Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Heritage lottery fund and dreamland

Comment by Cllr Clive Hart - TDC Shadow Leader & Shadow Economic Development Portfolio Holder.
"The Heritage Lottery Funding announcement is good news for Margate and for Thanet as a whole. The Dreamland site has stood empty for far too long and as someone born, bred and living in the area concerned, I know only too well how the closure of Dreamland has blighted the town since 2004. 
TDC certainly does need to get the compulsory purchase order for the site confirmed to allow the Dreamland Trust to complete their project and bring the venue back into use as a major seaside attraction".

Friday, 18 November 2011

Port and harbour neglect continues under the Conservatives

By Cllr Clive Hart - Labour Shadow Leader of the Council.
At the Thanet Council Cabinet meeting on Thursday 17th November, Conservative Cabinet member Cllr Martin Wise announced "A Ramsgate Port and Harbour draft master plan has been developed and presented to Scrutiny". 
Now I'm used to ambiguous language coming from our local Conservative party but this statement was quite simply 'a fudge too far'.

I have spoken with the Chairman of the Ramsgate Port and Harbour Scrutiny working party and he says he would dearly like to have sight of the document he has been promised for such a very long time now. He waits and waits but despite his constant requests it never comes.

For clarification - the actual facts are: at the earlier September Thanet Council Cabinet meeting the Commercial Services Manager explained that the initial draft Master plan for Ramsgate Port and Harbour was considered to need additional work and that the plan itself had not been circulated to the members as it was considered to need 'further development'. 

It was also decided that a Cabinet Advisory Group would be needed for this 'further development' and on the 6th October I met with Conservative leader Cllr Bayford to agree the make-up of the group. We agreed the cabinet advisory group would consist of three Labour members and three Conservative members. On the 12th October I informed Cllr Bayford and the council that our Labour members would be Cllr Poole, Cllr Huxley and Cllr Fenner.

Yet another month has passed in this sorry saga and my members are all still eager and waiting. As with every other step taken on this elusive master plan project, procrastination and navel gazing appear to be the order of the day and to date no meetings have been planned.

Ramsgate Port and Harbour should be our islands 'jewel in the crown'. Instead we've had eight years of Conservative rule at Thanet Council and eight years of neglect.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Apology needed from Laura Sandys

Dear Laura Sandys
I understand you have released a statement, part of which says:
'some councillors in recent weeks have suggested vigilante actions are needed to bring crime down'
I do sincerely hope you are not referring to any Labour councillors, who most certainly WOULD NOT call for this type of action.
In a joint letter dated 14th October 2011, Cllr Linda Aldred, Cllr Doug Clark and I warned the Police Area Commander and the TDC Chief Executive that we had serious concerns that local people might take matters into their own hands. This was following a ward surgery where more than one resident suggested precisely this course of action to us. We quite rightly warned them firmly against any such action and subsequently informed the Police and TDC at the highest level. I think you'll agree this is absolutely contrary to the description you have used in your statement.
One of my fellow councillors is a highly qualified and experienced community development worker and the other is a JP of 28 years standing. I have spent my adult life working for community cohesion in Margate, Cliftonville and across Thanet. If you are referring to our efforts in Cliftonville West to avert residents taking matters into their own hands you should urgently retract this statement and apologise.
Cllr Clive Hart

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Laura Sandys: Are you serious about splitting Margate in half?

From Michelle Fenner and Alan Poole.

At the Boundary Review Commission meeting in Maidstone last week we were astonished to hear the MP for South Thanet speak enthusiastically about the strong links between Little Stour and Ashstone and Ramsgate and that it would be perfectly acceptable to exclude Salmestone from the new Margate and Ramsgate constituency, and not to include either Garlinge or Westbrook!

Can you imagine the new Margate Constituency without the QEQM? Without Margate train station? Without Margate Football Club? Without Margate Cricket Club? Without Hartsdown Technology College? Even without the Margate cemetery and Thanet crematorium?
No doubt Ms. Sandys was being very selective about what she calls ‘community links’.

What is shocking is that our current MP for South Thanet does not seem to want to represent the whole community of Margate and yet is prepared to get rid of significant areas of it in favour of Sandwich, Little Stour and Ashstone.

The Margate community is closely-knit and must not be split. We strongly urge residents to write to:
The Boundary Commission:
35 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BQTelephone: 020 7276 1102
Email address for representations: 

supporting the inclusion of the Margate Wards of Westbrook and Garlinge and keeping Salmestone in the proposed new constituency of Margate & Ramsgate as they form an integral part of Margate and Thanet.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Youth unemployment petition

Will Scobie, Luke Edwards and Linda Aldred
The Thanet Labour team were in Margate high street this morning asking people to sign the Labour petition on youth unemployment. The petition stated:

'Youth unemployment has hit almost one million and the Tory-led Government’s policies risk creating another lost generation like in the 1980s. Sign up to Labour’s campaign to call for the Government to repeat last year’s bonus tax and use the money raised to help create 100,000 more jobs for young people. Getting people off the dole and into work is the best way to get the deficit down – and stop Britain’s talent going to waste.'

Steve Alexandrou
In just one morning the team were able to get over 400 signatures, and it is clear that this is an issue that many people feel very strongly on. Young people are our future and we need to make sure that we give them the training, skills, and experience necessary for their lives ahead of them. The Tory-led Government is trying to save money in the short term, but in the long term this is only going to cost more through social problems and schemes to get people back to work.

The Labour team will be visiting Ramsgate next to get more signatures on Wednesday 16th November. They will be on Ramsgate high street at lunch time, so come along and talk to your local Labour team.
Jodi Hibbert, Louise Drelaud, Will Scobie, Jenny Matterface, Clive Hart, and James Watkins.