Saturday, 31 March 2012

KEVIN LYNES

The sudden death of Kevin Lynes of KCC has come as an enormous shock to me. We were from different political parties but I never once had any problem with Kevin in my 4 years at County Hall and I always found him extremely polite and welcoming.
 
Indeed, since I became leader at TDC last December Kevin has genuinely been very supportive and we were working together on several projects here in Thanet including the recent computer gaming event at the Winter Gardens, the 'Make Thanet/Kent Quicker' broadband campaign and a Further Education project.

Truly lovely guy - just isn't fair!
 
Cllr Clive Hart - Thanet District Council Leader 

Friday, 30 March 2012

EVENTS FUNDING FOR THANET AGREED

Broadstairs, Margate and Ramsgate are each to receive £30,000 in funding for events for the forthcoming year, with community and voluntary groups also able to bid for money.
The council set aside a total of £165,000 in this year’s budget to support events throughout Thanet. Of this, £50,000 is being used by the council to meet the costs of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Olympic Torch Relay, along with any other events which the council needs to manage.
The amount given to Broadstairs and St. Peter’s Town Council includes the contribution that the council usually makes to both Folk Week and the Dickens Festival. Both town councils have been asked to match fund this amount.
This leaves £25,000, which will be available to local community and voluntary groups across the rest of Thanet to bid for events sponsorship from the council. Strict criteria will be applied to applications. This will include:
  • Generating money to support local businesses and traders and contributing to the visitor economy
  • Supporting either sport, health or well-bring, culture arts or music or the area’s heritage
  • Providing an event that is family friendly and will generate an audience
The bids will be then assessed by a cross party panel of councillors, advised by council officers, who will make the final decision on how to allocate the money.

Cllr. Iris Johnston, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “Events play a crucial role in Thanet and that’s why we ensured that we had funding in place to support them. We want to make sure that each of Thanet’s towns has the same amount of money to put on events during the year, so that we have a good spread of activity across the area for both visitors and residents. It’s already going to be a busy year for Thanet, with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Torch, which will spend longer in our area than anywhere else in Kent. Thanks to this funding, we look forward to having a wide variety of events to support these two special celebrations.” 

COMMUNITY SAFETY PLAN AGREED

Tackling anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse, substance misuse and violent crime are to be the priorities for the Thanet Community Safety Partnership for the forthcoming year.

Cabinet Members were last night (Thursday 29 March) presented with the action plan for 2012/13, along with details of crime levels over the previous year. This shows that all crime reduced in Thanet by 3.2%, meaning 350 less crimes, compared to the year before. The biggest reduction had been in burglaries from people’s homes, which dropped by 29.6% and theft from vehicles, which reduced by 22.9%.

The Community Safety Plan for 2012/13 sets out a number of key actions that the partnership will be working on over the next 12 months, including:

  • carrying out two noise car operations, responding to late night complaints about noise
  • using the Crime Retail Car to patrol retail areas in Thanet, responding to calls about shoplifting
  • holding a public engagement day about domestic abuse, raising awareness of the support available locally
  • using temporary CCTV cameras to gather evidence where there are complaints about anti-social behaviour and drug use
  • holding four open forums across Thanet and two SOS trailer consultations to listen to people’s concerns

Cllr. Clive Hart, Cabinet Member for Corporate and Regulatory Services, said: “We want to build on the success of our community safety team, which is highlighted by the reduction in crime that the area has seen. That’s why we’ve put measures in place to ensure that those members of the team who have sadly left us are replaced. Feeling safe is a key priority for local people and has been for many years. Nothing’s changed in that, with it coming out as the top concern for residents in the budget consultation at the end of 2011.

“We recognise that and this plan concentrates on tackling the key issues that matter to local people, anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse, substance misuse and violent crime. I look forward to seeing significant progress being made over the next 12 months in dealing with these problems through this plan.”

The Big Lottery Fund comes to Thanet

Calling all applications: The Big Lottery Fund comes to Thanet- A meeting on what funding is available and how to apply
 
Monday 2nd April, 4-6pm at the Queen’s Road Baptist Church, 2 Queens Road, Broadstairs. CT10 1NU.
 
At the end of last year, I went round some of the fantastic projects in South Thanet that The Big Lottery Fund has funded. One of the key things that I discussed when I met with representatives from The Fund was their desire to receive more applications from Thanet and East Kent.
 
I thought that it would be useful to ask the Head of the Big Lottery Fund South East to come down to speak to some of our local groups and she has very kindly agreed. She will be providing a short presentation on the funding available and taking your questions about applications. This is an excellent opportunity to get advice from an expert on what money is available and how to make an application successful.
 
I am very much looking forward to welcoming The Big Lottery Fund to Thanet and do hope that you might be able to attend this meeting. Please do also feel free to pass this invitation on to any colleagues who might be interested. It would be very helpful if you might be able to let me know if you are able to attend by emailing me at: laura.sandys.mp@parliament.uk
 
I think that this is a really great opportunity for us to increase the number of applications from our area and ensure that we are getting the support that we need.
 
I very much hope to see you on Monday 2nd April.
 
With all my best wishes,
Laura

EKO PROPOSALS ACCEPTED

Proposals from the council’s watchdog body about a joint venture that is seeking to develop two key sites in Thanet have been accepted by the council’s Cabinet.

They were asked by the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Panel to look at the East Kent Opportunities (EKO) partnership, which is a joint venture between Thanet District Council and Kent County Council (KCC). It is working on developing two sites in the area, Manston Business Park, located near the airport and Eurokent, located between Westwood Cross and the Marlowe Academy.

Overview and Scrutiny heard a presentation from the Executive Officer of EKO, at their January meeting and made a total of four recommendations:

  1. To ask Cabinet representatives on the EKO Board to request a review of the EKO Business Plan as a matter of urgency
  2. To include in the Business Plan an exit strategy, which maximises the council’s return from the EKO partnership with KCC
  3. To lobby local MPs to ask the government to expand the Pfizer Enterprise Corridor to include both the Eurokent and Manston business parks
  4. To engage KCC in discussions to bring forward an urgent review of the EKO Members Agreement.

Cabinet last night (Thursday 29 April) agreed to all these recommendations and they will now be discussed with Kent County Council to establish a way forward. A revised Business Plan is currently being worked on. The council will also be speaking to the area’s MPs about lobbying with regards to enterprise zones.

Cllr. Iris Johnston, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “We are very grateful to the Overview and Scrutiny Panel for thoroughly exploring this issue and bringing these recommendations to us. We need to ensure that EKO is delivering everything that we expect from it and our residents would expect nothing less from us. Equally, we need to do everything in our power to try to ensure that the government’s Regional Growth Fund money being allocated to help businesses is also made available in Thanet, as we cannot afford to lose out on this valuable funding stream.”

NEW PLAN SETS OUT COUNCIL PRIORITIES

A major new document, setting out what the council aims to achieve over the next four years, has been described as “truly inclusive”, involving all the parties on the council.

The development of the Corporate Plan for 2012-16 began under the council’s previous Conservative administration who decided to make it much more strategic than previous plans. This work was continued by the Labour group, who took control of the council in December 2011. Independent councillors have also been consulted on the draft plan.

The final draft has also been shaped by the results of the Putting U in the budget consultation, in which 76% of those who responded said that feeling safe from crime and anti-social behaviour was a key priority for them. This was followed by 67% who chose clean streets as a priority, with job prospects, the third most popular choice, selected by just 47% of respondents. Each of these priorities are reflected in the proposed Corporate Plan.

The Plan, which is to be reviewed on an annual basis, contains a total of 11 priorities for the council:

  1. to support the growth of our economy and the number of people in work
  2. to tackle disadvantage across our district
  3. to support our community and voluntary organisations
  4. to make our district a safer place to live
  5. to work to improve parking and transportation in our district
  6. to make our district cleaner and greener and lead by example on environmental issues
  7. to plan for the right number and type of homes in the right place (with appropriate tenure) to create sustainable communities in the future
  8. to support excellent and diverse cultural facilities and activities for our residents and visitors
  9. to support a broad range of sports, leisure and coastal activities
  10. to influence the work of other agencies to ensure the best outcomes for Thanet
  11. to protect and preserve our public open spaces

This strategic document will be complemented by service plans which will set out specific goals and targets for completion each year. The plan has been recommended by the Cabinet for approval by the Council. A final decision will be taken on Thursday 19 April.

Leader of the Council, Cllr. Clive Hart, said: “This is a truly inclusive and cross-party Corporate Plan. All of the parties on the council have been fully involved with helping to form this document and that’s exactly how we wanted it to be, as we believe in working together to get the best for our residents, wherever possible. We’ve also listened carefully to what local people have told us through the Putting U in the budget consultation. It was clear what mattered to them, with crime and anti-social behaviour and clean streets their major priorities and both are contained in the Corporate Plan. But this plan goes much further than that, aiming to improve our economy to help get local people back to work, support community and voluntary groups and get the best possible outcomes for Thanet.

“Since taking control of the council, we’ve also added in two further objectives to the Corporate Plan: The first commits the council to protect and preserve our public open spaces, as we know that they can be a valuable asset for local communities and schools. The second is that we will influence the work of other agencies to ensure the best outcomes for Thanet.

“This plan clearly sets out what our residents can expect from us over the next four years. Even though it’s a tough time for the council, with funding being reduced, we’re still committed to achieving as much as we can for the area with the resources we have.”

NEW PARKING FEES APPROVED

Proposals that aim to make parking charges fairer in the future and easier to understand have been approved by Thanet District Council.

Parking fees and charges have not changed since 2008. The new proposals will come into effect from Monday 4 June 2012. They will see residents and visitors to Thanet paying by the hour in car parks, with linear charges introduced to most on street parking across Thanet.

Under the new proposals, to help support Thanet’s town centres, free parking will be offered on Saturdays at four car parks, St. Peter’s Road in Broadstairs, Leopold Street in Ramsgate, Mill Lane in Margate and Harold Road in Cliftonville.

Birchington’s Albion Road will have half an hour’s free parking daily on a trial basis.

Under the new system, most parking bays along roads in Thanet will cost 20p for 10 minutes and £2.40 for two hours. The exceptions to this are Cecil Square and Albert Terrace in Margate, Harbour Parade in Ramsgate and Victoria Parade and Lawn Road in Broadstairs, which will have higher charges because of their locations. The aim is to stimulate turnover of parking spaces, giving people time to do their shopping, but stopping vehicles from blocking prime parking spots for too long.

Off street car parks will now fall into one of three categories from Monday 4 June:

  1. Premium off street car parks in prime locations across the area, charging 80p per hour up to four hours. To park for between five and 15 hours will cost £4.

2.       Off street car parks, charging 50p per hour up to four hours. Parking for between five and 15 hours at these car parks will cost £2.50.

  1. Off-street short stay car parks, where people can only park for a maximum of four hours, at a charge of 80p per hour.

In addition, five car parks, Albion Street, Chandos Square and Joss Bay in Broadstairs, Marina Esplanade in Ramsgate and St. Mildred’s Bay, will have higher summer charges from the beginning of April to the end of October.

Cabinet Member for Corporate and Regulatory Services, Cllr. Clive Hart, said: “The new scheme aims to be fairer and easier for everyone to understand. Parking is always a hugely controversial issue, but we felt we had to grasp the nettle on this one, as it’s been years since the fees were last looked at and we wanted to simplify them as much as possible and make them fairer. We were also keen to ensure that free parking was made available at car parks in each of our towns on Saturdays to encourage people to shop locally. That’s alongside the free half hour parking for Birchington that was recommended with cross party support at full council.”

ANGER OVER LACK OF GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR THANET

Thanet has missed out on government funding to help bring empty High Street shops back into use in what the council is calling “a real travesty”.

The government announced earlier today (Friday 30 March) that they would be allocating £10 million to 100 districts across the country from their High Street Innovation Fund Grant. This will support new business start-ups, whilst bringing empty High Street properties back into use.

Thanet has not been included in this list of 100 districts, despite Margate regularly being named amongst the worst in the UK for its level of empty shops.

Councils were not asked to apply for this money. It was instead allocated by the government using business rate returns. These look at the business rates collected across a whole district for all commercial, industrial and retail units and warehousing. This is then compared with how much business rate relief has been given to empty commercial units throughout an area. This method of calculation does not focus on High Street empty shop levels.

Leader of the Council, Cllr. Clive Hart, said: “To me, this is a real travesty. I cannot believe that Thanet is not going to receive any of this money, given our well documented issues with empty shops. Margate is sadly all too often in the national news headlines, perhaps sometimes unfairly, for having some of the highest levels of empty shops in the country. To hear that £10 million is being allocated by the government to tackle this problem and we are not receiving any of this is exceptionally disappointing to say the least.”

He added: “The way they have calculated this does not give a true measure of empty shops on the High Street and, as such, we feel this is a very unfair way of deciding who should receive the money. I sincerely hope that the next round of Portas funding, which all our three towns are applying for, will see success for Thanet, as the area desperately needs the additional funding on offer.”

Thursday, 29 March 2012

KNOW YOUR GATEWAY 2012

You can learn more about what Thanet's Gateway Plus can do for you at a special event in April.

Know Your Gateway 2012 gives local people the chance to find out more about the services available at the Gateway in Cecil Street, Margate on Tuesday 10 April between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.  

Organisations which will be on hand include the Health Trainers, Kent Community Organisation, Porchlight, the Disability Drop In Centre, Thanet Community Networks and Victim Support. You can learn more about the services they provide.

Cllr. Michelle Fenner, Thanet District Council’s Cabinet Member for Business Services, said: “We’re holding this event to show people who the Gateway works with and the services they can offer. We’re committed to providing the best possible service to our customers and the Know Your Gateway event is one way of doing that. Since it opened four years ago, the Gateway has been incredibly successful in building partnerships with a range of different organisations. You may not realise how many different services you can now find located there, so this is your opportunity to learn more.”

Thanet’s Gateway Plus is located in Cecil Street, next to the council offices. It’s open on weekdays from 9:00 am to 6:00pm, with late opening until 8:00 pm on Thursday nights. It’s also open on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, although council service desks are only open until 1:00 pm. It provides Thanet District Council services, along with a full library service, with a wide range of public and voluntary services also provided from the building.

Jonny Dunhill Tribute Dinner with Janet-Street Porter

Creation of Young Chef Bursary Awards Announced

A fund-raising tribute dinner for Jonny Dunhill, owner of Ramsgate’s
Eddie Gilbert’s restaurant and wet fish shop, who died in February, aged
49, is to host Janet Street-Porter as guest of honour.  Janet is a big
fan of Eddie Gilbert’s fish and chips and a regular visitor to the
restaurant.

The special 6-course dinner featuring Jonny’s favourite dishes will be
served at Thanet College’s Bay View Restaurant in Broadstairs – which is
sponsoring the event – on Monday 28th May.  The tasting menu which
includes Jonny’s all-time favourite ‘Brown shrimp croquette, pickled
cucumber, crispy parsley and a sherry vinegar emulsion’, has been
designed by the award-winning Craig Mather, Eddie Gilbert’s original
head chef, who now works as a Chef Lecturer at the College, between
shifts at the King Street seafood restaurant.  Tickets cost £30.

The dinner will raise funds for Pilgrims Hospice in Margate, where Jonny
spent his final days.  Monies will also be used for the creation of an
annual bursary scheme, where students of Kent’s catering colleges will
complete to win funding to allow them to train with a top international
chef.

A number of generous gifts are being donated for the charity auction and
raffles prizes.

These include: a top quality men’s suit, shirt and tie worth over £700
from leading Jermyn Street tailor, TM Lewin; a week-long stay at The
Stables 3-bedroom holiday cottage near Tunbridge Wells with
complimentary membership to the adjacent Knowle Grange Health Spa;
overnight stays at The Reading Rooms luxury B+B in Margate and the 5
starred White Vine House in Rye; meals for two at several of the area’s
leading restaurants – Michelin listed The Ambrette, in Margate or Rye,
The Mulberry Tree (twice-winner of Best Kent Restaurant) and one of
Kent-based TV chef Richard Philips Kent’s award-wining venues
(Thackeray’s, Hengist or Pearson’s Arms) and Eddie Gilbert’s; Chix&
Buck Wines will offer a mixed case of 12 wines or a wine tasting for 4
people at its new Hideaway Jazz Café wine bar in south London; and a
round of golf for a foursome at Northforeland Golf Course in
Broadstairs, a beauty treatment at Thanet College and a hamper of local
producers leading of food and drink items from Produced in Kent.

"By creating a local young chef award and bursary, we can continue to
keep the memory of Jonny fresh in the minds of local people for years to
come, whilst helping raise the standards of local cooking, something
very dear to his heart," said Craig Mather.

Fruit Central greengrocer in Ramsgate is donating fruit and vegetables
for the evening.  Thanet College’s restaurant including all kitchen
equipment is now available for private hire at a cost of £300.

Eddie Gilbert’s continues to thrive, with Jonny’s brother Mark Dunhill
running the business for the benefit of Jonny’s 3 children, Edlyn (8)
and Gilbert (10) after whom the business is named and Georgia, who was 1
in March.

Local businesses wish to contribute charity auction items or raffle
prizes should contact George Shaw of Avocado Media on 01892 750 851 or
geo@avocadomedia.co.uk

Tickets are available from Eddie Gilbert’s at 32 King Street in Ramsgate
or online from Thanet College via www.thanet.ac.uk/bookings.  With
numbers restricted to 70 diners, early booking is advisable.

Sponsors’ websites:
www.tmlewin.co.uk
www.barnstormersuk.net
www.knowlegrange.co.uk
www.whitevinehouse.co.uk
www.theambrette.co.uk
www.themulberrytreekent.co.uk
www.readingroomsmargate.co.uk
www.chixandbuck.com
www.northforeland.co.uk
www.producedinkent.co.uk
www.thanet.ac.uk

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Manston Airport Consultation Results

MORE THAN 2,000 RESIDENTS ‘AIR THEIR VIEWS’


More than 2,000 residents took the time to air their views as part of the council’s public consultation on proposals for regular night-time flying at Manston Airport.

The majority were opposed to the implementation of regular night-time flying, with approximately 73% opposed, 26% in favour and 1% not clearly stating a position.  

The main reasons given by those who were opposed were:
  • the likely disturbance to sleep
  • the effect on health and quality of life
  • unacceptable noise levels
  • the likely detrimental impact on the local economy
  • overstating the potential economic benefits.

Those in favour stated the reasons for their support as including:
  • jobs/employment opportunities
  • regeneration of Thanet
  • their desire for the airport to develop
  • night flights needed to ensure the future viability of the airport
  • Airport has been there for many years.

The responses were also analysed by area to ensure that the council gathers the views of those who live under the identified flight path, those who live within Thanet and those from outside of Thanet.  The results were approximately as follows:


Total responses
In favour
Opposed
Middle ground/ unclear
Overall responses to consultation
2275
26%
73%
1%
Under the flight path
1082
10%
89%
1%
Within Thanet
1956
25%
74%
1%
Outside of Thanet
318
30%
66%
4%

Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr. Clive Hart, said: “Firstly I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to take part in this consultation.  We know that it’s such an important issue for local people and that’s clearly reflected in the high level of response. The feedback from this consultation will now be considered by Councillors, along side the findings of the Independent Assessment completed by Parsons Brinckerhoff and the proposed policy itself, to agree the council’s consultation response to Infratil. I am sure every Councillor will be carefully analysing these results to see what residents have said, before we finalise our response.”

A report is due to be considered by members of the Airport Working Party on Wednesday 4 April. The report then goes to Scrutiny on Tuesday 24 April, Cabinet on Thursday 10 May and will then be considered at an Extraordinary meeting of Full Council on Thursday 24 May. 

HUGE SUPPORT FOR THE THANET MILE


Nearly 250 runners turned out to run the Thanet Mile in aid of Sport Relief, double the number when the event was last held two years ago.

The event at the Marlowe Academy on Sunday (25 March) was organised by the council’s Sport Matters team. It is held every other year and this is the third Thanet Mile to be held. It was the culmination of their hugely successful Sport 4 Life campaign, which offered free sports sessions to adults over the age of 16, for 10 weeks from January of this year.

The Chairman of the Council, Cllr. Doug Clark, the council’s Leader, Cllr. Clive Hart, along with the Mayors of Ramsgate and Margate, were on hand to start the race, while 248 local people took part in.

Cllr. Iris Johnston, Cabinet Member for Community Services, was one of those cheering on the participants: “It was really encouraging to see so many local people getting involved and raising money for worthy causes all over the UK, especially as it was a slightly cold day. From the hardened athlete to three generations of a family, the Thanet Mile had something for everyone. What a great setting the Marlowe Academy was. I hope local people will realise what wonderful facilities they have right on their doorstep and will use it in the future.

She added: “So many people helped the council’s Sport Matters team with this event. I’d like to thank the Marlowe Academy for offering the use of the track and the site for free, Sainsbury’s at Westwood, Thanet Leisureforce, Thanet Roadrunners Club, Thanet Athletics Club, Pipeline Youth, Skip 2B Fit, East Kent Sports School, Pie Factory Music and Rich Rhythms African Drumming. All of them combined their efforts to make the day a great success.

Local people can use the athletics track at the Marlowe Academy in a number of ways, either by joining one of the clubs based at the track, hiring the track for your organisation or by buying a wristband to use the facility independently.

For more information on all the great sport and leisure opportunities on offer from the council, please visit www.thanet.gov.uk/sport

RESIDENTS URGED TO HELP MAKE THANET QUICKER

Thanet residents and businesses are being urged to vote for superfast broadband to be made available across the area.

The campaign, Make Kent Quicker, is being run by Kent County Council and aims to show Internet providers that there is a high demand for superfast broadband across Kent.

Thanet District Council is supporting the campaign to get improved broadband services in Thanet which will make a real difference for residents, schools and businesses.

More than 5,000 people have already signed up to say they want better broadband in Kent but many more are needed to ensure providers can see the demand for quicker services.

The ambition is for 90 per cent of homes and businesses to have superfast broadband access by 2015. Kent County Council and the Government are investing more than £20 million to help make this happen.

Cllr. Clive Hart, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, said: “The campaign is a great ambition for Kent and one that we fully support.

“We urge all residents to vote for faster broadband for Thanet to ensure that Internet providers see the high demand for this service in the local area and invest in the improvements.

“It only takes a few minutes to register your demand and every vote will make a massive difference to the potential to secure faster broadband for Thanet. Get your family, friends and neighbours involved too.”

To register your vote visit www.makekentquicker.com

BIG YEAR FOR THANET EVENTS

Thanet is gearing up for a spectacular year of events, centred around the arrival of the Olympic Torch and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
This year, the country will be celebrating the four day Diamond Jubilee weekend over Saturday 2 June until Tuesday 5 June, with Olympics fever starting in Thanet a few weeks later on Thursday 19 July, when the Olympic Torch relay arrives in the area.
Margate’s Big Event, which was successfully held along Margate seafront in 2011, will not take place this year due to the coastal defence works. The council has made the decision to reallocate the £50,000 used to fund Margate’s Big Event to the wider Olympic celebrations.
Cllr. Iris Johnston, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “2012 is going to be a massive year for the whole country and Thanet’s events schedule will be just as jam packed as in previous years. I have already attended meetings with the many excellent event organisers in Ramsgate and Broadstairs and I am working closely with the Margate Town Partnership, who are pulling together the town’s events.
“Organisers are being very helpful in putting in their applications for land hire within the 18 weeks timeframe announced last November. I am hoping I will have agreement from my Cabinet colleagues on Thursday (29 March) to allocate funds to the three main towns and to have a cross-party panel deciding on the allocation of the remainder of the money to the villages and other areas. The council will continue to work closely with the police and other organisations to ensure we have a safe and fun filled year.”  

Monday, 26 March 2012

New documents published by Thanet District Council,

MAKE THE MOST OF THE COAST THIS SPRING


You can make the most of the spring on the coast by getting out and about on a range of activities on offer from the Thanet Coast Project.

If you want to do something to help our coastline, then why not join a spring beach clean. There are two tidal tidy ups on Saturday 31 March. The first clean-up starts at 10am in Pegwell Bay, meeting on the beach below the former hoverport road, Cliffsend. The second clean-up meets at 2pm outside ‘The Minnis’ in Birchington, and will clean beaches along the Northern Sea Wall beaches walking towards Reculver. Both clean ups last two and a half hours. Gloves, sticks and bags will be provided, thanks to support from Cummins Power Generation.

If you’re interested in fossils and would like to learn more about the story of our chalk cliffs, flints and fossils, then you can join the coastal guided walk in Kingsgate with the Rock Doc. For a small cost, you can reserve your place online at www.thanetcoast.org.uk and join the walk that starts at 11am outside the Fayreness Hotel. Spaces are limited and the walk is suitable for over 14s, and last for one to two hours.    

There are some egg case hunts with a difference taking place on the coast over the school break.  These are ‘scavenger hunts’ along our shoreline and will look out for clues of our sea life from under the waves, and in particular the egg cases of sharks and rays!  The hunt will finish with a chance to help create a marine art masterpiece on the beach.  You can join a Great Eggcase Hunt at Viking Bay, Broadstairs on Monday 2 April, Ramsgate Main Sands on Wednesday 4 April and Margate Main Sands on Tuesday 3 April and Thursday 5 April.  All hunts start at 2pm and the events last one and a half hours. The events are particularly suitable for 4-14 year olds. Although it’s free for Thanet residents, there is a charge of £2 per person for anyone from outside the district. Spaces are limited, and can only be reserved online at the Thanet Coast website.

There’s also a volunteer opportunity for some physical outdoor exercise, whilst helping to clean and tidy the Ramsgate Eastcliff's Sea Garden on Saturday 12 May, from 2pm to 5pm. This community space is below the Granville on the lower promenade and this task will benefit coastal plants, wildlife and people. Gloves, bags and tools will be provided, just wear old gardening type clothes and footwear.

Cllr. Iris Johnston, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “The Thanet Coast Project have arranged some interesting activities to appeal to anyone wanting to help or find out more about the nature of our coast this spring. They have activities for people to help keep our beaches clean, and have some novel ways to explore clues to what lurks beneath our waves! It’s a great way to find out more about the animals that live here and why our coastline is so important for wildlife.”

In addition to advertised events, the Thanet Coast Project and partners are running coastal activities for local community groups and schools to access the coast through the ‘Footprints in the Sands’ project.  Any groups interested in attending a specially run session around the coast or at the ‘coastal community beach hut’ in Margate should get in touch on 01843 577672. These events are run with support from Natural England’s Access to Nature programme through the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces programme.

To book on the spring events or for further information, visit www.thanetcoast.org.uk

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Ramsgate Montefiore Heritage

The Ramsgate Montefiore Heritage aims to raise public awareness of the Montefiore Heritage in Ramsgate, by promoting the contribution made to the town by one of our most prominent citizens.

You are invited to a public meeting to be held at:
The Custom House
Harbour Parade
Ramsgate
CT11 8LP
At 7pm on Tuesday 27th. March 2012

Sir Moses Montefiore – a man of international renown, knighted by Queen Victoria, Sheriff of the City of London, High Sheriff of Kent – was a passionately loyal resident of Ramsgate.
In 1884 he donated the solid gold chain made up of the Hebrew letter ‘Mem’ which has been worn by mayors of Ramsgate ever since. An area of Ramsgate is named after him, as is a pub. Local residents use the grounds of his former home(George VI Park) every day The annual Holocaust Day service is held by a tree named in his honour.

Friday, 23 March 2012

BANISH THE BUGS FROM COUNCIL WEBSITE

You can help banish the bugs from the council’s website by giving your views on the sites.

The web user survey is available for everyone who uses the council’s website to fill in and only takes a few minutes to complete.

It looks at how often people use the website, how they find it and what type of information people were looking for, before asking about how easy or difficult it was to find that information.

The survey then goes on to ask how else people would contact the council, if they had not visited the website and what other ways of contacting the council would be of interest.

Cllr. Michelle Fenner, Cabinet Member for Business Services, said: “The council is keen to hear people’s views on the services we provide and one of our key services is our website. Essentially, it’s our electronic shop window, showcasing everything we do. Last year, more than 440,000 people visited www.thanet.gov.uk to look for information about the council and we want to make sure that the information they want is available and easy to find.”

The survey can be found through the banner on the front page of www.thanet.gov.uk