Friday, September 04, 2009

Inside Thanet

As much for my own reference as anything else, this latest information from the Thanet & East Kent Insider.

It reports that the the average median wage for a full-time worker in a Thanet workplace is just £384.40 whereas for a Thanet resident it is £426.80 [Nomis 2008].

From figures such as these it becomes abundantly clear why economic regeneration is such a high priority objective, particularly when one sees Thanet's overall position in the indices of deprivation.

The collective challenge we all now face, is that with public spending to be slashed to unprecedented levels, every practical opportunity has to be taken in order to make our small island attractive to inward business investment and with it, any opportunity for new jobs and skills.

Glancing briefly at the statistics in the illustration and shrugging them off simply isn't an alternative, when you consider the future consequences of such a large unskilled workforce, almost a quarter of the population in households with no working parent and our over-reliance on the public sector as the largest local employer.

So when opportunities, such as The China Gateway appear or even the more controversial suggestion for further development of the airport, perhaps we should be taking a more sanguine and pragmatic view of the future and what we expect from our own place in it?

What do you think?


Peter Checksfield said...

I'm surprised that none of the local blogs seem to have mentioned the excellent news on the front of today's Gazette that Tesco are going to open a store at Arlington Arcade as well as refurbish Arlington House. While I'm never over-keen on big chains like Tesco dominating areas, I believe that this is still excellent news for the grubby Westbrook end of Margate of Margate, particularly if other shops, a surgery, a hotel etc are also built. It even solves the two biggest criticisms we're forever hearing about Thanet shopping outside of Westwood Cross in that there's ample parking space already there (& which will apparantly be improved further), & both bus & train links are very close. Arlington House, The Turner Centre, the return of Dreamland, a refurbished Winter Gardens...even without the airport & China Gateway things are looking rather more positive for Margate if all these things go ahead!

Anonymous said...

The airport has not much to do with Margate and everything to do with Ramsgate, Herne Bay and the villages. I'm glad to see some hope for Margate but not at the expense of two towns who are already on the up.

I would not mind the airport expanding if those two significant East Kent towns were protected by Thanet Council with stringent controls but TDC's track record on implementing or enforcing anything is woeful when it comes to its big business mates (although it seems happy to bully smaller businesses which in my opinion are the way forward for the island).

As for statistics you know as well as I do that they can be manipulated to suit whatever purpose. The 25% of households with a parent out of work would surely include all the Kingsgate double glazing millionaires whose wives do nothing apart from driving back and forth to the tanning parlour in their 4x4s.

JP said...

Thanks for the figures - though they would of course be more illuminating if they were set against some historical data. A snapshot like this gives us no indication of trends.

Opportunities should always be assessed but ones that come at a high cost need special attention. We must be prepared to let those opportunities whose costs outweigh potential benefits go.

Further development of the airport along the lines laid out in the masterplan and in the nightflights proposal would have a damaging effect on my own business, resulting in the stunting of its growth and less jobs as a consequence.

DrM. said...

I think it says 23% of households with "NO" working parent. Either way, you would need rather alot of double glazing millionairres to support your argument I suspect!

DrM. said...

I think you'll find earlier data sets sprinkled through this weblog over the years. That said however, some of our local challenges are not improving and I believe that many people would agree that we need energetic and positive action to reverse the trends we can see here.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, my mistake, yes it does say 'no' working parent. In that case Dad must have retired from his double glazing business. Having already ensured every Victorian property on the island has plastic windows, I suspect the opportunities for double glazing millionaires are somewhat limited these days anyway.

An alternative view of these families with no working parent might be that both are still attending school!