Thursday, 30 October 2008


Well, what a let down it all turned out to be. The Thanet & East Kent Business Association were holding a 'working breakfast at Frank's 'gaff' in Pegwell this morning with Wills' 'PR Team' from TDC trying to give an up-beat presentation and knocking Thanet Blogs in the process.
The inspiring opening from 'Mauwice' was " At 6.30 this morning Roger was knocking on my door. "Come on Sandy.............".
Whilst explaining how he does things that other politicians don't do 'Mauwice' then continued: ... " and that is knock on the doors of companies saying " We are here and open for business." Was he talking about Northdown Carpets quoting to fit carpets in CGP's Rob Prince's Office at Manston Business Park recently with a 20% discount.? ( I wonder whether they decided on the Shogun, Primo or Puma Supreme?) I digress. 'Mauwice' handed over to 'Woger' whilst the rather un-inspiring breakfast was being chewed on . (Frank, you need to look at a better 'brekkers' for such a gathering).
'Woger' said very little new but banged the jobs, jobs , jobs message whilst having a swipe at Thanet Bloggers at regular intervals!
What was interesting were his comments about EKO LLPs dubious and unsavoury role in why the Gateway Phase 1 Plan is so poor. " This is a joint project by KCC and TDC and managed by a company called EKO LLP of which I am a director. Our aim is that having bought this land ( land at Manston Business Park) we will market it and put the money back into both our coffers and make a profit."
So there you have it. Instead of a sensible plan with X types placed on EKO LLP land at the South end of the site, 'Woger' and EKO would rather market the land for other users! This is why TDC and KCC have no integrity at all in this shambles.
'Woger' then showed the plan of Phase 1 and said " This is the plan and WE are going to put there, just by the entrance, The China Gateway building which is a shopping centre...". ( Has anyone told Westwood Cross about this? What is this WE? Who is he speaking for? TDC, EKO? I thought CGP were going to put this building there? Does 'Woger' now work for CGP with this use of WE? I thought EKO was going to sell 5 acres for £1.25 million to CGP for The Gateway Building or as CGP are strapped for cash, is this now to be a 'joint' project?)
He banged on about Chinamex still staying with the project, (although they have told Arkansas in the USA that they are holding fire on their Gateway plans there until the Global economy sorts itself out). Aigo got lots of mentions but no other companies. (Could this be that only Aigo have agreed at this stage? Ken Wills was revealing in IOTG a few weeks ago when asked by Thom Morris about companies 'coming' the reply was 'we are still talking'.)
At questions, an Acol resident with a gripe got stuck in about 'redidtribution wharehouses'; " All I am asking is that the three re-distribution buildings be moved to shield the village from the noise". ( Silly chap! TDC Planning Meeting could have asked for that on 9th Oct and failed to do on mis-direction from the Chair).
To murmurs and grumbles of ' I have heard nothing new' the audience began to get up from their tables and head for the door.
If they had LISTENED carefully, they would realise they did hear some interesting admissions. "WE.....? SHOPPING CENTRE.......? PROFIT INTO OUR COFFERS......... (sod the people of Acol who TDC represent?)
I almost forgot. 'Woger' couldn't understand why Bloggers in Thanet were so anti, whilst Wigan seemed so positive about its Gateway project (CGP involved there to!). He fails to grasp that open countryside; high quality agricultural land and an aquifer in Thanet are quite different when you envisage covering them in concrete than Westwood Park, Wigan. It is in the town itself ; Wigan BC has spent millions on turning it from a contaminated ex Power Station into a business park.
'Woger' is clearly incapable of grasping this essential difference or doesn't want to admit it. Well, he might find that whilst our Councillors felt they had no option about Phase 1, they do not seem so enthusiastic about Phases 2 and 3 and there-in lies future strife!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008


I could never understand why CGP made such a big thing of describing itself as 'AIM Listed' in its blurb . It seems that like dragging the BBC to China last November with TDC Councillors and Officers it is part of 'image' building and helps with 'street cred'. (By the way the BBC team returned with no film in the can). I suppose that with fixed assests worth only £9,000 and only 5 employees (incl non-executive directors) and no development as a developer what so ever, you probably need as much 'street cred' as you can rustle up!

Why am I interested in AIM listings? An article in 'Telegraph' on Monday caught my eye. AIM is London's 'junior market' at The London Stock Exchange and for the first time in its history has had more companies delisting than floating; in the last 12 months there were 232 departures. 32 of these were required to leave as they lost and could not replace their NOMAD (nominated advisor). The view is that more Aim listed companies will go the same way. One commentator said:
" There are companies that listed on beliefs and their plans are no longer coming to fruition. The market is no longer willing to entertain these business models. It is a natural progression - we are going to get some shedding at the bottom end. AIM needs a culling."( Those at the bottom end are companies with a market cap (capitalisation) of £10million or less. CGP's market cap is listed at £8.82 million.)

The commentator continued:
"Typically management (of bottom end companies) will hold big stakes in businesses." (Mr Prosser and Mr Wills hold almost 66% of CGP's shares).

Another commentator made the point that he expects a number of businesses to run out of money over the course of the next 3 to 6 months. They will have to delist "if they cannot raise money and have no working capital, then their NOMAD will resign".

Whilst I am no expert in these areas it does seem to me that unless CGP can get on with Phase 1 in a hurry and get some 'readies' in from Chinamex et al and pretty damn quickly, the whole CGP plan to make a quick £40 million on this whizzo Gateway Scheme (financed by the Israel Discount Bank's loan of £28.5 million that has been heavily drawn down and needs re-paying in Nov 2009) looks like going 'tits up' .

One can live in hope, I suppose. If I was at Frank's 'gaff' in Pegwell Bay tomorrow morning for 'brekkers' I would want to ask 'Our Leader' and 'Woger' if they really believe that CGP/TDC can deliver the goods, particularly as Phases 2 and 3 will come in for a rough ride if they ever materialise.

Monday, 27 October 2008


Could Cllr Ezekiel's days be numbered by the people of Thanet, as his own party seem to have no stomach for change?

I found an interesting report on a survey published by the Government in 2002 called 'Public Attitudes to Directly Elected Mayors. (see
It followed on from Part II of The Local Government Act 2000 and 1100 people were surveyed in ten local authority areas.
75% said that who should be 'leading councillor' should be made through an election in which everyone can vote. Only 21% said it should be left to Councillors.
Almost 8 out of 10 agreed that a directly elected MAYOR might be some-one who could speak up for the whole area.
On average, almost two thirds (61.6%) of respondents would NEVER, or only sometimes trust the Councillors of their city or town council to come to the best view on a major proposal affecting their area.
I wonder what the figures might be if a similar survey was carried out in Thanet today?
I am told that a petition gaining only 5% of the electorate would be enough to trigger a Referendum and get the process started to get a Mayor for Thanet. Cllr Ezekiel could perhaps save us all the bother by going instead and disappearing into the blue yonder for a life on the ocean wave.

Saturday, 25 October 2008


With the recent news that Thanet Earth has started recruitment, albeit of managers etc, its good to read in the IOTG that Thanet citizens have been assiduously improving their skills in hydroponic cultivation in 10 premises in Thanet this year. Thanet Earth will be able to draw on a skilled but stoned work-force in due course.

Rumour has it that 'Our Leader' enjoyed a long-weekend on his yacht in the Med last week-end but I did not see him in the harbour at San Antoni. I hope he was careful with his guest list as it would be awful to see 'Carpet Millionaire' headlines in the nationals as opposed to Russian Billionaires. Just doesn't have the same style about it.

On the subject of 'Our Leader' and his spelling of Aigo, his 'View' this week seems utterly inconsistent with his interview with Jane in last week's IOTG! Good to see him banging the drum about 'Gateway' still despite failing to acknowledge that Manston Business Park already has good development on it employing 1000 people! I thought that CGP wanted to develop but our Leader talks of China developing. Of interest to readers might be that that the Summit Aviation building sign has been taken down (the one with Aigo stuck to it). Could it be that because 'oodles' of cash will be needed to even think about building 08/0400 ( readies that CGP does not have as yet), the Summit Aviation building will end up being Aigo's new shed and that Ken will have to make do with a small office in it , rather than the other way round?

That old Thanet gossip item, the move of Primark to Westwood Cross, has reared its head again this week. Sources report that Debenhams are in trouble at Westwood Cross and that a pull-out could be on the cards. The problem is that turn-over is not as projected and the credit crunch is impacting on the more mature customers than the young things who don't have to meet the bills as they hang on in the parental home. Ergo, Debenhams is suffering and Primark could be happy to move.

Rumour has it that Turner (aka M&S) in Margate High St, actually had a few people looking in last week, 4 people in 3 hrs has been reported to Bertie. How much is each person visiting the old M &S actually costing Thanet ratepayers. I will not comment on KCC employing a contractor to build the Chipperfield Glasshouse thingee that is currently being looked at by OFT! I still believe this project will not get started. We have seen the collapse of Margate during the 'boom' years, I weep for Margate now we are in recession.

You will be upset to know that the misleading signs prior to the St Nicholas Roundabout are still confusing day-trippers and visitors to Margate who are still (albeit in dwindling numbers) popping down to Marine Terrace to visit Dreamland and are thoroughly de-chuffed to discover the reality there. Would TDC and KCC please get these signs removed!

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.


Safely back and a drop in temperature that seems more painful than in August and had to start with Gale's View. Like many in Thanet he accepts that further development on Manston Business Park was unavoidable (it already has good development employing almost 1000 people) but carefully avoids criticising the plan approved by TDC in Full Council. He does however have a swipe at the 10 Councillors who voted against; two of whom , Cllr Poole (Lab)and Cllr Wells (Con) tried to improve what was a poor plan and that is the issue so many fail to understand. It is not objection to CGP developing on Manston Business Park but the way it is being developed poorly with maximum and unnecessary impact on Acol and with the most hazardous activity on top of SPZ 1 of the aquifer. Anyway, his own words are more eloquent than mine; please read!

GALE'S VIEW - 23rd October 2008 (Thanet)

I have this week written to the Secretary of State responsible for local government to put down a marker to the effect that should a planning application be submitted for phases two and three of what has become known as "The China Gateway" project then I shall submit a formal request for any such application to be called in by her department and submitted to a full public inquiry.

I have done this because while the Manston business park lies clearly within the approved Area Action Plan any proposal to extend the acreage covered onto agricultural land would not and would in my view therefore require a variation to that plan and would be dependant upon approval by the Secretary of State following proper and prolonged public consultation. I think that all of those engaged in this development, on both sides of the argument, need to be very clear about the reality of this situation and my own opinion, which is shared by my South Thanet colleague Laura Sandys, is "so far but not an inch further".

While I would like to think that those councillors, Labour and Conservative, that voted against the application did so with no thought of personal electoral popularity and for all of the right reasons I do not think that they acted in the best interests of Thanet. That the plan was considered by the full council is a good thing and that it was passed with conditions, I know at the expense of some soul-searching on the part of some of my good friends, is a source of relief to me on behalf of those that I have been elected to represent. The prospect of unrestrained development following a successful appeal at the ratepayer`s expense was singularly attractive.

The game must now move on. What matters from here on in is that those councillors responsible apply rigorous scrutiny to any proposals that are submitted for detailed plans to secure the highest possible quality of development - which is what the Chinese UN representative said that he wanted to see achieved when he visited Thanet recently.
In tandem with that approach equally vigorous scrutiny and enforcement has to be applied to proposals for mains drainage to serve the site, to tree-screening and landscaping to protect the environment and the residents of Acol from visually intrusive buildings, to the road infrastructure to ensure that all of the approach and service roads are adequate to meet the needs of any short and long term traffic generated by development and finally to secure a Section 106 agreement that is sufficiently generous to guarantee real benefits to the surrounding community.

If all of this can be achieved - and in Gordon Brown`s current economic climate it is a big ask - then we may yet secure for Thanet a Business Park that creates a satisfactory quantity of employment for local people, is easy on the eye and its surroundings, and proves the sceptics, of whom for the moment I remain one, wrong.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008


As I listened to the BBC today and read about Russian tycoons, offers of political donations, parties in villas and tea aboard expensive yachts, I couldn't help thinking that the national level of British political sleaze seems to be replicated back in Thanet.

In Thanet we have become used to a complaint to Standards being countered with a rash of counter complaints and George Osborne seems to have been the victim of a 'counter move' by Mandleson.

At National level we have a Russian 'billionaire' but Thanet has its own local 'millionaire' dispensing largesse, hospitality and spins in helicopters whilst local dignatories have had trips to China hosted by CGP; TDC has received sponsorship; visits have been made with 'old friends' in villas and yachts moved from Piraeus down the Med. All good stuff and I am sure perfectly legitimate but not acceptable to the mass of the Thanet public.

I am sure that 'Our Leader' consoles himself with the thought that if its ok for Central Government then its ok for him. The problem of course is that it is not ok at all.

I believe the Tories when they say that a contribution from a rich Russian was declined as unacceptable because that was the view in Thanet when a similar offer was made to our local Tories by our local millionaire .The polite 'thanks, but no thanks' was, it is rumoured, down to Roger Gale and Laura Sandys, declining the offer brought to them by no other than 'Our Leader'. He didn't seem to grasp the embarrassing position that it would have created as it did for Steve Ladyman MP, because 'Our Leader' went on to accept £12,500 for TDC's Big Event from the same source!

'Our Leader' seems to have failed to grasp the necessity for a polite distance to be maintained between himself and those who could benefit from decisions taken by his own Council. Whether he likes it or not, his role as Leader requires this of him and if he is unable, like Mandleson, to see that its not just a question of being squeaky clean, but being perceived by the public to be squeaky clean, then he should resign. A 'Leader' needs to command respect and confidence and once that is lost he really has nowhere to hide.

Sunday, 19 October 2008


The sunset was almost as good as those from Margate last night. The temperatures are dropping away but a high of 22C is still enough to warm the pool and justify the opening of some ice-cold San Miguels at mid-day.

Friends report that 'Mowice' is claiming those who opposed the Gateway Application are responsible for 'scaremongering' and that this week's KM Extra had the word blazed across its front page. From a Councillor who swore at an outgoing Mayor at a Civic Event and allowed 'his' Council to accept a gift of £12.500 from the developers CGP whilst it had a 'live' application before his Council, this appears to be just another arrogant and ill-considered outburst that will come back to haunt our Conservative Councillors when the electorate next has the opportunity to vote.

We seem to have a real problem with integrity in this country; the Labour Government at national level in respect of exalting to the peerage, a man who has resigned twice over issues of probity and at local level, a Tory led District Council , that sees fit to accept a planning applicant's gift of sponsorship for a civic event!

This reminds me of a tale attributed to Churchill but perhaps not;

At discussion over dinner the conversation got round to prostitution. "Would you sleep with me for a thousand pounds?" was the question put to the lady on his left. "Certainly not" was the reply. " If I offered you a 'hundred-thousand', would you reconsider?" After a pause the answer was "Well just for one night, I probably would for that amount". " In that case, what about a 'quickie' outside for a fiver?" "No! How disgusting! Do you take me for a common tart?"

"Madam", came the reply, " We've already established that fact. All I am now negotiating is a price."

So what you may ask? It is the 'principle' !

Whether TDC accepted a 'gift' of £5, £12,500 or £250,000 is irrelevant. It has behaved 'like a common tart'. It's 9 meetings with CGP reps, 'Woger' or 'Mowice' or both with Senior Officers in attendance, between Jan and Sep of this year alone, WITHOUT MINUTES BEING TAKEN, raises questions as to why were minutes not taken? This seems odd.

TDC has lost its probity and integrity in the eyes of many of its electorate over 08/0400.(only 10 Councillors saw fit to decline making a decision on the Phase 1 Application, that would have then put the matter in Independent hands.)

'Mowice' has yet to wake up to this fact. Hurling insults at principled and concerned members of Thanet's electorate only serves to reinforce the low regard that many may already have of him.

(four more days of warmth and back on Thursday, if the air-line hasn't gone belly-up! Thanks to Senor de Latona for time on his computer.)

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".


Too busy on other things to worry too much about China Gateway today. I just hope that all our Councillors will come to an honest and righteous decision that restores the credibility of Thanet District Council.

I have a link to a BBC article that follows up the Inside/Out Programme item made by Glenn Campbell and shown last night. Here it is:

I hope it works and as Thanet's Premier Blog quotes Dave Allen, let me do so too:
"May Your God go with you".

Tuesday, 7 October 2008


On Thursday 17 April, 'Strife' reported that something was 'a foot' down at the Eurokent site for industrial development (See "The Business Barons Carve Up Thanet". )

With the local press getting onto the 700 houses on Eurokent instead of industrial development for jobs and our two MPs coming out with a big 'No Way' just over a week ago, I thought I might like to draw readers' attention to the fact that you might have read it on Strife first, almost 6 months ago.

For those who accuse Bertie and other 'bloggers' as 'conspiracy theorists' (Thom Morris at IOTG, please note that I was a little miffed to have Strife dumbed down the other week in Thanet Times) let me show you again what I wrote in April:

"No, the Business Barons of Rose Farm Estates and Ken Wills at Commercial Group Properties seem to have other ideas that TDC et al are going along with. My theory runs like this; Commercial Property Group: you guys can go and cover all that land down in Manston with 40 industrial/business sheds to create 'jobs' called China Gateway and we no longer have the need for business units at Eurokent over at Westwood. Let's have a jolly good re-think and wow! we can have a new master plan for Eurokent! It could be used for more 'jobs'(those silly TDC councillors and planners love that added to a scheme as it gives it credibility) "better recreational facilities, family homes (nice touch from the PR team there, 'family' gets us all feeling warm), NEW SHOPS and MUCH MORE!" ( And between them all they make more £millions) . I am quoting from the site. Go and look at it."

If you bothered to go to Clarendon School on Sat 13th Sep, it was all laid out for you: a nice lucrative money earning housing estate of 700 homes with local facilities presented by that property firm EKO (Your own TDC Council with 'Woger' as Director & KCC). Even more interesting was TDC Cabinet meeting on 18th September to discuss redesignating land for employment at Manston (our Ken Wills & CGPs Phase 2 and 3 purchases in 2006 and 2007 after discussion with a TDC Planning Officer).

Let me finish with a snippet that the new members of Strife's R &D Team came up with today. This is an extract from Rose Farm Estates (RFE) Director's Report dated 31 March 2008 and issued days after EKO LLP (TDCs Property Company ) was formed:

"Also during 2007and still ongoing RFE have agreed to work with TDC and KCC to look to revise the masterplan and overall planning issues for a more mixed use development to take account of the emergence of this area, including the new retail at the adjoining Westwood Cross, as the new Town Centre for Thanet overall. All parties are working towards a revised Planning Application being submitted the summer of 2008. IT IS EXPECTED THAT THIS REVISED APPROACH WILL ADD USES AT A HIGHER VALUE THAN CURRENTLY ARE ALLOCATED TO THIS AREA." (my capitals)

So 'Woger' ( pwesumably egged on by his attached twin'Mowice') is making sure that CGP and RFE will make oodles of cash (he is after all Deputy Leader and a Director of EKO) as Thanet gets covered in concrete. Thanks a lot.

(Next time, young Thom, be careful who you accuse of engaging in conspiracy theories!)

Sunday, 5 October 2008


Mrs Biggles was amazed to see Christmas has started in TKMAXX at Westwood but I had to remind her that for some its been Christmas since 2007, courtesy of Santa Wills and CGP.

It all began in 2007 with a perfectly legitimate political donation to Steve Ladyman of £25,000 and South Thanet Labour in 2007 which quite properly was admitted to in Parliament's Member's Interests and noted by TDC Planning Commitee meeting in August when Labour members declared it. It has since come to my attention , via Big News Margate, that a similar generous offer was made to TDC Tories with £12,500 for Thanet North and £12,500 for Thanet South. It was clearly turned down and quite rightly so. Nice to see 'balance' though.

Santa's largesse did not end there. Acol Parish received a DVD Player and flat screen TV for a raffle prize earlier this year, courtesy of Santa CGP; did any other Parishes receive 'pressies'?

But more seriously, TDC Cabinet accepted sponsorship from CGP towards 'The Big Event' in Palm Bay on 14/15th June. I show you the pic from KM Extra with 'Woger' in Santa's shiny helicopter with Santa Wills and his little elf helper, Rob Prince.

I reported on 15th June that this was worrying. Let me elaborate further. CGP presented a Planning Application to TDC in April (08/0400) and for TDC's Cabinet to accept a contribution to it's Big Event (reputedly to be £12,500) was to say the least, un-wise.
One of my team rang TDC on Friday to try and establish exactly how generous CGP was in June's sponsorship. A cagey response was then given 'Who are you?' and then that the Press Office would ring back. They never did.
The issue is quite simple here. What will be the Secretary of State's view that TDC's cabinet accepted a 'donation' from a property company whilst that Company's Planning Application was 'live' and under consideration by its Planning Officers and due to come before Council? It begs the question that TDC cannot possibly decide this Planning Application as a result and that it should be referred to The Secretary of State forthwith.

Saturday, 4 October 2008


What an interesting IOTG we had this week. Some pretty computer generated pictures of happy office workers strolling around their CGP version of 'Nirvana' at Manston.

The reality of 5 re-distribution warehouses in Phase 1 with 1365 HGV movements per day or the whole project as envisaged by 'Mowice', 'Woger', TDC Cabinet, Senior Officers and of course Ken Wills, producing 5,600 HGV movements , was carefully omitted from the IOTG pictures. So just in case you have trouble imagining as many HGV movements as Dover Docks, as Thanet becomes an 'in-land' version of Dover Docks, let me give you an impression of The East Kent Access Road by Richborough when a serious accident closes the road.

And now let me take you forward in time to the year 2038 when CGP has long disappeared and Chinamex have abandoned Gateway at Manston and the site has become run down with some dodgy businesses going on around our now polluted aquifer.

We could have left it all alone and here is another view of the year 2038 of Phase 3 land actually undeveloped and growing a healthy crop of oil-seed rape. These are sadly, the options we face at Manston with this massive development.
Oh, by the way, was I the only one to pick up Ken Wills' rather vague comments on the jobs and businesses? The intrepid Gazunder scribe, Thom Morris put this question to Ken Wills: " Have you got any companies signed up yet? Answer: " We're still in talks. We need to chat to the Chinese businesses".
Sorry? Did I read that right? Is that 'CGP speak' for NONE? Could it be that Memoranda of Understanding aren't worth the paper they are written on and Aigo do not fancy being squeezed into sharing an office in the new Summit building? Oh, dear! This is all beginning to sound like that wonderful iconic Turner thingee to be built in the sea at Margate; all a bit of a fairy tale.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008


A reader has contacted me from Ramsgate to say that KM Extra this week has a half-page, no less, of South Thanet MP Steve Ladyman extolling the wonderful benefits that will accrue to Thanet from having a massive 3 Phase , or more, China Gateway built on our aquifer and vital farm-land. The song he has been 'singing' has been the same for the past few weeks. Gateway is good; all will be well and don't believe a word of the anti-Gateway campaigners. He seems to have gone out of his way to villify them.
On the other hand those who have been reading North Thanet MP's 'Views' in the past few weeks, on the same topic, will find a more cautious and balanced view and certainly no vitriolic attacks on 'campaigners'.
For those who find this unstinting support from a Labour MP for a speculative property company which expects to make many millions from its self declared speciality of gaining planning consents, odd, then I must remind you that it has nothing whastsoever to do with a perfectly legitimate political donation made in early 2007 by Ken Wills, a CGP director, to South Thanet Labour of £25,000.
The problem , as Dr Ladyman is finding out, is that the acceptance in 2007 of this perfectly legitimate political donation, with a CGP Planning Application in the pipe-line, automatically has the effect of 'tainting' whatever argument he makes in support of CGP, even if it was valid. His arguments in support of Gateway would have been far more respected without this donation.
I am reminded of Kipling here and a suitable mis-quote comes to mind:
" Once you have taken the Dane-Geld, you are expected to speak up for The Dane".