Monday, 11 November 2013

TDC Conservative Group calls for fairness and transparency in deciding the future for Ramsgate’s Royal Victoria Pavilion

The Royal Victoria Pavilion in Ramsgate is a beautiful listed building in a prominent position, which has lain empty for far too long.  It is important that every effort is made to bring this facility back into use and the Conservative Group is totally supportive of that aim.  However, contradictory and highly personalised statements from the Council and Labour Cabinet members have cast doubt on this process and questions remain over the transparency and fairness of the marketing of the Pavilion since June 2013.

Shadow Member for Housing and Planning, Cllr Julie Marson said: “I am shocked at the public drubbing of Emma Irvine in an official but unattributed council press release. The Labour administration has a history of treating the public, particularly in Ramsgate, with disrespect and rather than writing press releases targeting individuals they should be concentrating their efforts on achieving the best possible outcome for this site and for the people of Ramsgate.”

When the proposition to extend the lease to aid marketing of the building was brought to Cabinet in June 2013, the officer’s report stated that that the marketing would be done “in conjunction with the existing tenant...in an open and transparent method, whilst ensuring best value and probity for the authority.”

Unanswered questions include: why has the latest council press release been altered to remove the words ‘the current council leadership is not aware that this has been the case’ regarding Rank’s willingness to surrender the lease?; has the council worked ‘in conjunction with’ Rank?; has it sought to influence or work in partnership with Rank in order to ensure ‘best value and probity’?; how does Cabinet define these terms, particularly with regard to the impact on the local area, its residents and businesses?; has Cabinet tried to ensure consistency with the recently adopted Destination Management Plan?

The TDC Conservative Group is calling for answers to these questions and transparency and fairness in the whole process of determining the future of the Royal Victoria Pavilion

15 comments:

  1. This press release is brought to you courtesy of the councillors who let the Royal Pavilion rot for five years.

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  2. Little unfair, Readit, for Rank were the tenants and, as such, had full control of the building. It is only in more recent times that the suggestion has come up that Rank have offered the lease back to TDC and even that has a down side well debated a couple of posts back on Thanetonline.

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  3. A touch unfair as it was vacated in 2008 and the Tories haven't been in power for the whole of those 5 years. I have spoken with Labour and up til now nothing was done either. The Ramsgate Society have been pushing also during these years and have got nowhere.

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    1. Good point, Barry, and as I understand it both Julie Marson and Laura Sandys have met up with Emma to listen to her proposals and experiences in putting them forward, so the Conservatives at least are not treating it as a done deal without considering the options. Trouble is though, they are not in power at TDC, and what influence they can have remains to be seen. Mind you, if John Worrow now disappears, will any party be sure of a majority if it comes to a division, especially if Ian Driver votes with the Conservatives on this one.

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    2. Very interesting point. Do you believe John Worrow will "disappear"?

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    3. William my belief is the Tories in Thanet are sleepwalking into complacency by keeping their heads down. Maybe at last people are starting to light a bonfire under them otherwise the likes of Farage will rip them apart in 2015

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    4. No way of knowing, Thanet Watch, but he obviously has not been a happy bunny with his councillor role for a while now and has virtually disappeared from the political debate.

      Barry, I am very much closer to Conservative views than you and I doubt there is much complacency. I think the county council election results were a wake up call to both major parties. At TDC the closed shop style of the Labour cabinet makes effective opposition difficult and, as you have seen with the Royal Pavilion, the council deputy leader is virtually saying it is a done deal.

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  4. Well he's certainly become invisible lately Thanet Watch! Maybe he's busy rehearsing with The Village People tribute band for another planned "Minnis Bay Gay Day"?

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  5. So let me get this straight.

    The consevative grp attack the labour cabinet for not being "open and transparent", so the TDC cabinet then publish all the events to date regarding the Royal Pavillion, and are then critisised for doing so, by the same conservative group, and the usual Ramsgate whining alliance, that demanded the "open and transparent" approach, and all this in a property transaction in which TDC have negligible, if any at all, control!

    It's no wonder Ramsgate is disappearing down the slippery slope at a vast rate of knots!

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  6. So let me get this straight member of that same Labour Cabinet says the whole process has been a shambles!!

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  7. We only have your word for that James, and as has been proved on many occasions, your word is worthless.

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  8. Morning, Barry,

    I am confused by your comment. For a member of that same cabinet has told me that the whole process has been administered well. The two comments are mutually exclusive. Whom should I believe?

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  9. Following John Hamilton's comment above which is critical of the Conservative group, I wonder how long before the 'hammy chasers' decide that he is actually a Labour councillor who has never forgiven Ian Driver for turning his back on the party or the FORS collective for being nasty to Allan Poole? Perhaps we could now have a poll to see who most people think he or she is.

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  10. mr. Holyer I wonder if it was the same Councillor?

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