Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Lonsdale Story

With luck, Thanet North MP, Roger Gale, has fought-off an attempt by Metropolitan Resources Ltd to use the Lonsdale Hotel in Cliftonville as a processing centre for ‘Failed’ asylum seekers. He’s made it very clear that Thanet is “Resistant” to any idea of introducing further asylum resources to an area that both Thanet District Council and Kent County Council have targeted for urgent regeneration and that the present use of the Nayland Rock Hotel for such purposes is quite enough for Margate, as I’m sure most readers would agree.

The resistance to this new proposal is very much a consequence of the efforts presently being made to return the Nayland Rock to use as a quality hotel and the continued regeneration of Margate Central and Cliftonville West as two of the most disadvantaged areas of South-east England. Thanks to ten years of Government policy, we have a fragmented and largely transitory population with a turnover in excess of 34% and some of the highest levels of crime and anti-social behaviour in the county.

In addition to the existing figures, we now have to include Eastern-European migration over the last two years, with some of the local schools now reporting that over 50% of their intake this year is from the families of new economic migrants.

Given the investment and the commitment being made by a Conservative-led Thanet District Council in an attempt to turn Margate around in the face of enormous challenges, both socially and economically, I suspect that most Thanet voters would agree with Roger Gale and the council and ask Metropolitan Resources to take their project somewhere else.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

Yes I absolutly agree with you Doc.It would be fantastic if the Nayland Rock was turned into the great hotel it used to be.Margate seafront is the wrong place for anything else..good for roger.

Anonymous said...

Right behind you and roger Gale on this one. In regard to E European youngsters crowding into our schools, were we not told by this Labour Government that most of the million plus who have come our way without any restrictions or controls (imposed by some of our EU partners)are youngsters taking a 'gap' year and would be returning? The evidence of whole families means permanent residence! So we are covering England in concrete and building Westwood Cross to accommodate a veritable flood of permanent immigrants. Bally marvellous, better learn Polish.

Tony Beachcomber said...

A typical conservative reaction, as predictable as ever pull out the johnie foreigner race card when ever in trouble to deflect from issues such as the counci budget.
Of course the issue of using Margate hotels to house failed asylum seekers is a serious one. But the real issue here is the decline of our tourism and leisure economy which is allowing this sort of thing to happen in the first place.What improvements have the "Conservative led" council made in a commitment to the Tourism and Culture economy in Thanet in the past four years?
The Tudor house is falling to bits,museums under threat of closure, the Dreamland site is stalling yet again, The Flagship Turner project is going around in circles costing the earth, Cliftonville still looks a tip, the arlington arcade is as appealing as a communist eatern bloc shopping center.
At present the Conservative controlled council may be trying but they are not delivering at present are they?

DrMoores said...

Hardly Tony, it's simply an interesting but important local story and has no link whatsoever to your valid museum concerns.

Given the record, I think you have to concede that some real progress has been made in regard to tourism initiatives, the Air Show being but one. On the side of the coin, I never fail to be surprised by people's confusion when it comes to Margate seafront and the High Street and the problems associated with private ownership of large swathes of property.

What he council would like to do - e.g Arlington - and what it can do to move the glacially slow negotiating process forward, are two totally separate issues and I'm sure you know that?

Tony Beachcomber said...

I agree the Air show is a successfull event but it doesn't make a tourist season. Tourist and liesure seasons used to run from Easter to September.

Run down private property is a problem and so is run down TDC property like the Tudor House.
Perhaps the Arlington and Dreamland issues are painfully slow due to issues surrounding the complex ownership. But there seems to be paifully slow progress around the Old Town, the private property owners and business's do need a bit of confidence pumped into the area by TDC. Closing the museum, a dilapidated Tudor House, increased parking charges are sending out the wrong messages.

Sometimes it takes a small thing to either make or break an area, the straw that broke the camels back as far as the Old Town is concerned, was when the buses ceased terminating at the parade. The passing trade for the buses used the local business's which kept them ticking over. By staying open the area looked nice. This attracted people and hobby shops then opened up. Then a few antique/ collectors markets started because of the space and because people visited the area. This put the market place on the collectors circuit and then a small auction house opened. All this put a steady flow of people into the area. This is fact.
Once the catylist of the buses was taken away and then parking charges introduced the decline began. There is nothing there to ignite people interest to make them want to visit it.

Anonymous said...

Actually from the point of view of a resident the Air Show this year was not a success. The rides were £2.50 a head which meant those of us with more than one child had to spend a small fortune to do things while we were there. It was better the year before when yes we had to buy tickets there were no funfair rides.

tony flaig bignews said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeremy Jacobs said...

I'd love to know what the inflammatory Mr Flaig wrote Simon.

Anonymous said...

So would i, he is normally a very balanced commentator.

DrMoores said...

No idea, it was gone before I saw it!

Tony seems a little cynical in his commentaries at the moment!

James Maskell said...

I live round the corner from the Lonsdale Hotel and strongly believe it complete madness to consider this area as appropriate for such a centre. We need to be getting the problem away from the most deprived areas, rather than concentrating the problem further. Thanet has enough problems to deal with as it is.

"the real issue here is the decline of our tourism and leisure economy which is allowing this sort of thing to happen in the first place"

Blaming tourism and leisure for the Government proposing this is in no way a justification. If anything, that should be a reason for the Government NOT to propose it here because surely they wouldnt want to further ingrain the problems that exist...would they Tony?

Interesting how Tony also brings up the race card, as if to discuss immigration confirms you as a racist, which of course, is complete tosh. Unfortunately, this is exactly why a full debate on immigration cannot happen.

Anonymous said...

The proposal is for first stage asylum not failed asylum seekers, not that this really changes much but people will not be waiting for deportation. The proposal uis for 150 beds with a high turnover expected as people are usually dispersed within 2 weeks