Thursday, 31 March 2011

LETS GO MARGATE!

 A special celebration event involving 400 young people, college students


and teachers has been held all in honour of Margate, the original

seaside town.



With every secondary school in Thanet participating, this one off

event, held on Wednesday 30 March, featured an impressive array of

interactive, creative workshops, giving hundreds of young people the

opportunity to gain hands on experience of a variety of new artistic and

creative skills.



Whether this was retro photography to capture a traditional seaside

snap, creating sea sculptures, turning their hands to fashion, taking

part in dance, surfing, song writing, theatre skills and samba drumming,

the emphasis was all on getting stuck in and having a go!



This is all part of the exciting count down to the opening of Turner

Contemporary and was organised to involve young people in the many

positive and creative changes taking place in Margate. It was also to

inspire them to learn new artistic talents and to explore the potential

career possibilities they could have within the creative industry.



Chief Executive of Thanet District Council, Richard Samuel, said:

“Getting young people excited about the future of Margate is a

fundamental part of its regeneration. With the opening of Turner

Contemporary just weeks away, and the anticipated heritage amusement

park opening at Dreamland, there is a lot for the young people in our

area to look forward to. I’m delighted to see so many people here

taking part in such a creative event and celebrating the diversity of

what Margate has to offer. Our thanks must go to the many organisations

who have contributed to today’s event and also to the Winter Gardens

for generously providing the venue”.



Julie Larner from Future Creative, said: “Future Creative is

delighted to be co-ordinating this unique event on behalf of Thanet

District Council. We are a creative learning agency and Community

Interest Company so this is a valuable opportunity to collaborate with

partners from education, arts and culture to promote Margate's cultural

offer whilst developing the creative skills of the young people

involved. Let's Go Margate has enabled Future Creative to engage with

Margate's arts community and we are pleased to be able to broker

relationships between local artists, arts organisations and schools in

Thanet”.



Amy Davis (14), a student who helped to co-ordinate the event, said:

“Taking part in this event has been really exciting and a great

chance for me to contribute into something will only happen once in my

lifetime. So often young people get a bad press but today just proves

if we’re given the materials and the information, we can do really

positive things. I’ve been inspired by today and I bet many others

have too. It’s certainly opened my eyes to Margate”.



The event was organised by Thanet District Council in partnership with

Kent County Council, Future Creative and the Creative Margate group.

The event was funded by KCC Arts Development, KCC Extended School

Services and Thanet District Council’s Youth Matters and the venue was

provided by the Winter Gardens Margate as part of their centenary

celebrations.



To find out more about the youth events in Thanet visit

www.thanetyouthmatters.co.uk and for more information about

Margate’s regeneration visit http://www.thisismargate.co.uk/






TORY-LED CUTS HIT THANET HARD

As the Labour Party launches its 2011 South East election campaign today with a pledge to be people’s voice in tough times, new research shows the Tory-led Government’s cuts to local authorities will hit the average two-adult household with children by £182 in 2011/12.



The research also reveals that in Thanet, the Tory-led Government’s average cut per person will be £38.94. (Tunbridge Wells - £21.60. Sevenoaks -£19.88. Maidstone -£19.70. Tonbridge & Malling -£19.40).


As the cuts made in Downing Street begin to bite in streets and communities across the South East, Labour councillors will today pledge to speak up for their local areas against the Tory-led Government’s unfair policies.

Clive Hart, Thanet Labour Leader said "The Tory-led Government constantly say 'we're all in this together' but the figures clearly show that the cuts cost our residents here in Thanet much more than other people in relatively wealthier areas, in some cases twice as much. Thanet Local Labour will campaign tirelessly to be the people of Thanet's voice in tough times".

Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said “Labour launches our election campaign with a clear pledge to people across the country: we will be your voice in tough times. Cuts designed by David Cameron and Nick Clegg are coming direct from Downing Street to your street. Families in every part of the country will be hit by these unfair cuts. Areas with the greatest need are being asked to bear the greatest burden. The worst off areas are being hit the hardest while the average family will be hit much harder than people in David Cameron’s constituency. Labour will be your community’s first line of defence against the damage being done by a Conservative-led Government and their Liberal Democrat allies".

Notes:

Tory-led Government cuts to funding to local authorities mean that in 2011/12 the Revenue Spending Power (RSP) of local authorities will fall by £2,480,900,000.

The population in England is 51,809,000.

The average cut per person in Thanet this year is £38.94.

The cut for the average family with two adults and children is £182.

Meanwhile, analysis of local authority council tax charges for 2011/12 shows that Labour councils charge council taxpayers on average £207 less than Tory councils and £40 less than Lib Dem councils.

Promoted by Michelle Fenner 28-30 Newington Road, Ramsgate, Kent CT12 6EE (01843 850315) and Iris Johnston 44 Northdown Road, Margate, Kent CT9 2RW (01843 232147) on behalf of all Labour candidates.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

FINE OVER DUMPED RUBBISH IN MARGATE


A Margate man has been has been fined £100 and ordered to pay compensation costs, after pleading guilty to dumping rubbish.

Stephen Lynch (51) from Grosvenor Place was hired by a landlord to empty one of his properties in Fort Crescent in December 2009. The landlord said that Mr. Lynch told him that he had a friend who was a registered waste carrier. The two men agreed that the flat would be cleared and secured for £85.

At around 8.30pm on the evening of 3 December 2009, a CCTV operator saw a group of men carrying rubbish from the property in Fort Crescent into Trinity Square, where it was dumped on the pavement. This continued for 30 minutes. The only person positively identified from the CCTV footage was Mr. Lynch.

Mr. Lynch was prosecuted by the council for dumping controlled waste with no environmental permit. He was fined £100 and was ordered to pay the council’s legal costs of £180.13, a contribution to the clear-up costs of £148.40 and a £15 victim surcharge. 

New 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


29 Mar 2011
56-58 STATION ROAD, BIRCHINGTON, CT7 9RA
current
29 Mar 2011
24 WESTOVER GARDENS BROADSTAIRS CT103EY
current
29 Mar 2011
THE GREEN HOUSE, PEGWELL ROAD, RAMSGATE, CT11 0HU
current
29 Mar 2011
69 HIGH STREET BROADSTAIRS CT101NQ
current
29 Mar 2011
DANE VALLEY ARMS DANE VALLEY ROAD MARGATE CT93RZ
current
29 Mar 2011
UNIT 7, INVICTA WAY, MANSTON PARK, RAMSGATE, CT12 5FD
unknown
29 Mar 2011
APRIL HOUSE RESIDENTIAL CARE HOME 69 SEA ROAD WESTGATE-ON-SEA CT88QG
current

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

CLEANSWEEP VISITS WESTBROOK AND MARGATE

Serious fire risks, dumped rubbish and truanting children are some of the problems tackled in the latest Operation Cleansweep in Westbrook and Margate.

The council-run operation also involved officers from the UK Border Agency, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Kent Police, Kent County Council Education, Community Payback and volunteers from Pipeline Youth Group.

In total, more than 80 properties in Westbrook and Grosvenor Place, Margate were visited during the two-day operation.

In one property, fire detection equipment had to be installed immediately, as it was such a severe risk. Another eight premises were found with either inadequate or no fire detection and a series of follow-up inspections will now be carried out.

Five notices were served on properties that had so much dumped rubbish that it could encourage vermin. The owners now have 28 days to clear this or further action will be taken. Another eight complaints about dumped rubbish will also be investigated.

Truancy officers spoke to 14 children and returned one of them to school. They also found four children without school places.

One person was identified who was believed to be committing Council Tax fraud, while one property will be referred to the council’s planning enforcement team over the inappropriate use of the premise. Concerns were raised about the sale of alcohol at a licensed premise, which will now be investigated further and issues with the standard of living conditions at five homes will now be raised with landlords of those properties.

Community Payback and Pipeline cleared a total of seven alleyways in Margate and Cliftonville, while 10 tickets were handed out to cars parked on double yellow lines.

Community Safety Officer, Jessica Bailey, said: “Whenever we’re out on Cleansweep, we always find plenty of issues that need tackling and this operation was no different. From properties with no fire detection to children truanting from school, our teams had a lot to deal with over the couple of days we were out. These are all problems that we know matter to local people and that’s why it’s important that we keep doing Cleansweep to try and tackle them.”

For more information, please call 01843 577737.

BETTER SERVICE PROMISED WITH EAST KENT HOUSING

Tenants and leaseholders in Thanet can look forward to a better service in the future, with the creation of an innovative new organisation to manage council housing.

East Kent Housing takes over the management and maintenance of the 18,000 homes belonging to Canterbury, Dover, Shepway and Thanet councils on 1 April 2011. It’s the country’s first super “arms length management organisation” (ALMO), which will be managed and owned by the four councils.

Tenants and leaseholders’ rights and responsibilities will not change and Thanet District Council will remain the owner and legal landlord of the council housing stock in Thanet. The council will still make decisions on the level of rent to charge and what improvements and major repairs will be carried out.

Brendan Ryan is the Interim Managing Director of East Kent Housing. “This is all about giving tenants and leaseholders a better service in the future and involving them more in how services for them are run. By doing this, we can ensure that we’re improving the things that matter most to them. Joining the four councils together also means we can make savings that we can then reinvest back into council housing in each area.”

East Kent Housing will have to meet standards set by each council and will be responsible for:
  • looking after council estates, including managing grass cutting, gardening contracts, cleaning and maintenance of communal areas
  • managing improvements to tenants’ homes
  • collecting rent and helping tenants who are having difficulty in paying 
  • making sure that tenants stick to their tenancy agreements
  • involving and communicating with tenants, including producing newsletters, leaflets and supporting community groups and activities
  • working with the police, the council and other agencies to reduce anti-social behaviour
  • re-letting empty properties, approving mutual exchanges and changes to tenancies
  • running sheltered housing schemes and organising adaptations to homes of tenants with disabilities

Tenants and leaseholders are being updated about how the new organisation through a dedicated local magazine and a new website www.eastkenthousing.org.uk

Around 220 staff will transfer from the four councils into East Kent Housing. The new organisation will be run by a Board of people, made up of four tenants or leaseholders, four councillors who represent the four council areas and four local independent people.

East Kent Housing is part of an ongoing project to share services in East Kent to give the best value for money to the taxpayer and make the best use of the councils’ resources and staff expertise.

“OVERWHELMING RESPONSE” TO NEW SPORT PROGRAMME

A new initiative to get adults back into sport has had an “overwhelming response”, with more than 100 people already taking part in the taster sessions.




Sport 4 Life, run by Thanet District Council, started at the beginning of March, offering free taster sessions in a range of different sports. These include Tai Chi, a beginners’ running group, netball and golf, all of which are now fully booked.



There are still places available for handball and volleyball, where you can enjoy both fun games and professional coaching.



Handball, which is an Olympic sport, has many of the same rules and techniques as netball, basketball and football, with sessions taking place at Dane Court School in Broadstairs on Wednesday nights between 6pm and 7pm.



Volleyball, which is one of the world’s top spectator sports, is a great way to warm up for the beach season, ahead of the annual Margate Masters beach volleyball tournament, due to be held in early July. It also allows you to develop new skills and keep fit. Sessions are held at the Ellington Campus in Ramsgate on Tuesday nights from 6.30pm to 7.30pm.



Sports Development Manager, Martyn Cassell said, “Since the programme launched, we seen a great take up from local residents eager to make a return to sport. In providing these free taster activities, we aim to provide fun and social activities for these participants and encourage them to continue participating in sport. There are some fantastic clubs in Thanet who provide excellent programmes for adults and it is our aim to help adults find a local club that suits their needs.”



The sessions run for a total of 10 weeks, until the week of 9 May, and those who get the sports bug will then be helped to find a suitable activity after the sessions finish. To book on to either handball or volleyball, contact Colin Rouse on 01843 577032 or e-mail colin.rouse@thanet.gov.uk

Monday, 28 March 2011

THANET’S COASTLINE RANKED AMONGST BRITAIN’S BEST

Thanet’s coastline can rightly be ranked as amongst the best in Britain, after it received four nods at prestigious national awards. In total, four entries from the area made it into the runners-up spot in different categories of the 2011 Coast Magazine Awards. Botany Bay was named runner-up in a vote of Coast readers for Best British Beach, while the Reading Rooms in Margate took the same spot in the Best Boutique Hotel by the Sea category and Eddie Gilbert’s was named runner-up as Best Seaside Restaurant. The Thanet Coast Project was the final entry to earn a runners-up spot in the Best Green Marine Campaign category. It was only beaten by the Marine Conservation Society’s Beachwatch, a nationwide campaign, held annually, with the Surfers Against Sewage Blue Flag campaign joining the Thanet Coast Project as another runner-up. Tony Child, Thanet Coast Project Manager, said: “It’s wonderful news to see Thanet getting so much recognition in this year’s Coast Magazine Awards and is a great boost for us, just ahead of the opening of Turner Contemporary. It shows just how highly both the magazine’s readers and judges rate this area and how much we have to offer visitors. I’m particularly proud to see the Thanet Coast Project named in the awards, especially as the campaigns that were up there with us were such high profile national campaigns that most people will have heard of. We’ve achieved a huge amount at the Coast Project over the last 10 years, helping to promote our internationally and nationally important coastline and it’s wonderful to see that recognised at this level.” To find out more about the Thanet Coast Project and their work, visit their website at www.thanetcoast.org.uk

New Beginners Running Groups designed to get Thanet more Active!

Jelly Legs Running Club is pleased to announce that it will be running a series of beginners’ groups in the area starting on 26th & 28th April 2011, to train women to participate in the Margate Race for Life event on 24th July 2010. The club nights welcome anybody looking to run themselves to fitness in a social, fun and non-competitive environment. Beginners can expect a ten-week programme, with the aim of reaching a level of fitness that will enable new runners to jog for 30 minutes without stopping. This will be an ideal level to enter for the 3 mile event. Group leaders, Lorraine and Joanne, say of the club nights, “Anyone can join, whatever age, size or ability. The best thing about us is that we don’t put pressure on anybody and never judge anyone by their level of fitness. If we can get a few more women jogging rather than walking then the group will have been a success. “All our members go on to achieve personal targets and goals”, say Lorraine and Joanne, “whether it’s the Race for Life or a Marathon. We all start as individuals that think we can’t do it, but with a bit of training and a lot of laughs along the way we get there in the end.” Jelly Legs provide a welcoming social environment for runners in which ladies and men of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels can participate in running to improve their health and well-being. To join the Jelly Legs beginners’ nights in Ramsgate or Broadstairs areas please call, text or email Lorraine on 07702 850898 or lozalan@btinternet.com for Tuesdays starting on 26th Arpil, or call, text or email Joanne on 07906 466902 or pjod@tesco.net for Thursdays starting 28th April. We are also able to cater for Improver and Intermediate runners with our Margate group on Monday and Wednesday evenings. More details about Jelly Legs and the sessions we offer can be found at wwwjelly-legs.co.uk

CRATE. Model and Monument opens April 1st

Perceptions of Margate are being reshaped by redevelopment work in the town. New energies and aspirations are unfolding out of existing narratives of the town as a seaside resort. The exhibition contrasts the development in Margate of the new Turner Contemporary with a building traditionally associated with Margate, Dreamland. Model and Monument, an exhibition of work by Stephen Blowers opens at Crate Project Space on Friday 1st of April 6 - 9pm and is then open Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd April 11am - 5pm.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

New documents published by Thanet District Council,

24/03/2011 - Meeting held: Mar 24 2011 6:00PM, Joint Transportation Board 24/03/2011 - Minutes published: Meeting of Feb 24 2011 7:00PM, Council 23/03/2011 - Minutes published: Meeting of Mar 1 2011 7:00PM, Overview and Scrutiny Panel 23/03/2011 - Meeting held: Mar 23 2011 10:00AM, Constitutional Review Working Party 22/03/2011 - Meeting held: Mar 22 2011 10:00AM, Licensing Sub Committee 22/03/2011 - Meeting held: Mar 22 2011 9:30AM, East Kent Joint Scrutiny Committee 21/03/2011 - Minutes published: Meeting of Mar 17 2011 7:00PM, Cabinet

Coast Awards

There were 4 runners' up from Thanet in this year's Coast Magazine awards: Two, The Reading Rooms and Eddie Gilbert's are teaming up to offer a special rate midweek break with a fish supper, to entice over night visitors to The Turner Contemporary. COAST MAG AWARDS The annual Coast Awards celebrate the people and places that represent all that is innovative, valuable and exciting around the British coastline. This year’s ten categories include Best Boutique Hotel by the Sea, Best-Loved Pier, Best Green Marine Campaign, Unsung Coastal Hero and the Joules Award for Best Coastal Path. Coast magazine was inundated with thousands of votes from across the UK and, searching for the very best Britain’s coast has to offer, a panel of seven experts – including TV presenter Michaela Strachan, Director of The Twentieth Century Society Catherine Croft, Managing Director of Joules Tom Joule and Director of Strategy and Communications at VisitBritain Patricia Yates. The ‘Best British Beach’ and ‘Best Seaside Holiday Destination’ categories were decided on Coast reader votes alone. TV presenter Michaela Strachan awarded the winners their prizes at the Coast Awards 2011 ceremony, which was held at the Country Living Fair in London. The winners of the Coast Awards 2011, in association with Joules, are: Best British Beach – Coast readers’ voteWINNER: Holkham in NorfolkRUNNERS-UP: Studland in Dorset and Botany Bay in Kent Best Seaside Holiday Destination – Coast readers’ voteWINNER: St Ives, CornwallRUNNERS-UP: Bournemouth in Dorset and Brighton in East Sussex Best Boutique Hotel by the SeaWINNER: The Scarlet in Mawgan Porth, CornwallRUNNERS-UP: The Reading Rooms in Margate, KentThe Rosevine, near Portscatho in Cornwall Best-Loved PierWINNER: Cromer Pier in Cromer, NorfolkRUNNERS-UP: Brighton Pier in Brighton, East SussexSouthwold Pier in Southwold, Suffolk Best Coastal Pub/CaféWINNER: East Beach Café in Littlehampton, West SussexRUNNERS-UP: Hive Beach Café in Burton Bradstock, DorsetThe Lord Nelson in Southwold, Suffolk Best Seaside RestaurantWINNER: Fifteen Cornwall in Watergate Bay, CornwallRUNNERS-UP: Eddie Gilbert’s in Ramsgate, KentUrban Reef in Bournemouth, Dorset Joules Award – Best Coastal PathWINNER: Norfolk Coast PathRUNNERS-UP: Pembrokeshire Coast Path National TrailSouth West Coast Path Best Green Marine CampaignWINNER: Marine Conservation Society, BeachwatchRUNNERS-UP: Surfers Against Sewage, Blue Flag CampaignThanet Coast Project Best Seafront Cultural AttractionWINNER: The De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, East SussexRUNNERS-UP: National Maritime Museum in Falmouth, CornwallTate St Ives in St Ives, Cornwall Unsung Coastal HeroWINNER: Dan Thompson, Revolutionary Arts in Worthing, West SussexRUNNERS-UP: Dani Church, Walberswick Ferry in Southwold, Suffolk Conrad Humphreys, Blue Mile Project in Plymouth, Devon For full details of the Coast Awards 2011 check out the June issue of Coast, on sale 25 April.

Sandys Calls on Government to Investigate Thanet’s High Fuel Prices

In response to the needs of small businesses and motorists across South Thanet, Laura Sandys MP called on the government to investigate the vast discrepancies in fuel prices across the UK. Drivers in Thanet repeatedly report higher than average prices at the pumps. Laura commented: “Every day, I receive letters from disgruntled motorists across South Thanet, Sandwich and the Villages who simply do not understand why local petrol prices are amongst the highest in the country. Of course, prices fluctuate due to international markets and world events, yet it is unfair that prices at the pumps should vary so much nationally. “I would like to encourage constituents to do a Pump Price Watch survey with me and tell me where the highest charges are. I heard from a local business man that he goes to Canterbury to fill up as it is 4p cheaper! “I welcome the Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Charles Hendry’s, encouragement for Thanet’s prices to be investigated. I will be assessing the cost of petrol charged by companies across the local area and will report my findings to the Office of Fair Trading and the Minister.” Despite price discrepancies across the UK, in Wednesday’s budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £1.9 billion package to ease the burden on motorists. This package will ensure that petrol is 6p per litre cheaper than it would have been under Labour and should help to ease the high costs facing many motorists. See this on the web at http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=7926 – push the tab to 13 minutes for relevant section The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Charles Hendry): I have received a number of representations on the effect of high oil prices on consumers. The Government are aware of the significant impacts that they are having. That is why the Chancellor has announced a £1.9 billion package to ease the burden on motorists, and why I have asked the Office of Fair Trading to investigate the domestic oil market. Laura Sandys: I join my hon. Friends in commending the Chancellor of the Exchequer's announcement yesterday. Many of my constituents will be very, very pleased about it. However, will the Department, during its investigation of the market, look into the discrepancies between pump prices across the country? I do not understand why the prices in my constituency are among the highest, and I am not sure that my constituents do either. Charles Hendry: The investigation relates chiefly to the domestic oil and gas market, but if there is evidence of unfair and anti-competitive practices in relation to fuel prices on forecourts, I hope that my hon. Friend will write to the OFT, and I should be grateful if she copied me into the correspondence so that I can see the evidence for myself.

MAKING FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND

Local people can learn more about the wonders of Thanet’s natural coastline, thanks to almost £100,000 from the Big Lottery Fund. Footprints in the Sand is a new initiative from the Thanet Coast Project that aims to get people of all ages and to encourage people who do not usually visit natural places, to access and enjoy the Thanet Coast and learn about the benefits they can get from it. It’s being supported by money from Natural England’s Access to Nature programme, a £28.75 million grant scheme to encourage people from all backgrounds to understand, access and enjoy our natural environment. It is part of the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces programme. A new project officer has been employed to work within the Thanet Coast Project, who will be coordinating a series of activities over the next two and a half years. Thanet Coast Project Manager, Tony Child, said: “Footprints in the Sand is all about encouraging those people who may not usually get out and about to go down to the shore to enjoy, look after and learn more about our wonderful coastline. It’s probably the biggest open space in Thanet and we want everyone to make the most of it. That builds on the work that the Thanet Coast Project has been doing over the last decade, highlighting the importance of our coast and just how much there is to do there.” Suzie Hooper is the new project officer. “Over the next couple of years, I’ll be aiming to get people more interested and aware of what’s available for them on their coastline. We want to make people proud of what we have here and get more involved with the wide range of activities along the shoreline.” Suzie, who has previously worked with the Thanet Coast Project, has already started her new role with rockpooling safaris with St. Peter-in-Thanet Junior and Salmestone Primary schools, helped out by local volunteers. Over the next few weeks, events will include a Beach Blast Fun Day on Margate Main Sands and a Fit and Healthy day on Ramsgate Main Sands, with full details to follow on the Thanet Coast Project’s website at www.thanetcoast.org.uk Heather Whetter, Natural England’s Regional Grant Coordinator says: “We’re delighted to award the grant to the Thanet Coast Project and to be part of the continued good work they have carried out for years. This new initiative will create opportunities for people to have greater access to our natural environment and bring a lasting change to their awareness and understanding of the Thanet Coast.” The project is managed by Thanet District Council through a steering group, which also includes Kent County Council Children Centres in Thanet, Millmead Children’s Centre Partnership Limited, Orbit South Housing Association, Kent Extended School Services, East Kent Mencap, NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent and East Kent and Natural England. Notes 1. Access to Nature is run by Natural England and is part of The Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces programme launched in November 2005 to help communities enjoy and improve their local environments. 2. Natural England manages this £28.75 million Lottery-funded programme on behalf of a consortium of twelve national environmental organisations comprising BTCV, British Waterways, Environment Agency, Forestry Commission, Greenspace, Groundwork UK, Land Restoration Trust, The National Trust, Natural England, RSPB, the Wildlife Trusts and the Woodland Trust. 3. Through this programme, it is Natural England’s ambition to create opportunities for people from all backgrounds to have greater access to our natural environment and bring a lasting change to their awareness and understanding as well as improved links to the natural world, which many of us can take for granted. 4. Access to Nature closed to applications in May 2010 but for further information about the programme visit www.naturalengland.org.uk/accesstonature 5. For further information about the Big Lottery Fund, its programmes and awards visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk

Friday, 25 March 2011

TEAM GREEN’S BIG MARGATE CLEAN

A new team of young people has been winning praise from residents for their work to clean up Margate, ready for the opening of Turner Contemporary.

Team Green, a group of 18-25 year old Future Jobs Fund workers have been working hard around Margate repairing, painting and tidying key sites. This is all part of the targeted programme of work to help prepare the town for the opening of Turner Contemporary on 16 April.
The work undertaken by the team has been vast and includes a complete overhaul of the Marine Shelter on the seafront, maintenance and garden work at the Winter Gardens and re-painting the toilets opposite the station. The team has also carried out a general tidy-up of a number of prominent open spaces such as Station Approach, the Market Street car park and the land behind Dreamland.

It’s not gone unnoticed, with comments from residents including “I like the way things are changing round here” and “Margate’s looking a lot cleaner now”. Local businessman Halis Koksal, who owns the Beano Café comments: “It’s great what’s been done by the lads so far. Lots of our customers have noticed the changes and have been commenting on what they see. We keep a little book to record all of the comments and then pass them back on to the team. It’s important to give credit where it’s due and it’s great to start seeing some real positive changes in the town.”
Not only taken on to improve the visual appearance of the town, Team Green has also provided skilled employment opportunities for a number of local young people. Chris Yates, 25 from Margate, and Adam Brooks, 24 from Margate, have both been working as part of Team Green for five months.

Chris said: “I’m really proud of the work we’ve done, especially the Marine Shelter, it’s made a big difference. Being part of Team Green has been a really good experience and it’s been great to get extra skills and training. I’ve completed two training courses, which will be great for the future”. Adam said: “It’s been good to put all the effort into the work we’ve done. It makes you feel better putting something back into the community and noticing the changes we’ve made. The painting we’ve done has really made a difference around the town”.
Neil Martin manages Team Green on site along with his brother Steve. Neil said: “It’s been really good working alongside the lads, they’ve been smashing and have put so much effort into everything they’ve done. It’s been a real mix of work from general tidy and clean ups to much more technical work. This started back in November so we’ve been out in all weathers. It’s great not only to see the difference the work is making, but getting good feedback and positive comments from the people who live and work here is fantastic”.
Director of the Margate Renewal Partnership, Derek Harding, said: “With the opening of Turner Contemporary likely to attract a significant amount of visitors, it’s vital Margate is prepared and looking its best. The work Team Green is doing is all part of a massive effort behind the scenes to ensure the town is ready for national and international attention. A huge amount of regeneration work has already taken place in the town, but we know there are still some key sites that need tackling. The team has been able to focus on those sites and has done a great job bringing them back to their former glory.”

MAKE AN EMPLOYMENT RESOLUTION

Anyone looking for work in Thanet can get a helping hand next month (April) with employment opportunities on offer from local businesses at Thanet’s Gateway Plus.
The New You Resolutions Employment Fair is being organised by Employ Thanet and forms part of the New Year, New You campaign to help people who want to make a change to their lives. Being held on Friday 15 April, between 10.00am and 3.00pm, it’s the follow-up to the Education and Employment Fair that took place at the Gateway at the start of March.

More than 280 local people came along to that to access a range of services to help them into employment. Of those, more than half visited Job Centre Plus, which provided information on vacancies currently on offer in Thanet and TNG, which designed training packages and provides employment advisors for people looking for work.

The Army provided information on careers in the armed forces, while Next Steps, which offers support on getting a job and planning your career, gave 30 people support with CV writing, job searches and completing applications.

Training providers, such as Adult Education, the Open University, SET, Key Training and SES Tutors had details of a wide range of courses, from numeracy and literacy to degrees.

There was also support for people with health issues, with Fit For Work, which works with people off work for between one and three months, helping to ensure that short term illness doesn’t become a longer term problem and lead to someone losing their job. The District Partnership Group were also on hand, who support people with learning disabilities to improve their confidence.

Gateway Manager, Stephen Meades, said: “We were delighted with the response we had to our Education and Employment Fair. We know there’s a real need in Thanet for this type of support and the numbers of people that came through the doors reflected that. At the moment, finding employment is a huge issue for so many people in Thanet and we’re keen to do what we can to help them. We obviously can’t guarantee a job at the Employment Fair, but we can guarantee lots of help and advice if you’re looking for work.”

Thursday, 24 March 2011

NEW NATIONAL RETAILER FOR MARGATE

Terms have been agreed with a national retailer with over 200 outlets nationwide to move into a key shopping site in the heart of central Margate.
Store Twenty One is a clothing and homeware retailer, with its closest stores in East Kent currently located in Deal and Dover.
They intend to move into the former Marks and Spencer building later this spring, which was purchased by Thanet District Council.
The council’s Director of Regeneration and Economic Development, Brian White, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming Store Twenty One to Margate. With the opening of Turner Contemporary in just a couple of weeks, it’s a real endorsement for the town to see a new national retailer coming to Margate. The reason that this building was purchased was to help kickstart Margate’s regeneration. We wanted to bring job and investment opportunities back into the heart of the town, by introducing modern retailing space. With the economic slowdown, that’s taken longer than we’d originally hoped, but this news is confirmation of what the council has been saying for a while, that Margate is back on its way up. It’s another aspect of all the exciting change the town is currently seeing.”

A spokesperson for Store Twenty One said: “We’re very excited about the new Store Twenty One opening we have planned nationwide, as part of our ongoing expansion to brighten up the British high street. As one of the UK’s fastest growing fashion and homeware retailers, we’re striving to redefine the face of value for the 21st century and aim to offer a variety for the whole family. The Margate store will stock ladies’, men’s and kids’ fashion, as well as homewares, so it’s definitely worth the visit!”

Work is due to start on fitting out the store later this month (March) with a planned opening later in the spring.

NEW LEASE OF LIFE FOR RAMSGATE ROUNDABOUT

A Ramsgate roundabout has been given a new lease of life, thanks to the council’s Environmental Action Programme.

The roundabout, located at the entrance to the Port of Ramsgate, had initially been planted with shrubs, but some had suffered in the windy conditions along the coastline. Sand being blown off the nearby beach had also built up on the roundabout.

To solve the problem, council officers used some timber, along with an anchor and some shipping rope from the Ramsgate Royal Harbour Marina to put together a feature on the roundabout, reflecting Ramsgate’s maritime connections.

Paul Verrall, Interim Parks Manager, said: “The new design aims to provide more of a feature to people arriving at or leaving from the Port of Ramsgate and those looking down from the clifftop promenade above. Not only does the design reflect the town’s continuing maritime connections, but as there no plants on the roundabout, it reduces the council’s ongoing maintenance costs. I’d like to thank our contractors who carried out the installation work on site and have made it look so good.”

CIRCUIT 26th March


CIRCUIT26th March 20114 – 9pm @ Dreamland car parkCircuit is an exhibition which proposes an alternative for Dreamland car park: an amazing disused heritage site.
Artists will transform the narrative of the site by exhibiting their work in and around their cars.You are invited to either arrive with work and park up with the other artists to take part in the show, or simply arrive to enjoy the spectacle!
Headlights will illuminate the gallery after dark!@ Dreamland car park, Belgrave Road Entrance, Margate Kent
Email pavilionprojects@me.com to find out about taking part.
before Circuit, please visit our show Open Objects @ Marine Studios 17 Albert Terrace, Margate, Kent CT91UJ

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Budget is a Welcome Boost to Families, Small Businesses and Charities

Sandys: Budget is a Welcome Boost to Families, Small Businesses and Charities
Following today’s budget, Laura Sandys, MP for South Thanet, Sandwich and the Villages said: “Whilst last year’s budget was intended to put the country’s finances on a stable footing, today’s budget is about listening to the needs of local people, driving growth and creating new jobs.

“For us in South Thanet where wages are very low we will gain more than most due to a higher proportion of working families being taken out of tax altogether. In the next couple of years we hope that everyone earning up to £10,000 will not pay tax at all. In addition I am very pleased that Enterprise Zones are being introduced and have some very strong support from the Treasury and other departments to try and secure this status for Thanet and Sandwich in the next few months.

“Today’s budget is a welcome relief to families, small businesses and charities across South Thanet. We should all welcome the move to pull the 1.1 million people on the lowest incomes out of paying tax altogether. This is fair, rewards work, and means that those that earn the most must pay the most. 330,000 small businesses will pay no rates at all.

“As someone who raises money for local charities by shaking a bucket outside supermarkets I am particularly pleased that the money raised across Thanet and Sandwich will now be able to gain from Gift Aid making our charitable giving go so much further.

“With amongst the highest priced petrol in the country, all of us across South Thanet should welcome the move to stop Labour’s planned petrol duty increase. I have campaigned extensively for this change and am delighted that – under the Coalition - petrol will be 6p cheaper than under Labour’s plans. This is a victory for families and small businesses alike.”

Key points within the budget:

Families
An extra £326 a year for hard working families, while over 1.1 million of the lowest paid have been taken out of tax altogether. This is really important for Thanet and Sandwich.

Petrol will be 6p cheaper than under Labour’s plans. 1 penny per litre cut in fuel duty from 6pm tonight, abolition of Labour’s fuel duty escalator and replacing it with a fair fuel stabiliser that increases tax on North Sea oil companies when production prices are high, and delaying inflation increases this year and next.

£250 million package for first-time buyers.

Council tax freeze will save every family £72 a year.

Small Businesses
A bonfire of regulation – regulations scrapped and Health and Safety measures made sensible.
Small businesses will pay less tax stimulating them to employ more people
An extension of the small business rate relief holiday– over half a million eligible businesses will continue to benefit from reductions in their bills, with approximately 330,000 businesses paying no rates at all.

Charities
Introduction of a new scheme where Gift Aid can be claimed on small donations, up to a total of £5,000 a year, without the need for donors to fill in any forms.
A 10% cut in inheritance tax for estates leaving 10% or more to charity. No beneficiaries will be better off, but we expect charities to gain £300 million.

Elderly
· £140 pension for all new retirees will be introduced in due course.

Pharmaceutical Industry

· An additional £100 million this year for new science facilities, and an increase in the SME rate of Research and Development Tax Credit to 200% from April 2011, and 225% from April 2012. This measure will provide opportunities for Pfizer employees to pursue their own business start-ups.

· The chance for the Pfizer site in Sandwich to apply to be one of 21 new Enterprise Zones with up to 100% business rate discount, new superfast broadband and the potential to use enhanced capital allowances for these zones.

FREE BUSINESS WORKSHOP

Improving the experience for visitors coming to Thanet is the focus of a free, one day workshop, being held in early April.

Thanet Tourism and Visit Kent have joined forces to provide this training opportunity for prospective and existing providers of both guest house and B&B accommodation.

Organised as part of the Countdown to Turner Programme, the workshop will look at how to give guests a quality experience and will identify how making small, low cost changes can significantly enhance the quality and competitiveness of your business.

As well as providing guidance on the National Accommodation Quality Assurance Scheme, a mock quality assessment of the four star, silver award Devonhurst will also form part of the workshop. The workshop will take place at the Devonhurst in Broadstairs on Wednesday 6 April, between 10.30am and 3.30pm.

Director of the Margate Renewal Partnership, Derek Harding said: “This free workshop is a great opportunity for local B&B’s and guest houses in the area. Whether you’re a new business just looking to start up, or already provide accommodation, then this workshop is the ideal way to find out how to provide a quality experience for your guests. As the opening of Turner Contemporary on 16 April is set to see a dramatic increase in visitor numbers to the area, there has never been a more important time to ensure that your business is prepared.”

The workshop is free and includes lunch on the day. Numbers are limited, so any businesses interested in attending should reserve a place as soon as possible either by e-mailing georgia.mannering@kent.gov.uk or calling 01622 696935.

LAST CHANCE TO SEE THANET ON FILM!

This month sees the last chance to see the Thanet On Film II, the phenomenally popular film which explores the Isle of Thanet’s past, present and future.

The film has been showing in cinemas across Thanet since November 2010 – but the screenings are now coming to an end.

“We hadn’t been intending to show the film again,” said producer Christine Tongue, “But there has been such huge interest, we just wanted to make sure that everyone who wants to see it has the chance,” Christine said.

The film features footage of Broadstairs in the 1920s and Ramsgate and Margate through the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.

But people aren’t just going out of nostalgia, said Christine.

“Many people go to see the old days when the beaches were packed,” she said, “but lots are just as interested to see how things have changed in recent times and the prospects for the future.”

“With the opening of the Turner Centre and the revival in the popularity of holidays in Britain we may be standing on the brink of great new things for Thanet,” said Christine, “The film offers great evidence for what could be done here, if people make an effort.”

Christine is already working on the next edition of Thanet on Film and is inviting people to send in ideas. “These films stand or fall by the contribution of local people,” Christine said, “We would love to hear from people who have pictures of old Thanet, old movies or even just interesting memories.”

There will be afternoon screenings of the Ramsgate version of the film in the Granville Cinema at 7.30pm on Thursday 31st March. To book, ring the Granville on 01843 591750.

In addition there will be a special showing of the Margate version of the film at the Ursuline College, Westgate-on-Sea, on Wednesday 30th March at 7pm. This will be open to the public but booking is advisable, telephone 01843 834431

Pictures attached. For more details and pictures, and a 90 second trailer for “Thanet On Film”, telephone Christine Tongue on 01843 604253 or email inmeds@yahoo.co.uk.

Youtube trailer is on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCo7H2a3F-M

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

THANET'S HISTORIC BANNER TO GO ON LONDON MARCH

An historic banner created for trades unions in Thanet will take to see action again this Saturday (March 26h) in a national march against cuts to public services and public sector jobs.

The banner was designed for Thanet Trades Union Council in the 1970s by an artist based in Broadstairs.

After the Thanet TUC ceased operation, the banner was thought lost. But now the group, which promotes links between trade unions in Thanet, has been revived and the banner has been discovered, dusted down and got ready to go on the big march.

Filiz McNamara, a retired health worker living in Broadstairs, said she will be proud to walk behind the banner.

“It is an impressive piece of work, and will certainly make an impact. People from Thanet, whether they are trade unionists or not, should all feel good to walk behind this banner. It’s great news that the banner has been found and will be with us on the march.”

Filiz, a member of the Anti Cuts Thanet group, believes people across Thanet should come and join the march. She said: “The government cuts are going to hit the poorest parts of the country worst, so Thanet is going to be particularly badly affected.
“People working for the public sector are going to lose their jobs, but important public services are going to be lost or cut back

Anyone interested in getting involved in fighting the cuts can contact ACT at anticutsthanet@gmail.com or join the Anti Cuts Thanet Facebook group.

Monday, 21 March 2011

NEW HOME FOR VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE

Thanet’s Visitor Information Centre is moving into a new home, next to Margate’s newest tourist attraction.

The VIC, which is run by Thanet District Council, will move into the Droit House, next to Turner Contemporary, and is due to open to the public on Friday 1 April at 10.00am. The current VIC, which is located along the Parade in Margate will close at 5.00pm on Thursday 31 March.

Principal Visitors Services Officer, David Gonzalez, said: “This move makes sense for so many different reasons. Not only will our visitor information team be ideally placed to take full advantage of the additional visitors Turner will bring into Margate, but the centre will also be visible from the beach and the move will ensure the continued use of one of the town’s historic buildings.”

The centre will continue to provide information about visiting Thanet as a whole, with the team taking their Mobile Visitor Information Centre out to events throughout 2011. In addition, 12 Key Information Points around Thanet have information available for visitors to the area. Visitor Ambassadors are also being trained up to help ensure that visitors have an excellent experience when they come to Thanet.

Until Sunday 10 April, the Visitor Information Centre is open from Tuesdays until Saturdays from 10.00am to 5.00pm each day. From Monday 11 April, it will be open at the same times seven days a week during the summer season.

PARK DECISION RAISES DOUBTS ABOUT BROADSTAIRS TOWN COUNCIL

The decision to build a £1.4 million community centre in Broadstairs Pierremont Park raises serious questions about the role of the town's council, according to a local resident.

At a packed public meeting held last Friday (March 18th) many voices were raised against the new development."Many residents were horrified to learn that the building of the new centre, will be funded largely by Broadstairs Town Council, and that the council has raised a loan of £500,000 to start the project. Including interest payments this means our tiny town council is going to be paying out over £800,000.

"What will happen if the town council is unable to meet the repayments on the loan? Why on earth is the council pushing ahead with a controversial project at a time of major cuts in public spending?"Mr Thomas added. "If we have a town council which is making such barmy decisions, the question has to be asked, do we need the town council?"Many residents are angry with the building of the new centre in the park which will mean the cutting down of 18-20 trees - but the soundness of the town council's spending decision was also questioned."Many people came to me after the meeting," said Mr Thomas, "and asked what we can do about the town council.

Local government is supposed to increase democracy, this council seems to be trying to subvert democracy, to build a trophy project for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many."One of the major original justifications for the building of the new decision was the housing of Broadstairs Age UK (formerly Age Concern) - but the council has revealed they will now NOT be a tenant of the building.

"This is an appalling situation," said Mr Thomas. "Ramsgate Age UK has already been wound up because Thanet Council has put their rent up, and Broadstairs Age UK now has nowhere go. It looks like elderly people in need of vital services will have to travel to Margate - which is totally unacceptable."

"These decisions call into question the whole motivation behind the building of the centre. It's not about serving the community. -- it's about self-glorification of the council," Mr Thomas said.Protestors against the park are now planning further moves, including legal action and a possible occupation of the park. Pics attached. For more info or pictures contact Norman Thomas, 01843 604253

New 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


17 Mar 2011
F/TH/11/0061
115 CANTERBURY ROAD WESTGATE-ON-SEA CT88NW
current
17 Mar 2011
A/TH/11/0135
EAST KENT RETAIL PARK WESTWOOD ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT102RQ
current
17 Mar 2011
A/TH/11/0180
LAND ADJACENT TO PETROL FILLING STATION TOTHILL STREET MINSTER
current
17 Mar 2011
DM/TH/11/0048
13 HIGHFIELD CLOSE RAMSGATE CT126QN
decided
17 Mar 2011
F/TH/11/0173
LAND ADJOINING 16 STATION ROAD WESTGATE ON SEA
current
17 Mar 2011
F/TH/11/0176
15 ALBION PLACE RAMSGATE CT118HQ
current
17 Mar 2011
F/TH/11/0183
THE KINGS HEAD INN, CANTERBURY ROAD, SARRE, BIRCHINGTON, CT7 0JY
current
17 Mar 2011
F/TH/11/0189
27 ADDINGTON STREET RAMSGATE CT119JL
current
17 Mar 2011
L/TH/10/0974
THE KINGS HEAD INN, CANTERBURY ROAD, SARRE, BIRCHINGTON, CT7 0JY
current
17 Mar 2011
L/TH/11/0181
15 ALBION PLACE RAMSGATE CT118HQ
current
17 Mar 2011
L/TH/11/0190
27 ADDINGTON STREET RAMSGATE CT119JL
current
16 Mar 2011
A/TH/11/0179
LAND ADJACENT TO PETROL FILLING STATION TOTHILL STREET MINSTER
current
16 Mar 2011
F/TH/10/1020
28 HIGH STREET BROADSTAIRS CT101LH
current
16 Mar 2011
F/TH/11/0141
131-141 KING STREET, RAMSGATE, CT11 8PN
current
16 Mar 2011
F/TH/11/0167
71-79 HIGH STREET BROADSTAIRS CT101NQ
current
16 Mar 2011
F/TH/11/0174
5 GLOUCESTER AVENUE MARGATE CT93NN
current
16 Mar 2011
F/TH/11/0186
300 CANTERBURY ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT79UD
current
16 Mar 2011
F/TH/11/0187
42 WEST DUMPTON LANE RAMSGATE CT117DG
current
16 Mar 2011
F/TH/11/0191
ST. GEORGES CLIFF PROMENADE BROADSTAIRS CT103QY
current
16 Mar 2011
L/TH/11/0082
15 MARKET PLACE MARGATE CT91ES
current
15 Mar 2011
A/TH/11/0155
FORT ROAD HOTEL 18 FORT ROAD MARGATE CT91HF
current
15 Mar 2011
A/TH/11/0178
LAND AT MINSTER ROUNDABOUT TOTHILL STREET MINSTER CT124AY
current
15 Mar 2011
F/TH/11/0124
RED LODGE THE PARADE BIRCHINGTON CT79LX
current
15 Mar 2011
F/TH/11/0139
SOUTHWOOD TAVERN 119 SOUTHWOOD ROAD RAMSGATE CT110AZ
current
15 Mar 2011
F/TH/11/0140
16 THE VALE BROADSTAIRS CT101RB
current
15 Mar 2011
F/TH/11/0171
14 ROSSETTI ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT79ER
current
15 Mar 2011
F/TH/11/0184
88 MARGATE ROAD RAMSGATE CT117SQ
current

New documents published by Thanet District Council

22/03/2011 - Meeting scheduled: Mar 22 2011 10:00AM, Licensing Sub Committee

22/03/2011 - Meeting scheduled: Mar 22 2011 9:30AM, East Kent Joint Scrutiny Committee

18/03/2011 - Minutes published: Meeting of Mar 16 2011 10:00AM, East Kent Joint Arrangements Committee

18/03/2011 - Agenda supplement published - Supplementary Agenda : Supplementary Agenda: Meeting of Mar 22 2011 9:30AM, East Kent Joint Scrutiny Committee

18/03/2011 - Meeting held: Mar 18 2011 9:00AM, Senior Officer Appointments Panel

17/03/2011 - Meeting held: Mar 17 2011 7:00PM, Cabinet

17/03/2011 - Issue Published: Margate FC Development

17/03/2011 - Publication of plan: Forward Plan for period from 1 April 2011 to 1 October 2011; Cabinet

17/03/2011 - Agenda published: Meeting of Mar 22 2011 9:30AM, East Kent Joint Scrutiny Committee

16/03/2011 - Meeting held: Mar 16 2011 7:00PM, Planning Committee
1
6/03/2011 - Meeting held: Mar 16 2011 10:00AM, East Kent Joint Arrangements Committee

15/03/2011 - Meeting held: Mar 15 2011 6:30PM, Governance and Audit Committee

15/03/2011 - Minutes published: Meeting of Mar 3 2011 6:00PM, Standards Committee

BUSINESS BREAKFAST EVENT

Are you ready for Turner? That’s the question being put to local businesses.

With the opening of Turner Contemporary expected to attract thousands of visitors to the area, a business breakfast meeting is being held for businesses based in Margate, Northdown Road and Westbrook. Being held at Turner Contemporary on Tuesday 29 March from 7.00am until 8.30am, it’s a chance to find out all about the plans in the final four weeks before the gallery opens on Saturday 16 April.

Vice Chair of the Turner Contemporary Trust, Clive Stevens will be offering a sneak peek of what visitors to Turner can expect in its opening week. There will also be updates on the events set to take place in Margate and how the council is planning to help clean up the town.

This meeting is part of a series of events which have been organised in association with Margate Town Partnership specifically for local businesses in the run up to the opening of Turner Contemporary.

If you are a business based in Margate, Northdown Road or Westbrook and would like to attend, please e-mail sharon.sebastian@thanet.gov.uk or call 01843 577182.

Director of the Margate Renewal Partnership, Derek Harding, said: “It’s so important to talk to and involve local businesses in the exciting count down to the opening of Turner Contemporary. Having a world famous art gallery in the town is likely to generate a significant increase in visitor numbers which will have an impact on local businesses. I hope that anyone with a business in the Margate area will take this opportunity to find out more and look forward to seeing them there”.

For more information on the plans for Margate please go to www.thisismargate.co.uk

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Pfizer Taskforce Report

Please find the report at: https://shareweb.kent.gov.uk/Documents/News/pfizer-30day-report.pdf

15 March 2011

Following the announcement of Pfizer in February that it will exit its research and development facility at Sandwich, in East Kent, by the end of 2012, the Sandwich Economic Development Task Force today delivered its initial 30 day report.

The report, requested by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Minister of State for Universities and Science, makes recommendations which will stimulate business growth and employment in East Kent, including in Sandwich.

The opportunities of transition

The Sandwich Economic Task Force has identified five phases of action, moving from an immediate focus on preserving jobs and activity on the site through to the longer term delivery of wider opportunities for East Kent:
· Phase 1: Pfizer’s efforts to attract contract research organisations (CROs) to the site will hopefully result in the transfer of assets and staff. Pfizer is currently in detailed and commercial in confidence negotiations with a number of CROs, which could provide a positive basis around which further economic activity and job opportunities can be generated,
· Phase 2: Building on a CRO core, further opportunities to attract venture capital investment in new business start-ups,
· Phase 3: Over the medium term, a range of options for additional R&D and other high-tech activity (for example in food sciences, aviation and environmental technology) at Sandwich, Manston and the East Kent Assisted Area,
· Phase 4: Looking beyond Pfizer’s exit in 2012, consideration of longer term ownership and management options for the future of the site and links with neighbouring locations to provide a core of other high-value activity,
· Phase 5: Delivery of a longer term strategy for the future of East Kent.

Solutions and recommendation

The task force must now maintain momentum and is focusing activity in three main areas.

Firstly, action must be taken quickly to support the staff, contractors and communities directly affected by Pfizer’s exit.


Secondly, we recommend that Government designates the Sandwich, Manston and key sites within the East Kent Assisted Area as a Research, Innovation and Technology Zone (RITZ).

Thirdly, we need these incentives to be supplemented by investment in critical infrastructure, jobs and skills to support substantial economic growth. We therefore recommend the creation of an East Kent Recovery and Growth Package, to add value to the RITZ, building on Assisted Area status.


Moving forward

.
In particular, the task force will:
· Complete work to understand the impacts of Pfizer’s exit and wider economic change in East Kent, incorporating the outcomes in our next report to Government,
· Establish a Skills and Employment Sub-Group to align national, local and European programmes and funds and investigate the potential for additional resources. The sub-group will hold its first meeting on 17 March,
· Co-ordinate the contribution of the higher education sector to support the retention and expansion of the East Kent knowledge base,
· Build on the current work between Locate in Kent and Pfizer to co-ordinate a marketing and inward investment strategy for the area, establishing a closer understanding of the product and its unique selling points,
· Investigate the full costs and benefits of the proposed Research, Innovation and Technology Zone,
· Develop an integrated approach to the wider economic growth of East Kent, to support the Recovery and Growth Package, building on the work achieved to date in advancing proposals for significant transport improvements focused on the enhancement of high speed rail.

MP for South Thanet Laura Sandys said:

“The publication of the task force report - just 30 days after Pfizer’s announced exit - is an ambitious and necessary step following Pfizer’s withdrawal from an area which already has a fragile economy. At the heart of the report are recommendations for finding ways that staff and the wider community, affected are supported.

“Having learnt from examples of best practice from other companies’ withdrawals, the task force believes that the designation of Sandwich, Manston and key sites within East Kent as a Research, Innovation and Technology Zone could help stabilise the site and create new employment opportunities. This aspiring proposition could see Sandwich and East Kent building on its existing skills base and leading the way in global enterprise, science and technology.

“To realise this vision, Government must sustain its momentum. It could consider offering economic incentives to businesses relocating to the site and might also acknowledge that improving transport links to Thanet and Deal would make East Kent far more attractive to investors. Along with my colleagues on the Taskforce and local East Kent MPs, I will work tirelessly to attract new businesses to the site and support existing Pfizer staff with any business start up ideas they might have.”

FINE FOR GARAGE OVER DUMPED RUBBISH IN ACOL

A company running a garage has been fined and ordered to pay for the council’s clear-up costs, after pleading guilty to failing to take reasonable care to prevent rubbish being dumped in Acol.

A council officer was called to a fly tipping incident along Plumstone Road in October 2009 and discovered a large amount of what looked like trade waste from a garage. Amongst the items found was packaging from clutch kits and windscreen wipers.

Paperwork addressed to Westbere MOT Centre in Island Road, Hersden, was found amongst the rubbish.

The company was sent a number of letters by the council, inviting a representative in for an interview under caution. These offers were declined, and legal proceedings were started by the council.

The company pleaded guilty to leaving controlled waste in a vehicle that was subsequently sold, with this rubbish then dumped in the lay-by in Acol. They were fined £150 and ordered to pay £100 towards the prosecution costs. A compensation order was also made for the council’s clear-up costs, which totaled £432.97.

Community Safety Manager, Mark Richardson, said: “A lot of hard work went into this investigation and I’m delighted that it resulted in a successful prosecution. As we’ve often said before, the council doesn’t dump rubbish, but we’re the ones left clearing it up and counting the cost. In this case, it’s good to see the council can now reclaim the money we spent clearing up this illegally dumped rubbish.”

Friday, 18 March 2011

COUNCIL PRIORITIES FOR NEXT YEAR UNVEILED

Supporting the Turner Contemporary and Margate Old Town, improving the housing market in Cliftonville and developing the new Ramsgate pool and spa are set to be key projects for the council over the next year.

The council’s Cabinet last night (Thursday 17 March) looked at plans for an Interim Corporate Plan, which sets out priorities for the next year.

The plan is divided up to into four themes – prosperity, place, people and performance - with different projects under each. Only projects which already have money allocated to them have been included in the plan. The projects include:

Producing and consulting on a Ramsgate Port Master Plan
Supporting Turner Contemporary and Margate Old Town
Securing funding and ownership of the Dreamland site through a Compulsory Purchase Order
Supporting the expansion of windfarm operations at the Port of Ramsgate
Starting work on the Margate flood defences
Improving the housing market in Cliftonville
Delivering 65 affordable homes in Thanet
Developing the new Ramsgate pool and spa
Supporting Oasis in establishing a one stop shop for victims of domestic abuse
Carrying out 10 Operation Cleansweeps
Delivering a balanced budget for 2012/13 and an indicative balanced medium term financial plan for 2012-16
Replacing the cremator furnace
Looking at the feasibility of starting a commercial waste collection

Corporate Resources Manager, Sarah Carroll, said: “This sets out our main goals and priorities for our residents over the next year. With all of them, we’ve already set aside money to ensure we can do what we’re promising, even in the current tough financial climate. Despite the economic situation, there’s still plenty for us to achieve in the next 12 months and much for residents to look forward to.”

The Interim Corporate Plan will now go forward to a meeting of full Council for approval. A new four year Corporate Plan, running from 2012 until 2016, will be developed over the next year.