Sunday, 31 July 2011

Cinderella on Sea

                                                         “THE  RATEPAYERS  TEARS”

Ville Views blog says, us Ramsgatonians live in a beautiful place, therefore we should shut up and keep playing second fiddle to Margate. This is a typical view of Ramsgate, stated by an outsider who knows nothing about the town. Ramsgate’s downfall is its beautiful location and setting, visitors are enchanted by it and do not see Cinderella beneath its beautiful exterior.

 The odds have been stacked against Ramsgate since 1974 when local government re-organisation created Thanet District Council with a voting advantage of 60/40 in favour of Margate. Since then Cinderella’s fortunes have rapidly declined as all the attention is lavished on its ugly sisters. Ramsgate has even been struck off the tourist map with the closure of its Visitor Information Centre.

Fortunately for Ramsgate, it’s a bit like “Marmite”, it seems that depending on where you live in Thanet you either love it or hate it. Those who hate it put obstacles in the way of its success; those who love it volunteer their time and effort, free of charge to ensure its survival and progression. One thing’s for sure, the more obstacles that are put in the way of Ramsgate’s re-generation the more the town’s volunteers rally to keep it functioning.  There are more volunteering groups in Ramsgate than you can shake a stick at and even the Town Councillors donated their expenses to the good of the town.

We in Ramsgate have a marvellous opportunity to illustrate that “Localism” can really work and take charge of our own destiny to thwart those faceless individuals who are jealous of Ramsgate’s magnificent beauty and resilience. 


  1. Ive not said that you should shut up and play second fiddle though I agree Im an outsider. I agree with you about the lack of Visitor Information Centre.

    You prove my point that its not about demanding help from TDC, its about the community taking charge for itself with truly local solutions and the Councillors pushed to encourage the Councils in this. Being positive about the Town rather than criticising whats there.

    As for jealous...definitely.

  2. James, The true reality of the situation is that TDC have so many calls on insufficient funds for them ever to complete all the necessary projects.

    Because of the 60/40 voting proportion and the fact that superficially Ramsgate looks good it will always be last on the list. In my opinion Ramsgate needs to concentrate on attracting private enterprise to fill the funding gap.

  3. I was wondering, how do you calculate the 60/40 split?

  4. It is not exact science but the whole population of Thanet is approximately 125,000 with 60,000 in Margate and 40,000 in Ramsgate. The proportion of councillors roughly follows the population proportion.

    Therefore councillors with Ramsgate's interests at heart will always be outnumbered by those in favour of Margate. This even crosses party considerations.

  5. As far as I can see there are 17 Councillors spread across 7 wards for each Town. Ramsgate being Northwood, Sir Moses Montefiore, Eastcliff, Central Harbour, Cliffsend and Pegwell, Nethercourt and Newington and Margate being Westbrook, Garlinge, Margate Central, Cliftonville West and East, Salmestone and Dane Valley.

    In that case the voting power is in fact in Ramsgate's hands...

  6. Sorry James, I did not explain myself very well by just using the names Ramsgate and Margate.

    There are 23 wards in Thanet and if you draw an East/West line through Broadstairs it geographically splits Thanet into two equal proportions. To the North of that line are 15 wards and to the south of that line are 8 wards (including Thanet villages) The split is actually 65/35 not 40/60

    My experience of councillors serving north of the line is that they have little understanding of what happens south of the line and some don't even seem to care.

    As I said before this in not a party issue but more the reverse of NIMBYism. "Everything for my back yard"

  7. Should say "The split is actually 65/35 not 60/40"

    The establishment of Ramsgate Town (Parish) Council has also provided some of the less sympathetic councillors with a "whipping boy".

    I have heard shortcomings being blamed on RTC which are beyond their remit.

  8. I don't get this divisive idea, that constant comparisons are somehow necessary between Ramsgate and Margate.

    I think we should consider ourselves Islanders and be of the same community, except for those stuck up toffs in Broadstairs.

    Ramsgate has serious problems which are shared across the district.

    Over the years Ramsgate had millions invested almost certainly more than Margate.

  9. Tony, I totally agree with you, we should be looking for Thanet-wide solutions not squabbling between towns. I have been campaigning for a Thanet-wide tourism plan but when the whole tourism effort has been centred on Droit House Margate, we are not going in the right direction.

    To the "north of the island" supporters out there don't take this post as a gripe but view it as an explanation of why local government in Thanet does not work well.

    Perhaps it's time for a unitary authority.

  10. I've come to this a bit late but as far as I can see those that say that Ken is wrong come from Margate so, to quote Mandy Rice-Davis; "they would say that, wouldn't they".
    The biggest imposition on Ramsgate is the assumption by the biased Council and those on the north coast that the residents of this part of the Island will be happy to be kept awake all night by low flying third-world aircraft lumbering in and out of Manston. All in the name of theoretical job creation that no-one can explain properly when pressed.