Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Improved services and facilities at Thanet’s Crematorium

Thanet District Council’s Crematorium invited guests to its inauguration this month (15 April) to see the significant improvements made following £1.5 million investment. 
Work to improve efficiency and reduce emissions started in August 2012 and was delivered with minimal disruption ensuring that this essential service remained available throughout the works.  
The improvement works are the biggest and most extensive to the Crematorium since it was opened on 10 May 1966.  
Although the latest legislation requires a 50% reduction in emissions for cremations, the project has actually delivered 100% abatement, which now contributes to improved air quality in the area and ensures that the service is ready for any future changes in the legislation. 
The project was delivered under budget by £150,000, which will be re-invested to increase customer parking and other improvements to the crematorium facilities.  
Thanet District Council Chief Executive, Sue McGonigal said: “The attention to detail that went into the project has been exemplary. The work has been completed with minimal disruption and in such sensitive circumstances. I commend the team for all of their hard work and dedication to the project.” 
Commercial Services Manager and project leader, David Gonzalez, added: “I am pleased that the project was so successful, considering the importance of the service and the challenge of delivering a large project whilst still continuing to provide a cremation service. I would like to thank our partners including Facultatieve Ltd, Funeral Directors and the Crematorium team for their dedication and commitment to partnership working.  
 
Notes for editors
Quote from Guest Sue Baumbach, Celebrant Officiant: “The new equipment is certainly very impressive and well thought out. The needs of bereaved families have been kept with the utmost care and consideration throughout the project.”

Richard Harvey from Facultatieve Ltd, who project managed the manufacture and installation of the new cremators and filtration equipment, said “the company was extremely pleased to be part of the improvement works and was looking forward to building a long term relationship with the crematorium to ensure the local community can continue to benefit from the service.”

List of services improved and worked on:
• Cremator replacement, new abatement system and refurbishment works represent a £1.5M investment into the service
• 2 new Facultatieve Cremators
• Ability to cremate larger bariatric coffins
• New abatement system which will abate (filter) 100% of all cremation emissions
• New side road access to remove trade vehicles from the front of house and increase parking and accessibility
• New side access gate and link road to cemetery.
• New automatic back-up electric generator
• New cold store facility
• 2 New electric biers (coffin trolleys)
• Installation of a new fire alarm system
• Installation of emergency lighting
• Installation of a central heating system
• Installation of heat exchanger to run heating from excess heat from filtration equipment which will massively reduce utilities costs
• Installation of CCTV system
• Installation of new control room for operators to improve working conditions and environment
• Installation of a professional ventilation system in the receiving room and crematory
• Improved family viewing environment.
• Refurbishment of Chapel
• Installation of 2 new pews to increase Chapel capacity by over 10%
• Refurbishment of staff mess room
• Refurbishment of receiving room
• Refurbishment of crematory
• Refurbishment of Waiting Room, Entrance Hall and Music Room
• Partial refurbishment and improved lighting in Book of Remembrance room
• Cremation services maintained throughout the project
• Upgraded external lighting including introduction of economical LED lighting
• Preperation for delivery of solar panels

Monday, 29 April 2013

Thanet Community Safety Plan 2013/14 Agreed


The Thanet Community Safety Plan was approved at TDC’s Cabinet meeting on Thursday 25 April. The plan highlights the need to collectively tackle community safety issues, such as anti-social behavior, domestic abuse, violent crime, substance misuse and acquisitive crime and theft offences, in the district over the next year.
As part of the action plan the partnership will:
  • Deliver a project targeted around safety on public transport to reduce anti-social behaviour
  • Increase the use of community payback to clear environmental anti-social behaviour such as fly-tipping and graffiti
  • Continue delivery of targeted seasonal domestic abuse campaigns and pilot outreach work at peak times at the QEQM hospital to support victims
  • Deliver education programmes in schools to encourage positive relationships and positive role models
  • Support the national loan sharking campaign and hold an action week
  • Deliver a road safety program to young people arrested for drink driving offences
  • Expand the use of the SmartWater property marking scheme and raise awareness around burglary prevention
During the meeting Cabinet Members were also presented with the latest crime statistics, which revealed that crime over the last year has reduced by 4.7% in total in Thanet. This meant that there were 496 less offences being committed across the district. Thanet has also seen a great decrease in robbery offences and criminal damage in comparison with last years figures. The partnership has achieved this by delivering actions contained within last year’s plan but by also investing time realigning some functions and improving efficiency.
Madeline Homer, Thanet District Council Director of Community Services, said: “Tackling crime in Thanet remains a top priority. It is good news that we are experiencing a reduction in crime in the area however, the need to continue this good work remains essential.”
“The Community Safety Partnership continues to work with Kent Police alongside many other agencies to collectively implement and deliver initiatives that will help Thanet to be a safe place to live, work and visit.”

Cabinet support Air Quality Action Plan


Cabinet Members last week (Thursday 25 April) approved the council’s Air Quality Action Plan for 2013. They were presented with the action plan alongside details of air pollution figures and objectives to tackle high pollution areas within the district.
The principle aim of the Air Quality Action Plan is to coordinate strategies to offer a comprehensive strategic approach to the improvement of air quality across Thanet. This will enable key issues, including road traffic, transportation and development, to be addressed in an integrated manner and will assist in the promotion of effective Air Quality monitoring, management and education across a broader geographic area.
The plan highlights areas in Birchington and St. Lawrence which exceed health based objectives. The key measures the plan aims to implement over the next 12 months include:
  • Investigate Traffic Signal and Junction Configuration
  • Improving movement of freight
  • Encouragement of public transport use
  • Car Sharing and Travel Planning (with a number of sub-measures)
  • Promotion of cycling and walking
  • Development planning
  • Promotion of Air Quality Issues
  • Parking Enforcement
  • Control of Industrial Emissions
  • Feasibility studies and funding
Harvey Patterson, Thanet District Councils, Corporate and Regulatory Services Manager said: “The air quality in Thanet is generally good and it reflects a national picture in that it is improving, although there are two locations where concentrations of traffic currently cause the level of a pollutant called nitrogen dioxide (NO2) to be higher than is desirable.
“It is therefore essential that we set in motion these initiatives to ensure the population of Thanet’s health and well-being is protected.”

Sunday, 28 April 2013

KING GEORGE VI PARK RAMSGATE RETURNS TO NORMALI


The peace and quiet of the Park was disrupted on Wednesday 25th April when a convoy of caravans belonging to a group of travellers entered and occupied the upper piece of land without permission from TDC who are the legal owners of the land.
TDC immediately issued them notice to leave by Friday, which they failed to do.
TDC officers assessed the situation in the Park and on Fridaythey were preparing a Section 77 report in order to request an eviction notice from the Courts.
The 2 Ward Councillors, Cllr. Michelle Fenner and Cllr. Alan Poole, were in frequent contact with the Police and TDC officers. On Saturday morning they were made aware of an incident at the Park. On their arrival at the entrance of the Park they witnessed an ugly and distressing incident involving 3 male travellers threatening the owner of the Park kiosk. They immediately made an emergency call to the Police. A large contingent of Police officers arrived within a few minutes, led by Inspector David Collinson.
Using their legal power under Sections 61/62, the Police ordered the group of travellers to leave the Park immediately.
By 12 noon the Park was empty of caravans and returned to its normal activities of families walking, children playing, dog walkers exercising their pets.
Many thanks must be expressed to all the people who got involved and supported the Park users:
Many residents came forward to express their dismay.
The police were very prompt to respond to the threatening behaviour displayed by a group of travellers.
The Ward Councillors were there or in regular contact throughout and their prompt assessment of the incident enabled the quick response from the Police.
Cllr Michelle Fenner“ the Park is very precious to all the residents of Ramsgate and over the years we have always been active, fighting tooth and nail to protect the Park against any threats”
TDC officers prepared the legal grounds for eviction and assisted in all matters relating to this unfortunate situation.
Cllr. Alan Poole: “ we have asked TDC officers to do everything they can  and as soon as possible to restore the Park to its natural beauty”

The Park is one of the jewels in the crown in Ramsgate and we urge all residents to go and enjoy it, and to be respectful of all other users.



Published by Thanet Labour Group Press Office
44 Norhdown Road
Margate
Kent
CT9 2RW

Friday, 26 April 2013

Council officers acted appropriately

“Council officers were found to have acted appropriately in all circumstances and there was no evidence of misconduct on the part of any council officer.” 

These were the findings of a review into council officer conduct in the matters relating to the imprisonment of former councilor Sandy Ezekiel presented to Thanet District Council Cabinet last night (Thursday 25 April). 

The review also stated that the council’s Whistleblowing Policy and Contract Standing Orders (CSO) Policy are annually reviewed and have been found to be robust. The most suitable procurement strategy will continue to be assessed as part of each procurement planning process. The council will also undertake a review of its asset disposal policies and procedures to ensure that they remain an active deterrent to fraud and corruption and prevent officers or members taking advantage of price sensitive information.  

In addition to this, the council has committed to review the Register of Member’s Interests. The review will consider the potential of extending the current limited system of disclosures required by the Disclosable Pecuniary Interests Regulations. There will also be a wider review of the Member’s Code of Conduct over the summer. 

It was also agreed to review the process in relation to hearing ‘pink paper’ reports in private session (excluding the press and public) with a view to revisiting these decisions after 1 year and the release of information into the public domain if deemed appropriate at this time. 
The council will also review its policy on the filming of council meetings. 
 
Thanet District Council Chief Executive, Sue McGonigal, said: “The council is committed to doing all that it can to prevent fraud, including the misuse of privileged information. I would like to reassure our residents that council officers and members continue to work together to ensure that any suspected unlawful activity is immediately reported through the correct processes.”

Thanet Council - STATEMENT

The council is aware that travellers have encamped on council land in St. George VI Memorial Park. The council is working closely with the Police to return the park to full public use as soon as possible.

THANET COUNCIL BANS FILMING – AGAIN!


On April 23 April members of Thanet Council banned filming of their proceedings for the second time in five times.
The chair of the council’s overview and scrutiny committee had invited people to film one of its meetings.
But other members of the committee challenged his ruling and voted to stop the filming.
Chair Ian Driver said the decision went against both the council’s own rules and government guidance.
“This decision stinks and brings shame on the council,” he said.
Journalists wishing to film the meeting included Christine Tongue of Thanet Watch magazine, who was thrown out Thanet Council last week for filming an angry council meeting over Ramsgate seafront. 
“I feel the council are just making themselves look stupid and secretive,” she said. “Many members of the general public are saying, what has the council got to hide?”
Christine did film some of the committee meeting and this on the Thanet Watch website: www.thanetwatch.wordpress.com
 Ed. film embedded below
 
For the full story of the council’s ban of filming, “What Have The Council Got To Hide?” see the new issue of Thanet Watch available in outlets across Thanet this weekend, price 80p.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Filming at Council meeting


Michael could you please publish my letter to Eric Pickles MP Local Government Secretary on your Press release website thank you

Ian
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Ian Driver <ianddriver@yahoo.co.uk>
To: "eric.pickles@communities.gsi.gov.uk" <eric.pickles@communities.gsi.gov.uk>
Sent: Wednesday, 24 April 2013, 10:01
Subject: Filming at Council meetings 

Dear Mr Pickles
 
I am writing to you in my capacity as a Thanet District Councillor to express my concern about my Council's unreasonable resistance to allowing  the filming of its meetings by accredited members of the media and citizen journalists.
 
At the Council meeting on 18th April a local journalist was expelled from the meeting for trying to film the appalling way in which councillors behaved when dealing with a major petition of over a 1,000 signatures. Instead of dealing with the petition, councillors shouted and traded personal insults at each other almost resulting in a fist fight between 2 members. The journalist and I felt that the behaviour was so bad that it must be recorded and published. The journalist was expelled from the meeting. For taking photographs of a meeting of a Council of which I am member, I too was expelled the meeting. I have since published some of these pictures on my blog site ( http://vote4driver.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/fight-fight.html ). I have been advised that some elected  members have now complained to the Council's Standards Board about that fact that I photographed and published evidence of their unacceptable behaviour.
 
Last night at a meeting of Thanet Council's Overview and Scrutiny Panel (of which I am the chairman), I agreed to allow the meeting to be recorded by accredited journalists (including the BBC who were present) and citizen journalists. Members of the Council's ruling  Labour Group challenged my decision  and voted not to allow any filming at all. Sadly the Tory group abstained on this issue.
 
As you probably know, following the gaoling of the Council's former leader Sandy Ezeikiel for misconduct in public office, Thanet Council's reputation for probity and transparency is extremely  poor and most people in the district hold the Council in low esteem.
 
Efforts to restore its reputation by becoming more open and transparent in the reporting of its business through the use of new media and citizen journalism are being resisted by a majority of Councillors. This cannot be right. Indeed Thanet  Cabinet's forthcoming review of Probity and Reputation makes no mention whatsoever of opening up meetings to be filmed by citizens journalists as a means of rehabilitating its tarnished image.
 
I am aware of you comments in favour of allowing the filming of Council meetings by citizen journalists. I am also aware of your colleague Bob Neale's  letter to all Council Leaders and Monitoring Officers encouraging them to allow citizen journalists to record and broadcast video of Council meetings. I can advise you that this letter has never been discussed by Thanet Council or its committees and this letter has never been circulated to Members. This is totally unacceptable.
 
I would be very grateful if you could investigate the situation at Thanet Council and  use your power and influence to persuade this old fashioned, backward looking body to allow local people to hold  councillors to public account by filming and broadcasting them at work in meetings.
 
I am sure that the people of Thanet will welcome your intervention. But perhaps not the councillors.
 
I am seriously considering setting up a petition to force the Council to change its undemocratic rules in relation to filming
 
I look forward to hearing from you.
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Councillor Ian Driver
Thanet District Council

The Hate Crime Panel (Kent Uni Questions)


Kent's IPCC Ann Barnes will be among the panellists to discuss hate crime at a Question Time style event at Kent University,Canterbury, next month.
 
The Hate Crime Panel will discuss the controversial issue as the event for this year's International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 15th.
 
Also on the panel will be Baroness Hamwee, former Liberal Democrat London Assembly member and Co--Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Home Affairs,Justice and Equalities and Thanet Independent Group Leader Councillor John Worrow, himself subject of hate crime.
 
Student organiser is Kevin McNamara

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Thanet District Council meeting webcast,

Watch the 18 April Full Council meeting below. The meeting will be available to watch here on demand from 23 April until 7 May 2013.

Unfortunately technical issues with the chamber recording equipment means that we are only able to broadcast the first eighty minutes of the three-hour meeting that took place.

We apologise for this. Every effort is being taken to ensure the problems do not occur at future meetings.

You will need Adobe Flash player to watch the video.  If you don't have Flash player, download it at http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer

To watch the video click on the link http://www.thanet.gov.uk/council_webcast.aspx

On slower internet connections there may be a short delay before the video starts.


Copyright

This video is the property of Thanet District Council and is subject to our copyright statement

Let us know what you think

TDC Conservative Group welcomes announcement that Pleasurama freehold is not to be transferred to SFP Ventures



The Conservative Group at Thanet District Council welcomes the announcement that the Pleasurama freehold is not to be transferred to SFP Ventures.

Cllr Bob Bayford commented: “Whilst we welcome this announcement, it comes after the Labour administration has, for the best part of a year, argued that their proposed new agreement was the best option for this development.  Their sudden change of heart seems to be more due to the forthcoming elections than any real clear vision or strategy for the site.

“I am also pleased that this issue is to be scrutinised by a working party established by Overview and Scrutiny Committee.”

Know Your Gateway 2013

On 7th May 2013 Thanet Gateway Plus will be running their twice annual event, ‘Know Your Gateway’ in Broadstairs Library from 10am – 2pm. The event will welcome local residents who would like to find out more about the Gateway’s services and its partnership organisations. 
The Gateway is a partnership project funded by Thanet District Council and Kent County Council and works with over 50 organisations.  
The aim of the event is to raise awareness of what the Gateway does, as well as showcase the services they have available to the general public; whether this is housing information, disability support or employment support. In bringing the Gateway to Thanet’s local communities it enables people to raise awareness of important issues/matters going on, this includes the Gateways continued support for people affected by the recent welfare changes. 
Some of the organisations that will be attending this year’s event are; Circle Support Disability Drop in Centre, East Kent Housing, East Kent Itec, Thanet District Council’s Housing Options Team, Kent Association for the Blind, Kent County Council’s Kent supported Employment, Royal British Legion, Health Trainers and the Volunteer Bureau.  
Donna Reed, Shared Services Director, for Thanet District Council, said; “This event is a fantastic way to find out more about the Gateway and the services it can provide.” 
“The Gateway and its events are extremely successful in building partnerships with a number of organisations and they continue to provide people with a great source of information.”

Monday, 22 April 2013

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

Date Published*Application No.AddressStatus
19 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0112LAND AT JUNCTION OF, SOWELL STREET, BROADSTAIRS current
19 Apr 2013F/TH/13/020522 FITZROY AVENUE BROADSTAIRS CT103LScurrent
19 Apr 2013F/TH/13/025433 BELMONT ROAD RAMSGATE CT117QGcurrent
19 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0255150 CANTERBURY ROAD, MARGATE, CT95DDcurrent
19 Apr 2013F/TH/13/026415 NASH COURT ROAD MARGATE CT94DJcurrent
19 Apr 2013F/TH/13/027157 BOTANY ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT103SAcurrent
19 Apr 2013R/TH/13/0263LAND NORTH OF MARGATE HAINE ROAD BROADSTAIRS AND WEST OF NASH ROADcurrent
19 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0269DOCTORS SURGERY DASHWOOD HOUSE 24 SOUTH EASTERN ROAD RAMSGATE CT119DUcurrent
19 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0284THE PAVILION HARBOUR STREET BROADSTAIRS CT101EUcurrent
19 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0286LAND CORNER OF INVICTA WAY AND COLUMBUS AVENUE RAMSGATEcurrent
19 Apr 2013F/TH/13/028838 DUNCAN ROAD RAMSGATE CT119QHcurrent
19 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0290CHICOS WORKSHOPS 211B NORTHDOWN ROAD CLIFTONVILLE MARGATE CT92PFcurrent
17 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0270THOMPSON MOTORS STATION APPROACH YARD STATION APPROACH BIRCHINGTON CT79RDcurrent
16 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0246WINDRIDGE COATINGS LTD DANE VALLEY ROAD ST. PETERS BROADSTAIRS CT103JJcurrent
16 Apr 2013F/TH/13/024836 CHILTON LANE RAMSGATE CT110LQcurrent
16 Apr 2013F/TH/13/025797 PRINCESS MARGARET AVENUE MARGATE CT93EFcurrent
16 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0258OLD KENT BARN ST NICHOLAS AT WADE COURT ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT70NHcurrent
16 Apr 2013F/TH/13/026017 LEIGH ROAD RAMSGATE CT125EUcurrent
15 Apr 2013A/TH/13/0182THE WHEATSHEAF, NORTHDOWN PARK ROAD, MARGATE, CT9 3LNcurrent
15 Apr 2013F/TH/12/099825-26 FORT CRESCENT MARGATE CT91HXcurrent
15 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0203LAND ADJACENT TO NORTH GOODWIN HOUSE, CLIFF PROMENADE, BROADSTAIRScurrent
15 Apr 2013F/TH/13/02049 THE BROADWAY, BROADSTAIRS, CT10 2AD current
15 Apr 2013F/TH/13/021732 QUEENS GATE ROAD RAMSGATE CT117RGcurrent
15 Apr 2013F/TH/13/022021 NORTHDOWN AVENUE, MARGATE, CT92NWcurrent
15 Apr 2013F/TH/13/022269 PARK LANE BIRCHINGTON CT70AUcurrent
15 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0245LAND ADJACENT 2, LINDEN AVENUE, BROADSTAIRScurrent
15 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0265190 CANTERBURY ROAD MARGATE CT95JWcurrent
15 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0287ELLINGTON PARK GROUNDS, ELLINGTON PARK, RAMSGATE current
15 Apr 2013L/TH/12/099925-26 FORT CRESCENT MARGATE CT91HXcurrent
15 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0206SERENE COURT, YORK STREET, BROADSTAIRS, CT10 NU current
15 Apr 2013F/TH/13/020814 BIRCH CLOSE BROADSTAIRS CT102NFcurrent
15 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0221LAND ADJACENT 84 TIVOLI ROAD MARGATEcurrent
12 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0238UNIT 4, OLD TIMBER YARD INDUSTRIAL ESTATE, MANSTON ROAD, RAMSGATE, CT12 6HJ current
12 Apr 2013F/TH/13/024942 CUNNINGHAM CRESCENT BIRCHINGTON CT79LFcurrent
12 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0241105 CANTERBURY ROAD, MARGATE, CT9 5AX current
* This date is when Thanet District Council first published this case file.

New documents published by Thanet District Council,

Thanet District Council licensing applications,

Name of Applicant / Club Address of Premises / Club Nature of application. New or variation Proposed licensable activities / or proposed variation Date by which representations may be made
(no less than 28 days after date received)
Quex Park Estates Quex Park, Birchington CT7 0BH New premises licence application Supply of alcohol, regulated entertainment and late night refreshment 08 April 2013
Mr Steven Mann Ramsgate Brewery, 7 Hornet Close, Broadstairs, Kent CT10 2YD New premises licence application Supply of alcohol 18 April 2013
Margate Harbour Arm Ltd Units 7 & 8 Margate Harbour Arm, Stone Pier, Margate CT9 1AP New premises licence application Supply of alcohol and regulated entertainment 18 April 2013
Mr Mustafa Hashimi & Mr Emre Dinc Beano Kebabs, 141 High Street, Broadstairs CT10 1NG New premises licence application Late night refreshment 23 April 2013
Savers Health and Beauty Limited 36 High Street, Ramsgate CT11 9AG New premises licence application Supply of alcohol 06 May 2013
Mr Dayne Gooding Cecil's Bar, 15 Cecil Square, Margate CT9 1BD Variation of premises licence Increase in hours to supply of alcohol, regulated entertainment and late night refreshment 08 May 2013

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Thanet Council Scrutiny Chair "Public Welcome to Film my Meetings"

 Following the regrettable incident on Thursday 18th April when a journalist was thrown of a meeting of Thanet District Council for trying to film the disgraceful behaviour of councillors, and following my own exclusion from the same meeting for taking photographs of the unacceptable events, I have been giving careful consideration as to how I will manage the meeting of Thanet Council’s Overview and Scrutiny and Panel on 23rd April.

I have decided that in line with Council rules to allow all accredited journalists to film proceeding of the OSP.
I interpret the term accredited journalist to include Citizen Journalists i.e. members of the public who wish to make and transmit video, sound or textual recordings of the meeting.
I will therefore allow anyone who advises me that they are citizen journalist to record the proceedings of Thanet Council’s OSP without obstruction.
This decision is in compliance with a letter sent to all Council Leaders and Chief Executives by Bob Neil,  Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Department for Communities and Local Government in February 2011 which states that in order to promote stronger local accountability the public should be “able to film and record in meetings without obstruction”.
Mr Neil’s letter also suggests that Thanet Council’s recent decision to throw myself and Christine Tongue out the Council meeting last week was wrong. He says that
“recent stories about people being ejected from council meetings for blogging, tweeting or filming … is at odds with the fundamentals of democracy and I want to encourage all councils to take a welcoming approach to those who want to bring local news stories to a wider audience”.
I am very surprised that the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council have never brought Mr Neil’s important letter to the attention of the Council. This is a very serious mistake on their part.
I am also extremely surprised that the forthcoming review of the Council’s Probity and Reputation following the gaoling of ex-Council Leader Sandy Ezekiel for misconduct in public office and the on-going problems with councillor behaviour at meetings, does not include any reference at all to the recording of public meetings. I wonder what the powers that be at Thanet Council have to hide?”
My decision to adopt a liberal and open approach to the recording of the OSP will I hope, be a step in the right direction, and I expect the Council to be supportive of my decision.

Photographs taken by councillor Ian Driver at the meeting on 18 April showing angry exchanges between 2 councillors. One councillor had to put herself between the two to prevent a fight
Bob Neil’s letter to Council Leaders and Chief Executives can found here

Friday, 19 April 2013

Journalist Christine Tongue has been expelled from Thanet District Council for filming during a meeting.


Uproar broke out in the council chamber and the meeting (which took place on Thursday April 18) was suspended as the Christine was escorted out of the building by security guards.

Christine, who writes for local investigative magazine Thanet Watch, said: “I am appalled that the council threw me out.

 She added: “This was a very important meeting about the future of Ramsgate seafront which is of huge concern to people in the area. It is absolutely absurd that they should try to prevent me – or anyone – else filming.”

“Central government has already told local authorities to encourage people to film and record their meetings and in other parts of the country many do.

“Why is Thanet council so determined to live in the Dark Ages? What have they got to hide?

“Don’t they want the public to know how they behave when debating issues critical to their future?”

Independent councillor Ian Driver was also thrown out of the meeting for taking pictures. He said: “I think anybody should be allowed to film or record council meetings without asking permission. Democracy means we should be accountable to the public.”

Thanet Watch editor Norman Thomas said: “The magazine is not prepared to give up on this. The people of Thanet have the right to know what their elected representatives are up to. Thanet council must change its policy on filming or it will only end up damaging its already tarnished image.”

Thanet Watch is a non-for-profit monthly magazine which has been called the “Private Eye” of Thanet. It regularly carries articles about cases of corruption in the area, as well as full entertainments listings and items written by local people.  

THANET WATCH magazine is available in newsagents across Thanet. For more information ring 01843 604 253 or 07989 070843.

Statement from Sue McGonigal, Chief Executive, Thanet District Council

We have received a number of questions from the public for the Council meeting on 18 April 2013 that relate to the Royal Sands (Pleasurama) development. Given the level of interest in this site at the meeting I will be giving a statement of the current position, to give context to the answers that will be given by the Cabinet members.

The statement is as follows:

The existing development agreement from 2009 is still in place, and is supported by three long term (199 year) leases on the site. The development agreement requires completion by 2014, with the potential to extend to 2017. Under the current agreement the freehold for the development would transfer on completion of the development with payment for the site to the council being made as overage as each unit is sold or leased.

In July 2012 Members were asked to give consideration as to whether they would consider replacing the current development agreement with one containing a number of changes, including the transfer of the freehold in advance and the payment of all the overage in a lump sum at the same time. Reflecting Member's concerns, these proposals contained a number of measures to protect the council's interests. However, as the detail of these changes was unable to be agreed to both parties' satisfaction these changes are no longer being taken forward.

Discussions are still ongoing with the developer and we remain committed to bringing this matter back to Cabinet in May, in line with the Cabinet decision in January 2013. In the meantime, I can confirm that the freehold will not be transferring to the developer until the completion of the development, and that this position has not changed since the development agreement was first signed.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

UKIP DEFEND ADOPTION OF EX-NAZI CANDIDATE FOR THANET




UKIP Thanet chair Trevor Shonk has defended his party’s controversial adoption of an ex-member of the far-right National Front as their candidate for Ramsgate in the Kent County Council elections in May.

The candidate, ex-NF man Martyn Heale was also previously chair of the Conservative Party in Thanet South and more recently election agent of UKIP’s national leader Nigel Farage.

Mr Shonk was filmed by Thanet Watch magazine during canvassing in Ramsgate.

The elections are on May 2.

Thanet Watch is an investigative monthly magazine which covers everything that’s happening – and shouldn’t be happening on the Isle of Thanet, East Kent.

Reports in its print publication are supplemented by films on its website.

For more information ring Norman Thomas on 01843 604 253 or 07989 070843 The film can be watched on www.thanetwatch.wordpress.com. 

COUNCILLOR ATTACKS THANET'S NEW CLINICAL COMMISSIONING GROUP




Councillor Ian Driver, chair of Thanet council’s overview and scrutiny committee has launched a blistering attack on the GP group which now controls Thanet’s £190 million healthcare budget.

Government’s changes to the NHS mean that commissioning of health care in Thanet is governed by Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group made up of local GPs.

“There are 10 people on the board of Thanet’s CCG – and half of them have conflicts of interest,” said Driver, speaking on a film report on the website of Thanet Watch magazine.

He’s calling for the immediate removal of one of the members of the group, a lay member who is actually the sales director of a multinational company who sells computer software to doctors.

“In my book,” said Driver, “that’s a massive conflict of interest.”

Driver also pointed out that four of the doctors on the CCG including CCG chair Tony Martin all have an interest in a company called Thanet Health CIC Ltd, specifically set up to provide services to GP commissioners.

“It stinks,” said Driver, “There’s no other way of describing it.”

Thanet Watch is an investigative monthly magazine which covers everything that’s happening – and shouldn’t be happening on the Isle of Thanet, East Kent.

Reports in its print publication are supplemented by films on its website.

For more information ring Norman Thomas on 01843 604 253 or 07989 070843. The film can be watched on www.thanetwatch.wordpress.com. 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

RAMSAGATE ROCKS PLEASURAMA TREMBLES

I would like to pay a public tribute to the Friends of Ramsgate Seafront who's lobbying and campaigning about Pleasurama appears to have persuaded Thanet Council  to withdraw their offer to sell the freehold of the site to failing developer SFP Ventures UK Ltd. This is a fantastic example of People Power at work.
However the fact remains that SFP Ventures UK Ltd  still have a 199 year lease on the site and they still appear to be struggling to complete the development they started 10 years.
If we are to avoid the prospect of Ramsgate's seafront being blighted for another 10 years then Thanet  Council must now  begin action to recover the lease from the failing  developers SFP and kick them off the site.
A People's Plan for Ramsgate's seafront based on what local people want and not what councillors and top council bossed think is best for us , should be the next step forward in tackling years of scandalous  neglect of  Ramsagate prime asset
Councillor Ian Driver (Independent Candidate in KCC Election)

Monday, 15 April 2013

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

Date Published*Application No.AddressStatus
12 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0238UNIT 4, OLD TIMBER YARD INDUSTRIAL ESTATE, MANSTON ROAD, RAMSGATE, CT12 6HJ current
12 Apr 2013F/TH/13/024942 CUNNINGHAM CRESCENT BIRCHINGTON CT79LFcurrent
12 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0241105 CANTERBURY ROAD, MARGATE, CT9 5AX current
11 Apr 2013F/TH/13/02506 SEA VIEW TERRACE, MARGATE, CT9 5BJcurrent
11 Apr 2013L/TH/13/02916 SEA VIEW TERRACE, MARGATE, CT9 5BJcurrent
11 Apr 2013F/TH/13/02291 MINSTER ROAD RAMSGATE CT110JNcurrent
11 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0242DEEPDENE, NORTH FORELAND AVENUE, BROADSTAIRS, CT10 3QTcurrent
11 Apr 2013F/TH/13/025145-51 SEA ROAD, WESTGATE ON SEAcurrent
10 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0247ST NICHOLAS COURT FARM, COURT ROAD, ST NICHOLAS AT WADE, BIRCHINGTON, CT7 0NJcurrent
10 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0240LAND REAR OF 10 TO 16, ST MILDREDS AVENUE, RAMSGATEcurrent
09 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0201UNITS 5 5A AND 6, MARINE GARDENS, MARGATEcurrent
09 Apr 2013F/TH/13/021321 STATION ROAD, WESTGATE ON SEA, CT8 8RBcurrent
09 Apr 2013F/TH/13/02366 LYSANDER CLOSE, BROADSTAIRS, CT10 2YRcurrent
09 Apr 2013F/TH/13/0237LINKSIDE, MARINE DRIVE, BROADSTAIRS, CT10 3LUcurrent
* This date is when Thanet District Council first published this case file.

New documents published by Thanet District Council,

Thanet District Council licensing applications,

Name of Applicant / Club Address of Premises / Club Nature of application. New or variation Proposed licensable activities / or proposed variation Date by which representations may be made
(no less than 28 days after date received)
Quex Park Estates Quex Park, Birchington CT7 0BH New premises licence application Supply of alcohol, regulated entertainment and late night refreshment 08 April 2013
Mr Steven Mann Ramsgate Brewery, 7 Hornet Close, Broadstairs, Kent CT10 2YD New premises licence application Supply of alcohol 18 April 2013
Margate Harbour Arm Ltd Units 7 & 8 Margate Harbour Arm, Stone Pier, Margate CT9 1AP New premises licence application Supply of alcohol and regulated entertainment 18 April 2013
Mr Mustafa Hashimi & Mr Emre Dinc Beano Kebabs, 141 High Street, Broadstairs CT10 1NG New premises licence application Late night refreshment 23 April 2013
Savers Health and Beauty Limited 36 High Street, Ramsgate CT11 9AG New premises licence application Supply of alcohol 06 May 2013
Mr Dayne Gooding Cecil's Bar, 15 Cecil Square, Margate CT9 1BD Variation of premises licence Increase in hours to supply of alcohol, regulated entertainment and late night refreshment 08 May 2013

Fly-tipper’s prosecuted for their offences

Thanet District Council continues its hard work to ensure that fly-tippers are convicted for their offences. Two men from Ramsgate and Cliftonville both appeared in court early last week admitting to two separate fly-tipping offences. Both men have been prosecuted and fined, after pleading guilty.

On Tuesday 2nd April, Canterbury Magistrates’ Court heard David Orr (29) of Flora Road, admit to dumping multiple black sacks of rubbish onto land leading from Pegwell Road to Coastguard Cottages (Pegwell Bay) on 8th October 2012. He said that he had picked up the waste but given it to someone to dispose of. He was later prosecuted for fly-tipping.

On the same date at Canterbury Magistrates’ Court Mr Dezider Tancos (24) of Surrey Road, also admitted to a separate offence whereby he dumped two mattresses on the street (Surrey Road), nearby his flat in Cliftonville on 22nd November 2012.

Mr Orr received a conditional discharge for one year and was fined £679.08 in clear-up costs plus a victim surcharge of £15.00.

Mr Tancos also received a conditional discharge for six months and was fined £471.15 for clear-up costs plus £15.00 victim surcharge.

Thanet District Councils, Corporate and Regulatory Services Manager, Harvey Patterson, said; “We will not allow Thanet to be spoiled by such anti-social behavior. Any form of fly-tipping is totally unacceptable and the council will not hesitate to prosecute offenders.

“We hope that both prosecutions will act as a deterrent to anyone considering the same actions.”

DAME KELLY HOLMES CALLS ON THE YOUNG ADULTS OF THANET TO ‘GET ON TRACK’

For the first time in Kent, double gold Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes is enrolling young adults from Thanet, aged 18-25 for the ‘Get on Track’ project which is being held this April!  
The project is aimed at young adults who are looking for employment opportunities, and are not in education or training. Dame Kelly Holmes’ charity, the DKH Legacy Trust, in partnership with Thanet District Council's SPORT 4 NRG programme is supporting young adults in Thanet, on its ‘Get on Track’ programme. Take a look at www.dkhlegacytrust.org to find out more. 
The scheme will run for a course of eight-weeks part-time and starts on 29th April 2013. ‘Get on Track’ was set up to get 18-25 year olds interested, motivated and confident. The programme provides a great chance to get qualified and assist you with your CV and interview techniques to enhance your opportunities of employment at the end of the course.

Funded by National Lottery and awarded by Sport England, Get on Track sees world-class Athletes provide mentoring and support to young people as they get ‘fit for work’ through committing to a healthy and active lifestyle, which will in turn help inspire them to make positive changes to their lives. The Sport 4 NRG team and DKHLT’s Local Delivery Partner, Clare Bell, have worked hard in coordinating and managing the ‘Get on Track’ programme and hope to inspire and encourage everyone that takes part.

Madeline Homer, Director of Community Services at Thanet District Council said; “Thanet District Council and Sport 4 NRG are excited to be a part of the first ever ‘Get on Track’ programme in Kent. The Dame Kelly Holmes initiative really offers the young adults of Thanet a fantastic opportunity to get involved and develop their career prospects for the future.”

Sam Weissman was on the Southwark Get on Track programme in October 2012 and had this to say about it; “I had been long term unemployed since I graduated from University in 2010 and although I had been on a number of courses to increase my employability, this one really stood out to me as something special. The athlete mentors on my course were really friendly and encouraging, and helped me to see my potential. I am now working as Administrative Assistant for the Trust, helping to deliver the very programme that turned my life around.”

Clare Maclean-Bell, Local Delivery Partner, added; “What makes the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust so different and refreshing is that it gives young people (18-25) a 360 development experience through Sport, Education, Community & Volunteering and Work Experience. Every young person that the Trust supports has the chance to work with, be inspired by, and learn from the experience of world class sports stars. I am looking forward to working alongside James Gregory from Sport 4 NRG, to deliver this life changing programme!”

DKH Legacy Trust are holding enrolling sessions at various places in Thanet, the next being at Gateway Plus, Margate between 12.00-4.00pm on Wednesday 15th April. Come along to find out more or if you are interested and fit the specification, or you know someone who would be interested, contact Clare Bell at DKH Legacy Trust on 07912 965 216 or email her on clare.bell@ymail.com to find out more and to get involved in this amazing scheme.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Thanet sets the scene for potential Filmmakers


Thanet District Council has re-launched a dedicated online guide for prospective production companies who are looking for the ideal location to shoot films, music videos, photoshoots and commercials in Thanet.
It is hoped that this re-launch will enable prospective filmmakers worldwide to browse the wonderful spaces, information and services that are available to them at the click of a mouse.
Thanet has a variety of locations on offer, from its beautiful sandy beaches located in traditional seaside towns to smaller towns and picturesque villages, not forgetting being home to the only Royal Harbour in the UK. Thanet also boasts fantastic transport links including; Manston International Airport (which offers flights worldwide!) and the HS1 High Speed train to London.
The re-launch of the website is aimed to highlight Thanet as a film destination and to make life easy for interested parties. Thanet prides itself on being a film friendly area and working closely with the Kent Film Office we try to ensure that filmmakers find their perfect location.
To look at all the amazing productions we have had filmed in the area in 2012, please follow this link: http://www.thanet.gov.uk/leisure__culture/thanet_film_service/filmed_in_thanet.aspx
Sue Mcgonigal, Chief Executive at Thanet District Council said; “I think it is great that we are promoting all of the wonderful locations we have here in Thanet. It is a truly attractive area and provides some fantastic backdrops which continue to be popular with filmmakers.”
Tiernan Hanby, Location Manager for the Bat for Lashes video said; "We had a great experience and loved filming in Thanet again. The area is very film friendly and the Film Office is one of the most organised and helpful in the UK."
We hope that with the new pages available we can welcome many more filmmakers to Thanet in 2013!
For more information, please visit Thanet District Councils ‘Filming in Thanet’ Page on the following link: http://www.thanet.gov.uk/leisure__culture/thanet_film_service.aspx