Thanet Star

Gangmasters Licensing Authority's Secret Conclusions

An interesting chapter in the story of UNITE vs Thanet Earth has closed as the Gangmasters Licensing Authority completes it's investigation into UNITE's claims against Thanet Earth.

You might recall that Thanet star's articles about UNITES's week of action against Thanet Earth and UNITES's London protest against Thanet Earth. The general beef being that workers were not treated at all well and that the 550 promised jobs never materialised. That they were mostly using cheap immigrant labour was also a sore point.

The full details of the investigation are to remain private which means that the public will remain in the dark about what was found. Whose interest does this best serve?

The Gangmasters Licensing Authority is a government body and yet it seems to be opperating in a way that suggests to me that it would rather kiss the backside of companies than protect the rights of workers. According to my sources the Gangmasters Licensing Authority has confirmed (in a statement that I've not seen) that only one of the three labour providers inspected was flagged up as "cause for concern". Which is red-tape speak for "broke the rules more than most".

Apparently the Gangmasters Licensing Authority has said that the matter has been resolved (even though it has been done in secret). All three of the labour providers will continue to hold their Gangmasters Licensing Authority licence.

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To Impressed of China

I was sent an interesting message via the contact page here at Thanet Star recently. The problem is I'm not actually sure what it is in reference to. So I'm hoping the reader will follow up with a comment here.

A user writes: I'm impressed! You've managed the almost impossible.

Given the user's email address comes from a big Chinese email host I am assuming that the impressed user is from China. If you are reading this I am very glad that you like what you see and I would love to know what it is that you are specifically impressed with.

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Is the last journalist about to switch off the lights?

Three years ago today the demise of the Thanet Gazette was predicted. Is that prediction coming true?

Back in 2008 Justin Williams an Assistant Editor at the Telegraph Media Group wrote of the impending demise of Thanet's print media and the Gazette especially. Are we starting to see this prediction come true?

Although Mr Williams no longer maintains a personal website (although he is active on twitter) his post of the eighth of August 2008 (08/08/08) still rings true for me. It was titled The Thanet Gazette: Will the last journalist to leave please turn out the lights.

In that post Mr Williams expressed his horror over the bungled handling of what should have been their biggest story in years. The story of a certain carrier bag of "lost papers" that suggested that Sandy Ezekiel (Council Leader at the time) and others had lied about expenses relating to the China Gateway planning proposal.

The story was broken on Thanet's blogs a good long time before the newspaper's were willing to print it. When they did they refused to put the story on their own website - it was only available in the print edition.

Journalism, Williams concluded, was alive and well in Thanet on a select few blogs (including Thanet Star). It was from this that a number of thinkers in the world of journalism suggested that blogging was the future of journalism in Thanet and that the Thanet star was a prime example of this.

Then Williams predicted the end of the Gazette and possibly print journalism in Thanet. Most people dismissed him as over-reacting. Now we see that the Thanet Gazette is due to be flogged off to Kent Messenger. Who is the sane one now I wonder?

It seems to me that blogging is more important than ever before but how can it gain the reach of the print papers or indeed should it?

The countervalue.com article and blog are no longer online but the story was located here.

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Poverty - an inside look

A BBC report into poverty in Paris and London. Perhaps it will be an eye opener for those of us who try to ignore it in Thanet.

BBC News - On the trail of George Orwell’s outcasts

Retracing Orwell's footsteps, Emma Jane Kirby finds the hallmarks of poverty he identified - addiction, exhaustion and, often, a quiet dignity - are as apparent now as they were 80 years ago.

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Tesco on pause

Margate Architecture are reporting that the planning application for the Tesco building at Arlington House has been delayed as a challenge to the legality of the current planning approval has been made.

Margate Architecture: Campaigners succeed in halting final decision on Freshwater application for superstore at Arlington, Margate

One imagines there was an almighty kerfuffle at Cecil Square on Wednesday when Richard Buxton solicitors, acting on behalf of a group of Margate residents and businesses, sent a letter informing TDC, that for them to issue a Decision Notice on Freshwater's application for a superstore as big as two football pitches, it would be unlawful.

Why this might seem like a bad thing for progress it is actually a good thing (and not only if you are against the project) it is a good thing because it means that TDC is undergoing scrutiny that often appears to be lacking. Hopefully we can avoid the dogs dinner that some local projects have become.

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The smell of sea air and rotting seaweed

The yearly problem of smelly seaweed is back again this year too much to the complete lack of surprise of most locals.

However this year the BBC seemed to have picked up on the story.

BBC News - Talks held over Thanet's rotting seaweed

MPs and councillors discuss how to tackle the problem of rotting seaweed on beaches in Thanet.

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Like to write?

If you love to write then the Thanet Creative Writers blog might be the ideal place to connect with your nearest writer group.

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Hyper-localism

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

General
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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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