Last week, I promised a column to celebrate Labour's first hundred days of power here in Thanet, listing the Party's many rapid achievements and initiatives since independent Councillors Jack and John handed them the council in December. The problem however, is that the wheels are now falling-off Clive Hart's administration, so quickly now, that even with the most generous intentions, it's really quite hard to find anything of any real substance which has succeeded since December, which wasn't already a council initiative or policy in progress. Quite frankly, wearing a suit and camping-out in the council offices, simply because there is nowhere else to go for a day's work, doesn't always make an effective political administration.
One has to retain a sense of humour in local politics and I read that the local rag has gleefully picked-up a quote from Clive that all his problems are a consequence of 'dithering' by me and my colleagues in the previous Conservative administration.
I've been accused of a great many things over the last few years but being a ditherer hasn't been among them; quite the opposite in fact.
Back to the news from Margate Football Club for a moment. Readers will recall much striding around, a personal examination of each blade of grass at Hartsdown Park and quite frankly, the wool being vigorously pulled over the eyes of the public and the club's supporters, by Margate's Mayor, Cllr Iris Johnston.
The Thanet Gazette, in the form of reporter Thomas Brown, were no help to anyone, as they seem absolutely unprepared to ask the really important questions, even when I told them what they were. The paper appears to have pinned its colours firmly to the belief that between them, Clive and Iris could wave a magic wand over Hartsdown Park and a new hotel would appear within weeks.
There's a great deal of the football club story that the fans don't know and I would encourage them to ask searching questions of the club, rather than simply lay the blame for Travelodge's decision on council officers. The decision could have been made before Christmas, when it was on my Cabinet agenda, but it wasn't and the rest is, I'm sorry to say, history.
I'm told that the application for a new Sainsbury's at Hundreds Farm in Westgate has now been submitted and next week, I've a meeting with Councillor King and Trader's representative Reg Bell, to decide on the next step towards calling a public meeting which can involve both Birchington and Westgate interests.
This week, I also discovered that an application is being prepared for a small Tesco store in Station Road, Westgate, in the disused railway strip opposite Beano's cafe. and the new tapas bar, opening soon
This really did take me by surprise and there is a story attached. When the developer originally put in plans for this very tight spot, I was minded to oppose them but reached a compromise, which involved four small commercial shop units, in keeping with the style of the village, which might attract new businesses locally.
Mr Ellis received earlier planning approval for commercial use but now reportedly wishes to change the proposal quite radically. I'm quite unimpressed by this and do not believe that a Tesco store on this narrow spot is in any way appropriate; parking being the least of my objections.
It very much looks as if Westgate is now being squeezed tightly between the interests of Sainsbury's and Tesco and while that might be a good thing for shoppers' choice, I consider it a really bad position for local traders to find themselves in, so I will be keeping readers informed of what's happening as the weeks pass.