As news is revealed that Conservative dominated KCC feels it is acceptable to pay an extra £200,000 this year to its Chief Executive on top of his £240,000 salary, one wonders if it is not time that David Cameron got to grips with his party at County and District level. After all , his salary as Prime Minister will be a fraction of Mr Gilroy's later in the year.
I mention District level, because the nitty gritty of The Montefiore Village Green Public Enquiry moves into its 4th day today. Highlights today are a 'site visit' and evidence from TDC Officer Paul Verral.
The report below is from one of the 'Strife' team who sat through 2 hrs of the Enquiry yesterday afternoon, and as a result has earned an 'extra chocolate biccie' award from Edna, our tea lady. (The Village Green supporters are doing their best, without professional legal support, against a very expensive barrister and legal team, employed by TDC, at our expense, to fight against its own electorate's wishes.)
This afternoon I spent two hours listening to questioning about the fencing around the area formerly known as the Montefiore Games Centre in Ramsgate.
'Two hours?' I hear you ask.
'Yes, and that was only one TDC officer giving evidence. There's another to come tomorrow.
'Yes and that was only this afternoon as this morning and yesterday much of our council tax was being spent on a barrister asking questions relating to 'fencing'.
The whole issue relating to the village green application seems to hang on 'whether or not/when/why/did TDC decide to give up on replacing fencing around ' and ' was it the tennis courts or the putting green area or the bowling green?'
The date on which TDC decided to stop replacing fencing panels is crucial to this as that will determine when the public had free access to the land formerly known as the 'old putting green that then became a croquet lawn'.
'Was it in the mid-90s, late-90's or when?'
'Was there persistent vandalism or occasional vandalism that contributed to the decision?'
'Why is this important?' you ask.
Well. depending on how long the public has had unimpeded access to open spaces will determine whether or not land can be classified as 'a village green' at least I think that's what it's all about. Ardent tennis players claim they have had free access to the area behind the courts for 30 years retrieving lost balls.
Hours of highly-paid barrister time, funded by us taxpayers, by a council that claims financial hardship. A good use of our money?
Those campaigning for a village green are represented by a non-legal person who did succeed in tieing the TDC officer giving evidence up in knots at times. It seems paperwork is only kept for a short time so essential information isn't still available for the Inspector taking a decision on this case to see.
I can't speak for any other witnesses as I only attended this afternoon but I hope our taxpayers' thousands reap a just result for the Thanet taxpayers.
Those sitting listening are aware that should this be lost the land will then be linked up with land behind the Holy Trinity School to create a large, executive housing development fronting Montefiore Avenue.
I wonder what the bill for legal and Officer's time will be for this Enquiry? An FoI is being prepared. Will this folly continue as TDC fights 3 more Village Green applications. " When will they ever learn?"