Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A Brief Note

A short editorial note to the effect that in regard to judging comments to be in poor taste or not, I remain the ultimate arbiter. So if an individual chooses to sail 'close to the wind', I can quite easily remove not just one but all his or her present and past comments as a sanction, removing that person from the record.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the exercise of free speech. Just think of this weblog as being a bit like a pub from now on. The landlord reserves the right to toss out the troublemakers and will do but welcomes everyone who is civil and sober at any time!

Finally, after a flurry of unpleasant material this evening, I'm forced to turn-off anonymous comments. A step I haven't taken lightly. Sadly several twisted individuals have joined the 100,000+ visitors to ThanetLife and are hiding behind the anonymity that exists as a convenience to all. From now on, you'll have to be a registered user, a feature common to most chatrooms and forums. It means I can 'switch-off' the troublemakers more easily and our regular visitors sign their posts anyway.

If you have a comment which you feel is important enough to demand anonymity, then simply email to me and if it's appropriate, I'll post it for you, respecting your need to remain incognito.

19 comments:

Dane Valley Ted said...

I am not interested in a persons politics,But I still find it interesting to see other peoples take on things.
Dr Moores gives up a lot of his time to run this site and some good manners would go a long way to easing his workload,It's o.k to have a pop now and again,but the continuous aggro is spoiling a damn fine site.

On a lighter note,I think that as you are a pilot a centre position
is best.

James Maskell said...

What if you are civil, but drunk as a teenager on a Friday night? Indeed, its an oxymoron in Thanet but its a possibility...

I do wonder why these characters actually bother trolling. I know trolling is an activity with no real justification, but is there really that little to do on a Wednesday night?

Its disappointing that this has had to happen but I understand. I know this isnt the only blog/forum about Thanet thats has to resort to registered users.

DrMoores said...

I will aim to switch anonymous comments back in time but I hope everyone understands that I haven't the time or the interest to police my weblog on a constant basis to ensure that the malicious or emotionally disturbed don't use it as a platform for unpleasantness and personal attacks anyone who participates.

Cllr David Green said...

I've just managed to track down the "unpleasant" comments about me that someone commented on in an earlier thread. I must say Cllr Wise's comments are fairly mild compared to what the Tories call me in the Council Chamber!
Personal attacks on me, I expect, but when they take out their spite on the Ward I represent in Ramsgate, then I will call them for the unprincipled crowd of whatsits they are.
I ask Cllr Wise to respond here on the two major ward issues I've raised many times recently:-
The appalling temporary fence that has disfigured the Eastcliff for over a year now, put there because "urgent" work is required on the cliff face. When does he estimate this urgent work will start?
The second concerns the revolting graffitti on the Wills memorial. His failure to tackle this is an insult to Ramsgate and the Wills family, who were great benefactors to the town.

James Maskell said...

Come on now Dave, you accused the Council of corruption.

Chris said...

Its a shame it had to come to this...But Thanet life is a victim of its own success.

I am used to registering with forums ...so if we have to do it with Blogs...So be it.

Mr Friday said...

Let's hope it gets rid of some of the people who tend to frequent this forum.

I, for one, would hate to lose it.

Bob of Kent said...

anon again!

I hope you didn't mean me?
Who was that Potts woman anyway?
Really strange!

Old Codger said...

I thought she might be Eastcliff Richard; funny and witty but in small doses perhaps.

On the subject of Bloggers only rule, Dr Moores, it has required me to seek some IT assistance to sort out how to be a blogger and return to Thanetlife to comment. I accept that anonymous venom is galling but the pleasure of Thanetlife for the past 6 months has been the ability just to join in with or without names/labels and it has probably attracted many more visitors as a result who were prepared to comment. Is it me or has the comment rate already crashed? Please return to an anonymous policy if you can before people get fed up of Old Codger; they probably are already!

Martin Wise (Cllr.) said...

David - I learnt spite from you and your Group. It is what politics has been for many many years in Thanet thanks to the Labour Group, and which you still preach in the Chamber. I regret it and sincerely wish that it wasn't that way. I will never start it, but if you tell porkies or spin any story, I promise I will respond.

We have put the business of the Council up for public scrutiny in a way you never did, or would ever do. e.g. Monthly Performance Packs for Members + Quarterly Performance Pack on the internet for the public. I will speak at Scrutiny next week in a warts and all presentation to show what we are doing to improve the performance of the Council on specific priority areas in as candid and honest manner as is possible. It was my decision to go to Scrutiny, and insist also that every other Cabinet member does the same.

As for your comments regarding the Eastcliff I am not aware that you have EVER raised this in a formal manner with me or anybody else. You may have whinged about it in private converstaion, although I do not recall it in either of the (2?) conversations we have ever had. The Council has put money aside to repair the cliff face, and work will commence to coincide with construction of the Pleasurama site when final papers are signed. If you wanted something done you have never said what that is, or offered any positive contribution for practical solution. So you have failed Ramsgate by not bringing forward a project - or do you expect someone else to do that for you? You have your Member's fund, and the Charter Trustees raised their precept by 100% several years ago, + the EAP would have been glad to support any ideas you brought forward. Shame on you for your criticism, which is your stock in trade, and your inability to work with us to makes things better.

As for the Wills Memorial graffiti, you are well aware that this is a problem that has been around long before the Tories took control of the Council, but which is a matter that I have personally put on the Agenda of the EAP and for which we have received an iniitial report that will be followed up in due course. We have considered removal of the graffiti using the usual means but have been advised that this would destroy the fabric of the monument, which it is estimated will cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to restore. The money to pay for this will only come from sale of Council assets (your governments direction) but you have objected to the sale of the Pleasurama site and Albion House, and your group has opposed the sale of just about every asset we have put up. So where would you get the money from to match fund refurbishment of this monument? And is it your priority for the ward? We have made an effort with the paths, plantings and clean up of the memorial. There is a mechanism in place to report any issues and I am not aware that you have used it. Once again you expect others to do your basic job for you - shame.

While we are talking about your ward and Ramsgate as a whole, just a reminder (from the top of my head) that the Council under Conservative control has:
- provided £750,000 match funding for the Westcliff Conservation Area.
- refurbished the Viking Ship: £150,000.
- refurbished the Italianate Greenhouse: £90,000.
- contibuted to the refurbishment of the Pugin House £100,000.
- secured funds to ensure the continued operation of the Madeira Walk waterfall.
- changed major contracts to clean up rubbbish and graffiti. Improvements will continue - use the Streetline to report issues.
- restored monuments:
* Destiny cost £5,700 - funding was English Heritage (Max. 50%) £2,300, Friends of War Memorials Small Grants £300, Ramsgate Society £250, Eastcourt School £250, TDC £2,600. The Ramsgate Charter Trustees donated the cost of the initial conservation condition report, but no more.
* Pugin's bust: Total cost £3,362.08 (ex VAT), funded by TDC's Environmental Action Programme.
- increased the grounds maintenance budget to provide more flowers. The Eastcliff is looking particularly attractive at present. If you have ideas for additional planting schemes for your ward, then let us know how we can help.
- Light fittings: Funded by KCC and Heritage Lottery Fund, with great input from TDC officers inspired by the EAP.
- facilitated new decorative lighting in Ramsgate.
- given grant funding to the Eastcliff Resident's Association to help stage events.
- given massive new support to the Town Partnership to support core activities plus secure events. Your Group never secured the funding for the Power Boat Grand Prix, fireworks or anything else that would help create interest.

All these measures have been taken in our first 3 years of our administration. Think that you should give credit where it is due, but then that this is not in your nature? There is plenty more to do, we are a long way from perfect. But the things that need doing are mostly not party political - they are basic housekeeping, management and common sense. I won't remind you how badly you failed to play your part in delivering the systems and practices we needed when you were in office, but will look forward to doing that on another day.

Cllr David Green said...

I will refrain from responding to the personal attacks, but try to stick to the issues:

The ugly temporary fence along the Eastcliff prom has now been in place for 14 months. (that is, two visits from the Dunkirk little ships and two power boat Grand Prix). The engineer’s report said the work was urgent. If the money is in place, why has the work not begun by now? Indeed why has it not been completed by now? I fail to see what project I was supposed to bring forward, or what relevance the £1000 for community projects is to this issue.
Let me be absolutely clear, I want work to commence on site in October of this year and be completed by April of next year. If Cllr Wise needs my community grant to do this, he can have it. If he wants money from Ramsgate Charter Trustees, he must apply like anybody else.

Cllr Wise is correct, the Wills memorial has been a long standing issue. I am disappointed he has not shared his report with me. For the record, I have never opposed the sale of the Pleasurama Site. I have tried and I hope succeeded in ensuring that any development remains below the cliff top and that the roof is landscaped. I’m not even opposed totally to the sale of Albion House if a way can be found for it to remain available to the public to use and enjoy. I am actively working for the formation of a trust to do that. I’m sorry though that he links the issues, implying perhaps that only money available to spend in Ramsgate has to be raised by sale of assets in Ramsgate. Is this a less than subtle form of blackmail?

By the way, yes the plantings on the promenade do look nice this year.

Cllr David Green said...

The rest of Martin's spin took a moments thought to reply too!
While we are talking about your ward and Ramsgate as a whole, just a reminder (from the top of my head) that the Council under Conservative control has:
- provided £750,000 match funding for the Westcliff Conservation Area.
Applied for and secured under the previous administration, admittedly to their credit the Conservatives did honour the arrangement. Incidently, it applies to the whole of the Ramsgate Seafront, £1.5M compared with £3M+ of Labour Government money going into Cliftonville alone, £9M already spent on the Turner Centre

- refurbished the Viking Ship: £150,000.
Not in Ramsgate, in Cliff’s End Parish, John Kirby’s Ward

- refurbished the Italianate Greenhouse: £90,000.
Not in Ramsgate, In Broadstairs

- contributed to the refurbishment of the Pugin House £100,000.
How much, from what budget?

- secured funds to ensure the continued operation of the Madeira Walk waterfall.
Waterfall restored under previous administration

- changed major contracts to clean up rubbish and graffiti. Improvements will continue - use the Streetline to report issues.
Conceded, but hardly focused on Ramsgate

- restored monuments:
* Destiny cost £5,700 - funding was English Heritage (Max. 50%) £2,300, Friends of War Memorials Small Grants £300, Ramsgate Society £250, Eastcourt School £250, TDC £2,600. The Ramsgate Charter Trustees donated the cost of the initial conservation condition report, but no more.
Conceded, but would not have happened without my intervention with Charter Trustees, a rare example of joint working.

* Pugin's bust: Total cost £3,362.08 (ex VAT), funded by TDC's E A P
Conceded

- increased the grounds maintenance budget to provide more flowers. The Eastcliff is looking particularly attractive at present (pity about the fence?). If you have ideas for additional planting schemes for your ward, then let us know how we can help.
Only restoring budget cut previously.

- Light fittings: Funded by KCC and Heritage Lottery Fund, with great input from TDC officers inspired by the EAP.
No funds from TDC, initiative by County Cllr Elizabeth Green, Absolutely nothing to do with EAP

- facilitated new decorative lighting in Ramsgate.
No funds from TDC, came from KCC, secured by County Cllrs Alan Poole and Elizabeth Green

- given grant funding to the Eastcliff Resident's Association to help stage events.
Conceded £6K
- given massive new support to the Town Partnership to support core activities plus secure events.
Conceded, but dwarfed by Margate Airshow alone

Martin Wise (Cllr.) said...

We could argue about figures all day, and who started what, when. My point is that you always paint the picture black to suit your own narrow political ends, when a common front and working together would be more appropriate for the issues you describe.

Your intention seems always to run the Council down in public, on whatever issue you can. Is that really the role of a modern councillor - to create a never ending stream of innuendo and half truth that has a debillitating effect on the confidence and morale of Council staff and the public?

Anonymous said...

It would seem that Councillor Green has proved his case and won the argument, Councillor Wise. Telling, but a pity, that you have to resort to personal criticisms in return.

Chris Wells said...

An important and simple technical point David. The previous labour administration applied and failed twice to achieve the heritage lottery money for Ramsgate. It was my knowledge and specialist intervention that changed that in 2003, travelling to London to meet the relevant grants officers and making the necessary changes to the application process here in Thanet. It is frustrating it has taken so long to start moving on the ground, but for you to claim the credit after two failures over two years plus, when I was able to turn it into success in a few weeks is a little galling to say the least!

Martin Wise (Cllr.) said...

I don't take much notice of "Anonymous" in this forum Anonymous 11:24. Think that you must have a political axe to grind, and most certainly do not have much courage for your convictions.

Cllr David Green said...

I wasnt involved directly in the bid Chris, so if you say it was your intervention in a few days that made the difference then I have to take your word for it.
All I know is that before you were elected it was apparent that the bid would be dependent on delivering promises concerning the previous scheme in Margate and in being able to demonstrate good community support. What was the third thing?

iris johnston said...

In 1995 Thanet Council under Labour invited English Heritage to tour the Island and see where they could help us. We promoted all that was good and worth preserving.Members, especially Councillors Patrick Sebastian and Sid Farmer and later Councillor David Green with officers(Trevor Herron and Nick Dermott) played a major role in getting several areas recognised and designated Conservation areas. English Heritage were very impressed and it started a relationship which has led to substantial funding coming into Thanet.Councillor Wells was not a Councillor when all of this started.

I recall a useful walk through Ramsgate with Gerry O'Donnell,the Shonk brothers and Mr Kirkaldie to hear their views. I cant say that I recall Mr Wells ever speaking to anyone about Ramsgate or indeeed Margate's heritage in the 24 years I have been involved in local politics!

My Open Spaces working party had highlighted the problems at the Wills Memorial which we had partially cleaned. More funds and expert advice was required to finish the job.

The Viking Ship after years of 'promises' of money by a private individual that came to nothing was included for renovation in Labour's 2003 budget. The Conservatives followed this through as most of the money later required was already agreed. The Power boat Grand Prix was of course funded by Labour despite Councillor Wise's misinformation. We were lucky enough in the first year to get Intereg funding.

English Heritage told me in 1995 that Ramsgate had more important buildings than Bath. Keep up the good work Dr Moores. Best wishes Iris Johnston.

Martin Wise (Cllr.) said...

Funny how eveyone has different recollections.

As Chris says, the first Ramsgate bids failed. Without his intervention and specialist knowledge, and our committment to put up the necessary match funding, it wouldn't be happening.

Total refurbishment of the Wills Memorial will cost many hundreds of thousands of pounds. Regular cleaning and light maintenance is necessary and is the responsibility of ward councillors to monitor and take up as necessary until further funding requirements can be met.

There was no Council money committed to the Viking Ship when we took office.

An annual contribution to funding the Power Boat Grand Prix by TDC was not in the budget when we took control. In our first budget we committed £50,000 to secure a number of annual events, and designated another £40,000 in the following year to establish new events. In the past year we have continued our committment by giving additional funding to the Town Partnerships in Margate and Ramsgate to both stage events, and secure their future.

For the record, the Council financial committment on the Air Show does not exceed that for the Power Boat Grand Prix.