Sunday, 28 September 2008

WHO IS OUR LEADER'S SCRIPT WRITER?


Tony Flaig has commented already on 'Leader's View' in The Isle of Thanet Gazette and I am afraid I have to as well. There are some interesting aspects to this carefully scripted piece. I will get back to this point later. As we get closer to the 9th October, there is the bad smell of panic coming from offices in Cecil Square.
'Our Leader' knows and so does Ken Wills that many of the residual 2,000 unemployed in Thanet are not skilled or inclined to work and this is a feature of many sea-side areas. Benefits in a low-wage economy like Thanet will be given to 16% of the 72,000 people of working age; with two children and a combined family income of £55,000 per annum , you are still entitled to Family Tax Credits. This has nothing to do with those who are unemployed! You cannot ring fence jobs and employers will employ the best trained and skilled they can find. The only jobs that Wills and Ezekiel know about for sure, at the moment, if this project is approved by our Councillors, are the 300-500 'skilled' Chinese nationals that will be coming to Thanet as in all Chinamex operations.
They keep silent on this though .
This of course raises the issue of housing for them and their families and you might like to connect the move to put housing on Eurokent Site instead of industry and employment by EKO LLP (Woger is TDC's director on this KCC/TDC property company) with this. ECO Housing just happens to be a CGP Shareholder and will be involved in due course, I should imagine. TDC has already discussed at Cabinet the need to argue the case that with housing on Eurokent, Thanet will need more employment land. It is no coincidence that CGP purchased farmland for Phases 2 and 3 in 2006 and 2007 which would fit the bill nicely. Let me quote from CGP's AIM flotation document and CGP's Annual Report:
" However, if a special user was identified which could not be accommodated on any of the existing allocations, then a case could be made for an extension of the property. This principle was endorsed by the Planning Officer at the District Council."
"The Manston Site (CGP's land there) was revalued at 30 Nov2007... to £50.9 million compared to its historical cost of £23.5 million. The uplift primarily reflects CGP's progress in relation to planning matters.....".
To get back to 'Our Leader's' carefully scripted article. Am I the only one who has picked up a steady theme from CGP, Ladyman, TDC and Ezekiel. It boils down to PROMISE LOTS OF JOBS; rubbish the claims on water; it's not agricultural land but 'weed infested' (the site for the X types had wheat harvested from it last month); it's a stand-alone application (we all know its 3 phases or more) and attack anyone who disagrees. It does seem quite well orchestrated, doesn't it.
Could this be because Rob Prince of CGP had a meeting with Woger Latchford, John Bunnett, Cheryl Pendry and Susan Adkins on the 4th January this year at TDC where it was decided to:
" formulate a press campaign" and that "TDC and CGP should liaise with each other before releasing any information to the press" and thereafter have monthly meetings.



So whose words are we reading in 'Our Leader's ' View?



What Tony Flaig has also highlighted is the tone; 'not IF our democratically elected Councillors approve this application on the 9th October' but 'WHEN' the Chinese companies come to Manston'. So are allegations that 'this is a done deal' valid? We wait to see.



There is one crumb of comfort; as TDC Cabinet has been right behind this application with Senior Officers, it is quite clear that ALL members of The Cabinet have predetermined the issue to be examined by Full Council' on the 9th and thus cannot vote on the matter. I wonder if Mauwice, Woger, Shirley, Zita, Joe and Martin have arranged a 'room' for themselves until Full Council has determined the issue?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been reading about other countries dealings with the chinese. They only use local employees as slave labour. They bring their workers with them so they do not need to adhere to that country's rules.
If local people really think they will be employed by the chinese they are in for a very rude awakening.

Matt B said...

The sum total of this whole issue is doing nothing for our reputation but I'm not sure how Thanet could get any good press from this issue now.

Bertie Biggles said...

I think your comment about 'slave labour', 11.50 is a little extreme. Should our Councillors decide that Phase 1 can go ahead, the main activity will be using Thanet as a redistribution centre to unlad and reload containers. (There are 5 warehouses shown for this purpose). It will create very few local jobs and even Roger Gale is sceptical of the outrageous claims being made for job creation.
However, all employers are required to follow employment law and regulations, so minimum wage and cheap labour is more appropriate than slave labour, perhaps?

Anonymous said...

Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war;
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth.

An extract from the cabinet minutes of TDC.

Anonymous said...

This is surely more appropriate though:

All that glisters is not gold,
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life hath sold,
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.

Anonymous said...

While you are at it, why not complain about East Kent Access - Phase 2, carving great swathes across Thanet farmland, to improve the A299 and A256 at Cliffsend, dual carriageway through Cliffsend, bridge over the railway line, new roundabouts. No-one seems bothered about the loss of all that farm land...
But I suppose if it is Not In My Back Yard, it does not matter....

Bertie Biggles said...

12.07, what a shame you seem to think that this is a NIMBY issue and yet fail to comment on the quite worrying implications of this post. You might like to consider, as TDC and CGP need to, that the Government's food shortage's advisor Prof Tim Lang (food miles man) has said recently that:
"A global food crisis is looming.." He is starting to advocate a Dig for Victory approach that Strife mentioned 3 months ago. "Growing more food at home would take pressure off other parts of the world. There is a moral quotient."
MAFF described the land on the chalk plateau at Manston as a national resource in 1995 when agreeing to not oppose the change of use for the 65 acres of prime agricultural land that was added to MBP. They also agreed to not oppose it on the grounds that they had a written assurance from TDC planning that creeping expansion would not occur from MBP; the situation now being engineered for CGP by TDC.

Anonymous said...

Of course it is a Nimby issue, Peter, hence the anonymous blog...

Anonymous said...

and moderation...

Bertie Biggles said...

Well, anon of 16.57 16.58, you might be surprised that I live in Margate and as for anonymity, I began as 'Bertie' on Strife, long before the issue of Gateway appeared on my radar. Let's have some balanced reasons from you why Gateway is such a brilliant idea. I accept that a few jobs might come Thanet's way but not many (even Roger Gale is dubious on this). Ladyman on the other hand has been tainted by accepting a legitimate political contribution of £25,000 and his misguided views are clear that Thanet's unemployed will be 'saved' by this application. He is in cloud cuckoo land like his 'prudent' Leader.

What is the cost though of CGP cashing in on their 'speculative' land purchases to Thanet for the next 50 years or as Southern Water put it, in perpetuity?

Bertie Biggles said...

Wrong Saint, by the way!