Thanet Star

Midweek Beer: A real life Thanet meet up

Fancy a get-together?

I don't know how it is for you but I have met in person only a very small fraction of my readers and an even smaller fraction of my fellow bloggers (unless ECR and the anons are actually old mates of mine keeping it secret).

I'm going to be hanging out at the World Bar in old town Margate from about 7pm on this Wednesday and have invited a large number of people to come join me. This would be an ideal time for bloggers and blog readers who are free that night to roll up and say hi to each other. We don't have to stay in that venue nor do we "have to" do anything else.

There is no agenda beyond having a good time

It's open to all (being a public bar and all) so ECR can show his real face and pose as a reader. Yes, that does mean Simon Moores is invited but no, I do not think he'd want to come meet me for a pint somehow.

All are welcome but the topics of Politics and Religion might want to have an early night so we Internet users can take an evening off too. If you fancy seeing the man behind this blog then you know where to show your face this week.

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Where to get a carpet?

I'd want to ask you guys and gals for some advice.

I have a room 14 foot by 12 foot that requires some fairly resilient carpet. Including getting the carpet itself (and gripper rods, underlay and fitting) what would you say a fair price is and where would you advise that I go to obtain that fair price?

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Thanet District Council are officially disliked

Thanet District Council officially has one of the lowest satisfaction ratings in the UK according to one report.

In all of Britain only 17 councils were rated lower. Just 33.6% of those interviewed could say that they were at least fairly satisfied with the local council. Compare this with the top three

Wandsworth Borough Council - 75.3
City of London - 72.7
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea - 72.2

So while Tamworth Borough Council (32.8%), Torbay Council (30.2%) and Northampton Borough Council (26.8%) might be even worse on the crap-o-meter that is still a fairly useless score.

At least we managed 26 from bottom on "nice place to live" which Newham London Borough managed to scoop the last place on. Sucks to be them - maybe our bloggers need to take a holiday there so that Thanet seems bright and nice when we get back... or not...

So Thanet is officially slightly less crap than Newham London Borough and has a council which is about as useless as Bristol City Council - tell us something we don't know.

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...and the winner is Tony Flaig

This long over due Rising Star of Thanet Award goes to...

(Drum Roll Please)

Tony Flaig of Big News Margate.

Tony is one of Thanet's premier rising stars and has been featured in more BBC documentaries than any of the rest of us. I've been meaning to write this post for ages and feel bad that it has taken me so long to celebrate one of our best talents.

Tony has given coverage to the topic of Kent TV despite the risk it has exposed him too. Thankfully for us Kent TV don't scare our Tony. However our Tony scares their overpriced buttocks clean across the room.

Tony joins a select few Thanet rising stars who have so far been recognised with this award. It's well deserved too. Tony has had more than his fair share of strife from ne'er-do-wells that have an agenda to hide.

Let's raise a glass to "our Tony" and to many more years of great blogging!

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The surprising parable of the Westwood Cross superstore

Having endured yet another painful and fruitless trip to Westwood Cross in search of nothing more complex than a bag I see a whole other reason why little shops should, must and will survive.

Faced with a bewildering array of things that I do not want and cannot use it is becoming increasingly hard to find what I am looking for. The bigger shops might "offer more" but in doing so they offer less. Less speed, less focus and less ease of searching.

The total irrelevance of the shopping experience is, for me, exemplified by Debenhams, . The first floor appears to be dedicated to ladies clothes, underwear and other accessories while the first thing that hits you as you go to clime the stairs is "back to school" which is for sale goodness only knows where.

...

» Continue Reading: The surprising parable of the Westwood Cross superstore

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Anonymity may not be enough

Thanet bloggers beware - new case law could strip you of your "right" to privacy.

The headline reads "Bloggers have no right to privacy says British court". It centres arround detective constable Richard Horton who wrote (the now deleted) NightJack blog. The court has ruled that he has no "right to anonymity" under British law.

This means that should ECR, Biggles or any of the other "anon" bloggers have their real names uncovered there is nothing that can be done to stop that information being made public. One assumes that this applies to those that comment. So watch out.

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Overview of Meadow Nursery, Millmead

The Meadow Nursery page on the Sure Start Millmead website is out of date. To help keep Thanet's information local web a bit more useful here is a short guide to which you are welcome to add additional information via the comments form.

Meadow Nursery is part of the Sure Start complex in Millmead, Dane Valley. Meadow Nursery is a purpose built Nursery featuring a large outside play area and a full compliment of dedicated equipment to help children learn while playing.

Meadow Nursery take children from a very young age starting with Buttercup Room. Meadow Nursery's Buttercup Room is for children under two years of age. It has dedicated staff, nap area and a seperate outside play area.

Meadow Nursery's Bluebell Room is specifically for children aged two to three years. After their third birthday children are eased into the ajoining room called Primrose Room. Meadow Nursery's Primrose Room is for children aged three years and above and they will be here until it is time to leave for school.

Meadow nursery constantly receive a very high offstead rating and have achieved a number of other marks of excellence. If Sure Start Millmead had updated the website in the last nine months I could tell you what they were exactly.

Statistically the nursery's results speak for themselves. Consultation with a local school showed that around half (about 50% although I lack the figures to hand) of children starting school were at or above the minimum level set out by national legislation and so forth. Meadow Nursery's outgoing children in that year had 97% at or above the level required with the remainder being made up of children with significant additional challenges and needs.

This result from Meadow Nursery is perhaps the best indicator that Early Years Intervention is effective and likely in the medium to long term to help break the cycle of poverty in Thanet.

For more information you can contact Meadow Nursery driectly on 01843 282247. You can also see if this link is working, in which case you will be able to print out an application form.

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Pictures from the "Big Event"

Matt B himself
As promised I was up at the "Big Event" near by the high tech karaoke concert of cover bands hanging out with the dad's from Father's in Thanet as well as the out numbered ladies representing the rest of Six Bells Children's Centre.

Yes that is me looking a bit scruffy and in need of a beard trim. I'd just had a long scare with the disappearance of one of my children. Fortunately about a minute before I'd been handed wrist bands that one can add a mobile number to. So the panic ended when another mum phoned me to say there was a very sorry little boy wanting daddy.

There was also a very sorry daddy wanting his son. He didn't wander off again and was most vigalent that his brother and sister stay close too - so all is well that ends well.

Here are a few snap shots of the day. More can be found on my facebook account later.

Say cheese mate

This next picture is the view through the thin canvass of the stand. It's part of the long line of people waiting to use the loo.
need to potty?

Oh, it does end then?
still need the loo!

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FIT Air Show for dads

A group of Dads from around Thanet will be using the "Big Event" to meet other dads. The reason? FIT!

lumpy aka mick
doug
FIT (or more commonly Fathers In Thanet) will be at the air show (aka Margate's "Big Event") this weekend to promote a group aimed specifically at dads. Doug and Mick (two blokes who would not stand still for a decent photo) want to see more dad's getting something out of the monthly dad's group.

this was the best I could get

Currently each FIT meeting sees around six or seven dads plus a host of children of different ages.

Fathers in Thanet meet once a month at the Six Bells Children's Centre and will be available at the Six Bells Children's Centre stand for the weekend. Look for this logo (based on a design by yours truly)
Fathers in Thanet Logo.

...and this logo (nothing to do with my art work).
Fathers in Thanet alt logo

If you are at the "Big Event" (and a lot of people will be) make sure you find the dads and have a chat.
Almost a good photo

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We do not have the power

It's power cut season here in Thanet it seems.

Adem reported a long EDF outage in Ramsgate last year but last night it was Margate's turn. Sometime after midnight but before 2:30 there was an outage covering most of Margate. That one almost cost me a client because I had no alarm clock to wake me up.

This evening there was a short outage that hit parts of Millmead and possibly elsewhere although there were two outages elsewhere in the UK at that time.

Have you had any outages recently?

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Gale's Dinner

I've been having a look at the MPs expenses (which were published today) and took a peek at some of Mr Gale's.

Take, for example, Roger Gale's Additional Cost Allowance for 2007 to 2008. In 2007 it looks like Roger's dinner cost £242.75 a month yet come 2008 and suddenly it costs a square £50.

Would I be cynical is thinking someone saw which way things were going and changed his ways?

...

» Continue Reading: Gale's Dinner

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Racist Thanet: Are Refugees The Problem?

On Saturday 27th July a film will be screened exposing shocking evidence of racism in Thanet in the recent past. The film entitled "Are Refugees The Problem?" shows people marching and demonstrating against asylum-seekers and immigrants in Margate in 2000.

Local people interviewed in the film speak out against refugees and one young boy says "he's proud to be a Nazi."

But other local people claim that looking after people who have fled from war and violence in their own countries is a sign of civilisation, and that the economic problems of Thanet are not caused by refugees. Indeed it would seem likely that at least part of the issue is the nature of development and the decline of traditional sea-side commerce.

The film contrasts the attitudes of the demonstrators with the realities of refugees, and includes interviews with asylum seekers who tell moving stories of why they were forced to flee their countries of origin to come to Britain.

Made by Broadstairs-based film company, IMS, the film is being screened as part of Thanet Refugee Week.

Mr Norman Thomas
One of the producers of the film, Mr Norman Thomas (pictured thanks to Bill Harris), said: "The film shows some of the most horrific racist attitudes among some people in Thanet. But it also shows other people courageously standing out against the racists."

Mr Thomas, who lives in Broadstairs, added: "In the film the National Front are shown trying their hardest to gain political power in Thanet - but in the end they failed."

Mr Thomas feels the film has a timely warning at a time when, following the recent elections, extreme right-wing parties are on the rise. While it is true that the BNP failed to get a footing in Thanet they continue to try. Times of poverty have historically been used by extreme groups to stir up fear and hatred.

He said: "People's fears of refugees and foreigners can be exploited and manipulated to stir up hatred and violence. We have to all unite to oppose such attitudes."

The screening of the film will take place at 7.30 at the Red Hall, 11 Grosvenor Road, Broadstairs. Admission is free but seating is limited.

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Making good a garden

As projects go I'm quite looking forward to this one.

This mission is to turn a junk tip of a "garden" into a real garden in one and a half weeks. The budget is not huge but it is reasonable and there is help. The question is can we pull off something that will make everyone happy?

The first snag has been that the raised planting areas are chock full of rubble and very little soil. If we can get it all out we will need to fill about 1.7 cubic meters of volume with fresh topsoil. This is going to eat in to our three figure budget whatever way we cut it.

How are you enjoying the nice weather?

...

» Continue Reading: Making good a garden

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Kent County Council Election Results

Well it seems that everyone has used the KCC elections to tell the MPs what they think of the current "leadership".

The result of this is, according to the radio this morning, that Conservatives have a huge majority and the opposition is Liberal Democrat with Labour sitting in as a truly minority party.

I'm not saying that I can't understand why but I wonder if this is what is best for the area? Time, as they say, will tell.

How do you feel about these results?

Are the Lib Dems making a comeback?

How does this bode for TDC elections?

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Have you voted today?

There is still time to get out to your local polling station and show the world that you giv a damn about where you live even if you tick boxes at random. The fact that people show up to vote at all is important for each area.

The feeling on the ground appears to be that turn out will be low at arround 20% to 30% of people actually showing up to vote. So it seems that MPs have done a great deal of harm to democracy with their cheating and taking attitude. The fact that "everyone is doing it" does not make it right for you to do it.

Sadly this means that we run a greater than average risk of getting despots, crackpots and other assorted detritus of politics running things in KCC and the EU for the next few years. It's not to late yet...

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Ask Questions - Get Answers

Got a question? Why not ask the readers of Thanet Star for an answer?

Anyone can ask a question and anyone can offer an answer. So ask about blogging, ask abotu politics or just ask about something else. Ask questions and get answers. Simple.

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Byte Sized

Did you know?

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

Facts
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Did you know

MP Roger Gail (thanet North) wanted to increase VAT

Facts
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Did you know

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

Facts
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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.

Facts
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Did Labour Lie?

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

Questions
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MRP Minutes

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

General
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Manston Airport

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

General
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CCG to review

Thanet CCG told by High Court judge that policy on assistive reproduction technique is “unlawful”. [link]

General
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Good comments

Generally longer, more in depth, comments get flagged as spam less often.

Blogs
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Spam stopping

Matt has spent some time retraining the spam filter to avoid false positives and catch more spam. If your comment gets flagged as spam let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Blogs
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Did you know?

People traveled from as far as Boston USA to come to GEEK 2014.

Facts
 
 

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