Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Switching on the Christmas Lights in Ramsgate

Ramsgate Town Council switch on the new lights in Ramsgate town centre on Saturday 3 December

A celebrity guest will join the Mayor of Ramsgate to turn on the new lights in the town centre. It gives Ramsgate chance to celebrate, welcome Santa in his grotto and enjoy a day of activities and fun in Charlotte and Albert Courts.

Santa (supported by the Rotary Club) will be meeting children from 11am – 4pm and there will be costumed characters from Bygone Days, market stalls and activities for children. There’s Christmas Petanque games from 12pm onwards in Charlotte Court.

Academy FM are providing their roadshow throughout the afternoon and the Salvation Army give a carol concert at 4pm.

The new lights are switched on at 4.45pm!

For further information contact Ramsgate Town Council on 01843 598751.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Council’s services expected to be affected by strike action

Council’s services are expected to be affected on Wednesday 30 November as unions are planning a national day of industrial action over pension reforms.

Preparations are under way by the authority to try to minimise the amount of disruption to services and plans are in place to ensure that normal service is resumed as soon as possible.

This will affect waste and recycling collections normally made on Wednesday, however arrangements have been made for the following week.

As some local schools may also be closed due to the industrial action, services may be affected if staff members with childcare responsibilities are unable to make alternative arrangements.

Thanet District Council’s Chief Executive Sue McGonigal said: “This industrial action is being taken at a national level and it is not something that we can resolve locally.

“At this stage we cannot say to what extent services will be affected, but we apologise in advance for any disruption and every effort will be made to minimise the impact on residents and other service users.

“The dispute is not with the Council which has good working relationships with the unions.

 “To avoid any delays on the day, we would advise residents who wish to contact the Council, if possible, to wait until Thursday 1 December.  

“We are aiming to deliver normal services as far as we can and residents can obtain regular updates and details on service arrangements on our website,   

The Council’s Ramsgate office will be closed and Thanet’s Gateway Plus will have minimal staff. 

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Conservative Group Press Release

Cllr Bob Bayford, the Leader of the Conservative Group at Thanet District Council, has been informed that Cllr John Worrow of Birchington South ward has resigned the Conservative Whip and now wishes to sit as an independent councillor.

Commenting on the resignation from the Conservative Group, Cllr Bayford said: “Naturally, I am disappointed by Cllr Worrow’s decision, which came as a surprise. I look forward to the by-election, which I am sure Cllr Worrow will call, to give the voters in his strongly Conservative ward, the opportunity to endorse his decision to cease representing them as a Conservative councillor. The Conservative Party was the basis for both his selection and recent election in Birchington South.”

He continued: “At a time when the country is facing significant financial and social challenges, Thanet has been making steady and measurable progress in a number of key areas. Tourism, led by the success of the Turner Contemporary, is showing very encouraging growth. Long-awaited urban regeneration is under way; exemplified by the success of our ‘No use empty’ programme and the transformation of Margate Old Town. We are also witnessing Ramsgate’s emergence as the port of choice for major players in the offshore wind-farm industry, with the result that demand for land at the port now exceeds supply.

The present Conservative administration is wholly focused on responsible financial management in presenting the 2012 -2013 budget. As a result, we have absorbed the cuts in our grants from government whilst maintaining front-line services. We are committed to maintaining our record of progress shown to date. In  the circumstances of what is now an evenly balanced council, with no single majority political group, it is vital for the residents of Thanet, that we be allowed to continue our programme of regeneration and financial common-sense, in the interests of achieving a better collective future in tough times.”

Friday, 25 November 2011

The Great Wall of Ramsgate wins Ramsgate Society’s Town Image Award.

Last Wednesday evening (16th November) the good people of the Ramsgate Society voted overwhelmingly for their prestigious Town Image Award to be given to the Great Wall of Ramsgate.

In accepting the award, Gerry O’Donnell, chairman of the ‘Wall’, warmly thanked the Society’s members. He gave credit to all the artists, sponsors and supporters of the project as well as the thousands of visitors who have come from afar to view the Wall. He said it was impossible to say how many people have viewed the Wall in total but he reckoned that the figure must run into tens of thousands. “I think that the impression that the Wall has given residents and visitors alike is that Ramsgate is a vibrant, art-loving and forward-looking community.

He told the gathering that he is now raising funds for the Wall’s continuing evolution and also for the new project The Great Lights of Ramsgate which will be the creation and erection of Light Sculptures around the Royal Harbour and Town. “We are putting Ramsgate firmly on the map as an exciting and outward looking community.”

Last Monday (Monday 21st) many of the artists, sponsors and interested public gathered at the Wall to celebrate the Award and to be photographed.. (Hon. mention for the Ellington and Hereson School for cutting out the letters for the Wall as seen in the picture.)

Anyone wishing to help with artwork, muscle or funds, or all three, please contact Gerry on 0788 4277 898 or email

Thursday, 24 November 2011


Thanet’s beleaguered public toilets have been under attack again in the latest spate of vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

In the latest incidents, the Clock Tower toilets on Broadstairs seafront, the Harold Road car park toilets in Cliftonville and the East Pier Yard toilets along Ramsgate seafront have been targeted.

At Harold Road, cleaners doing a deep clean of the men’s toilets noticed that the toilet pipe work was loose. When they went to fix it, they found around 50 syringes, burnt foil, tins that had been cut open and burnt and cigarette packs. All of this has been removed and disposed of and a new cover will be put in place to try and stop this.

At the Clock Tower, cleaners at the men’s toilets discovered that a hand dryer and tissue dispenser had been broken and that there was wet tissue and graffiti over the ceiling and walls. With these toilets now closed for the winter, the graffiti will be cleaned off as part of a deep clean before they re-open in the spring.

The disabled toilets and baby changing room were also covered in graffiti and beer cans and used condoms were found inside. The door to the baby changing room has also now been kicked in on a number of occasions, with mess inside, including cans, used condoms, cigarette ends and mud. The door was first repaired by the council with a slide bolt, but when it was vandalised again, this was replaced by two sliding bolts and a padlock, as the frame had been damaged. However, even this has not deterred the vandals and it has been damaged a third time. As a result, the baby changing rooms, which are normally open year round, have now being boarded up for the winter in a bid to stop any further damage. The nearest baby changing facilities are at Harbour Street.

In the latest incident, the new baby changing table installed at the East Pier Yard toilets last year has been pushed down so hard that the springs have been broken. It cannot be used and now the council has to replace it at an estimated cost of £400.  

Cllr. Simon Moores, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “Yet again, our already thin resources are being stretched even further by some people who seem to find it entertaining to vandalise public toilets that are there for everyone to use. It is beyond belief that our staff are constantly having to deal with issues like this and it’s got to stop. Sadly, I’ve indicated in the past, we’ve now had to take the decision to close up the baby changing room at the Clock Tower for the winter, which is not something we want to do. However, we cannot stand by and watch these facilities being constantly damaged at cost to the public purse.”


Thanet’s Visitor Information team has been shortlisted for two prestigious regional awards for their customer service.

The team are finalists in Tourism South East’s Beautiful South Awards for Excellence 2011 in the outstanding customer service and the tourist information service of the year category.

In the customer service award, they’re up against a wide range of organisations, including Beaulieu in Hampshire, home to the national motor museum, hotels in Berkshire and Dorset and a food and wine shop in Buckinghamshire. In the tourist information category, they’re competing against other centres in Guildford, Oxford, Portsmouth and Gravesend.

It’s the third year in a row that the team has been shortlisted for the tourist information award. In 2010, they came second, while in 2009, they were highly commended. It’s their first shortlisting for the customer services category.

Cllr. Alasdair Bruce, Cabinet Member for Partnerships and Tourism, said: “It’s only fitting that our Visitor Information team has been shortlisted for these two awards, as they provide an excellent level of service for both our residents and visitors. It’s already been a hugely successful year for them, with their move to The Droit House, increased levels of enquiries and numbers of visitors to the area generally. A win would cap off a first class 2011 for the team.”

The team will find out whether they have won on Thursday 1 December.


Margate's Shell Ladies have found a new home in Margate, after spending the last four years signposting the way around the town.

Artist Ann Carrington created a total of 13 Shell Ladies, each of them seven feet tall, as part of an arts commission for the Margate Renewal Partnership. They formed a trail to guide people around the Old Town. Each was given the identity of a notorious Margate Lady and the trail attracted 2,323 people during their first season. At the end of that season, the bronze Shell Lady, affectionately named after J M W Turner's lover, Mrs Booth, was unveiled at the end of the Harbour Arm.

Originally intended to only be a temporary public artwork, the Shell Ladies proved to be so popular that they have had numerous other public outings during the following years around Margate. However, they now require extensive restoration, maintenance and dry storage, so it has been agreed that they will return to Ann Carrington's ownership.

She will carry out the work required to them and look after them on an ongoing basis. They will continue to live in Margate, where Ann is also based, and they will be available for hire for occasional outings. This fee will cover their ongoing maintenance, delivery and the people who have to supervise their appearance.

On their final removal from their Marine Parade temporary home, cars slowed down to watch them being wheeled out, people wound down their windows and many people pointed. Ann said, "It's amazing, I forgot what an impact they have on people."

Council Leader Cllr. Bob Bayford is in charge of regeneration at the council. "The Shell Ladies were a huge success when they first arrived in the town. Over the last few years, they've become a recognisable part of the summer in the town, with locals and visitors lining up to pose with them. I'm delighted that they will be staying here and will be carefully looked after to ensure that they can continue to play a role in Margate over years to come."


New plans to help improve air quality in Thanet have been agreed by the council’s Cabinet and are now being issued to a range of organisations for any final comments.

Two Air Quality Management Areas have already been declared in Thanet. The first was around the Square in Birchington in 2006, with a second declared in the High Street, St. Lawrence in 2010. Extensive monitoring has been carried out at 23 spots across Thanet and showed that some could also exceed the targets set.

The government leaves it up to local authorities to decide how they want to tackle the problem of air pollution. Some declare small Air Quality Management areas, perhaps where the pollution is more limited, while others, such as Maidstone and Canterbury, have declared one in an entire urban area.

The council decided that the urban area of Thanet, including Birchington, Westgate, Margate, Cliftonville, Broadstairs, Ramsgate and Minster, should all be included. The Action Plan sets out a number of different ways to help tackle air pollution, including investigating junction improvements, encouraging people to use public transport, promoting car sharing, cycling and walking.

Local people were asked to give their views on the proposals and officers will now be looking further at one suggestion made. That was to establish two scenic routes for traffic coming into and leaving Margate. One would run via Minnis Bay through Essex Gardens and up to Minnis Road, before going along the coastline, while the other would run from Essex Gardens, but go along Alpha Road before joining the coast road. More investigation will now be carried out to see if these routes would increase emissions over a wider area or reduce concentrations in Margate itself.

Cllr. Simon Moores, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “This isn’t anything that people need to worry about. Generally, the air quality in Thanet is good and currently only exceeds the national guidelines at the two busy junctions that have already been declared Air Quality Management Areas. However, we know that there are other junctions that may not meet the guidelines in the future and it makes sense to take a broad approach to the whole district, so that we can tackle problems across Thanet, rather than perhaps moving them from one area to another.”

Now that the plan has been agreed by the council’s Cabinet, it is now being sent back to a number of different organisations who were involved in the original consultation for their final comments. This includes the government, Kent County Council, parish and town councils in Thanet, neighbouring district councils, local chambers of commerce and bus operators. Any comments they make will then be included in the final plan.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


If you shop local this Christmas, then you can park for free in a council run initiative aiming to encourage people to use their local high streets.

Shoppers can park for free in selected council run car parks at weekends in the run-up to Christmas, starting from this Saturday (26 November) and running up until and including Saturday 24 December (Christmas Eve).

The car parks are:
  • Alpha Road, Birchington
  • Vere Road, Broadstairs
  • Harold Road, off Northdown Road, Cliftonville
  • Mill Lane, Margate
  • Cannon Road, Ramsgate

The free parking applies all day on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 November, Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December, Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December, Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 December, and Saturday 24 December. There is no need to display any form of sticker to benefit from this. However, if these car parks become full and you need to park elsewhere, you will have to purchase a car parking ticket as normal.

Leader of the Council, Cllr. Bob Bayford, said: “The council is doing its bit to support local traders in the all-important run-up to Christmas by offering free parking over the weekends between now and the festive period. However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t apply to all council car parks, it’s only the ones listed. If you park anywhere else in Thanet, you will still have to pay and display as normal.

He added: “There is only so much the council can do to help, given the current financial situation we find ourselves in, but we wanted to make a contribution at this busy time of year. Nearly everyone will be heading out Christmas shopping over the next few weeks and it’s the best time to think, shop local and try out your local high street.”

Tuesday, 22 November 2011


From Councillor Iris Johnston Shadow member for Housing TDC (Tel 299207).
'I always view any new  'initiative' from Mr Grant Shapps with caution. This is the 127 announcement on Housing since the Conservatives came to power and as usual I will want to discuss with Senior Council Housing officers to check if there is anything of real benefit to Thanet.
Already I note a rehashing of old information including claiming credit for the last Labour Government's help for the building industry. The assistance for projects that were stalling due to the Global financial crises was announced before the last General election and many developers were able to avail of loans to see them through and finish house building.
There has been an increase of 10% in homelessness since the last General election and as someone who ran a Helpline on behalf of the Labour Party in the 1980's  I fear the massive and ill considered cuts and attacks on people who try to stay employed and save their homes from repossession will bring us back to those dreadful times.
We already have evidence locally of how the Labour Government supported first time buyers and also enabled Housing associations to build new homes. The Decent Homes standards and Renewal funding combined with legislation to tackle neglectful  landlords were already in place.
Thanet District Council also benefitted from holding much of its council tenants rents and at the same time making a low contribution to the national pot. Under Localism this may change and not to our advantage.
It is all well and good to encourage people to buy their Council Homes but those homes are then lost for ever to those desperately needing social housing.
This 'announcement' on the Right to Buy of course contradicts  a previous 'announcement' which  threatened council tenants who bettered their situation financially  with eviction after two years'.
I will be speaking to an officer today once she has read the fine print to see if there is actually anything of any use to Thanet residents in these latest announcements'
Published by Thanet Labour Group Press Office, 44 Northdown Road, Margate, Kent, CT9 2RW. 


Workers are preparing for an all-out day of action in Thanet on Wednesday November 30th.
Teachers, nurses, and council workers are all due to walk out of their workplaces following votes by Britain’s biggest trade unions.
The action is a protest against government reform of public sector pensions, but many workers see the day as a chance to protest against cuts in public services.
Jon Flaig of Anti-Cuts Thanet, who are organising support for the action, said: “Schools and other public services across Thanet are suffering because of the cuts and there’s much worse to come.  But we mustn’t wait for the cuts to come, we must draw a line in the sand. That is what this day of action is all about.”
Mr Flaig added: “Some people may complain today that a school is closed or a public service is not available, but these are tiny inconveniences compared to what we’ll see in the future if we don’t take concerted action now.”
The Red Hall in Broadstairs has been designated strike headquarters by Thanet’s Trades Union Council, and strikers will be offered hot drinks and cakes, shown films and discuss what happens next.
Mr Flaig said: “We are providing a base for all who take industrial action on November 30th, giving strikers are chance to share their experiences and find out what’s happening in the rest of the country.
“Many people think the cuts are inevitable, but that isn’t true. It’s up to everyone who feels they should not happen to stand up now and support this action.”
Broadstairs-based Film-maker Christine Tongue is also supporting the day of action. Christine said: “We are going to film the day of action in Thanet, visiting picket lines across the isle and interviewing workers about why they’re taking part in this national walk-out.” Christine added: “The film, I hope, will be a record of an important and historic event in this area.”
The Red Hall will be open for strikers and their supporters from 2pm to 6pm on Wednesday November 30th.
For more information ring Christine Tongue on 01843 604253 or Jon Flaig on  07789 961744


Comment by Cllr Clive Hart - TDC Shadow Leader & Shadow Economic Development Portfolio Holder.
"The Heritage Lottery Funding announcement is good news for Margate and for Thanet as a whole. The Dreamland site has stood empty for far too long and as someone born, bred and living in the area concerned, I know only too well how the closure of Dreamland has blighted the town since 2004. 
TDC certainly does need to get the compulsory purchase order for the site confirmed to allow the Dreamland Trust to complete their project and bring the venue back into use as a major seaside attraction".
Published by Thanet Labour Group Press Office, 44 Northdown Road, Margate, Kent, CT9 2RW. 

Monday, 21 November 2011

New planning applications,

The TDC planning website is one of the most bizarre websites I have ever come across in as much as the web addresses of the pages on it change after a few hours so you can’t publish links to them. If you want to look at any of the applications you need to go to the site and enter the application reference in the search box, this link takes you to the site 

Date Published*Application No.AddressStatus
17 Nov 2011F/TH/11/0829115 SANDWICH ROAD, RAMSGATE, CT12 5JAcurrent
17 Nov 2011F/TH/11/085811 ST CATHERINES GROVE, RAMSGATE, CT12 5BDcurrent
17 Nov 2011F/TH/11/09094 SION COURT, 3-4 SION HILL, RAMSGATE, CT11 9JAcurrent
17 Nov 2011F/TH/11/091641 HIGH STREET, BROADSTAIRS, CT10 1JRcurrent
17 Nov 2011F/TH/11/09146 WELLESLEY ROAD, MARGATE, CT92UHcurrent
17 Nov 2011F/TH/11/090270 ROYAL ESPLANADE, MARGATE, CT9 5ETcurrent
17 Nov 2011F/TH/11/09155 ST MAGNUS CLOSE, BIRCHINGTON, CT7 9UWcurrent
17 Nov 2011F/TH/11/0920STALL SITE, MARKET PLACE, MARGATE, CT91EScurrent
17 Nov 2011OL/TH/11/0910LAND AT, NEW HAINE ROAD, RAMSGATEcurrent
17 Nov 2011L/TH/11/0921STALL SITE, MARKET PLACE, MARGATE, CT9 1EScurrent
15 Nov 2011CD/TH/11/076919 THE VALE BROADSTAIRS CT101RBwithdrawn
15 Nov 2011F/TH/11/093547 LANTHORNE ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT103NAcurrent

* This date is when Thanet District Council first published this case file.

New documents published by Thanet District Council,

Friday, 18 November 2011


By Cllr Clive Hart - Labour Shadow Leader of the Council.
At the TDC Cabinet meeting on Thursday 17th November, Tory Cabinet member Cllr Martin Wise announced "A Ramsgate Port and Harbour draft master plan has been developed and presented to Scrutiny". 
Now I'm used to ambiguous language coming from our local Tory party but this statement was quite simply 'a fudge too far'.

I have spoken with the Chairman of the Ramsgate Port and Harbour Scrutiny working party and he says he would dearly like to have sight of the document he has been promised for such a very long time now. He waits and waits but despite his constant requests it never comes.
For clarification - the actual facts are: at the earlier September TDC Cabinet meeting the Commercial Services Manager explained that the initial draft Master plan for Ramsgate Port and Harbour was considered to need additional work and that the plan itself had not been circulated to the members as it was considered to need 'further development'. 
It was also decided that a Cabinet Advisory Group would be needed for this 'further development' and on the 6th October I met with Conservative leader Cllr Bayford to agree the make-up of the group. We agreed the cabinet advisory group would consist of three Labour members and three Conservative members. On the 12th October I informed Cllr Bayford and the council that our Labour members would be Cllr Poole, Cllr Huxley and Cllr Fenner.

Yet another month has passed in this sorry saga and my members are all still eager and waiting. As with every other step taken on this elusive master plan project, procrastination and navel gazing appear to be the order of the day and to date no meetings have been planned.

Ramsgate Port and Harbour should be our islands 'jewel in the crown'. Instead we've had eight years of Tory rule at TDC and eight years of neglect.

Thursday, 17 November 2011


Cllr Clive Hart - Labour Leader of the Opposition at TDC.
"Varied matters such as Thanet's local development framework, air quality across our island, the council's risk management, corporate plan, budget monitoring and scrutiny arrangements were all discussed at Thursday evenings TDC Cabinet meeting. As always, Labour members were present to comment on proceedings and to ask searching questions of Cabinet members". 
Cllr Clive Hart - 01843 298770.
Cllr Alan Poole - Shadow Spokesperson for 'Place' portfolio.
I have two concerns that I would like to raise:

1) The purpose of a Cabinet Advisory Group is presumably to advise Cabinet – why then are there two cabinet members, including the Leader, in the Cabinet Advisory Group……….are they advising themselves or doesn’t the Leader trust the members come up with the right decisions. In my experience the Leader normally ignores any recommendations he doesn’t like anyway……… the whole process just a waste of time and energy?
2) Decisions by Consensus……….at the first meeting of the CAG the Leader unilaterally decided that there would be no votes………there is already a built-in majority - three Tories, two Labour and an Independent, so much for being politically balanced - it seems to me that the Leader is predetermining the outcome.
Cllr Alan Poole - 01843 602594.
Cllr Clive Hart - Shadow Leader & Shadow Spokesperson for 'Prosperity' portfolio .
Speaking on the same issue:
Firstly, at paragraph 1.2 in the report before us it says that at the first meeting of the LDFAG on 6th October ‘it was decided that it would be
appropriate to refer the matter of Terms of Reference back to Cabinet for consideration and agreement’.
I’m sorry but it wasn’t quite like that. We actually started to discuss terms of reference at that meeting and when you Cllr Bayford were unable to get your own way over your demand for ‘decisions to be made by consensus’ you simply overruled the Chairman and very abruptly called the meeting to a close.
More importantly, the very wording of paragraph 1.2 in this report very clearly outlines the dangers of decisions that are ‘apparently’ made by consensus. Anyone reading paragraph 1.2 would assume the group all agreed that cabinet should write the terms of reference and that clearly was not the case!
I therefore repeat my request, made at that first meeting, for LDFAG members to have proper voting rights as part of the terms of reference.
As for membership of the group, I still find it very difficult to understand how the leader of the council, who is also a Kent County Councillor and a Director of EKO can be a member. With regards to councillors standards we are told over and over again that it is ‘how things look to the man or woman in the street’ that should dictate matters and I believe most people would be absolutely appalled to learn that members are allowed to influence long term financial issues affecting two organisations that they are so closely involved with.
Cllr Clive Hart - 01843 298770.
IMPORTANT NOTE - The LDFAG Chairman Cllr Jack Cohen (Independent councillor) also spoke on this item and asked for the wording of paragraph 1.2 in the report (which included the wording - it was decided that it would be appropriate to refer the matter of Terms of Reference back to Cabinet for consideration and agreement) to be corrected. Cllr Cohen confirmed that it was Cllr Bayford who had actually overruled the Chairman, closed the first meeting prematurely and walked out. 
Cllr Michelle Fenner - Shadow Spokesperson for 'Shared Services' portfolio.
Looking at the map of the urban area on page 20 of Annexe 2, I cannot picture Westwood Cross, nor the airport.
Is this idea of having an urban area taken into account future major sources of pollution such as flights?

It is stated (in para 1.2, page 10, bottom of the page) that it will reduce the financial burden on the Council as less reporting will be required if additional exceedence areas are identified in the future. Isn’t there a risk therefore that more air pollution will go unreported because the areas involved are already included in the urban area?
Isn’t there a risk of spreading the load over a wider area, thus not addressing the real issues, but putting the priority on reducing the costs of reporting.

I was surprised to read (on page 34) that “the LTP3 will not be formally assessed by the Department of Transport and that there are fewer mandatory targets to report against. There is also no requirement to renew every 5 years”.
I hope this is not going to lead to local authorities reducing the management of air quality but I was pleased to read the 5 main themes adopted by KCC (page 35).

Considering these 5 themes I’d like to make a few suggestions regarding the action plan:

Air quality management throughout this document is linked to geographical locations but what about the time element, what about certain periods of time such as week-ends in the summer with an influx of day trippers?
Should we not consider setting up, albeit temporary, Park and Ride facilities just outside the urban area to bring the visitors into the town centres? It is a well known fact that successful tourism implies good parking facilities, toilets and bins. Why not try this option which would have many advantages?

Another point is to do with HGVs driving in residential areas. In my own ward, we have a small industrial estate in Cecilia Road which causes numerous traffic problems and a lot of air pollution with HGVs having to execute very complex manoeuvres to get in and out of the site, and to negotiate very narrow streets because the businesses are not located outside urban areas on designated industrial land. Why not give businesses incentives to re-locate?

As for the bus services, the action plan mentions the improvements in terms of reliability and punctuality. What about the fares? Should we not look at ways of reducing bus fares, so that residents are more likely to use the bus rather than their cars?

My final point concerns the consultees for the action plan: I can see the Federation of Small Businesses in the list, but what about large businesses, such as Tesco’s as they are answerable for a big increase in air pollution, because of the increase in traffic they generate and the increase in HGV movements?
Cllr Michelle Fenner - 07766 452 552.
Cllr Michelle Fenner - Shadow Spokesperson for 'Shared Services' portfolio.
This is a point I made at the meeting of Governance and Audit:
Looking at the wheel on page 77, the 2nd bubble in the top right says: “avoid the impact of failure”.I think it should say “to minimise” the impact. This is about the whole essence of risk management because things do go wrong. To think that we can get rid of the impact of failure shows a level of certainty that goes against the principle of risk management.To think that it is possible through a risk management strategy to avoid the impact of failure may prevent the Council from being sufficiently prepared in the face of unforeseen events.
I understand that a project management toolkit has been established, will this be made public, can the elected members have a copy of it?
I also noticed that TDC intends to maintain a register of risks linked to the council’s business, corporate and operational objectives, and risks linked to working in partnership. Will the elected members have access to this register of risks?
Cllr Michelle Fenner - 07766 452 552.
Cllr Alan Poole - Shadow Spokesperson for 'Place' portfolio.
Would the Leader update me on the new rules applying to the feed-in tariff for new solar panel installations as I’m under the impression that the Government has recently changed the rules and we may already have missed the boat on this one?

Some discussion took place and it was accepted that the government had indeed recently changed the rules. However, the Cabinet Member explained that he still wanted to continue with the project to install solar panels on the roofs of Margate Crematorium and the Cecil Street offices.
Cllr Alan Poole - 01843 602594.
Cllr Clive Hart - Shadow Leader & Shadow Spokesperson for 'Prosperity' portfolio .
At paragraph 3.1 in the report before us it says ‘A draft master plan has been developed and presented in outline to the Scrutiny working party’.
This is just playing with words.
I have spoken with the Chairman of the Scrutiny working party today and he said he would dearly like to have sight of the document he has been promised for such a very long time.
For clarification, at the September Cabinet the Commercial Services Manager explained that the initial draft Master plan for Ramsgate Port and Harbour was considered to need additional work and that the plan itself had not been circulated to the members as it was considered to need further development.

Furthermore, on the 6th October I met with you Cllr Bayford to agree the make-up of a cabinet advisory group to do this work and we agreed it

should consist of 3 Labour members and 3 Conservative members.
Subsequently, on the 12th October I informed you Cllr Bayford and Democratic Services that our Labour members would be Cllr Poole, Cllr Huxley and Cllr Fenner.
Yet another month has passed and my members are still eager and waiting, but still ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
Cllr Clive Hart - 01843 298770.
Cllr Alan Poole - Shadow Spokesperson for 'Place' portfolio.
I am very concerned to learn that the major works anticipated on public conveniences in the draft capital programme has been down scaled – the budget has been cut by 40% (from £100k to £60k). I believe that this is a very important area of our services; already the public perception is that most of our public conveniences need attention and this is not going to help much.
Which public conveniences have been removed from the list?

Cllr Alan Poole - 01843 602594.
Cllr Rick Everitt - Shadow Spokesperson for 'Performance' portfolio.
I would like to support the recommendation from the overview and scrutiny committee that more resources be allocated to their work.
Clearly any such decision has to be made in the context of the overall financial position of the council and also by the council as a whole - not just because council agrees the final budget but because part of the role is scrutiny is to challenge cabinet.
Overview and scrutiny is an opportunity for non-executive members to engage with some of the biggest issues affecting Thanet and while at times that may be inconvenient for cabinet it’s clearly not the case that executive members have a monopoly of wisdom.
As the report to scrutiny made clear there is a mismatch between the work the panel wishes to do and the resources available to it. In staffing terms the figure I have been given for Thanet is 0.4-0.5 FTE, which compares with the reported average for a district council of 1.3FTE.
When you look at the sub-committees and work groups established by the panel it is clear that they are covering topics of significant importance to residents. Yet the officer resource level suggests their work is marginal.
If the panel’s recommendations are coming forward when not fully developed, as was argued in relation to the airport working party and is again tonight in relation to resources, then I would expect officers to have the time to advise and support the panel in overcoming that before they are presented.
Personally, I find the scrutiny structure within this authority disappointing, with too few members involved and two many of the sub-committees consisting of the same people sitting in different places around the table.
This doesn’t allow the council to utilise the knowledge and insights of a wide enough pool of members. And if it is the case that remaining members don’t wish to participate in scrutiny I don’t know why most of them are here.
Like all authorities we are under pressure to make better use of the resources that remain available to us. Giving scrutiny greater priority, including increased officer support and member participation, is one way to do this.
Cllr Rick Everitt - 01843 590461
Further items regarding Margate Cemetery were discussed in closed session.
Published by Thanet Labour Group Press Office - 44 Northdown Road, Margate, Kent CT9 2RW.