Sunday, 30 November 2008
In summary they have revealed that:
1. we have ongoing remediation at Sericol's old site in Poor Hole Lane (470 tonnes of cyclohexanone recovered so far with remedation work on-going).
2. un-named solvent and chemical pollution at the nearby Thor site on Ramsgate Road that ocurred between 1973 and 2003 with solvent recovery and extraction of water from the aquifer to foul sewer recently commenced and soil decontamination and removal to be done.
3. Widespread contamination by diuron ( a nasty residual carcinogenic herbicide) and its metabolytes detected in 90% of samples from Thanet's aquifer by a British Geological Survey carried out from Sep 2003 to Dec 2004. This report states that a TDC contractor used undiluted diuron on flower beds and verges in 2001 and that regular use of diuron ocurred at Connex in Ramsgate up to 2003 where the aquifer was vulnerable due to soil removal above it. (This affected the Lord of The Manor public supply borehole). The report also shows that 10 landfill sites sit on Source Protection Zones of Thanet's aquifer and that CFCs were detected probably as a result of fly-tipped refrigerators.
I am beginning to feel sorry for TDC's Contaminated Land Officer, Morgan Sproates. It does seem that having taken over this responsibility he now has the nightmare of rather lax activity in the past by TDC, to sort out. Our aquifer is in a parlous state and if we are not careful in Thanet, we will simply end up with an undrinkable water supply below are feet.
For those who wondered why the 'Save Thanet's Water- Stop China Gateway' campaign was so concerned about Industrial development on the huge scale envisaged by CGP at Manston, I leave you with the conclusions that the British Geolocical Survey team came to. Quite simply, they found highest concentrations of pollutants at industrial sites and lowest levels in the open farmland centre of Thanet.
Saturday, 29 November 2008
'Mauwice' and 'Woger' need look no further and can call off the Monitoring Officer and Kent's Finest. I have attached a picture of the culprit. His known associates are not Frank, Terry or Jimmy but are known locally as 'Rattie' and 'Badger'.
Reports from 'TDC Mole' are that 'Mauwice' and 'Wodger' almost 'froth at the mouth' if the name of Richard over at The Eastcliff is mentioned and generally fulminate and curse all bloggers in general in the local vernacular.
They need to relax more ( nautical pastimes are considered good therapy by most psychologists) and realise that the Internet has empowered the 'plebs' and that secretive, autocratic management of a Local Authority should be consigned to history.
Monday, 24 November 2008
Yet tomorrow will see the start of this folly. I have heard all the arguments that it is not going to cost us to have it built (all sorts of tax-payer's money is nevertheless being spent) but what is glaringly obvious is that it will not do the job of being a successful visitor attraction.
Local TDC Councillors Hart and Johnstone have expressed concerns that KCC would rather build apartments and an hotel on the Rendezvous Car Park than have a car park for the TC and I must share their worries. Where will people park? KCC insist that this development is essential to help pay for the estimated £2.3 million annual running costs. In other words TC is not able to pay for itself!
KCC Scrutiny Chairman Dr Mike Eddy said "The key to any project of this type is its long-term viability and I think we all are concerned about how the gallery will be able to pay its way. Thanet needs a successful Turner Contemporary and we need to ensure that the finances are sound after the big launch event is over". Well if we are so concerned, should this project proceed?
My understanding of local habits is that Primark attracts more visitors to Margate than any other attraction at the moment, so we would be better off with TDC issuing free £20 vouchers to visitors to spend at Primark than continuing with this ill-fated and mad project. Each visitor to the TC is likely to cost us local Community Charge payers a similar amount in subsidy.
Friday, 21 November 2008
As well as having formed a set up with TDC called East Kent Opportunities as a Limited Liability Partnership with tax-payers assets (land holdings at Manston & Eurokent) which appears to have no democratic control exercised over it by TDC's elected Council, we now have KCC forming a 'management company' for Manston Business Park. Instead of offering land to CGP for a good Phase 1 Plan we have KCC now forming another 'Company'. What is also worrying is that F o I requests to KCC concerning land sales to CGP of 5 acres for its Gateway Building and the 'ransom' strip by the 'Cummins' Roundabout at the end of Columbus Avenue were met with the response 'that no sales have been made' and yet the document above refers to Land Transfers and Stamp Duty Land Tax having been paid. Is this at Manston or at Eurokent?
KCC (under its guise with TDC as EKO LLP) unveiled its plans with TDC and Rosefarm Estates in September to build 700 homes on Eurokent. This 'Master Plan' met with a big thumbs down from many Thanet Councillors and from our two MPs and of course was contrary to Thanet's Local Plan; this site is designated for employment development which is not as lucrative. As CPRE has pointed out to TDC, KCC , GOSE and SoS, Thanet has sufficient development land for employment purposes until 2025. This would all change, however, if KCC and TDC can alter The Local Development Framework and designate Eurokent for housing. KCC and TDC could then argue that farming land already owned by CGP for 'China Gateway' Phases 2 & 3 could then be 'redesignated' for employment as TDC would then have a 'shortfall' of employment land!
So what is KCC doing? Well, its working, as is TDC Cabinet, to change the Local Development Framework so that Eurokent can be developed for housing and the 700 homes. The extract above states:
"The evidence base for the Local Plan DEPARTURE (my capitals) continues to be worked up in order to ensure a robust case, should the application be called in. Work on the master plan with Rosefarm Estates is ongoing to ensure they will support the application."
So, quite simply, whether our Councillors or MPs like it or not, KCC with TDC Cabinet seems to be pushing on with its own schemes, in conjunction with a private property company (that will make even more money for this company) without any real democratic scrutiny, control or even awareness by our own elected Councillors and cover Thanet in concrete. Time for an 'elected' Mayor to stand up for Thanet?
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
I utterly abhor pimping, drug dealing and people trafficking but is this the answer? Prostitution encompasses a wide spectrum of motives for selling sexual favours and perhaps the German model of licenced, safe, willing, tax-paying prostitutes plying their business in licenced brothels is perhaps a more sensible solution to the problem. If we were less hypocritical about prostitution we could perhaps eradicate the criminal involvement.
How odd it is that The Home Secretary is about to make a new category of criminal and 'name and shame' kerb crawlers', when young thugs who gang-raped a teenager in London or almost killed a young man in Ramsgate are guarranteed anonymity by the full force of the law. I would prefer to know about the violent, vicious young men in my area than the rather sad clients of prostitutes.
Monday, 17 November 2008
I am sure that the fact that 'Woger' and Simon Day are fellow Birchington Councillors and that 'Woger' was seen being given a 'tour' whilst work was in progress had no bearing on the Full Council giving consent for the monstrosity in Berkeley Rd.
I just find it strange that 'Woger' now sings a different tune about Planning Inspector's reports. Here are Cllr Latchford's comments from a recent TDC Press Release concerning the turning down by a Planning Inspector of an appeal by Lillybrook Developments about some flats they wanted to build at 169 Minnis Rd, Birchington:
"This decision from The Planning Inspector backs our Officers' conclusion that this development would have been out of chracter with the rest of the area. That's an important consideration in deciding any planning application we receive...... "
Here is a snippet from the Planning Inspector talking about the Minnis Rd application that has a vaguely familiar ring to it:
"due to the height, design and position of the flank wall of the proposed building, it would appear incongruous in the street scene and be overbearing .........".
One rule for US and one rule for others, comes to mind here! As so many locals are now saying,
'It could only happen in Fannit'.
Sunday, 16 November 2008
Am I the only one who thought that TDC had conceeded the issue on development of the tennis courts in Montefiore Avenue last year? Its now back again and the HOOT's Group have had to 'gird their loins' for yet another battle. It really is time for TDC to listen to its electorate. Thanet people in Broadstairs and Ramsgate use and want that tennis court space so let them have it for goodness sake. Not only is there an application at KCC to make the area a 'village green' but there is the added problem of bat colonies (probably Pipistrelles) in the locality or coming out from King George VI Park to feed after dusk. If anyone can spot the rare Greater Mouse Eared Bat in the vicinity, that would help HOOT (Hands Off Our Tennis) enormously!
Anyone with a connection with Westgate will know how sorely missed have been PC Chris Bunyard and Community Warden Tony Bailey. We have the crazy situation where as a result of their splendid efforts, the level of 'feral yuff' activity in Westgate had declined enormously, but as a result Westgate now gets a 'share' of a PC with Birchington as the 'level' of crime and anti-social behaviour had declined. Its now on the increase again. When will idiots who run our 'policing' realise that the effectiveness of a local bobby and warden can be measured in little or no crime? It's an inverse situation to the business management approach, for goodness sake! The reason why Westgate has had few problems until recently is precisely because of the effective work of Messrs Bunyard and Bailey!
Whilst in the western area of Thanet, it seems that Quex Park is having a problem with its museum curator and Councillor Trustees are resigning en-masse. Its a pity that these Cllrs don't take the same interest in the 'Turner thingee' and explain why the tax payer has been footing the bill for a 'director' for over 7 years and a curator for an art gallery that has yet to be built. At least Quex or 'The Powell-Cotton Museum' as I prefer to remember it as, does not cost us Council Tax payers money!
Bertie has been wondering for some time when our own County Property Company (aka KCC) would announce its lucrative, select, housing development proposals on the Hereson School Playing Fields. So now we know; 200 houses are proposed and rumours of a purchase earlier this year of a property to be knocked down to give them access to the new 'prestigious estate' from Dumpton Park Road look to be true. Has anyone thought of a better use for Thanet residents of this site? In its greed, KCC have also killed off a wonderful Wildlife Project (Go Wild) at Holy Trinity School down the road so that the land can be built on for houses! So we now have 1000 homes planned at Westwood; 200 at Hereson School; houses at Holy Trinity; 700 houses at Haine Road's Eurokent site instead of industrial'employment use (that's another saga) and yet TDC is already way ahead of its extra housing figures as dictated by Government. Paul Carter and KCC would be better off protecting tax payers assets from Icelandic Bank collapses than playing at property developers.!
With Christmas pressie preparation beginning can I pass on a warning. A reader has e-mailed me about a postal scam that originates from Belize! If you get a card through the door saying that PDS (Parcel Deliver Service) was unable to deliver and could you ring 0906 6611911, DONT! It's a premium line scam that will cost you an arm and a leg just dialling the number. If you get a card from PDS, ring Royal Mail Fraud on 02072396655 instead and let them know.
Thursday, 13 November 2008
The diagram above is from Page 66 of the KIA Masterplan. The perceptive will note that KIA want a road to be put through CGP's China Gateway Phases 1,2 and 3 and the closure of the present B2190. I am beginning to feel sorry for Ken Wills and CGP. Let me explain why.
His new Summit Aviation building has had to be re-designed due to airport safety concerns, despite TDC and KIA 'approving ' the original plans and the back will now have to be the front and parking sorted out. Now, we have this road punching through the plans and having to circuit round the 'Gateway Building' and possibly effect the No 15 buildings! This saga seems so typical of Thanet and its Council. What have Infratil and CGP been told about their conflicting plans? Is there really no strategic planning section working at TDC? Is the whole Manston development around the airport to become a re-run of piece-meal and unjoined up planning that has blighted Westwood Cross?
If this wasn't enough to make CGP wonder what is going on, let me offer some snippets that have come my way recently. Firstly let's quote Paul Carter of KCC in a reply to a Thanet resident: "However, that said, I do have serious concerns myself on The China Gateway Development and have let my views be known to Thanet District Council."
Whilst we are quoting 'Leaders' let's examine what 'Mauwice' said to Jane Wenham -Jones in the IOTG of 17th October: " I do support the phase one development of China Gateway but I will need convincing with the two other phases."
Hang on a moment! CGP has made it quite clear that The Gateway project has to consist of all 3 phases and that Phase 1 can only go ahead if Phases 2 & 3 can be delivered. Despite TDC meeting in 'full council' on the 9th Oct and considering what it liked to regard as a 'stand-alone' application, CGP has always maintained its a 3 phase job. Has CGP been mislead by TDC? What was it told when it went ahead and purchased land in 2006 and then 2007?
If this nonsense was not enough, readers might like to know that EKO LLP which appears to have no democratic control over it from our elected Councillors, is still prevaricating over selling CGP its 5 acres of land (at the exorbitant price of £225,000 per acre) for its 'Gateway Building'. In addition KCC has admitted in response to a 'Freedom of Information' request, that its RANSOM STRIP (never included in sharing of assets with TDC in EKO LLP) is not subject to a formal offer of purchase yet from CGP. (This ransom strip is on offer at the 'extortionate price' of £1,000,000 and controls access into the NW corner past the Cummins roundabout where the X types are to be located).
Readers also might like to remember that EKO LLP (KCC and TDC's own property company) has land at the South end of Manston Business Park that it will not sell at a market value to CGP so that the whole Phase 1 Plan could be re-drawn to remove the contentious X type warehouses away from Acol and the aquifer and thus result in a good plan for Manston Business Park. So much for representing the people of Acol?
Well, if you have got this far, some further snippets to digest. The TDC Planning Committtee meeting next week (Wed 19th Nov) has no 'Conditions' items on the agenda relating to Phase 1 of Gateway, 6 weeks after planning consent was approved on the 9th Oct and it has come to my attention that some residents in Alland Grange Lane have had a letter from CGP, withdrawing its offer to purchase properties until issues about Phases 2 and 3 are resolved. Very understandable in the circumstances.
My position, unlike that of vacillating Council leaders is the same as always; good sustainable development for jobs on Manston Business Park by CGP or anyone (if EKO LLP stops playing silly beggars) but no further development on prime agricultural land for Phases 2 and 3.
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
As there appears to be some resistance to China produced products, 'Made in China' may not be shown but the bar code gives the 'game' away. Look for 690, 691and 692! These indicate China made!
Here are some bar-codes that relate to countries of origin:
00 - 09 USA & Canada
30 - 37 France
40 -44 Germany
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Sunday, 9 November 2008
Tel/Fax: (01843) 592001
Thursday, 6 November 2008
Times are hard and are getting harder.
The BBC are reporting some serious job losses in China and I copy a recent BBC report that is not good news for China Gateway.
"Tens of thousands of migrant workers are leaving the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou after losing their jobs, railway officials say. The increase to 130,000 passengers leaving the city's main station daily is being blamed on the credit crunch.
Guangzhou is one of China's largest manufacturing hubs, but many companies who export products have collapsed.
Chinese officials are worried that a sudden increase in unemployment could lead to social unrest.
The most badly hit export companies are toy, shoe, and furniture manufacturers.
There are already reports of demonstrations and social unrest in the provinces of Zhejiang and Guangdong.
An upsurge of labour disputes caused by bankruptcies and layoffs this week forced the boom-town of Shenzhen to issue an urgent notice calling for government departments and enterprises to work together to reduce tension.
BBC China analyst Shirong Chen says there would be a ripple effect in many inner regions of China too - the earthquake-hit Sichuan Province has 1.3m working in Shenzhen.
For the Chongqing municipality, three million migrant workers used to send home millions of US dollars' worth of local currency every year, but this source of funding is dwindling to a trickle. "
For those who are wondering why a pic of 'Our Leader' is shown here, let me explain.
There are also clearly tough times ahead for TDC employees if 'Our Leader' isn't happy with unions wanting to start pay negotiations at 3%. At a very recent Cabinet Meeting, 'Our Leader' is reported to have said , "In my own personal business (Northdown Carpets) I've already told the few staff I have, that they will not be getting a pay rise". At least his staff can be thankful that they still have their jobs as he flits off to nautical pursuits in the Med.
I should imagine the 100s of thousands making their way home without any 'Benefit' support in China are wondering if 'The Great Step Backward' could be replaced with another 'Great Leap Forward'. I hope China will remain a stable society.
Meanwhile, in Cliftonville, our local carpet staff must just grit their teeth and hope that they do not have to 'march-home'; a cut in pay, in real terms, is better than no job. I can hear words from my youth echoing in my head " Its the same the whole world over, Its the rich that get's the pleasure, Its the poor what gets the blame.............".
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
Monday, 3 November 2008
"The gruesome truth has emerged that bankers and their hired hand magicians, intoxicated by greed and dancing with the devilry of derivatives, far from fostering a golden goose, have succeeded in producing solfataric emissions so toxic to have nearly extinguished the Western financial system".
He is certainly not PC and you can find more by looking at www.eloro.co.uk/chairmanstate.htm .
I like this passage from his Nov 2007 statement that appears with the occasional snippet about how the Compnay is performing:
"The guff of responsibility for global warming and other Malthusian-like scares move us inexorably into a fully compliant, eco-friendly, fully insulated, multi-cultural, sexually uncertain, smoke-free, carbon neutral cocoon: blinded to the economic, competitive and cultural destruction of our society."
Woodbine Parish is not a man who minces words and the PC will find his approach quite blunt and even offensive. I just find it quite different and far more interesting to read than poor old Robin Bolton's announcements and statements for CGP.