Thursday, 14 January 2010


What an interesting tale, the 2008/9 TDC Asset disposal proposals have become. We now have 3 Village Green Applications at KCC from HOOT, Dumpton Park Drive and now Westbrook Against Selling Promenade Site (WASPS), all because TDC just do not get the picture locally.

Could I suggest readers visit to see how well the campaign is going to stop TDC selling off a rare piece of open space between the concrete promenade and chalk cliffs at Westbrook by Barnes Avenue Car Park.

The history behind the campaign is interesting. The original proposal document from TDC was vague to say the least about exactly what was being proposed to be sold off for development. It turned out to be the large rough grassland site beside Barnes Ave Car Park. (see picture above). The locals who use this grass area were annoyed to say the least and  got organised with Beach Warden Tony Sykes getting a web-site set up and getting over 140 local residents involved.

They even had a meeting with Mr Ellis of D J Ellis (an approved TDC contractor) who had put the idea to TDC ('Wodger' perhaps) that 12 luxury eco-pod chalets could be sited here to provide accommodation for visitors to the TC; i.e. The proposal was to put a 'caravan park' on the promenade in Westbrook!

The local electorate turned to their local Cllrs who happened to be Mike Tomlinson (Ezekiel Party) and spouse of Cabinet Member 'Shirl' and Cllr McCastree ( Thanet's only Ind 'Con' and reputedly a developer). E-mails were not responded to and to this date, these 2 local Cllrs have failed to talk with, meet with or even discuss concerns,  that over 145 local residents in their ward have raised. They have utterly failed to grasp their role as Ward Cllrs in that they have a duty to take concerns of their electorate to Council and represent them, even if they incurr the wrath of the Leader of The Ezekiel Party!

These two Cllrs might need to be reminded of the 2007 Election results in Westbrook Ward. This normally 'safe' Conservative Ward polled 567 votes for M. Tomlinson but Ind McCastree polled 433 votes and excluded Payne (Con) on 432 votes. Do the incumbent Ezekiel Party not realise that in Westbrook as elsewhere in Thanet, they are upsetting their traditional electorate and 'politicising' them to become organised and a coherent group who have become dis-enchanted with The Ezekiel Party?

The story gets even better, however.  Cllr Iris Johnston lives in this ward and as a private local resident has been in contact with WASPs. Word of this got to The Ezekiel Party's Deputy, 'Woger' who then penned this scurrilous sentence to Cllr Mark Nottingham in a letter:

' Barnes car park, a completely under utilised piece of land, suitable for a 'Holiday village' development of a few luxury Chalets was identified, and what happened then, your Group immediately opposed the sale of this piece of land and by applying for Village Green status effectively blocked the proposal you are so firmly in favour of.'

Now, whilst I understand that 'Woger' is reputed to froth at the mouth if you mention ECR in his hearing or leap like Salar The Salmon if Iris Johnston's name is spoken or even become apoplectic if he hears the word 'Bertie' , he should have realised that  WASPs are non-political and are just simply pee-ed off with TDC for even considering such a hare-brained scheme.

My understanding is that Clive Hart has written to 'Woger' stating that he cannot understand what 'Woger ' is on about and quite rightly denies any political involvement in Westbrook WASPs. WASPs also deny any such 'political' interference.  In a letter to 'Woger' Clive Hart has said :

'I can assure you that the Labour Group have made no collective decision whatsoever (one way or the other) on this particular matter and that to my knowledge no Labour member has had anything to to do with applying for Village Green status.  I hope you will correct these inaccuracies ASAP. '

It would seem that a sense of paranoia now stalks the Leadership of the Ezekiel Party. They utterly fail to understand that you risk your local traditional support with a mad scheme to put a caravan site on an area of rare grasses and flowers below Thanet's chalk cliffs that is used by locals to sun-bathe and picnic on and walk their dogs through. It is fully utilised not just by humans (who happen to be your electorate) but it also has winter visitors like rare snow buntings and shore larks, sheltering and feeding on seeds etc. It is a rather special wild-life habitat and enhances our beautiful coast line.

I leave you, dear reader, with a quote from 'Mauwice' himself in last week's IOTG concerning his thoughts about our environment and you might wonder how it matches his ideas about D J Ellis running a 'caravan park' on Westbrook promenade: " I love the country side here and I love the beaches'. 


Peter Checksfield said...

Personally I don't have a problem with that site being used for caravans / chalets...& I say this as a Westbrook resident who lives just a few minutes from there, & walks or cycles past this very spot at least a couple of times per week.

Anonymous said...

Roll on 2011 when the local elections take place and we can get rid of the Ezekiel Party for ever and put in councillors who work for their community not for themselves.

I know retired businessmen from outside Thanet who served their communities proudly as Conservatives for no allowances and said they worked for the benefit of everyone in their ward.

This lot currently running this area into the ground by kow-towing to any developer who promises them the earth needs a wake-up call and to face at least one round of elections in the wilderness.

No doubt you'll have 'Our Glorious Leader' coming on with his usual bit about 'how ungrateful we are and it's all the government's fault'. No, Tory councillors, or at least most of you, it's your fault.

How about some of you listening to your voters and replying to phone calls, letters and e-mails when your voters, of whatever political
hue contact you and then show us you listen.

Buzz Lighton said...

Westbrook WASPS are not a political organisation we just want this land left alone and not developed. Registering it as a village green will stop all development. All this political wrangling shows what a shambles local politics has become. If TDC want to show that it is listening to its electorate and regain some credibility why does it not register this land as a village green voluntarily. No doubt it would be able to tap into all sorts of external funding. As I see it its a no brainer and a win win situation for Thanet.

Peter Checksfield said...

Do TDC own that derelict site next to The Nayland Rock Hotel (near the lifeboat monument)? That would make an even better place for holiday homes.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Perhaps Wasps should use the same environmental arguements the Foreness Action Group used to prevent clifftop land being sold to Southern Water when the water company wanted to buy the land from TDC around the late 90's. TDC at the time was Labour controlled and Cllr Ezekial was a major player in the Foreness Action Group.
Weighing the situation up on what was best by listening to the residents and the environment case and not on political reasons TDC decided not to sell the land. How times have changed.

Anonymous said...

Was that not something to do with Cllr Eze-kill not wanting his own view spoilt!

Buzz Lighton said...

Peter the land by the Nayland was owned by a developer, I think, who 'accidently' demolished it and created this eyesore. The same happened at Nash Lane a wildlife haven and the potential to be a Cycle Path on the old line from Margate to Westwood. No doubt this will eventually get planning to clean up what has become another eyesore.

Anonymous said...

More to the point, Westbrook is found wanting a Councillor!

Who is Mick Tomlinson, as know one here knows him or has sen him since the election in 2007!!

Anonymous said...

WASP is a dangerous term to use, as it is used by racist groups in the USA. W-hite A-nglo S-axon P-eople.

We need to remember that Westbrook has a black councillor and this name gives the wrong signal!

Is it time for WASPs to change their name?

Bertie Biggles said...

14.56, I think they make clear what their WASP stands for and I think Cllr McCastree is too big a man to look for a racial twist to the term.

Anonymous said...

What does it matter what colour someone's skin is! I know plenty of people who have white skin and I wouldn't give them house room. If someone is caring and works for others they are worth their weight in gold

Anonymous said...

Isn't D G Ellis a friend of Ezekiels who was supposed to have been given the carpet contract for the Council Offices

Anonymous said...

It makes me so mad when I heaar of someone being racist because of the colour of their skin. We ALL Derived from Black skin, the first human being was as black as coal, most of the white english I know spend all their summer months and some of the winter trying to turn their skin colour as near to balck as they can. So manmy hypercrites in this world and i have no time for them.

Bertie Biggles said...

14.51, I do not know of the relationship between DG Ellis and 'Our Leader'. DG Ellis is an 'approved contractor' for TDC and was the main contractor for tDC Offices refurbishment and windows! The question of who their sub-contractor was for carpets is still a mystery!