Thursday, 21 January 2010


Last night's Planning Meeting was quite interesting. The Ezekiel Party seemed short of numbers and what was surprising was that no substitutes seemed to have been called on in place of Cllr Watt-Ruffell ;  not even the permanent substitute from Cabinet, Cllr Tomlinson. No caravan park applications were on the agenda either.

In a reference to 'Strife's ' recent highlighting of Cllr Tomlinsons regular attendance at the previous 6 planning meetings, 'Our Ken' said:
" For any of you bloggers out there (looking at the public seating area) you will note that Cllr Shirley Tomlinson had better things to do this evening'.
It was noticed that Cllr Day (vice chair) seemed lost without 'Shirl', the other half of his double act , being there.

The agenda items had some very interesting aspects. A pair of semi-detached houses in Lanthorne Rd are to become just one as one half was given consent to be demolished to make way for a large building instead. I have to feel sorry for the owners of the one left standing. Cllr Bruce as TDC's Cllr for Conservation and Heritage urged the Committee to turn down the application but his pleas, as far as The Ezekiel Party members were concerned, fell on stony ground.

KCC pulled its application for 175 odd houses on The Hereson School site at the last minute, which would indicate that KCC and TDC might have some disagreement on this matter! It will be worth seeing how the plans for this site eventually work out and what benefits acrue to Thanet.

The agenda item that led to the quote of the evening from Cllr Chris Wells was F/TH/09/0833 at 15 Granville Rd, Broadstairs. You will have to wait for the quote whilst I give you some background.

This site has a fascinating history and complications;  not least it seems to be a tale of a developer cocking a snoot at TDC.  An application for an extension at the back of the property was originally for 5m. This was turned down. An application was then approved when the extension at the back was set at 3.5m.  Residents affected were then amazed to find that the 5m extension was then built. They complained, so the developer put in a retrospective application for 5m again (F/TH/09/0833). This was turned down last night with local residents over the moon!  The twist in this tale serves the developer right! If he had built to 3.5m as per his agreed consent, his front windows would have been acceptable as the area was not at the time a Conservation Area. It became included in a Conservation Area prior to the retrospective application so all Conservation Area rules now apply.  So we wait for TDC to enforce the demolition at back and rebuild to 3.5 m and the replacement of all front windows in line with Conservation Area rules.  Serves the beggars right comes to mind!
Now the quote.  Quite a few Cllr were there last night speaking under Rule 24.1(in support of or against, as ward Cllrs etc) and Cllr Chris Wells who spoke to The Planning Committtee urging them to reject the retrospective application, in describing the lack of  amenity space at the back of 15 Granville Rd said:

" It is not so much about the room to swing a cat but more about whether there is space to twirl a kitten on your thumb." 


oldwomanofmargate said...

I was unfortunately inable to make the last meeting on behalf of Margate Conservation Area Advisory Group, would welcome some more information re some of the other applications on the agenda too. I can ne found via my personal twitter account oldwomanofmgate

Anonymous said...

Minor point but it was Cllr. McCastree who failed to send an apology. Cllr. Watt-Ruffell sent his apologies as he had other things to do and no 'subbie' was put in place for him.

Doubt it would have mattered as, while I was there, everything was voted through as per officers' recommendation.

Ken Gregory said...

very funny, once again you do not let the facts get in the way of a good story!
1... re the attendees, yes Cllr W-R was not there,nor was Cllr McCastie, Cllr Mrs Russell WAS!

2... Cllr Mrs Tomlinson was present before the meeting, but left by 1830 as she had not been asked to substitute for Cllr W-R. ( the procedure is for the absentee to ask a member from the reserve list to substitute, or if they cannot find anyone to ask the chair or whip (Cllr B Sullivan) to find someone. And before you ask, he and I have only had to do that once in the last 12 months).

3. You refer to Cllr Bruce's 'pleas' falling on 'stony ground'... seems some of the Labour members were in that 'stony ground'

Never mind though, with the accuracy of your report, a job looms large for you at the local 'Rag' along side Saul Leese

Anonymous said...


It is difficult to categorize that quip. Sting in the tail or flea in the ear.

As we know, for example from the regrettable cremation of the scenic railway, inflammatory slips can occur in unguarded moments.

Perhaps there was a meeting of the Margate Cemetery Group causing absences from the Planning meeting ? I understand they occasionally have a ritual in which various parties rise to thank a philanthropist for financial contribution to the purchase of their homes ?

No doubt this sort of thing features in the register of members' interests.

Anonymous said...

It is obvious you don,t understand the "rules" for subbing. Those who cannot make a meeting should themselves find a sub from the approved list if they can,t find one then they get hold of chairman who will find one.perhaps cllr ruffle did,t do this althoguh I no cllr russle was there.

Anonymous said...

We (the Cowboys) would like to make it very clear that we have nothing to do with cowboy applications in Thanet - we will leave that up to the rustlers.

Posted by the Cowboy Express

Measurement Ends:

Anonymous said...

I keep forgetting how unpleasant 'our ken' can be but then up he pops to remind us.

Bertie Biggles said...

Thanks, Ken for that. Will correct in due course re Mrs Russel. I will tell Edna to stop choccie biccies for a day for the Strife member who mis-informed concerning Cllr Russell. We do try our best but you must remember we are not professionals like Saul and actually I find him quite good.

10.32, I assume you are referring to The section on 'subbing' in TDC's (flawed) Constitution which I am familiar with (still looking at protocol of Bradgate decision) and which allows Cabinet Members to sit on Planning; in Mrs Tomlinson's case, 6 times in a row!

Please send contact details Old Woman of Margate, in a comment that I will not put up and I will get back to you.

Anonymous said...

Ken do us all a favour - and emigaret.

Anonymous said...


you sound just like bill hayton !

Anonymous said...

11.56 guess again, wrong sex for a start and quite a few years younger lol. I am sure it is not just Bill Hayton who finds 'our ken' rather disagreeable. By the way, I am not a councillor or have any connection with local councillors, just someone who has followed Ken on his blog.

Anonymous said...

Who was Bill Hayton?

Anonymous said...

Have just come across your Blog and looking through past items it is clear that the Strife team is one or more members of the opposition, I am not interested in Politics but believe in fair play and your Blog just goes to show I am right that your attacks are all against the ruling Group

Anonymous said...

1800hrs! sorry you must be called Jenny!

Bertie Biggles said...

10:13, you haven't just come across this blog and you know that perfectly well!
I could not possibly divulge the identities of Strife Team Members other than Edna our tea-lady. Just be assured that they are a broad spectrum of Thanet people from all political perspectives.

You use the term, fair play? A leader and deputy with 3 standards raps?; good Cllrs with excellent credentials kicked off Planning because they thought for themselves as Planning Law requires as opposed to the 'policy' of The Ezekiel Party?; 17 hours of unminuted meetings with a major developer; obfuscation and misleading expenses declarations?; a Cabinet member as permanent sub on planning?; lying to the public and its own Cllrs about the need for housing on Eurokent etc etc! The fact is that the Ezekiel Party control of Thanet Conservatives has brought the present administration into disrepute to the extent thay are the laughing stock of KCC that is 90% + Conservative and it is time for the Conservative Party in Thanet to clean up its act. I say this as some-one who has the highest regard for my County Cllrs and two of my ward Cllrs, one Labour and the other Conservative. I admit to voting for Broadhurst and Watt-Ruffell in 2007 that proved to be a major error of judgement! Just shows what happens when one votes along tribal lines rather than looking at the quality of the individuals concerned.

Anonymous said...

14:43. Who is jenny?

Anonymous said...

There's a spinning jenny invented by James Hargreaves that revoltionised the whole spinning process. There's a jenny wren. there's Pirate Jenny in The Threepenny Opera.

Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nightingale.

I doubt somehow that's what the anonymous poster means.

Anonymous said...

Oi 07:45

Its been brought to our attention that you have mentioned a Pirate.

We (the Pirates) have an ISP protocol, so stand by landlubber, to be boarded.

Cpt BlackBeard (Cpt Flints mate)

Piracy postings can only be issue by:-

a) The Pirates
b) Thanet District Comment (TDC)

Anonymous said...

Yet again another Tory Councillor disgraces his Party, why is it all these Tory Councillors go unscathed, even the law seems to allow them to come up smelling of roses. Watt Ruffell escaped a 3 month prison sentence causing the death of a young kitten by gross cruelty , instead he chose 80 days community service and I expect he will be hidden somewhere away from the accusing eyes, Perhaps someone can tell me why he was allowed to choose between a 3 months custodial sentence or an 80 day Community Service. If he had a custodial sentence he would have been struck off from his office as mayor and lost his ward seat as Councillor, surely this is wrong he has escaped the punishment Community Service is an op out and a disgrace this man was even offered the alternative.
Why did he have the choice? and why was he granted Legal aid, when he has 4 jobs and a working wife, this is also wrong.
Is it one rule for us and another for them, I can't get my head around this, it was the same with the Broadhurst saga, why was he allowed to resign when he deceived the public and got paid for months on end for doing nothing.
Now this disgusting example of a human being, is being allowed to continue his position as Mayor and Ward Councillor.
Would it have been the same if the person had been UKIP, Independant, Labour or other, I do not think so.

Bertie Biggles said...

14.29, harsh words but I have let your comment stand. The only thing that Cllr Watt-Ruffell has is his seat as an Ind Cllr for Dane Valley. The magistrates clearly took into account the disgrace and humiliation that would attach to his plea and finding of guilty. He has resigned as mayor and from the Conservative Party and may well have problems with his continued employment as a security officer. I personally think it is in his intrest and Dane Valley residents for him to resign as a ward cllr but that is his perogative. He has paid a high price for his animal neglect and perhaps we should all realise that. I know that cruelty to helpless animals arouses strong passions but we should not let our hearts blind us from the penalty this man has paid already.