Friday, January 13, 2006

Brush Strokes

Not any old paintbrush but “The Turner Paintbrush”, or the projected cost of spending £1.2 million repainting the gallery every fifteen years.

As a result, I’ve given up any idea of becoming an artist and will be applying as a jobbing painter and decorator, alongside everyone else in Thanet, once the Turner Contemporary has been built.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with you people?

You get funding to the tune of almost £30m to build something which might, just might, attract more than the odd crack addict towing a pit-bull terrier to the area, and all you can do is carp about it.

The fact is that the Turner Contemporary is raising the profile of Thanet in a much more positive way than anything else for the past 40 or 50 years. Yes, it might be amusing to score cheap points about how much it will cost to maintain, but something had to be done to attract the kind of decent people that you purport to want in Thanet, and this project is surely doing that.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous

There is nothing wrong "us" people it is just that we live in the real world and if something whether it is a holiday, car or a trip out becomes so expensive as to not be affordable we have to say we just cannot afford it however much it may be desired!!

You may also need to take onboard that because the money is NOT yours you have a greater responsibility to spend it wisely

not Anonymous Steve Kilbee

DrMoores said...

I quite like the "Pit bull" illustration but I think Steve Kilbee hits the nail on the head about the wise use of money. Perhaps it's a topic to discuss on the radio this morning as I see the BBC have ben in all ready "trawling" the last couple of days stories.

I'm in favour of the Turner, funnily enough but the rising costs I find quite unnacceptable, regardless of what public or arts council pot it's coming from.

Anonymous said...

Despite my earlier comments, I actually concur with those who believe the whole TC project has been poorly conceived, and may well be in danger of becoming badly executed.

It would have made much more sense to renovate the Sea Bathing Hospital, for example, to include an arts centre, rather than turning it over to yet another residential development. And the fact that the cost has quadrupled since the idea was first put forward does not bode well.

My point was that Thanet does need this sort of thing if it's going to become a destination for the cultured middle classes, and the creative and service industries, and regeneration, they bring with them.

The debate about the TC shoud now be considered closed, and we should be getting behind it as the best prospect we have.

On the other hand, if the real debate is whether we want hoards of monied Londoners coming into the island, demanding lattes and Audi dealerships (rather than Aldi supermarkets), that's another story!

Anonymous said...

Her, here, anonymous! It is hard to describe the difficulties of selling projects to fund in an area like Margate when any that are in the air regularly get slagged off. This particular newspaper story is an excellent example of how to damn things from ignorance and selective information.

What would the papers say if there was no plan to repaint the thing and it became a rust streaked hulk in a decade or so?

Yes the costs have risen, probably by more than many feel comfortable about, however the costs actually rose initially when this building was selected by an all party committee back in 2001, they were not properly recosted then, and since we have been playing catch up. Costs are regularly reviewed and balanced against potential benefit, and the long delays that would result from a change of direction.

It is not a choice of money for Turner or money to be spent elsewhere, this money has been ring fenced for arts projects from its various sources and its not an either or decision.

On balance Turner Contemporary is still judged to be of real benefit to the regeneration of the area. Lets welcome that, and that money is to be spent down here not elsewhere in the county.

Chris Wells

Anonymous said...

Just to make it clear I too would love to have the Turner Centre BUT not at any cost, my own experience of building the Sands Restaurant Opp. the clock tower shows that the budget is always exceeded in my case by 22% of the contract price (no contractor will offer a fixed price)on that bais the cost of the Turner Centre will grow by £6,ooo,ooo !!It is also plain that the running costs may be higher than those in the public domain I believe the visitor numbers quoted are hopelessly optimistic.

Remember the clock tower lights-seemed like a good idea a the time!!

Steve kilbee

Cllr David Green said...

Unfortunately what Chris says is not the whole story. It is the case that the Turner is taking money that could be spent elsewhere.
TDC Officers tell me that other regeneration projects have been withdrawn because GOSE officials have said "if its not Turner related, forget it!
KCC have just pushed through a project to reduce the width of the fort hill road that is totally unnecessary in highways terms. The reason is entirely related to Turner and has taken money that would have used for highways projects.
So lets be honest about this, spinning otherwise just annoys people. The Turner project is now so far down the road that it has got to be made to work. Other work will have to be sacrificed to provide the resources. I just wish those running the project would be more open with the Thanet public and their representatives.
The concept is brave and exciting, but that doesnt preclude proper scrutiny of the implementation.

Anonymous said...

I am sure David will be able to supply proof of his claims of shelved projects. As he is so principled on the subject of spinning that is the least he can do. Can send the privately to me for investigation, and we will see who is spinning a yarn, eh?

Chris

Cllr David Green said...

This is the response I received when questioning TDC expenditure on consultancies. Judge for yourself?

10351 Tourism Promotions/Advertising

Who received this payment? GHG Consulting

What was the output for this expenditure? Is there a report?

GHG Consulting were appointed to undertake additional ERDF grant applications to GOSE on behalf of TDC. Some work was undertaken but due to timescales, difficulties in identifying partnership funding and advice that funding was only likely to be successful for Turner Contemporary related projects the application was ultimately not submitted and GHG Consulting were only paid for work actually undertaken and not the full fee they had previously submitted.

Jill Franks

So, who is spinning a yarn Chris?

Anonymous said...

OK. I will investigate further. However even initially it is clear from the answer that the issue you blame is only one of three reasons given, and all funding applications are critically dependent on matched funding partners and proper timescales to achieve their aims. It is interesting you did not mention those. Additionally, it is not clear from where the advice came, GOSE, the consultants or elsewhere. It will be difficult to ask GOSE too many questions just now as yout own colleagues inept publicity seeking behaviour regarding another active application has undoubtedly damaged Thanets reputation in the funding sphere. However, as I said, I will look more closely into your claim.

Chris

Cllr David Green said...

Bluster Chris.
The important point is that once the word goes out, nobody will put the considerable effort required (as you well know) into constructing a bid that wont succeed.
I couldnt care if you look further into "my claim", it seems self evident it will happen to me. Lets move on to a more honest and open debate.

Anonymous said...

No David not bluster, years of experience in fundraising putto good use in the early years of this administration re establishing a better reputation in this field than the disaster the labour administration left behind. You make a good point worthy of investigation, however as usual you extrapolate it to the ultimate degree to prove your own debating position. A more open and honest debate would include an admission from you of the labour party's recent mistakes regarding GOSE possible grants to the area, that may have threatened their arrival. NO chance of that I suppose?

Chris

Anonymous said...

Well it's nice to have sparked a debate, but as usual the politicians have hijacked it, leaving us ordinary mortals dazed and bewildered.

And still no wiser as to whether our council tax is being spent wisely or not.

Anonymous said...

If a forecasted cost of £7m has grown to £30m+ and the running costs are expected to exceed £130m over the life of TCm,then surely it is time for sane men and women to put a stop to the madness. Could it be that to spend already £6m+ without any sign of the TC's appearance is an indication of gross waste of taxpayer's money? No matter where the money has come from so far,its origin began as a tax! So, those without the integrity or courage to put a stop to this ongoing and expensive shambles should consider whether self-serving interest should have priority over the wishes of the poor taxpayers required to fund it.

Anonymous said...

Thers is no self serving interest, merely attempts to do something to help regenrate the areas of Margate devastated by the loss of traditional holidays. Such schemes have worked elsewhere, and given the chance can work here.

Chris

Anonymous said...

There is no denying that Margate of all places needs regeneration, it is simply that the TC scheme has noow become a costly fiasco. Bin it and come up with a Seaworld?; a new harbour and marina?; a Nausicaa? or even a Theme park? Anything that is compatible with a bucket and spade location and builds on the little we now have left of an old town. TC is ill conceived and has now become far too costly; we all need the courage and the common-sense to halt it now.£6,385,000 spent already is very close to the 1999 all up figure. Can no-one involved in the decision making see that TC has become a 'good idea'that is now
past its sell by date?

Paul

Anonymous said...

Seaworld or Theme Park are exactly the types of attraction many of us will fight hard to see on the Dreamland site. The recent Inspectors report endorses that and gives heart to all who wish to see wide leisure use in that area.I don't see why the TC should not be there and part of that spread of attractions as well. It does not have to be either or. But if we turn away investment for one, investment for others is much harder to attract.

Chris Wells