Friday, 29 October 2010

SILVER FOR MARGATE VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE

Margate’s Visitor Information Centre has come second in the Beautiful South Awards for Tourism Excellence 2010.

The awards recognise a range of tourism services, from hotels and attractions, to events and tourism experiences.

The team was competing in the Tourist Information Service of the Year award against Burford, Oxfordshire, Rye in East Sussex and Winchester in Hampshire. They were narrowly pipped to the title by Winchester, who were awarded gold. Margate took joint silver with Rye.

It’s an improvement on their 2009 performance, when the team was highly commended. To be shortlisted, the judges wanted to see:
clear evidence of professionalism and commitment to customer service
comprehensive literature
how accessible the centres were to people
how well the teams work with other organisations

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “Congratulations go to our tourism team on all their hard work in achieving this award. It goes to show that the Margate Visitor Information Centre is providing everything that the judges of this competition feel it should be. It’s also really encouraging to see that the team have improved on their performance last year, when they were highly commended in the same awards. I know they’ve had a lot of support from local organisations, such as the Broadstairs Tourism and Leisure Association and Ramsgate Town Council and they deserve our praise as well for playing their part in helping to provide a high quality service for visitors to this area.”

NIGHT FLYING APPLICATION REJECTED

THANET LABOUR GROUP REJECT
INFRATIL NIGHT FLYING APPLICATION

The Labour Group at Thanet District Council has decided not to support the current application by Infratil for Night Flying operations at Manston Airport.

At a meeting last night which was solely concerned with this application the Labour Group discussed the pros and cons and the ramifications for the residents of Thanet.

Cllr Richard Nicholson, Shadow Cabinet member for Regeneration and Economic Development said, “ After a interesting debate the Group unanimously rejected the night flight proposals. Many issues of concern were raised but in essence it was felt the alluded to benefits in terms of jobs were merely an aspiration rather than concrete. And it is clear in our minds these do not in anyway compensate for the environmental and quality of life issues for the thousands who would be aversely effected.
Clearly much more needs to be looked at and put right even under the current Section 106.

Primarily it needs to be;

Ÿ Enforced properly

Ÿ It needs to be re negotiated

Ÿ Flying routes need clarifying and vastly improved

Ÿ And the whole 106 needs improving after what is now 10 years

It was abundantly clear that even now the envelope on what Infratil asked for was being expanded. The airport does indeed provide an opportunity for jobs in the Thanet area but there is much much more day time capacity which could be utilised before any other options are needed. Furthermore we feel that any changes such as the one sought at present may require planning permission and TDC needs to fully explore this.”

Cllr Clive Hart Leader of the Labour Group said, “I was proud of the quality of our debate, which I can assure Thanet residents, covered all issues for and against. Whilst we are rejecting this application we are equally adamant that both monitoring of operations and updating of all the section 106 is also vital. Thanet Labour Group is ready to sit down with others at TDC to seek the way forward to ensure residents in Thanet can have much more confidence in the standards and application of a new 106 agreement.”

Cllr Alan Poole, Shadow Cabinet Member for Environmental Services said “concerns were raised about the environmental and health impacts on local residents, particularly sleep deprivation caused by aircraft noise.”

Cllr Nicholson 580057

Cllr Hart 298770

Cllr Poole 602594

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

Thursday, 28 October 2010

MORE BAD NEWS FROM KCC

Response to BBC News report that funding for running of Turner Contemporary gallery will be cut by £34,000 and a question for the Conservative administration at KCC.

From Cllr Clive Hart - Labour Leader of the Opposition at Thanet District Council.

"My heart sank last night when I saw the BBC News report informing us that funding to run the Turner Contemporary Gallery is to be cut by £34,000. The gallery was a brilliant local idea that has been persistently plagued by the Conservative KCC administrations mismanagement and poor decision making over the past decade.

Despite the serious misgivings of local people regarding the first 'seaborne' design, the 'experts' at County Hall in Maidstone brazenly carried on with their plans and in the end, several years of regeneration that Margate simply could not afford, were lost for ever.

Then, after far too long, the KCC administration finally saw sense and the design returned to the original land based project that was asked for in the first place.

For the four years that I was the county member for Margate & Cliftonville I consistently argued for the Rendezvous area to remain a car park for the people of Margate and visitors. Yet again, the Tories at Maidstone just would not listen to local concern and insisted that a hotel must be built on the site. Now those plans too are also in tatters, and guess what? We might even get a temporary car park again if we're lucky!

Even more importantly for the Conservatives at KCC is the fact that, according to their own plans, the hotel and associated development of the Rendezvous site was to provide an income of several hundred thousand pounds each year towards the running of the gallery.

What will happen now, with no hotel or development built to provide the large income to support the gallery and a further cut of £34,000 made before the gallery has even opened"?


Picture attached - Cllr Clive Hart - Labour Leader of the Opposition - Thanet District Council

Published by Cllr Clive Hart - 44 Northdown Road, Margate, Kent, CT9 2RW.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

EAST KENT ALMO LOOKS FOR BOARD MEMBERS

A ground breaking project in East Kent, bringing together four councils for the first time to manage their council housing, is now looking for people to help take the initiative forward.

The East Kent ALMO (Arms Length Management Organisation) is being formed by Canterbury, Dover, Shepway and Thanet councils to run and manage their 18,000 council homes. The aim is to improve services and to increase opportunities for tenants and leaseholders to get involved with how the service is run. It’s estimated that the ALMO could save £1.5 million and possibly more over the next few years, with the money re-invested into housing services.

The ALMO will be managed by its own board which is independent of the four councils. The ALMO is looking to recruit a Chair and other independent members of the board. The board will play a vital role, working with staff to set up the new organisation, which has already attracted national attention, as it is the first time that four councils have joined together in this way.

Board members will be expected to use their knowledge or experience to help manage the ALMO, which may include areas such as:
Financial management and accountancy
Business management
Legal, especially housing, commercial, property or employment law
Housing management
Knowledge and understanding of the needs of tenants and leaseholders
Property maintenance

None of the board members will be paid, but they will be able to claim reasonable expenses. They will be expected to attend board meetings and sub-committee meetings. In the early days of the ALMO, the board meetings are likely to be at least once a month, but it is expected that this will reduce to six board meetings a year over time.

A parallel recruitment exercise is underway to recruit tenants to sit on the board of the ALMO. The four councils have already nominated four people to represent them on the Board.

An information pack and application form is available on the website www.eastkenthomes.org.uk The closing date for applications is Friday 5 November 2010.

SAFETY CHECKS FOR VEHICLE REPAIR FIRMS

Companies which carry out vehicle repairs in Thanet will be receiving visits from the council’s health and safety staff over the next few weeks (November).

Checks are being carried out across Kent, in a health and safety blitz that’s focusing on premises that repair vehicles, fit tyres and exhausts, MOT stations and spray shops.

In the last five years, there have been 24 deaths and more than 8,000 injuries in the UK motor repair industry. The causes have been wide ranging, including manual handling accidents, slips, trips, falls from a height, using machinery and equipment, electrical hazards and asbestos exposure.

The latest crackdown will see officers from Thanet working with colleagues in Canterbury, Dover and Shepway, visiting premises across East Kent during the week of Monday 2 November. Letters were sent to premises in September, advising them about the impending visits and offering them free health and safety training, led by the Health and Safety Executive and industry experts.

Cllr. Chris Wells, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “We want to play our part in helping to reduce the number of injuries and deaths in the UK vehicle repair industry. The premises that our teams will be visiting were warned by letter back in September, so any employer we find who’s failing to meet health and safety standards when we visit them will be facing the prospect of enforcement action. All employers have a duty to ensure that their staff and customers are safe on their premises and it’s our job to check this is happening.”

SOS TRAILER RETURNS TO RAMSGATE

The SOS trailer will be returning to the streets of Ramsgate in early November, as part of the latest Operation Clean Sweep.

The council’s crackdown, which aims to tackle anti-social issues, will be back in town on Tuesday 2 November, and as part of the operation, the SOS trailer will be parked outside Boots in Ramsgate between 9am and 4pm. Local people can come to discuss their concerns about crime and anti-social behaviour and to give ideas for future Clean Sweep locations and issues to tackle.

Fire safety advice will be available from Kent Fire and Rescue and a Police Community Support Officer will have crime prevention information available.

The SOS trailer has spent the summer months out and about across Thanet, providing a base for people to work from in the night-time economy.

Cllr. Chris Wells, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “Operation Clean Sweep is exceptionally successful and our officers do a great job of identifying hot spot areas to tackle. However, we know that the community is a great resource and residents know only too well exactly where the problems are. If you know of any such problem areas, then our team would be keen to hear from you. Equally, if you’ve got any concerns about crime or anti-social behaviour in your neighbourhood, come along to the SOS trailer and speak to our officers to see how they can help you.”

If you would like any further information about the SOS trailer or if you have any issues that need tackling in future Clean Sweeps, please call 01843 577737.

SUCCESS FOR RAMSGATE GARDENING GROUP

A garden in Ramsgate has been commended as “outstanding” in regional awards, following the hard work of the local community, with help from the council.

Although the garden in Spencer Square is owned by the council, over the last few years, they have been working with residents, so they adopted ownership of the site and transformed its appearance. Now the Spencer Square Residents’ Association Gardening Group has been handed the accolade from South and South East in Bloom. They received a stunning total of 95 points out of 100 for the work they have done.

The judges commented that: “In the four years that this group has been in existence, they have totally altered the appearance of the gardens in front of their houses. They have also created a strong sense of community by urging neighbours to work together and the shared sense of achievement is very evident. We have had the pleasure of judging this group for three years now and every year we see significant improvements, as well as the implementation of the recommendations we made after our previous visit. A perfect illustration of all the benefits of a community working together.”

The judges were particularly impressed with a number of aspects, including:
The “help yourself” herb garden
The new beach hut garden with provision for a wide range of insect accommodation
The new shingle “stream” linking the various beds
The new wildflower meadow and the involvement of local schoolchildren in creating it
The very strong support from officers from the District Council

As Lyn Baines from the Spencer Square Residents’ Association explains, the group came together, following vandalism to the gardens. “We were astonished and disgusted that people were damaging the area that we lived in and wanted to do something to combat the problem. We were faced with what looked like a wasteland inhabited by drug addicts and drunks, with all the resulting rubbish they caused. That’s why we created the gardening group and, since then, it’s gone from strength to strength.”

The group have had support from the council’s grounds maintenance team, who have carried out major work, such as removing shrubs and roots and laying wood chipping. They have also installed compost bins. Funding for the gardens has come from the council and grants from Kent County Council, applications for which have been supported by Cllrs. Elizabeth Green and John Kirby.

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “Our congratulations to the hard working residents of Spencer Square, who have made such a huge difference to the appearance of the area. It’s wonderful to see their work recognised in this way and this is an exceptional achievement for a Thanet garden. This is definitely one of the better gardens that the council has and that’s thanks to the community spirit and commitment of those who live in the square and have worked so hard to improve it. We are delighted to help them wherever we can, but it’s so encouraging to see the residents taking such a lead in this project.”

Monday, 25 October 2010

Night Flights Public Consultation Meeting

Ramsgate Council's public consultation on Infratil's request to allow nightime flying from Manston Airport 25 Oct 2010 7pm Chatham House School, Chatham Street, Ramsgate

Sunday, 24 October 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


18 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0818
1 WINDMILL PARADE GRANGE ROAD RAMSGATE CT119ND
current
18 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0843
SURF CLUB CHALET JOSS GAP BROADSTAIRS CT103PG
current
18 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0858
NELSON VILLAS 22 QUEX ROAD WESTGATE ON SEA CT88BN
current
18 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0869
CALLIS GRANGE, BROADLEY ROAD, BROADSTAIRS, CT10 2QX
current
18 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0875
34-40 HARBOUR STREET RAMSGATE
current
18 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0878
13 ORCHARD CLOSE MINSTER RAMSGATE CT124AL
current
18 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0880
40 CORNWALL GARDENS CLIFTONVILLE MARGATE CT92JE
current
18 Oct 2010
L/TH/10/0850
EAST NORTHDOWN HOUSE EAST NORTHDOWN MARGATE CT93TS
current
15 Oct 2010
A/TH/10/0856
176 CANTERBURY ROAD, WESTGATE ON SEA, CT8 8LT
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0752
8 ROSSETTI ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT79EP
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0810
CUMMINS POWER GENERATION LTD COLUMBUS AVENUE MANSTON PARK MANSTON RAMSGATE CT125BF
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0821
7 HELMDON CLOSE RAMSGATE CT126TT
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0833
YE OLDE CROWN HOTEL 23 HIGH STREET BROADSTAIRS CT101LP
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0835
WAYFARING CLIFF PROMENADE BROADSTAIRS CT103QY
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0854
2 WELLESLEY ROAD MARGATE CT92UH
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0867
22A FITZROY AVENUE BROADSTAIRS CT103LS
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0870
166 NEWINGTON ROAD RAMSGATE CT126PY
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0872
164 CANTERBURY ROAD WESTGATE-ON-SEA CT88NJ
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0874
21 HOLM OAK GARDENS BROADSTAIRS CT102JF
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0876
42 HIGH STREET MARGATE CT91DS
current
15 Oct 2010
L/TH/10/0801
BLEAK HOUSE FORT ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT101EY
current
15 Oct 2010
L/TH/10/0857
9 CHAPEL PLACE RAMSGATE CT119RY
current

New documents published by Thanet District Council,

21/10/2010 - Minutes published: Meeting of Oct 20 2010 5:30PM, Coach House Working Party
20/10/2010 - Meeting held: Oct 20 2010 7:00PM, Planning Committee

20/10/2010 - Meeting held: Oct 20 2010 5:30PM, Coach House Working Party

20/10/2010 - Minutes published: Meeting of Oct 14 2010 6:00PM, Ramsgate Port and Marina Working Party

19/10/2010 - Meeting held: Oct 19 2010 11:00AM, Licensing Sub Committee

19/10/2010 - Meeting held: Oct 19 2010 10:00AM, Licensing Board

18/10/2010 - Minutes published: Meeting of Sep 30 2010 6:00PM, Joint Transportation Board

15/10/2010 - Publication of plan: Forward Plan for period from 1 November 2010 to 1 May 2011; Cabinet

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Bad TV Reception Raised in Parliament by Laura Sandys MP

Last night, Laura Sandys, MP for South Thanet, held an important constructive adjournment debate in Parliament with the Minister for Digital Switchover, to discuss the Government’s plans to ensure adequate television coverage in Thanet.

Laura explained: “I was very pleased that the Minister and his officials are spending so much time examining the problems that we face in Thanet with our TV reception.

“The Minister, who knows Ramsgate well having spent years visiting his Aunt and Uncle, now recognises the challenges we face in securing adequate signal.

“We in Thanet no longer want to be left at the end of the line or without signal. It is vital that our reception improves so that TV license payers get the service they need and pay for. ”

Laura pressed the Minister on what could be done now to support local residents to receive better television and radio coverage and to outline what would happen following digital switchover. She argued that one of the biggest challenges was to find a site for an additional TV mast in the Broadstairs area. With a suitable site then the Government will commit to investing in improving our reception.

The Minister praised Laura for taking the matter of poor TV reception in Thanet so seriously and stated: “We want as many people as possible to have access to a service which the vast majority of the population enjoy.

“I know that Ofcom is taking her concerns seriously, and earlier this week it carried out specific signal quality testing in the area...this will enable Ofcom to record the strength and robustness of analogue signals.”

Laura pushed the Government to finalise their assessment of the existing reception and to develop a clear strategy for the next few years. To discuss the options further The Minister agreed to meet in Thanet with Laura and his officials to discuss the options further.

To close, Laura joked with the Minister that if Thanet’s reception woes were not resolved, she would personally force him to join her and local residents during the World Cup in 2014 for an evening of “popcorn, moonscape and French radio” rather than exciting penalties and red-cards.

Hansard Link to the Debate: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm101020/debtext/101020-0005.htm#1010217001835

Friday, 22 October 2010

The Comprehensive Spending Review - Agenda for Growth

It has been a challenging time getting a grip on the scale of the mess that was left to us by the Labour Government. We have inherited a deficit that costs us over £700 million per WEEK just in interest. That would pay for countless hospitals, schools and public services if invested in this country rather than going to pay off the last government’s deficit.

So the Chancellor has started to readjust the budget because if we don’t address the deficit, domestic interest rates would rise threatening homes; economic instability would threaten more jobs; and small businesses would not grow.

We also said that we would protect the most vulnerable. We have been able to save bus passes, free prescription charges and the winter fuel allowance. In addition we have put an extra £2bn into social care which is so very important locally, secured an important council tax freeze, and allocated £6.5 bn to new social housing.

This review covers the full parliament so the figures are over 4 years - not cuts in one year. So by putting this in place now for the rest of the Parliament, we are giving families and businesses clarity and certainty for the future.

And while the cuts have attracted the headlines, it is growth in the economy that matters. Increased investment in green jobs – great for Thanet. Also the significant funding for poorer children will benefit our local schools, with a strong reference to supporting seaside towns from Ministers and a new approach to getting people back into work.

Yes the benefits system has had to be reformed but from these measures we will be able to support most people from benefits into the world of work that will provide happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives for them and their families.

Things won’t be easy over the next few years but I am here to fight your corner, get what we need for Thanet and support all our residents with their questions and issues.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

MARTIN PARR TO JUDGE MARGATE PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION

MARTIN PARR TO JUDGE MARGATE PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION

Martin Parr, top international Magnum photographer will decide the overall winner of the ‘This is Margate’ photography competition.

The competition, which is part of the work to get Margate ready for the opening of the Turner Contemporary in spring 2011, will mark the start of developing an official library of photographs of Margate, which will be used to showcase the changes happening in the town.

Martin Parr, famous for his iconic documentary photographs, which take a critical look at modern society and in particular tourism, has agreed to be on the panel of judges and as the guest judge, he will also decide the overall winner of the This is Margate photography competition. The overall winner will receive £500 worth of Shop Local First vouchers and a print of their photograph from Martin at an event on Monday 20 December 2010.

Martin Parr will be joined on the panel of judges by Laura Ford, artist and trustee of Turner Contemporary, the Mayor of Margate, Mick Tomlinson, Lynnette Clark, Marketing manager for Visit Kent and Derek Harding, Programme Director of the Margate Renewal Partnership. Each judge will be asked to shortlist a set of photographs which will then go on display online and in local venues for the public to decide the winners for each age and theme category. Martin, as the guest judge, will declare the overall winner of the competition and present the prize.

Guest judge, Martin Parr, said: “I know Margate a little, but I am excited to see the images the local photographers of all ages will show us about their own hidden Margate.”

Derek Harding, Programme Director of the Margate Renewal Partnership, said: “This is a major coup for Margate to have such a well regarded and internationally respected photographer choosing the overall winner of our competition. We’re looking forward to seeing some really interesting photographs of Margate being entered.”

The ‘This is Margate’ photography competition is open to anyone to enter into one of the following age categories: 1) Young person (up to 16 years old), 2) Student (proof of student status will be required) and 3) Adult (17+). The photos entered must be digital photos taken in 2010 that show Margate in the following six themes:

1. Margate’s heritage, icons and traditions e.g. buildings, personalities, food, seaside entertainment
2. A secret Margate e.g. Margate’s little known places and hidden gems
3. Active Margate e.g. watersports, cycling, walking, fishing and more
4. Natural Margate e.g. nature, coast, wildlife and ecology
5. Creative Margate e.g. what inspires arts and culture in the town
6. My Margate e.g. what’s your Margate?

There is also a separate historical part to the competition and people are encouraged to look through any old photos they may have to see if they can also be entered.

For more information visit www.thisismargate.co.uk, email thisismargate@thanet.gov.uk or call 01843 577169. The closing date is Friday 26 November. For more information about Martin Parr visit www.martinparr.com

THANET STUDENTS MARCH AGAINST RACISM

Thanet students are planning to go a major anti-racism demo in London on Saturday November 6th – and are calling on others in Thanet to go, too.

Hannah Bartlett and Letitia Stewart, both students at Thanet college, went to the highly successful Love Music Hate Racism festival in Margate in September. There they were inspired to go on the demo, which promises to be the biggest anti-racist event for many years.

Hannah said: ''We are urging everyone who came to the festival in September, to now come with us to make our voices heard and send an anti-racist message out far and wide.”

Letitia added: “We are taking the banner that was on the stage for the festival and we will be proud to be holding it with all the others from all over the country''

The demo, which is supported by major trade unions and leading politicians, will take the form of a march followed by a carnival in central London, where well-known performers including Jerry Dammers of the Specials and Missing Andy will take the stage.

A special coach has been laid on to take people from Thanet to the demo. The coach will leave the Royal Pub, Ramsgate at 8.30am and Cecil Square, Margate at 8.45am. Tickets cost £5-£10.
Hannah said: “Come and get on the coaches with us for a great cause.”
For more information ring Bunny la Roche on 07947 424505 email: lmhrkent@gmail.com http://www.lovemusichateracism.com/

BROADSTAIRS SINGER SARAH HALE GOES CABARET

Broadstairs singer Sarah Hale will be “going cabaret” in her concert in her home town on Saturday 6th November at the Sarah Thorne Theatre Club.

As well as her established repertoire of classical songs and traditional British melodies, Sarah will be performing a variety of sensational numbers including sexy show-stoppers from the musical Cabaret and other hit shows.

“People who’ve seen me perform me before are in for some real surprises,” Sarah said.

The new flavour to her latest performance will mark an important departure for Sarah.

“Switching between different styles of singing is one of the hardest challenges you can undertake,” she said, “and understanding how you do that successfully has become a quest for me.”

“I think I’ve made some real discoveries in this area and this concert will be a chance for me to put some of these ideas into practice.”

Three years ago Sarah took a masters’ degree in music performance in Christ Church Canterbury University, where she won the prestigious Metropole Arts Scholarship and the Alan Parnell competition.

Since then she’s been performing across the country and made successful appearances in Belgium and Holland

In addition to performing, she also teaches singing and works in the field of speech therapy. She said: “I’ve always been fascinated by the amazing capacity and versatility of the human voice. The key to it all lies in your mind – what you think you can do, you will be able to do.”

As well as songs from the musical Cabaret, Sarah will be singing songs by Stephen Sondheim and Kurt Weill, and numbers from hit musicals. The second half is made up of classical songs, inspired by folk music and traditional melodies set by British composers.

This concert will be performed on Saturday 6th November at 7.30pm, at the Memorial Theatre, Hilderstone, Broadstairs. All seats at £8.

Seats are bookable in advance from the Box Office on 0845 2626263. Whilst the 24 hour booking rule applies to non-members of Sarah Thorne, seats can be reserved by telephone or on the 24 hour on-line booking service at info@sarahthorne-theatreclub.co.uk .

Monday, 18 October 2010

INFORMATION DAY IN CLIFTONVILLE

Support and advice is on hand later this week (Friday 22 October) for people living in Cliftonville on how to access services and get into education and training.

Representatives from a range of organisations will be at Peter’s Bar at 112 Northdown Road between 1pm and 4pm on Friday 22 October. The day is aimed at bringing people together who live locally and especially members of communities that may not usually get involved with local services, such as Eastern European residents.

Amongst those attending are JobCentre Plus, Connexions and local employers, who can talk to people about job opportunities and answer any questions.

Council officers and Kent Police Community Liaison Officers can give advice on any local issues, answer questions and give support. Bilingual workers will also be on hand to overcome any language barriers.

Cllr. Chris Wells, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “This event is about bringing people together who live in the same area. Everyone is welcome and we’d encourage people to come along and bring their children and enjoy a drink and something to eat with us. We’re especially keen to attract people who may be new to the area, who may not know where to go to get information and support.”

Peter Prokopczyk from Peter’s Bar said: “What we want to achieve is simply to warm up relationships between East Europeans and the local community. Do not forget we came from behind iron curtain so let's break any barriers! Job information and support is extremely important in Cliftonville and it is crucial to let people know or simply remind about existing opportunities. Myself and my family have moved here around six years ago, and I am telling you it was hard, very difficult to understand surrounding world even knowing the language at rather advanced level. I could not believe you were sending your children to schools at the age of 4!”

Sunday, 17 October 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


15 Oct 2010
A/TH/10/0856
176 CANTERBURY ROAD, WESTGATE ON SEA, CT8 8LT
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0752
8 ROSSETTI ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT79EP
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0810
CUMMINS POWER GENERATION LTD COLUMBUS AVENUE MANSTON PARK MANSTON RAMSGATE CT125BF
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0821
7 HELMDON CLOSE RAMSGATE CT126TT
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0833
YE OLDE CROWN HOTEL 23 HIGH STREET BROADSTAIRS CT101LP
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0835
WAYFARING CLIFF PROMENADE BROADSTAIRS CT103QY
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0854
2 WELLESLEY ROAD MARGATE CT92UH
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0867
22A FITZROY AVENUE BROADSTAIRS CT103LS
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0870
166 NEWINGTON ROAD RAMSGATE CT126PY
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0872
164 CANTERBURY ROAD WESTGATE-ON-SEA CT88NJ
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0874
21 HOLM OAK GARDENS BROADSTAIRS CT102JF
current
15 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0876
42 HIGH STREET MARGATE CT91DS
current
15 Oct 2010
L/TH/10/0801
BLEAK HOUSE FORT ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT101EY
current
15 Oct 2010
L/TH/10/0857
9 CHAPEL PLACE RAMSGATE CT119RY
current
11 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0746
105 GRANGE ROAD RAMSGATE CT119QB
current
11 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0763
ST GABRIELS 44 ELM GROVE WESTGATE ON SEA CT88LB
current
11 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0782
DEERS PARK DETLING AVENUE BROADSTAIRS CT101SR
current
11 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0855
52 GREENFIELD ROAD RAMSGATE CT126TY
current
11 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0859
23 SOUTH EASTERN ROAD RAMSGATE CT119TR
current
11 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0860
23 SOUTH EASTERN ROAD RAMSGATE CT119TR
current
11 Oct 2010
OL/TH/10/0823
LAND WEST OF HUNDREDS FARM HOUSE CANTERBURY ROAD WESTGATE ON SEA
current
07 Oct 2010
A/TH/10/0849
BOOTS THE CHEMISTS LTD 7-13 HIGH STREET RAMSGATE CT119AB
current
07 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0570
DANE VALLEY FILLING STATION MILLMEAD ROAD MARGATE CT93QG
current
07 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0820
MARLESLEIGH THANET PLACE GARDENS BROADSTAIRS CT101EE
current
07 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0825
9 CONISTON AVENUE RAMSGATE CT110PW
current
07 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0826
71-79 HIGH STREET BROADSTAIRS CT101NQ
current

New documents published by Thanet District Council,

15/10/2010 - Publication of plan: Forward Plan for period from 1 November 2010 to 1 May 2011; Cabinet

14/10/2010 - Meeting held: Oct 14 2010 6:00PM, Ramsgate Port and Marina Working Party

14/10/2010 - Minutes published: Meeting of Sep 8 2010 6:00PM, Standards Committee

13/10/2010 - Meeting held: Oct 13 2010 6:00PM, Airport Working Party

13/10/2010 - Meeting held: Oct 13 2010 9:30AM, East Kent Joint Scrutiny Committee

12/10/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Oct 20 2010 5:30PM, Coach House Working Party

12/10/2010 - Minutes published: Meeting of Sep 28 2010 6:00PM, Coach House Working Party
11/10/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Oct 20 2010 7:00PM, Planning Committee

11/10/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Oct 19 2010 11:00AM, Licensing Sub Committee

11/10/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Oct 19 2010 10:00AM, Licensing Board

11/10/2010 - Minutes published: Meeting of Sep 28 2010 6:30PM, Governance and Audit Committee

07/10/2010 - Meeting held: Oct 7 2010 7:00PM, Council

DISABILITY SHOULD NOT DEFINE YOU AS A PERSON

Over the last few weeks I have met with a lot of organisations that represent those with disabilities. From those who represent deaf children and want to ensure that they are getting the support that they need at school through to the national body representing sufferers of MS. It is really important for me to be on top of the issues that face local residents who have one disability or another.

But what struck me was that when we had discussed some of the direct clinical issues that related to the condition, each organisation had a similar story to tell about their members. For those who are not totally incapacitated, people with disabilities want to be part of mainstream society. If they can they want to be valued for what they can contribute, not always looked at as someone defined by their disability.

A wonderful lady with MS and who is still working wants to be known as a senior health professional not a lady with a stick who finds walking extremely difficult. The young girl who is 90% deaf wants to be seen as a young person with real prospects and a desire to go to university – not someone who is deaf and needs our sympathy.

We need to re-examine our approach to the many in our community who have chronic diseases or disabilities from birth. They can be as much contributors to society as anyone in our community – and in several areas of life they might be able to achieve even more because of their condition. Active lives, being known as contributing to society and the community, and being valued as part of the mainstream in life is all crucial for those with disabilities. So I urge you to start to look at those with disabilities as people who matter and contribute first and only then recognise that they might not be able to hear, they may be blind or they may be suffering from a chronic disease.

As someone with mild epilepsy, I hope to be regarded first and foremost as making a contribution to our community before any reference to any condition I might have.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Reading Street:- Speed restriction victory for common sense

Following the campaign started in January by worried residents of Reading Street, the Joint Transportation Board was charged with looking at the traffic situation in this narrow, busy village street.

The Board’s recommendation, having conducted both a speed check and an examination of the accident rates, proposed - ‘No Action’.

At the recent Joint Transportation Board meeting, following an impassioned plea for a 20mph limit by Labour Councillor (and Beacon resident) Alan Poole, a motion to introduce a 20mph speed limit was proposed and seconded by Conservative KCC Councillor Bill Hayton and Labour Councillor (and Beacon resident) Michelle Fenner.

The Joint Transportation Board members voted unanimously to introduce the 20mph scheme.
After their success both councillors said -
‘This speed restriction was vital for the village. It was only a matter of time before there was a fatality. We were also concerned that even more properties would be damaged.’
Neither of the two Conservative Beacon Road Ward councillors was present at the meeting.

Sunday, 10 October 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


07 Oct 2010
A/TH/10/0849
BOOTS THE CHEMISTS LTD 7-13 HIGH STREET RAMSGATE CT119AB
current
07 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0570
DANE VALLEY FILLING STATION MILLMEAD ROAD MARGATE CT93QG
current
07 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0820
MARLESLEIGH THANET PLACE GARDENS BROADSTAIRS CT101EE
current
07 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0825
9 CONISTON AVENUE RAMSGATE CT110PW
current
07 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0826
71-79 HIGH STREET BROADSTAIRS CT101NQ
current
06 Oct 2010
A/TH/10/0817
BIRCHINGTON VILLAGE CENTRE ALPHA ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT79EG
current
06 Oct 2010
A/TH/10/0846
86-96 HERESON ROAD RAMSGATE CT117DU
current
06 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0840
86-96 HERESON ROAD RAMSGATE CT117DU
current
06 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0844
86-96 HERESON ROAD RAMSGATE CT117DU
current
06 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0845
86-96 HERESON ROAD RAMSGATE CT117DU
current
06 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0847
86-96 HERESON ROAD RAMSGATE CT117DU
current
06 Oct 2010
C/TH/10/0776
69 SEA ROAD WESTGATE-ON-SEA CT88QG
current
06 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0406
LAND REAR OF 17-19 LYNDHURST ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT101DD
current
06 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0775
69 SEA ROAD WESTGATE-ON-SEA CT88QG
current
06 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0785
55 HIGH STREET MINSTER RAMSGATE CT124BT
current
06 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0792
LAND AT ABY COURT MARGATE
current
06 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0827
43-48 EDGAR ROAD MARGATE CT92EH
current
06 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0830
17 MAYFORTH GARDENS RAMSGATE CT110LL
current
06 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0831
116 CRESCENT ROAD RAMSGATE CT119RD
current
06 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0834
27 BOTANY ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT103RZ
current
06 Oct 2010
L/TH/10/0804
5B HIGH STREET ST LAWRENCE RAMSGATE CT110QH
current
06 Oct 2010
L/TH/10/0839
20 THE PARADE MARGATE CT91EX
current
06 Oct 2010
P/TH/10/0775
69 SEA ROAD WESTGATE-ON-SEA CT88QG
unknown
06 Oct 2010
TL/TH/10/0748
VODAFONE 75992 ADJ TO BETHESDA MEDICAL CENTRE PALM BAY AVENUE MARGATE CT93AG
current
06 Oct 2010
TL/TH/10/0811
CANTERBURY ROAD WESTGATE-ON-SEA
current
01 Oct 2010
A/TH/10/0824
15A WEST CLIFF ROAD RAMSGATE CT119JP
current
01 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0733
15 PARSONAGE FIELDS MONKTON RAMSGATE CT124JL
current
01 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0743
FLAT 3 148 MINNIS ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT79QF
current
01 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0762
FLAT 3 150 MINNIS ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT79QF
current
01 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0764
151 BEACON ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT103DQ
current
01 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0769
2 HENGIST ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT79QP
current
01 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0777
20 WILLSONS ROAD RAMSGATE CT119LZ
current
01 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0797
107 LONDON ROAD RAMSGATE CT110DR
current
01 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0807
15 TOTHILL STREET MINSTER RAMSGATE CT124AG
current
01 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0828
TOWER HOUSE 125 CANTERBURY ROAD WESTGATE ON SEA
current
01 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0832
GARAGE BLOCK REAR OF 39-49 LUTON AVENUE BROADSTAIRS
current
01 Oct 2010
L/TH/10/0808
3 GUILDFORD LAWN RAMSGATE CT119AY
current
01 Oct 2010
L/TH/10/0809
14 THE PARADE MARGATE CT91EY
current
01 Oct 2010
L/TH/10/0829
TOWER HOUSE 125 CANTERBURY ROAD WESTGATE ON SEA
current

New documents published by Thanet District Council,

07/10/2010 - Meeting held: Oct 7 2010 7:00PM, Council

06/10/2010 - Library item published: Members' Allowance Scheme - 2010-11

06/10/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Oct 14 2010 6:00PM, Ramsgate Port and Marina Working Party

05/10/2010 - Agenda supplement published - Council - 2nd : Council - 2nd: Meeting of Oct 7 2010 7:00PM, Council

04/10/2010 - Agenda supplement published - Council : Council: Meeting of Oct 7 2010 7:00PM, Council

04/10/2010 - Minutes published: Meeting of Sep 23 2010 7:00PM, Cabinet

04/10/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Oct 13 2010 6:00PM, Airport Working Party

30/09/2010 - Meeting held: Sep 30 2010 6:00PM, Joint Transportation Board

Saturday, 9 October 2010

New English Channel Bunkers-Only Service ready to go live

Shipping operators and owners have reacted extremely positively to the news that

Cockett Marine Oil is to start a new bunkers-only service for ships transiting the

English Channel.

From Monday 30 August, Cockett Marine Oil will be able to quote firm prices for fuel

oils for delivery from 1 September when the new service officially starts.

Since the service was announced in late July, Cockett’s team at its UK head office

and its seven other international offices have been meeting with major ship owners

and operators around the globe. A healthy level of enquiries has already been

received from a number of potential users of the service.

Karl Beeson, Managing Director at Cockett Group, said: “We have been delighted to

receive such positive feedback and have been promised strong support, especially

from European shipping companies. The message we are hearing loud and clear is

that the industry has been waiting for an alternative bunkers-only facility serving the

English Channel and at the entrance to the North Sea.

“The two key commercial factors driving interest in the service are competitive pricing

and that it requires a diversion of only one to two hours from the shipping lanes. As a

result we will be able to compete head-to-head with existing facilities in the English

Channel, and also with other major international bunkers-only supply centres.”

Sitting on one of the world’s busiest trading routes, and located approximately on

51deg 28min North/1 deg 20 mins East, the new service will be provided from three

anchorage positions and offers the advantage of a very sheltered and deep water

location. It has been facilitated using the combined experience and expertise of

various Grindrod Group companies, including Unicorn Shipping and the Rotterdam

based bunker supplier Associated Bunkeroil Contractors.

News Release

Details of the new Cockett Marine bunkers-only service can be obtained by visiting:

http://www.cockettgroup.com/

Friday, 8 October 2010

Conference a Go-Go

With the conference season at its end, what have the three main parties revealed about their intentions? While I didn’t attend the Lib Dem gathering, it felt from a distance that there was a thoughtful mood amongst attendees – the party seemed to be positive about its role in Government but also examined what this meant for the party. The big split the media were desperate to see just didn’t materialise. And I’m sure that even Clegg was surprised by the positive reception he was given.

Labour’s conference was clearly the liveliest. The saga of the Cain and Abel Miliband brothers’ race for the leadership clouded out any policy announcements. From my understanding the conference was a combination of tumbleweed in the corridors while Labour MPs were sharpening their knives to criticise their colleagues. However, the unions must be thrilled by their comrade Ed who is now in a position to deliver on their agenda – public sector strikes seem to be the mantra.

For our part, the conservative conference has been professional and workman life. The reality of the difficulties left by the last Government are now known and the challenges are evident in each and every Minister’s speech. We’re not taking anything for granted and know that the next few years will be tough. Activists are much more supportive of the Coalition now they’ve seen it in action – so no splits here either. But the overall message from the conferences is clear: it’s going to take two parties working in the national interest to sort out the mess left by the other party.

To read David Cameron’s speech click here http://www.conservatives.com/News/Speeches/2010/10/David_Cameron_Together_in_the_National_Interest.aspx
to watch David Cameron’s speech click here http://www.livestream.com/conservatives/video?clipId=flv_6409904d-09fc-4ff1-b508-c7d25a984010

DO YOU HAVE A WINNING PHOTO OF MARGATE?

Looking through your photo album or picking up your camera could win you up to £500 of vouchers in the new ‘This is Margate’ photography competition.

The competition is part of the work to get Margate ready for the opening of the Turner Contemporary in spring 2011, which includes creating a library of photos of Margate to help promote the town. The winning entries will then be used from next year onwards.

The competition entries will be shortlisted by judges from Turner Contemporary, Visit Kent, the Margate Renewal Partnership and Thanet District Council. This shortlist will then go on local display in local venues and online for the public to decide the winners for each category and for each theme. A guest judge will then declare the overall winner of the competition.

People can enter one of the following age categories: 1) Young person (up to 16 years old), 2) Student (proof of student status will be required) and 3) Adult (16+).

The photos entered must be digital photos taken in 2010 that show Margate in the following six themes:

1. Margate’s heritage, icons and traditions e.g. buildings, personalities, food, seaside entertainment
2. A secret Margate e.g. Margate’s little known places and hidden gems
3. Active Margate e.g. watersports, cycling, walking, fishing and more
4. Natural Margate e.g. nature, coast, wildlife and ecology
5. Creative Margate e.g. what inspires arts and culture in the town
6. My Margate e.g. what’s your Margate?

There is also a separate historical part to the competition and people can look through any old photos they may have to see if they can also be entered.

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “I’m really passionate about the exciting changes taking place in Margate. We’re getting ready to really promote Margate and to do that we need some vital tools, which includes some great photographs. We thought the best way to get some really great photographs of Margate was through a competition. I would encourage anyone who thinks they have a winning photo to take part and, with a prize of £500 worth of vouchers, it’s really worth entering.”

Derek Harding, Programme Director the Margate Renewal Partnership, said: “Margate is such an inspirational place and there is real potential for the winners to see their photographs being used in some exciting marketing campaigns planned for next year.”

For more information visit www.thisismargate.co.uk or pick up a leaflet from local venues in Margate, email thisismargate@thanet.gov.uk or call 01843 577169. The closing date is Friday 26 November

TORIES DO AS THEY ALWAYS INTENDED

At Thursday evenings council meeting the Conservative administration at Thanet District Council squashed any chance for council tenants and leaseholders to have a ballot on the future of their own homes and set in motion a process that will create an 'Arms Length Management Organisation' to manage TDC housing stock in the future.

The TDC Overview and Scrutiny Committee of 14th September had asked council to reconsider the option of a ballot.

Labour and Independent members, who represent the vast majority of council tenants and leaseholders, argued passionately for their residents to be given a vote on the issue, but the ruling Conservative group totally ignored their pleas.

Labour Group Leader Cllr Clive Hart said "at the start of this process council agreed to ballot tenants and leaseholders if the result through consultation was not conclusive. The changes proposed seriously affect tenants and leaseholders and on Thursday evening Labour and Independent councillors pointed to many inconsistencies in the consultation process and called for that ballot.

Shadow Member for Housing Cllr Iris Johnston said "The biggest concern is that 18,000 council homes in East Kent, under Tory dominated administrations, will now be ripe for privatisation. I still have a letter written by Councillor Sandy Ezekiel on the 30th September 2001 where he recommends encouraging the ‘sale of Council homes to the private sector’. With the support of a punishing national Tory Government and a weak indifferent Liberal Party this looks more and more like a reality".

Labour and Independent councillors argued that the consultation had been a total farce and designed to simply get the result the leading Conservative group wanted. Indeed, when proposing that a ballot 'not be held' Conservative Cabinet Member Cllr Chris Wells said "lets get on and do what we intended to do in February".

WEBCASTING PILOT TO CONTINUE

Full council meetings in Thanet will continue to broadcast online until spring 2011.

The decision was taken last night (Thursday 7 October) by councillors, following a recommendation by the Overview and Scrutiny Panel.

During the pilot of webcasting, three meetings were broadcast online, with the first attracting the most viewers. This meeting set the council’s budget in February and 225 logged on to watch it for an average of almost seven and a half minutes.

Only 53 people watched the next broadcast in April 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 to be broadcast was the annual Council meeting in May, which decided on the council’s Leader, Chairman and which members would sit on the council’s various committees. 75 people watched this for an average of just over three minutes.

Leader of the Council, Cllr. Bob Bayford, said: “We’re keen to make the business the council does more accessible to the people we serve. This council takes a lot of important decisions that impact on people’s lives. As such, it’s very disappointing not to see more people logging on and seeing those decisions made. I hope that, over the next few months, we will see more take-up of this service amongst our residents.”

APPROVAL GIVEN TO HOUSING PLANS

Thanet District Council has approved plans to set up an “arms length management organisation” (ALMO) with three other East Kent councils to manage their council housing services.

Councillors were told last night (Thursday 7 October) that a 12 week consultation with tenants and leaseholders in Canterbury, Dover, Shepway and Thanet over the summer had seen nearly 10,000 people take part across the four areas.

It is estimated that the ALMO would make savings of £1.5 million over the next few years and possibly more in the longer term, through improved repairs contracts and bringing together administrative services. This money, by law, has to be re-invested into improving council housing services. The plans also mean greater access to services on weekends and evenings, with more involvement for tenants and leaseholders in how things are run and the standard of service they receive.

One of the questions people were asked was whether they thought it was a good idea for their council to work with others in East Kent to run their council housing services. In Thanet, 64% of tenants and leaseholders who responded said yes, while 24% were not sure and only 12% said no. The second question asked if tenants and leaseholders supported the proposal of their council joining with the other three in East Kent to form the ALMO to run their council housing services. In response, 63% of those who responded in Thanet said yes, while 22% were not sure and only 15% said no.

Of the four councils, Thanet was the only one that had retained a recommendation to review the matter of a ballot, once the results of the consultation were known. This suggestion came from the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Panel and it was agreed that Council would review this after the consultation had finished. The council’s Cabinet felt that a ballot should not be held, as the consultation results did not justify doing this. This was agreed by Council last night (Thursday 7 October).

Cllr. Chris Wells, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “I’m delighted to see this project moving forward, in line with the wishes of the many tenants and leaseholders in East Kent who took the time to have their say in our extensive consultation. People had many opportunities to give their views, with road shows, telephone surveys, postal surveys and individual visits to people’s homes. That led to a good response rate and one which we would be proud to have in a local election.

“Having carried out such an extensive consultation, there was no justification for holding a ballot as well. As the report we were presented with clearly showed, any delay in holding a ballot would effectively mean Thanet being dropped from the project, as the other three councils would be unlikely to wait for us. This could have meant increased risk of redundancy for housing staff, with jobs already allocated at the ALMO, and additional costs for more communication and consultation. That’s not what we wanted to see happening.”

A section 27 application will now be submitted to the Tenant Services Authority. If they approve the plans, the four councils will be asked in December 2010 or January 2011 to consider more detail about how the ALMO will operate and make the final decision to delegate services to the new organisation.

HOUSING REGISTER SEES DRAMATIC INCREASE

New figures show the full impact the recession is having on homeowners in Thanet, with a dramatic increase in the number of people on the housing register over the last year.

By the end of August 2010, they were 5,917 households waiting for homes owned by the council or housing associations. This is an increase of more than 20% from a year earlier, when only 4,653 were on the waiting list. On average, over the last year, the council’s Housing Options Team has received an average of 310 housing register applications each month.

Cllr. Chris Wells, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “Britain may have been officially declared as being out of recession, but despite that, there are more evictions and repossessions in Thanet than ever before. The situation is clear. Housing options for people in Thanet are reducing. Some of that’s down to the sharp fall in mortgage lending, but house prices still remain out of reach for many on an average salary.”

The council has recognised the problem and successfully attracted government funding for its innovative Home Debt Help service to try and help tackle this problem. The service is free and confidential.

Cllr. Wells added: “The human cost of recession is known to impact some year to eighteen months after the technical measures have declared there is a problem. This is when the real misery begins for most people and we are in the middle of that period right now. We’re here to help people through the Home Debt Help service, but we do need people to come to us at the earliest possible opportunity, so we have the best chance of being able to keep you in your home. We’ve already had a lot of people contact us and the stories are all very different.

“One example is a woman who contacted us, after seeing the service advertised on our website. She had been taken ill and could not work and her husband also had to stop work to care for her and their children. At the same time, their fixed interest rate came to an end, meaning a big increase in their mortgage repayments. As a result, they fell into arrears with their mortgage. Our Home Debt Help service was able to advise her on how she could increase her income and what additional benefits she may be entitled to. We’re now working closely with her and her mortgage lender to see if the family could be eligible for the Mortgage Rescue Scheme, which aims to help people, who have seen their income change dramatically and need help in paying their mortgage. That’s just one example of how we can help.”

If you think you could benefit from the Home Debt Help service, you can contact them on 01843 577277 and you can learn more at www.thanet.gov.uk/homedebthelp

CUBIT CLEARS MORE CARS

Another 54 abandoned and untaxed vehicles have been removed from the streets of Thanet in recent weeks.

The first Operation Cubit, held in early September, ran for two days, with 18 cars removed. Of those, 10 were Ramsgate, five from Margate and three were taken from Westgate and Birchington.

Another operation, lasting a week, ran from Monday 27 September until Friday 1 October. During that time, 38 cars were taken away, with 14 removed from Ramsgate and 10 from Margate. The remainder were found in Broadstairs, Cliftonville, Westgate and Birchington.

Operation Cubit is led by Thanet District Council, with help from Kent Police, Kent County Council, the DVLA and Kent Fire and Rescue Service.

So far this year, four different operations have seen a total of 124 cars taken away. Once a vehicle is removed, owners have to pay £260, plus storage costs, to reclaim their vehicles. If they tax their vehicle within two weeks, then £160 of this is refundable.

If they fail to either tax the vehicles or declare that they are off the road, then a follow-up visit is made to see if the vehicle is still being driven illegally and, if it is, it will be removed. If owners do not claim and pay for their vehicles, then they will either be crushed or sold.

Abandoned vehicles can be reported by calling 01843 577066.

NEW WINTER PROGRAMME FOR SPORT 4NRG

Young people can enjoy free sessions in roller skating, basketball, street dance and football across Thanet this winter.

The council’s Sport 4NRG team, who aim to keep young people active, off the streets and out of trouble, have released their winter programme of free events, which runs every week until Christmas.

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “Sport 4NRG is the council’s commitment to providing free sports activities for young people in Thanet, especially in the current economic climate. The team have a come up with a wide range of activities to help keep young people occupied and off the streets this autumn and winter. Despite the fact that the nights are closing in, they’ve got a variety of things for young people to do, both inside and outside, with sports as diverse as street dance, basketball and Frisbee.”

Street Games are being taken out into the community, including 3-a-side football, Frisbee and rugby, take place every Tuesday at St. Peter’s rec in Broadstairs from 4.30pm until 6pm. At the Millmead estate every Wednesday between 5.30pm and 7pm, you can enjoy 3-a-side football, basketball and rugby.

The team’s popular Street Dance sessions are twice weekly, with one session at Hartsdown Leisure Centre on Wednesdays between 3.30pm and 5pm and the second held at the Marlowe Academy in Ramsgate on Thursdays from 5.30pm until 6.30pm.

Mondays bring football sessions at Margate FC’s ground between 4pm and 5pm and then at Dame Janet school in Ramsgate between 6pm and 7.30pm. Later in the week, basketball comes to Ramsgate Sports Centre on Wednesdays between 5.30pm and 6.30pm and at the same times on Thursdays at the Boundary Road Ball Court in Ramsgate.

Full details are available at www.thanet.gov.uk/sport

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

GET INVOLVED IN RAMSGATE ARTS

Ramsgate Arts, the group which organised last month's highly successful Summer Squall three day arts festival, is looking for new members.

If you want to get involved with a dynamic, creative team who are putting Ramsgate on the arts map, then come along to their next meeting on Thursday 7 October at the Foy Boat pub in Ramsgate. The meeting starts at 7.30pm and is open to all.

Plans are already afoot for next year's Summer Squall festival, so now's your chance to help shape it.

For more details contact Suzy Humphries on 07939 542990 or email her at info@ramsgatearts.org


Notes for Editors
Ramsgate Arts is a voluntary organisation supported by local businesses and Ramsgate Town Council and made up of residents committed to working with local people and professional a rts practitioners to create meaningful and exciting activities in Thanet. In August 2009 they staged their first event, Love Hate Hope Ramsgate, in a 'pop-up shop' in the town, which was attended by almost 1,000 people. Since then they have also staged three surprise 'flash dances' in Ramsgate, and the three day Summer Squall festival in Ramsgate over the 2010 August bank holiday, which hosted around 50 individual events attended by in excess of 20,000 people.

More info about A Summer Squall at Ramsgate Arts website www.ramsgatearts.org

Ramsgate Arts committee members available for interview on request

Contacts for further information:
Suzy Humphries (Ramsgate Arts committee) 07939 542990
Email: info@ramsgatearts.org

Stephen Arkell (Ramsgate Arts committee) 07956 278616
Email: stephen@retina-productions.co.uk

Stephen Arkell
Aug 2, '10, 12:04 PM

Sunday, 3 October 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


01 Oct 2010
A/TH/10/0824
15A WEST CLIFF ROAD RAMSGATE CT119JP
current
01 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0733
15 PARSONAGE FIELDS MONKTON RAMSGATE CT124JL
current
01 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0743
FLAT 3 148 MINNIS ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT79QF
current
01 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0762
FLAT 3 150 MINNIS ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT79QF
current
01 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0764
151 BEACON ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT103DQ
current
01 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0769
2 HENGIST ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT79QP
current
01 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0777
20 WILLSONS ROAD RAMSGATE CT119LZ
current
01 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0797
107 LONDON ROAD RAMSGATE CT110DR
current
01 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0807
15 TOTHILL STREET MINSTER RAMSGATE CT124AG
current
01 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0828
TOWER HOUSE 125 CANTERBURY ROAD WESTGATE ON SEA
current
01 Oct 2010
F/TH/10/0832
GARAGE BLOCK REAR OF 39-49 LUTON AVENUE BROADSTAIRS
current
01 Oct 2010
L/TH/10/0808
3 GUILDFORD LAWN RAMSGATE CT119AY
current
01 Oct 2010
L/TH/10/0809
14 THE PARADE MARGATE CT91EY
current
01 Oct 2010
L/TH/10/0829
TOWER HOUSE 125 CANTERBURY ROAD WESTGATE ON SEA
current
27 Sep 2010
F/TH/10/0606
157B HERESON ROAD RAMSGATE CT117EL
current
27 Sep 2010
F/TH/10/0740
WESTCLIFF LEISURE COMPLEX ROYAL ESPLANADE RAMSGATE
current
27 Sep 2010
F/TH/10/0754
29 STATION ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT79DJ
current
27 Sep 2010
F/TH/10/0760
1 GREENHILL CLOSE MINSTER RAMSGATE CT124ER
current
27 Sep 2010
F/TH/10/0786
44 BOUNDARY ROAD RAMSGATE CT117NW
current
27 Sep 2010
F/TH/10/0805
16 WOODLAND AVENUE BIRCHINGTON CT70DN
current
27 Sep 2010
F/TH/10/0812
57 BARRINGTON CRESCENT BIRCHINGTON CT79DF
current
27 Sep 2010
F/TH/10/0813
CRISPE HOUSE, MINNIS ROAD, BIRCHINGTON, CT7 9SF
current
27 Sep 2010
F/TH/10/0815
17-19 STATION ROAD, WESTGATE ON SEA, CT8 8RB
current
27 Sep 2010
L/TH/10/0732
1 TRINITY SQUARE BROADSTAIRS CT103BA
current
27 Sep 2010
L/TH/10/0778
40 BELLEVUE ROAD RAMSGATE CT118LA
current
24 Sep 2010
F/TH/10/0590
KENTISH SHORE BAKERY LTD 22-24 CHURCH STREET BROADSTAIRS CT102TT
current
24 Sep 2010
F/TH/10/0757
12 MINNIS ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT79SE
current
24 Sep 2010
F/TH/10/0787
32 KINGS AVENUE BIRCHINGTON CT79PP
current
24 Sep 2010
F/TH/10/0800
EAST KENT RETAIL PARK WESTWOOD ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT102RQ
current
24 Sep 2010
F/TH/10/0802
171 CANTERBURY ROAD WESTGATE-ON-SEA CT88NH
current
24 Sep 2010
L/TH/10/0784
10-11 NELSON CRESCENT, RAMSGATE, CT11 9JF
current

New documents published by Thanet District Council,

30/09/2010 - Meeting held: Sep 30 2010 6:00PM, Joint Transportation Board

29/09/2010 - Agenda published: Meeting of Oct 7 2010 7:00PM, Council

29/09/2010 - Minutes published: Meeting of Sep 13 2010 5:00PM, Shared Services Working Party - Shared Services Vehicle Sub-Group

28/09/2010 - Meeting held: Sep 28 2010 6:30PM, Governance and Audit Committee

28/09/2010 - Meeting held: Sep 28 2010 6:00PM, Coach House Working Party

28/09/2010 - Agenda supplement published - Traffic Problems Haine Road, Ramsgate - Petition : Traffic Problems Haine Road, Ramsgate - Petition: Meeting of Sep 30 2010 6:00PM, Joint Transportation Board

27/09/2010 - Minutes published: Meeting of Sep 14 2010 7:00PM, Overview and Scrutiny Panel

23/09/2010 - Meeting held: Sep 23 2010 7:00PM, Cabinet

23/09/2010 - Agenda supplement published - Letter from Town & Country Housing Group : Letter from Town & Country Housing Group: Meeting of Sep 23 2010 7:00PM, Cabinet

23/09/2010 - Minutes published: Meeting of Sep 15 2010 7:00PM, Planning Committee

Friday, 1 October 2010

CELEBRATING KENT’S COASTLINE IN THANET

Sea safari excursions, walks with the Rock Doc, wildlife storytelling adventures and visits to see the world’s largest offshore wind farm are just some of the highlights of this year’s Kent Coastal Week.

In total, the Thanet Coast Project has organised around 30 events to celebrate the Kent County Council initiative, which runs from Saturday 23 October until Sunday 31 October. That’s around a third of the total events taking place across the county.

You can head out to Kent’s largest National Nature Reserve at Sandwich and Pegwell Bay to see coastal wildlife and possibly local seals with Horizon Sea Safaris. There are sailings every day from Saturday 23 until Friday 29 October at a specially discounted rate of £7 per person.

Another excursion will take you out to se the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm, the world’s largest, with three sailings on Friday 29, Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 October at a discounted rate of £9 per person. Both excursions are suitable for adults and children over the age of five.

Adults and young people over the age of 14 years old can explore the area’s unique sands and chalk cliffs with the Rock Doc on Sunday 24 October, in a walk that will take them around Pegwell Bay in Cliffsend. You can also explore Seaweeds and their Secrets in Botany Bay, Kingsgate on a two hour walk with expert Ian Tittley from the Natural History Museum on Thursday 28 October at 10am.

Younger members of the family can enjoy wildlife storytelling adventures with Scandalmongers, with games, art and even a bit of magic. There are three different tales to enjoy, the Oyster’s Secret, Sea Monster Tale Trail and the Thornback Tales, all at different beaches around the area on three different days, Saturday 23, Monday 25 and Wednesday 27 October.

The week finishes with the annual Big Draw event, with a sea life treasure trail taking place on Viking Bay on Saturday 30 October at 10am, which is suitable for family groups and teams of friends.

Tony Child, Thanet Coast Project Manager said: “These events are the ideal way to observe and learn more about our fantastic wildlife for free or a specially discounted price. We’ve got something for all the family, from special seal excursions for everyone over five years old, to seaweeds and their secrets and a Rock Doc for adults. Younger children and their parents will love the wacky wildlife storytelling adventures on our beautiful beaches.”

The children’s events have been supported with assistance by the Big Lottery Fund, and excursions by Kent County Council's Kent Coastal Week sponsors. To find out more and make a booking for one of the events taking place in Thanet, visit www.thanetcoast.org.uk

My Position on the Alternative Vote Referendum!

I will support the calling of a referendum but I will not be supporting any change to the existing system of first past the post.

I am not averse to reform in terms of how our constitution works and would in many ways have more difficulty if the referendum was for or against a truly proportional system. But it is not and when comparing AV with first past the post it is important not to jump to a system for novelty sake.

For my part I believe that AV is the worst of all worlds.

It is a system that does not give us all a second vote – to be frank it puts much more power in the hands in minority parties.

For over 200 seats who regularly provide the winner with over 50% it will have no impact whatsoever. For another large number of seats it will ONLY give voters from small marginal parties a second vote – giving very small marginal parties a highly disproportionate say in our elections. In very few constituencies Liberal Democrat votes will be counted again. While Labour or Conservative voters will only have their second vote counted in under 50 seats – if that.

AV provides the majority with an illusion of a second vote while in the main delivering very marginal parties an additional bite at the electoral cherry.
In addition: unlike a proportional system it is very unlikely to result in smaller parties gaining any representation in Parliament. So while marginal parties – some less than acceptable - might get a second shout on Election Day, political opinion or diversity of our chamber will not in practice be broadened.

It is also one of the very few systems that delivers success to the least unpopular candidate – First Past the Post and PR do at least reflect popularity.