I wonder if The Thanet Times back in July, realised that the 'millions' waiting to pay for Dreamland applied to you and I the tax-payer?
It would seem that Labour's Culture and Tourism Minister Margaret Hodge has approved £3.7 million of tax-payers money to be paid under Labour's Sea Change Programme to help fund ' a project to rejuvenate the town's Dreamland Amusement Park'. . So beaten up worn out rides from around the country can now be restored by 'amusement park' anoraks; the arsoned Grade 2 Listed Scenic Railway that for 18 months had continued rotting whilst TDC failed to enforce repair or compulsory purchase (despite strong language to do so) can now be repaired and Dreamland Cinema can be given a 'face lift' and all at the tax-payer's expense! . I wonder how the local Conservative TDC views this largesse as it announces cuts in our municipal services, fails to sweep the streets and closes toilets as austerity comes our way after 12 years of fiscal madness by a Labour Government? . So it is OK then, to pour public money this way into a site that has been run down over the years; that doubled in value when TDC said it could have housing and retail on half of it; all contrary to advice from a Planning Inspector 5 years ago, who warned the Council that it would possibly be left derelict and 'land-banked' and that it was the prime regeneration site for Margate! He didn't mention arson to sea-front buildings ( that conveniently provided an access from Marine Terrace) or to Scenic Railways, though. . Perhaps when The Secretary of State comes down next week to claim Political brownie points for Labour and poses for the press with Tory Councillors, who in turn will be claiming more than equal political credit for it, Margaret Hodge might like to consider an abortive 'Ground Nuts' project in Africa under a Labour Govt in the 1950's that proved an equally ill-conceived mis-spending of tax-payers money. . So if, at the time of boom, a reasonably modern equipped Dreamland attracted 600,000 visitors in 2004 before it was run down, what makes any sane person think that a clapped out collection of rides (I refuse to use words like 'heritage' and 'historic') will attract 500,000 visitors?. . I suppose I should just be grateful that anything is better than nothing for Margate and if a Labour Govt and a Conservative Council want to waste more tax-payers money, so be it. . How much healthier for a true Conservative, that the likes of Morrisons refurbish car-parks for their own business and that Tesco gets to grips with Arlington Arcade, all at their own expense. . As the taxpayer, in various ways, has paid over £20,000,000 in Margate on the Dreamland and TC projects, all we can hope for now, is that it does the job intended. Now where is the nearest public loo?