Friday, 30 July 2010

RESIDENTS & COUNCILLORS RALLY FOR FIGHT!

COUNCILLORS AND RESIDENTS APPALLED
BY SERIOUS OMISSIONS IN REPORT

(that proposes 'gifting' 1300+ sq mtrs of open green space to a housing group for building development)


Local residents met with Cliftonville West councillors Linda Aldred, Doug Clark and Clive Hart on Thursday evening (29th July) and all were appalled by significant omissions in a report published by Thanet District Council that is being presented to the TDC Cabinet for discussion at its meeting scheduled for 5th August.

The report that recommends gifting the 1300+ square meters of green open space at the south end of Dalby Square to the Town and Country Housing Group for building development has four very relevant and very serious omissions.

Firstly, absolutely no mention whatsoever is made in the report regarding the use of the green space for public recreation for the last fifteen years. TDC laid the whole area to lawn in 1995 and has maintained it as a green open space for local residents ever since.

Secondly, absolutely no mention whatsoever is made in the report of the Dalby Square Project Group and their sterling work to regenerate the square that includes the south green that is proposed to be 'gifted' away against their wishes. Over the last decade the group have raised around £400,000 to create beautiful formal gardens for adults and visitors and a playground for very young children. The group are clear that the south green is part of that project and it provides a large grassed area where slightly older children can play ball and let off steam whilst being watched by parents from windows in hundreds of flats surrounding the square. The group now feel cheated by TDC with whom they have signed joint agreements and received planning permission to improve the green space.

Thirdly, for over seven years, ward councillors Linda Aldred, Doug Clark and Clive Hart have met with TDC housing and regeneration officers on numerous occasions (that must average at least 4 times each year) where they have made it absolutely clear that the green space at the south end of the square is an important local amenity in a densely populated area where health and wellbeing are nowhere near the levels they should be. They have also regularly and jointly lobbied TDC on behalf of residents to protect the green space for the same seven+ years.

Lastly, at paragraph 5.6.1 in the report it states that a drop-in consultation was held on 14th July attended by local residents and council officers. That drop-in consultation was advertised as an application for the Warren Court site and not the green in Dalby Square. This paragraph in the report completely fails to say that all three ward councillors were present at the drop-in consultation. Much more importantly it also fails to say that the Dalby Square Project Group and all three ward councillors raised serious objections to the proposed development at that drop-in consultation.

At Thursdays meeting between residents and ward councillors, concerns were raised as to why the developers drop-in consultation took place on one evening and the following evening TDC declared the square a Conservation Area.

Questions were also asked as to how the land can be 'gifted' to a developer after an application has been received but before a planning decision has been made and therefore actually during the application process.

Further serious concerns were raised as to the whole matter being a 'done deal' and legal documents were assembled and plans were prepared in order to fight both the 'gifting' of the land to developers and the proposed planning application that will cover all 1300+ sq mtrs.


Published by Cllr Clive Hart - 44 Northdown Road, Margate, CT9 2RW (01843 298770).

For confirmation of the residents position on this issue call Jenny Cranstone on 01843 228414

TAKE A SEASHORE SAFARI THIS SUMMER

A summer of seashore safaris is underway along the Thanet coastline, where you can find out about the creatures that lurk in our rockpools.

All the sessions are free and are suitable for 4 to 14 year olds, but are great for the whole family to join in with. Each safari lasts for two hours and anyone coming along should wear appropriate clothes for the weather on the day and waterproof footwear. All equipment and information sheets are provided.

The remaining seashore safaris take place at the following dates and times at the following venues:

Monday 2 August, 10am, Dumpton Gap, Broadstairs
Tuesday 3 August, 11am, Stone Bay, Broadstais
Wednesday 4 August, 11am, Joss Bay, Broadstairs
Thursday 5 August, 1pm, Botany Bay, Broadstairs
Friday 6 August, 3pm, Walpole Bay, Cliftonville

Thursday 12 August, 9am, Westbrook Bay (west side), Margate
Friday 13 August, 9am, St. Mildred’s Bay, Westgate

Monday 16 August, 11.30am, Eascliff, Ramsgate
Tuesday 17 August, 11am, Dumpton Gap, Broadstairs
Wednesday 18 August, 12pm, Joss Bay, Broadstairs
Thursday 19 August, 2pm, Louisa Bay, Broadstairs
Friday 20 August, 4pm, Western Undercliff, Ramsgate

There is even a special evening seashore safari especially for nippers, taking place on Monday 23 August at 6.30pm, meeting at the Droit House. It will explore the rocks behind Margate Harbour. Captain Crabby will also take families out for a Rockpool Ramble on Sunday 29 August at 9.30am at Minnis Bay, Birchington.

Thanet Coast Project Manager Tony Child said: “Our seashore safaris are always hugely popular throughout the summer. They’re a great way of introducing children and young people to the wonderful variety of creatures for which the internationally important ‘North East European marine site’ is their home. Children are great explorers and although there are no guarantees, on many occasions in the past, we’ve found various unusual creatures for people to see at close up! You just never know what you might find on our beautiful coast.”

These activities are run with support from the Big Lottery Fund and a team of Thanet Coast Project volunteers and staff. To book for any of these activities and more, visit www.thanetcoast.org.uk

PLANS IN FOR WARREN COURT HOTEL SITE

A new planning application, for the former Warren Court Hotel and the adjacent land in Dalby Square, has been received by Thanet District Council.

The application sets out plans for 12 three-bed houses and the conversion, including the retention of the façade, of 21-23 Arthur Road to 8 two-bed flats.

Details are available on the council's website using UK Planning under reference 10/0581. The plans can also be viewed by visiting Thanet's Gateway Plus in Cecil Street, Margate from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, with extended opening until 8pm on Thursdays. Thanet's Gateway Plus is also open from 9am to 5pm on Saturdays.

The deadline for comments to be received is Friday 20 August 2010.

The application is likely to be considered by the council's planning committee in September

COMMUNITY PUNISHMENT FOR BENEFIT FRAUDSTER

A former Margate man has been given a 100 hour Community Punishment Order, after admitting benefit fraud that netted him more than £2,500.

Gary Polok (34), of Bybrook Road, Kennington, Ashford failed to inform the council that he had moved out of Marwell House, Marine Parade in November 2008 and into his new address.

He continued to receive payments of benefits into his bank account up until April 2009. The money was used to pay the deposit and rent in advance on his new property and also went on other bills and living costs.

As a result, he was overpaid £2,360.82 in Housing Benefit and £258.43 in Council Tax Benefit. He admitted the offence when interviewed.

Canterbury Magistrates yesterday (Tuesday 27 July) gave him a 100 hour Community Punishment Order and ordered him to pay £100 costs at the rate of £10 per fortnight, with payments to commence from August 2010.

2010 - GREEN SPACE KNOCKHOLT ROAD

Back in 2008, as a Kent County Councillor for the area at the time, Cllr Clive Hart was heavily involved in supporting local residents to protect the green space at Knockholt Road in Cliftonville that links Northdown Park estate with The Ridings and cliff top walks.

Cllr Hart said "at one point back in 2008 a Cliftonville East district ward councillor, who was also the council leader at the time, worried local residents with plans for a building development on the green through the TDC asset disposal process and I therefore responded by applying to Kent County Council for the green space to be registered as an official public right of way.

Well, it's 2010 and the lengthy right of way process has finally moved on and a detailed investigation into the usage of the green space for public access is now at last underway".
If residents feel the green space at Knockholt Road has been valuable to them as a means of access and they have used it for that purpose during any reasonable length of time between 1988 and 2008, they can help protect it for the future by phoning Public Rights of Way Officer Maria McLauchlan on 01622 696871 and letting her know.

Alternatively they can write to Countryside Access, Invicta House, County Hall, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1XX.

CALL FOR ARTISTS FOR SeaART 2010

Artists are being invited to submit their work for this year’s SeaART 2010, which will go on display in Ramsgate in August.

The theme to this year’s exhibition is “marine life” and the “coastal and marine environment”, with the successful submissions going on display from Friday 13 August until Wednesday 25 August. The event will be launched at the Belgian Café on Friday 13 August.

Organised by the Thanet Coast Project, SeaART is now into its seventh year and the project are looking for all types of new exhibits of contemporary visual artwork, sculptures, installations and photographs.

The project is working with Mike Samson this year and the main focus of the exhibition will be at the Belgian Café, Harbour Parade, Ramsgate, with smaller exhibits held at other venues. There is no cost for artists to exhibit and artists can submit up to three pieces of work.

As part of SeaART 2010, there are SeaART workshops aimed at children aged four to 14 years old, where participants can create marine masterpieces out of plaster of Paris, and fish out of willow. These take place in the Thanet Coast Project marquee over the weekend of the Monster Bass Festival on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 August – just drop in and get creative! These workshops are run with support from the Big Lottery Fund.

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “SeaART has been running successfully for a number of years now and aims to promote the wealth of work inspired by our coast and marine environment. We want to promote local artists who live or work along our beautiful coastline.”

Submissions have to be in by Monday 9 August and can be made either by e-mail to thanet.coast@thanet.gov.uk or by post to the Thanet Coast Project, Thanet District Council, PO Box 9, Cecil Street, Margate, CT9 1XZ. For more information, visit www.thanetcoast.org.uk

SPORT MATTERS THIS SUMMER

Sport really does matter this summer with a superb line-up of sports events across the area from the council’s Sport Matters team.

Amongst the activities which will be taking place are crazy golf, surfing, beach volleyball, sailing, beach football, along with more traditional sports such as athletics, cricket and tennis.

The popular Sport Matters parks tour will be taking the famous inflatable football pitch out to Margate, Minster, Millmead, Newington and Minnis Bay during the summer.

Sport 4 NRG, which aims to provide diversionary activities for young people aged 11 to 18 years old, will be putting on a number of different sports. Beach volleyball and footvolley will be taking place on some of the area’s beaches, with crazy golf at Strokes Mini Golf at Westbrook, street handball at Dame Janet Junior School, surfing at Joss Bay and street dance at Hartsdown Leisure Centre.

The Thanet Disability Sports Project will be hosting weekly sessions in archery at Ursuline College, Westgate, ten pin bowling at AMF Margate and golf at the Manston Golf Centre. Family swimming sessions at Hartsdown Leisure Centre and multi-sport beach sessions at Margate are also available. The TADSAD multi-sport club continues to meet at Ramsgate Sports Centre, with the Thanet Galaxy Pan Disability Football Club continuing at Chatham House School in Ramsgate.

There’s plenty to enjoy from Thanet Leisureforce, with swimming lesson crash courses for children and wet’n’wild swimming sessions at both pools, along with rollerdiscos and junior gym at Ramsgate and baton twirling at Hartsdown.

Beginner skate days are on offer at Revolution at just £8 admission for a two hour course, although equipment hire is not included in this price. Margate Yacht Club is another group offering taster sessions and Charlton FC will be returning to the area with their popular beach football and soccer schools. Broadstairs Tennis Club has free holiday sessions, while coaching academies, costing either £6 per day or £25 per week, are available at Margate Cricket Club. Thanet Wanderers RUFC has special rugby skills and games sessions, while Thanet Athletics Club meets weekly at the Marlowe Academy.

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “There’s so much sporting activity going on this summer for young people in Thanet, there’s no excuse for anyone to say they’re bored. The council’s Sport Matters team is putting on lots of different activities and they’re being supported by our thriving sporting community of local clubs and organisations. Getting yourself fit and healthy has never been so much fun.”

Although most of the sessions are free, there are changes fro some. Some sessions also need to be booked in advance. All events are in the latest copy of Youth Matters, distributed to secondary schools, youth clubs and organisations across Thanet and available from local supermarkets. Full details and online booking are also available on the council’s website at www.thanet.gov.uk/sport

CLEAN SWEEP TACKLES ISSUES IN BROADSTAIRS

The latest Operation Clean Sweep in Broadstairs has seen the team talking to more than 100 businesses about their concerns.

The council-led operation involved officers from planning enforcement, community safety and environmental health, along with representatives from the Kent Fire and Rescue Service, the UK Border Agency, Serious Organised Crime Agency, Community Payback and volunteers from Pipeline.

Over two days (Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 July), the teams visited properties in Broadstairs High Street and surrounding roads, including Albion Street, York Street and Harbour Street.

More investigations will be carried by environmental health into fly tipping and trade waste at five properties. A series of trade waste agreements were checked and all were found to be sufficient. The council’s planning enforcement team uncovered two planning issues that they will be investigating further as a result.

Kent Fire and Rescue found three premises with no fire risk assessments, which is a legal requirement. They are also sending out 10 guidance letters with fire safety advice and there will be a further three inspections, where properties were found to be contravening fire safety regulations. One of these is urgent, as it posed an immediate risk to the owners. A communal property was discovered that didn’t have enough fire alarms and the owner was contacted and was told to rectify this immediately.

Kent Police gathered information on what concerned local people and prevented two parking obstructions. Kent Trading Standards gathered intelligence and checked for counterfeit goods.

Volunteers from Pipeline were out litter picking, weeding and clearing alleyways in St. Peter’s. In addition, Community Payback removed graffiti in two alleyways and tidied up other locations in Broadstairs. They will also be carrying out further graffiti clearance over the next few days.

Community wardens also patrolled the area, enforcing the council’s zero tolerance policy on litter and dog fouling. The Serious Organised Crime Agency spoke to all the premises that Clean Sweep visited, advising on the dangers of employing people from outside of the EU illegally.

If you have any ideas for future Clean Sweep locations or any communal areas that you feel need attention, call 01843 577737.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Unveiling of Blue Plaque for John Le Mesurier by The Ramsgate Society on Thursday 29th July

The Ramsgate Society is proud to announce that the first of its Blue Plaques is to be unveiled.

Actor, John Le Mesurier's former home in London Road, Ramsgate is to be the first property to be part of The Ramsgate Society blue plaque scheme.

The official unveiling is to be performed by Joan Le Mesurier on Thursday 29th July 2010 at 3.30pm at 8 London Road, Ramsgate.

KCC Member for Ramsgate, Mrs Elizabeth Green awarded a Member's Grant following an application by Frank Batt of The Ramsgate Society for funding towards this project and also the republishing of Ramsgate's Town Trail booklet.

There are over 35 properties in Ramsgate that have connections with notable personalities and it is hoped will become part of this new blue plaque scheme, although as many of the properties are either listed, or in the town conservation area various permissions must first be granted before the plaques can be commissioned for manufacture.

The next phase of plaques to be installed will be:

62 Plains of Waterloo, Karl Marx stayed here in 1879

Townley House (Farley's Ltd. in Chatham Street), building designed architect by Mary Townley

1 Chatham Place, Viscount Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington stayed here during the Napoleonic wars

4 Spencer Square, where author John Gibson Lockhart lived

Monday, 26 July 2010

Last weeks planning applications,

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


20 Jul 2010
A/TH/10/0582
56 CANTERBURY ROAD MARGATE CT95BG
current
20 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0461
85 ALBION ROAD BROAKSTAIRS
current
20 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0497
6 LEYBOURN ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT101TE
current
20 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0508
19-27 HIGH STREET, ST LAWRENCE, RAMSGATE, CT11 0QW
current
20 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0514
1 WINIFRED AVENUE RAMSGATE CT126AT
current
20 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0523
40 FITZROY AVENUE MARGATE CT92TY
current
20 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0532
19 ROYAL ROAD RAMSGATE CT119LF
current
20 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0560
63 STANLEY ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT101BN
current
20 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0565
16A RICHBOROUGH ROAD WESTGATE-ON-SEA CT88DE
current
20 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0566
23 ALBION STREET BROADSTAIRS CT101LU
current
20 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0568
19 PEGWELL AVENUE RAMSGATE CT110NL
current
20 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0569
36 LANTHORNE ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT103LZ
current
20 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0572
GARAGES ADJACENT TO 143 HUGIN AVENUE BROADSTAIRS
current
20 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0573
FORMER POLICE STATION, CAVENDISH STREET, RAMSGATE, CT11 9AP
current
20 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0576
334 MARGATE ROAD RAMSGATE CT126SQ
current
20 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0577
71 FITZROY AVENUE BROADSTAIRS CT103LT
current
20 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0584
64 BELLEVUE ROAD RAMSGATE CT118DL
current
20 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0585
15 YORK STREET RAMSGATE CT119DS
current
20 Jul 2010
L/TH/10/0521
7 ADDINGTON PLACE RAMSGATE CT119JG
current
20 Jul 2010
L/TH/10/0552
3 PRIORY ROAD RAMSGATE CT119PG
current

New documents published by Thanet District Council,

21/07/2010 - Meeting held: Jul 21 2010 7:00PM, Planning Committee

20/07/2010 - Meeting held: Jul 20 2010 7:00PM, Overview and Scrutiny Panel

20/07/2010 - Meeting held: Jul 20 2010 5:00PM, Corporate Improvement & Budget Working Party

20/07/2010 - Minutes published: Meeting of Jun 29 2010 6:30PM, Governance and Audit Committee

20/07/2010 - Minutes published: Meeting of Jun 22 2010 6:30PM, Governance and Audit Committee

Call for A257 to become a B Road

Sandys and Brazier ask for the A257 to be designated a B Road to relieve villages from HGV shortcut

“The villages along the A257 have for years suffered from large lorries and fast traffic taking the short cut from the Sandwich Roundabout to Canterbury and visa versa rather than going along the Thanet Way. We are calling on KCC to re-designate the road to a B road and that signage directs traffic along the new East Kent Access Road rather than through the villages of Shatterling, Wingham, Littlebourne and Bramling,” said Laura Sandys and Julian Brazier MPs whose constituencies are impacted.

“This has been an ongoing problem for the villages and there have been many accidents along the road with large foreign HGV’s finding their way onto a road that would never be designated an A road today,” said Julian Brazier MP for Canterbury.

“The new East Kent Access Road offers us an excellent opportunity to get the signage changed, the road designated appropriately as a B Road and for lorries to be directed onto the large trunk roads rather than through delightful rural villages”, said Laura Sandys MP for the Stour Villages.

Local County Councillors, District Councillors and Parish Councillors are supportive of this request and all hope that the decision can be made in conjunction with the opening of the East Kent Access Road

Friday, 23 July 2010

WEBCASTING COUNCIL MEETINGS MAY CONTINUE

Webcasting of council meetings could be set to continue, after it was recommended by the council’s watchdog body.

The Overview and Scrutiny Panel decided to recommend that the pilot, which saw three council meetings webcast, should continue until the end of the municipal year in April 2011. This idea will now go to the next full council meeting in October, for members to make a final decision.

During the pilot, a total of 225 people logged on to watch the first meeting, which discussed the council’s budget in February. They watched the meeting for an average of almost seven and a half minutes.

The next meeting to be broadcast took place in April and was watched by 53 people for an average of around three minutes. This meeting covers items as diverse as planning obligations and developer contributions, licensing of sexual entertainment venues, members’ allowance schemes and polling places and polling stations.

The third meeting broadcast as part of the pilot was held in May and was the annual Council meeting, where decisions are made about who will be the council’s Leader, Chairman and who will sit on the council’s various committees. This attracted 75 views, with people watching for an average of just over three minutes.

Members decided to continue with the trial, due to the relatively low cost of providing the service, which works out to approximately £250 per transmission.

Cllr. Mike Harrison, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel, said: “I think it’s fair to say that all members of the Panel were disappointed that the pilot didn’t generate more interest. It’s a shame the number of website hits were so low for the three meetings that were webcast, as the issues being discussed were important to local people. Perhaps just as disappointing was the amount of time that people spent watching the meetings, with the average time as low as just three minutes, which barely allows for debate to get going. I think this is something that we should continue with. It’s important for the council to be transparent and open to public scrutiny and webcasting our meetings is one way of achieving that.”

Thursday, 22 July 2010

ROYAL MAIL PLANS SET TO BE EXAMINED

The possible closure of the Royal Mail sorting office in Margate is set to be examined further by Thanet District Council.

The council’s Overview and Scrutiny Panel, which met on Tuesday (20 July), decided that this was an issue that they wanted to look more closely at, as they were worried about the prospect of job losses and the quality of service. They also voiced concerns that, if these proposals go ahead, the nearest sorting office to Margate would be located at Maidstone. The Panel is to ask Royal Mail to send a representative to its next meeting in September to explain the proposals and answer questions.

Other issues set to be examined during 2010/11 include the development of a Master Plan for the Port of Ramsgate and Royal Harbour Marina. Members wanted to see a progress report from this Working Party at the Panel’s next meeting in September, with an update on where the project was.

Other Working Parties will continue to look at the council’s asset management programme, the council’s budget, the Thanet Works scheme, the Thanet Community Safety Partnership, museums, shared services, the airport, how seaweed is dealt with by the council and the council’s management of the Coach House in Northdown Park.

Cllr. Mike Harrison, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel, said: “I’m keen for the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Panel to look at issues outside of the council, focusing on things that affect the wider community. It seems that the issue of what will happen to the Royal Mail sorting office falls into that category perfectly and members agreed. I look forward to hearing more from the Royal Mail at our next meeting about what they’re proposing and the impact it will have on our area.”

NEW EVENTS ANNOUNCED FOR DIPPERS AND DUNKERS

You can ‘Shape up and Sway’ and enjoy photographic memories of the Margate Mermaids in days gone by, with new events announced for this summer’s Dippers and Dunkers festival in Margate.

The festival celebrates the best of New Variety, a touch of Burlesque and Seaside Entertainment and is being run by Thanet District Council. Now into its second year, after a successful debut last year, it’s been extended to a whole week and will run from Friday 20 August until Friday 27 August. It takes its name from locals who would 'dip' and 'dunk' their sea-bathing visitors in Margate's salty waters. The festival has something for all members of the family, from circus workshops, to sideshow illusions, Punch and Judy fun, cabaret, the renowned Sassy Seaside Show and the insect museum.

The exhibition ‘Margate Drawn’ (sponsored by Southern Water), focuses on the visitors that have visited Margate since the 1700s being “drawn” to the seaside by the therapeutic waters. These visitors were, in turn, drawn by the great caricature artists of the day, creating a fun look at the history of the seaside. It will be split into five different sections, the first covering the journey to Margate, the second looking at the restorative power of the waters, the attractions available for visitors and misadventures at Margate. The final section will concentrate on contemporary caricatures, a competition for new caricature artists, which has been advertised in arts magazines, on websites and through arts organizations.

You can also shape up and sway the Dippers and Dunkers way, by taking part in 1950s keep fit on the beach on Margate Main Sands. Free sessions will be taking place every morning from Monday 23 August to Friday 27 August at 8.00am.

If that sounds too energetic, you can also try Tai Chi, followed by a cup of tea, on the same days, also on the beach, from 10.00 to 11.00am. Beginners are welcome and you’ll exploring breath control, basic moves and the philosophy of this ancient form of self defence. If the weather is wet, an alternative venue will be arranged. Both events are being sponsored by the council’s Sport Matters team.

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Commercial Services, said: “It’s great to see even more events being added to this year’s Dippers and Dunkers festival. There’s going to be lots going on throughout the week, with something for every member of the family, whatever your age. Many of the events taking place will be free, so it’s a great opportunity for local people, and visitors to the area, to enjoy high quality entertainment either for no or little cost.”

To find out more about what’s happening in Dippers and Dunkers, call 01843 577577 or visit www.dippersanddunkers.org.uk

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

GET A FRONT ROW SEAT AT THE MONSTER BASS FESTIVAL

Local people have the chance to play their part with front row seats when Ramsgate’s newest event, the Monster Bass Festival, makes its spectacular arrival in the town next month (August).

The festival will re-tell the legend of the lost lands of Lomea, an island off Ramsgate now known as the Goodwin Sands, in a two-day free event organised by Thanet District Council, which takes place over the weekend of Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 August.

The star of the show, the mysterious Monster Bass, who guards the Goodwins, will be carried through Ramsgate and returned to the sea on the Saturday evening in a parade from the Paragon along Ramsgate seafront to the beach. A professional storyteller will then tell the tale of the Monster Bass in a special show on Ramsgate Main Sands, set to a specially commissioned piece of music. The evening will end with a sensational fireworks and sound show on the beach, when the Bass is returned to the sea.

Local people or groups can take part in the parade, offering a front seat for the show, by signing up for one of the creative workshops taking place in the days leading up to the Festival weekend.

The workshops take place on Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 August at Ramsgate Library, with each workshop running from 10am to 3pm, with a one hour lunch break. Those getting involved will need to turn up on the night of the parade on Saturday 14 August and be available between 8pm and 10.30pm. To take part, you must be over the age of eight and anyone under the age of 14 must be accompanied an adult. Local groups with at least 20 members can also apply for an artist to attend their group meeting to run a workshop.

The workshops will see people learning the tale of the Monster Bass and Lomea, with the opportunity to work with professional artists for a day to create your own unique parade creation, which is yours to keep afterwards. No previous experience is needed to take part.

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “This is a unique chance for local people to play a starring role in the area’s newest event and get front row seats to the superb entertainment taking place as part of the weekend. We’re looking for enthusiastic people who can commit the time to one of the workshops beforehand and then on the evening of the parade itself. It’s your chance to showcase your talents to everyone enjoying the Monster Bass Festival.”

Anyone who wants to take part in the creative workshops can contact the council’s events team by either calling 01843 577167 or e-mailing events@thanet.gov.uk for an application form.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

YOUTH CONSULTATION LAUNCHES

Young people in Thanet could be in line to win one of over 100 prizes, just by taking part in the new youth consultation.

The council carries out the survey every few years to look at the services and support available to young people. It’s a pull-out in the centre of the summer issue of Youth Matters, which is distributed to secondary schools, youth clubs and organisations across Thanet and local supermarkets.

The survey is aimed at anyone aged 11 to 19 years old and focuses on a range of issues, including what young people think about living in Thanet, what concerns them, how safe they feel and how they want to find out about events in the area.

Anyone who fills in the survey and returns it will be entered into a prize draw and could win one of over 100 prizes. These include iTunes vouchers, vouchers for Joss Bay Surf School, skateboarding and rock-climbing at Revolutions Skate Park and junior gym and roller skating passes from Thanet Leisureforce.

Cllr. Chris Wells, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “We want to hear what young people think about life in Thanet and what’s available to them. It’s your opportunity to tell us what we should focus on. Just by doing that gives you the chance to win one of more than 100 great prizes.”

A series of events are being held to promote both the activities on offer this summer and the latest issue of Youth Matters. Anyone who comes along to the Ramsgate Carnival on Sunday 25 July will be able to fill in the survey there. Other events where the survey can be filled in during the summer include the Engage Summer Blast at Dane Park on Thursday 5 August from 2pm to 6pm and Beach Blast at Joss Bay on Wednesday 18 August, from 4pm to 8pm. All these events are free.

The survey can also be filled in online at the Youth Matters website at www.thanetyouthmatters.co.uk

The Entrepreneurs of South Thanet

As we navigate our way out of the nation’s very difficult economic situation, one of the most important group of people to ensure recovery will be today’s and tomorrow’s small business entrepreneurs. We need to support them.

Having set up both my small businesses in the middle of recessions I know what a leap of faith it is to set up shop and launch yourself on the consumer when things look tough out there. But locally there are people with passion and belief in what they do, and last weekend I was thrilled to be at the opening of two exciting businesses that I believe will have a real future – a marvellous cafe in Ramsgate in Spencer Square and a very special and large farm shop just outside Wingham run by the Gibson family.

With the importance of small businesses in mind, the Government is also there -- providing incentives which small businesses so badly need. Tax for small businesses has been reduced to 20%, we are doubling the level of small business rate relief and more than half a million businesses in England are expected to benefit, with approximately 345,000 businesses paying no rates. And by stopping Labour’s National Insurance hike for businesses we are supporting existing companies to take on more staff.

It is also important to inspire young people to think about setting up a business. From my experience there are few better ways to take control of your own life, and have an exciting future. And our schools locally have excelled in encouraging young people to think commercially. This week at Dane Court School a group of students were asked to develop some commercial marketing ideas for Broadstairs High Street. They presented great ideas, a beautiful leaflet promoting Broadstairs, all based on rigorous market research. Was I meeting the entrepreneurs of the future – I think so!

Monday, 19 July 2010

New documents published by Thanet District Council,

20/07/2010 - Meeting scheduled: Jul 20 2010 7:00PM, Overview and Scrutiny Panel

20/07/2010 - Meeting scheduled: Jul 20 2010 5:00PM, Corporate Improvement & Budget Working Party

19/07/2010 - Meeting scheduled: Jul 19 2010 5:00PM, Airport Working Party

16/07/2010 - Publication of plan: Forward Plan for period from 1 August 2010 to 1 February 2011; Cabinet

15/07/2010 - Meeting held: Jul 15 2010 7:00PM, Council

14/07/2010 - Meeting held: Jul 14 2010 4:00PM, Asset Management Working Party

14/07/2010 - Agenda supplement published - Annex 2 - Site Map, 36 Rockstone Way, Ramsgate : Annex 2 - Site Map, 36 Rockstone Way, Ramsgate: Meeting of Jul 21 2010 7:00PM, Planning Committee

13/07/2010 - Meeting held: Jul 13 2010 5:00PM, Shared Services Working Party

13/07/2010 - Minutes published: Meeting of Jun 29 2010 6:00PM, Standards Committee

ONE RULE FOR MANAGEMENT - ONE FOR THE WORKERS.

TORIES SAY 'MAKE THE DECISION NOW
AND LOOK AT THE DETAIL LATER'

Despite serious concerns expressed by Labour councillors at Thursday's meeting of Thanet District Council, the current Conservative administration went ahead with their proposals to re-instate the Deputy Chief Executive post that they also insist will be 'remunerated accordingly'. This was against the background of threatened cuts to large numbers of jobs at TDC for lower level workers.

Labour Shadow Cabinet member Cllr Richard Nicholson explained that the financial costs of the proposal were simply not provided in the report being discussed and moved an amendment calling for the issue to be referred to the General Purposes Committee where more financial detail could be made available.

During a long and blustering response, Conservative Cabinet member Cllr Chris Wells tried to ridicule opposition members for their caution and at one point foolishly demanded "we should make the decision now and look at the detail later".

Labour Deputy Leader Cllr Alan Poole said "I am really mystified as to why, at a time when TDC are considering redundancies, councillors are being asked to agree to re-establish the post of Deputy Chief Executive and 'remunerate accordingly'. I don't suppose that means a 'salary reduction'. Surely this is not the time to be increasing the salary bill and it will certainly send the wrong message to our hard working staff and to Council Tax payers".

Labour Group Leader Cllr Clive Hart explained that during the evening councillors had done their best to help with the current financial situation by cutting their own numbers of Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet posts, and that councillors allowances would also be frozen later in the meeting. He said "Conservative's say - we're all in this together. Well, leading officers at TDC have been 'mollycoddled' for far too long and they need to understand they are not be exempt from the realities that face the rest of us".

Throughout the past year, the departure of the former Deputy Chief Executive to Ashford had been seen as an opportunity to cut the post completely and accordingly make financial savings in the senior management team at TDC. The Conservative decision to re-instate the post ends that approach completely and could have a serious detrimental effect on staff morale by fostering a feeling of 'one rule for management and another for the workers'.


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

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Last weeks planning applications,

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


13 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0421
36 WESTGATE BAY AVENUE WESTGATE ON SEA CT8 8TA
current
13 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0479
Land adjoining 305 Canterbury Road, Birchington.
decided
13 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0498
DOWNFAST DEMOLITION 71 MONKTON STREET MONKTON RAMSGATE CT124JF
current
13 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0557
13 PARK PLACE MARGATE CT91LE
current
13 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0562
LAND ADJACENT WILD THYME BRAMWELL COURT MINSTER RAMSGATE
current
13 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0563
6 NORTH FORELAND ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT103NJ
current
13 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0564
THE IMPERIAL PINE CO 4C GRANGE ROAD RAMSGATE CT119LR
current
13 Jul 2010
L/TH/10/0437
11-15 FLAT 1 ALBERT TERRACE MARGATE CT91UJ
current
13 Jul 2010
OL/TH/10/0558
LAND AT BOOTH PLACE MARGATE
current
13 Jul 2010
TL/TH/10/0548
SPRATLING COURT FARM SPRATLING STREET RAMSGATE CT12 5AW
current

Friday, 16 July 2010

Dev Biswal opens The Ambrette in Margate Gourmet Dining Event with Matched Wines from Hix & Buck New Tunbridge Wells venue planned

Dev Biswal has opened The Ambrette in Margate on the site of the Michelin-listed Indian Princess in Margate, where he was executive chef. The Ambrette is named after the Indian flower known for its culinary and aphrodisiac properties.

Offering gourmet Indian dining, the highly acclaimed Biswal has refurbished and rebranded the restaurant to distance itself from traditional High Street curry houses. The Ambrette does not serve curry, although you will find pork on the menu – something almost unknown in the UK's 10,000 predominantly Bangladeshi-owned south Asian establishments. The short, eclectic, daily changing menu features exotic treats such as the Fillet of Freshwater Nile perch, pan-fried with peppers, coriander, fenugreek and carom seeds signature dish plus locally sourced game and seafood.

On a mission to transform the Indian dining scene, Biswal, says,” I have great respect for the Bangladeshi community, as the pioneers of Asian food in this country producing undoubtedly tasty ‘curries’, but much of the Indian food served here is stuck in a 1940s time bubble.”
He talks of a vast sea change in the fine dining in his native Mumbai, to where he returns regularly for the latest culinary experiences and source new ingredients. He recently returned with “Beetle Cases” – highly aromatic plant leaves with medicinal qualities, but which lose their flavour quickly. Dev extracts the essence and has created uniquely pungent ice cream dish. A local artisan is employed to create perfectly halved goose egg shells in which he serves his exotic rose flavoured crème brûlée.

His style of cooking is about creating flavour affinities with different textures and tastes to combat “flavour fatigue”. Each dish is a piece of visual, as well as culinary, art. Ingredients such as onion, garlic and ginger, with high sulphite content, are not used.
Despite the “exec” job description, Dev spends a lot of time in the kitchen and also brings many dishes to the table to explain the ingredients and his cooking methods. He knows a large number of the clients by name.
From the molecular school of gastronomy Dev spends two days a week on R&D, experimenting with new food combinations. He also researches the chemical composition of his foods and extends the same scientific approach to his wine selection.


“Traditionally lager is a favourite when it comes to Indian cuisine – the reason why wines do not pair well with a curry from your local take-away is because most of these curries are highly flavoured with cooked onion and garlic,” he said, adding, “These contain sulphur compounds such as allicin, diallyl disulphide and diallyl trisulphide – which clash harshly with the taste molecules present in most wines.”



To prove that you can match wines with Indian cuisine, The Ambrette is hosting a gourmet Indian dining evening with a five-course tasting menu with matched wines from Hix & Buck on Sunday 8th August. Hix and Buck, run by a Bollywood dancer, which imports quality French wines from vineyards that produce on too small a scale to supply giant multiples. Tickets for the evening cost £40



Biswal expects to announce a new opening in Tunbridge wells in the coming weeks.

CABINET CHANGES

Minor changes to the previous Cabinet portfolios have been announced, along with changes to the council’s Shadow Cabinet members.

Finance and Corporate Services (also includes communications and policy, procurement and audit) and now including Ramsgate Marina
Cabinet Member Cllr. Bob Bayford (Leader of the Council)
Shadow Cabinet Member Cllr. Clive Hart (Shadow Leader of the Council)


Environmental Services (includes waste collection, recycling, street cleaning, public toilets, parking, parks, allotments, cemeteries and crematorium, sports development, arts development, museums, foreshores, Thanet Coast Project, indoor and outdoor leisure, play services, tourism, events and Environmental Action Programme)
Cabinet Member Cllr. Martin Wise
(Deputy Leader of the Council)
Shadow Cabinet Member Cllr. Alan Poole
(Shadow Deputy Leader of the Council)


Regeneration and Economic Development (includes the Margate Renewal Partnership, asset management, strategic planning and the Port of Ramsgate)
Cabinet Member Cllr. Roger Latchford
Shadow Cabinet Member Cllr. Richard Nicholson


Customer Services and Regulatory Services (includes IT services, revenues and benefits, conservation, planning enforcement and applications, and general estate management)
Cabinet Member Cllr. Simon Moores
Shadow Cabinet Member Cllr. John Watkins


Community Services (includes council housing, strategic housing, housing need and homelessness, housing renewal, private sector housing, community safety and environmental health) and now including licensing and land charges
Cabinet Member Cllr. Chris Wells
Shadow Cabinet Member Cllr. Iris Johnston

The Chairman and Vice Chairmen of the Council’s Committees and Boards for 2010/11 remain the same.

£1.5 MILLION SAVINGS MAY BE NEEDED

Additional savings of around £1.5 million over the next four years may have to be found by Thanet District Council – that was the stark warning given to members last night. (Thursday 15 July)

A report from the Chief Executive spelt out the impact of announcements made to date by the coalition government. These have already seen the council’s grant funding for 2010/11 cut by nearly half a million pounds. A total of £459,811 has been lost through cuts to a range of grants, including the end of the free swimming initiative, the loss of money for SEEDA for the Margate Renewal Partnership and cuts to the Housing Planning Delivery Grant.

The forecast over the next four years is even more bleak, following the government’s announcement in the emergency budget in June that government departments would see their budgets cut by around a quarter over the next four years. This could mean a loss in grants to the council of £3.03 million during that period. The council was already planning to make savings by 2014/15 of £7.59 million, but now this target is likely to be £9.09 million.

The exact amount of money the council receives will not be known until December 2010, but in the meantime, the council is looking at ways of delivering the savings needed, while allowing the highest priority services to be maintained as far as possible. A series of reviews will be carried out over the next few months, looking at a range of issues, including port operations, waste and recycling, leisure activities and ways of improving the way the council works to deliver more savings.

Leader of the Council, Cllr. Bob Bayford, said: “In line with the rest of the public sector, the council is facing a tough time. Fortunately, we are in a better position than many other councils, as we have been planning for some time to reduce our budgets. We were already planning to make savings of more than £7 million in the next four years, much of which will be delivered through sharing services with our neighbouring councils. We now face the prospect of finding even more savings. It’s going to be hard, but we will do it and ensure that core services are maintained.”

DALBY SQUARE DESIGNATED AS CONSERVATION AREA

One part of Cliftonville, described as providing “a fine example of good historic seaside architecture on a national scale” has been added to the list of Conservation Areas in Thanet.

Members agreed last night (Thursday 15 July) at a meeting of Full Council that Dalby Square should be designated as a Conservation Area.

The idea has been widely supported by local residents and community groups, who gave their views at a series of drop-in sessions at St. Paul’s Community Centre. Letters were also sent out to every resident in the area, asking for their opinions.

English Heritage has also given the project its backing, describing Cliftonville as a “strong candidate for designation as a conservation area.” Reasons given for that view included the historic street pattern of the area and the strong character of the buildings.

Cliftonville bears the same relationship to Margate that Hove has to Brighton, developed in the mid 19th century as a planned extension of the town to provide an exclusive seaside resort.

Cllr. Simon Moores, Cabinet Member for Customer Services and Regulatory Services, said: “The designation of Dalby Square as a Conservation Area is one that we know will be warmly welcomed by local people, who have given the idea their backing. English Heritage have already told us that they would be prepared to support us in a number of different ways, if a conservation area is designated, which is really good to hear. Designating Dalby Square as a Conservation Area may now open up the possibility of external funding for the area through various heritage-related schemes and our officers will be working to see what potential financial opportunities exist for this part of Cliftonville as a result.”

“GREAT SUCCESS STORY” OF MARGATE AND CLIFTONVILLE FUNDING

The results of a £3.7 million government funding programme for Margate and Cliftonville West are being described as “a great success story” with impressive results from the four year scheme.

The money came into the area from the Safer, Stronger Communities Fund (SSCF) and was used to help support a total of 107 local projects, which included 20 outreach posts, between April 2006 and March 2010, when the programme of funding ended. Now a new report has been produced, looking at the impact of the money and the difference it has made in the area.
Along with SSCF money, an additional £1.5 million of cash from partners and in-kind contributions was also pumped into the area during the four year period.
Some of the major projects funded by the money included:
· Improvements to Dane Park, including new lighting, a new children’s play area, a hard court for ball games, a new café and refurbishment of the park benches and railings.
· A new Viking-themed children’s play area
· Extra road sweeping units to improve street cleanliness.
A dedicated Waste Enforcement Officer for the area.
A weekly doorstep recycling collection and better recycling facilities.
· Two extra PCSOs and one additional Community Warden for the area.
· CCTV cameras in several areas, including the Old Town in Margate.
· Street lighting improved in 18 streets in Cliftonville West.
· Two local community centres, one in each ward, were refurbished.
· Improvements made to 11 other buildings used by local people.
· People were given the chance to get involved a wide range of activities in their communities, including sport, arts, dance and local events.
· Two mobile vans for local voluntary sector youth outreach services to provide youth engagement activities across the two wards.
· A wide range of additional activities for young people.
· Local groups received money for projects in their neighbourhoods, supported by community workers, funded by the scheme. Over 70% of projects were led by voluntary or community groups.
· Two mini buses for the Thanet Community Transport Association.
· Money provided a disabled access desk, a hearing induction loop, and easy listening posts at Thanet’s Gateway Plus.
· Two Citizen’s Advice Bureau Information Kiosks were funded, one in the Thanet Gateway Plus and one in St. Paul’s Community Centre.

These 107 projects had a major impact on the local area, as shown by the new research:

· Consultation events involved nearly half of the population of the two wards (over 5,000 people).
· 4,485 local people volunteered for SSCF funded activities, providing over 41,000 volunteer hours and helping to support nearly 11,000 other local people.
· 56 indoor and outdoor public spaces were improved, of these half were done through community led projects.
· Nearly 28,000 young people benefitted from activities targeted at them.
· Security was improved at 77 homes and businesses, with more than 3,500 personal items security marked.
· 246 Fixed Penalty Notices and 1,240 enforcement actions targeted fly-tippers and littering.
· 173,918 local people took advantage of the improved access to services, including 112,000 at Thanet’s Gateway Plus.
· 123 adults achieved a qualification and, of these, 37 went on to continue with further education.
· Almost 52,000 people received access to advice and training
· 14 local people were employed full time, eight of which remain employed in these posts, and 17 part-time jobs were provided, seven of these remain employed in these posts.
Cllr. Chris Wells, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “Residents in Margate and Cliftonville West were clear from the beginning about what they wanted the SSCF money to do. They told us that they wanted to see change on the ground, rather than talk about it. That’s exactly what the team has done over the last four years. People wanted clean, safe places they would feel good about using and there have been huge strides in achieving that during the programme. They also wanted the number of opportunities available to them increased, so that they could show their potential. Again, the SSCF programme has done that.”
Although the SSCF money has now finished, many of the projects put in place are still continuing, using alternative means of funding.

FIRE-DAMAGED BUILDING IN MARGATE MADE SAFE

A fire-damaged building in Margate has been made safe, after its condition deteriorated significantly.

The Grade II listed property at 47 – 48 Hawley Square was damaged by fire in May 2008 and the council’s Building Control team secured the remaining structure, using support scaffolding.

The Conservation and Building Control teams tried to get the co-operation of the building owner to restore the property, but with no success. During this time, the council has repeatedly secured the site to prevent unauthorised access and have been monitoring the stability of what remains of the structure.

Recent checks showed that the condition of the gable wall, adjacent to the public footpath at the rear of the building, had deteriorated significantly. As there was a danger to the public, emergency measures were put in place, with the footpath closed, so that the dangerous gable wall and the chimney could be removed. This work has now been completed and the footpath has re-opened, without the support scaffolding.

Cllr. Simon Moores, Cabinet Member for Customer Services and Regulatory Services, said: “I’m sure that anyone who uses the footpath behind this property will be familiar with the scaffolding that’s been there for some time. It will come as a welcome relief to finally see that it’s gone and this is thanks to the work of our Building Control team, who acted quickly and decisively, as soon as they realised that the condition of this property presented a danger to the public.”

The Building Control team will continue to monitor the structure and will continue their attempts to work with the owner of the building to restore it.

NEW HOME DEBT HELP SERVICE

People who are in debt and having problems paying their mortgage or rent are being targeted with a new debt advice service called Home Debt Help, being run by Thanet District Council.

The council’s Housing Options Team has set up the service, which has been funded by government money. The cash was given to the council, after Thanet was identified as one of 86 repossession hotspots across England, based on court applications for repossession and evictions and redundancies.

The scheme is aimed to help anyone who is in danger of becoming homeless, due to either repossession of their home or eviction. It can also help those who have unexpected bills, debts or large credit card or personal loans.

Advice is available on the Mortgage Rescue Scheme, which aims to help householders, who have seen their income change dramatically and need help in paying their mortgage. Another part of the scheme is the government mortgage to rent, which aims to help those on low incomes with little chance of paying a mortgage.

Other help on offer includes finding alternative accommodation if homelessness is unavoidable, information on a range of housing options and suggestions to maximise your income.

Cllr. Chris Wells, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “This scheme aims to stop people from becoming homeless. It’s a sad truth that Thanet has become a repossession hotspot, but the money for this scheme is aiming to tackle that problem. The key thing people need to keep in mind is that we need them to come and talk to us at the earliest possible opportunity. Even if you think your case isn’t serious enough, let us know the position you’re in and our officers can advise on the best way forward and look at how to help keep you in your home.”

The service is free and confidential and, to find out more, call 01843 577277. You can also get advice at www.thanet.gov.uk/homedebthelp

VISION 2030

How will Thanet look in 20 years’ time and how can you get access to the services that will make that vision a reality? That’s what local people can find out at a special event at Thanet’s Gateway Plus.

Vision 2030 is a free event that takes place on Friday 23 July from 10.00am to 4.00pm and is based around the council’s vision document, which sets out how it sees Thanet looking 20 years from now.

People can learn more about the major developments expected to take place during that time, with information available about Turner Contemporary, Dreamland, Manston Airport and the London Array windfarms. There will also be a talk about the Dreamland project by its Director, Jonathan Bryant from 12.30pm to 1.30pm.

Zumba dancing will help launch the event at 10am and there will be music from Luke Jackson, The Frontline, Funk and The Two Tone Baby, three local bands from local colleges. Art work will be provided by local schools and college students. Photography will be provided by Anastasia Miller-Kurakin, Catherine Drains and Steve Allan. The day also sees the launch of the library’s summer reading challenge called Space Hop, the biggest reading event for children in the UK.

You will also be able to get information from a range of services, including Adult Education, Thanet College, Connexions and East Kent Itec. Representatives will also be there from Maximus, who give support to the long term unemployed to get back into work, the Primary Care Trust’s Health Trainers and the NHS Fit for Work team. Trainers from TNG and SES will be running a Job Search Club from 11am to 12pm for those looking for new employment opportunities.

PROSECUTION OVER FALSIFIED PAYSLIPS

A Margate woman has been prosecuted for benefit fraud, after falsifying payslips for her partner.
Beverly Rhodes (26) of Lamberhurst Way and her partner had been in receipt of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit, based on being on a low income.

Her partner was working for J.D. Wetherspoon and four pay slips regarding her partner were provided for her claim, which were later found to be false, after Investigation Officers took part in the council's Clean Sweep operation.
As part of Clean Sweep, which visits different parts of Thanet to tackle a range of anti-social issues, officers visited employers in Margate, getting details of employees. When checking the employee details from J.D. Wetherspoon, they did not match wage slips that the council held for Miss Rhodes’ partner. The wage slips that had been provided to the council showed lower amounts of earnings, compared to the details that J.D. Wetherspoon provided. Further investigations into the payslips were carried out and J.D. Wetherspoon confirmed they were not their wage slips.
In interviews, under caution with Miss Rhodes, she denied making up false pay slips and said she could not explain where they came from. She refused to comment on any questions put to her in her second interview under caution. As a result of the false documents, overpayments of £1,136.28 for Housing Benefit and £357.79 for Council Tax Benefit were made.

When she appeared at Margate Magistrates Court, Miss Rhodes pleaded guilty to four charges and was sentenced to a six month community order of 60 hours unpaid work. She was also ordered to pay costs of £150, to be paid at £10 per week.

Cllr. Simon Moores, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, said: “This case was very much one that was clearly pre-meditated. In cases where benefit fraud is obviously pre-meditated, the council will always use the full extent of the law to prosecute such offences. The idea of falsifying payslips is a deliberate effort to defraud the public and one more reason why the council’s Operation Clean Sweep is proving so valuable, as it brought this issue to our officers’ attention and presented us with the evidence we needed to make this prosecution.”

If your circumstances change and you are claiming benefits, you need to inform the benefits section of the changes as soon as they happen. Benefit fraud can also be reported by calling the council’s hotline 01843 577369.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

PROPOSED LOSS OF OF LARGE GREEN OPEN SPACE

PROPOSED LOSS OF OF LARGE GREEN OPEN SPACE
IN DENSELY POPULATED CLIFTONVILLE WEST

Ward councillors and members of the residents group that has raised £360,000 to regenerate Dalby Square in Cliftonville are outraged at the possible loss of 1300 square metres of open green space at the south end of the square to proposed development.

The plans were unveiled on Wednesday afternoon (14/07/2010) at St Paul's Community Centre where ward councillors and residents were simply astonished to learn that every single square metre of the land could be developed through the proposed plans, despite many years of negotiations where retention of the green space has been consistently seen as a priority.

Ward councillors and residents agreed that the proposed row of town houses was indeed very attractive but through plans and maps they are now shown to be built ON the green space and not BEHIND it as was previously agreed. The proposed townhouses were shown so far forward onto the green that they opened straight out onto the pavement and the link road.

Cllr Clive Hart said "the row of town houses looked absolutely great but they were shown thirty metres forward of where they should have been, within the current Warren Court site. This means that they would virtually fill the present green space. My invitation clearly stated the proposed development was for the Warren Court Hotel site that we all agree needs redeveloping, but when we arrived, the main row of buildings, attractive as they may be, had moved forward to take up the whole green. That clearly goes against all that had been proposed in the past seven years and everything that residents and we ward councillors have fought for".

Cllr Linda Aldred said "the loss of green space for children to play on and let off steam would be simply appalling in an area like Cliftonville West with such poor health statistics. At present parents can watch their children play from the windows of flats surrounding the densely populated square. This is very important in a Renewal Area like Cliftonville West with very low levels of physical activity reported for children here locally, as many live their lives in extremely cramped flats".

Cllr Doug Clark said "I often pass through the square and there are usually several groups of children kicking a ball about. We need more areas for youngsters to interact positively together and we certainly can't afford to lose this one. My experience as a JP of 28 years tells me we don't need any more youngsters hanging around on street corners and I fear that is what would happen with these groups if such a facility was taken away".

Members of the Dalby Square Project, told developers that they are also concerned about the effect that building on the large open green space would have on adjacent formal gardens that their group have worked so hard to provide for local people and visitors. They were very concerned that the ball games that currently take place on the large open green space would move across to the beautiful formal gardens and ruin all their groups hard work.

The Dalby Square Project Group also claim to hold a lease, signed by TDC officers in the past few years, that could prevent any development on the large open green space to the south of the square.
______________________________________________________________

NOTE: LAST PART OF JOINT LETTER FROM Cllrs ALDRED, CLARK & HART
TO TDC REGARDING THE GREEN SPACE TO THE SOUTH OF DALBY SQUARE

APRIL 2010

Whatever schemes are eventually implemented in Dalby Square it should be noted that residents (supported strongly by us as ward councilors at every step) have consistently stressed the need to maintain a large green open space at the South end of the square for recreational activities (please see attached note (below) on the national survey published in February 2010).

Note regarding the large open green space at the South end of Dalby Square.

We'd like to quote the key findings of the CABE national survey into green spaces that was published last month. They are all absolutely relevant to the large open green space in Dalby Square and the very last key finding sums things up absolutely perfectly!1) Almost nine out of 10 people use green spaces, and they value them. The 2009 Place survey found that in urban areas, 87 per cent of the population have used their local park or open space in the last year, and 79 per cent have used it in the last six months. The Place survey shows that parks and open spaces are the most frequently used service of all the public services tracked. This compares with 32 per cent who have visited concert halls, and 26 per cent who visited galleries.In fact, Heritage Lottery Fund research reports 1.8 billion visits to parks in England every year. Furthermore, people appreciate these spaces and this appreciation is increasing: in 2007, 91 per cent of people thought it was very or fairly important to have green spaces near to where they live, and by 2009 this had risen to 95 per cent.2) If people are satisfied with local open spaces, they tend to be satisfied with their council. There is a strong link between people's satisfaction with their open spaces, and their satisfaction with their neighbourhood. Satisfaction with neighbourhood is one of the key things that affects perceptions of council performance. This is particularly acute in the most deprived areas, where neighbourhood satisfaction is at its lowest.Putting in place an open space strategy is potentially one ingredient of success. Of the authorities that have shown the biggest improvement in residents' satisfaction in the last four years, nearly three quarters have completed their open space strategy.3) The provision of open spaces in deprived areas is worse than in affluent areas. People in deprived areas, wherever they live, receive a far worse provision of parks and green spaces than their affluent neighbours. They often do not have gardens and so access to good quality public green space matters even more. The most affluent 20 per cent of wards have five times the amount of parks or general green space (excluding gardens) per person than the most deprived 10 per cent of wards (figure 3).So if you live in an affluent suburb, you are also likely to have an above-average quantity of good parks nearby. On the other hand, if you live in a deprived inner-city ward, with high-density housing, you might have many small, poor-quality green spaces, but you are unlikely to have access to large green spaces, or good quality green space. Comparing deprived and affluent areas, residents' general satisfaction with their neighbourhood falls from around 80 per cent in affluent places to around 50 per cent in the most deprived places.4) People from minority ethnic groups tend to have less local green space and it is of a poorer quality. Areas with very few black and minority ethnic residents tend to have more green space, and it is of a good quality. We recognise that this is intimately related to the circularity of disadvantage - nearly all minority ethnic groups are less likely to be in paid employment than white British men and women and are more likely to be living in areas of deprivation.5) The higher the quality of the green space, the more likely it is to be used. Regardless of your economic circumstances, access to green space is beneficial to your health. If an area has high quality parks, it is likely that more residents will use them more often. Parks in the most deprived 10 per cent of wards have an average of 51 visits per year, compared with 62 visits in the most affluent wards.This pattern is supported by research which found that parks restored with money from the Heritage Lottery Fund have seen average visitor numbers rise by 68 per cent.It is important to provide green spaces that are appropriate for people of different ages. Young people aged between 16 and 24 report lower quality across all indicators analysed for the study: 15 per cent think their local parks and open spaces are the aspect of their area that need most improvement, compared with 8 per cent of 55-74 year olds. People's level of physical activity is related to affluence, or lack of it. In the most deprived wards, where quality of green space provision is lower, only 40 per cent of adults engage in moderate physical activity, compared to nearly 60 per cent in the most affluent wards.Overall, the strong correlations between poor quality and quantity of spaces in deprived areas, and the low levels of physical activity of residents, strongly suggest that investing in the quality of parks and green spaces is an important way to tackle inequalities in health and well-being.

Cllr. Linda Aldred Cllr. Doug Clark JP Cllr. Clive Hart

Working together for Cliftonville West

Published by Cllrs Linda Aldred, Doug Clark & Clive Hart - 44 Northdown Road, Cliftonville, CT9 2RW.

HEAD TO THE THANET COAST THIS SUMMER

Local residents and visitors to Thanet can look forward to a busy summer along the Thanet coastline, with a packed variety of events and activities with the Thanet Coast Project.

The events kick off at the end of July and run all the way through August, with activities on offer including seashore safaris, surfing taster lessons, storytelling walks and art workshops.

You can enjoy a seashore safari, exploring Thanet’s rockpools for coastal wildlife, on one of these family sessions taking place at different bays around the coast over a three week period. There’s even an evening seashore safari stroll for Nippers, which will take place on Monday 23 August at 6.30pm, meeting at Droit House, Margate Harbour, aimed at ages from 4 years old and above, while Captain Crabby returns for a seashore safari of his own on Sunday 29 August at 9.30am at Minnis Bay.

Popular storytellers Scandalmongers will be taking families out to the beach to uncover a world of mystery, games, beach art and perhaps a magic spell, with six different locations being covered by the walks this summer.

If art inspires you, then there’s the chance to create a marine masterpiece as part of Art for All during the latter part of August, taking place around Margate Main Sands area. Everyone can also enjoy this year’s SeaART2010: Art Exhibition, which will run from Friday 13 to Wednesday 25 August at the Belgian Café in Ramsgate, with children’s art workshops over the Monster Bass Festival weekend of Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 August.

For the more active, surfing taster lessons every Wednesday from 28 July until 25 August give eight to 18 year olds the chance to learn basic surfing skills with the Joss Bay Surf School. Families can also try out sailing taster sessions with the Margate Yacht Club. Four sessions are planned on two Saturdays, 14 and 21 August. Booking for all these activities is essential. Young people can also join in a variety of activities at this year’s Beach Blast on Wednesday 18 August at 4pm at Joss Bay.

The Rock Doc will also be proving that Geology Rocks to families with children from 4 aged up to 14, with five different sessions during August at different locations, as well as his regular Rock Doc walks.

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Commercial Services, said: “Once again, the Thanet Coast Project have a packed line-up of events and activities taking place during the school holidays. Many of them are aimed at ensuring that there’s no excuse for youngsters in Thanet saying that they’re bored when school’s out. They all give local people, along with visitors to Thanet, the opportunity to find out more about the amazing array of wildlife that lives here and what’s on offer along our beautiful beaches.”

These summer activities are run thanks to support from the Big Lottery Fund as part of Children’s Play. To book for any of these activities or to find out more, visit www.thanetcoast.org.uk

“HUGE SUCCESS” FOR MARGATE MASTERS

This year’s Margate Masters beach volleyball event has been described as a “huge success”, with Volleyball England declaring that they want to come back in 2011.

The free event, which is organised by Thanet District Council’s Sport Matters team, ran from Friday (9 July) to Sunday (11 July). Some of the world’s top beach volleyball players took to the courts on Margate Main Sands, with almost 5,000 spectators turning out to watch the action over the weekend.

Sponsored by Hornby Hobbies Ltd., the Margate Masters also included a schools competition on the Friday and a local competition on the Sunday morning, with prizes provided for that part of the event by LD Lines.

In the women’s competition, British number two seeds Denise Austen and Mel Coutts, took the title on their first visit to Margate. In the finals, they beat Gabriela Medricka from the Czech Republic and Eva Czinegeova from Slovakia, who had won Margate Masters for the last three years running.

The men’s event saw number one seeds Davide Grandolfo from Italy and Berislav Bobus from Croatia winning the title. The runners-up were number three seeds Richard Payne from South Africa and Rob Flay from Great Britain. It was the second time Richard had been runner-up at the event in the last four years.

Other events taking place during the weekend included Kids’ Volleyzone, which gave them a chance to get some basic coaching in beach volleyball with the Sport Matters team.

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “The event was a great success with a wonderful atmosphere. The crowd got so involved with the matches taking place in front of them. We’ve had some excellent feedback from the players, who told us that, in Margate, we go the extra mile to really make the experience special for them. Volleyball England were also full of praise for the Margate Masters, telling us that the event had been, in their words, “another huge success”. I think the crowd were delighted to hear them say that they want to return again in 2011.”

Minister agrees to Laura’s call for meeting with Seaside Town MPs

Minister agrees to Laura’s call for meeting with Seaside Town MPs
In Parliament this week, Laura Sandys MP for South Thanet and Sandwich, requested that the Minister of State at the Business, Innovation and Skills Department meet with MPs representing seaside towns.
“I want to ensure that Ministers across all departments understand the particularly characteristics of, and challenges facing seaside towns.
“While our constituencies might be only a few miles from quite prosperous parts of the country, many of our seaside towns face very different challenges and often have a much lower standard of living than the average in England. We frequently have much higher levels of deprivation, incapacity benefit and joblessness. In some instances we also have a high proportion of jobs in the public sector. I will be calling for a cross departmental task force to ensure that our particular challenges are addressed and understood with a particular focus on job creation and support for small business start ups.
“We need to re-balance our economy – and this is particularly important in our most deprived coastal towns. Thanet for example has a huge opportunity to benefit from small sector tourism businesses, jobs in the green economy and small start ups”, said Laura. “I want to ensure that our voice is heard and that our interests are served and very much welcomed the Ministers enthusiasm to meet with us”.
Question raised in the House of Commons – Thursday 8th July
Laura Sandys (South Thanet) (Con): Will the Secretary of State meet a group of seaside MPs whose constituencies face very specific challenges both in job creation and in new business start-ups? Could we further discuss how to boost domestic tourism, which plays such an important part in the economy of my South Thanet constituency?
Mr Prisk: The hon. Lady, if I may say so, is a very good advocate-possibly even a champion-of tourism and so forth. I would be more than happy to meet my hon. Friend and her colleagues. It is important to recognise some of the special problems in particular locations, and start-ups are crucial in that respect.

Friends of Ramsgate Library annual Summer Fayre

Friends of Ramsgate Library are holding their annual Summer Fayre in Vale Square next Sunday (18th) from 11am

Ramsgate Costumed walks

RAMSGATE COSTUMED WALKS
2010 SEASON

HISTORY BROUGHT TO LIFE
Join our guided walks around historic Ramsgate and meet
famous costumed characters from the past

TOWN CENTRE – JULY 20th AT 7PM & AUGUST 17th & 31st AT 2.30PM

WEST CLIFF – JULY 6th AT 7PM & AUGUST 3rd AT 2.30PM

ROYAL HARBOUR – JULY 13th AT 7PM & AUGUST 10th AT 2.30PM

EAST CLIFF – JULY 27th AT 7PM & AUGUST 24th at 2.30PM

ASSEMBLY POINTS:

TOWN CENTRE – HALIFAX BANK ROYAL HARBOUR – PIER YARD

WEST CLIFF – WEST CLIFF LIFT EAST CLIFF – ALBION GARDENS

THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR THESE WALKS, BUT A DONATION TO HELP MEET RUNNING COSTS WOULD BE APPRECIATED.

St George's Church Art Exhibition

St George's Church Art Exhibition continues until next Sunday. There are over 160 pictures and also a great craft section to browse and buy.
Open 11-5 Mon-Sat & 12-4 Sundays.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Last weeks planning applications,

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


08 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0540
FLAT 2 60 PIERREMONT AVENUE BROADSTAIRS CT101NL
current
08 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0541
3 PRIORY ROAD RAMSGATE CT119PG
current
08 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0545
LAND REAR OF 122 GROSVENOR PLACE MARGATE CT9 1UY
current
08 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0549
10 DUMPTON PARK DRIVE BROADSTAIRS CT101RE
current
08 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0550
ROYAL SCHOOL FOR DEAF CHILDREN VICTORIA ROAD MARGATE CT91NB
current
08 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0551
FORBUOYS PLC 57 STATION ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT79DJ
current
08 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0553
LAND SOUTH EAST OF QUEX BARN QUEX PARK BIRCHINGTON CT7 0BB
current
08 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0554
32 KING STREET RAMSGATE CT11 8NT
current
08 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0556
7 THE VALE BROADSTAIRS CT101RB
current
08 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0559
69 HIGH STREET BROADSTAIRS CT101NQ
current
06 Jul 2010
A/TH/10/0539
LAND AND BUILDINGS ON THE WEST SIDE OF TOTHILL STREET MINSTER RAMSGATE
current
06 Jul 2010
C/TH/10/0526
45-49 AND 51, SEA ROAD, WESTGATE ON SEA
current
06 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0466
BALTIC BRANCH, 42 QUEEN STREET, RAMSGATE, CT11 9DR
current
06 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0516
9 SEA ROAD WESTGATE ON SEA CT8 8SA
withdrawn
06 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0517
3-4 ROYAL ESPLANADE MARGATE CT95DL
current
06 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0525
45-49 AND 51, SEA ROAD, WESTGATE ON SEA
current
06 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0534
KIOSK AND LAND AT THE MINNIS THE PARADE BIRCHINGTON CT7 9LT
current
06 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0535
14 THE BROADWAY BROADSTAIRS CT102AD
current
06 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0536
QUEENS HOUSE, QUEEN STREET, RAMSGATE, CT11 9BJ
current
06 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0542
SPRATLING COURT FARM SPRATLING STREET MANSTON RAMSGATE CT125AN
current
06 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0543
THE ALBION 40 ST. PETERS ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT102AP
current
06 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0544
ST ANNES COTTAGE NORTH FORELAND AVENUE BROADSTAIRS CT103QR
current
06 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0546
MARGATE CAVES NORTHDOWN ROAD MARGATE CT91QQ
current
06 Jul 2010
F/TH/10/0547
65 INGOLDSBY ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT79PJ
current
06 Jul 2010
L/TH/10/0537
ELLINGHAM ST. CLEMENTS ROAD WESTGATE-ON-SEA CT88RP
current
06 Jul 2010
TL/TH/10/0456
O2 UK LTD INSTALLATION HERESON ROAD RAMSGATE KENT CT11 7EX
current

New documents published by Thanet District Council,

13/07/2010 - Meeting scheduled: Jul 13 2010 5:00PM, Shared Services Working Party

09/07/2010 - Minutes published: Meeting of Jun 22 2010 6:00PM, Joint Transportation Board

09/07/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Jul 20 2010 5:00PM, Corporate Improvement & Budget Working Party

09/07/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Jul 19 2010 5:00PM, Airport Working Party

08/07/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Jul 14 2010 4:00PM, Asset Management Working Party

08/07/2010 - Agenda supplement published - Albion House Petition : Albion House Petition: Meeting of Jul 15 2010 7:00PM, Council

07/07/2010 - Agenda supplement published - Supplement Agenda : Supplement Agenda: Meeting of Jul 15 2010 7:00PM, Council

06/07/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Jul 13 2010 5:00PM, Shared Services Working Party

05/07/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Jul 15 2010 7:00PM, Council

Thursday, 8 July 2010

VISITORS HELPED BY NEW INFORMATION POINTS

Further improvements have been made to the award winning information service that’s available to the visitors of Thanet.
The first 12 new Key Information Points have now been installed across the district, so that visitors and local residents can easily pick up information, such as the 2010 visitor guide, the beaches and bays guide, information about the Viking Coastal Trail and bus and train timetables.
The points also have details of how to contact the council’s Visitor Information team, who were highly commended in the regional awards for Tourist Information Service of the year and were awarded the Team of the Year in 2010's Pride in Thanet Tourism Awards. Some of the more prominent locations also have additional signage and information available.
The Key Information Points can be found at:
· The Broadstairs Information Kiosk at Lillyputt Minigolf, Victoria Parade, Broadstairs
· Bandstand Kiosk, Victoria Gardens, Broadstairs
· Crampton Tower Museum, The Broadway, Broadstairs
· Customs House, Harbour Parade, Ramsgate
· Dickens House Museum, Victoria Parade, Broadstairs
· Granville Theatre and Cinema, Victoria Parade, Ramsgate
· Harbour Office, Harbour Street, Broadstairs
· Harbour Office, Military Road, Ramsgate
· Kent International Airport, Main terminal building, Manston
· Ramsgate District Office, York Street, Ramsgate
· Royal Albion Hotel, Albion Street, Broadstairs
· Waterstone’s Book Shop, Westwood Cross

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “The council’s Visitor Information team have been doing a huge amount of work over the past few months to increase the amount of information available to visitors across Thanet. Following the closure of the VIC in Ramsgate and the changes in Broadstairs, we knew that would leave a gap and the new Key Information Points are just one of the ways that we’re tackling that. The aim is to ensure that there is plenty of visitor information available in each of our towns.”

There are plans to increase the number of Key Information Points in the future. If you would be interested in one at your business, please contact Nick Watts on 01843 577577 or e-mail nick.watts@thanet.gov.uk

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

BIG SPLASH 2 FOR THANET

Swimmers under the age of 16 and those aged 60 and over in Thanet can make a big splash at local pools, with a new offer, following the end of the national free swimming programme.

The coalition government announced in June that their funding for the free swimming programme for both age groups, would end on Saturday 31 July, as part of their plans to reduce their budget deficit. It had originally been funded until March 2011.

Figures show that, during the first year of the scheme, from March 2009 to March 2010, 42,659 free swims were taken up across the two age groups in Thanet.

Thanet Leisureforce, with support from Thanet District Council and the NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent, have now announced a new scheme for those aged 16 and under and 60 and over called Big Splash 2. Anyone in those age groups will be able to buy a Big Splash 2 card for £20. This will then entitle them to get free swims at both Hartsdown Leisure Centre in Margate and Ramsgate Swimming Centre until 31 March 2011. The offer is only available for people to take up until Tuesday 31 August 2010.

The Big Splash 2 scheme will be reviewed over the next six months to see how successful it is and whether any free swimming scheme can be continued from April 2011.

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “The free swimming programme has been a success here in Thanet, which is why Thanet Leisureforce and the council wanted to do something to continue the momentum that’s been built up over the last 18 months. Obviously, in the current climate, we can’t commit, at this stage, to anything past March 2011, the original date when the scheme was due to finish, without knowing how successful Big Splash 2 is. This new scheme gives people the option of continuing with the free swims they’ve enjoyed to date for a small outlay.”

Steve Davis, Managing Director of Thanet Leisureforce said: ”The Big Splash 1 scheme has been enormously popular in Thanet, achieving a much greater increase in participation in swimming than has been achieved in many other parts of the country. Our primary aim has to be to maintain this increase. The withdrawal of government funding has been disappointing, but we hope this interim scheme will allow many people to continue to swim regularly at a very low cost, whilst we review our options with the council on how to provide low cost/free swimming to the local community in future years during the current financial constraints.”