Thursday, May 18, 2006

Not a Turner Contemporary but a Statue of Liberty

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

The New Colossus - Emma Lazarus.

Yesterday’s many comments and emails revealed a great deal of interesting information on building and planning in Thanet that we would have been hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

Estimates for the total number of new homes springing-up around the island in the near future, appear to be hovering at around 3,000, alongside the bombshell suggestion that the whole school system may have to be overhauled to cope with the changes. Nobody appears able to come-up with a solution to the inevitable traffic problem that will surround so many new homes, particularly around Westwood Cross and there’s a further question of how many of the new homes, if any, will be set aside for the social housing needs of the London boroughs?

Another piece of news in from a reader last night is that a large house in Westgate is rumoured to have been bought for just under £300,000 by drugs rehabilitation project as a treatment centre for addicts. I’m looking for independent confirmation from anyone please?

One could argue that Westgate is oversubscribed in the provision of homes and services for those occupying the margins of our society and this piece of news, if true, may be one step too far. We should be examining the local density of special homes, special schools and treatment centres and asking ourselves whether the small towns like Westgate, which are attempting to regenerate their local economies and their housing stock, are being, disadvantaged by becoming a focal point for social services problems from elsewhere in London and the South East?


Anonymous said...

Westgate already has quite a few "recovering" addicts, if you stand in Boots in the mornings waiting for your prescription to be filled you will see quite as few young people come in for their daily dose of methadone, they have to take it in liquid form standing at the counter. The Boots staff seem to know them by their first names and there has been no problem evident.

Anonymous said...

Oh No!i agree this IS one step too far.Why oh why when thanet has been dumped with problem people from the seventies till now should we have any more?westgate already has problems from the kids from the homes,please can we all try to stop this?Westgate has tried to regenerate itself AND has still got lots of good independant shops deli and restaurants etc.Why do we all have to be dragged down and not up...

Anonymous said...

Good to see a charity respondind so quickly to meet Thanets needs after the news that our men from Fort Hill had closed down our local weed farm.

Anonymous said...

Being a new person to Westgate and having only lived in the town for 43 years I despair. I sincerely hope that the information you have is not true.

worm said...

Presumably this would necessitate a planning application (hollow laugh) for change of use for the premises. We must be vigilante on the UK planning website!

Anonymous said...

Article in this weeks adscene reads:

"A detox unit to help hard drug users get clean and get their life back is being planned for Westgate.
Director and former drug-user Kenny Milne is hoping to set up Pathways House to give people a new start in life.

Mr Milne who has been clean for the past 5 years, is hoping to set up Pathways House in a £299,000 property in the area.......

.........Mr Milne claims plans to buy a property in Cliftonville were thwarted when council officers said they would not support the unit in a regeneration area but Westgate was suggested as an alternative"

The article is quite long. Page 24.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully if they're recovering drug addicts they will not be taking drugs. However this area of coast has had it's fair share of problems landed on it's doorstep. Everthing from London overspill to recovering drug addicts leads to a transient population and we now demand some stability.

worm said...

That is the crux of it. Thanet has become the b&b of the country. Cheaper to house people temporarliy here tha to provide proper housing for them in the boroughs of their origin.