Friday, February 03, 2012

Thanet Watch

I reluctantly parted with 20p at the newsagent in Westgate this morning for an A3 double-sided broadsheet called 'Thanet Watch.' Having had a quick read and identified the origin at Red Hall in Broadstairs, I quickly identified the 'usual suspects' behind the print and asked the lady behind the shop counter if they plan to stock Socialist Worker or the Morning Star as well. Apparently it's selling quite well, so perhaps I should run and print-off my weblog and charge 20p a copy for that too?

Last night's Cabinet at Thanet District Council had two items that I wanted to comment on here. The first was of course the football club coming again from full council for some kind of decision on a way forward for Hartsdown park and the Travelodge hotel application. Strangely though, the extra football pitch seems to be back on the agenda, "We realise that an additional football pitch is something that’s important to the club", (Cllr Poole)  even after Clive Hart, dismissed the notion at the last council meeting with a fine speech about protecting green space.

I did ask if the council or its officers had received the information they had requested from Mr Piper and Margate Football Club in regards to negotiating a new lease and Cllr Poole avoided a direct answer. However, after the meeting I was told that we hadn't moved any further on the discussion since before Christmas, when I was still the Cabinet Member for planing, so the story continues. It's really time the fans started asking some searching questions of the club's owners, as more deadlines have passed and still nothing concrete appears to be happening in regard to both the detail and the constructive dialogue requested by the council in order to move forward.

I see that our new equality and diversity champion,  Cllr John Worrow, who is busy attempting to reinvent himself politically, having taken down his weblog, takes heavy criticism from Mike Pearce in today's Thanet Gazette (only 65p).  This takes me to the second item from last evening.

Readers will recall that Labour, with a political minority, is only in power, here in Thanet, because independents, John Worrow and Jack Cohen are keeping them there and so deals need to be done if we are to remain a beacon of socialism in a sea of Conservative councils

Outside of 'Special' responsibilities and titles, much of the hard bargaining surrounds the proposal for free parking in Birchington or more importantly that Birchington be treated differently - as a special case -  to other parts of Thanet.

Over the past weeks there has been a series of meetings between the councillors, parish councillor and council officers across Thanet to discuss this issue and I attended one in Birchington this week. While Jack Cohen arrived late, John Worrow didn't turn-up for what you would think would be an important debate.

To cut a long story short, councillors across Thanet have agreed that what I describe as 'The Balkanisation' of parking is not a good idea and what we need is a consistent charging policy, applied fairly for all the towns. I say 'councillors' but with two notable exceptions.

Last night Clive Hart offered to meet with the "Two Birchington councillors" to start the process of pushing through a policy that apparently  favours one part of the island over the others. He quite ignored the fact that there are more than two councillors in Birchington but if he is to remain the Leader of the Council, he needs the votes of Cllrs Cohen and Worrow. So 'sensible' and 'consistent' are two words in our local political lexicon that fly straight out of the Leader's window where those two gentlemen are concerned.

That's the nature of local politics under a minority Labour administration I'm sorry to say and I'm sure that influenced by the ambitions of Cohen and Worrow, there will be yet more strange decisions to come.


Anonymous said...

I saw this student-like rag this morning too, had a look at the front and decided 20p was too much for this rubbish (and I'm being polite).

Anonymous said...

Are you saying that the front page is inaccurate? In what way?

Anonymous said...

Couple of points:

1) The full quote from Cllr Poole is: "We realise that an additional football pitch is something that's important to the club and understand that they are looking at alternative sites." Why have you left off the last nine words?

2) With regard to Cllr Hart and the two Birchington councillors, that is just Realpolitik, surely? A Conservative leader in the same situation would have done no differently.

DrM. said...

"We realise that an additional football pitch is something that's important to the club"

When Cllr Hart was pressed on the matter by Cllr Bayford he evaded answering the question and this remains unanswered. Basically, nobody appears to be looking at anything unless you wish to share something that you know?

Anonymous said...

Is it true that Tesco were given final approval for the Arlington House store last night?

James Maskell said...

Given TDC isnt allowed to decide on Arlington anymore as its going to public inquiry next month and that it wasnt on the agenda last night, Im fascinated to hear where you got that idea from, 4:51pm.

DrM. said...


You should go and have a chat with the occupy Thanet group. I spent a chilly hour with them this afternoon and plan to write something tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

The shop assistant in Westbrook's Spar told me.

Tim Clark said...

Wasn't today Launch Day for the new Diversity and Political Correctness Gestapo?

Tim Clark said...

Wasn't today Launch Day for the new Diversity and Political Correctness Gestapo?

DrM. said...

No it's 10th February and everyone is excited by the promise of what's to come!

See below from John's weblog



1, A new official Diversity Blog will be launched on Febuary 10th

2, A Public Meeting is to be held to talk about the responsibility of Bloggers regarding the Racial and Religious Hatred Act, with the aim of recruiting voluntary Diversity Blog Wardens, known as DBWs.

DBWs will become the blog and social network equivalent of Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators and will focus on local blogs and social networks.
DBWs will look out for hate posts and will report them if it is thought the law has been broken.

It is important to remember that DBWs are voluntary workers, and like Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator, they will have no powers of arrest.

Ren Wood said...

1:35 Well isn't it a combination of inaccuracy and poor taste. The claim that the coming of a Labour administration in Thanet as being the final nail in Manston's coffin is hardly supported by the dithering on the issue so far.

Then they attack a very sick man with some cheap taste headline which I, as a Christian, find highly offensive. I wonder whether I should report it to the Diversity Champion or are left wing rags exempt from discrimination laws.

Tim Clark said...

That'll be the very sick man with the unfortunate record on fire safety then? As a Christian surely you should be glad for him that he is off to his eternal rest etc.