Thursday, 31 January 2013

Press release: Rosa Barba in Conversation with Lynne Cooke at Turner Contempora

Press release
Rosa Barba in Conversation with Lynne Cooke at Turner Contemporary
Wednesday 13 February 6pm

Join leading international artist Rosa Barba at Turner Contemporary as she reveals her creative approach to the medium of film in a discussion with Lynne Cooke, Andrew Mellon Professor at the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Rosa Barba’s work pushes the boundaries of film, sculpture and installation. The discussion will explore her recent practice as well as her new exhibition Subject to Constant Change, and installations such as Subconscious Society, currently on display in different cinematic and sculptural formats at Turner Contemporary and Cornerhouse, Manchester. At Turner Contemporary Subconscious Society features local film footage of nearby sea forts, Herne Bay and the Isle of Sheppey and depicts a ‘society’ trapped inside a deteriorating interior, where characters, hidden from the crumbling, abandoned world outside, explore what happens when objects lose their functions and meanings.
Rosa Barba in Conversation with Lynne Cooke will reflect upon the local framework withinSubconscious Society, exploring how the context of Margate impacted on the way in which Barba approached the exhibition.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013


The number of letters and emails, that I have received  over the last few days, have been greater than usual.
Many of them have been from residents asking me to continue as a District Councillor.
But I have also had quite a lot from animal lovers, in Birchington and other parts of Thanet, who are concerned about the amount of money being spent on policing at the port of Ramsgate.

 I can only put this down to the excellent article in the Thanet Gazette last Friday.
It is for this reason that I will be putting the following question to the Chairman of the OSP.


"Would Cllr Driver consider inviting the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes to an Overview and Scrutiny Panel meeting, in order to answer questions about the policing arrangements regarding Live Animal Exports at the Port Of Ramsgate."

Monday, 28 January 2013

Motion on Royal Sands

Ed. I have published this with Cllr Driver's intro email as it makes more sense that way:

I would be grateful if you could publish the attached motion to Thanet Council on Royal Sands.

Although I welcome Cabinet's decision to follow my advice and request an options report, should SFP Ventures fail to come up with finance, I am concerned that Cabinet appear to want to consider such a report without full Council having first expressed it views.
I don't think that this approach is as open and transparent as it could be. This is a very complex issue and there is a high level of public interest. As many Councillors as possible must therefore be involved in the discussions.
 Motion on Royal Sands

Council welcomes Cabinet's decision to call for an options report should SFP Ventures (UK) Ltd fail to secure sufficient and verifiable financial backing to sign a revised development agreement with the Council within a 4 month time frame.

Council notes that the Royal Sands development is of great interest to the public and elected members.

If it becomes necessary to produce an options report then Council recommends to Cabinet that this report should first be discussed by a meeting of full Council. The views of Council can then be taken into account by Cabinet before it makes any decisions on the future of the Royal Sands development and SFP Ventures (UK) Ltd.

Council notes that this approach is in keeping with Cabinet's declared commitment to openness and consultation and that this approach demonstrates that Cabinet is aware of the considerable public & elected member interest in this subject.

Moved by Councillor Ian Driver

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
28 Jan 2013F/TH/12/1005374 - 376 CANTERBURY ROAD, WEST, BIRCHINGTON, CT7 9UBcurrent
28 Jan 2013F/TH/13/00155 BAY VIEW ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT102EAcurrent
24 Jan 2013F/TH/13/001429 ST MILDREDS AVENUE, BIRCHINGTON, CT7 9LD current
24 Jan 2013L/TH/12/08988 WEST CLIFF ROAD, RAMSGATE, CT11 9JW current
22 Jan 2013F/TH/12/099216 ST. MILDREDS AVENUE BROADSTAIRS CT102BXcurrent
22 Jan 2013NM/TH/12/0986land adjacent, 17 CLARENDON ROAD MARGATE CT92QJwithdrawn
18 Jan 2013F/TH/12/094346 CANTERBURY ROAD MARGATE CT95BGcurrent
18 Jan 2013F/TH/12/0950168 BRADSTOW WAY BROADSTAIRS CT101AXcurrent
18 Jan 2013F/TH/12/100295 PERCY AVENUE BROADSTAIRS CT103LDcurrent
18 Jan 2013F/TH/12/1003LAND REAR OF 122 GROSVENOR PLACE MARGATEcurrent
* 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)
Mr Paul Spickett The Hovelling Boat Inn, 12 York Street, Ramsgate CT11 9DS New premises licence application Supply of alcohol and regulated entertainment 05 February 2013
Mr Alan Ross 60 Station Road, Birchington CT7 9RA New premises licence application Supply of alcohol 08 February 2013
Mrs Nina Alger & Mr Paul Wainwright Sinatra's, 92 High Street, Broadstairs CT10 1JJ Variation of premises licence Regulated entertainment and removal of conditions 11 February 2013
Mr Erdal Cakin Eddy's Fried Chicken, 290 Northdown Road, Margate CT9 2PT Variation of premises licence Increase in opening hours and late night refreshment 13 February 2013
Mr Anthony Farrow Nimbus (Landslide Coffee Shop), Manston International Airport, Manston, CT12 5BP Variation of premises licence Extend hours for supply of alcohol and late night refreshment 20 February 2013
Messrs Frederick Osborne & Roy Vanderweele Bentley's Lounge and Grill, 13-15 High Street, Margate CT9 1DL New premises licence application Supply of alcohol, regulated entertainment and late night refreshment 22 February 2013

Sunday, 27 January 2013


This week the Prime Minister announced that, if a Conservative Government is elected in 2015, he will negotiate a new settlement in the European Union and hold an in-out referendum. The Conservatives are now setting out a clear choice for the British people as Labour has said that the people dont need to have a voice or role in our future in Europe.
With the ongoing Eurozone crisis, the European Union is changing. These changes are raising a series of questions about the future of the EU and Britain’s place within it.
David Cameron believes we need to be in the single market, not just selling goods to Europe, but with a say in what its rules are. Given that public disillusionment with the EU is at an all-time high and people feel that it is heading in a direction that they never signed up to, democratic consent for the EU in Britain is wafer thin. So the Conservatives want to negotiate a new settlement in Europe. One that is focused on competitiveness, fairness and respect for national democracies, and one that allows powers to flow back to Member States.
As the Conservatives want fresh
consent from the British people for this new settlement in Europe, the Conservative Manifesto for 2015 will commit to negotiating this new settlement in the next Parliament. The British people will then be able to decide, in an in-out referendum, whether they want to remain in the EU on these new terms or come out. This negotiation and the referendum will take place within the first half of the next Parliament.
You can read the Prime Minister's speech in full

Friday, 25 January 2013

Ian Driver Statement on Policing of Live Animal Exports at Ramsgate

I am appalled by Kent PCC, Anne Barnes, uncritical acceptance of Chief Constable, Ian Learmouth’s  biased, misleading and less than truthful report into the Policing of Live Animal Exports at  Ramsgate Port. The Police figure of £405,000 is plain wrong. It does not take account of logistical, intelligence gathering and legal costs. The real figure is nearer £1million. This is set to become much higher as the protests continue with no sign of an end. I have said all along that the demonstrations are massively over-policed and that a maximum of 10-15 officers could deal with the situation rather than the 30-50 we are accustomed to seeing at each the of the more than 60 sailing which have taken place over the past 18 months.

The Kent Chief Constable and the PCC Anne Barnes  have justified this reckless waste of public money in a time of austerity by misleading the public about threat to law and order posed by the protestors. The arrest 15 arrests  citied in the Chief Constable report include 5 arrests of export lorry drivers NOT protestors. Of the remaining 10 arrests 5 were for breached of an unfairly imposed Section 14 notice, which quite literally makes standing in the wrong part of the road illegal. Only one arrest has led to a prosecution and this was thrown on appeal with Kent Police having to pay out costs and compensation.

My friend and colleague protestor Reg Bell has written an open letter to Anne Barnes which I attach to this press release. This letter explains in detail why the Chief Constable’s report is wanting. Reg has attended every protest and he should know!
I also attach a links to a Statement made on 23 January 2013 by the United Nations which is highly critical of the UK Police in relation to peaceful assembly and association.

Finally Anne Barnes said on Radio Kent this week that she was too “high profile” to attend the regular protests at the Port.

23rd January, 2013

Dear Mrs. Barnes,
I was disappointed to hear your comment on BBC Kent radio today that you were satisfied that the published report on the policing of the live animal exports at Ramsgate has answered the questions which you put to the Chief Constable in your open letter of 17th December. I very much welcome your desire to be open and transparent in your communication and I am sure that many applaud your use of ‘open’ letters of enquiry and published responses. In the same spirit, I will make this letter publicly available.

The report is not a complete record of policing matters relevant to Operation Wizard. It is interesting for what it doesn’t say as much as for what it does say, and some of the information it does contain is inaccurate; to begin, in Section 12.1 of the Report, it states “to date not a single complaint received by the force has been substantiated”. This is a very misleading statement. As you will be aware from documentation that I have provided to you, one of our protestors was arrested in October 2011, and charged with failure to comply with Section 14 of the Public Order Act. During the early part of 2012 he was found guilty at Folkestone Magistrates Court but determined to prove his innocence later in the summer of 2012 appealed to Crown Court at Canterbury where he was acquitted, having proven that his complaint about the way the Police had conducted themselves was well founded, and that he should never have been arrested and prosecuted. His complaint was just about as formal and comprehensive as it is possible to be, as it was made to a Judge, in Court, who went on to substantiate it. Mrs. Barnes, don’t you think it dishonest that the report makes no mention of this, including, in the list of arrests at Sect.9.1 the fact that his arrest has been omitted?

There is another reason why the claim is misleading. Complaints made about the Police haven’t yet been substantiated because the Police Complaint procedure is designed to deter complainants from following through with their complaint and is incredibly slow in operation. From the documents supplied by me you are aware that I made three separate complaints to Kent Police during 2012, none of which have yet been resolved due to delaying tactics on the of the Police, even though one complaint is now more than 1 year old. Is it any wonder that complaints are not substantiated or otherwise, when the complaint system is so unfit for purpose?

On the matter of arrests, the report is totally biased against the live export protestors. Under Section 7.2 it lists alleged instances of unlawful behaviour by protestors, but makes no mention at all of unlawful behaviour on the part of the shippers and transporters of the animals – because of this, anyone reading Sec. 9.1 would assume that the arrest dates and the reasons for arrest all relate to the protestors, but the truth is that a number of these arrests, including the most serious offence of animal cruelty which led to the slaughter on the dockside at Port Ramsgate, were arrests of the shippers/transporters, not the protestors.

The list of arrests also paints an unsatisfactory picture in that it includes arrests where no charges were subsequently pursued against those arrested. Is this fair? If wrong doing can’t be proved, the arrests mean nothing,

Up to this point in time, to the best of my knowledge, the only protestor arrested, charged and prosecuted in Court (without a successful appeal) was prosecuted for a motoring offence. The Chief Constable, of all people, should be aware that you should not accuse anyone of unlawful behaviour that “an injury was sustained by a Police Officer from an assault by a protestor during the arrival of the export lorries”. If this were true why has no one been prosecuted for this serious offence? If it can’t be proven, why is the Chief Constable quoting it? As you are also aware, we do not accept the Chief Constable’s assertion of intimidation. To intimidate someone you have to make them feel afraid of the implied consequences if they don’t do as you want. Hurling insults and loud vocal criticism is not intimidation and peacefully (i.e. without the threat of violence) entreating someone to accept your point of view isn’t intimidation either. Continuing to impose Section 14 in advance on the strength of the Chief Constable’s claims of serious intimidation will I hope be proven in Court to be untenable.

The consequences of the imposition of Section 14 in advance of every occasion is that protestors are now being arrested and criminalised for trivial reasons and Mrs. Barnes, I am surprised that you find this a satisfactory situation. The CC at Section 4.1 claims the doctrine of “firm, fair and friendly” but the details provided by me to you show that in fact on some occasions the policing has been oppressive, aggressive and certainly not friendly. There is much else that is wrong with this report, not least the inclusion at 14.1 of comments made recently in Parliament during a debate sponsored by Laura Sandys MP. Mr. David Heath MP is a politician and therefore any statement by him will naturally contain, as it does, political slant. Quoting these comments, the detail of which is disputed, has no place in what should have been an apolitical and unbiased report, but it isn’t, and your acceptance of it leaves a question mark as to your real understanding of the issues involved.

The best possible way for you to be made aware of the views on the policing of our demonstrations would be for you to meet with our protesters to discuss the issue. If you are agreeable I would be happy to organise an evening meeting to fit your schedule.
Yours sincerely,

Statement from TDC Conservative Group re Cllr Wiltshire

Cllr Bob Bayford, Leader of the Conservative Group at TDC, has made the following statement in response to Cllr Zita Wiltshire’s decision to sit as an Independent councillor:

“Cllr Wiltshire has been a valued member of the Conservative Group for many years, working hard for the people of St Peter’s, Broadstairs and Thanet.  We wish her well for the future.”

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Housing Strategy Approved

Following a public consultation which ended in December the Thanet District Council Cabinet Meeting on 22 January approved a new Housing Strategy for the area.
Cllr David Green, Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning Services, explained: “We have to introduce a new housing strategy in line with the Local Government Act, 2003, and a number of changes have taken place which we needed to address such as the National Housing Strategy, the Comprehensive Spending Review and the Welfare and Benefit Reforms. This strategy will apply until 2016.
"Our principal aim is to maximise the delivery of affordable housing. We also need to make better use of the existing housing stock, and this includes tackling empty properties, especially in ways which also support our regeneration and economic development initiatives. We also recognise the importance of managing the impact of the new welfare reforms and of ensuring that vulnerable people have access to good quality housing, enabling them to live independently.”
The Housing Strategy is accompanied by an Action Plan, which will be updated annually, setting out how the key priorities will be delivered.

Featuring significantly in the plan is the multi-agency work centred around bringing empty properties back into use. It also incorporates measures to improve the standards of private rented properties and for closely monitoring the impact of the Welfare and Benefit reform. Responses to the consultation were supportive of the strategy and comments received have been incorporated into the final document.
Cllr Green added: “It was pleasing that the feedback from our partners and stakeholders was positive and supportive of the strategy. We can now focus on delivering the key priorities through the various measures in the Action Plan.”

Dumpton dog-restriction beached

Following the receipt of a 130 signature petition Thanet District Council Cabinet was asked to consider a dog restriction between 10:00 – 18:00 at Dumpton Gap to apply from 1 May – 30 September. The ban would extend for approximately 200m either side of the beach access at Dumpton Gap.
Cllr Michelle Fenner, Cabinet Member for Business, Corporate and Regulatory Services, said: “We have to balance the needs of responsible dog owners with those of other beach users and the means we have for enforcing such a restriction. 
"As there are already many beaches where dogs are banned, we are keen to invite dog walkers to come to visit Thanet, knowing that people with young children or those who are unsure about sharing the beach with dogs are also catered for. I have therefore recommended that the restriction is not pursued further at this stage.
"I do, of course, urge dog-owners to be aware of other beach users and to make sure that they keep their pets under careful control to avoid causing unnecessary disturbance.
"We have to remember that much of the economy of Thanet depends on the tourist industry so we have to balance the needs of visitors with and without dogs and that of residents and local businesses.”

Better budget than expected – for now

At the Thanet District Council Cabinet meeting on 22 January Members were updated with the Budget Monitoring Report for 2012/13 and considered the Budget for 2013/14 and the Medium Term Financial Plan.
Cllr Rick Everitt, Cabinet Member for Financial Services, said: “I am pleased that the council has been able to achieve greater savings than had originally been expected in some areas.

“We had originally anticipated a cut in a major aspect of government funding (the Formula Grant) of around 10% for 2013/14, however that reduction will now be 7.4%.

“Together these movements have enabled us to recommend a freeze in the TDC element of Council Tax for a further year, meaning that there will still have been no increase in Thanet’s Council Tax for residents since 2010.”
However, the situation for the future is concerning as the Formula Grant is likely to be slashed by 16.6% in 2014/15, more than twice what the council had anticipated.

Ahead of this, due to inflation and unavoidable commitments, the council has had to find savings of £1.6m in 2013/14 although it should now be possible to cover these through savings and other measures already in hand without affecting services.

In the area of the Housing Revenue Account there are proposals for a rent increase of 3.1% for council dwellings in line with the Government’s inflationary rates whilst savings are possible in management fees. Rental income and reduced debt charges have enabled the council to settle a significant loan account. There have also been savings in relation to proposed housing works which are no longer required.
The council’s capital programme has had to be scaled back to take account of the national economic situation, and its effects on  budgets, as these depend upon significant levels of capital receipts being generated from the sale of surplus assets. At present poor market conditions have meant that many of the proposed disposals are being held back until more realistic sales prices can be generated. However, some additional grant funding to cover disabled facilities has been built into the current capital programme.

Overall the council’s proposed medium term plans are based on current projections of available funds, with the strategy being to maintain an affordable four-year rolling programme, including engaging local residents in the allocation of capital resources as appropriate. These resources will be maximised by aligning them with priorities and by seeking external funding, careful borrowing and the disposal of assets where prudent.

Thus, although some tough decisions will be required in the longer term because of the significant Government funding cuts for 2014/15, adept planning by the council means that residents will have a useful ‘breathing space’ if the Full Council approves the proposed Council Tax freeze for the coming year when it meets on 7 February. 


Cabinet members last night (Tuesday 22 January) approved a public consultation on a new Allocations policy which proposes dramatic changes to the way the council allocates social housing.
Launching on Friday 25 January, the consultation will ask members of the public for their views on a series of changes which include closing the housing register to residents outside of Thanet, introducing a three year minimum residency criterion and placing tighter controls on those guilty of unacceptable behaviour and/or rent arrears.
The draft policy also proposes re-categorising the current housing bands (A-D) which determine the level of housing need for each applicant. As part of this, the proposals will see those who are categorised as homeless moved from the top priority band ‘A’ to a band ‘C’.
By creating a new tighter set of criteria for those seeking housing in Thanet the council hopes to ensure that those in the most housing need are supported and prioritised appropriately. Part of this will also be to challenge the perception that becoming homeless offers the best route to obtaining housing.
Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr David Green, said: “We’ve drafted a policy which proposes some pretty radical changes to our current housing allocations system. With a housing register of over 6,000 households, and insufficient housing stock to offer, we clearly needed to take a radical approach.
“Ensuring that we have the resources and housing in place to support those who are genuinely in housing need is the key driver for these proposals. They also provide us with the tools to ensure that those that have other housing options available to them are not taking advantage of a system which is in place to help those who most need it.
“I hope that people will take the time to contribute to the consultation which I’m sure will generate some interesting discussion.”
Members of the public are invited to complete a short survey on the proposals from Friday 25 January. The survey can be completed online at or by collecting a copy of the survey in any Thanet library, council office or from Thanet’s Gateway Plus.
Copies of the survey can also be requested by e-mailing or calling 01843 577277.


As the latest part of the on-going ‘Operation Cleansweep’ more than 200 residential properties and 40 Commercial properties have been visited in Margate Central.
Cleansweep is a multiagency approach to tackling a range of environmental problems in Thanet, such as dumped rubbish, fire safety risks, immigration offences, food safety concerns and planning issues.
On Thursday 17 January Cleansweep concentrated on a new target area of Hatfield, Westbrook and Canterbury Roads together with other roads adjacent to Margate station.
Cllr Michelle Fenner, Cabinet Member for Business, Corporate and Regulatory Services, said: “We want to make sure that Thanet is a pleasant and safe place for residents and visitors. A lack of consideration by just a few people can taint a whole area for everybody else. The teams found extensive dog fouling and have requested that the dog wardens specifically target this problem area. They also arranged for the ‘Fido’ machine to be brought in to help with clearing the dog mess.”
Rubbish dumped in alleyways and on footpaths was a further problem which was found and this was cleared by a team from Kent Probation Community Payback, while rubbish problems at some individual properties were addressed and advice given.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service also offered advice to over 50 residents.
Two Planning Enforcement issues have been identified while Empty Property officers have been alerted to 4 buildings with dangerous structures.
Private Sector Housing have been alerted to two families living in damp and unsavoury conditions and The Education Welfare Officer was alerted to other problems.
A total of 6 parking tickets were issued too.
Residents were very supportive of the operation and have asked the team to return in the future.


A Thanet councillor recently found guilty of a drink driving offence remains a member of the local Authority's Licencing Board despite being reported to the Council's standards committee. Committee members decided that Cllr Mrs Tomlinson did not breach the code of conduct, saying that the licencing board member was “Acting in her private Capacity” Independent Councillor John Worrow, who complained to the standards committee said that some members of the Standards Committee have been making some very questionable decisions recently.
John Worrow (Cllr)
Group leader TIG TDC

Monday, 21 January 2013

Independent Thanet Councillor and organiser of the Ramsgate Anti-Live Animal Export campaign, Ian Driver slammed a report claiming policing the 2-year old protest has cost £405,000 as “being a gross underestimate”

The report written by Kent Chief Constable, Ian Learmouth,  on the orders of Kent Police Commissioner Anne Barnes, follows 100s  of e-mails demanding an investigation into the cost of policing the protest and the controversial use of Section 14 of the Public Order Act Kent Police to restrict the civil rights of demonstrators.
Said Driver “The Chief Constable’s report is misleading. It only considers the direct wage costs of policing the protests at Ramsgate Port. It does not include the cost of logistical support, intelligence gathering activities, and legal advice. If you add these together the real cost of managing the protest is closer to £1million so far. This is money which would be much better spent on catching criminals instead of policing a small group of mainly pacifist, vegetarian  women”.
Driver claims the Chief Constable has “sexed-up” his report with misleading and exaggerated claims to justify Kent Police’s “austerity busting spending binge and its undemocratic use of Section 14 of the Public Order Act to restrict the civil rights of protestors”.

“The report suggests that the protestors are an unruly gang bent on causing chaos. The truth is that in almost 2 years there has been only one minor case of damage to property.  The few injuries that have happened have been the result of over-zealous police officers wrestling protestors to the ground.  I think Saturday night on Ramsgate High Street is a greater threat to public order than demonstrators at Ramsgate Port.
“The Chief Constable has also manipulated arrest figures to give the impression that protestors are militant anarchists who need to be controlled. Out of 15 arrests cited, 5 were not related to the protest. Of the remaining 10, only one person has been prosecuted and this was thrown out of court by the judge on appeal. This tells me that the alleged offenses have been very, very minor, if indeed any offenses have been committed at all”.
“I believe that the Chief Constable’s report is an indefensible justification of  unnecessary public spending and the unfair restriction of  the civil rights of many local people. The report provides no hard evidence to support such actions”

Driver then went on to express his disappointment that Kent Police Commissioner Anne Barnes was supporting this “flawed”  report.
He said that a picture on her website of Police with riot shields placed next to the report, suggested Barnes felt that the protestors were trouble makers.  
“I call on Anne Barnes to come to down the next protest and see for herself what her budget is actually being spent on.  If she does she might change her mind.”


For more information contact Ian Driver on 07866588766

Saturday, 19 January 2013

A fourth greenhouse at Thanet

Since it opened in 2009 with three greenhouses
constructed and operational, Thanet Earth has
managed to negotiate its way through difficult
times in the industry and in the economy at
It has made great progress financially, moving from
large losses in year one towards a modest profit in
year three. The future’s looking even brighter now
as the development’s partners are able to announce
that construction and planting have been completed
on the long-awaited fourth greenhouse. Its young
tomato plants will be bearing fruit by Easter.
The growers at Thanet Earth produce consistently great quality tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers for the
UK’s best-known retail shelves. The site has proven its ability to grow tomatoes 52 weeks of the year and
boasts the longest UK seasons on cucumbers and peppers. This is all credit to the original vision of the
project partners, their state of the art greenhouses and the expertise in every function. It’s all supported one
of the most efficient packhouses in operation in the UK.
The demand for crops grown at Thanet Earth is huge. The site’s partners know their product excels in
quality against every competitor in benchmarking samples. Through the winter in particular, to be able to
offer UK-grown tomatoes which far exceed the quality that the finest growers in ‘seasonal’ areas of Europe
can offer (and which carry a lower carbon footprint than all other international sources) makes the Thanet
Earth proposition unique. The UK’s shoppers want locally grown food. They care about what’s written on
the label, and the Thanet Earth crops are fulfilling a very real demand.
The fourth greenhouse covers approximately 8 hectares, and will be dedicated to tomato production. The
cost of construction (including its Combined Heat & Power infrastructure and its link to the site electrical
substation) has been some £17 million. The greenhouse is owned jointly by the project partners (Fresca
Group, Rainbow UK, A&A Growers and Kaaij UK), and will be managed on a day-to-day basis by Gert van
Straalen of tomato specialist Kaaij UK.
This exciting development phase is important not only to the Thanet Earth site but to the local economy and
community. Since its inception the site has provided an important source of work and has become a notable
local landmark that represents significant inward investment in an area with an identified need for
regeneration and new industry. Since 2009 the site has paid over £28 million in wages alone with over 71%
remaining in the immediate Thanet area. The new greenhouse now provides employment and seasonal
work opportunities for approximately 100 more people, bringing the total to 600 people at the height of the
As withthe original three greenhouses, this new production facility will make use of rainwater capture and
biological pest control to maintain the site’s top tier environmental credentials. It will also increase the electricity generating capacity of the site overall to 20MW from the 15MW it is able to generate today using
its CHP technology.
Gert van Straalen, the grower who’ll be looking
after the crops in the new greenhouse, is proud to
see years of planning come to fruition.
“We know from experience that this site is very
special and has all the qualities we look for in
greenhouse food production. It’s a great landmark
for us and for Thanet to have driven our plans
forward to this point. We can’t wait to begin

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
18 Jan 2013F/TH/12/094346 CANTERBURY ROAD MARGATE CT95BGcurrent
18 Jan 2013F/TH/12/0950168 BRADSTOW WAY BROADSTAIRS CT101AXcurrent
18 Jan 2013F/TH/12/100295 PERCY AVENUE BROADSTAIRS CT103LDcurrent
18 Jan 2013F/TH/12/1003LAND REAR OF 122 GROSVENOR PLACE MARGATEcurrent
17 Jan 2013F/TH/12/10071 LANGHAM CLOSE MARGATE CT95BZcurrent
17 Jan 2013F/TH/13/00218 EDGE END ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT102AHcurrent
17 Jan 2013TL/TH/12/096249-51 RODNEY STREET, RAMSGATE, CT11 9JTcurrent
16 Jan 2013F/TH/13/002063 CANTERBURY ROAD EAST RAMSGATE CT110LAcurrent
15 Jan 2013L/TH/13/00011 ALBION PLACE RAMSGATE CT118HQcurrent
15 Jan 2013F/TH/13/0008180 HIGH STREET MARGATE CT91JZcurrent
15 Jan 2013F/TH/13/001263 ST. PETERS ROAD MARGATE CT94ALcurrent
14 Jan 2013F/TH/12/07105 THE LINK, MARGATE ROAD, BROADSTAIRS decided
14 Jan 2013F/TH/12/074768 HIGHFIELD ROAD, RAMSGATE, CT12 6QT current
14 Jan 2013F/TH/12/0780East Kent College, Ramsgate Road, Broadstairs, Kent CT10 1PNcurrent
14 Jan 2013F/TH/12/092768 WEST CLIFF ROAD, BROADSTAIRS, CT10 1PY current
14 Jan 2013F/TH/12/09302 WILLOW AVENUE, BROADSTAIRS, CT10 2LP current
14 Jan 2013F/TH/12/09783-4 CECIL STREET, MARGATE current
14 Jan 2013F/TH/12/0984167 PEGWELL ROAD, RAMSGATE, CT11 0LY current
14 Jan 2013F/TH/12/098523 ROYAL ESPLANADE, RAMSGATE, CT11 0HA decided
14 Jan 2013F/TH/12/10112 AUDLEY AVENUE, MARGATE, CT95HJ current
14 Jan 2013F/TH/12/102129 WESTCLIFF ROAD, MARGATE current
14 Jan 2013F/TH/13/000222 CLIFFS END ROAD, RAMSGATE, CT12 5JD current
14 Jan 2013F/TH/13/000326 WINDERMERE AVENUE, RAMSGATE, CT11 0PE current
14 Jan 2013F/TH/13/000651 SANDHURST ROAD, MARGATE, CT9 3JQcurrent
14 Jan 2013F/TH/13/000949 FAIR STREET BROADSTAIRS CT102JLcurrent
11 Jan 2013F/TH/13/001029 GOODWIN ROAD RAMSGATE CT110LPcurrent
* 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)
Mr Alan Dolan West Bay Cafe, Sea Road, Westgate on Sea, CT8 8QA New premises licence application Supply of alcohol and regulated entertainment 17 January 2013
Mr Paul Spickett The Hovelling Boat Inn, 12 York Street, Ramsgate CT11 9DS New premises licence application Supply of alcohol and regulated entertainment 05 February 2013
Mr Alan Ross 60 Station Road, Birchington CT7 9RA New premises licence application Supply of alcohol 08 February 2013
Mrs Nina Alger & Mr Paul Wainwright Sinatra's, 92 High Street, Broadstairs CT10 1JJ Variation of premises licence Regulated entertainment and removal of conditions 11 February 2013
Mr Erdal Cakin Eddy's Fried Chicken, 290 Northdown Road, Margate CT9 2PT Variation of premises licence Increase in opening hours and late night refreshment 13 February 2013

Friday, 18 January 2013

Consultation – TDC’s breath of fresh air!

Air Quality Action Plan Consultation
Thanet District Council is looking for the views of residents on suggested ways to address air pollution hot-spots in the area.
In fact, because of its location, Thanet’s air quality is already very good, 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.

Michelle Fenner, Cabinet Member for Business, Corporate and Regulatory Services explained: “Using guidance from the Government, and by working with Kent County Council, TDC has produced an ‘Air Quality Action Plan’ which sets out how the council intends to work on tackling pollution issues and towards achieving its air quality objectives. Rather than being a piecemeal approach, which could just shift problems around, this plan looks at the whole of Thanet strategically as an ‘Air Quality Management Area’, rather than just at the problems sites individually. This is a really good opportunity to have your say on the ways in which we are looking at making the area even better for residents and tourists alike.”

The draft action plan consists both of new ideas and measures which are already in place and includes ways of:

influencing freight strategy to redirect HGVs away from key hotspots

altering junction configurations to improve traffic flow

promoting sustainable methods of travel through development planning - thus reducing  the total ‘miles travelled ‘ by encouraging a movement away from personal car use

reducing the emissions from individual vehicles.
As a live working document the plan will be continually reviewed and updated. As an initial stage of this the council would like to hear your views and comments on the measures being proposed to improve local air quality over the coming years.

The Air Quality Action Plan is available to view at
Please email your comments to before 14th March 2013.

Thursday, 17 January 2013



Been inspired by London 2012 and want to help make sport happen in your community? Become a Sport Maker – it’s free!
The many volunteers who organise sport for their local clubs or just for friends and colleagues are people who play a pivotal role in promoting and increase sporting participation and all the benefits it brings.  If you enjoy sport and want to add something to your own community - then why not make a new year’s resolution to get into sport volunteering? You'll keep yourself fit and get that feel-good buzz of knowing that you’re helping others to discover what gets your heart racing.
Sport Makers, funded by the National Lottery is recruiting tens of thousands of new volunteers aged 16+ across the country to help organise, support and lead community sporting activities.
As part of this Thanet District Council (TDC) and the Kent Sport, Leisure and Olympics team will be hosting a Sport Makers’ course at the Ursuline Sports College on Thursday 7 February, 7pm-9pm.
Why not come along to this FREE workshop event and find out about the opportunities and the skills, knowledge, and contacts you’ll need to get more people playing sport in your area.
Colin Rouse, TDC Sports Development Officer, said: “Sport Makers is a great opportunity to help support and drive local sports participation. Whether you already volunteer at your local sports club on a Saturday morning, or just don’t feel you’re as sporty as you’d like and want to get involved, this workshop will provide you with the kind of training, resources and support you’ll need.  Local Sport Makers will be doing their part to deliver on the Olympic and Paralympics legacy and values - doing their part in creating a more active Thanet.”
Places are limited, so for more information about Sport Makers please visit Once you register there you will be able to sign up with your nearest Sport Makers’ course. Or you could start by contacting Colin Rouse on 01843 577032

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Motion Cllr Ian Driver will be submitting on The Royal Sands to the next meeting of the Council

Council is very concerned about the lack progress made by SFP Ventures (UK) Ltd in moving forward the  Ramsgate Royal  Sands development.
It is therefore agreed that officers produce a comprehensive report which sets out all the options available to the Council to either facilitate the completion of the development or enable the council to terminate the existing development agreement.
This report will include a risk assessment of each available option and will be included on the agenda of the next meeting of the Council.
Moved by Councillor Ian Driver  

Thanet's embassy mission

On 21 January residents in Cliftonville will see the beginning of a major housing restoration and improvement programme which will cover Margate Central and Cliftonville West:  Conversion work will start on the former ‘Embassy Hotel’, turning it into two four-bed family homes.
This Edwardian hotel used to reflect the former glories of Cliftonville as a resort, but subsequently being used as a 30 bed House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) it had fallen into disrepair and had been broken into and vandalised. Empty when purchased, Thanet District Council (TDC) took the opportunity to redress the balance of housing in the area, partly by reducing the number of HMOs.
With the Embassy, the intention is to improve its appearance, bringing back its character by re-instating the original façade and replacing the windows and doors.  An unsightly rear extension will also be replaced by a more aesthetic single storey one. There will also be exhaustive internal renovation to replace fittings, pipe-work and electrical wiring which had been stolen before TDC acquired the building. The aim is to undertake the works with a minimum of disruption to nearby residents who should also ultimately benefit from the improvements which the changes will make to the street.
The contractors, Richardson Ltd will start work on 21 January and plan to involve a range of local contractors in the project. John Neville, the company’s Managing Director said: “Richardson Ltd are extremely pleased and proud to have been awarded this contract.”
He commented on what a great opportunity it is for the company to be involved at this early stage in such an excellent regeneration initiative and added: “The project will be of great benefit to all stakeholders in the near future.
“As a business we work closely with our clients to employ local labour, suppliers and sub-contractors. This will benefit the local community and create alignment between all organisations to achieve mutual objectives.”
Over the next 10 – 15 years the £23.1m ‘Live Margate’ programme, of which the Embassy work is a part, will help to make the Margate area a place where people will aspire to live, by increasing the number of family homes; improving living and housing standards and encouraging investment and owner occupation.
To do this Thanet District Council, Kent County Council and their partners in Live Margate are particularly targeting problem buildings which have been derelict and unoccupied for years, ensuring respect and sympathy for the original architecture as they are renovated and restored.
Cllr David Green, Cabinet Member for housing and the ward member for Eastcliff said: “Since Thanet District Council bought the Embassy in late 2012, I have been looking forward to the hotel becoming a leading example of how strategic intervention can have a positive impact on the whole feel of an area and set a course for further improvements.
“In Cliftonville and Margate there are many HMOs or unoccupied buildings that the council is trying to purchase, which is why I am thrilled that this programme (Live Margate) will see a vast improvement to the infrastructure and hopefully bring a new sense of ‘being’ to the wards of Margate.”
“The council’s Selective Licensing scheme in these areas will also enable residents to feel safer and it means that property management and housing conditions will improve, and anti-social behaviour will be reduced.”
For more information visit

Turner Contemporary announces 2013 spring events programme

Press release
Turner Contemporary announces 2013 spring events programme 

After an exciting programme of exhibitions and events in 2012 that has generated over 440,000 visits, Turner Contemporary is delighted to announce highlights from its 2013 spring events programme.

Alongside the opening of Carl Andre: Mass & Matter; Rosa Barba: Subject to Constant Change and Turner’s Perspective: Selected by Rosa Barba, Turner Contemporary opens its spring programme calendar on the 2 February with a weekend of celebrations, including free Youth Navigator exhibition tours and Raw Material live performance event with artists including Dan Coopey and Laura Buckley, plus Zoe Laughlin returns with the Institute of Making’s Materials Library.

Opening Weekend Celebrations
Sat 2  and 3 Feb 2013, free
Weekend highlights include Raw Material live event; Slide Show Family Workshop and Youth Navigator Tours.
Tea + Talk: History of Sea Forts
Thu 7 Feb 2013, £6/£5 concessions
Local historian Frank Turner reveals the mystery of the haunting WWII defence forts that lie out to sea along the East Kent coast, featured in Rosa Barba’s film Subconscious Society. Free cup of tea with every ticket.
Family workshops: Materials
Sun 10, 24 Feb 2013, drop in
Feel, explore, play and build with different materials, inspired by Carl Andre, Supported by WWMartin.
Rosa Barba in Conversation
Wed 13 Feb, 6pm, £6/£5
A unique chance to hear Rosa Barba talk about her new exhibition and installation Subconscious Society, with Lynne Cooke and Andrew Mellon Professor at the National Gallery of Art Washington.
Family workshops: Hand Paint Film
Wed 20 & Thu 21 Feb (half term), 1 - 4pm, drop in
Help artist Chris Daniels to create Unravel – Britain’s longest hand-painted film.
Talk + Tea: The Dreamland Trust presents… Under the Pier Show with Tim Hunkin
Thu 21 Feb, 3pm, £6 / £5 concessions
Engineer, cartoonist, writer and artist Tim Hunkin talks about the history of the amusement arcade. Free cup of tea with every ticket. This event is part of Game Expo East Kent (GEEK) 2013, Thursday 21 – Wednesday 24 February (half term).
To hand
Fri 22 – Sun 24 Feb, 12 – 4pm, free
Siobhan Davies Dance and dance artist Matthias Sperling present To hand.
Where Carl Andre invites you to move around objects, here you are invited to follow the performer’s precarious movement across the space balancing on a set of everyday objects.
Carl Andre: Mass & Matter Panel discussion
Wed 6 March, 7pm, £6/£5 concessions
Tate Liverpool’s Head of Exhibitions & Displays Gavin Delahunty and lecturer Dr Alaistair Rider discuss the context in which Carl Andre’s practice emerged and its influence. Chaired by Senior Lecturer in History & Philosophy of Art Dr Grant Pooke.
Words to be Spoken Aloud
Fri 8 March – Sun 10 March, free
A weekend festival of text-inspired performance, exhibition and workshops. Artists including Fiona Banner and Sue Tompkins, Margate Writer’s Squad and sculpture students from the Royal College of Art come together to transform ‘found’ text into art.
Turner’s Perspective spotlight tour
Thu 21 March, 3pm, free
Humphrey Ocean, current Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy, sheds new light on Turner’s perspective drawings, which the artist made to accompany his lectures in the mid-19th century.
Turner on Perspective
Sat 13 April, 7:30pm, price £10 / £8 concessions
Turner’s lectures were famous for being at once fascinating and extremely difficult to follow. See for yourself in Maurice Davies’ dramatization with special guests including art critic Alastair Sooke (The Daily Telegraph).
Annual Turner Lecture and Dinner with Richard Cork
Thur 25 April, 6pm, advanced booking £85 per person (full price £100), table of 8, £600 (full price table £700)
Award winning art critic, historian, broadcaster and curator Richard Cork is our special guest at this year’s Turner Lecture Dinner. The evening raises vital funds for our future exhibitions, learning and community outreach programmes.
Free exhibition tours
Every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday, 11 – 11:30am

Youth Navigator tours
Sat 2 Feb, 10:30 – 12:30pm, free

Free exhibition activities
Perspective Windows (is this all time – subject to availability they are self-led activities)
Tue - Sunday, 10am – 6pm, drop in
Clore Learning Studio (subject to availability)

Family workshops
Every Sunday, and Wednesday and Thursdays during school holidays, £3 per child/free for adults, under 3s and families living in CT9
Full event information can be found on our website at turnercontemporary,org/whatson

Full event information can be found on our website at