Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sandy's 'Wow' Factor

Thanet District Council leader Sandy Ezekiel has confirmed a new initiative to market Thanet`s potential in a plan that could see £500million spent in the next twenty years.

In a report from the Isle of Thanet Extra, Ezekiel said: "We are determined to bring the 'wow' factor into Thanet the area has excellent potential and I am sure that continued sustained efforts will bring results."

Cllr Ezekiel, who is "aware such optimism and confidence will attract cynical responses", added: "I want businesses and residents to believe we can achieve great things."

He said the council is working with the private sector, Kent County Council, the South East England Development Agency and the Government Office for the South East to help realise the dream.

"Exciting and different projects" are planned for Margate seafront but Cllr Ezekiel would not be drawn into firm details "until I am sure they will definitely go ahead".

He believes Margate has tremendous scope and said the council is in discussion with the owners of Arlington House tower block to upgrade it and the arcade beneath.

Dreamland amusement park features high on the Margate masterplan and Cllr Ezekiel is adamant that the Scenic Railway roller coaster will remain as the centrepiece of "a new and exciting leisure facility".

He also hopes the railway station concourse will be upgraded to provide a fitting entrance to the town for visitors, and that the Lido area of Cliftonville can be improved as a leisure facility, possibly with a hotel and residential development.

Thanet's strong heritage will be mirrored in developments across the island and the idea is to attract more money into town centres.

Meanwhile, a traffic impact study is being carried out now by the district council with specialist firms to assess the island's transport infrastructure.

With the development of the airport at Manston, the port at Ramsgate and the centre island retail complex at Westwood Cross, Cllr Ezekiel believes Thanet has "a great potential for an exciting 2006 and beyond".


James Maskell said...

I hope that the traffic impact survey will lead to some action. Our District Councillors arent making enough noise about the traffic problems in Salmestone ward, especially round the Hospital and the Victoria Lights/Coffin Corner. The Victoria Lights isnt getting any safer.

Maybe my comment last year about having to wait till May 2007 for some active District Councillor representation wasnt too far out...

Anonymous said...

Haven't we heard it all before!

On the subject of traffic though, what is wrong with widening the road by Salmestone School by removing the disused bridge support on the N side of the road and installing mini-roundabouts with safe pedestrian X-ings at the Victoria and Coffin corner junctions? Oops, does that sound familiar or do we wait for 7 years to get free flowing traffic that has returned to, where is it?; ah yes at the Clocktower.

James Maskell said...

You arent the only one tiring of the length of time this is taking. I think the community needs to unite on this one to get the ball really rolling.

Ive spoken to both Cllrs Young and Fuller and as I understand it, mini roundabouts in that area are pretty much out of the question. The Victoria Lights area doesnt have enough free space and as for Coffin Corner, Im not sure it would be very safe given the position of Empire Terrace. Both Cllrs were helpful but Im not sure if they are determined to fight for action in the area.

A survey is being done at the Victoria Lights and while its unlikely it will be in the public gaze by the next - and last - JTB meeting in March, Im hoping it will say what the community have long believed - the junction is extremely dangerous and a serious risk to both pedestrians and those that use the road.

Anonymous said...

anon again!
as long as you only talk about it, no-one will worry.... it's when you start doing things, that end up costing £30 or so million that Thanet Residents will start to worry.

However, most roads are close to being far too narrow, so all you Council folk have to do is widen them.

Manston Road/Haine Road, needs a roundabout quickly (anyone who can't see this, must be stupid!)
We don't even need a costly survey to confirm this.

Traffic Wardens should work on the Marine Terrace from 17.00 until 24.00 Daily, until it becomes UN-parked.

These are my opinions and have no bearing on the daily realities in Thanet.

Anonymous said...

Is there no way to upgrade Arlington House to Ground Zero and start over with something that isn't such a blight on the landscape?

Anon Also said...

Here here re Arlington House!

So, our top local politician has nothing but same old, same old for us, eh? Hotels and residential developments. It's beginning to sound like a broken record.

Still, when so many people are so obsessed with mini roundabouts, it would be a brave man to suggest anything more radical, I suppose.

I know. How about an arts centre made out of old mini roundabouts? That should keep everyone happy.

Anonymous said...

anon again!

If it took the local council 7 years to make a decision to take away the traffic lights at the clocktower, 2013 should be a good year for Thanet. The Olympics will have been and gone, we might have a roundabout at Haine/Manston Road junctions. Arlington House will have collapsed, due to negligence.
There will be a Desalination Plant at Richborough, because we have "zero" fresh water in our reservoires. The Turner Contemporary will be blown over to Belgium in a gale (not France, they have enough art). Manston will have 20 planes a day taking off and landing. Trains will be late! The roads will still be too narrow and overloaded. Westwood Cross will be gridlocked daily.
Dreamland will be up and running drawing thousands daily to it.

These are my thoughts, and have no bearing on the daily realities in Thanet

Anonymous said...

anon again!

If you changed the would could, in the first sentence, for SHOULD or MUST, I would agree.... but this is just the usual flim flam that we are all used to. Sorry!