Was it really nice to be told that the Ezekiel Party intend to keep their bit of Council Tax rises to 2.46% and 2.5% for the next 4 years? It does seem a blatant pre 2011 election type of promise. If it only works out at 10p per week, I for one am happier to see the Biggles' household pay an extra 20p per week if it improves our street cleaning, rubbish collection services and enables loos and museums to be kept open. The decline of our traditional town centres and high streets doesn't need to be revealed by The Sun; TDC's own Parking income has collapsed and that tells a sorry tale. Time to charge Westwood Cross £300 per car space for them to recoup by charging for parking that is currently free? Other Councils have introduced schemes.
At Thursday's Budget Meeting, rather than nodding through a Vice Chair of Plannings Gaff (as they did in 2008) after a long evening, it seems that Cllr Green revealed that The Ezekielites are running down the TDC reserves to dangerously low levels and Cllr Alan Poole urged 'Mauwice' and 'Woger' to resign. Whilst number crunching does my head in, a cry for the disgraced duo to go has my heartfelt support and if rumours are true,we might see the back end of them soon anyway, without Cllr Poole's cry from the heart.
Meanwhile in Broadstairs Town Council, the Ezekielites have had another 'Panama Broadhurst ' type absentee! We hear reports that Beacon Road Ward representative, Cllr. Lewis Dennis, Conservative, has been removed from office for failing to attend the requisite number of meetings since his election in 2007. He's even been removed from the council's website following a recent meeting.
The Ezekielites, who hold all the council seats bar one, have decided to try to fill the vacancy left by Mr. Dennis' removal but seemed to have tried to keep this very quiet as a small, insignificant notice was posted up by Pierremont Park advertising their wish to co-opt a new member to the Council. This looks like another Ezekiel Party attempt to prevent the electorate from having a choice as to who represents them for the remaining year before elections in 2011.
The Strife team understands two Conservatives have thrown their hats into the ring so will they draw straws to decide who gets the seat? Will any other candidates come forward at this late stage as the closing date is Monday? Is this true democracy at work? Will there be a by-election so close to a general election? Could another party snatch the seat? The Strife Team will try to keep you updated as and when we get any information.
On the subject of information, squeezing accurate info from TDC, KCC, SEEDA, GOSE etc is like trying to extract blood from a stone. Here is a typical response that Strife Team member had recently to an FoI request:
Q: How much was written off by SEEDA for The Marks &Spencer Building in Margate and how much was given to TDC/KCC for its purchase?
A: . SEEDA provided grant funding of £4.72m to TDC for the acquisition costs, taxes
and fees relating to the Marks & Spencer building in Margate. As SEEDA does
not own the building, we will not be writing down any amount.
So no-one is responsible for this waste of tax-payer's money. The fact that the building's value has halved and has been empty for a few months is not a problem for SEEDA; it gave a grant. TDC got a grant and the fact that the value of the property has halved doesn't concern it either. What a crazy world we live in when SEEDA can give a grant of almost £5,000,000 tax-payer's cash to an 'arty-farty' disaster called temporary TC at Marks; whilst TC pay a Director (Victoria Pomeroy) for almost 9 years for a TC that has yet to be completed. Whilst TDC anguishes over the cost of providing essential services to the community in Thanet, millions of pounds of tax-payer's money is squandered on an irrelevant, wasteful, elitist and minority interest called 'modern art'. The best that we can come up with as 'art' at the moment is wrestling on the sand; walking round in squares on a beach pool and having some tatty bit of neon illumination on a listed building called Droit House 'created' by Tracy Emin.
Are we mad?