The window was smashed and the motive for the crime is as yet undetermined, although a suspect, one-eyed, black 'Staffie', wearing a red bandana and gripping a crowbar between its teeth, was seen fleeing the scene in the early hours of Saturday morning!
Jackie, today's duty manager, tells ThanetLife, this isn't the first time the shop has been targeted and on the previous occasion, the supplies of Bob Martin's expensive 'Flea Clear' were removed from the shelves above the counter.
I'm led to understand that Flea Clear, other than being highly effective against 'Siphonaptera,' is also favoured by addicts who like to sniff or smoke its working ingredient, Fipronil. I can't actually find any medical reference to this but it's not recommended in animals or humans. I would count this as an all-time addictive low, even here in Westgate. Quite possibly it's the high cost of the medicine and the potential re-sale price to flea-sufferers, that makes it attractive instead.
|Smash and Grab|
The pet supplies store is of course opposite the location for the proposed new Tesco Metro development in Westgate's Station Road and a planning application appeared online last week.
I dropped-in to the Council offices yesterday for an update and had a word with the the planning department, as I have been asked to represent the objectors to the scheme. I understand that in addition to the petition raised by traders, 500 separate letters of objection have been received by the planning office and I will let readers know of any further news and when it is scheduled to come before the committee for decision.
On a not unrelated topic, I spotted a characteristic 'Smudger' report in the Thanet Gazette, describing the opening of the 'Why Not' micro pub, that I covered in an earlier column here.
As a ward councillor, I was invited to cut the ribbon alongside the Gazette's Thomas Brown and that appears to have peeved the editor. You may recall that much like Tesco and Sainsburys. the residents of Lymington and Linksfield road, asked me to represent them in objecting to the micro-pub's planning application and license but it was however approved by the Council's planning committee.
As a Councillor, if I'm asked to represent or advise a local resident or a business on any Council-related matter, then I'm obliged to do this impartially and to the best of my ability, much like a solicitor in some ways. However, the Thanet Gazette writes:
"Biggles buried the hatchet after trying to put the brakes on businessman, Lee Birch's bid to open a micro pub in Westgate. He endorsed a petition to block his license application and spoke out at a meeting .. sic.. That did not stop him joining Lymington Road residents at the pub to drink humble pints."
Curiously enough, I'm the only politician in Thanet, the Gazette refers to in a consistently derisory manner and rarely if ever, you may have noticed, by the title 'Councillor'. So on this occasion, where I was invited by the landlord, Lee Birch to the opening and to cut the ribbon, with no hard feelings on his part, I'm instead painted by the paper as an opportunistic hypocrite, rather than simply doing the job of representing my ward. On the pattern of the last twelve months, I have to conclude the paper's coverage is becoming increasingly personal and deeply unprofessional.
Finally on a sad and more important note, I was sorry to hear of the death of the Walmer Castle pub landlord, John Teagle. I would like to express my condolences to his family as I'm sure would many other readers of this weblog from Westgate.