Thanet Star

Turner Report Skeptic

Excuse me for being just a bit sceptical about the Turner centre's latest announcement regarding it's success.

Should the statement be believed that the Turner Centre has added 13.8m and 130 jobs to the economy. That's 13,800,000 or an ecomic boost to the value of over 50 pretty good saleries.

The problem is that the gallery actually paid to have the study done so it was highly unlikely to find that no change has resulted. If you paid me a ton of cash to do a study I would be tempted to look for a positive too.

I think their assumptions used to turn 495,000 reported visitors into 13.8m bares some closer examination.

Or rather it probably doesn't. I suspect that on closer examination that rather grand sounding number might proove to be so much smoke and mirrors.

The gallery has to justify it's existance and funding a study that says "yes this is all good" is probably the cheapest option.

Just because a study says something is so no more makes it true than if a newspaper announces it.

Even if it was true that's stil a long way from value for invested money.

Do you trust the gallery's study?

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Right building - wrong location

The failed Broadstairs Community Centre was the right thing to build.

The problem with the Broadstairs Town Council's failed Community Centre is not that they tried to build it. Broadstairs could do with a more community focused space.

The problem was not that they tried to update thier plans to include Age Concern although some insightful planning could have braught them onboard to start with.

The problem was not the ammount they spent planning - although they did spend far too much getting the planning not so far.

The problem was not even that they tried to build it in the park even though this was the worst possible location that they could have chosen. Honestly it is harder to think of a worse place to locate the building. That was not the problem though.

The problem was not that Labour (and to an extent Liberal Demorcats) opposed and questioned the plans. When you have the balance of power across a number of councils this is not something to worry about.

The problem is that there was no community buy in.

At no point was it safe to say that the people of Broadstairs were saying "by jove, we need a community centre".

The building comittee (or whatever group was pushing the project) could have gotten a lot more milage by selling the community the idea that a community centre would be a good thing even if this meant spending less on consultations and meetings.

One simply has to look at Millmead Hall which is a different story. The community there were saying the equivilant of "look at this bally old scout hut! Something needs to be done here and quickly, by golly."

So when Thanet Council came along and started renivation works on the building everyone was really pleased. The result is a community focused building that is well used and popular.

This community buy-in is what was missing from the Broadstairs project and because it was missing Labour had a a free hand to bring a stop to the project without risking a single vote. After all the Conservative party members were unlikely to vote for Labour anyway.

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82,000 is no small amount.

More than 82,000 has been spent chasing the conservative dream of building in Broadstairs park.

The project, which has been strongly opposed by some residents while not enjoying any outspoken support, has spent the money while failing to actually achieve anything.

82k is a lot of money to shell out with nothing to show for it. A level of spending easily described as wasteful is not what Thanet needs, now or ever. Whatever happened to good stewardship of resources?

Just to show how out of touch they are the Broadstairs town council members are talking about suing Thanet District Council for their losses.

I think it is about time Broadstairs voters seroousely considered a different flavour of councillor come the next ellections. Perhaps a councillor that is likely to oppose excessive parking chanrges and actually intends to look after the area.

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Fix my (dangerous) street

It's time to fix this problem before it kills someone.

Residents of Dane Valley have started to speak up regarding a dangerous junction that has come close to claiming the lives of a number of people.

We are calling for a mirror so positioned that someone coming out of Tenterden Way can actually see what is coming up the road before making a right hand turn. Rather than, as at present, make the right hand turn blindly and guessing you are not crossing in front of oncoming traffic.

You can sign the petition on the Kent County Council Website.

What happened to my mum's car

While I say "started" it's more like have renewed calls for KCC to sort it out. Back in July 2010 Rosemary (that's my mum) put a request on Fix My Street to see change after she and my sisters almost met their end at a known problem junction.

This request was promptly ignored.

This time, owever, it will not be ignored. When 1000 people sign the petition it will be debated by a full meeting of the council. Hard to ignore then, eh.

Sign the petition on the KCC Website.

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