countries, when they arrive. There's a wet and wild session the following Tuesday (13 April) in the pool at Hartsdown Leisure Centre, where you'll have to scramble your way across an inflatable obstacle course with the lifeguards doing their best to put you off. It takes place from 1 to 2pm for 11 to 17 year olds and is free. There are basketball sessions on Wednesday 7 and 14 April at Ramsgate Sports Centre from 5.30 to 6.30pm. Golf is on offer at the Stoneless Golf Club between 2pm and 4pm on Monday 12 April, but although places are free, they are strictly limited. It's the same story for the Easter Ice Skating at Gillingham Ice Bowl on the evening of Friday 16 April. To book either event in advance, call 07770 828582. The Sport Matters team will also be at the three Easter Blast events taking place around Thanet during the holidays. They'll have their inflatable football pitch with them and will be putting on volleyball games, ahead of the Margate Masters beach volleyball in July. You can also try your hand at cricket and uni-hoc, a version of hockey with plastic sticks. The first Easter Blast is on Thursday 8 April at Dane Park, Margate, followed by Victoria Gardens in Broadstairs the next day and finishing at Warre Rec in Ramsgate on Thursday 15 April. All sessions run from 1 to 5pm and are free to everyone.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

MAJOR CHANGES TO VISITOR INFORMATION IN THANET

Visitor information services in Thanet are set to undergo a major change later this month (March), as new plans are put in place to improve the service and deliver improved efficiency.

Visitor information staff from Thanet District Council will be touring major events across the area throughout the season using their mobile Visitor Information Centre, as well as operating from the Margate Visitor Information Centre at 12-13 the Parade. Key information points will also be introduced at various locations across Thanet to help ensure that information is even easier to access.

Negotiations are ongoing to retain some form of visitor information in Ramsgate, but in the meantime, the existing Visitor Information Centre in Albert Court will close for business on Saturday 27 March.

From the same date, Visitor Information staff will no longer be present at the Visitor Information Centre in Dickens House Museum in Broadstairs, although the museum will continue to be open. An information point and free phone to call the council's team have been has been introduced within the museum, so that visitors can continue to be supported. In addition, visitors will continue be helped by volunteers located there, a role that they have performed for many years.

An information kiosk, run by the Broadstairs Tourism and Leisure Association, will continue to be based at the Lilliput mini golf in Broadstairs and the Information Team is looking at further ways to support this service. The Visitor Information Centre at 12-13 the Parade in Margate will be opening seven days a week from Thursday 1 April until the end of September to ensure that they will be available to deal with visitors for longer periods.

Cllr. Shirley Tomlinson, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: "We are changing the service we provide to our visitors to ensure that we target information more effectively. We need to get our team out and about to the many superb events we have across Thanet throughout the summer months. That's where visitors to the area often head to and it makes sense to ensure that we have staff there to tell them all about the great things they can see and do in Thanet. The way that people want their information is changing and we all have to accept that. These days, people would often prefer to access information online, for example. They may also prefer to get information at an event, a tourist attraction or from the place they're staying in. That's why we're working to ensure there's increased information available at tourism businesses and attractions."

She added: "Thanet is not the only area to be going through this process. Many other parts of the country are also cutting back on their Visitor Information Centres, as the recession bites. Over the next five years, this council needs to save more than £6 million and we have to ensure that every service we provide is as cost effective as it is possible to be. We believe the changes we're making to visitor information will do just that."

Last weeks planning applications,

Ed. The TDC planning website is one of the most bizarre websites I have ever come across in as much as the web addresses of the pages on it change after a few hours so you can’t publish links to them. If you want to look at any of the applications you need to go to the site and enter the application reference in the search box, this link takes you to the site http://www.ukplanning.com/thanet


15 Mar 2010
C/TH/10/0207
25-27 TURNER STREET RAMSGATE CT118NL
current
15 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0149
6 WINDSOR CLOSE BROADSTAIRS CT102TF
current
15 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0194
47-48 HAWLEY SQUARE, MARGATE, CT9 1NY
current
15 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0208
15 GRANVILLE ROAD, BROADSTAIRS, CT10 1QB
current
15 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0213
BRADSTOW VINCENT ROAD MARGATE CT94LH
current
15 Mar 2010
L/TH/10/0139
QUESTEDS 76 CANTERBURY ROAD WESTGATE-ON-SEA CT88JX
current
15 Mar 2010
L/TH/10/0195
47-48 HAWLEY SQUARE, MARGATE, CT9 1NY
current
15 Mar 2010
L/TH/10/0206
50 BELLEVUE ROAD RAMSGATE CT118LA
current
09 Mar 2010
CU/TH/08/0175
THE BARN MANSTON ROAD COLDBLOW LANE MARGATE CT94LT
decided
09 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0127
8 QUANTOCK GARDENS RAMSGATE CT126SW
current
09 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0182
BROADSTAIRS SAILING CLUB 12 HARBOUR STREET BROADSTAIRS CT101EU
current
09 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0184
FORMER ALLOTTMENT GARDENS, (PLOTS 60-64), MANSTON ROAD, RAMSGATE
current
09 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0185
FORMER ALLOTTMENT GARDENS, MANSTON ROAD, RAMSGATE
current
09 Mar 2010
F/TH/10/0192
25A CARLTON AVENUE BROADSTAIRS CT101AG
current

New documents published by Thanet District Council,

17/03/2010 - Meeting scheduled: Mar 17 2010 7:00PM, Planning Committee

16/03/2010 - Meeting scheduled: Mar 16 2010 6:30PM, Governance and Audit Committee

15/03/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Mar 23 2010 7:00PM, Overview and Scrutiny Panel

15/03/2010 - Agenda supplement published - Procedures for Items to be included on the JTB agenda : Procedures for Items to be included on the JTB agenda: Meeting of Mar 18 2010 6:00PM, Joint Transportation Board

11/03/2010 - Meeting held: Mar 11 2010 7:00PM, Cabinet

11/03/2010 - Meeting held: Mar 11 2010 5:30PM, Airport Working Party

11/03/2010 - Issue Published: Approval for Exemption from harbour dues and pilotage charges, other than boarding and landing fees, which are paid to contractors, for the Paddle Steamer 'Balmoral' on its 2010 visit to Ramsgate.

11/03/2010 - Decision Published: Approval for Exemption from harbour dues and pilotage charges, other than boarding and landing fees, which are paid to contractors, for the Paddle Steamer 'Balmoral' on its 2010 visit to Ramsgate.; Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services and Ramsgate Marina

10/03/2010 - Minutes published: Meeting of Feb 25 2010 7:00PM, Council

09/03/2010 - Minutes published: Meeting of Feb 23 2010 10:00AM, Licensing Board

08/03/2010 - Agenda supplement published - Treasury Management Update : Treasury Management Update: Meeting of Mar 16 2010 6:30PM, Governance and Audit Committee

08/03/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Mar 17 2010 7:00PM, Planning Committee

08/03/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Mar 18 2010 6:00PM, Joint Transportation Board

08/03/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Mar 16 2010 6:30PM, Governance and Audit Committee

12/02/2010 - Minutes published: Meeting of Feb 9 2010 3:00PM, Local Development Cabinet Advisory Group

Money to provide assistance to voluntary and community groups in Margate

A year ago KCC Councillor Clive Hart was approached for some money to provide assistance to voluntary and community groups in Margate. With the money provided Thanet Voluntary & Community Sector Forum (TVCSF) employed a Development Worker (Lynne Sutton) to work with third sector groups in Clifftonville.

With her help Beth Denning of the Margate Community Organisation (MCO) has just managed to secure £92,500 in funding, and they are waiting for news of another application for £10,000.
This follows news reported on the local television just last week that the MCO would have to close due to lack of funding.

Councillor Clive Hart said: “ When I was able to access the original £8,000 funding for a part-time community support worker, my hope was that they might bring in a further £20,000 for the local community and thereby more than double that original investment. This news means that TVCSF, through Lynne Sutton, have already accessed more than ten times that original sum and they truly are an example of community development organisation working at its very, very best.”

Photo shows Beth Denning and Cllr. Doug Clark (Chair MCO) on the left,
Lynne Sutton and Cllr. Steve Ward (TVCSF) on the right and Cllr Clive Hart at the back.

Friday, 12 March 2010

PLAN AGREED TO MANAGE AND IMPROVE HOUSING

A plan, that aims to manage and improve council housing stock in Thanet over the next 30 years, has been approved by the council's Cabinet.



The Housing Revenue Account business plan was discussed at last night's (Thursday 11 March) Cabinet meeting. It sets out detailed plans for the next five years, but also looks ahead over the next three decades at the finances that will be available for council house maintenance and repairs.



Thanet District Council has more than 3,000 council homes, over half of them houses. The council has to meet national standards from the government, called Decent Homes, for all its properties by December 2010. These state that homes should be in a reasonable state of repair, have reasonably modern facilities and services, be free of health and safety hazards and provide reasonable heating. The business plan sets out how the council will achieve and even exceed these standards over the next 30 years.



The vast majority of the council's homes already meet these standards. The final few will be decent by December 2010, making the council 100% compliant.



Over the next 30 years, the plan estimates that nearly £73 million will need to be spent on council homes. Around a third of this money will go on renewing kitchens and bathrooms, with other major work likely to include new central heating boilers and electrical work.



The plan also highlights some of the major regeneration work that the housing team are working on. The re-development of the Centre in Newington is one such scheme, with work expected to start in June 2010. The council is also working closely with groups and residents in the Whitehall area of Ramsgate on improvements to the Rec there.



Cllr. Zita Wiltshire, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: "This plan sets out the council's priorities for the homes we own, as agreed with our tenants and leaseholders. We aim to continuously improve the service that we offer to them and, part of that, is modernising the housing stock that we have. That job is continuous, with new facilities and improvements needed all the time. By carrying out this work, we can ensure that we have the money to deliver what's required of us."

MARGATE FLOOD PROTECTION PLANS APPROVED

Plans for a £4 million plus project to help protect Margate Old Town from flooding have been approved by Cabinet Members at Thanet District Council.



They were told at their meeting last night (Thursday 11 March) that the council has used a £98,000 grant to look at the scale of the problem and what can be done to solve it.



The current sea defences in Margate only offer protection against what's described as a one in 20 year storm event. The aim is to ensure that sea defences can now withstand much more extreme storm events, up to a level of those only seen once in every 200 years, so it is clear that improved protection is needed.



Different options were assessed, with two eventually shortlisted. The first, which would be the cheapest option, is a higher wall along the most vulnerable part of the seafront, but this would cut any views out to the sea. The second option is a series of wide steps from the beach to the promenade which absorb wave energy more efficiently and allow a lower wall to be built than in option one. New floodgates would also be installed as part of this option.



Funding of £4 million from the Environment Agency has already been allocated to the scheme, subject to technical approval. If the scheme does get approval, work could start within the next year, but the major part of the scheme would be constructed in 2011/12.



Cllr. Roger Latchford, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: "There is so much regeneration work going on in Margate Old Town, with the construction of Turner Contemporary, that we need to ensure that the area is adequately protected. However, that flood protection work needs to fit in with everything else we are doing. Clearly a high wall is not going to help with the town's regeneration. The beach and its harbour views are some of Margate's greatest natural assets and the last thing we want to do is affect those in any way. The scheme that we are recommending to the government on behalf of our residents is obviously the best option for Margate. It will cost more, but we are sure the government's advisors will support it."

Labour Shadow Team comments & questions at Thursday evenings TDC Cabinet meeting.

INTRODUCTION - LABOUR GROUP LEADER - Cllr CLIVE HART

It was another reasonably short agenda this week. Some matters discussed will come to full council later, where Labour members will provide more input and several items were discussed in 'closed session' after exclusion of press and public as they included information regarded as 'exempt'.

However, once more I was delighted to see a strong delegation from the Labour Shadow Cabinet doing their jobs as usual, listening to all the detail, taking notes for later debate and commenting where necessary.

Cllr. Clive Hart - Phone: 01843 298770

Item 5 PUBLIC AMENITY LAND, MONTEFIORE SURGERY DEVELOPMENT, RAMSGATE - Cllr. ALAN POOLE
I welcome this proposal to transfer Montefiore Wood to Ramsgate Town Council.

Cllr Michelle Fenner and I have worked with local residents to retain this land for public use. Montefiore Wood is an attractive green area in urban Ramsgate and will hopefully remain so for many years to come.

I have asked the Planning Department why the 106 Agreement (for the wood’s maintenance) produced only £25,000, my understanding from the original Planning Agenda was that £35,000 was requested.
I have subsequently been informed that the agreement specified ‘up to £35,000’ and £25,000 was the maximum offered. I am not particularly happy with this answer.

Cllr Poole was promised written clarification.

Cllr. Alan Poole - Phone: 01843 602594

Item 6 ASSET MANAGEMENT STRATEGY 2007 / 2011 - Cllr. ALAN POOLE

The introduction to this item states ‘Public and stakeholder engagement are essential parts of this process’. Unfortunately my experience and the experience of many other residents, with the Asset Management Strategy, is that the Council consult but do not take any notice when substantial numbers of the residents object to a particular disposal. The Montefiore Games Centre is a good case.

The Montefiore Games Centre is a very popular, well used public amenity, / Cllr POOLE WAS CUT SHORT AT THIS POINT BY THE CHAIRMAN - Cllr EZEKIEL / but Cllr Poole intended to continue: just this week I heard that the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA ) have booked the tennis courts one day a week throughout the summer for coaching young players. The LTA say they booked these facilities because they are excellent.

Why then are the Council currently fighting a very expensive Village Green Application, a process that is very expensive in officer time and money probably running into tens of thousands, to dispose of a well used public facility against the wishes of local residents?

I repeat the words from the introduction to this item…. ‘Public and stakeholder engagement are essential parts of this process’………why then don’t you listen when the public engage?

AFTER THE MEETING Cllr Poole said "being cut short by Cllr Ezekiel just confirmed exactly what I was trying to explain - this Conservative administration only wants to listen to those who totally agree with all they say".

Cllr. Alan Poole - Phone: 01843 602594
Item 7 MARGATE FLOOD PROTECTION SCHEME - Cllr. PETER CAMPBELL
We welcome news that the Labour Government has allocated an initial £4 million pounds to improve flood protection for Margate. It has been decided that major investment is vital to move to a 1 in 200 year flooding risk for the seafront and Old Town areas. The association of British Insurers has warned that failure to invest in adequate flood defences on the east coast could result in £16 billion worth of damage due to future North Sea storm surges similar to events in 1987, 1978, 1971 and 1953.
Flood protection at Margate has been a constant task since the Nayland Rock Stone Groyne and the Harbour Arm were first constructed at the start of the nineteenth century. These two sea defences shaped the famous Margate Main sands that helped to make the town a famous seaside resort. However, rising sea levels in this century now make additional work necessary.
Following an Environment Agency grant of £98,000 in 2009, a feasibility study has now produced two different options. The first plan would consist of a new 7m concrete sea wall constructed along Marine Drive, this would rise to around 2m higher than the existing wall now running alongside the pavement. The second, more favourable plan is for stepped revetments from the beach level up to a new wall, marginally higher than the present one, thus preserving the views out to seaward. Both these options would be in addition to the necessary reinforcement works to the Harbour Arm.
Although the preferred option will require extra government funding from the Environment Agency, in addition to the allocated £4million, this plan has been recommended by both the Margate Renewal Partnership Board and the Urban Design Panel. This major funding from central government is in addition to the many millions already allocated for regeneration projects in Margate in recent years.
This is yet another example of the Labour Government investing in Thanet & the people of Thanet. New Schools, Refurbished Hospitals, £40million Cliftonville regeneration, Surestart, / Cllr CAMPBELL WAS CUT SHORT AT THIS POINT BY THE CHAIRMAN - Cllr EZEKIEL / but Cllr Campbell intended to continue: pension credits, winter fuel allowance, working families tax credits the list goes on. All will be put at risk if a Tory Government takes over at the next election.
Cllr. Peter Campbell - Phone: 01843 585738

Item 8 PLANNING OBLIGATIONS & DEVELOPER CONTRIBUTIONS - Cllr. CLIVE HART

Where financial contributions are obtained from developers for transport, education or adult social services it is essential that the sums gained are rigorously monitored and tracked in order to make absolutely sure they are used for the benefit of local people here in Thanet. They most certainly should not be allowed to simply disappear into any KCC departmental 'black hole' in Maidstone.

Stephen Ladyman MP meets early career scientists helping the House of Commons to get ‘SET for Britain’

Local MP, Stephen Ladyman, welcomed Sally-Ann Fancy an early-career researcher at Pfizer, Sandwich to the House of Commons on Monday 8th March to compete in the national scientific poster competition, SET for Britain.

SET for Britain is an exhibition of posters by early-stage and early-career research scientists, engineers and technologists. The exhibition gives them the opportunity to present their work to their local MPs and their scientific peers. All posters are entered into a competition and significant cash prizes and medals will be awarded for the poster that best communicates its science.

Stephen, said,

“I was delighted to see my Sally-Ann taking part in this competition. The entries were all of an extremely high standard and it was excellent to speak to so many early career scientists with such passion for the work they do.

As someone who also started my career as a research scientist, and who came to South Thanet 20 years ago to work at Pfizer, before becoming the local MP I was especially pleased to meet Sally-Ann and hear about her work.”

Constituent said,

“I enjoyed taking part in SET for Britain and meeting other early career scientists from across the country who are working in such diverse areas and on innovative projects. I very much welcomed the opportunity to talk to my MP about my own research.”
The SET for Britain Poster Exhibition was divided up into three sections, Physical Sciences (Chemistry and Physics) Biological and Biomedical Science; and Engineering with a £3,000 cash prize and medal awarded to the best poster in each category. An overall medal in memory of the competition founder, Dr Eric Wharton, is awarded to the poster judged best across all categories on the day.
***ENDS***

Notes to editors

1. SET for Britain was established by Dr Eric Wharton. Following his untimely death in 2007; the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee with support from the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Physics, the Society of Biology and the SCI. Our industry sponsors are AgChemAccess, IATC, Plant Impact and Monitise plc.

2. Winners in each category will receive a £3,000 cash prize and a medal and the runner up will receive a £1,000 cash prize.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

THANET YOUNGSTERS LEARN ABOUT WATER SAFETY

Water safety around the Thanet coast is high on the agenda for Thanet schools, as two weeks of school water safety lectures start on Monday 15 March.

The "Water Safety in Thanet" school lectures are run this year by a partnership of organisations and are coordinated by the Thanet Coast Project, with support from the Big Lottery Fund. The talks focus on the dangers around the Thanet coastline, how to stay safe, have fun on the beaches and look after the environment. The talks include sessions with representatives from the lifeguards (Chris Betts, Thanet Leisureforce), Coastguards (Dave Melmoth, MCA and RNLI) and Thanet Coast Project (Suzie Hooper).

Cllr. Shirley Tomlinson, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: "These immensely popular schools lectures are a vitally important part of promoting the message about water safety with local children, as the coastline plays such a huge part in all our lives. I'm delighted that the Thanet Coast Project are working in partnership with the coastguards, lifeguards and lifeboats to run these school sessions. The coastline is our largest open space, and children spend much of their holidays having fun and enjoying our beautiful beaches and we want to ensure that they know how to stay safe."

Andy Roberts, from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said: "We're fully committed to preventing loss of life, continuously improving maritime and foreshore safety and protecting the marine environment. These water safety lectures are an excellent opportunity to help promote water safety, and are backed by a superb locally produced video 'Water Safety in Thanet' that has been nationally recognised as a great example of promoting the national water safety codes in our local area."

Further information about 'Water Safety in Thanet' can be found and viewed at www.thanetcoast.org.uk

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

MARGATE FLOOD & COAST PROTECTION SCHEME

From Cllr. John Watkins - Margate Central Ward - Thanet District Council (Cllr. Watkins is a former Naval Officer & a long-serving member of the Margate Lifeboat Crew). "Welcome news this week comes in a report that the Labour Government has allocated an initial £4 million pounds to improve flood protection for Margate. It has been decided that major investment is vital to move to a 1 in 200 year flooding risk for the seafront and Old Town areas. The association of British Insurers has warned that failure to invest in adequate flood defences on the east coast could result in £16 billion worth of damage due to future North Sea storm surges similar to events in 1987, 1978, 1971 and 1953.

Flood protection at Margate has been a constant task since the Nayland Rock Stone Groyne and the Harbour Arm were first constructed at the start of the nineteenth century. These two sea defences shaped the famous Margate Main sands that helped to make the town a famous seaside resort. However, rising sea levels in this century now make additional work necessary.
Following an Environment Agency grant of £98,000 in 2009, a feasibility study has now produced two different options. The first plan would consist of a new 7m concrete sea wall constructed along Marine Drive, this would rise to around 2m higher than the existing wall now running alongside the pavement. The second, more favourable plan is for stepped revetments from the beach level up to a new wall, marginally higher than the present one, thus preserving the views out to seaward. Both these options would be in addition to the necessary reinforcement works to the Harbour Arm.

Although the preferred option will require extra government funding from the Environment Agency, in addition to the allocated £4million, this plan has been recommended by both the Margate Renewal Partnership Board and the Urban Design Panel. This major funding from central government is in addition to the many millions already allocated for regeneration projects in Margate in recent years".

Cllr. Peter Campbell - Shadow Cabinet Member for Regeneration & Economic Development at TDC said "This is yet another example of the Labour Government investing in Thanet & the people of Thanet. New Schools, Refurbished Hospitals, £40million Cliftonville regeneration, Surestart, pension credits, winter fuel allowance, working families tax credits the list goes on. All will be put at risk if a Tory Government takes over at the next election".

GATEWAY CUSTOMERS SATISFIED WITH SERVICE

New survey results show customers at Thanet's Gateway Plus are satisfied with the service they receive.

More than 150 people who visited the Gateway were randomly selected to take part in the survey to find out what they thought of the service they received, how long they waited, whether they could find what they were looking for and the convenience and comfort of the building.

Of those who responded, 99% were satisfied with the professionalism of staff at the Gateway, while 91% were satisfied with the level of service they received from staff. 80% of people questioned said that they were confident, before they came to the Gateway, that their enquiry would be handled to their satisfaction. When asked how confident they felt that a similar request would be dealt with in the future, the percentage rose to 86%.

Over one third of the people surveyed had visited the Gateway to borrow a book, while 12% visited to use the Internet, books or periodicals and online resources. 71% of people thought it was easy to find what they were looking for, which is a 10% increase since the previous survey. The numbers of people who found it difficult has also decreased to 2%. This comes after signage was replaced, reorganised and expanded to make it clearer to customers what is available.

Cllr. Simon Moores, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, said: "The results of these regular surveys continue to be exceptionally encouraging. Although there was, understandably, some concern when the Gateway first opened about blending together council and library services, since then we have received excellent feedback from customers. It's clear that people using the Gateway are getting an improved service and these results highlight that. Where people have suggested improvements, we'll be looking at how we can use these suggestions."

Thanet's Gateway Plus is open from 9am to 6pm from Monday to Friday, with late opening until 8pm on Thursdays. It is also open from 9am to 5pm on Saturdays. As well as library and Thanet District Council services, it also offers a range of services from 25 partner agencies.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

New documents published by Thanet District Council,

08/03/2010 - Agenda supplement published - Treasury Management Update : Treasury Management Update: Meeting of Mar 16 2010 6:30PM, Governance and Audit Committee

08/03/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Mar 17 2010 7:00PM, Planning Committee

08/03/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Mar 18 2010 6:00PM, Joint Transportation Board

08/03/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Mar 16 2010 6:30PM, Governance and Audit Committee

02/03/2010 - Agenda supplement published - Supplementary Agenda : Supplementary Agenda: Meeting of Mar 11 2010 5:30PM, Airport Working Party

02/03/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Mar 11 2010 5:30PM, Airport Working Party

02/03/2010 - Minutes published: Meeting of Feb 17 2010 7:00PM, Planning Committee
02/03/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Mar 11 2010 7:00PM, Cabinet
01/03/2010 - Meeting held: Mar 1 2010 10:00AM, Licensing Board

CHILDREN SIGN THE WAY ON DOG FOULING

Primary school children in Ramsgate are sign posting the way on dog fouling, after winning a competition to design new signs to encourage people to pick after their dogs.

Dog fouling was identified by PACT panels (Partners and Communities Together) in the Central Harbour, Eastcliff and Newington areas of Ramsgate as a priority for them.

As a result, community wardens and council officers from Thanet District Council and PCSOs from Kent Police visited Newington Primary School, Priory Infants School and St. Ethelbert's Catholic Primary School to talk to pupils about responsible dog ownership. An interactive game was used to show children how to pick up after their dogs and use dog bins correctly.

The children were also asked to design new signs, with messages about dog fouling, with the winning signs going on display in parks and open areas in Ramsgate. In total, six different designs have been used, with two winners from each school. The posters highlight the dangers of diseases in dog mess that can cause blindness, especially in young children and also remind people that anyone who fails to pick up after their dog could receive an £80 Fixed Penalty Notice.

Cllr. Shirley Tomlinson, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: "Dog fouling is something that local people have told us they want action taken on and that's exactly what we're doing. We've already got zero tolerance on anyone who fails to pick up after their dog, but as well as enforcement, we also need to be educating people. One way of doing that is by getting into schools and getting the message across at an early age. Hopefully these striking posters designed by the children will also help to get the message across to the small irresponsible minority of dog owners who fail to clean up after their dogs."

The winners were Eloise Sheppard (11) and Abigail Wilson (11) from Newington Community Primary School, Oliver Vaughan (6) and Oliver Benjamin (10) from St. Ethelbert's Catholic Primary School and Iona Wheeler (7) and Molly Quittenden (7) from Priory Infants School.

Monday, 8 March 2010

RUN THE THANET MILE

One of the country's top young hurdlers is encouraging people to rise to the challenge and do the Thanet Mile in Ramsgate for Sport Relief.

Jack Green, who represents Great Britain at under 17 level in the 400 metres hurdles has joined forces with representatives from Thanet District Council's Sport Matters team and Sainsbury's Thanet, who are organising the event.

Mile events are being held across the UK as part of this year's Sport Relief and the Thanet Mile will take place at the Marlowe Academy Community Athletics Track in Ramsgate on Sunday 21 March. There are options of running either one, three or six miles, with all money raised going to Sport Relief to help poor and disadvantaged people in the UK and abroad.

Cllr. Shirley Tomlinson, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: "Thousands of people across the UK will be rising to the challenge to do their bit for Sport Relief this year. Thanet will be playing its part and we hope to see lots of local people turning out to either run one, three or six miles or support those who will be taking part."

To register, visit the Thanet Mile website at http://www.sportrelief.com/the-mile/thanet-mile or call Colin Rouse on 01843 577032 for more information. Entry fees, which only help to cover the cost of staging the event, are £5 for adults aged 16 or over, £2 for children under 16 and a discounted family rate of £12 for two adults and two children.

GRISLY DEATH FILM PROVES BIG HIT IN BROADSTAIRS

A grisly film made by local people in Thanet about the horrors of a medieval plague has proved an unexpected hit among cinema-goers in Broadstairs.

Film-maker Norman Thomas said: “It seems that people really like watching their friends and neighbours die in agony!”

“We put the show on in Thanet mainly for the benefit of local people who’d been in the film,” said Mr Thomas, “But we’ve now had two sell-out screenings, so the cinema’s bringing it back again.”

The film started life as an educational project to recreate the impact the plague known as the Black Death which came to Britain in 1348, had on a village in Thanet.

Shot on location in Thanet, using a cast featuring many local people, the film vividly recreates the life of the period, and the total inadequacy of the medical practices of the time to cope with the disease.

Local make-up students created the buboes or swellings characteristic of the disease and a plague pit was dug on a local farm which the film-makers filled with Thanet people playing dead corpses.

“It was amazing how keen the people were on dying,” said Mr Thomas. “Several people volunteered on condition they could die on camera!”

The film has also unearthed some of the very few things which are known about the real history of the Black Death in Thanet.

Mr Thomas said: “The Black Death had a much bigger impact on the area than previously thought.

“We discovered that most of the people in the Thanet village of Acol died in the plague, that there were plague pits in the tiny hamlet of Woodchurch, and we also found that the unusual shape of a Thanet church, All Saints in Birchington, is a direct result of the shortage of labour caused by the Black Death.

“I think the whole subject cries out for more research and we hope to return to this theme in the future.”
The film “Thanet and the Black Death” will receive its final screening on Sunday March 21st at 5pm. To book to see the film ring the Palace Cinema on 01843 865726.