Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A Little Pedestrian

Clive Hart has sent in a release on pedestrian improvements to Cliftonville. He also appears to have re-discovered Thanet South MP and Transport Minister, Dr.Steve Ladyman who was believed to have been missing in action at Westminster in recent weeks.

“Cliftonville is one of many areas in Kent due to benefit thanks to the Government’s Local Transport Plan funding agreed last December. Approval was then given for a loan well in excess of £9million towards the Transportation and Safety Package Programme in Kent.

Among other important projects this funding will be focused on measures to reduce road casualty figures, programmes focusing on local areas to help reduce traffic congestion, improving facilities for pedestrians and cyclists and encouraging greater use of buses. It will also be used to improve footways and road crossings on Kent’s public rights of way network and for improvements to kerbs - is that kebabs? - at pedestrian crossings to ensure compliance with the Disability Discrimination Acts.

One such project will be enhanced pedestrian access for Northdown Road in Cliftonville.

Margate & Cliftonville County Councillor Clive Hart said ‘There have been a number of pedestrians injured crossing Northdown Road and we need new crossing points to provide safer movement for residents and visitors. The work is scheduled to start on May 29th and will take around eight weeks. I would ask motorists to please take extra care whilst this essential work is taking place’.

Ed: Keep up the good work Clive and let's see more 'Kebab improvements' for Cliftonville, now that Margate's are looking distinctly singed!

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanet South MP and Transport Minister, Dr.Steve Ladyman missing in action ?

Hope its not the sort of "action" the Dep P.M gets up to.

Will keep a close eye on the news of the screws for further info.

James Maskell said...

Ah, the photo in colour. I have a copy of this photo but only in boring black and white. Would Ladyman's appearance in Cliftonville have anything to do with Cliftonville becoming part of Thanet South next year?

DrMoores said...

Sounds suspicious to me.. could be a job for Sherlock Poirrot!

Were any babies kissed during the visit!?

Anonymous said...

From his expression, Dr Ladyman appears to be sitting on a spike!

DrMoores said...

Keep it nice please..it's not often we see him around here, so let's not frighten him away!

Anonymous said...

Last time I saw Ladyman in Cliftonville he was officially opening a computer shop in Northdown Rd (since closed) which was owned by the famous Richard Dawson.
You haven't heard of Richard? I don't think Ladyman had done his homework about being associated with it either.

If you had watched British Sex a few years ago on Sky you would have seen the "Adult Baby" having his poo-ey nappy changed and being put to bed by a Nanny.
The adult baby's friend/partner truckdriver received a custodial sentence later on for taking photos of a young boy wearing some frilly bedtime outfit that the truckdriver ran up on his sewing machine.
Anyway the enormous joke is that the TV company which made the ( I hope ) tongue in cheek program about the adult baby told him that it wouldn't be shown in Thanet!
But Sky is a satellite channel and as such is indiscriminate in its area.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, better tell Suzy Gale about these roadworks. We all know what her driving's like!

Anonymous said...

Boundary changes, what boundary changes? I am happy being in Roger Gale's constituency.
On the subject of Northdown Road improvements; they tinkered a few years back with narrowing the road; creating bulges for pedestrians and reducing parking space and installing meters and Northdown Road has been in decline ever since. Nice to see more 'improvements' taking place during the summer 'Season', traditionally a better time for traders on this road!
I would prefer to seem some pot holes filled and repairs done to some awful repairs on our roads around Thanet. Has anyone else hit the monster of sunken and raised tarmac just past Seabathing on road into Margate?

Anonymous said...

Whatever the political background here, it seems good to me that money is being spent on local infrastructure. This is a constructive use of public money. Well done, Clive Hart.

Anonymous said...

Good to see that some money is being spent on the District. There is a lot of good debate on this site about the problems of Thanet - Margate especially - and a lot of ideas for improvement - some sensible, some kooky. I am surprised that this expenditure has been the subject of mirth from Si Moores and aspiring politician Jimmy Maskell.

DrMoores said...

I'm not "knocking it" but I felt I had to inject a little wry humour into a dry press release to give a little more contrast!

Anonymous said...

Last time the local politicians spent money on so called traffic calming in Northdown it worked 100%.
The traffic is calm all right, in fact its so darn calm its stopped dead most of the time.

The bus islands they built out in the road have the effect of stopping all the other traffic when a bus is loading or unloading passengers - and taking fares etc, for several minutes at a time.
This is madness.
It also had the effect of causing at least one fatality several years ago when a motorcylclist, (Jason Pedder I believe) accidentally caught the kerb on one of these islands with his footrest, fell off underneath a RangeRover and died.
Wouldn't have happened if selfstyled local road expert politicians stuck to whatever they actually know about, whatever that may be?

Anonymous said...

Anon of 618, it would not be the politicians who draw up road safety schemes but Kent County Council Highways officials. If you feel the measures are inappropriate, your beef is with them. The politicians simply argue over the money.

Anonymous said...

Point taken Doc 611. I know you're well into satire, man. Look forward to seeing some more of it when you interview Handy Sandy this week. My tongue's hanging out already.

DrMoores said...

There's a difference between spicing up a press release a little and a direct Q&A in response to readers questions!

Anonymous said...

If its not broke, don't fix it seems a good idea for Northdown Road. Stop wasting further tax-payers money tinkering with an expensive facelift made only a few years ago.
The St Peter's road safety improvement saga illustrates the gross waste of money that occurs: put lines down middle of road and hatch them in; no burn them off and narrow car lanes to instal little cycle lane; no remove cycle lane and put back in the lines down the middle of the road and hatch them in.

Watch out for the growing hole in Park Road by the side of Dane Park.

Anonymous said...

Sure Doc, but you can always add some satirical commentary of your own to the question and answer report. You're so good at it. Just a few jibes - Sandy won't notice. :)

Snailspace said...

Traffic calming was designed to reduce the speed of vehicles thus creating a safer more present environment for both road users and pedestrians.

But in practice it causes frustration, bad tempers and in some cases anti social behaviour.

This results in the phenomenon known as Road Rage. In most instances this will result in one or more of the raging participants being carted of to the local hospital for the treatment of injuries ranging from minor lacerations to the removal of sharp objects from various parts of the anatomy.

As the number of road rage incidents increases, the already over stretched A&E departments are required to employ more staff to cope with new admissions. There is also a need for more ambulances to remove the victims and more police to arrest the survivors.

The current upward trend of those now in full time employment leads to yet more traffic on the now completely overloaded infrastructure.

In a last ditch attempt to stop the whole system from grinding to a halt, the Government pushes through a bill banning all non essential use of privately owned motor vehicles and sets up a system of heavily subsidised public transportation. Enter the Super Bus for the newly employed, but soon to be unemployed again due to the reduction in road rage incidents.

What are the authorities going to do now?

Enter the new buzz words BUS RAGE.



This is very similar to Road Rage but the resulting carnage is increased by quite a significant factor due to the fact that the super bus can carry up to Four Hundred passengers.

This results in more victims needing hospital treatment, more ambulances needed to take them there and more police and prison officers to deal with the survivors.
What we have now is another upward spiral in the employment figures.

New hospitals are built, waiting lists plummet, more police on the beat, crime figures reduced to a fraction of what they once were. A Golden Age. The government is ecstatic, the opposition in despair, what could go wrong.

It happened on a rain sodden Monday morning; two nameless people on a packed bus, they both carried keys, they both had memorised passwords. Someone jostled someone else, molehills became mountains and all hell broke loose. This had to stop.
When it was over the two nameless people signed in for work.

They inserted the keys. They entered the passwords. They flipped the safety catches. One pushed the button.

If you were viewing these events from the outside you may have heard these words.

BEEP, THAT’S ONE SMALL HUMP FOR MAN; ONE BIG BANG FOR MANKIND

DrMoores said...

I'm getting some political deja vu here Mr. dsl.as9105.com!

James Maskell said...

I dont think I was making any mirth about it. I was pointing out that from January 1st next year Cliftonville West and East become part of Thanet South. Cant help but be cynical about it. In any case there arent any local grammar schools he can alienate and criticise for existing, so I dont expect to see him round here anytime soon...

As it goes, Ive had no problems with the traffic at Northdown Road, living just round the corner from Tesco's. The traffic stops for pedestrians crossing, something that doesnt happen at the Victoria Lights, which is much more dangerous and did not secure funding this year. Id say Northdown Road is very safe for pedestrians with a fair number of crossings already.

Anonymous said...

When Cliftonville becomes part of Thanet South then Ladyman may well lose his seat.
Cliftonville is notoriously Conservative and Ladyman had a very slim majority last general election.
Cliftonville vote could swing the election for the Conservatives.

Ladyman's majority last time was much less than the previous election, he's not too popular with much of the electorate.

Labour Head Office put all their effort into supporting Ladyman at the last election and did little or nothing for Iris Johnston,part of the reason she came a poor second.

Anyway it all depends on other boundary changes on the other side of Thanet South - if any - which I don't know the details of.

Anonymous said...

Both Thanet North and South are historically far more blue than red politically - particularly Thanet North. Steve Ladyman succeeded in 1997 because of the widespread, deep and justifiable distaste for the Tories, and because the local Tory MP was a crook (eventually imprisoned for his crimes). The swing away from Ladyman at the last Election reflected the general anti-Labour vote prompted mainly by the Iraq factor, rather than any local ill-feeling towards him personally.

His neighbour, Gale, interestingly saw his share of the vote fall at the last Election, despite the move away from Labour and the fact that most Tory MPs saw their shares increase. That may indicate that he is not the overwhemingly popular constituency MP that many claim. It would seem unlikely, though, that he will ever be unseated, other than by infirmity or a rebellion in the troubled North Thanet Conservative Association ranks. The latter could happen, I guess.

Anonymous said...

That Nice but Dim Cllr. Clive Hart, master of self-publicity, has done it again. Conservative KCC lashes out on Highway "improvements" to save pedestrians in Cliftonville, and Clive ends up collecting the credit.

Nice one Clive - pity you don't have an original idea in your head! Methinks this was organised after former KCC Leader Sir Sandy Bruce Lockhart visited Northdown Road at the invitation of TDC Leader Sandy Ezekiel in April last year.

Anonymous said...

9:24 pm gives us all a reason to support Thanetlife candidates next May in our TDC elections. I am fed up with petty political posturing by both Labour and Tory councillors.

Margate(and I am hearing that Ramsgate is suffering again) is in meltdown as a town due to the combination of Dreamland fiasco since 2003; the TC since 2000 and Westwood 2005 and the combined effect of all three has been catastrophic. We have our present incumbents of both parties to thank for the shambles and its time for them to be removed.

James Maskell said...

Aitken was a crook for sure. He is a liar and has no sympathy from me whatsoever.

As for Roger Gale I followed that election very closely, supporting his re-election. His majority rose, which is the key indicator as to an MPs popularity. This site has seen some minor arguments between me and Cllr Johnston (which are undoubtably not going to end anytime soon, I assure you all) but ultimately she cares deeply about her job. I give her that. She has the courage of her convictions. But by the same token, the voters decided that Roger Gale was the better person for the job through his hard work for all the constituents in Thanet North.

A rebellion in NTCA...wouldnt bank on it. Hes a strong MP who's stood up for his beliefs and helped a lot of people through the years. He's respected for the work he has done over many years. He was MP before I was born. I have no problems with him being MP at all.

The Council elections are likely to see a shift. Im not entirely sure how, but I do think that the newer Councillors will, despite being more "green", will be able to bring a fresh approach to the Council, that will bring benefits.

Anonymous said...

Yes Roger's majority over Iris did rise but I would put that down to an efficient and enthusiastic canvassing party machine, Roger had lots of help while I am sad to say Iris did not.
The Labour party machine, such as it is, concentrated on Ladymans side of the great divide and just got him in.

Anonymous said...

I am sure Gale will be pleased to note your unswerving loyalty and support, Mr Maskell. Share of the vote is also a solid litmus test, and more people voted against Gale than voted for him, and about a third of the electorate cared too little even to vote. Again,against the backdrop of far better Tory performances elsewhere.

He was elected and remains the MP though. Dr Moores has commented that Governments in power for too long lose their way and become "corrupt". Perhaps Gale's 23 years in post present a similar problem. A fresh face would probably be good.

Anonymous said...

Anon of 924, your attack on Clive Hart might apear more credible if you hadn't drawn Lockhart and Ezekiel into your argument. Lockhart is one of the greatest publicity-seeking photo-opportunists ever to walk the corridors of County Hall, and presided over a dull Tory administration that has served to spike more local development and regeneration than ever it has supported. Examples - the Turner Centre in Margate and the Library in Canterbury. And Ezekiel heads a Tory administration in Margate that most commentators on this site say is inept and some suggest is bordering on corrupt. Even one of their supporters, James Maskell, thinks "greener" individuals will (should?) replace them at the next election. Makes Clive Hart look rather good, by comparison.

Anonymous said...

Even Clive would admit that he's a great self-publicist. Won't bite on Lockhart/Ezekiel/Maskell - life's too short.

Anonymous said...

Even Clive would admit that he's a great self-publicist. Won't bite on Lockhart/Ezekiel/Maskell - life's too short.

Chris P Roll said...

I can't wait to see what the new measures will be. Personally I am hoping for more traffic lights. Some of the cars reach speeds of running pace at times (so I am told) and it is such a dangerously straight piece of road.

James Maskell said...

I think a lot of readers will agree, the Council needs fresh blood. The Council is reasonably old. There are only two Councillors who can be classified as "young", Cllrs Fuller and Higgs. What I would like to see are more young Councillors being elected. Younger Councillors will be "green" in that they dont have a lot of direct experience in Council matters. But it doesnt mean that by elected them its a wasted vote. They will bring an energy and approach perhaps the incumbents perhaps are not attuned to. Im sure there are friendly Councillors able to give them advice as to how to do the job effectively and essentially mentor them. As readers have commented before, local politics is a thankless job, so those who stand must be up for the job and the long hours and the toil that comes with it. These younger Councillors will form the backbone of future administrations and we must encourage them to come above the parapet and say they are willing to do their part. I hope we have a broad range of candidates in next years elections and that they will allow themselves to be properly scrutinised by those who will vote for them. Perhaps Thanetlife will perform such a role?

Anon 6:20 is clearly trying to cause trouble. I did not say that and the poster knows that. I understand though that it must cause them an immense amount of joy to receive a comment, so congratulations...

As for Roger Gale, you are all entitled to your own views. If you feel he has been in the job too long then thats what you think. I disagree with you, but I accept what you say. As Ive said, hes been an MP longer than Ive been alive. I dont think though that it means hes "past it" though.

As for Clive Hart, Ive not laid any bait for him to bite, so if he chooses to comment here, Im fine with it. Its a free world...

Anonymous said...

Leads us into a rich debate on whether fresh blood must be young; what is young (I note with a wry smile in County Council terms I am young!, and does young automatically mean better? Strangely enough I thought we were about to embark on draconion legislation to stop ageism in the workplace and employment. Will that not apply to elected members?

Young is in the mind as much as in the step. We may need new blood, lets not fall for the bluff that says it must all be totally inexperienced as well. Or we end up with lists of people constructed from strange criteria, dont we, James?

Chris Wells

Anonymous said...

Mr Maskell, I will not intrude on the private and no doubt dark workings of your troubled local (Thanet North)Tory Association, nor on what you will unquestionably be doing in front of and behind the scenes to promote your chances of being selected as a candidate to fight next year's District Council Elections. The exchange between Mr Wells and you says enough. But I will comment on certain of your 11.48 remarks.

I am sorry you feel that playing back your own articulated views is "trying to cause trouble". I notice that you have yet to challenge Mr Wells in such terms, but then of course you are unlikely to do so as he is someone I presume you need to keep sweet to further your ambitions.

You should also steer clear of suggesting that someone who holds an opposing view to your own is "trying to cause trouble". Dangerous territory. You would also do well not to make offensive coment. In posting my thoughts I am expressing a point of view, as is every other contributor to Thanet Life. Whether it prompts a follow-up is of no consequence - certainly not to me. Some will agree with my views, some will not. I do not become hostile to those with views different from my own. I do challenge those who are inconsistent, or hypocritical. I definitely do not regard a response from you as a matter for congratulation. That comment is deplorably superior and condescending. That approach will win you few votes.

Your final remark about Clive Hart is ALL to do with "inspiring" him to bat back at you. Which demonstrates that YOU are the one seeking attention and "feedback".

Anonymous said...

What a complimentary and wayward thought that I am important enough anywhere to not be upset! I was merely trying to point out that sweeping generalisation doesn't help, and for political parties, for example, women only short lists, or indeed A lists are not always the route to success; partial success perhaps in that they address one imbalance, but that does not necessarily produce the best quality of representative once elected, merely a different set of problems!

Chris Wells

James Maskell said...

Where was I being "deplorably superior and condescending?

I did not say that "greener" Councillors will replace the current administration. I said nothing of the sort. The comment in 6:20 is making the point that the Conservatives will no longer run the administration, which is not what I said. I said:

"The Council elections are likely to see a shift. Im not entirely sure how, but I do think that the newer Councillors will, despite being more "green", will be able to bring a fresh approach to the Council, that will bring benefits."

Chris is right. Sweeping generalisations dont help. Indeed, I object to the A-List due to its active sexual discrimination. I said that I hope we have a broad range of candidates in next years elections. Of course we shouldnt impose quotas or discriminate based on certain characteristics, but this Council is not getting any younger...

As for Cllr Hart, I was responding to a previous commenter who had implied I was trying to get him to post here, which I wasnt. Defending myself on this site does not demonstrate attention seeking.

Martin Wise (Cllr.) said...

Your enthusiasm is laudable James, but "greener" Councillors bringing fresh ideas is not necessarily what is needed at the Council. With 56 members, 500+ staff and numerous consultation exercises with the public undertaken as part of the annual workload of the Council, we are not short of ideas.

What is needed is a a culture of prioritisation, planning, focus, action, follow-up i.e. management skills that will deliver the ideas. Establishing these is a painstaking process that requires the right calibre staff and members and cannot happen overnight in any organisation. This administration wrote "Change the Culture" in our Corporate Plan published 2 and half years ago, and this is still work in progress. We were not helped by a complete lack of a co-ordinated structure when we took control, or the need to pay for and deliver a new Waste, Street Cleaning and Recycling contract which we see as the number one priority of residents, and which has taken up massive amounts of officer time.

As the Cabinet member responsible for Improvement and Performance at the Council I am accutely aware of our problems and where we are not delivering the goods, but am confident that the right mechanisms are now in place to move forward.

A full list of our priorities for the coming year will come to Cabinet later this month, and I hope that everyone who comments on this site about the Council's failings will attend the meeting or ask for the papers so that they can see what we plan. Our quarterly Corporate Performance Pack (available on the TDC website) will track progress.

As for you personally James, you have had the opportunity to communicate ideas for future planning with me personally, but did not take up the invitation, which is still open. I understand that you are not now a member of the Conservative Party and plan to stand as an Independent. I think that you will be wasting your time, which is a shame, but that is your perogagtive.

Anonymous said...

The Cabinet Member for Improvement and Performance seems a little rattled by this debate. Perhaps he could advise how chocolate fountains help improve performance and how he will help given, I believe, he works full time over at Folkestone and will never be present when the people whose performance he is improving are working?

Anonymous said...

There are clear areas where the culture has changed, and some where it hasn't, which, will, presumably be Martin's first priorities in his new role. Martin was able to be a successful Cabinet member for resources whilst working, I'm sure he will manage again. The alternative, is ,of course, full time better paid Cabinet Posts, which will cost the Council Tax Payer more. Unlikely to be a popular move, I should think.

Lets see how the performance improves before we rush to judge. I'm sure Martin will be happy to be judged by how performance improves. That is now the litmus test of his success.

Chris Wells

Martin Wise (Cllr.) said...

The Cabinet member for I. & P. is not at all rattled by this "debate", and is very happy to use every opportunity to advertise what a completely disorganised shambles the management of TDC was before the Conservative administration took control. No service planning, no budget control, no monthly reporting, no prioritisation, etc., etc., etc..

The enormity of the task of management reform cannot be underestimated, although those with a grudge to bear will no doubt trivialise our efforts.

To ensure that the work of the Council is totally visible I instigated the "Quarterly Corporate Performance Pack" which is now on the TDC website to show what the Council is doing to rectify years of pervious neglect, and which is innovative in terms of what other authorities do.

The fact that Anon. 0914 thinks that Portfolio holders should spend much time at the side of those who do the work at the Council indicates how little he/she understands about the management of an organisation as diverse as a local authority. Strategic direction, monitoring and leadership are what is required, not day by day "sitting next to Nellie", where members get in the way rather than help.

The chocolate fountain jibe is cheap, and to be expected from someone not brave enough to give his/her name.

For the record, I believe this was a Unison lead initiative, which cost Council Tax payers little. The Council is an Investor in People employer, and we decided to participate in this national initiative to provide staff with opportunities to develop and learn. Staff development is an essential part of providing a good service and is something we were criticised for in the 2004 Comprehensive Performance Assessment by the Audit Commission. Employers who look after their staff and provide training opportunities usually benefit from a motivated, hardworking and productive workforce. Our staff are our most important asset and we value them greatly, that's why we provided this programme of learning and development opportunities. The chocolate fountains were wrong, and I have asked appropriate questions.

We know that we have much to do as a Council, and we know committed to doing what is right, not popular. Sometimes these are different.

DrMoores said...

Thanks for such an extensive reply Martin. Fighting back is good!

Anonymous said...

What a strange, but revealing, comment Doc? Mr Wise's comments earn him a congratulatory thump on the back from you, whereas strong arguments from anyone resembling a Labour supporter attract - from you - hostility and derision. You have suggested before that this site lambasts the Tory administration in Thanet, and is therefore "balanced". Many commentators do, but not you. You undertake sycophantic interviews with Handy Sandy, accuse any Gale critic of being spiteful and in need of professional help, and then egg Mr Wise on with "fighting back is good". You really are showing your true colours more and more each week. I would suggest a name change for the site - Thanet Tory Life. It would be so much more honest.

James Maskell said...

Are you criticising Cllr Wise for responding to a comment? Do you have any evidence to back up your comment that Simon "accuse any Gale critic of being spiteful and in need of professional help"? Showing true colours....when has Simon ever hidden it?

If you dont like the articles here, then dont read it. You certainly didnt need to go to all the effort to complain on the thread.

DrMoores said...

Get a life 7:49.. it's good to see any councillor "taking it on the chin" and responding. I don't really care whether that tasks falls to Cllr Wise or Pol Pot as long as they engage in the debate!

Anonymous said...

Mr Maskell, nothing I said reflects on Mr Wise or his comments on here - just on Mr Moores' reactions. And yes, there is plenty of evidence in many of the threads on here to back up my points. You have seen much of it yourself, and commented. And I thought the objective here was "community" debate for everyone - not just those who like the blue vein of thinking.

Mr Moores, you DO care where the comments come from, and are very strongly biased. No problem with that, but don't treat everyone like a fool by constantly denying it. You are using this site for political purposes. Just admit it. It's obvious to everyone.

Anonymous said...

How interesting it is that if Cllr Wise thinks the chocolate fountains are wrong, thats fine. From anyone else, its a cheap jibe?
There seems a certain pompousity in all this, a certain feel that Cllr Wise and his friends know what is better for us than we do ourselves. Seems very like the attitudes that have undermined the house of Blair.

Still proud to be...