Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Blog Closed

Ed. As the main content of this blog was Thanet district council Press releases that the council are no longer prepared to send me I have suspended posts to this blog until further notice.

Sorry about this but I don’t really have any alternative, as the council was by far the main contributor.  

Monday, 13 June 2011

Thanet District Council press release

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The last remaining airborne Vulcan and the Red Arrows display team will
headline Margate’s Big Event featuring the Airfix Air Show this
weekend. (Saturday 18 June and Sunday 19 June)

The flying programme for this year’s free event, which is moving to
Margate seafront, has been unveiled, with action in the air on both
afternoons. The popular event, which again features a lively mix of
action on the ground and in the air, is already renowned as Kent’s
leading land and air festival.

Kicking off the Airfix Air Show at 2pm on Saturday 18 June is the
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, showcasing the legendary Lancaster,
Hurricane and Spitfire. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the
first ever flight of the Spitfire. The Tigers Freefall Team will then
parachute into the sea off Margate, before being followed by displays
from the Tutor, Tucano and Hawk, all used for training military pilots.
After a display by the Tornado GR4, the last remaining airborne Vulcan
B2 takes to the skies at 3.45pm above Margate. Known for its iconic
delta-wing design from the late 1940s, it’s widely regarded as a piece
of British history and one of the world’s greatest aircraft.

On Father’s Day, on Sunday 19 June at 3.30pm, the Airfix Air Show is
again opened by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, followed by the
Tigers Freefall Team. The Stearman, an American elementary aircraft from
the Second World War, then makes an appearance, before displays from the
Tutor, Tucano and Hawk. The Sunday action in the air is wrapped up at
5.00pm by the ever popular Red Arrows, providing a fitting end to this
year’s Big Event.

There will be plenty of activity on the ground, with live bands and DJs
throughout both days in Marine Gardens and the Piazza in the Old Town.
Highlights include the hugely popular Hullabaloo and Thanet girl group
One Step Beyond, national finalists in Britain Does Variety.

On Margate Main Sands, you can try out a whole host of sports
challenges, including inflatable sphere, climbing wall and football
wave. The Joss Bay Surf School will be on hand with their Indo Boards to
improve your skills, while the search is on for the Margate’s Big
Event Skipping Champion. The traditional Carnival Raft Race comes to the
event at 1.30pm on the Sunday, while younger members of the family can
enjoy Punch and Judy and the Hornby Village. Located next to the Clock
Tower, it features an Airfix Make-and-Paint area for families to sit and
enjoy Airfix modeling, a Hornby layout and Scalextric track.

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Performance, said: “This
year’s Big Event is absolutely packed with things for the whole
family to do throughout the weekend. We’ve got an amazing line-up of
action in the Airfix Air Show on both days, from the ever popular Red
Arrows to the rare Vulcan bomber, supplemented by a superb selection of
activities on the ground. We look forward to seeing thousands of people
flocking into Margate and supporting the town’s businesses during this
year’s Big Event.”

Margate’s Big Event opens at 10.30am on both days and closes at 10pm
on the Saturday with fireworks on the Harbour Arm, and 6pm on the
Sunday. For full details of what’s happening, visit

www.thanet.gov.uk/margatesbigevent or call 01843 577577. Road
closures will be in place along Marine Terrace from 1.30pm to 4.30pm on
the Saturday and from 3pm to 6pm on the Sunday, with traffic, except for
buses, diverted along All Saints Avenue. Event parking is available at
Dreamland, Mill Lane, Trinity Square and Morrison’s.

Thursday, 9 June 2011


Changes have been announced to which councillors look after which areas of Thanet District Council’s business.

Each Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet portfolio holder will take responsibility for services relating to one of the four priority themes in the Strategy for Taking the Council to a New Level, with an additional portfolio holder covering Partnerships and Tourism. The strategy states that by 2030 Thanet should be “A place where individuals are able to reach their full potential, where there are opportunities for everyone in an environment that celebrates its natural beauty and rich and diverse heritage.”

The four priority themes in the strategy are:
  • People represented by Community Services – “working together to make Thanet safe and improve the quality of life for all”,
  • Place represented by Environmental Services – “keeping Thanet beautiful by making the place clean, green and a healthy place to be”,
  • Prosperity represented by Economic Development and Regeneration – “attracting employment especially by supporting tourism and the green economy”, and
  • Performance - “Delivering services we are proud of; that make a difference and provide value for money for our residents.”
The services allocated to each portfolio and the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet members responsible for these are:

Cabinet Member (Conservative)
Shadow Cabinet Member (Labour)
Economic Development and Regeneration (which also includes the Port of Ramsgate, harbours, strategic planning and Dreamland)
Cllr. Bob Bayford
Cllr. Clive Hart
Community Services (which includes housing need and homelessness, private sector housing, housing intervention, the Margate Task Force, licensing and land charges, community safety, parking, sport, art, museums, the Thanet Coast Project, indoor and outdoor leisure, play services and events)
Cllr. Chris Wells
Cllr. Iris Johnston
Environmental Services (which includes waste and recycling, street cleaning, public toilets, environmental health, coastal protection, parks, allotments, building control, general estate management, crematorium and cemeteries, asset management, planning applications, planning enforcement and conservation)
Cllr. Simon Moores
Cllr. Alan Poole
Performance (which includes financial services, governance and risk, legal services, democratic services, contract management and corporation information and communications)
Cllr. Martin Wise
Cllr. Richard Nicholson
Partnerships and Tourism (which includes shared services, such as East Kent Housing, human resources, East Kent Audit, customer services, revenues and benefits and IT services)
Cllr. Alasdair Bruce
Cllr. Michelle Fenner

Leader of the Council, Cllr. Bob Bayford, said: “While it may surprise some that these changes are being made so soon after our Annual Council meeting, given the election results, until we had that meeting, we didn’t know who would be the council’s Leader. To have tried to change the portfolios ahead of that decision being made would have been exceptionally presumptuous.”

Labour Leader of the Opposition Clive Hart says: "The new portfolio roles and responsibilties are set by the Leader of the Council and, as such, we in opposition have no say in the detail of their make up. Indeed, we may well have done things very differently. However, in the interests of cross-party working, our shadow team will do our very best with each of our individual portfolio areas for the people of Thanet".

Cllr. Bayford added: “The council has four clear internal priorities – people, place, prosperity and performance – and it’s important that we match portfolios to those priorities. Shared services is also a major project for this council and that’s why there’s a Cabinet Member specifically appointed to look after that area, our partnership work in general and tourism, which is vital to our area.  We believe that this structure means that the council will be delivering on all of its principles to improve the service we provide to our residents, businesses and customers.”

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Sea flood defence scheme: Public drop in sessions

Local people can learn more about a landmark scheme to protect Margate
from flooding in the future at special drop-in sessions later this month

The total cost of the project is just over £6 million. The first phase
of the work which focused on the defences near to the Turner
Contemporary was completed in March this year. The much larger second
and final phase is due to start in October 2011, with work undertaken
from the Harbour Arm to the clocktower area in the main bay.  The work
will involve strengthening of the Harbour Arm and the installation of a
sea wall along with a series of wide steps from the beach to the
promenade around the Kings Step area. This will reduce the risk of waves
breaking over the sea wall, but can also be used by anyone on the beach
to get into the town. Disruption is likely in the town while the work is
taking place.

The scheme has been designed to tackle a serious problem for Margate,
as the potential cost of damage caused by flooding in the town has been
estimated to be around £65 million, with 476 properties in the Old Town
area potentially at risk.

Residents can find out more and talk to the council’s coastal
engineers, who are behind the scheme, at two drop-in sessions, due to be
held at the Margate Media Centre. The first takes place on Thursday 16
June from 5.00pm to 8.00pm and the second is being held on Tuesday 21
June from 2.00pm until 5.00pm.

For those who can’t make it to the drop-in sessions, a 3d model of
what is planned will be available to view in the Margate Media Centre
during its opening hours, from Friday 17 June until Friday 1 July.
Details of the scheme can also be seen on the council’s website at

Cllr. Simon Moores, Cabinet Member for Customer Services and Regulatory
Services, said: “This is a landmark scheme for Margate and one which
will help to protect the town from flooding over the next 50 years. It
will bring huge benefits, with the risk of flooding for properties in
the Old Town area reduced from a one in 20 year event to a one in 200
year event. Naturally, there will be disruption while this work is
carried out, and we want to explain to people exactly what will be
happening, so they know what to expect.”

The work is being funded by the Environment Agency. The plans went
before the council’s Planning Committee last month (May). They
deferred the final decision to officers, with a recommendation that the
plans be approved, subject to Natural England confirming that they have
no objection to the scheme on the grounds of ecology.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011


Sadly, the transport of live animals has taken place on 2 occasions during the last few weeks from the Port of Ramsgate.
This situation has arisen as Dover currently does not have the capacity because of the refurbishment of 2 berths.
The company owners have not requested any facilities from TDC to take care of the needs of farm animals if they are stationary in the port of Ramsgate, arguing that they would move them inland.
This type of uncaring treatment has led to the Lisbon Treaty, article 13 (2009) which re-classifies live animals as ‘sentient beings’ rather than ‘goods’.
The current argument against a ban is that it would allow a quantitative restriction on imports and exports. This argument is based on legislation from 1847 which assumes live farm animals to be ‘goods’.
On Tuesday 7th June the Labour Group gave written notice of a motion to full council that TDC seeks legal opinion on the legality of a ban on the transport of live animals from the Port of Ramsgate.

By Cllr Michelle Fenner

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

Quex Park Wedding Showcase

New gazebo to be revealed
Sunday 26th June  12 3pm     Pre register for free entry
Quex Park is to hold an exclusive Wedding Showcase to unveil its new gazebo licensed for civil ceremonies and its refurbished bridal dressing area, on Sunday 26th June.
The stunning gazebo, designed by well-known local architect Malcolm Rowlett, compliments perfectly the fine Victorian Ironwork on the verandas of Quex House and the Powell-Cotton Museum
Inside, ‘The Roberts Room’, a regency style Brides' dressing room in Quex House with it’s own bathroom, has been refurbished to offer the bride and her attendants the ideal setting in which to prepare for the ceremony.  It also offers excellent photo opportunities for the bride and her attendants and has magnificent views of the manicured grounds.
“Work has been going on round the clock to ensure that the gazebo and Roberts Room were ready for the start of the outdoor wedding season,” said Quex Park Assistant Estate Manager, Angie Curwen, adding, “They look magnificent.”
Handcrafted at Andy Thornton Architectural Antiques’s Rosemount workshops, this classic Victorian-style gazebo is reminiscent of the park bandstands of that period.  Created to Quex’s own specifications, it provide a unique focal point for a wedding ceremony.
Quex Park has seating for up to 120 in front of the gazebo that can then be catered for the wedding breakfast in the Hannah Dining Suite. 
Drinks receptions and can be held in the gardens, museum or on the terrace.  Up to 200 guests can be catered for in the evening with a finger buffet, barbeque or hog-roast.
Bell ringing in Quex Park’s historic Waterloo Tower, which is depicted in the Quex Park logo, makes for the perfect wedding day.
At the showcase, which is free to visitors who pre register online at www.quexpark.co.uk, guests will be able to experience the unique new opportunities and attractions available at what is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and historic wedding venues any where in the country.
There will be free food and wine sampling from the wedding menus, and Quex’s dedicated wedding team will be on hand to discuss individual requirements in detail and to book private viewings.
Visitors will also have a chance to meet and talk to a selection of suppliers such as dress and cake makers, car hirers and formal wear outfitters.


TDC Chairman Cllr Doug Clark JP visiting the last Cliftonville Farmers Market held monthly on the Oval lawns and congratulating them on reaching their tenth year (10th Anniversary will be in September).
PICTURE - left to right, Louise Drelaud, June Chadband (CRA Secretary), Doug Clark JP (Council Chairman) and Keith Chadband (CRA Chairman).


Today, Monday 6th June sees the start of Asda Broadstairs fundraising campaign for Everyman. Asda stores in the UK
will be joining forces for two-weeks of fun, to help raise funds and awareness for a disease that affects thousands of
men in the UK every year.

Asda Broadstairs have been chosen to launch activities for the region and are very excited about the line up for our fun filled day on Saturday 18th June.  We will be hosting a free gig in our car park in support of this fantastic cause and are pleased to announce that appearing live in support of Everyman will be …..BEN MILLS........X factor finalist.  There will be lots going on local groups Screaming Cherry & Paul Cornwall will be performing live together with Ben. Its going to be NUT's. Face painting, raffles and much more!!!!! Event will start at 10am with Snowdon Colliery Brass Band kicking things off and the event is being broadcast live by our friends at Academy FM.  A Great Blue Balloon Race will take place which will be a spectical as balloon tags are being sold to raise funds throuought the region.  We hope to achieve a target of 1000 ecologically friendly balloons to be released at lunchtime by Ben Mills showing we are serious about raising awareness of diseases that affects so many men.

We have been overwhelmed by the support of people in Thanet whose lives have been touched my male cancers.  Local businesses and schools have been keen to help by donating raffle prizes and holding school non uniform days.  AG Aviation at Manston have kindly donated a star prize for the balloon race.

The NHS are supporting our event and will have a male specialist cancer nurse on hand to help with any advise and steer people in the right direction. 

Asda store manager David Jones said; “We’re really proud to be supporting Everyman which is such a great cause; I'm sure our colleagues and customers will be supportive and help us raise vital funds."

Obama Visit

During the visit of Obama, the President of the United States there was much speculation over whether we still share the ‘special relationship’ and over which subjects the President would choose to discuss with the Government.
I was lucky enough to be allocated tickets to listen to Obama’s address to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall. The Hall is a place where you cannot help but feel the immense history associated with British politics. Dating from the 11th Century, it is in this Hall that our English law was forged. A king was sentenced to death here. Churchill and the Queen Mother lay in state here. And few people know that just around the corner, ornate designs by Pugin – who lived in Ramsgate – adorn the walls and ceilings. A little something from Thanet in Parliament!
But it was not only the architecture that the President experienced from Thanet on his trip, he also had the benefit of the skill and talent of local Thanet College students who served at the State Banquet held for him by the Queen at Buckingham Palace.  So Thanet certainly played its part in making his visit special.
There is no doubt that the President has gravitas. He was elected on a platform of change and – as he reminded MPs in his speech – made history as the first Afro-American President. As the grandson of a Kenyan who served as a cook in the British Army, Obama is living proof that effort, hard work and self-belief can result in the greatest of achievements.
But in declaring the UK and America’s relationship ‘not just special, but essential’, the President reminded us all that immense challenges of international significance are best undertaken in partnership, not unilaterally. The President said: “The time for our leadership is now… We are the nations most willing to stand up for the values of tolerance and self-determination that lead to peace and dignity." And he was right.

Lets Re-open Ramsgate Tunnels

There are over 3 miles of tunnels under
Ramsgate which became an underground city
and saved the lives of hundreds of Ramsgate
residents during the Blitz in World War II.
They are still there and could become a
fantastic Venue, Tourist Attraction and
Heritage Resource.


6 pm on Monday 27th June and


Your vote can win us the money to get
started on this exciting project


Ramsgate Town Council, Ramsgate (Heritage Regeneration) Trust Ltd, Ramsgate Tunnels Heritage Group,
Big Lottery Fund - The Jubilee Peoples Millions

Lets Re-open


There are over 3 miles of tunnels under
Ramsgate which became an underground city
and saved the lives of hundreds of Ramsgate
residents during the Blitz in World War II.
They are still there and could become a
fantastic Venue, Tourist Attraction and
Heritage Resource.


6 pm on Monday 27th June and


Your vote can win us the money to get
started on this exciting project


Ramsgate Town Council, Ramsgate (Heritage Regeneration) Trust Ltd, Ramsgate Tunnels Heritage Group,
Big Lottery Fund - The Jubilee Peoples Millions

Screaming Cherry

Screaming Cherry are very pleased to be rejoined by permanent guitarist Colin Morris after a years break from playing with the band to study. Colin returned for his first gig back with the band on 21st May at the Charles Dickens in Broadstairs. And then subsequently at the Barnaby Rudge on Friday 25th May

 The band, comprising vocalist Phoebe Williams, drummer Simon Willins, bassist Darren Hehir and the returning Colin Morris play covers and originals. Covers include Adele, Radiohead, Cranberries, snow patrol, Razorlight etc.

The band are extremely grateful to guitarist John Mathews from Mental Block for carrying them over Colins break.

 Coming shows locally are at the Charles Dickens, Victoria parade, Broadstairs on June 25th and August  2oth, At Ellington Park on July 17th.

 The band are also looking forward to supporting the EVERYMAN charity for prostate and testicular cancer at ASDA on JUNE 18th, as part of an all day event that will include Academey FM, Ben Mills, Screaming Cherry, Paul Cornwall  on the outdoor stage and in store many events including “four on a journey” entertaining shoppers.

Updates on events, Biographies and demos  can be found on the bands website www.screamingcherry.co.uk, on facebook (search for screaming cherry)  MySpace,  YouTube and Reverbnation.

Friday, 3 June 2011


Margate’s Big Event is flying into the centre of the town, with this year’s free event taking place at a new location, on the town’s main beach.

Aiming to bring thousands of visitors into the town’s shops and restaurants, Margate’s Big Event featuring the Airfix Air Show takes place over Father’s Day weekend, Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June. Building on the success of the Turner Contemporary, which has already attracted 100,000 visitors in its first six weeks, the event, which is free this year, promises thrilling flying displays, alongside live music and entertainment.

The Avro Vulcan bomber, arguably the world's greatest aircraft, and a piece of British history, and the Red Arrows display team will be the main stars of the Airfix Air Show. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will be returning to the area again, while the Tigers parachute team will be jumping into the sea off Margate Main Sands.  

On the ground, visitors can enjoy a selection of live bands, catering for all tastes and ages, a fairground offering white knuckle rides and gentler rides for children. You can enjoy traditional seaside fun and taster sports sessions on the beach. The Hornby Village will be beside the Clock Tower, along with an Airfix Make-and-Paint area for families to sit and enjoy Airfix modeling, a Hornby layout and Scalextric track.

On the Saturday night, once again, the event will have live music and a firework finale. The Sunday will also see the town’s popular annual Raft Race, organised by the Margate Carnival Group, taking place at 1.30pm.

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Commercial Services, said: “The Big Event is already renowned as Kent’s leading free air and land festival and for good reason. As anyone who’s been before knows, there’s always a superb line-up of entertainment, both on the ground and in the flying programme. It’s family friendly, with something for all ages, and best of all, it’s free for everyone to enjoy.

“This year, we’re bringing the event right into the centre of Margate. That’s something that businesses have been keen for us to do, as it brings thousands of people to the area. The council wants to do everything it can to help support traders during these difficult times and we believe that moving the Big Event on to Margate Main Sands will help us to do that. We’re looking forward to a busy weekend for the town, as people flock to Margate to celebrate Father’s Day on the beach with us.”

Darrell Burge from Hornby said: "Hornby Hobbies Ltd are very pleased to have the Airfix brand as the main sponsor of this event in Margate to cement the strong local links with the Isle of Thanet, and encourage more people into Airfix modelling and the other fantastic hobbies the company provides.  We are very excited about working with TDC taking the event forward over the next few years."

Margate’s Big Event will be open from 10.30am to 10.00pm on Saturday 18 June and from 10.30am to 6.00pm on Sunday 19 June. For more information about the event, contact 01843 577577. Sponsorship opportunities for Margate’s Big Event are still available by calling 01843 577167 or 01843 577638 or e-mailing events@thanet.gov.uk


Ramsgate is being targeted for an environmental clean-up as part of the council’s latest Operation Cleansweep.

As part of the day on Friday 10 June, local people can come along to the Kent Fire and Rescue Service trailer, which will be outside the Halifax on the corner of Harbour Street between 10am and 4pm. Officers from Kent Police, Thanet District Council and Kent Fire and Rescue Service will be on hand to offer advice on a range of subjects, including crime prevention, fire safety and problems with noise and anti-social behaviour.

Teams from Operation Cleansweep, which aims to tackle a range of environmental problems across Thanet, will be out and about in Ramsgate, with teams from Pipeline and Community Payback clearing up rubbish. The council’s Street Scene Enforcement Team will be investigating dumped rubbish and checking trade waste licences, while the council’s Environmental Health team will be checking on any environmental nuisances, such as noise, pollution or odours.

Cllr. Chris Wells, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “Operation Cleansweep is one of the most popular initiatives run by the council. Every time our teams go out and about into different areas of Thanet, they always uncover a range of issues that need tackling. On the next operation, as well as seeing the impact of what they do, we’re inviting Ramsgate residents to come and talk us and get advice about many different things. If you’re having problems with noise or anti-social behaviour, then there’s help available. We can also advise you on how to stay safe and ensure you don’t become a victim of crime or fire. We look forward to seeing people join us to find out how Cleansweep can help them.”

If anyone has any areas they would like to put forward for future Cleansweep operations, please call 01843 577065. 


Margate has seen a bumper Bank Holiday weekend, with an estimated 60,000 visitors flocking to the town over the three days.

Turner Contemporary attracted around 8,000 visitors over the long weekend, with its visitor figures now hitting six figures, just six weeks after it opened.

Margate also welcomed around 12,000 bikes and scooters to the seafront as part of the Margate Meltdown event for the fourth year running. The total is around 2,000 more than came to the area last year.

The Isle of Thanet's Visitor Information Centre, based in Margate, had a total of 800 enquiries, via telephone calls, e-mails and from people coming into the centre in Droit House. Visitors to the centre also received information on how they could enhance their visit to Margate by exploring what the rest of the area has to offer.

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Commercial Services, said: “This is fantastic news for Margate. It’s a really exciting time for the town, which is experiencing something of a tourism boom at the moment. Turner Contemporary is certainly proving to be a huge draw for visitors, accompanied by a strong programme of events during the summer months. Margate Meltdown brought thousands of people into the town on the Bank Holiday Monday. We’ve already had some really positive feedback from local businesses and I think it’s fair to say that we’re now seeing Margate busier than we have for a number of years.

“With Margate’s Big Event and the Margate Masters to look forward to over the next few weeks, I’m sure that trend will continue. Despite the success Margate has had recently, we’re not complacent. We know that there are issues that still need tackling. The first step towards doing that is the increased levels of visitors to the town that we’re seeing now, as that helps to support local businesses and encourage others into Margate.”


A Margate woman who fraudulently claimed more than £30,000 in benefits over an eight year period has been jailed for 12 months.

Karen Cook (37) from Friends Avenue was claiming Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Income Support based on being a single person. A joint investigation, undertaken by Thanet District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), discovered that Mrs. Cook had failed to declare her true circumstances and had been living with her husband Andrew Cook since January 2001 at three previous addresses. He was working as a self-employed electrician.

As a result, Mrs. Cook was overpaid Housing Benefit of £25,686.95, Council Tax Benefit of £3,299.19 and Income Support of £4,301.79.

Both were arrested by police and were interviewed by officers from the council and the DWP. Mrs. Cook admitted to living with her husband and failing to declare her true circumstances when claiming the benefits.

In the case at Canterbury Magistrates Court, Mrs. Cook pleaded guilty to a total of 12 charges of dishonestly making a false representation for her claims to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit from January 2001 to July 2009. She also pleaded guilty to one further charge of dishonestly failing to disclose information to the Department for Work and Pensions for her claim to Income Support in November 2008.

Magistrates sentenced her to 12 months in prison.

Cllr. Simon Moores, Cabinet Member for Customer Services and Regulatory Services, said: “This is a case where claims were fraudulently made over many years, costing the taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds. This is not a victimless crime. Every single one of us who pays our taxes suffers at the hands of benefits fraudsters. I hope this sends out a strong warning to anyone else tempted to try and cheat the system in a similar way. We will investigate any reports we get of benefit fraud and, if you’re caught, you could face the toughest of penalties and end up in prison, as has happened in this case.”