A very unflattering view of Thanet from Nick Dorman - sounds familiar - and Jessica Boulton in yesterday's 'People" newspaper and thanks to Dave C. for passing it along to Thanet Life.
For a flavour of the sensationalist, colourful and palpably exaggerated article, from 'the so-called Sick-note-on-sea"how about:
"For the punters supping their pints in the historic bars of Margate, Kent, are no longer hard-working men and women on a well-earned seaside holiday.
They are the Benefits Boozers - the shameless dole-scroungers and sicknote cheats who flock to Margate from all over Britain to sign on by the sea."
It gets worse as you read on:
"Robert Walker, 32, who refused to give his surname, moved from Glasgow so he could scrounge thousands in benefits while living a holiday lifestyle.
He told The People: "I get £56 a week in income support, £75 housing benefit and a full discount on council tax worth £1,000 a year.
"I have signed on in Margate for nine months nowbut after a year my benefits go up.
I know people who've moved down from Middlesbrough and Sunderland too.
"Of course there are jobs around if people want them.
"There are loads of recruitment agencies for manual labourers, crop pickers, and so on but it's only the foreigners who can be bothered to do them. You are supposed to look for work but interviews are easy to get round.
"You just say you've got a bad back because doctors can't detect that and they write out a sick note."
There are hundreds of jobs up for grabs in Margate, ranging from office jobs to scores of labouring work.
But shockingly, more than 5,000 people in the town are still drawing benefits."
Ed: And herein lies the problem. Firstly negative media coverage of the kind that one might expect from a newspaper - I use that term loosely - like 'The People' and secondly, we can talk until the cows come home about the economic regeneration of Thanet but stories like this one are very unlikely to encourage a positive investment climate. While there is a some truth in the story, just walk into Cecil Square this morning to see it, the content illustrates how, in a relatively short period of time, we have become a dumping ground for everyone else's problems and feckless undesirables from as near as London and as far away as Glasgow.
Meanwhile, in a nice editorial touch we have the tale of 'Bearded Bob':
"In the historic Doggett Coat and Badge pub several customers admitted fiddling the system.
Bearded Bob Ward boasted how he claims benefits but earns £250 a day on top from his three jobs.
He moved to Margate from London and claims incapacity benefit, housing benefit and a carer's allowance totalling £10,000 a year."