Sunday, May 07, 2006

Ask Sandy

Having been invited by the Labour Party to run-up a preliminary draft of Tony Blair’s resignation letter in the morning, I’m reminded that at the opposite end of the political spectrum, I have to come up with this week’s question for our council leader Sandy Ezekiel.

One suggestion I've read, involves, building “a Chernobyl style nuclear power station on the Pleasurama site, a nice idea and a potential tourist attraction with the added benefit of being of concrete construction and therefore resistant to accidents with lighted matches.

I’m not certain that Sandy will be too keen on the idea so I’ll ask readers to come up with other suggestions for this week’s “Ask Sandy” or follow-up with some of the points made in his first “Podcast” of last week, that you’ll find further below. I’ll tell you which one it is before I forward it on and then you can, if you wish accuse me of political bias.

I may however run any questions past Conservative Central Office, Opus Dei and FHM Magazine for approval.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Better check with the little New Labour apologist. You know, the really smart bloke or he'll be blaming you for the Kennedy assasination as well as loan companies, dandruff, global warming and having an opinion!
Do you think he works for Dr Ladyman, after all, his comments seem to have appeared after your invitation to Dr L to comment on the site. A coincidence perhaps!

Anonymous said...

Haha, no we've been lurking here long before the Dr L comment. There are no underground conspiracy theorists here, just a handful of local people (who believe it or not dont have any political agenda). We're just trying to work out what will eventually be sold to us, sorry I mean given back to the communtity.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous of 8:57 pm, you are typical of the breed that cannot offer reasoned argument - in support of whichever political viewpoint. You trade in tabloid style insults. You are not going to persuade anyone, but if it makes you feel better, or you secure whatever kind of gratification by your behaviour and words, bless you!

Anonymous said...

Then set up your OWN website and DO something about it.
Lurking and complaining about DrM on his site isn't going to change anything. And if he is so awful why doesn't he just delete your unpleasant comments?
You obviously haven't lurked here for long because you don't seem to be aware of the rules we follow in commenting WITHOUT being personal.
If you want to be personal then leave your real name and have the COURAGE of your convictions. If not, be witty, sarcastic, angry, mad, kind, informative, weird, funny etc or go away.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry, Anonymous of 11.19, but I think "the little New Labour apologist" is pretty personal. It is deliberately disparaging. "the really smart bloke" is similarly insulting. Pot calling kettle...

stuart said...

In your podcast Sandy stated that the Dreamland site will be used for 'leisure' purposes. Could you ask him if he knows the difference between 'leisure' which is what the people of an area do within their area and 'tourism' which brings people who don't live in an area into that area.

Does he realise that the ongoing and seemingly endless Dreamland saga may be the single biggest vote loser for them in 2007.

I personally can't wait to have my vote.

Anonymous said...

Simon, You asked for questions, and here are questions on two subjects?

1. There has been a lot of hype about regeneration in Margate and a the huge sums of money spent to date. Despite this, the High Street and the Old Town are still visibly and allarmingly, dying. I have never been 'attracted' to Margate High Street, but a visit last week horrified me.

It has been said that the purchase of the empty Marks and Spencer building by TDC and the provision of even more retail space on the ground floor, will lead to transformation of the area. Those that remain of the small and medium sized shops in the High Street are deserting almost on a daily basis, leaving a huge number of, unatractive, boarded up, almost derelict and unlettable retail floor spaces. Where does the Council think this massive number of 'new' retailers needed to fill the 'new'M&S site, and all of the empty High Street shops, and all of the empty shops in the Old Town Area, are coming from, when the surrounding shops are derelict and boarded up. As a further matter if interest, what are all these new shops going to sell?

Isn't it time to accept that there is a price to pay for Westwood Cross. Isn't there too much retail capacity in Thanet, and shouldn't we be finding some other uses, at least for the lower high street?

2. The Council don't have a good track record when it comes to purchasing property in order to pump prime regeneration. The old Lloyds Bank Building is an example. How much did the building cost? How much did the conversion work cost? How much are the current works costing and why are they needed so soon after the building was so expensively renovated? How much of the building is gainfully occupied, and what benefit has all that expenditure been, other than to retain the building?

Anonymous said...

Dr Moores could you ask SE what the current view of the use of Dreamland is? We approach the 2nd may bank holiday and half-term break and all I see on Dreamland site is an empty wheel standing idle or going round with one cupola occupied on Goddens Gap and without planning consent. Does he not consider that giving the developers Waterbridge a let out on "should a Leisure Park not be viable other development will be approved" has lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy i.e. its possibly not in Waterbridges long term interest to develop the site as a successful Theme Park so they are making sure its not. Another year of decline is slipping past and all the evidence from Margate traders and taxi-drivers is that Margate is in desperate straits.

Anonymous said...

Lost a thread again. Dr Moores could you ask SE if TDC are happy with Waterbridges attempt at this years promotion of Dreamland. We have a stationary or empty wheel in Goddens Gap with no planning permission yet and nothing else. By allowing the clause in the Local Plan "should a Leisure Park prove to be unviable other development will be allowed".
Does he not consider that this is what the developers Waterbridge are now providing as it is not in their commercial interest to have a big Leisure Park on the site. Evidence from Traders and taxi-drivers all points to the worst year ever for Margate as we slip towards the 2nd May Bank Holiday week. Is TDC going to allow this to happen in 2007 as well?

Anonymous said...

Simon could SE be asked to comment on the Inspectors report "He further criticised the Council, stating that their policy “maximises speculative interest in the site and encourages hope values beyond any ordinary expectation” (93). Interestingly, he stated that their policy would hinder any prospect of a compulsory purchase of the site, as the values would be too high."
His criticism of the Council continued. He drew attention to Paragraph 8.49 of the Plan, which correctly states that there is “a real concern that there may be pressure for redevelopment in the future for an alternative use, thus losing a significant attraction”. In the Inspector’s words, this “paragraph confirms that such pressure would be harmful”. The Inspector, astutely, goes on to say that Policy T11 (Dreamland), as drafted by the Council, “would generate the very harmful pressure which the Development Plan seeks to avert”! (96)

Could he also justify why TDC Conservative Group took no account of the views of Thanet People who overwhelmingly indicated they wanted a Dreamland Site as a major attraction/Theme Park. The TDC Tory Group voted for:
Option C: To partially reject the Inspector's recommendations, allowing Dreamland to be redeveloped if an amusement park is not viable.

Looking at signs removed (no planning consent) a wheel put in despite no planning consent and objections from KCC highways does Cllr Ezekial really believe that Dreamland can be left in the hands of Waterbridge?

Anonymous said...

Did I read the previous post correctly. There have been many comments about no planning permission for the wheel, however if these relate to a genuine concern, doen't this contradict the other views that a theme park is wanted?

If there are good planning reasons why the wheel should not be there, why havn't the Council served a stop notice?

James Maskell said...

As I understand it, the wheel is outside the Dreamland site and should therefore have planning permission prior to its construction. I think Option C for the Local Plan was the right one. Have Dreamland as a theme park, but if its not viable (its expensive to build a theme park) then its only reasonable that other uses be found with it being of a leisure/tourism use. Thats prime seafront land and it should be used as such. I think this is the thinking behind it and its a fair option. The other option was far too restrictive and was, as I have said before, an all or nothing option. This option is flexible and in my opinion the best option for Margate's future.

James Maskell said...

To answer your question about the wheel's lack of planning permission (at least how I see it), I dont think the need for planning permission is a sign that a theme park is not wanted. Its a matter of planning law that planning permission is needed. Planning permission would be needed whether a theme park is viable/wanted or not.

Anonymous said...

You miss the point entirely James that Anon of 1107 appears to be making. If developers are prepared to invest in a spanking style Dreamland as Save Dreamland campaign has stated on numerous occasions, then let them do so. The problem is Waterbridge does not want that. As the Inspector reported would happen, TDC by taking Option C, will get Option C dished up for them by Waterbridge who will ensure , as they appear to be doing this summer, that a theme park is not viable.
To maximise profit on the site a theme park must not remotely appear to be a viable option. So Waterbridges Big Wheel and nothing else as Whitsun fast approaches is doing just that. I bet Waterbridges call on TDC before the year is out to instigate Option C; you read here first.

Anonymous said...

James, you're not understanding the planning rules. If the wheel went up without permission and there are no good reasons for it's removal or for applying planning conditions, the Council can do nothing. If however there are good grounds for it's immediate removal, the Council could serve a stop notice or seek a court injunction. It could cost dearly if a planning inspector subsequently decided the reasons for requiring its removal were not sufficient.

James Maskell said...

You dont think the fact it is metres away from a main road on Margate seafront is a reason for it to require planning permission? Its one of the biggest structures on this island!

You must be having a joke if you are saying that the Big Wheel in Margate does not require planning permission...a house near to where I used to live wants a conservatory in its back garden...that requires planning permission. Are you arguing that the Big wheel in Margate should be treated as differently and should not require planning permission? The house by the way is near the hospital and doesnt suffer from huge amounts of traffic as it isnt on Ramsgate Road, nor Nash Road for that matter.

stuart said...

Lets just say this again because it seems that not everyone on this island is aware that operators have pledged to invest millions in the Dreamland site in its current form.

The ONLY thing that is stopping that from happening is the artificial value of the land caused by the wrong option being voted for by the JGC, or should that be TDC?