Wednesday, February 21, 2007

King George Reprieved

A huge sigh of relief from the direction of Ramsgate with news that plans to dispose of the former parks depot site at King George VI Park in Ramsgate have been withdrawn by Thanet District Council.

Cabinet Member for Development Services, Cllr. John Kirby, took the decision after local residents and groups objected to the proposals. It had been hoped that the disposal of the land would help to stop vandals getting access to the recently restored Italianate Greenhouse nearby, which has had a number of glass panes smashed in recent months, with replacements for each pane having to be individually made.

Cllr. Kirby said: "The disposal of Council owned sites is often an emotive issue and especially so in this particular case. I have received many comments from both local residents and groups on this subject and have carefully considered them, which is why I have decided that the proposal for this piece of land will be withdrawn. Our primary concern remains the future of the Italianate Greenhouse, a beautiful structure, which has recently been restored at considerable cost. It continues to be targeted by vandals and we will not allow this to continue.

Therefore, we will be looking at alternative ways to preserve its future and keep it safe from vandals. Of course, there will be a cost to this, but I am sure that everyone will agree that the Italianate Greenhouse is well worth the investment."

He added: "We will continue the process of looking at all the assets owned by the Council and ensuring that they are providing good value for local residents. Where they are not, then we do need to carefully consider whether these assets can be put to a better use or whether they should be disposed of, to help provide the facilities that local people want. This Council is committed to consulting with local residents and using their views to ensure that the Council's priorities reflect those of the local community. We are currently asking people for their views on the future of swimming pools in the area and whichever option people back, money will be required to improve our swimming facilities for future generations to come. We are also looking at the Council's aims for the next four years and all of the priorities that are eventually agreed will require resources. It's something we can't get away from and with an increasing funding gap in the money we receive from local government, we've got to look carefully at any other ways of raising income."


Mr Friday said...

The swimming pool issue seems like a bit of a no-brainer. Ramsgate and Hartsdown pools are disgraceful and it is clear that we do not need 2 pools in such close proximity.

To build a custom-built pool near the running track at Marlowe Academy seems to make perfect sense and is an opportunity that we cannot afford to miss.

Renovating the existing pools will be like spray-painting an old banger and expecting it to run like a Rolls Royce.

Anonymous said...

Commonsense from TDC? Must be getting close to elections.

Cllr David Green said...

TweedleDum really hasnt a clue. Panic in the face of a vocal protest is almost as bad as trying to sneak the proposal through in the first place.
These proposals were put together at not inconsiderable expense by the Council's hard pressed planning department. I assume that someone with some knowledge thought they had merit. Consultation means examining the pro's and con's in public, not withdrawl at the first sign of trouble. This is at least the forth "disposal" of assets brought forward and then dropped in this way, Albion Place Carpark, Albion House, Dane Park Depot, now King Geotge VI Depot.
Could I suggest that policy and methodogy needs revision?
My suggestion some months ago was that the first option should be a public examination of alternative public uses for all property considered "surplus". Kirby wouldnt listen then, perhaps he will now?

Anonymous said...

so if we have problems with vandals the answer is to sell the offending structure or surounding area,
good answer,
when are they going to dispose of magate and all the tdc vandals

worm said...

It does seem mad to deal with vandalism by either ceasing maintenance or disposing of sites altogether. Staffing public toilets for example would easily justify the money in damage not done.
The windows may have been damaged at night but park attendants would prevent a lot of damage being done in the day time.
No staffing is a false economy.