Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Holy Kippers.

No sooner than the beautiful Ile de Thanet has declared UDI or was it UKIP and cast itself off into the choppy seas of fringe politics, than the district council is washed up in the £3.3m flotsam and jetsam of the latest ferry disaster. One fishy story is usually enough for each day but today we have been treated to two courses. It seems the well heeled property company with Swiss connections has lost its purse on the beach and it was washed out to sea. Michael said they needed a FRA, I think we all need one now, as the lovely Ile is sinking slowly into the mire which the local politicians have been stirring for years, or is it decades.

Don’t worry about the NIMBYs lads, just check the landing fees are paid up.

Sunday, 19 May 2013


I have heard it so many times in Thanet politics “You couldn’t make it up could you”.

No sooner than Roger Latchford OBE has donned his purple rosette on behalf of UKIP, he is on telly spouting off about his pet subject, Manston Aerodrome.  I seem to remember two years ago, the good people of Ramsgate gave a resounding NO to night flying at said aerodrome and voted in a Labour Ramsgate Town Council, tipping the balance at Thanet District Council in favour of Labour.

Well ol’ Rog OBE is now in charge of a group of virgin councillors without an email amongst them. Let us consider our Roger’s pedigree, he was the “brains” behind the Ezekiel Conservative administration. Well at least he was Deputy Leader. No problem there then.

When Rog was in power last time he was in charge of such successful schemes as EKO and Chinagate(way) which we all are  appreciating to this day.  Just a small reminder, in case you have forgotten, these schemes were joint KCC / TDC initiatives in the time of the Ezekiel administration. Excuse me for being a cynic but has Paul Carter just received SEVEN more votes.

Next we will be hearing that Pleasurama is starting again.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

GRIFF Hijacked

Griff Rhys Jones was in Thanet today in his capacity as President of Civic Voice, the supporting organisation for all Civic Societies in the UK. Griff arrived by high speed train in Ramsgate to help the campaign for restoring Ellington Park, he then moved on to inspect  Project Motorhouse and the newly renovated promenade shelters.

Whilst at the Project Motorhouse he was hijacked by campaigners with placards protesting about the lack of progress on the Pleasurama site in Ramsgate. However, it quickly became apparent that all parties were on the same side, wanting Ramsgate to be regenerated throughout. Griff in his usual jovial manner agreed to a photo shoot with the “protestors” as seen above.

After the visit to Project Motorhouse , Griff moved on to the Custom House for coffee and an interview with Kent on Sunday (don’t miss it!), before moving on to Margate in order to add his support to the clock tower appeal. Thanks for your support Griff and good luck with the rest of the tour to Faversham and finishing in Rochester on Saturday.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The Great PR Disaster.

MARGATE 2013.  What an opportunity squandered! Not only does a television company want to make a programme about the town but they are also prepared to assist in the renovation of a couple of shops and provide a one day Winter Festival. Margate has received so much help to regenerate and yet it still bleats that it is not enough, not right or not what they want.  Perhaps they need to graft a bit for what they receive, to appreciate it.

Here is a shopping list of items received by Margate recently and I am sure it is not exhaustive

Turner Contemporary                                           £17+ million
TDC clean up for opening                                       £100,000
Old  Town renovation                                          £xxx million
Margate Flood Defence.                                         £5.2 million
 Dreamland                                                            £12+ million pledged
Potras Portas pilot                                                  £100,000
500 free rail tickets                                                £5000+
£10 LondonMargate rail ticket                          £???????
One day “Inland Pier” festival                                £???????

I think the £10 rail ticket should have been from MargateLondon, to allow some of the jaded people of Margate to return to the smoke.  Mary Portas’ comment that many towns have applied but not many have received the money was a coded message that “Margate does not deserve it”.

P.S. Just a quick bit of art I knocked up on the back of a envelope, I didn't realise it was ambiguous until I pictured it.:-)

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Welcome to Margate, maybe

I watched the Channel 4 programme “Mary Queen of High Streets” and was dismayed by the poor welcome given to Mary Portas. Margate was privileged to be chosen as one of three places in the UK where television programmes were made in support of the Portas Pilot schemes.

It was obvious from the television programme that Mary was visibly upset by the negative reception and publicity given to herself and her camera team. Perhaps some members of the Margate community did not want to be filmed in case it affected their benefit claims

One serious lesson which needs to be learned from the screening of this television programme is, if Margate wants to succeed as a 21st Century seaside town, it has to re-learn the meaning of “WELCOME".

Monday, 13 May 2013

British Virgin Islands? (BVI)

A really nice place for a holiday, so I am told. While you are there you can open up a company or two. As long as the government doesn’t shut down this tax loophole, the well heeled will stash their dosh into these companies.  But as ministers also probably “holiday” there it is not likely to happen sometime soon.

Anyway say you set up one of these BVI companies and then want to use it to do an odd development or two in the UK. Say a block of flats or maybe a hotel. In order to protect your identity you set up a UK front company with supposedly only one director and one shareholder. This company signs all the documents for your many projects and slowly but surely the BVI is airbrushed out of the picture.

My question is if you have sunk your hard earned cash into the BVI you would want to keep a tight rein on that director of the front company in case he turned out to be a crook. So how would you do that? Some-one around here must know. Answers on a postcard please.