Monday, May 11, 2009

On the Fly

The ATM cash machine in Westgate this morning looks as if someone has attempted to 'jemmy' the keyboard out. How this would provide access to the money is anyone's guess but I've drawn it to the attention of the service company and assume another call-out will follow.

I'm finding the regularity of these attacks rather depressing, as do, I'm sure many of the residents of Westgate who need the ATM machine as a source of cash. It's the kind of criminal activity or anti-social behaviour one might expect of inner London and sadly its increasingly in our faces here in Thanet.

Behind Somerfield and the grocer in Station Road there a service alley between the buildings and I was called-out to look at the results of some flytipping which has effectively blocked it, with the furniture contents of a house or flat; mattresses, furniture, documents and more.

As this is an unserviced road, there's very little I can do, I suspect, other than encourage the shops affected to have a whip-around for a man in a van to clear it away, as it falls outside the council's remit; although I'm still checking.

Clearly, another man in a van has been paid to remove the contents of a flat in Cuthbert Road, and rather than pay to take them to the KCC dump, has simply dumped the entire contents in the space behind Somerfield and the grocer. Along with these are documents that include the occupant's driving license, national insurance numbers, utility and Sky subscriber information, and other documents that lead me to speculate that the same person has been claiming benefits from several local authorities at once!

This reminds me of an event a few years ago when I was living in London and came home to find my drive blocked by a small mountain of builder's rubble. There were some documents in with this too and so I visited the address they referred to and discovered this was a house being re-decorated. The landlord had paid another 'Man in a van' to remove the rubble and he had; about 800 yards into my driveway.

He gave me the name of the 'company' involved and I called them to be met with a torrent of foul abuse and threats. Fortunately the landlord was a decent person and he had another company come along and clear-up the mess the next morning.

When I'm flying over Kent, between here and Rochester, I see regular evidence of fly-tipping in progress, particularly on the flatlands between Whitstable and Faversham and sometimes in clearing in the woods near Canterbury. It's a big problem and invariably the people involved simply get away with it or are 'untouchable' because you won't find them in the same spot for more than a few days and the police have little or no appetite to pursue them.

So, I'll make some calls and see if I can come any closer to resolving this particular problem

Finally and for those looking for an update on Lt Hafner's missing dog-tags, I had a conversation with the person holding them over a week ago now. I did tell him that I believed the proper action in the circumstances was to return his discovery via the Mayor of Margate to the US Air Force and we would all be very grateful for his cooperation.

As I haven't heard from him again, I'm going to ask Brian Sullivan, The Mayor of Margate to give him a personal call and see if we can find a solution that will satisfy him and recover the dog-tags to their proper place.


Peter Checksfield said...

Simon, have you (or others) approached any of the local stores to see if they'll consider having a cash machine installed? If Westbrook (which has far fewer shops) can have two in-store machines in addition to an outdoors machine then I don't see why Westgate can't.

DrM. said...

The local stores would be prepared to oblige, I feel sure but the ATM providers are not prepared to make the investment.