Thanet Star

Post-Brexit Thanet

The dust is settling, to some degree, after the referendum results were announced. We have a new Prime Minister, the Cabinet has been changed, and now people are left wondering how the result will affect them. So what does all this mean for Thanet?

Unfortunately, the answer is money. A lot less of it.

Between 2000 and 2006, Thanet directly received 26m in EU funding, including: 3.2m for a new electricity sub-station and improved electricity infrastructure to increase capacity and support industrial development within the area; 700,000 for the Thanet Campus Phase 2, with a bias on business and technology; and 1.3m for the Thanet Innovation Centre.

Thanet has also benefited from EU grants worth millions for the High Speed 1 rail link which runs between Margate and London; improved energy efficiency and lighting within Kent schools; investment into nature reserves; Chamber of Commerce, the promotion of business and enterprise, Business Link, and self-employment training for those starting businesses; funding to support and help 5000 'at risk' teenagers across Kent and Medway; English, Maths and IT training to Level 2 for adults who did not achieve qualifications in school; supporting the tourism industry throughout Kent; preserving archaeological heritage and local history; Sure Start centres throughout Thanet; grants for the harbour and refurbishment of the historic arches in Ramsgate, Viking Bay in Broadstairs, the Turner Contemporary and the Creative Quarter in Margate.

As of now, we need to look at how we are going to move forward as a community without financial support like that in the future. Infrastructure, new businesses, arts and culture, coastlines, tourism; somehow we need to continue supporting these areas, as without them Thanet is doomed to slump.

Whatever way I try and write this piece, I cannot offer good news. Both sides, Leave and Remain, have had to acknowledge that the promises made during the referendum campaign were hollow and without substance, and now we all face a new reality together that we have made. The big changes in government are just the start, and so much more is going to happen over the coming months and years it is almost impossible to predict the outcome, other than places like Thanet will once again be side-lined.

We need to pull together to prevent Thanet drifting back into the gloom. This vibrant area is a wonderful place to live, and the positivity and proactivity of the residents will surely prevail, no matter what challenges come our way. Simply put, we need to cast our differences aside and unite to save Thanet.

About Seb: When he is not writing guest posts for Thanet Star Seb Reilly is a fiction writer and occasional musician from Thanet. Seb maintains a website at
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Thanet Writers Launch Education Policy

Thanet-based writing collective Thanet Writers have launched an Education Policy, allowing some of their content to be used by educational establishments for free. This is another positive, community-based step from the group, who already offer two writers' groups a week for authors and poets to gain a critique of their work.

Having reviewed the policy, it is clear that schools, colleges, universities, and adult learning facilities (providing free courses) will all benefit from this. The content made available under the policy is mainly what Thanet Writers call 'Essays' - non-fiction articles about writing, along with book reviews and some videos.

Thanet Writers are proving to be a resourceful and forward-thinking group (three of our regular contributors also write for Thanet Writers), and Thanet Star has learned that the group are planning more community-based projects for the future. The content on is also incredibly interesting, featuring short stories and poetry alongside non-fiction articles. It is definitely worth checking out, so head over and take a look!

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UKIP & Tory Councillors vote in favour of racism

The motion before Thanet District Council tonight was a simple one, agree to continue to oppose racism and discrimination. But, the UKIP and Troy councillors were united in opposition.

Tonight Thanet District Council, under the direction of UKIP and Conservative councillors, voted in favour of racism in Thanet.

The motion, which was met by applause from the public, was quickly squashed by UKIP with a motion to not debate the motion.

A point of order was raised pointing out that by not allowing ten minutes for debate the motion would "fall" and therefore would be rejected by the council sending the message that Thanet District Council did not plan to continue to oppose racism.

This was met by smirks from UKIP councillors.

A vote was taken on whether or not the council should debate the motion (or reject it) and every UKIP, every Tory (as far as I could see) and everyone else with the exception of four Labour councillors swiftly voted to allow the motion to fall.

As the vote by show of hands was called there was a hush of disbelief from the public. As the vote was counted there were hisses and cries of this says so much, not in my name, and you're a disgrace from the public.

It fell to the public to remind councillors this goes on record, but they ignored the public and pressed forward with a near-united vote.

The public became more agitated with general cries of protest and not-too-subtle suggestions that each vote was a racist vote.

Tonight the UKIP and Tory councillors in TDC voted against an anti-racism motion allowing it to fall without debate. Thereby indicating that not only were they not in favour of pledging to have the council continue to oppose racism but they were not willing to even allow it to be discussed.

This was followed by a large-scale angry walkout by all or most of the general public.

Only five Labour councillors voted in support of the motion.

This is our council at work. Voting in favour of racism.

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Thanet's Divide

I'm sure that you're aware of the divide in Thanet - the geological divide, that is.

Margate: The place you don't want to walk alone at night.

Broadstairs: The place that you could leave your door open all night with a sign outside that says "I have millions in gold sitting in my lounge" and be safe.

Ramsgate: The one in between. Be wary but you're probably okay.

At least, that's what image they have. For the longest time, I've argued the toss that these opinions aren't accurate. Margate has its problems but it's not as bad as it's made out to be. Broadstairs isn't as great as it is believed to be. That's actually pretty true about Ramsgate, to be fair.

I recently saw crime stats for Thanet that did nothing but reinforce these notions. Kent police published the number of call outs specific streets had for violent and sexual assaults so far this year. Broadstairs had a grand total of one street with other 10 call outs. Ramsgate had 5 with the highest being 25 and an average of 14.6 callouts.

To put all of those into perspective, across the 5 Ramsgate streets there were a grand total of 73 calls. Northdown Road had 75 alone. Margate had 37 streets with over 10 call outs.

You can see the full details here and have a look to see if your street is on the list.

There's clearly a divide that does exist. There's even a life expectancy difference between the towns. If you live in Cliftonville West you're expected to live a couple of years less than if you live in outside the ward.

Why is there this divide? I don't have the answer, unfortunately, but there are numerous social-economical differences between the areas and that isn't helping. It's been well established now that poverty causes a lot of problems in the area, especially when the entire area is impoverished. Recently, Thanet Star's editor published an article over on Lord Matt calling on Thanet's people to start on the path to end the poverty in the area. Head over and have a look. It's not going to solve all of our problems, but if we can make a start, lessen the divide between the areas and unleash the potential in this isle that we call home, isn't that our duty?

David Chitty is a local fiction writer who spends far too much time tending to his beard. He can be found on or you can like him on Facebook.
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In Dreamland

Growing up in Thanet, Dreamland was something of an institution. When the summer holidays rolled around we would forget about school and spend our days either on the beach or in the arcades, and save our pocket money to go to Dreamland. Someone's birthday? Dreamland. Bank holiday? Dreamland. Some days we could afford wristbands and we'd go on every ride at least twice, other days we'd grab a few tokens and just experience the Scenic Railway, screaming as we went round for the hundredth time that month.

Since Dreamland's grand reopening last year I've been hesitant to go. I know that probably sounds bad, but it is not necessarily for the reason you might think. I was overjoyed to hear that Dreamland was being resurrected and have been in full support of it the entire time. I was saddened when Sands Heritage Ltd went into administration, and my column a month ago addressing that issue was not in any way a criticism of Dreamland itself. My reason for not attending the park thus far has been, to be honest, a fear that it will not live up to my childhood memories.


» Continue Reading: In Dreamland

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For those interested in blogging local news in and arround the UK this BBC article from last year is sure to be of interest.

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Did you know?

Margate was the first seaside resort to introduce deck chairs way back in 1898.

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Did you know

MP Roger Gail (Thanet North) wanted to increase VAT

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Did you know

MP Roger Gale (Thanet North) has never voted on measures to reduce tax avoidance

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Too popular

On Wednesday 28th May the article The staggering truth about Gloag's Manston deal was so popular that it was briefly unreachable as the server could not supply pages fast enough.

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Did Labour Lie?

Who actually believes TDCs Health and Safety line? Comment now on Thanet Star.

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MRP Minutes

All of the Margate Renewal Partnership Board Meeting Minutes (Via FOI)

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Manston Airport

Two weeks to find Manston Airport buyer says North Thanet MP (via BBC)


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Recent Comments

Matt B commented on Thanet's Divide
Size could be a factor. Although, for equivalency between Northdown Raod and Margate it...
[28-07-2016 07:46:45]

Yolande Kenwar... commented on Public calls for the resigna...
Electoral Fraud at the highest levels in KCC (please see Yolande Kenward facebook). ...
[23-07-2016 03:06:26]

Yolande Kenwar... commented on Public calls for the resigna...
I have asked Paul Carter to resign - please see my letter to the KCC Head of Democracy...
[23-07-2016 03:02:57]

half a physici... commented on Thanet's Divide
Yes, but doesn't it depend on how long the road is as well? Northdown Road is very...
[16-07-2016 11:36:47]

Matt B commented on Was Brexit a racist vote?
So you are saying that the NHS (which the Tory's cut budget to) suffered not because of...
[25-06-2016 18:21:48]

Mark tournay commented on Was Brexit a racist vote?
Completely not with 5 extra countries probably about 100,000 from each coming here...
[25-06-2016 06:54:14]

Richard commented on Was Brexit a racist vote?
What is racism Matt ? What is multiculturalism ? Was Germany a constitutional...
[24-06-2016 15:46:54]

Richard commented on The Racists Have Won
Sanctimonious drivel
[24-06-2016 09:38:53]

Matt B commented on The Devil's Dilemma
I think the short story is TDC lack the resources to do both (almost a given)....
[14-06-2016 17:51:08]

Richard commented on The Devil's Dilemma
The proposition in your piece is that TDC have resources to spare, by abandoning their...
[12-06-2016 18:01:30]

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