Thursday, November 19, 2009

Indian Evening

I had dinner at the Indian Princess in King Street Margate last night. This was I thought the kind of restaurant that Margate needs, to reverse the prevailing perception of a crumbling façade. It encouraged a vision of what could be possible with successful regeneration and a finished Turner Contemporary and the food was truly excellent.

Not having been there before, I had thought it was an 'Indian' restaurant in the classic sense but it's not. Or as one person who arrived after us commented, "What do you mean you don't do curries, it's an Indian isn't it?"

The Indian Princess is very much nouvelle cuisine in the South Asian style and so I wouldn't recommend going there if you are ready to eat a small Elephant or you might have to visit McDonalds on the way home to top up. Small portions of delicately and beautifully prepared food is what you get and my only criticism was that the service on a Wednesday night was of a glacial slowness. And don't ask if they have any Popadums to nibble on while you wait or you can expect to be put firmly in your place, as I was. "We don't do Popadums!" Almost as if I had insulted them!

Anyway, a delightful meal and well worth the visit but beware of the bar costs as you may need a well padded wallet to buy a litre of Cobra beer.

This morning, I'm seeing Inspector Pearson from Margate, to give me an update on anti-social behaviour in Westgate and the results of the police initiative to date. The British Transport Police haven't made contact as promised by their Chief Constable yet but I assume it will happen in due course.

I did notice on the BBC this morning the report on a management company called Consensus and the related story of how elderly people in serviced retirement blocks, of which we have a great many in Thanet, are struggling with the charges. This is one of the more common problems that I see as a councillor or indeed crops up at Roger Gale's constituency surgeries. I have the sense that the most vulnerable in our society are being impossibly squeezed in their retirement by quite unreasonable demands and I strongly believe that this is something that Government should be investigating with some urgency.

Back in the world of high finance in the economy, I keep reading comments left for me elsewhere that remind me of the manifest wonders delivered to us by this Labour Government. Today, however, The Times reports the Government was forced to borrow £11.4 billion in October to meet its bills - the worst figure for the month since records began in 1946.

Apparently tax receipts collapsed by £4.1 billion compared with October 2008 while spending was £4.5 billion greater, as the recession took its toll on corporate profits and consumer spending while welfare payments a subject which concentrates the mind here in Thanet, surged.

Total public sector net debt grew to £829.7 billion, equivalent to 59.2 per cent of total national output, by the end of October.

From a local government point of view it's equally worrying to read that the public sector current budget, which excludes public investment, worsened from a £2.2 billion surplus in October 2008 to a £7.7 billion deficit last month.

This fiscal year, public sector net borrowing has reached £86.9 billion, compared to £33.9 billion at the corresponding point last year.

Cut the figures anyway you like and you are still left with a financial challenge of unprecedented magnitude facing any Government unhappy enough to win an election and rule the country in the coming five years.


Peter Checksfield said...

You should check out traditional West Indian food if you ever get the chance, though unfortunately you won't be able to get it in Thanet. I had an Antiguan stepdad who used to prepare the most amazing food.

Ken Gregory said...

sounds similar to the pub that was formerly Harveys in ramsgate, small over priced portions and a load of pretentious ' DFTW's' who want to make thanet their own personal recreational holiday home