Thursday, 30 May 2013

Pleasurama Site Development Task and Finish Group

A new Pleasurama Site Development Task and Finish Group is to be set up as a priority project for the Overview and Scrutiny Panel.
This follows a meeting of cabinet held last night (Wednesday 29 May) in which members gave their full endorsement for Scrutiny to review all of the options for the development of the site in Ramsgate.
The developers were given a four month period following a meeting of Cabinet in January to satisfy the council that the finance was in place for completion of the development or to ensure an agreement was in place for the construction and operation of a hotel.
As the four month period passed without the criteria being met, Cabinet has now agreed to a review of the options for the site, which include continuing discussions with the current developer or considering alternative options. This will still involve careful consideration of the potential financial and legal implications if the site was not able to be developed as agreed.
Cabinet Member for Operational Services, Cllr Alan Poole, said: “The council is very keen to see the plans for this important site in Ramsgate come to fruition.
“Discussions are still underway with the developer, and will continue with the aim of resolving the current situation to develop the site as agreed, but we have to be realistic. We’ve waited a considerable amount of time for the developer to meet their obligations, and whilst we acknowledge the challenging economic climate, but there has to be a conclusion.
“Cabinet has agreed to a review of the situation to progress the regeneration of this prime site quickly and efficiently, however there is no doubt that this will involve some detailed and challenging discussions.
“The current development has planning permission, leases and an agreement in place so any alternative proposal would need to be carefully considered to ensure the finances and legal position could make this a viable option.
“We’re confident that Scrutiny will conduct a thorough and considered review and are hopeful that this will allow us to progress with a positive plan for the future development of this site.”


Thanet District Council is to launch a ten week public consultation on the issues and options for a new Local Plan next month (June).
Cabinet members last night (Wednesday 29 May) approved the document for consultation.
The consultation will be used to inform the development of the Local Plan, which once adopted, will be council’s overarching planning policy document covering the whole district up to 2031.
The Local Plan is a statutory document which all planning authorities are required to produce. It guides decisions on development and regeneration across Thanet and sets out how and where homes, jobs, community facilities, shops and infrastructure will be delivered.
The council is producing a new Local Plan following changes to the planning system over the last two years. This will now see the adoption of a new single Local Plan document rather than a Core Strategy and Site Allocation documents.
This proposed Issues and Options Consultation will launch on Tuesday 4 June, and is the first of three stages of public consultation to take place in producing the new Local Plan.
The consultation document identifies 19 issues across four topic areas of Economy, Housing, Environment and Quality of Life, and Transport. The document sets out background information and evidence, and identifies options for dealing with each of the issues. This is accompanied by a consultation questionnaire, which sets out questions in relation to each issue.
The consultation document and questionnaire will be available to complete online at from Tuesday 4 June.
A number of consultation events will be held during the ten week period, including a stakeholder conference, targeted workshops and focus groups. Drop-in sessions at key venues across the district will also be held for members of the public to provide more information on the issues and options and for assistance completing the questionnaire.
Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning, Cllr. David Green, said: “This consultation is vital to ensure that our new Local Plan reflects the aspirations of the local community. The Local Plan is a significant document for the council and will be used to ensure that the district is developed in the right way between now and 2031. This is the first phase of public consultation and the feedback we receive at this stage will be used to help us shape how the plan develops later on.
“The scope of the Local Plan is vast, and national government requires it to be sound, justified and realistic. For this reason we’ve included a great level of detail within the document to evidence the issues we face within Thanet and the options we’re considering to address them.
“We’ll be doing all we can throughout the consultation period to work with our partners and local people to ensure that the information provided is clear and to offer every opportunity for people to comment on the options.”
Full details of how to take part will be published widely at the launch of the consultation.


Thanet District Council will take whatever action it can to recover £3.3 million outstanding debt owed following the collapse of Transeuropa.
That’s the message following a Cabinet meeting at the council last night (Wednesday 29 May).
Although the debt has been logged with the company administrators, members have agreed a number of funding proposals to ensure that the debt is covered in full from within the current year’s accounts – in line with good accounting practice.
The following sources of funding were agreed by Cabinet:
  • A sum of £1m has been identified through additional grant income that has arisen following an assessment of the previous years’ housing benefit subsidy which is not needed to meet this or future years’ subsidy payments;
  • Unallocated unringfenced grants of £92k have been identified;
  • A balance of £43k remains on the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant reserve which is unallocated;
  • A sum of £1m will be drawn down from the New Homes Bonus;
  • Savings in the cremator project of £196k will be utilised;
  • Carry forward budgets of £257k from prior years have not been needed and will therefore be taken to offset this debt;
  • A sum of £200k will be taken from the Priority Improvement Reserve which will still leave a balance of £405k to support invest to save and one-off initiatives;
  • A sum of £198k will be taken from the VAT Reserve (the balance that remains is felt to be sufficient);
  • The bad debt provision has been reviewed and a sum of £200k can be taken to contribute towards this debt.
The above funding sources give a total of £3,184 million. It is anticipated that the balance of the outstanding debt could be covered by the council’s underspend for 2012/13.
Chief Executive of Thanet District Council, Dr. Sue McGonigal provided an update to members at the meeting.
She said: “The council agreed to provide temporary financial relief to Transeuropa to support the continuation of a ferry service from the Port of Ramsgate. This support was in the form of an agreed payment plan for the company’s berthing fees, alongside our counterparts in Ostend and other creditors. At the time of the agreement Transeuropa had given assurances that a financial investor was in place and that this repayment would be made in full through installments.
She continued: “Let’s be clear, the council was forced to make a very tough decision. Had we acted earlier to recover the fees, there was a very real risk that the company would have folded, being unlikely to secure an investor. Without an operational ferry service at the Port, the council would face a huge loss of income with no guarantee of finding a replacement service.
“Understanding the port’s role as a vital economic asset for the district, the council chose instead to help support the continuation of the service from the Port with what we believed to be a robust repayment plan in place.
She added: “The council does not enter into any financial agreement without careful and detailed consideration of the risk. Although we’ve identified that the full amount of the debt can be covered from within existing council budgets, we will be doing everything within our power to recover the full amount owed.”


Cabinet members for Thanet District Council last night (Wednesday 29 May) approved a draft action plan for consultation as part of its new Economic Growth and Regeneration Strategy for Thanet.
The draft action plan sets out how the council will deliver its regeneration priorities in partnership with other public sector organisations, the private and third sectors over the next ten years.
The council will carry out a targeted consultation with identified stakeholders within the business community, statutory organisations and key representatives from the voluntary and community sector to ensure that the plan reflects the views of the people and organisations that will help to deliver it.
The consultation will run from Friday 31 May until Friday 12 July.
Feedback from the consultation will be used to help shape the final version of the action plan which will be presented at a future meeting of the Cabinet for final approval.
The draft action plan has been developed following initial engagement with the business community and is split into five areas which reflect the priorities of the overall strategy. This includes:
  1. Business growth
  2. Investing in assets
  3. Green economy
  4. Heritage, culture and the visitor economy
  5. Skills for employment and growth
The plan identifies a broad range of actions including attracting investment into the area, promoting Thanet as a place to live, work and create business, developing a vision and strategic plan for each of the main Town Centres, ensuring Thanet has the right commercial sites and buildings to enable businesses to start, develop and grow, taking advantage of the growing green sector and identifying external funding opportunities.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Clive Hart, said: “Thanet’s economic growth and regeneration is a key priority for the council. We are committed to driving growth across the district by promoting investment, skills, employability, job creation and innovation to provide a sustainable and balanced economy.
“This draft action plan sets out what we believe are clear, realistic and deliverable activities to help work towards achieving this.
“We’re aware that we can’t deliver all of this activity alone and that developing networks and partnerships will be key to its success. This targeted consultation will provide key agencies across the public and private sector with a further opportunity to feed into this process and to ensure that by working together, we’re supporting the economic growth and regeneration of Thanet. “
The councils Economic Growth and Regeneration Strategy can be viewed online and the draft plan will be available to view from Friday 31 May.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013


Margate featured in the Dominic Savage drama series True Love and now Ramsgate is having its turn to star as the back drop in an episode of Lee Mack’s ‘Not Going Out’.
On the 31st May 2012, at 9:30 pm the last episode of ‘Not Going Out’ will be broadcast on BBC One and was filmed in Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour.
The cast and crew visited Ramsgate in early October and spent the day filming scenes to be included in the episode called ‘The Boat’ which features the cast visiting a harbour to stay on a small boat.  The Art Department had a full day to ‘dress’ the boat in preparation for filming. 
The Harbour staff assisted the Avalon Production crew during the days that they spent in Ramsgate including moving the crews boat on using the boat hoist when it arrived on a low loader into the outer harbour and back out again on completion of filming.
Bill Twiston Davies, Location Manager for ‘Not Going Out’ said ‘We came a long way out of London to film our dockside sequences at Ramsgate but it was well worth the trip. The Harbour Master and Thanet District Council were helpful throughout and we are made to feel welcome. Thank you for a highly positive experience!’
Cllr Michelle Fenner, Cabinet Member for Business, Corporate and Regulatory Services said “Thanet is becoming known for its excellent film location service and its film friendly residents and businesses.  We are extremely pleased that the BBC chose Ramsgate as their location for ‘Not Going Out’.” 

Thanet’s Gateway Plus holds Volunteering Event

On Friday 7 June Thanet’s Gateway Plus will be holding a volunteering event at Ramsgate Library from 10.00am – 2.00pm to help promote volunteering to local residents.
The event is taking place as part of the National Volunteers’ Week 2013, which takes place from Saturday 1 – Friday 7 June. The Gateway’s event will tie in with the national scheme and help to promote volunteering as a useful skill to learn.
National Volunteers’ Week is an annual campaign which celebrates the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK every day; whether it is volunteering at events, hospitals, police, charity shops or even small enterprises.
The Gateway event plans to encourage awareness of volunteering opportunities in your local area. In addition to this is aims to provide essential information on the benefits obtained through volunteering, for example, new skills, self confidence, positive impact on health and well-being, it can even act as a progression route to paid work.
These types of skills can contribute towards long term job planning and can be extremely helpful to people who have been out of work for a long period of time. The Gateway Plus event will be open to members of the public who may be interested in learning more, confirmed partner organisations attending the event include; The Royal School for Deaf Children, The Disability Drop in Centre, Family Mosaic, Kent Supported Employment, RAPT (Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust) and the Volunteer Bureau.
Cllr Fenner, Cabinet Member for business, Corporate and Regulatory Services said: “The Gateway Plus event will be a great way for people of all ages who are interested in extending their experience through volunteering, to find out more information and speak with people who often require volunteer based work.
“Volunteering is essential for developing stronger communities, the economic value is so important and some services rely heavily on volunteers, as without them they would not exist. In addition to this, it provides individuals with a great sense of achievement and will not only benefit a CV for work development purposes but also instills confidence.”
For further information on the event, please contact Thanet Gateway Plus on 01843 577000.  


More than 400 residential properties in Birchington have been targeted as part of the council’s latest Operation Cleansweep.  The multi agency operation took place on 15 and 16 May and was part of their integrated service to support the efforts of Thanet communities in addressing local concerns and issues.
Areas that were targeted were Birchington North, Ethelbert Road, Minnis Road, Arthur Road, Birchington South, Stone Barn Avenue, Linington Road, Cornford Road, Farrar Road and Powell Cotton Drive.
As well as providing services and trained officers to speak with local residents, Cleansweep continues to be of benefit in highlighting hazards and illegal practices in shops and other properties.
During the operation Kent Probation Community Payback workers removed rubbish from alleyways and public footpaths, whilst Kent Fire Service offered advice to over 50 properties and arranged follow up calls to several properties for fire prevention and carbon monoxide detection.
A total of 4 parking notices were issued in these areas over the two day period. Education Welfare Officers were amongst the team offering advice for residents whose children had not been attending school correctly and discussing school places for the following intake.
Waste storage issues were addressed at some properties and the team gave advice to a number of residents, also two PDPA notices (Prevention of Damage by Pests Notice) were issued on properties. Dog fouling was evident on the seafront area and dog wardens will continue to patrol the area.
Residents were extremely supportive of the operation and would like the team to return in the future.
Cllr Alan Poole, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Operational Services said: “Cleansweep operations provide an effective way to tackle issues within our local communities. With the consistent support from residents, and the great results achieved, it just goes to show how essential multi agency working is. We will continue to target other areas.”

Transeuropa £3.3.million debt. Cover up begins

Thanet Labour and Tory Councillors joined forces tonight to vote down Green Party Councillor Ian Driver's proposal to set up an investigation into how insolvent ferry operator TransEuropa  was allowed to run up debts to Thanet Council of £3.3. over a 2 year period.
Said Driver "The TransEuropa £3.3 million debt is the most of the serious financial disaster ever faced by Thanet Council and local people expect nothing less than a full investigation into how it happened, who authorised it and why it was kept secret until it was too late. In my opinion there are some extremely serious legal, constitutional and ethical  questions to be asked about this fiasco and the  conduct of some very senior Council officers and politicians of both main parties needs to be thoroughly investigated.".
"However instead of treating this financial disaster with the seriousness and urgency it requires Councillors from the Labour and Conservative parties voted against setting up an investigation and are now trying to delay and cover up what has happened. I guess I should not be surprised because the leadership of both parties supported the waiving  of TransEuropa's fees over more than 2 years and the leadership of both parties kept this agreement secret from back bench councillors and  now they are trying to cover their backs."
"I have no intention of letting this issue drop. I have already contacted the District Auditor to express my concerns. I will be challenging the Council's accounts when they are published later this year and I now call on the Council to launch a full independent investigation into this financial scandal, because quite obviously there is no will amongst elected councillors to find out why a company was allowed to run up debts of more than £100,000 a month over 2 years  without action been taken.
I will be attending a meeting of Thanet Council's Cabinet tomorrow (29th at 7pm). Myself and colleague independent councillors have 25 questions we wish to ask Council Leader Clive Hart about this shameful situation. The public have a right to have answers to these questions"  
Cllr Ian Driver
Green Party

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

New planning applications,

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

Date Published*Application No.AddressStatus
24 May 2013F/TH/13/037740 HELVELLYN AVENUE RAMSGATE CT110RScurrent
24 May 2013F/TH/13/037432 VALE ROAD RAMSGATE CT119LTcurrent
24 May 2013L/TH/13/0372LIGHTHOUSE, STONE PIER, MARGATE, CT9 1APcurrent
23 May 2013L/TH/13/036438 HERESON ROAD RAMSGATE CT117DPcurrent
23 May 2013F/TH/13/039095 NIXON AVENUE, RAMSGATE, CT12 6BQ current
23 May 2013F/TH/13/039121 CAMDEN ROAD, BROADSTAIRS, CT10 3DR current
21 May 2013F/TH/13/0273386 MARGATE ROAD RAMSGATE CT126SHcurrent
21 May 2013F/TH/13/035214 BOUGHTON AVENUE BROADSTAIRS CT101SNcurrent
21 May 2013F/TH/13/03845 CASTLE AVENUE BROADSTAIRS CT101EGcurrent
17 May 2013F/TH/13/011169 SEA ROAD WESTGATE-ON-SEA CT88QGcurrent
17 May 2013F/TH/13/01492 FOADS HILL CLIFFSEND RAMSGATE CT125ELcurrent
17 May 2013F/TH/13/027818 GRENHAM ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT79JHcurrent
17 May 2013F/TH/13/028914 ST. LAWRENCE AVENUE RAMSGATE CT110JAcurrent
17 May 2013F/TH/13/031724 ALLENBY ROAD RAMSGATE CT126BAcurrent
* 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)
Boots UK Ltd Unit 4 Westwood Cross, Broadstairs CT10 2BF Variation of premises licence Extend the hours for the sale of alcohol 11 June 2013


As controversy continues about the Mary Portas TV programme about Margate, the new issue of THANET WATCH magazine tells the story the viewers' didn't see.

Drawing on inside sources and exclusive video footage filmed at the time, THANET WATCH describes how the TV programmer makers tried to control Margate Town Team AND how Mary Portas herself dramatically intervened to shape events.

But the magazine also reveals other off-camera shenanigans and sheds light on the role of Thanet Council in the process which led to the shock resignation of key players in the Town Team.

Said THANET WATCH editor Norman Thomas: "I believe the hard efforts of the volunteers who won Margate's bid to become a Portas Town were undermined by people only really interested in making a reality TV show.

"There needs to be a serious public investigation into the making of this programme," said Mr Thomas, "and it must look closely at the roles of both the government and of Thanet council."

If you want to know what really went on when Mary Portas came to Margate, get the new issue of THANET WATCH in newsagents across Thanet now, price 80p


Friday, 24 May 2013

Are you ready to ‘Sportivate’

Thanet District Council has launched a brand new sports initiative ‘Sportivate’ this week (22 May) as part of a £56 million Lottery programme. Available to Thanet residents aged between 14-25 years ‘Sportivate’ will be taking place throughout May and June.

The initiative, developed by Thanet District Councils’ sport and leisure department, gives participants access to six-week long courses including a range of traditional sports such as cricket, beach volleyball, handball, boxing, running and croquet. Sportivate is aimed at providing expertise coaching to anyone who currently chooses not to take part in sport in their own time and all for only £1 per session. The initiative aims to support participants to continue playing sport in their community at local clubs after the six week course is up.
Realising how important it is to keep fit and active, and as part of the legacy from the 2012 Olympic Games, the sport and leisure team have developed a number of sporting initiatives which aim to increase participation throughout the district. Sportivate which is backed by Sport England funding, provides another opportunity to encourage participation in sport.
Sport England awarded £11,500 funding to run the project. The courses will run for six-week sessions and will be delivered throughout May and June. To ensure sustainability the clubs will be run at local leisure centres, enabling positive promotion for the venue and a real opportunity for them to increase participation after the six week session ends within their facilities
Not only does it link Thanet with a national strategy but Sportivate is fully inclusive and targets participants across the age group, including young people who have a disability. During the sessions participants can work towards an event, a personal challenge or just take part to try something new and challenge themselves.
Cllr Iris Johnston, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “It is great that our sport and leisure department continues to provide these fantastic initiatives and encourage people to take up new activities.
“The six week programme is a fantastic opportunity for people to get involved and try something new. Sportivate includes a number of popular sports from the 2012 Olympic Games as well as incorporating some of Britain’s traditional sports too. As well as giving participants the chance to try something new, it also helps to promote healthy and active lifestyles across the district.” 

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Press Release from Councillor Ian Driver Green Party

On 26 April I e-mailed Mark Seed the Director responsible for the port of Ramsgate. I reproduce the exchange below. I  believe that Mr Seed was  probably in position to let me have the information I  requested, but he chose not to. This could  be a  possible breach of the Council's  Officer Code of Conduct. I have raised this matter with the District Auditor and will also be taking through due Council procedure. Please read this exchange below and decide for your self  
Councillor Ian Driver Green Party
 Email exchange between Mark Seed and Councillor Ian Driver about the Transeuropa debt
My concern about providing rough guess figures still applies, and once I have better figures I will clearly discuss these first with my Portfolio Holder before anything is disseminated wider.


From: Ian Driver [mailto:]
Sent: 29 April 2013 17:34
To: Mark Seed
Subject: Re: transeuropa

Hello Mark

In response to your e-mail. I assume that because the Council is initiating recovery action the losses to the Council must be significant and that the Council must already have a good idea what these losses are.

I assume that monies owed to the Council relate mainly to rental payments and berthing fees in which case it should very straightforward to advise me, in my capacity of Chairman of OSP,  of these amounts.

If these figures are being prepared for  court action then I would imagine that they are being prepared quickly and that there is therefore no need to wait for  the preparations of the final accounts.

Finally could you advise me if you, or other officers, have made members of the Cabinet aware of what the losses are likely to be and if so please advise me in my capacity as Chairman of OSP od the information you have provided to the Cabinet.

I look forward to hearing from you.

 Yours sincerely
 Cllr Ian Driver
Chairman OSP

 From: Mark Seed <
To: Cllr-Ian Driver <>>
Sent: Monday, 29 April 2013, 12:45
Subject: Re: transeuropa

I think there are some dangers in this context of guessing especially with the Belgian court action.

I will need to check with Finance on timescales under the final accounts process.


From: Ian Driver [mailto:>]
Sent: Monday, April 29, 2013 09:43 AM GMT Standard Time
To: Mark Seed
Subject: Re: transeuropa

Hello Mark

Thank you for you e-mail.

Is it possible to let me have an approximate figure please. If not could tell me when the figures will be available.


Cllr Ian Driver
Chairman OSP

From: Mark Seed <
To: Cllr-Ian Driver <>>
Sent: Monday, 29 April 2013, 9:56
Subject: Re: transeuropa

As the sum is directly relevant to the final accounts the figure is currently being calculated as part of this process. The figure is not currently available to be provided as this process is still underway.

Harvey has already engaged legal support to seek recovery of any sums involved, including seeking contact with the Curators appointed by the Belgian courts as well as possible routes in relation to assets in this country.


From: Ian Driver [mailto:>>>]
Sent: Friday, April 26, 2013 03:16 PM GMT Standard Time
To: Mark Seed
Subject: transeuropa

Hi Mark

I understand that Transeuropa ferries and/or its associated owe Thanet Council considerable amounts of money. Could you please let me have a breakdown of the monies owed to TDC by TransEuropa and/ or its associates and could you also tell me what action the Council is contemplating to recover any monies owed.

Look forward to hearing from you

Cllr Ian Driver
Chairman OSP


When Labour took over the leadership of Thanet District Council in December 2011, we were advised of a commercially confidential arrangement that the previous Conservative regime had entered into in March that year with Transeuropa Ferries.
The company was struggling financially and Conservative-controlled TDC, together with the authorities at Ostend, had agreed to special payment terms in order to assist its survival.
In Thanet’s case this meant deferring the fees Transeuropa paid to berth at Ramsgate, initially for three months but subsequently for longer, and putting in place a payment plan that would have seen the outstanding debt recovered in full by 2014.
The purpose of this arrangement was to give every possible chance for the continuation of the ferry service at the port, and to protect both the jobs that depended on it and an important source of ongoing income for the council taxpayers of Thanet.
By the time Labour took over from the Conservatives, the ferry company already owed the council £1.7m, and the risk attached to this debt had become an additional consideration.
The council was in constant contact with the company and there were regular discussions internally about the potential financial implications of it going under.
If we had taken action to recover the money at that stage, for example by denying Transeuropa facilities at Ramsgate, this may well have tipped the firm into administration, leaving the existing debt unpaid and the port without its major customer.
It was also important that the council said nothing publicly that had potential to undermine commercial confidence in the company, as this may have had the same outcome.
Developments over the next year gave some cause for encouragement. In July 2012 the firm began making debt repayments. In November last year it reached agreement with an Italian investment company. And early in 2013 it added a third ship to the Ramsgate-Ostend service.
During this time the amount outstanding to the council increased to £3.3m, but the risk of the firm becoming insolvent appeared to be reducing.
It should be understood that if the council had adopted a hard line at any point then in all likelihood the ferry service would simply have ended earlier. The council would still not have had the £3.3m, as that level of debt would never have been incurred in the first place.
It is true that the council would have been able to make some savings at the port if the ferry company had failed earlier, but these are a fraction of the overall amount.
We take responsibility for the actions of the council since December 2011, but in our view, officers and elected members have done what they could to protect the best interests of the district in a very difficult situation.
The council will take whatever action is available to recover as much money as possible, but in the meantime we have to show in the 2012/13 accounts that we are able to cover the shortfall from existing resources and that is the purpose of the report to cabinet next week.
Cllr Clive Hart - Leader
Cllr Alan Poole - Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Operational Services
Cllr Rick Everitt - Cabinet Member for Finance

Blue Flag awards

North Thanet's MP Sir Roger Gale has this (Wednesday) morning given a warm welcome to the award of Blue Flags for Thanet's beaches.

Speaking from the House of Commons Sir Roger says;

"This very good news reaffirms my belief that Thanet in general and Margate Main Sands in particular offer the best seawater bathing in the British Isles. Switch the Turner Contemporary now drawing visitors and with the regeneration effect that that superb project has had upon the Old Town we have a great offer as a domestic tourist destination for longer family and short-break holidays that we need to capitalise upon.

Thanet now has the possibility, also, to drive the redevelopment of the Dreamland and Arlington Square sites forward and to really capitalise upon our successes.

A little sunshine would help, of course, but I maintain that Thanet is a great place to visit come rain or shine and it is up to us all to make sure that the. Blue Flags fly proudly alongside the Union Flag over The Island"

Thanet celebrates its blue seas, blue skies and blue flags!

Thanet has received the most blue flags for its beaches than any council area in the UK.
A total of eight Blue Flags have been awarded to the area’s beaches this year which includes, Minnis Bay, West Bay in Westgate, St Mildreds Bay, Westbrook Bay, Margate Main Sands, Botany Bay, Joss Bay and Stone Bay.
Keep Britain Tidy, the national organisation who run a variety of environmental programmes to bring about sustained improvements in the local environment, chose Margate Main Sands for their official ‘Blue Flag Awards’ launch this year (22 May).
Beaches have been awarded Blue Flags based on the highest quality facilities, safety, environmental education, management and for meeting the highest international standard of water quality.
In addition to this Thanet has been awarded two Seaside Awards for Ramsgate Main Sands and Viking Bay, Broadstairs, which recognises and rewards beaches in England that achieve the highest standards of beach management and, in the case of bathing beaches, meet guideline water quality.
This year entrants have seen changes to the Blue Flag criteria, and beaches have undergone much stricter water quality standards to qualify for the globally recognised award. This is the new ‘Excellent’ standard required under the new EU Bathing Water Directive.
Cabinet Member for Tourism, Cllr Johnston, said: “This year has seen much stricter criteria for UK beaches, so it is fantastic news that Thanet has received the most blue flags this year than any other council area across the UK!
“We continue to work hard to ensure our beaches exceed both visitors and residents expectations and today’s announcement just goes to show how serious we are about the condition of our beautiful beaches. This news follows on from Monday’s (21 May) news that Thanet’s Visitor Information Service has won Bronze for ‘Visitor Information Provider of the Year’, at the Visit England Awards for Excellence. With so much to offer in Thanet I would encourage anyone who is looking for a UK beach break to visit our unique sandy beaches.”
Richard McIIwain, Operations Director for Keep Britain Tidy said: “We are pleased to be hosting our official launch for the Blue Flag awards on Margate Main Sands this year. Thanet has done extremely well in achieving eight Blue Flag awards and has topped the leader board in terms of the most Blue Flags in one area and that is why we have chosen to come to Thanet today.”


Thanet’s Visitor Information Service has been awarded Bronze for ‘Visitor Information Provider of the Year’ at the Visit England Awards for Excellence ceremony. The prestigious event was held at the world famous Lancashire County Cricket Club, yesterday evening (Monday 20 May).

The awards recognise businesses that incorporate best practice throughout their services and also acknowledge the very best of quality and innovation. In providing a benchmark, the awards help to raise standards across the industry and showcase the great range of tourism products and services England has to offer.

Thanet’s Visitor Information service has a dedicated team who are committed to providing the best service to both visitors and local residents. Located at Droit House, Margate (serving Margate, Broadstairs, Ramsgate and surrounding villages) the service is positioned right next to the award-winning Turner Contemporary, and close to the popular Old Town of Margate. The centre provides visitors with a variety of information on our unique destination.

Others who were running for the ‘Visitor Information Provider of the Year Award’ were Gloucester Tourism Information Centre, who received Highly Commended, Wakefield Visitor Centre who received Silver and Greenwich Tourist Information Centre who received Gold.

Monday’s announcement follows the service’s success in November 2012, winning Gold, for Tourist Information Service of the year at the Beautiful South Awards.  This gave the service the opportunity to apply for the national awards, assessed by a panel of leading tourism specialists.

The Awards For Excellence which have been running for over 20 years, play a huge part in showcasing the fantastic range of high quality experiences we have on offer in England. They provide a number of positive impacts on tourism and secure England's place as a world-class holiday destination.

Thanet District Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, Cllr Iris Johnston said: “Thanet is a great place and how we welcome and look after our visitors is a key part of our tourism service delivery. With a growing tourism economy in Thanet, such services are essential in promoting all that is on offer.

“It is fantastic news that Thanet Visitor Information Service has won Bronze, they should be proud of all their hard work, they are a great team and have a dedicated group of volunteers whose commitment ensures they deliver an effective service to Thanet.”
Tourism Manager for Thanet District Council, Paula Harbidge added: “We are thrilled at winning Bronze. It is a huge achievement as we continue to strive to offer the best possible service to our customers, both residents and visitors.

“I could not be prouder of the team for their hard work and dedication, it is great to have such prestigious recognition. I would also like to recognise the many volunteers that we work with in Broadstairs, at the Information Kiosks, Ramsgate Customs House and our Visitor Ambassadors in achieving this award.

“We are fortunate to have a wonderful destination to promote when serving our visitors, and we are grateful for the support we receive from our tourism partners. By gaining this award, we hope this will encourage our local tourism businesses to enter regional and national awards in the future.”

Turner Contemporary announces 2013 summer events programme



Following a lively spring where we celebrated our second birthday, Turner Contemporary has an exciting summer programme lined up.

Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing opens on 25th May with a week of celebrations, including a mesmerising performance by artist Aura Satz, Mystic Sid the fortune telling dog and create your own Rorschach print in our afternoon workshop. In addition, throughout May half term, a frenzy of fossil inspired events and workshops will take place for Turner Contemporary’s Fossil Week (26 May-1 June).

Curiosity Opening Weekend Celebrations
Sat 25 May, free
Enjoy the opening day of our summer exhibition Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing with our celebratory events. Kids take the lead on Saturday 25 May as Arthur Trillo’s (son of our generate artist Sara Wicks) supernaturally skilled dog Mystic Sid reads your fortune (11am - 12pm, free). Meanwhile in our family tours children will guide you through the exhibition selecting their favourite objects as discussion points (11am, free). Create your own Rorschach print in our afternoon workshop (1 - 4pm, free). Watch exhibiting artist Aura Satz’s mesmerising performance which mixes a film of Rorschach-like sound images accompanied by a live voice over that converts sound into light (5pm, free).


Fossil Week (26 May-1 June)
Fossil & Impressions
Sun 26 May 2013, 1-4pm, drop in
£3 per child/free for adults, under 3s and families in CT9
Make your own fossil impressions into clay, led by our Navigators.
Fossil & Skeletons
Wed 29 and 30 May 2013 (half term), 1-4pm, drop in
£3 per child/free for adults, under 3s and families in CT9
Come along to this workshop and create your own unusual skeleton or fossil to take home.
Talk: Coastal Dinosaurs
Sat 1 June, 12 noon, £6/£5 (ticket includes free entry into the Fossil Fair)

Philip Hadland from the Beaney Art Museum and Library in Canterbury announces his extraordinary latest fossil discovery found in Folkestone.

Fossil Fair
Sat 1 June 2013, 1-4pm, £3, pay at the door
£3 per child/free for adults, under 3s and families in CT9
Dr Alasdair Bruce and the Rock Doc Team hosts an exciting Fossil Fair. Come and have your fossil identified by fossil experts, who are on hand to tell you more about your fossil findings.
Big Foot
Sat 1 June, 1-4pm, free
Come and find Big Foot prints embedded on our terrace, and make some of your own with artist Stephen Fowler.
Page Turner5 June- 21 July, Clore Learning Studio, free
The winners, runners up and shortlisted entries of our annual Page Turner Competition are displayed in our Clore Learning Studio.
Inspiring Learning Education EveningWed 5 June, 4:30-6pm, free
At this free taster evening for educators and community leaders you can see our summer exhibition Curiosity, hear curator Brian Dillon talk about the exhibition, meet the learning team, try our practical taster sessions, discover resources and network with other educators.
Register now:
Call 01843 233 000

Cabinets of Curiosity Curator’s Talk Wed 5 June, 6pm, £6/£5
Curator of Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing Brian Dillon talks about the exhibition and the intellectual and aesthetic freedom that emerged for contemporary artists in seventeenth-century art and science.   

Assembly (Curiosity) by Agency
Sat 8 June, 3pm, free
The Belgian artist group Agency invite you to gather around a specific curiosity case in the exhibition to hear from invited respondents, including artists, scientists, academics and historians about their thoughts and responses to it.
Music for Wellbeing
Sat 15 June, 1-4pm, free
In partnership with Music 4 Wellbeing, musician Peter Cook and pupils from Bromstone primary school in Broadstairs teach you how to play Curiosity inspired instruments.

Love Architecture Week (24-30 June)
There and Back and Repeat Tues 25 June, 6-7pm, £6/£5
Curiosity exhibition architect Matt Ball from David Chipperfield Architects, designers of the Turner Contemporary building, talks about his inspiration for the exhibition design and leads a walking tour through the gallery layout, considering the exhibition design process as a story of collecting ‘curiosities’.

 Late Night Love Architecture
Fri 28 June, 6-9pm, free
To celebrate Love Architecture Week, join us for a free evening of architectural inspired performance and film. Generate artist Andy Malone creates galleries with reused match boxes. Daisy Trillo (Generate artist Sara Wick’s daughter) returns with her diorama. Artist group Obsolete Studios from Canterbury Christ Church University present a display of tinotypes in the Learning Studio. Plus Royal College of Art sculpture students create Animal Architecture inspired by Tacita Dean’s film Manhattan Mouse Museum.

Turner Architects Models Exhibition
27-30 June, free
From amateurs to construction professionals, come and see a range of architectural models of life size buildings and constructions that can be found in the South East. The exhibition is organised by Betteridge & Milsom and celebrates the RIBA’s Love Architecture Week.
RIBA Sandcastle Challenge
Sat 29 June, 10am-3pm, free
We are off to the beach supporting The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Sand Castle Challenge. Whether you are a budding young sandcastle designer or someone with a little more experience, this will be your chance to show off your skills. Bring along a bucket and spade and be a part of the Sandcastle Challenge.
Judging will start from 2.30pm – winners to be announced at 3pm.
It is free to enter - however, please inform the RIBA in advance if you would like to take part by emailing

 Primary school: Curious Day of Fun
Primary Schools - year 5 and 6
Wed, 26 June, 10-3pm, £6
An opportunity for children to take part in hands-on sessions with practising artists and museum educators in our stimulating and inspiring gallery spaces. Sessions are led by Turner Contemporary, Canterbury Museums, Stour Valley Arts and the Powell-Cotton Museum as well as some special guests who will be helping out. Curious Day of Fun includes hands-on sessions with experts, guided access to the exhibitions and all materials.
Dead Symphony
Performance: Sat 6 July, 4pm & 6pm
Talk: Sat 6 July, 5pm
There’s a moment, just before death, that some people hear particular music. This fascinating and intriguing finding is the inspiration for the artist Saskia Moore’s new work, Dead Symphony. Alongside the performance join artist Saskia Moore as she talks about the project in collaboration with music ensemble Apartment House.

Talk: The World’s Most Curious Flowers with Tom Hart Dyke
Thu 11 July, 3pm, £6/£5
 (free cup of tea with every ticket) 
Kidnapped in Columbia and held hostage for nine months while trying to find a rare orchid, presenter of BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World and curator of the World Garden and Lullistone Castle, Tom Hart Dyke talks about plant hunting and his quest to find some of the world’s rarest plant species.

Sixth Form Master Class
Fri 12 July, 10am-4pm, £11 per head, teachers go free
Investigate Turner’s bird paintings, then paint your own detailed watercolours from life with artist and ornithologist Andy Malone. Meanwhile Nigel Breadman brings a mobile yurt to the gallery in which students can make their own cyanotypes inspired by the exhibition.
Curate your own installation using historic objects and found curiosities with an expert from the Powell-Cotton Museum.


Dan Graham: artist talk
Wed 17 July, 6pm, £8/£6
Turner Contemporary offers a unique opportunity to hear influential American artist Dan Graham talk about his outdoor pavilions, one of which is currently on show on our South Terrace, as well as hear him speak about his architectural drawings on display on our ground floor.

Summer School: Arts Award in a week
Open to young people aged 11 – 16 of all abilities
All materials supplied, refreshments supplied, lunch is not supplied
Sat 29 July – Wed 2 August
10am-5pm, £95 per head
Young people can acquire the Bronze Art Award during our first summer school. Complete your own personal, unique portfolio for your Bronze Art Award, which is an accredited award moderated by Trinity University and supported by Arts Council England. The programme develops creativity, leadership and communication skills.

Katie Paterson: artist talk
 Tue 30 July, 3pm
(free cup of tea with every ticket)
Katie Paterson talks about her work in Curiosity - a meteorite she has melted down and reformed to send back into orbit.

Wed 31 July & Thu 1 August, 1 - 4pm, drop in
£3 per child/free for adults, under 3s and families in CT9
Inspired by Katie Paterson’s meteorite, come along and make cosmic sculptures that could have come from outer space in a workshop led by the artist.
Transform & Make
Wed 7 August & Thu 8 August, 1 - 4pm, drop in
£3 per child/free for adults, under 3s and families in CT9
Transform skulls, features, twigs and more natural found objects into your own magnificent specimens with artist Sara Wicks.
Animal Misfits
Wed 21 August & Thu 22 August, 1 - 4pm, drop in
£3 per child/free for adults, under 3s and families in CT9
Inspired by Thomas Grünfeld’s hybrid taxidermy animals, make your own mythological creatures with artist Nicola McCarthy and merge together different animal anatomy taken from an array of stuffed animal toys.

Wild Man Drawing
Wed 14 Aug & Thu 15 August, 1-4pm, drop in
£3 per child/free for adults, under 3s and families in CT9
An unusual life drawing class, led by artist Stephen Fowler models dress up in beastly costumes and pose behind a white screen, ready for you to draw their silhouettes of the yeti’s and big foots aka ‘Wild Man’.

Bird Painting

Wed 28 Aug & Thu 29 August, 1-4pm, drop in
£3 per child/free for adults, under 3s and families in CT9
Create your own watercolour of a bird with artist Andy Malone using taxidermied birds from the Powell-Cotton Museum in Birchington.

Free exhibition tours
Every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday, 11 – 11:30am

Spotlight toursEvery Friday, 3pm, free
Turner Contemporary staff reveal personal stories unlocked by objects and artworks in Curiosity, in a personal tour of the exhibition

Craft ClubSun 29 June, Sat 27 July, Sat 31 Aug, 1-4pm, drop in, free
Learn to knit, crochet, weave, sew and more with our friendly craft enthusiasts.

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

Self-guided resource: Curious Consequences
30 July – 15 September, all day, free
Child artists Daisy and Arthur Trillo (children of our Generate artists Andy Malone and Sara Wicks) create curious activities for you to do in an intriguing game of consequences.

Full event information can be found on our website at