Friday, March 09, 2007

Conveniently Invisible

Margate, "Marked by its physical isolation and relative deprivation", in contrast with Brighton's buoyant economy. Discuss?

A quote from today's Thanet Gazette that describes Margate as "A run-down dumping-ground for families from inner cities" with eight times more children in care from outside the area than Tunbridge Wells, placing enormous strain on local resources.

The trouble is that out of sight is out of mind where the inner-city authorities are concerned and from the highest tower block in Lambeth, Thanet is conveniently invisible.

Thanet and Margate will never be able to fulfill its potential if it remains a place to lose other people's problems but how do we say "No" in large letters that central government will take notice of? Introduce border controls at St Nicholas perhaps?

What's your view, how do we make a new Brighton out of Margate beyond painting parts of it pink?


stuart said...

What's wrong with painting parts of it pink? There are many worse things that could happen to this area! Thanet has a gay community, albeit rather small and it would welcome the area becoming a bit more like Brighton!

Anonymous said...

Yesterday afternoon on the seafront around the westbay cafe area i witnessed something which ties in with this thread. Three boys aged about 11- 13 were jumping up and down on the roofs of the beach huts (in only a pair of shorts, in March!?) and generally making a nuisance of themsleves, swearing and shouting at passers by etc, anyone who remonstrated with these boys got a hale of verble abuse. This had been going on for quite a while when two alcoholics came wandering by and where involved in some sort of slanging match with the boys on the roof, they then plonked themselves on the chairs outside the cafe and tucked into their special brew, after a while the three boys came over and stuck up conversation with the alcoholics where upon they all proceeded to move away from the cafe over to the shelter under the cliff. They stayed under there for 25 odd minutes shouting, screeming and larking about, then they were joined by two young girls who also joined in the 'fun'. Que much overt sexual gesturing from the 'boys'. So to recap we have three unsupervised 'naughty' boys (i asume from their age they were either bunking off or in home) two alcoholics and two teenage girls, all hanging out together under a shelter, oh and by the way the alcoholics had a staffordshire bull terrier wondering around with them, with no lead! A more seedier picture you would be hard pressed to paint.

DrMoores said...

Did I say that there was anything wrong in painting it pink? In fact, Thanet will be welcoming "Gay Pride" this year and if the pink pound is one way of revitalising the area, then we can learn from Brighton!

Anonymous said...

Careful or you might oppress someone and then you will be in trouble!

Anonymous said...

Poor Thanet. As a former Birchington boy and Dane Court student who moved away some years ago, I am appalled at the way the place has fallen apart over time. I don't return very often but when I do, the area seemingly has little going for it other than the sea air. There are too many shabby looking people seemingly hanging about doing nothing, the place looks run down (especially Margate) and the whole area looks like it needs a bit of va va voom.

Anonymous said...

Grey is more appropriate than pink.......

Anonymous said...

We regarded Language schools as a major source of income into the area before numbers began to decline due to students being mugged. In a way, we should regard fostering as a means of bringing income in, as each child has a £300 package to carers attached. What annoys me are carers who effectively kick children, unable to get a place at school, onto the street for the day.

The Turner, (the TDC, KCC, SEEDA fiasco) will not do the job of regeneration but is it not time to let Waterbridge get on with sorting out Dreamland and Arlington Arcade. The festering eyesore needs sorting. TC began in 1999 and 8 years on all we have so far are some odd 'concept' blue cuboids to show for £7 million.

We must also consider the drain of all our money now being spent locally in big corporate run stores around Thanet and at Westwood. Other than employing locals on low p/t wages, these businesses spend or recycle almost nothing back into our local economy and we get a fraction of the business rates they pay!

Anonymous said...

If a council outside Thanet wants to send problem families here,they should pay for private rented accomodation for the 1st year at least.
According to the councils own housing rules-

Residential Requirement
In order to be considered for Council accommodation you must have been living in Thanet for the last twelve months. If you move away from Thanet but return to live in the area within twelve months, providing you have lived in Thanet for twelve months before you moved, you have the right to ask the Housing Options Manager to vary the normal residential requirement.

How can a family get a council home if this criteria is not met?

How can any newcomers to our small isle be housed almost the minute they get off the train?
I know of several families who have come here and jumped the queue ahead of long term residents who are waiting for a larger property and while i understand that everyone needs a place to live
they should go to the back of the queue until at least the year qualification is met.
As for children in local care,the council could limit places available and refuse to take more than it has places for.
Other councils should deal with their own problems in their own area,not send them to an already under pressure area like Thanet

Anonymous said...

Can't we send problem families back to the inner cities?

Sue said...

I sympathise with all the opinions expressed here but I must say that having lived in an inner city myself for many years, people who think Thanet is a dump have never lived in a dump.
The problems are noticeable and high profile because of the nature of the place and size of population. There ARE too many difficult kids and adults with major mental health and addiction problems being sent here. But believe me, Margate is still a lovely place to live compared to many other areas. The best thing is to persevere to try and make the place and atmosphere improve in what ever way you can.