Friday, 24 January 2014

Leopold Street car park to partially close overnight

Leopold Street multi-storey car park in Ramsgate is to partially close overnight in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour.

At a Cabinet meeting held this week (Tuesday 21 January) members approved the closure of floors 1-4 of the car park from 7.00pm and The closure will also apply to the two stairways, lift and underpass.

The ground floor will remain open providing motorists with 40 unrestricted parking bays and 3 disabled bays, as daytime restrictions will be lifted.

The move follows on-going concerns raised by the public and local businesses about anti-social behaviour in the area. This has included graffiti, vandalism to the machines, signs, drains and doors, noise disturbance and dangerous driving.

To tackle the issues, the council introduced on-site security between May and August, installed cages to the windows and lighting in the stairwell and refurbished the main stairwell and underpass.

A Designated Dispersal Area was also authorised by Kent Police and Thanet District Council in August 2013 and will run until 16 February 2014. This has provided the Police with additional powers to disperse groups congregating in the area and could be extended if the issues continue. Anyone witnessing two or more people who are causing or are likely to cause, anti-social behaviour in the location should call Kent Police on 101.

Cabinet Member for Operational Services, Cllr Alan Poole, said: “The local community has understandably been frustrated by the on-going nuisance caused by a minority of people.

“The council has undertaken a series of measures, which has all come at a cost, to tackle the issues at Leopold Street car park. Despite taking action, anti-social incidents have continued so we’ve needed to take a different approach.

“We’re hopeful that this proposal strikes the right balance, providing motorists with sufficient spaces to park overnight, whilst closing off the areas which have been the main cause for concern.”

The proposals will take effect after 1 April 2014.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

TDC Conservative Group reaction to TDC plans to consult public on decommissioning Walpole Bay as a bathing beach

The Conservative Group at Thanet District Council is very concerned at reports that the Labour administration is launching a consultation which may result in Walpole Bay Beach being decommissioned as a bathing beach.

Group Leader, Cllr Bob Bayford said: “I am horrified, given that the Destination Management Plan has just been launched by this administration, to hear that the council is considering relegating Walpole Bay to a ‘walkers’ beach.  The reasons behind this move remain unclear. 

“Local residents are rightly concerned and we will be adding our voice to those who want to see this beach retained as a key destination for tourists and locals alike.”

Friday, 17 January 2014

FINAL WEEKEND of Razyon Detra (on romance)

Thanet Council - Fly-tipper fined and prosecuted

Date: 16 January 2014
PR No: 3787
Status: For Immediate Release


Fly-tipper fined and prosecuted

A Ramsgate woman has been successfully prosecuted for fly-tipping by Thanet District Council.
Miss Ulrika Holmsten-Reynolds from Truro Road was convicted and fined at Canterbury Magistrates’ Court on 6 January 2013. The court heard that Miss Holmsten-Reynolds had dumped items including two beds, two mattresses, bedding and cardboard packaging on Albert Road, Ramsgate on 8 April 2013.
As a result Miss Holmsten-Reynolds was ordered to pay removal costs of £972.36, £100 court costs and a £15 surcharge. 
Cllr. Iris Johnston, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “Fly-tipping is totally unacceptable and this successful prosecution is another example of our determination to take action against those who dump rubbish.”
“As well as being anti-social fly-tipping can be potentially dangerous and have a detrimental effect on a whole neighbourhood. Any residents who witness fly-tipping should contact the Council immediately on 01843 577000.”

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

A Saturday in Ramsgate!

If you’ve not much planned for this Saturday 18 January, come and enjoy this month’s Ramsgate Handmade Fair and take the chance to explore some of the new gems in Ramsgate town, as well as some of the old favourites.

The first Handmade Fair of 2014 is at The Custom House on Harbour Parade, by the Queen’s Head and open from 10am to 5pm and with lots of regulars as well as exciting newcomers on show. All the stalls are local artisans and producers, including Seahorse Glass, Sarah at Sea, Liquorice Sticks, Janet Hobbs’s Cupcakes and jewellery from Violet Gibbs. There’s lots of other stalls as well, all with affordable handmade items.

Starting from the fair at the harbour, take a walk past Miles Bar and along towards the Sailors’ Church on Military Road – the new Harbour Chocolate Lounge ( is at Arch 19 and they serve real hot chocolate and gorgeous ‘Handmade in Ramsgate’ chocolates! In a nearby arch is Showtime Retro (, an amazing collection of ephemera and Suzy Curtis makes ceramics at ‘Something Fishy’ (, next to the Ship Shape cafe.

Cross the road from Ship Shape and walk up York Street to check out this week’s joint exhibition at the York Street Gallery (Jane Bath, Gill Nunn, Ann VanGreuning & Julie Le Chasseur Walk up a few yards and turn right into Charlotte Court to discover the new shop Saltworks, next to Age & Sons. It has clothes, fragrances, jewellery and gifts and it’s a really beautiful conversion from the old police station building.

Walk out of this pretty courtyard to the town centre and see what’s on offer at this Saturday’s market. Walk up the High Street and you’ll find a new sweet shop on the left to try out. If you want to stretch your legs some more, walk down past the library and up to Addington Street, where you can see new shops being prepared and the Queen Charlotte a perfect spot for a warming glass of beer. All in all, plenty to do and see to amuse yourself on a January Saturday!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Thanet Council - Council Performance Report Published

Date: 13 January 2014
PR No: 3784
Status: For Immediate Release


Council Performance Report Published

In a report released today (Monday 13 January) Thanet District Council has announced how it has performed against its goals over the past six months. The Corporate Performance Report covers the period between April – November 2013 and presents an overview of how the council is delivering on its priorities as set out in its Corporate Plan 2012-2016.
There have been some significant successes within the 30 projects listed in the report including a review of the Housing Allocations Policy which has introduced a much tighter set of criteria that must be met by those seeking council housing in Thanet. This is an important tool in responding to social housing needs and ensures that those in the greatest need are supported and prioritised appropriately.
Many initiatives have been undertaken working in partnership with the voluntary and community sector such as the Fulfilling Lives: Aging Better programme. The council submitted an expression of interest for £2-6m Big Lottery funding working in collaboration with various partners. This application was successful in identifying Social Enterprise Kent as the project lead, an award of £20k partnership development funding and getting the partnership through to the second round of bidding. The Broadstairs Folk week was another great success this year thanks to partnership working involving the council’s Events Safety Advisory Group members, the Festival Team, and local publicans and traders. The council also worked closely with residents groups in the creation of the ‘A Better Cliftonville’ group following the national C2 – Connecting Communities model.
The report covers performance up to November 2013 and so precedes the implementation of the improved recycling service. The percentage of household recycling stated in the report is 26.8% however, this has now risen to 49.6% almost meeting the council’s longer term target of 50% already. This increased recycling will reduce the expense of disposal to landfill as well as create additional income. This success has not detracted from the need to continue to address residual concerns with the roll out, and the impact of the very poor weather over the Christmas period, and substantial staff resources have been deployed to achieve this.
Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, Cllr. Michelle Fenner said: “This report shows that in spite of severe funding cuts by government, Thanet District Council is making full use of its resources to make sure that front line services are affected as little as possible. This is not an easy task but the council’s committed staff and elected members will continue to strive to achieve this for our residents.” 
The report can be viewed at

Council Empty Property Success

Date: 13 January 2014
PR No: 3786
Status: For Immediate Release


Council Empty Property Success

Thanet District Council has today (Monday 13 January) announced its continued success in bringing empty properties in Thanet back into use. The council’s performance report published today shows that
83 empty properties have been brought back into use, 27 more than the target of 56 by November 2013.
Successes have included empty properties at:
  • 11 Wellesley Close, Broadstairs which was in a poor condition. The council arranged for works to be carried out with the assistance of a No Use Empty loan and the property has now been rented.
  • 32 Fitzroy Avenue, Margate was featured on Britain’s Empty Homes. The property had been empty for some time and was sold at auction in February 2013 and was promptly brought back into use.
  • 184 Millmead Road, Margate which became empty in August 2012 after a previous tenant carried out structural alterations making the property uninhabitable. The property was vandalised and attracted antisocial behaviour. With the assistance of the council’s Housing Regeneration team the owner was persuaded to sell the property and it was brought back into use by the new owners.
  • The former Hotel Embassy, Margate. The building was empty, had fallen into disrepair and been vandalized. The council purchased it as part of the £23m Live Margate project which aims to improve living and housing standards and encourage investment in the area. The building which was a 20 bed house in multiple occupation was this year transformed into 2 modern four bedroom family homes and keys were handed to the new tenants in September 2013.
Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr. David Green said: “I am delighted with the news that the Housing Regeneration team have exceeded their target in bringing empty properties back into use. They have been working extremely hard on this priority and the excellent results speak for themselves.
Empty properties in a poor state of repair are blight on our district as well as a wasted opportunity for much needed housing. They can also attract anti social behaviour, vandalism and seriously affect neighbouring property values. By bringing a further 83 properties back into use we have encouraged investment, improved living and housing standards in our local neighbourhoods and helped to meet the increasing demand for quality affordable housing in Thanet.” 

Council Exceeds Food Hygiene Inspection Target

Thanet District Council Environmental Health Officers have been busy over the past few months inspecting premises in Thanet that prepare, sell and serve food as part of its participation in the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. To date, great progress has been made with a total of 392 premises inspected; 92 more than the council’s target of 300.
The National Food Hygiene Scheme is run by the council in partnership with the Food Standards Agency and helps people to choose where to eat out or shop by supplying information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways and hotels as well as supermarkets and other food shops. The council is responsible for carrying out inspections of food businesses to ensure that they meet the requirements of food hygiene law which include: how hygienically the food is handled – how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored; the condition of the structure of the buildings – the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities and how the business manages what it does to make sure food is safe the officer can be confident standards will be maintained in the future.
The council then issues a food hygiene rating based on the results. This rating is then published online at where a mobile app is also available to download to view ratings on the move.
83% of properties inspected so far in Thanet have received a rating of 3 stars or above and only two have been subject to formal closure.
Cabinet Member for Community Services, Cllr. Iris Johnston said: “The health and safety of our residents and visitors is always a concern for the council which is why I am extremely pleased that the National Food Hygiene Rating System has been successfully implemented across Thanet. The overall ratings show that standards are high in the district which is good news for residents and visitors.
I have always been aware of the very difficult but vital work our Environmental team undertakes and since taking on the portfolio in October I have reason to be very impressed and grateful to them. They carry out many duties that the public rarely hear about and it is to their credit that they have been able to continue with these as well as exceed their inspections target.

I would also like to thank all of the businesses involved for their cooperation and commitment to keeping standards high ensuring that Thanet can be proud of its food hygiene.”

Date: 13 January 2014
PR No: 3785
Status: For Immediate Release

Councillors to recommend Thanet Council Tax freeze

The leadership of Thanet District Council is to recommend freezing Council Tax for a fourth consecutive year, despite a further significant reduction in its formula grant from central government.
The council’s Cabinet will consider the 2014/15 budget proposals when it meets next week (Tuesday 21 January at 7pm).
It is expected to propose no increase in residents’ bills once again, despite having to find an additional £850k to offset the loss of income from former Ramsgate ferry operator Transeuropa. 
Overall the council has identified £1.2m of savings to reduce its net revenue budget requirement from £19.3m in the current year to £17.9m in 2014/15. Almost £400k of this reduction has come from tasking managers to save 20 per cent of their budgets for items like printing, stationery and equipment purchase, with another £100k from contract savings.
Cllr Rick Everitt, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “I am delighted that despite the acute financial pressures on the council, we are in a position to make no increase in Council Tax for a fourth year running.
“We recognise that most residents are still feeling the pinch financially and we have been determined not to add to their problems. 
“Equally important, I am confident local people will notice no reduction in front-line services as a result of this budget. 
“Council staff at all levels have made their share of sacrifices to keep costs down and this also needs to be noted with our appreciation.”
The likely standstill means that the Thanet District Council element of bills for a band D household will remain at £209.97 a year and the council will benefit from a government freeze grant of £80k, equivalent to a 1% rise in Council Tax.
A final decision on TDC’s Council Tax will be taken by Full Council at its meeting on Thursday 6 February. The council last increased its share of residents’ bills in 2010.
However, the amount residents pay in Council Tax overall could still increase, depending on decisions reached by Kent County Council and the other precepting authorities, including the Isle’s towns and parishes.
Thanet District Council collects Council Tax on behalf of other authorities. Its share is only 14% of the overall bill. The rest is split between Kent County Council (71%), The Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent (10%), Kent Fire and Rescue Service (5%), and the town and parish councils or charter trustees. 

Date: 13 January 2014
PR No: 3783
Status: For Immediate Release


A number of local volunteers including pupils from Clarendon and St. Georges turned up over the weekend of the 11/12th January 2014 to help improve Ramsgate seafront this weekend. The community clean up was aimed at improving the seafront area at the back of the Royal Victoria Pavilion.

Will Scobie, prospective parliamentary canditate for South Thanet and Julie Marson, prospective MEP the South East were amongst a number of people who turned up to lend a hand. The group of volunteers removed all graffiti from the rear wall and removed all the sand caused by the tidal surge last month from the pathway so the public could easily access the promenade.

Julie Marson said “I congratulate the Friends of Ramsgate Seafront on their superb efforts to clear up and repaint the Pavilion over the weekend.  It demonstrates real community spirit and commitment to Ramsgate and it shows that we can all play a part in making our towns places to be proud of.  It was a pleasure to contribute in a small way and I look forward to more of the same.”

Barry James of FORS (Friends of Ramsgate Seafront) said, “It was a great weekend and amazing to see what we can do if we work together. We would like to thank everyone that helped or signed up to become members of FORS for their kind support and would like to say thanks to David Green of Ramsgate Town Council for their donation towards the paint”

Kandy Jones of FORS said, “The graffiti can easily be blamed on anyone that is under 25 that uses that area but the fact is its usually just one or two who are ‘having a laugh’. And if the council doesn’t care for the building, why should they.”

Duncan Smithson of FORS said, “Rather than talking about it, we spoke to Ramsgate Town Council and did it. We felt it was blight on the seafront so we tried to change it.”

Matt Watling of FORS said, “We think the seafront should be for everyone – tourists and locals alike. We need something for people to do. The skaters and dog walkers complain of glass in the sand and that should not be the case. We need to protect and care for our Seafront a lot more”

Friends of Ramsgate Seafront are currently petitioning the council over the lack of development of the former Pleasurama site and also will be applying to put on entertainment along Ramsgate Seafront at the end of May.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Help start your neighbourhood plan in Margate

Residents of Margate have until Friday 14 February to have their say in the first stage of preparing a neighbourhood plan for the area.
This very short questionnaire was put together by Thanet District Council, which will last over a six week period.
This consultation has begun because the council received applications from a community group in Margate proposing a Margate Neighbourhood Plan Area to set up a Margate Neighbourhood Forum (a group that would lead the process).
A Neighbourhood Plan is a community-led plan for guiding the future development and growth of an area. It may contain vision, aims, planning policies, proposals for improving the area or providing for new facilities, or allocation of key sites for specific kinds of development. It may deal with a wide range of issues (like housing, employment, heritage and transport) or it may focus on one or two issues that are of particular importance in a local area.

Please visit our consultation portal to see the relevant documents to comment on the proposals and to find out how you can make a difference at
Councillor David Green, Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing said: “By answering these short questions you are helping to shape your neighbourhood – whether it’s the development of land or social, economic and environmental issues, Thanet Council will be guided by what you want and need in your community.”

If you would like any more information on what neighbourhood planning is all about or you would like a hard copy of the consultation for Margate or Cliffsend please call 01843 577591 or email

If you would like to become involved with the neighbourhood plan please visit

Keep fit for FREE in 2014

Thanet District Council's Sport Matters team have organised a range of new and exciting sports activities for Thanet residents to take part in during the months of January, February and March.
Activities started 13 January and will last for eight weeks, available to anyone aged 16 or over. Take part in nine fantastic activities including New Age Kurling (the indoor sportshall version of ice curling soon to be seen at the Winter Olympics) or Dodgeball - a fun way to make friends and lose those Christmas pounds.
Councillor Iris Johnston, Cabinet Member for Community Services at Thanet District Council said: “Sport and physical activity is important as part of a balanced daily routine and is a good way to reduce and prevent illnesses including diabetes, cholesterol and heart disease.
These free activities will certainly give you a kick start to getting a healthy lifestyle in 2014. The sports team at the council offer various activities throughout the year, which are available to all ages – so come on, make the most of them!”

All you need to do is complete the registration form on or call Colin Rouse on 01843 577032, alternatively you can email Colin at

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Council to refurbish four children's playgrounds

Thanet District Council will be drawing up plans in early 2014 to redesign and refurbish children’s playgrounds in Birchington, Cliftonville, Ramsgate and Dumpton in consultation with local residents, schools and community groups.
Every year, to ensure the health and safety of the district’s children, Thanet’s playgrounds are subject to an independent playground assessment undertaken by RoSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) to assess any potential risks. This year’s assessment recommended the removal of some pieces of equipment from four of the district’s playground sites; Crispe Park, Birchington, Northdown Park, Cliftonville, Warre Rec, Ramsgate and King George VI Park, Dumpton and so work will begin to remove these on 6 January 2014.
The council considers children’s play provision essential for our communities and so will refurbish the playgrounds at Northdown Park, Warre Rec and King George VI Park and replace the equipment removed at Crispe Park. Unfortunately, this does mean that there will be less equipment available in these parks whilst refurbishment plans are being produced and implemented but there are alternative parks at the following locations:
Alternative location
Crispe Park, Birchington
Park Road, Birchington Recreation Ground, Lymington Road,  Minnis Bay
Northdown Park, Cliftonville
Jennifer Gardens, Dane Valley, Laleham Road or Viking Playground, Cliftonville
Warre Rec, Ramsgate
Ellington Park, Ramsgate, Nethercourt Park, Ramsgate or Princess Margaret Avenue, Newington
King George VI Park, Dumpton
Boundary Road Park, Ramsgate, La Belle Alliance Square, Ramsgate Memorial Rec or Pierremont Park, Broadstairs
The council is also assessing the remaining playgrounds in the district and will release a strategy later in 2014 to outline play provision in Thanet in the short and long term.
Cabinet Member for Community Services, Cllr. Iris Johnson said: “The independent playground assessment is undertaken as best practice and the council always acts on its recommendations. Although as a result of this review, we will be required to remove some items of equipment from four of our playgrounds, I am delighted that we will be providing new and improved facilities to replace them. Children’s play provision is a vital part of a healthy community and we are committed to providing safe and fun places for our children to play in the future.”

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Ramsgate new year winners!

Ramsgate held a ‘Decorate Your Window’ competition in the run up to Christmas, encouraging shops and businesses to add to the festive cheer with a great window display. Walking around the town just before Christmas there were all sorts of lights, trees and decorations on show, with lots of shops taking part.

Councillor Kim Gibson, Town Mayor, presented the winner’s prize and a runner-up award was given.

Blue Swift Picture Framing in Queen Street was announced as winner for 2013 and owner Jody Anderson was presented with a cheque for £100. Runner up was the Full House Café in King Street and owner Carlos Hopkins received a cheque for £50 and two tickets to the great new town centre music venue the Ramsgate Music Hall, donated by the owners.

There were lots of cheery sights around town and we especially enjoyed Diva Hairdressers, Nanny’s Attic, Sense, York Street Flowers, Stanley Goldsmiths and Shirley’s Hairdressers. Thanks go to everyone who came up with a great show, and we hope even more will take part next time.

The competition was organised by Town Promoter Suzy Humphries on behalf of Ramsgate Town Council, who are working with and encouraging businesses, community groups and individuals to make Ramsgate a successful attractive destination for residents and visitors alike.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Statement from Cllr. Poole, Cabinet Member for Operational Services

2013 Christmas Waste & Recycling collections 
The council would like to apologise to residents who have not received their usual recycling and waste collections over the Christmas period.

We are currently using several extra vehicles and crews to support the service and it is anticipated we will have completed any outstanding collections by the end of planned collections on Saturday, and so we would like to ask residents to continue to leave their bins out for collection. We will maintain the separation of recycling and waste as much as possible, but unfortunately some of the additional vehicles that we are using do not have the facility to do this. There are also cleaning resources going out to streets to assist with the clean-up of side waste. 
The decision to suspend operations on the 24th December 2013 was not taken lightly and was based on several factors: 

The storm that hit the UK in the early hours of Christmas Eve was unprecedented, causing major travel disruptions on the rail network, closing down Gatwick Airport and closing sections of the Thanet Way and other main roads due to multiple fallen trees. 
At 6:00am, when crews were scheduled to leave the depot, the wind was still extremely high and had already resulted in two crew members being injured on their way to work. Should the crews have begun collections at this time, there was a high risk of injury and potential damage from emptied bins blowing around. 

The crews were held back for an hour but the wind hadn’t decreased and information from the MetOffice was that this would continue throughout the morning. Management and Union representatives concluded that based on all the facts and information at hand, it was unsafe to both our crews and property to undertake collections and so we suspended the service for that day. 
During the Christmas period, there is always a lot more recycling and waste to collect. Properties typically generate over three times their usual amount. In addition, the transfer station where recycling is deposited after collection, worked reduced hours over the Christmas period so our collections had to be curtailed. This has not only affected the catch up collections, but also the normal days' service, as we have been unable to collect from all properties in time to deposit the recycling before the transfer station closed. 

Following the suspension of service on 24th December, the atrocious weather on all planned collection days continued affecting the speed at which collections can be completed. The crews are still struggling in the high winds and need to be careful to stay safe. 

We are sorry for the disruption that this has caused some of our residents. The new service is under constant review and we continue to investigate improvements and efficiencies based on experiences and feedback from our residents.

Cllr. Alan Poole

TDC Conservative Group calls for Labour Leader Clive Hart to take responsibility for Thanet’s waste and refuse service away from current portfolio holder, Cllr Alan Poole

The Conservative Group at Thanet District Council is calling for the Labour Leader, Cllr Clive Hart to take responsibility for Thanet’s waste and recycling service away from the current portfolio holder, Cllr Alan Poole.

Residents of Thanet have reported numerous and significant problems with the service since the introduction of the new Waste and Recycling regime in November.  At December’s council meeting, Shadow Cabinet Member, Cllr Simon Moores asked Cllr Poole whether, given existing problems, he was confident that Thanet residents would get their waste collected over the holiday period.  Cllr Poole answered that he was.  Feedback from residents across the Isle suggests that, in fact, there continues to be significant failings in the service.

Cllr Moores said: “I recognise that over Christmas there were issues with the weather, but given the widespread concern over this issue, not just over the holiday period but since the introduction of the new recycling regime, I think that the public have lost faith in Cllr Pooole and it is time for a change of portfolio holder.”
Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Bob Bayford said: “Incredibly, Cllr Poole has blamed Thanet residents for problems with the new service and, clearly, contingency plans for an efficient service during the Christmas and New Year period were not adequate.  Cllr Hart has already removed Cllr Poole from the Pleasurama debacle, due to his incompetent handling of the situation, and it is imperative that he should now give responsibility for Waste and Recycling to someone up to the task.”