Monday, 22 June 2009


A regular reader has sent me this picture and one below of wild meadows growing around Broadstairs where neatly mowed verges should be. If you visit ECR ( you will see a recent picture of unsavoury matter floating in Ramsgate Harbour and plenty of pictures of rubbish and closed public toilets.
We seem to have a problem with TDC and KCC as both councils seem to ignore and neglect the traditional functions of Councils whilst embarking on projects they should not be involved with.
Frankly, I am not interested whether Cllr Latchford is happy that 90,000 people visited Palm Bay this weekend because my view is that TDC should not be involved in this sort of nonsense. I am reminded of KCC and its costly TV station.
Both councils waste money on such projects whilst streets go unswept, uncut and become pot-holed; our toilets are rundown and then closed; our country roads, back-alleys and harbours accumulate rubbish and heaven knows what else; our road drains are silted and grow weeds; pollution incidents are not monitored properly and rectified and our underground aquifer is in state 'red' and we are likely to lose it.

The picture below shows two examples of how inept our Councils have become. The infilling and tarmac laying by KCC after replacing a lamp-post has left an 8 inch depression and the first visitation by a street cleaner in 9 months has led to two bags of rubbish left behind for 8 days now. This is inept supervision and poor management that other councils in the land do better.

Is the fact that KCC Highways reorganised and their out-station with TDC first moved to Canterbury and then Ashford responsible for this neglect in Thanet? I am reliably informed that this re-organistaion has cost in the region of £30,000,000 gross and that the previous Head of Highways has been quietly moved sideways.
The dirty dilapidated condition of our streets, harbours, toilets and drains not only puts off visitors but encourages the anti-social to not care either, so exacerbating the situation with more littering, fly-tipping, graffiti and vandalism. So Cllr Latchford and TDC, instead of organising a Big Event, ineptly according to some, get on and look to the basics please and get KCC to look after its responsibilities in Thanet too.


Anonymous said...

stop whinging you silly old sod

Bertie Biggles said...

I must assume 21:13 that your rudeness is in lieu of any other thoughts on what are the exact roles and responsibilities of our Councils.

If you feel that squandering £40,000 on the Big Event (£100,000 is mooted elsewhere)is acceptable expenditure by TDC or £1.6 million on TV by KCC, when other essential functions are not carried out properly, then why not say so?

Peter Checksfield said...

Who's responsible for the grass verges outside Margate Station? Nowadays people arriving in Margate by train don't even have to wait until the sea Arlington House & Dreamland before noticing how run-down the place is...

Anonymous said...

Although i dont live in Ramsgate i go there every day and it certainly shows that none of the TDC cabinet are ward councillors for that area because it looks awful there is rubbish everywhere nearly everyday! The likes of Sandy, Martin Wise and Shirley T wouldnt let such a mess be seen in their wards? I have heard David Green and Mark Nottingham argue very eloquently for better provision for street cleaning etc in Ramsgate, i think the leader even promised to visit the town centre? Did he do that? How can you expect tourists to get a good impression from streets littered with rubbish! Come on Sandy, Shirley and Roger get rid of the rubbish, if £100,k can be found for partying it can certainly be found for rubbish clearance and wheelie bin roll out afterall they are apparently sitting in the harbour it is only the labour cost for delivery or perhaps they havent been paid for?! It's not good enough!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps anon. 21.13 you feel ignoring the basics for residents who pay their council tax doesn't matter? Things like rubbish festering in the streets, overgrown grass paths, unswept alleyways, broken glass etc. don't matter to you but to those of us who live here, walk about,spend our money here, these things are so important that we shall whinge all we like if it gets things done.

Organising expensive self-promoting events that draw crowds are good for the area but not at the expense of the local environment. Personally I consider air displays a complete waste of money, damaging to the environment, don't bring money into the area at all so I'd prefer my street to be swept regularly rather than have to clean my pavement myself, picking up rubbish dropped by those who don't give a toss for their own environment.

It's not too difficult surely to organise a follow-up team to pick up what gets left behind by the binmen through, possibly no fault of theirs, but, I forgot, according to Councillor Moores the council's got no money for such things. Well, they won't have if they've paid the Red Arrows to go screaming over my garden.

Anonymous said...

Its not just in Thanet where there are problems with the upkeep of the verges and other green areas. In 2008 KCC took over the maintenance and here in West Kent the service was poor to say the least. They got there cutters out once every 6 weeks. What a mess. I complained to KCC. Things did improve - in NOVEMBER. KCC run there mowers over the verges in every month snow and all in the winter! By then the grass did not need cutting and I think this was just so that KCC could keep paying KCC's own commercial company. Unfair competition I think it is called. Maybe KCC did the same in Thanet. Did the public care enough to vote on local issues. No.

Peter Checksfield said...

Those Ramsgate conspiracy theorists also need to take a walk around the backstreets of Margate & Cliftonville...

ascu75 aka Don said...

Anon 21:13 thats not whinging its fact

Anonymous said...

I much prefer the verges like this rather than clipped to within an inch of their lives. Where is your sense of the aesthetic?

Anonymous said...

Good one Bertie. Both Tory run councils are ignoring the basics. Rubbish, litter and pot holes should be a priorty over PR and grand-standing!

Anonymous said...

Anon. 11.11 you obviously don't garden or you'd know the last thing you'd want straying into your garden are the perennial weeds that make up most of these verges and are are almost impossible to eradicate. OK, I don't mind wildflowers growing but these are mostly that annoying horsetail grass. Also, long grass hides dog faeces, broken glass and other nasties that can soil/injure an animal, a child or an adult who walks across them. One of the pictures shows a bus stop so are you expecting the elderly who use this stop (it's in Stanley Road, by the looks of it) to wade through the grass to get on the bus? The point is these areas haven't been cut in months but other areasin Palm Bay have been cut twice in two weeks. I wonder why that was?

Anonymous said...

Peter (09:57) is right. The worst areas on the north side of the island are Margate and west Cliftonville which have total Labour ward councillor representation. While Clive and Iris are clearly big on talk they clearly do not have the ears of the officers and teams who are responsible for keeping the area tidy, as it always the same places that are in a mess. If they were as proactive as they like to tell us they would be dealing with the problems, not just talking about them.

Bertie Biggles said...

15:51, a mischievous comment? If all our Ward Councillors followed the example of Cllrs Hart and Johnston in chasing up problems, the Isle might be in a better state.
I have been concerned about the politicisation of TDC officers for some time and I am glad to see you raise that in your comment; they are our elected councillors and SHOULD have the ears of officers regardless of party.

Iris Johnston said...

Dear Bertie,

I am very grateful to you for your positive comments re Clive Hart and myself.
I would be more than happy for any of your contributors who feel we dont work hard enough to come and check my emails to TDC officers!

Mark Seed has 'walked' Margate Central with me, on my invitation, on a number of occasions over the last few years. I constantly ask when we are getting the 94k Schmit cleaner down which TDC seemed to mislay for several years and then said the driver needed training. At the time I said it was hardly a jumbo jet.

Cllr John Watkins and I fully support our residents and traders groups and with the excellent St John's Neighbourhood Action Group have cleared litter and heavy household waste using the Governments Stronger Safer Community money for regular early Saturday morning clear ups.

Council and Housing Association tenants pay twice for cleaning both in their rent and council tax and judging from what I saw in Millmead and elsewhere they get a very raw deal. The 'walks' I asked for some years ago are happening and Housing officers in general are always supportive. Its the follow up by street cleaning and weed removal is the problem.

The giant ash trays at Margate High Street have consistantly been drawn to officers including the Chief Executive since 2003. I also pick up a lot of 'work' in Westbrook as a former Marine ward councillor. The excuses from some members and officers about the filthy streets are laughable. I have asked for a dog bin on the seafront for months.

A family who recently had a funeral at the crematorium told me the loos could be smelt from the waitinfg room. The officer I contacted was quite dismissive.

Anyone who doubts the problems Labour Councillors meet and the responses from officers need only pop around to view the hundreds of emails I alone have sent over the six years the Tories have been running TDC.

Kind regards,