Thursday, 9 October 2008


Bertie, is off to Ibiza again to contemplate his navel and ponder on the odd workings of Thanet Council in Full Council mode.
Was it right to squash Cllr Poole's attempts to add conditions that would limit hours of operating of HGVs that will blight Acol or Cllr Wells' attempts to get the X types off SPZ1 and away from the poor people of Acol? If that is the open democratic process at work then that is the decision our elected representatives have made. If we are unhappy with it, then we have the option of the ballot box in a few years time. Perhaps Thanet deserves the Council it has.
So tonight our Councillors made their decision to begin the move to make our Isle , "The Home of Chinese Globalisation"and approved CGP's application for Phase 1 of the process. Sit back and wait for the process to gather momentum. They have said that many conditions will have to be scrutinised by Planning Committee but we wait to see how effective that will be.
An impassioned plea from Sheila Bransfield, the Chair of Acol Parish Council, to spare Acol misery, fell on deaf ears, as did Mr Kirkaldie' s concerns about lack of protection for Thanet's drinking water. Mr Thomas may as well have saved his breath concerning the fact that whilst the Cabinet members were pushing job creation, his simple news that over 1000 job vacancies are presently advertised in Thanet's Job centre with very little response from our 'rump' of unemployed was ignored. I have been sent the following by a contact that was presented by Mr Wells and quite frankly he may as well have not bothered either. I attach it for you in full.

"Mr Chairman and members, thank you for this opportunity to address you.

Few are likely to object to high quality development that brings jobs to Thanet. This application isn’t a high quality development.

I have a number of serious reasons why I feel Councillors should not approve this application this evening.

This application is quite clearly not ‘stand-alone’ and to argue otherwise, is to fly in the face of all the evidence to the contrary including the memorandum of understanding with Chinese Industry to develop agricultural land and Mr Wills’ own TV admission last night. Approval will create ‘inland Docks’ with more HGV traffic than Dover.

If we accept the ‘charade’ that this application stand’s alone, then I urge you to reject it on the basis that it is quite simply a shambles. KCC has said it is over-crowded; Theatrical Pyrotechnics punches a hole in the plans. What is left, is effectively a Gateway Building and 5 huge redistribution warehouses placed closest to Acol and on the most sensitive part of the aquifer.

There is, in the background, a serious issue of this Councils property company partnered with KCC, East Kent Opportunities. Your own ‘company’, with your TDC Director, Cllr Latchford, is charging CGP £2.25 million for 5 acres for its Gateway Building and a ransom strip. If ‘your’ property company, Councillors, had released all its holdings, a better plan could have resulted. Is this Council now compromised being a direct beneficiary of its own approval decision?

My final comments to you , concern the perception of integrity and probity in this whole issue and the good name of this Council. Your Cabinet and Senior officers over 2 years have developed a close relationship with the developer. This may require your scrutiny in due course. A ‘respectable’ distance could and should have been maintained.

.An acceptance by Cabinet of £12,500 sponsorship for TDC’s Big Event from this developer whilst its planning application was ‘live’ and under consideration by this Council has, I would suggest, in one fell swoop, undermined the integrity of this planning process. Who was responsible for such folly?

I urge you to consider not only this Council’s good name and integrity which is now in question but if you move to pass this application, you will have missed the opportunity to enhance this Council’s reputation rather than further damage it. It is time for an Independent Planning Inspector to look at this application with clean hands and fresh insight and the sooner the better.

I am now off to Gatwick with Ranulph Fiennes book on Scott of The Antartic (Captain Scott) to remind me how honesty, honour and integrity were once traits that were held in some esteem. To paraphrase, Captain Oates, " I might be gone some time".


Anonymous said...

Shame on them didnt reflect very well on the integrity of the councillors and we will know who they are when it comes to election time - only 10 prepared to stand up against a destructive corrupt elite who offer the red rag of jobs and the others follow no matter what the cost to the rest of us in terms of water pollution etc

Anonymous said...

How can we get a public enquiry?

Anonymous said...

most but not all 'councillors voted for this travesty and as the vote was recorded perhaps a list of those who voted for or against should be published -just so we know for future reference,like the next elections?

Anonymous said...

I would not give up yet.

Bertie Biggles said...

The temperature is 16C tonight and Rioja tinto is going down well. The swingers club in Port des Torrents seems to offer more attraction than the dismal affairs of TDC council who seem prepared to accept a developer's bung for its Big Event rather than consider a planning Application in detail and in the process consign Acol to a living hell.

If this is democracy at work then heaven help us all. When will we see integrity and honesty rear its head again? Mrs Biggles has told me to get out of the hotel's computer room, so I had better do as told. Too sick with disgust at our elected reps to even consider swinging. Nite all.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, Ibiza again.
Why can't you holiday in the tourist resort of Thanet as all the other bloggers are imploring?

Megan said...

Those against were:

Tories: Wells, Hayton, Savage, Crotty

Labour: Poole. Fenner, Dark, Campbell, Clark

Independent: King

If your councillor is in there write and congratulate them. If their name isn't there do the opposite. No-one abstained but Cllrs. Hart and Harker had to leave before the end for, in Cllr. Harker's case, to get to work and for Cllr. Hart, a valid reason I'm sure.

Bertie Biggles said...

The temperature today was 26C and at present its still 20C, so that might explain why Ibiza has its attractions 12.12. Now if there was an all-weather attraction in Margate.......

My neighbour, a Senor Jose-Maria De la Tona, has allowed me to grab a few moments on his computer, which saves me having to walk down the road to the hotel to catch-up with reaction in Thanet and gracias Senor!

I have had to send a couple of comments to the ether (my apologies but the commentator knows perfectly well why I was unable to post them!) and I have had to edit you 08.49! Here is what 08.49 said:
"From the small (house in Berkely Rd)to the large (China Gateway) it seems to me that many of our Councillors are steeped in a shroud of self-interest. .....

After some thought and a few of Jose-Maria's cold san Miguels, I decided that your final sentence, 08.49 could be misunderstood as a threat. Whilst I heartily agree with the sentiment, it would have been inappropriate to have printed it, particularly as I have seen the Grim Reaper hanging around outside TDC Offices recently!

Bertie Biggles said...

Must be quick tonight as Mrs B wants to eat by 9pm local. Thanks for your comment 12.03. I am sure you will understand why I cannot post it. In answer: yes; do not agree; do not agree and was I? My best wishes nevertheless to you.

Anonymous said...

cllr mrs Pickering also voted against. [ Independent]

Anonymous said...

Cllr. Crotty voted 'for'. I must have misheard when he called out his reply.