Thursday, 23 October 2008


I share with you the letter that appears to have become the standard 'reply' saying a 'BIG NO!' to anyone requesting that The Secretary of State 'call-in' the Planning Decision taken by TDC on 9th October in regard to 08/0400 (Phase 1 Gateway). According to my count so far, 4 correspondents in Thanet have received this identical letter since Monday. However, there is more to the business of this letter than meets the eye.
The discerning will see that it is a reply to Mr Gary Thomas at CPRE in reply to their request posted and dated on the 10th October; CPRE were fast off the mark.!
It did them no good, however , in getting a fast reply. Others in Thanet received a copy of the GOSE letter to CPRE before CPRE did; CPRE's nice copy arrived in Smeeth this morning!
What's my point? It is this. One of my correspondents tells me that he posted his letter on 16th October listing a whole series of concerns about the Planning Process at TDC and yet received a letter today, with a letter attached and addressed to CPRE and dated 17th October that was clearly prepared in advance of receipt of his letter by GOSE and had nothing whatsoever to do with the points he had raised with the Secretary of State. In other words, his letter was clearly not read, probably binned and not responded to at all but he still got the 'reply' to CPRE before CPRE did!
This is called the 'Democratic Process'? You could have told the Secretary of State that TDC received £5,000,000 sponsorship from the developer whilst its application was live or that every Councillor in TDC who approved the application had received a personal gift of a luxury yacht (all of course untrue) but even it had been true you would have been wasting your time; you would have still got the same letter addressed to CPRE!
So GOSE and the Secretary of State appear to have pre-determined that under no circumstances whatsoever will 08/0400 be called in. This may of course be due to GOSE, SEEDA and SEERA all supporting the Gateway Scheme to be foisted on Thanet and GOSE have had a series of meetings with CGP ,of course.
We thus have a bureaucracy that is not only crassly inept but holds its citizens in utter contempt. It is so contemptuous of them that it cannot even be bothered to 'pretend' to read correspondence and reply to it with reasoned argument.


Anonymous said...

My experince is that this is enterly normal - even with TDC.

Anonymous said...

And you are surprised! Since when did the views and concerns of the populace count for anything - especially in Thanet!

Anonymous said...

So the views of 40 odd elected representative majority count for nothing in your view? In my humble opinion it is you that have a twisted view of what democracy and beaurocracy is about.

Bertie Biggles said...

Sounds as if you are singing from the same song-sheet as a 'Jean Murphy' of Ramsgate in this week's Your Thanet, 09.49.

The planning process allows appeals to The Secretary of State. This is part of the democratic process and is meant to be a safety net to safeguard the planning process from corruption or perverse decision making.
It is not an unreasonable expectation to have a reply from GOSE based on an appeal request. To receive a letter written to CPRE before a request to GOSE had even been opened smacks of complete disregard for the planning process.

You fail to understand 09.49, that a gift to a Council from a developer whilst its application is 'live'is utterly unacceptable except in TDC led by Cllr Ezekiel. As a Tory I am ashamed that my Party tries to make political capital from Lord Mandleson's contacts with a Russian Billionaire whilst at the same time my local Tory led Council doesn't even realise that it has accepted a financial gift from a developer whilst its application is being processed. How large a sum of a gift would cause you concern? £100,000; £2,000,000? £5,000,000?

Anonymous said...

Your issue is with GOSE. The TDC Monitoring Officer stated that the whole Council shared responsibility for accepting the donation, but that it was not a reason not to vote on the application.

I think "reasonableness" comes into this with regard to the amount. Ezekiel and Latchford did not take part, and have not received personal benefit. You are entitled to your view, but for many your view is becoming vexacious, and I suspect that GOSE thinks the same.

Bertie Biggles said...

14.50, you seem to be unable to grasp the principle in question here. Whether a donation was £5 or £5,000,000 or in this case £12,500, to accept it whilst a live planning application was in process has effectively undermined the integrity of TDC. For the monitoring officer to 'rule' that the whole Council accepted this 'gift' was an obtuse interpretation of the situation. The Cabinet , as a whole, has accepted a gift from a developer, has clearly shown premeditation (if cabinet resposibility means anything)and therefore the planning process has been compromised. There never has been a suggestion that any individual Councillors have benefitted from CGP's gift of sponsorship of 'The Big Event'. As for GOSE, to send a reply to a letter that was written prior to receipt of that letter smacks of similar premeditation of the isssue. We are examining here a principle of integrity concerning the planning process, that you and many fail to grasp.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps 14:50 could tell us why the CE was there then, yet Brian White was not?

mollie said...

Don't have a go at Bertie. I am a member of the public who has written to GOSE and directly to the Sec. of State regarding the incompetance of this Council and the undemocratic shambles of the
9th October meeting. I have also received the same standard reply. It seems the whole Govt. process from bottom to top is rotten. Forget free speech or free will we are all sleepwalking into dictatorship.

PS: Why don't you have the courage to publish your name?