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?