Monday, 30 April 2012

Phoenix rising

“Nothing ever happens in Ramsgate” was a common phrase frequently heard around the town in the last five or six years.  Is this now changing?  Is the Phoenix rising from the ashes?  Is having our own Town Council at last paying off?  There is definitely a link between things happening in Ramsgate and the Labour controlled administration at TDC. I have reservations about the “how and why” of Labour’s coming to power but I have to say it is paying off for Ramsgate.

We have our own Visitor Information Centre, we have progress on the Harbour master-plan, we have the Maritime Museum opening, we have a high speed train, we have promise of a boutique hotel in Albion House, Ramsgate tunnels possibly opening, a refurbished Madeira Walk and Westcliff rose garden, We have promenade shelters being renovated all along the seafront, we have commemorative blue plaques throughout the town, we have a Town trail booklet imminently expected and information boards to come on the sea front  Also just maybe a development of flats and hotel on the seafront by 2014 to attract new residents .

All of this is by no means entirely down to either Ramsgate Town Council or Thanet District Council but a new cohesiveness of effort for town improvement is now taking effect and such a momentum can only increase as the opportunities of Localism are more clearly defined.  Look out world - Ramsgate is on the map.

Sunday, 22 April 2012


“They are coming home”. The main phase of the shelters restoration is now well under way and Thursday of last week saw the return of a refurbished frame for the second of the three shelters East of the Granville Theatre.  
Other renovated frames will be following in the very near future. Work is happening on all the shelters, with only the two on the Paragon awaiting highway restriction agreements before they can be removed for a similar treatment.

The large shelter on Government Acre will be officially opened for public use on Friday 27th April at 1pm. A mystery guest will be cutting the ribbon and declaring it open for use once again. Any guesses who he or she is? 
                                         WATCH THIS SPACE

Thursday, 12 April 2012

“What a load of rubbish.”

KCC say only 150 homes will be affected by closure of Richborough Recycling Centre, although a petition with 3000 signatures was presented to them by Ramsgate and Sandwich residents..

It also says'”Do you believe it is reasonable to close the out-of-dated and expensive to operate facility at Richborough, provided services exist within a 20-minute drive-time of your home?” Is that a leading and biased question, or what?

When I moved to Ramsgate, some six years ago and first used the Richbrough Recycling Centre, I was most impressed by its modern, well organized facilities and the ease access from a straight dual carriageway. I thought, at last a County Council with the right approach to recycling. I had previously used recycling centres in various parts of the UK and rated Richborough as one of the best organized I had seen.

BUT NO!  Kent County Council have not got it right because they are proposing the closure of Richborough Recycling Centre, leaving both Ramsgate and Sandwich with inferior alternatives. Sandwich residents would have to travel to Deal and Ramsgate residents have to negotiate the congested back roads around Westwood Cross to get to the Margate Tip, which is already over subscribed and congested at regular intervals.

So, if nothing happens to change their minds our “out of touch” Kent County Councillors will close the best tip in East Kent by August this year, I think we should take this “load of rubbish” to the steps of County Hall, Maidstone, it is almost as easy to get there as to Margate tip.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

"Independents” my foot.

The defection of another local politician to the Thanet Opportunists Party is a sad reflection on the state of our local government. We now have one former Labour councillor, one former Conservative councillor and one former Independent/Conservative councillor making up the new Thanet Opportunists Party., in a blatant attempt to hold the Reds and the Blues to ransom for increased allowances (sorry I meant responsibilities)

We will now be able to see the real politicians in Thanet and those just there for the money and glory. It is incumbent upon our more experienced local councillors to sideline these money grabbing morons. How difficult can it be for the big two to work together and oust these self serving undesirable elements from the decision making process.

Surely a motion to prevent any councillor who has changed allegiance, without seeking re-election, to be granted greater responsibilities in the current session, would put paid to their empire building and be more use to Thanet than a vote on gay marriage. Or is that just too simple, any ideas?

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Elf n Safely

I have read some interesting posts and commented on other blogs particularly Thanet Life and Thanetonline where the discussion has turned to aviation matters in preference to gay marriage. Interestingly I made reference to an air crash at Stansted airport in  1999  Had this plane taken off from Manston it would certainly have threatened the safety of Ramsgate. The attitude of other commentators seemed mainly to be “so what, it didn’t happen here" OK I accept it didn’t happen here but it could.

At Thanetonline the main concern seemed to be pollution of our water supply and some commentators used the “negativity” card to “dis” the post. Sometime ago, Michael, whilst on his favourite subject of Royal Sands, reported a large chunk of rendering which fell off the cliff face and crashed 20 or so feet to the ground, injuring nobody. The comments then I believe went along the lines “no-one was hurt, so what”.

My point in this is that we live in a world of hard hats, steel toe capped boots, cycle helmets, risk assessment, proof of insurance when holding an event on council land, cancelled firework displays because the correct H&S form has not been completed on time, but really dramatic events are dismissed as irrelevant because they are too disastrous to contemplate.

If you were building a town, would you site it at the end of a 747 runway? Or if you were developing a major regional airport would you have a town at the end of the runway? I sincerely hope the answer is NO to both those questions. So it seems to me that Ramsgate’s gripe about Manston expansion is not negativity , just reasonable self-preservation.on Health and Safety grounds.

Just watching a report on TV about the unsinkable “Titanic”, isn’t it surprising that human blind faith can delude itself into thinking all is “in the pink” whilst peering through rose tinted glasses.

Any way I am off to bed now but I will be sure to be wearing my hard hat in case a 747 drops in over night, and my steel toe caps in case some plaster falls off the wall. Second thoughts better do a risk assessment before I leave this sofa .and check my insurance clauses before using the stairs. You never know!