Friday, 28 September 2012


Cllr Clive Hart - TDC Leader

As the TDC Leader I need to know that the council is delivering the best value for residents that it can and a pay structure review is a part of council business which is undertaken by many authorities and is correctly undertaken by the Chief Executive of the council, as part of her delegated authority. 

I am confident that the Chief Executive will carry out this review in a professional manner, but this is just the beginning of a 90 day consultation and it is not at all helpful for anyone outside of these negotiations to second guess just how the final scheme will appear.

In any event I am assured that the structure being consulted on does not propose any increase to the pay of the most senior staff within TDC, that it seeks to impact as few staff as possible and that everything possible will be done to protect those who are impacted.

We are obviously keeping a very close watching eye on negotiations but we are in the early stages of the consultation process which is quite rightly between the Chief Executive, the Unions and the staff.

Our Labour administration has an excellent relationship with our staff and we support them in any way we can to ensure that services are delivered in a way which reflects our vision and priorities.

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

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

20th September Thanet District Council meeting webcast,

here is the link to the council's page

to download the video file right click on this link and select save target as or save file

It will take anything from about 5 to 30 mins to download and then can be opened in various media players VLC probably being the most versatile free one without advertising problems and is available from

This may make what is a very poor quality file just about watchable to the point where it is possible to identify some of the speakers and means that you can watch it in sections as you have time. 

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

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 

Date Published*Application No.AddressStatus
25 Sep 2012F/TH/12/0725174 PERCY AVENUE BROADSTAIRS CT103LFcurrent
21 Sep 2012F/TH/12/070682 HIGH STREET RAMSGATE CT119RXcurrent
21 Sep 2012F/TH/12/071594 RUMFIELDS ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT102PQcurrent
21 Sep 2012F/TH/12/07171 QUEX VIEW ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT70DZcurrent
19 Sep 2012F/TH/12/074612 ZION PLACE, MARGATE, CT9 1RPcurrent
17 Sep 2012F/TH/12/081822 ALBION STREET, BROADSTAIRS, CT10 1LUcurrent
17 Sep 2012L/TH/12/081922 ALBION STREET, BROADSTAIRS, CT10 1LUcurrent
10 Sep 2012A/TH/12/069536-42 MARINE TERRACE, MARGATE, KENT, CT9 1XJcurrent
10 Sep 2012F/TH/12/069773 DANE ROAD, MARGATE, CT9 2AEcurrent
10 Sep 2012A/TH/12/069394 HIGH STREET BROADSTAIRS CT101JJcurrent

New documents published by Thanet District Council,

Thanet District Council licensing applications,

Name of Applicant / ClubAddress of Premises / ClubNature of application. New or variationProposed licensable activities / or proposed variationDate by which representations may be made
(no less than 28 days after date received)
Ryan Day           No 23
23 High Street, Broadstairs CT10 1LP
VariationAdditional hours for live and recorded music26 September 2012
Baines Bigg & Hyman LtdRamsgate Music Hall, 13 Turner Street, Ramsgate CT11 8NJNew premises licence applicationSupply of alcohol, regulated entertainment and late night refreshment26 September 2012
Kevin Harding/Andrew Pook                                 3 Charlotte Street, Broadstairs CT10 1LR               New premises licence applicationSupply of alcohol27 September 2012
Great British Pizza Company Ltd14A Marine Drive, Margate CT9 1DHNew premises licence applicationSupply of alcohol and regulated entertainment03 October 2012
Mrs Gillian Rozel SharpeBelvidere Place, 43 Belvedere Road, Broadstairs CT10 1PFNew premises licence applicationSupply of alcohol, regulated entertainment and late night refreshment12 October 2012
WaitroseQueen Street, Ramsgate CT11 9EJVariationAdditional hours for the supply of alcohol11 October 2012
Blakemore Retail LimitedSpar Retail Unit 7 St Johns
Crescent Newington Ramsgate
New premises licence applicationSupply of alcohol22nd October 2012
Adrian John Mowl  Café The East Pier Ramsgate
Royal Harbour Ramsgate
New premises licence applicationregulated entertainment
late night refreshment
supply of alcohol
22nd October 2012

Friday, 21 September 2012


An event to call for the protection of the NHS in Thanet is being held in Ramsgate Town Centre at 11.30am this Saturday September 22.

The event is being called by the Broadstairs based group Save Our Health Service in association with Thanet Trades Union Council and Anti-Cuts Thanet.

Christine Tongue of Save Our Health Service said: “There are increasing worries over cuts in services in QEQM hospital and the coming changes to GP practices and other health services across Thanet.”

She added: “This is a chance for people to come together and register their concerns.  We still don’t know how much will be cut in the services we rely on, but we know that there will be cuts. The less noise we make the deeper the cuts will be.

“The danger is that unless we stand up and be counted now, it will be too late.”

Christine won’t say exactly what will be happening on the day, but says it will involve a hospital bed.

More details ring Christine on 01843 604 253 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Leader's Report to Council - 20th September

From Cllr Clive Hart - TDC Leader.

Fellow councillors:

This evening I'd like to focus on priority 10 of our recently published corporate plan. 'Influencing the work of other agencies to ensure the best outcomes for Thanet'.

As well as our core purpose - providing services directly to local residents and businesses, the council also plays a key leadership role for our district.

We are committed to working in partnership with other agencies to ensure that local people in Thanet get the best possible outcomes.

We also take a strategic view of the issues facing local people and we need to be prepared to actively challenge and influence other service providers, encouraging them to develop their services in such a way that best meet the needs of people here in Thanet.

We will always ensure our influence is exerted based on the best information available and through genuine public consultation. We will also lobby on regional matters that have implications for the people of Thanet.

Through our community safety partnerships and daily work with the Police we are in constant dialogue with the authority providing our safety and security here in Thanet. Indeed, just as she does locally day in - day out, Cllr Johnston will no doubt make sure the new Police Commissioner for Kent is aware of the issues our residents are facing and I can think of no better person to bring to account whoever is elected to the role. As our Cabinet Member for Community Services, Cllr Johnston will be our representative on the new Crime Panel.

Cllr Johnston is also keeping a very close eye on our local NHS and recent developments with Thanet Leisure Force.

Cllr David Green is currently working closely with education providers on issues around the provision of future school places her in Thanet.

At the East Kent Regeneration Board I am currently working with our officers, KCC and our neighbouring district authorities to further Thanet's interests through the emerging East Kent Growth Plan.

We most certainly do not duck difficult or sensitive situations either:

As a council we are now seen as a progressive authority thanks to our decision on equal marriage and on one particular contentious issue we have taken a very clear stance and I cannot thank Cllrs Fenner and Poole enough for their tenacity in relation to live animal exports through the port of Ramsgate.

When the Live Animal Exports re-started in May 2011 at Ramsgate Port, we were in opposition at Thanet District Council and we expressed our repulsion of the trade by putting a motion to Council to seek all legal avenues in order to stop it.This motion was agreed unanimously.

When we became the ruling administration here at TDC we vowed we would continue the fight against the trade, using the legal framework and showing a zero tolerance of any infringement of the welfare of animals.

The rigorous action and determination of Cllrs Fenner and Poole meant that the lorries were inspected very thoroughly, as they should. It then became apparent that on several occasions the lorries or the animals were unfit for further travel.

This led to our decision to suspend the trade in live animal exports out of Ramsgate Port on the ground that it does not have adequate facilities to care for the animals and that there is no control post nearby to take them.

The suspension of this awful trade shows that we take our responsibility seriously and that we are not afraid of taking the necessary actions, using the legal framework to pursue our aims.

We stood for election on our Manifesto which stated that we would defend the rights of animals. We fought for this to happen when we were in Opposition and we are delivering now that we are the ruling administration.

However, I'm afraid I have to report to council one particular issue on which we have failed to gain any influence whatsoever, despite our hardest efforts and the support of KCC Leader Paul Carter and his KCC Cabinet Members Mike Hill and Alex King. Through the Kent Forum and the East Kent Joint Arrangements Committee Cllr Poole and I pleaded with the KCC Leadership to help us create a Locality Board for Thanet just as they have done in almost every other district in Kent and they appeared very happy to help.

Unfortunately, the fact is, intransigence on the part of local Conservative county councillors has thwarted all our very best joint efforts and consequently this council is being deprived of cooperation and influence it so dearly deserves on a whole raft of issues affecting our residents. I can only assume this is being done for petty political reasons but the consequence is a district already distanced geographically from Maidstone being distanced further in numerous other ways through the selfish actions of some very misguided individuals.

When negotiations began on a Locality Board for Thanet I was informed that it should be made up of an equal number of County and District councillors. I was also informed that the Chairman should be the District Leader (unpaid) and that a County Member (paid) would be Co or Vice Chair. I was entirely content with those requirements as it meant TDC would have proper representation.

Furthermore, in order to help reduce any 'fears' that County members might have regarding cooperation, we held a preliminary - shadow - meeting to discuss the future of youth services here in Thanet. All went well, good debate took place and conclusions were arrived at. Certainly not one heated or confrontational moment during the whole process.

However, despite this clear success, I was later informed that our local County members still appeared to dislike their own KCC suggested numbers on the board.

After many weeks I finally got a meeting arranged with the Co Chair where he outlined further the concerns over the numbers representing each authority. In a last-ditched attempt to save the negotiations I offered to reduce the number of District councillors on a prospective Locality Board to six - being our TDC Cabinet. That made it eight County Councillors and six District Councillors but even more importantly seven Labour and seven Conservative - perfect you would think.

NOT SO - rejected completely by a meeting of Thanet Conservative County Councillors in a letter I'm holding here that gives no reasons as to why.

I therefore sadly report to council that after several months of extremely good natured and very polite negotiations, despite our very best efforts and those of Paul Carter, Mike Hill and Alex King at KCC, thanks to the intransigence of several local individuals, this council will not to be involved in a Locality Board for Thanet.

The only apparent benefit for Thanet appears to be any allowance that is being paid to the Conservative Co Chair by KCC.

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

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


More than 500 properties have been visited in Margate Central ward as part of the latest Operation Cleansweep.

Taking place on Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 September, the multi-agency Cleansweep concentrated on the town’s Milton Avenue, Byron Avenue and St Peter’s Road.

One tonne of rubbish was removed from alleyways between the avenues by teams from Kent Probation Community Payback teams. And at some properties, the council’s private sector housing teams will be making follow-up enquiries to investigate waste accumulation problems.

As with many Cleansweep operations, KCC attendance officers were present, offering advice to parents and guardians not at school. Families who had not long been resident in the UK were also offered advice.

Kent Fire and Rescue representatives attended the Cleansweep, giving advice to residents in more than 50 properties. This resulted in arrangements to make follow-up calls to several properties.
Some residents were also offered advice by the council dog warden, and Kent Police investigated allegations of anti-social behaviour. And five cars were also reported as having no valid vehicle tax.

Thanet District Council’s Cabinet Member for Commercial Services, Cllr Alan Poole, said: “Operation Cleansweep has once again proved its worth by making a positive difference to the local community.
“Each and every Cleansweep has enabled the council and its partner agencies to tackle a whole array of different problems that can blight an area.”

He added: “But the Cleansweeps are not just about enforcement. They also give us the opportunity to offer advice and reassurance to residents, and make everyone’s quality of life that little bit better.” 


As the summer season draws to a close, those involved with Thanet’s tourism industry are looking back on a particularly successful year.

For the months of July and August alone, footfall at Thanet District Council’s Visitor Information Centre in Margate showed a 25 per cent increase on last year. And figures for the beginning of January to the end of August were 49 per cent up.  Similar high numbers of visitors came to the Broadstairs and Ramsgate kiosks.

This increase has also been reflected on the internet, with the number of visitors to registering 662,994. August figures were the highest ever at 127,381.
This year’s national events contributed to local activity and celebrations. And these were complemented by the Dickens and Pugin Bicentenaries which brought more interest in Thanet.   

Targeted marketing activity in the summer saw UK and international journalists who attended the London Games come on a day trip to Margate. And the summer season also witnessed the launch of a new iphone app to promote Thanet’s beaches and bays. This was supported by the distribution of 25,000 postcards.

Other marketing included an image of Margate and Turner Contemporary being produced as part of Visit Kent’s ‘Kent Contemporary’ campaign. This image has been displayed at key London public railways stations, including Waterloo, Ashford and Ebbsfleet International and Tube stations. It has also featured as part of the national ‘Great’ campaign.

And when visitors arrive in Thanet, they can be sure of a warm welcome, with more than 60 ‘Visitor Ambassadors’ recruited and trained to provide information and service with a smile.
All areas of Thanet have been covered in the marketing promotions, ensuring that as many people as possible have access to local information. The mobile Visitor Information Centre van has been to the Quex Vintage Fair, Wings and Wheels at RAF Manston and the Dickens Festival in Broadstairs.

Thanet District Council’s Cabinet Member for Commercial Services, Cllr Iris Johnston, said: “With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and London 2012, many people have been celebrating a spectacular year. And this ‘feel-good factor’ has meant good news for Thanet, where we’ve seen a very impressive increase in visitor numbers.”

She added: “I’d like to congratulate all those who work in Thanet’s tourism industry for working so hard, and making visitors so welcome.  Those who run our local attractions have set a wonderful example and I know that our tourism industry is developing a magnificent future.”
Karen Botha, Director, Quex Museum, House and Gardens, said: “Powell-Cotton Museum, Quex House and Gardens has enjoyed a fantastic 2012 season.  A series of museum exhibitions and the launch of our garden restoration project have successfully attracted more visitors. In fact we welcomed an additional 4,500 visitors between April and the end of August this year than for the same time period last year.”

Nick Cole, Operations Director and General Manager at Hornby said: “The Hornby Visitor Centre in 2012 has continued to surpass our expectations in terms of visitors and revenue, despite the many distractions from national events during the summer. Our Airfix ‘Make and Paint’ activity has proved hugely successful attracting young and old to the centre and we are working very hard with our partners to increase the number of visits by schools.”

Tuesday, 18 September 2012


Margate Adult Education Centre, Hawley Square



·         Life Drawing – beginners (code: 4199 MAR-12-A)

Wednesday mornings (1000-1230) for fifteen weeks starting: 3rd October. Price: £210

Note: experienced and advanced students are also welcome and catered for on this course.


·         Life Drawing (code: 4283 MAR-12-A)

Thursday evenings (1900-2100) for ten weeks starting: 27th September. Price: £109


·         A Day of Life Drawing (code: 4199 MAR-12-B)

Saturday 10th November (1000-1600). Price: £38


Enrol in person at any Adult Education Centre or phone: 0845 6065606

(concessions available for some courses)



Margate Adult Education Centre is in the town centre on ‘The Loop’ bus service route and close to Cecil Sq (for buses to Canterbury) and just 5 minutes walk from the train station.


You can find examples of Roy Eastland’s drawings on his drawing blog (‘Roy Eastland Drawing’) at:

Monday, 17 September 2012


Following its recent decision to investigate upgrading skate parks to provide new facilities in all three major towns, Thanet District Council will be seeking the views of local people.
The council’s Cabinet gave its backing to look into skate park upgrading on 23 August, following requests from local skateboarders and a petition to Full Council on 12 July.
Nic Powley, the UK Skate Association’s Chairman, will be helping out during the launch of the consultation period, that will see the launch of three focus groups – one each for Broadstairs, Margate and Ramsgate.
The focus groups will be specifically aimed at people who take part in the various skate disciplines, including skateboarding and BMX riding. Residents who live near skate parks will also be asked for their views in separate meetings to be arranged soon.
Each focus group will be held at key skate locations around Thanet, enabling skate park users to meet and discuss proposals in an appropriate and informal environment.
The focus group meetings will form the start of the ongoing consultation process, designed to ensure that the council delivers what skate parks users need and making sure the plans work for the wider community as well.  
The council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, Cllr Iris Johnston, said: “If we’re to invest in the future of Thanet’s skate parks, we have to make sure that we’re providing the right facilities for the right users. And that’s why we’re committed to a thorough consultation process and have called upon the assistance of the UK Skate Association.
“By involving skate park users and local residents, we can gain an invaluable insight that will influence our decision-making process.”
The focus group meetings will take place at the following locations: Monday 17 September, Broadstairs Memorial Recreation Ground tennis courts, 6pm; Tuesday 18 September, Hartsdown Park skate park, Margate, 6pm; Wednesday 19 September, Warre Recreation Ground skate park, Ramsgate, 6pm.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Laura Sandys Meets With Minister To Call For A Ban On Live Animal Exports

n light of the appalling events in Ramsgate Harbour in the past 24 hours Laura Sandys MP held an emergency meeting with the Minister of State for Animal Welfare, David Heath MP, and the Chief Executive of the RSCPA.  In the meeting she called for an immediate ban on the live animal export trade from Ramsgate.
"The Council has also done the right thing and i commend them for closing Ramsgate Port to animal transportation and i am asking the Minister to support this move.

Laura Sandys said “I was horrified when I heard the news yesterday, however I have since had a positive meeting with the Minister and I am confident that the Government is cracking down on this unnecessary and barbaric trade.  After showing him the horrific photos from the scene of the incident, David Heath MP made it very clear to me that his Department regards the situation at Ramsgate as completely unacceptable and will be taking a zero tolerance approach to any infringement of the live animal export trade regulations.

“I was very pleased to hear that the Minister has already taken strong action on this issue.  He has suspended the licence of the offending vehicle and has commissioned reports on the welfare of the animals in Northamptonshire and the suitability of the transportation process.  He has also committed to ensuring there is a stronger relationship between the RSCPA and the Animal Health inspector, making it less likely that any abuse goes unnoticed.  Furthermore, he assured me that he will investigate the suitability of Ramsgate Port after I made it clear to him that I felt it is unsuitable to cope with the needs of the animals.

“For my part, I find the trade deeply distasteful and disruptive for the whole local community.  I strongly believe that the trade should be banned as soon as possible, and will continue to work closely with the Government on every detail of this harrowing and unacceptable trade until this happens.  If we do not act soon there will be another massacre like we saw on Wednesday.   In order to gain as much support as possible please sign my petition (download it from here)”.

Friday, 14 September 2012



Thanet District Council has launched its draft consultation document for local economic growth.
Entitled ‘Setting the Direction for Economic Growth in Thanet’, the 24-page publication comprises Phase One of the council’s three-phase approach to developing the local economy.
Phase Two will build upon feedback from the first phase and influence the dialogue of all those engaged in economic growth. Phase Three will bring together all strands of employment expertise to produce a shared delivery plan which will help unlock growth and prosperity.
Support for the visitor economy and green industries form pivotal points in the initial, Phase One document, which highlights the success of Ramsgate as a centre for offshore wind energy. Businesses are also set to receive support in developing skills and knowledge to develop and hire new staff.
The Phase One document recognises the nature of the Thanet economy and sets out a strategic vision for developing the area’s potential.
Statistical information – such as population and age figures – set the backdrop for the document. This information is further complemented by details of Thanet’s natural and historical assets – including the area’s maritime heritage.
All areas of economic activity are covered by the document – including health, arts, construction, financial and scientific – among others. And there is particular reference made to the ‘green’ economy.
Other factors, such as gross weekly wages, housing and unemployment are also covered.
The document outlines the areas of the economy in most need of support, and also identifies employment sectors where growth is expected in future.
Leader of the council, Cllr Clive Hart, said: “Thanet’s local economy is driven by many complex factors, and there are often strong links between seemingly disparate sectors. Therefore our approach to economic growth is phased, because that enables us to develop economic growth through an intelligent methodology.
“This phase one document is a firm basis for discussion but not the completed strategy.”
He added: “Our aim is to have the most inclusive process possible and thereby to produce the very best strategy possible. We are a genuinely inclusive administration and we want to encourage contributions from all stakeholders to inform our process.”
For more information visit the website


When the Live Animal Exports re-started in May 2011 at Ramsgate Port, we were in opposition at Thanet District Council and we expressed our repulsion of the trade by putting a motion to Council to seek all legal avenues in order to stop it.
This motion was agreed unanimously. This was our first victory.
When Labour became the ruling administration of TDC we vowed we would continue the fight against the trade, using the legal framework and showing a zero tolerance of any infringement of the welfare of animals.
Our rigorous action and determination meant that the lorries were inspected very thoroughly, as they should. It then became apparent that on several occasions the lorries or the animals were unfit for further travel.
This led to our decision as TDC Cabinet to suspend the trade in live animal exports out of Ramsgate Port on the ground that it does not have adequate facilities to care for the animals and that there is  no control post nearby to take them.
The UK Government, as the Competent Authority under the EU Regulation 2005/1, is responsible for setting up such a control post but, so far, they have not complied with this requirement, in spite of a promise they made in July 2011.
The suspension of this awful trade by the Labour administration of TDC shows that we take our responsibility seriously and that we are not afraid of taking the necessary actions, using the legal framework to pursue our aims.
We stood for election on our Manifesto which stated that we would defend the rights of animals. We fought for this to happen when we were in Opposition and we are delivering now that we are the ruling administration.

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

Thursday, 13 September 2012



From Thursday, 13 September, the Port of Ramsgate has suspended any live animal movements through the Port with immediate effect.

This is a temporary suspension, but its lifting will depend on the construction of suitable facilities within the Port. Providing the facilities will depend on the cost of building and running such a facility, and also whether it is a priority of the council in comparison with other issues.

This move follows an incident where staff at the Port of Ramsgate took action overnight (12 September) to support animal health laws when a lorry unfit for transporting live animals failed inspection on its arrival. Despite every effort being made at the port to treat the animals humanely, 40 sheep had to be put down following advice from the RSPCA.

Just last week, leading members of Thanet District Council’s Cabinet wrote to the Environment Secretary calling for the facilities needed to prevent situations like this happening.

Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr Clive Hart said “Thanet District Council recognises that live exports are a lawful trade, but we are also conscious of our responsibilities regarding the welfare of animals passing through our port. We are saddened to see animals arrive at our Port in this condition and it underlines the need to implement EU regulations strictly in order to avoid any suffering caused to the animals.”

Ramsgate Live Animal Exports 46 Sheep Dead. 2 Arrested. Senior Councillor Demands Full Investigation and Ban on Further Exports

Chairman of Thanet Council Overview & Scrutiny Panel,  Councillor Ian Driver has called for an immediate ban on further exports of live farm animals from the port of Ramsgate and a  full investigation into events which led to the deaths of  45 sheep at the Port of Ramsgate on Wednesday 12 September.
According to reports from the  RSPCA 2 sheep were destroyed following injuries sustained in transport to Ramsgate.  2 more sheep were drowned after falling into the sea at the port and 41 other sheep were destroyed by vets because they were unfit to travel.
Inspectors from DEFRA Animal Health & the RSPCA stopped  one of the  7  lorries  carrying an estimated  3,500 sheep  from embarking  on the ferry Joline and continuing its journey because  of concerns about mechanical issues and worries  about the welfare  of the 550 sheep on board. It is understood that  the lorry has been impounded for breaching  EU  regulations & the driver and his assistant have been arrested by Kent Police.
Said Driver,”I was at the port today and witnessed the unloading of the lorry. I felt physically sick by what I saw and  understand that many of the animals taken from the lorry have had to be destroyed because they were  ill or injured.  It’s a tragic  co-incidence, but on 7 September  Thanet Council  wrote to Government Environment Minister Owen Patterson MP, expressing serious concerns about the shipments of live farm animals from Ramsgate and asking for permission to stop further exports. 5 days later, these terrible events have shown our concerns to be fully justified”.
“In light of what has happened  over the past 2 weeks and the tragic events of today I do not believe that Thanet Council can ensure  the welfare of animals exported from Ramsgate Port. I therefore call on the Council to immediately ban any further exports. I will also be taking steps to set up a full Overview and Scrutiny investigation  into the awful events at the port today”.

Investigation into Folk Week Booze Fuelled Bad Behaviour

Chairman of Thanet District Council Overview & Scrutiny Panel,  Councillor Ian Driver, is launching an investigation into  what he described as  a  “sustained and uncontrolled outbreak of booze fuelled  bad behaviour”  during  August’s  Broadstairs Folk Week.
The festival  which has been going for more than 40 years attracts thousands of visitors to Broadstairs and makes a major contribution to the local economy. However this year there have been many complaints about the behaviour of festival goers
 Said Driver “I am a big supporter of the Broadstairs Folk Week. It’s a brilliant event with fantastic music, and it makes an extremely important contribution to the local economy. But this year many people have complained to me about unacceptable behaviour and low key policing which spoilt the event”.
“I was out with friends on the last night of the festival and have never seen so many drunks congregated in such a small area of Broadstairs. It was a bit like the Wild West. I personally witnessed 2 punch ups and lost count of how many people I saw throwing up  or urinating in the streets and gardens  as I made my way home. Many of these people were young men and women who were probably below the legal  drinking age. In the course of the evening I doubt if I saw more than half a dozen police officers”.
“I don’t want the Festival to stop. In fact I want it to grow and become even more successful, but we need to look into what went wrong this year and work with the Police, festival organisers and local businesses to make sure that we do not have a repeat of the unacceptable behaviours that spoilt  things this year”.
I hope to be able to announce the scope of the enquiry and who the Overview and Scutiny Panel will be  taking evidence from in the next week or so.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Labour ignore Overview and Scrutiny Questions over Royal Sands Development

The Labour Cabinet has pressed ahead with renegotiating the agreement with the Royal Sands developer, ignoring a request for further information from the Overview and Scrutiny Panel (OSP) which called the decision in.

Although no further information has been provided to OSP members, Cabinet minutes state that: ‘As all the concerns expressed by the Overview and Scrutiny Panel have now been addressed, Cabinet confirms its decision taken on 26 July 2012.’

The developer has requested several material changes to the existing agreement, including early transfer of the site’s freehold, despite not having fulfilled key elements of the existing agreement.  At the extraordinary meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel held on 16 August, members asked for substantial additional information, including:

-       Details of due diligence to be sought.
-       Details of disposal clause in existing or future agreement.
-       What attempt had been made to renegotiate overage levels for the council, including a possible ‘windfall’ element in the event that sales prices exceed those envisaged in 2006?
-       What assurances does the council have that the developer will now complete the project under the new agreement, particularly after handing over the freehold?
-       What are the milestones for the project implementation process?
-       What consideration has been given to terminating the agreement and seeking a new development partner?

-       Does the council have a moral, if not a legal, duty of public safety to conduct a flood risk assessment on the site?

Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Bob Bayford, commented: ‘The cross party OSP raised many important issues regarding any renegotiation of this agreement.  These concerns have been summarily dismissed by the Labour Cabinet. We all wish to see the former Pleasurama site successfully developed but, given the importance of this project to Ramsgate, I am disappointed and concerned that the Cabinet have taken such a cavalier attitude to scrutiny of their decision.’