Friday, November 16, 2012

Lost for Comment

All life is here or more accurately, some of life's more unusual internet search terms end-up on my weblog.
Station Rd - Westgate on Sea

Yesterday's more interesting searches included: "Foreign girls massage in Margate Kent" and "Sex offenders in Cliftonville," which says rather more about our local problems than I could possibly speculate.

I'm waiting for the results of the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner elections and based-upon what I saw in Westgate yesterday, I'm not encouraged by the turnout and I see that's 15.1% in Thanet, with 14,671 votes. In Kent as a whole it's 16% with Independent, Ann Barnes, streets ahead in what looks very much like a firm vote against the main political parties and Labour in particular. When I voted late yesterday morning, only sixty people had gone through the polling station and that kind of turnout or indeed apathy could never give even the most optimistic of politicians, any claim to a popular mandate.

Kent Police Commissioner Election Turnout
An informed source also told me yesterday, that property in Adrian Square has been recently purchased by agencies outside of Thanet to house the vulnerable. In fact, I had been walking the area with a journalist. However, if the information is in anyway correct, it coincides with my own worries, a consequence of simple observation and local anecdote and expressed here in the past, that Westgate may be now be an attractive target for displacement. I will be making inquiries because I personally believe that any community under financial stress, as we are, should be sensibly balanced. We can see only too clearly, here in Thanet, what can happen when 'market forces' in welfare, take advantage of our low property prices and large buildings.

I believe, that as a community, we have a right to know if we are subject to changes outside of our own local democratic control and given the financial pressures that now face London's authorities. If we are not consulted then at the very least, we need to be vigilant to what is taking place around us.


Anonymous said...

What exactly is Sir Roger doing about this,he must be aware as it is his government allowing this to happen and in fact causing this situation by capping the housing benefits and leading to this form of social cleansing of london.

1 o'clock Rob said...

I confess to postal voting as I much prefer it. Ann Barnes to me was the only candidate I could vote for as I'm not in favour of electing anyone to that office who is representing a political party. Also voting for Ann meant that you were voting for someone with experience of dealing with Kent Police already and not an accountant, barrister or whatever the Labour lady did as I never found out.

On to Westgate... is there nothing that highlights these purchases by outside agencies? If they are buying property to house the vulnerable do they not have to notify someone of their intent?

Anonymous said...

Nothing to say about your drink-driving colleague?

Simon Moores said...

Drink driving is completely unacceptable behaviour regardless of politics and Shirley is stepping aside which is the proper thing to do.

Michael Child said...

Simon not wishing pin you down here in what is obviously an embarrassing situation, but what does step aside mean in this instance?

Leaving the shadow cabinet, resigning the whip, resigning as a councillor or even something I haven’t thought of?

Simon Moores said...

But Michael.. this is exactly what you are doing and simply adds ammunition to the comments made about your own political interests against the story on your own weblog.

I'm sure that your curiosity will be satisfied very soon but its not for me to add more than my own personal remark, made a little earlier.

I'm not John Worrow said...

Hmmm, Cllr Shirley Tomlinson stepping aside and Cllr Ken Gregory not looking so strong to be re elected.

So most likely 2 new youthful candidates required in Garlinge in which James Maskell is likely to be one of them, and wishing the other will be a Rowenna Davis type ;)

James Maskell said...

An interesting prediction, but with two years to go until selection starts, wouldn't bet on it. Having failed to deliver in the Westgate by-election, I'm not looking strong either.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1.05

As I understand it chaos, in rented housing, will develop further in two stages:

(1) When benefits capping at £500 is introduced. Suppose a family on benefits receives £540 per week (made up of council tax benefit, housing benefit, child tax credit, child benefit and income support) the first benefit to be cut will be housing benefits.

So if the landlord receives rent direct from council he will start receiving £40 per week less. And be left to try to wrest £40 per week from his benefits tenants whose net household income has not changed one iota.

(Simon BARLO at Bolton is running private landlord seminars this month on serving Section 21 and Section 8 notices on tenants. I have mentioned the Bolton approach to you before re the Thanet licensing scheme ...)

(2) Universal Credit

This is when all landlords private, housing assn and council will stop being paid rent direct. Benefits tenants may find they have a de facto increase of net income as they will be sent money to pay their rent. Simples. Spend the rent money on other things. Leave the landlord to ponder whether to use the impotent county court system to get possession or rent arrears.

It has long been known that the benefits system was fundamentally flawed since its postwar creation. A two strand system. contributory and means tested with only the contributory system having a central record.

The IRA ran a coach and horses through this system and in 1976 a multiple address fraud originating in Thanet was discovered (by civil servants known as DFLs brought in for their competence).

The flaw exploited by IRA was "Liability of relatives". The absent father supposed to maintain his children. For a single mother claim the only central record would be a flag on the central National Insurance Record at Newcastle of her liable relative.

When the father is either not named or has no NI number then no central record could be raised.

There was then no means to automatically detect multiple address claiming.

The single mother caught in 76 had 48 addresses across England.

Some sort of Universal Credit was obviously needed.

In 1987 21 members of Broadstairs TA were arrested forf paramilitary activity involving alleged liaison with OIRA.

In the aftermath of the decision not to prosecute police were told that one of the arrested men had been approached by 3 single mother claimants asking if he could help extricate them from a benefits fraud they had been recruited into.

This was the known MO of IRA associated with Thanet since 1976.

In addition to these 3 cases DHSS had another 3 suspect claim addresses at Manston flagged suspect IRA.

In 1976 one of the 48 fraud addresses was found to be an active unit IRA base.

This is SIX of the TWENTY SIX lines of inquiry given to Kent Police in security warnings in advance of the 22.9.89 bombing of Deal Royal Marines Barracks.

I would like to see both the Ballymurphy massacre and the Deal RM Barracks bombing receive retrospective Article 2 inquests. In the latter for an HM Coroner to compel Kent Police and DSS to explain what went on in the very apparent failures to protect life.