Thanet Star

What's great about Thanet?

We can easily be negative about our home District but let us talk about what is good and great about the area.

Personally I love Thanet. It is my home, it's where I spent my childhood, my friends are here and it is home to GEEK (Game Expo East Kent).

Thanet has fantastic beaches and a good many passionate people that we could all benefit from empowering to do more.

There is a lot that is good about Thanet - what do you find great about Thanet?

Thanet Dragons Chilling out

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It is time to tell the council enough

It is time to tell the council that enough is enough. This is how we hold a vote of no confidence in the leadership of Thanet District Council.

In 2010 we accused the council of cheating voters out of the right to be consulted to try and make it look like we were not interested in local reform. The year before we learned that Thanet District Council is one of the least popular councils in the country. Of course that was back when the Council readily admitted that it lacked the skill set to do it's own job properly.

Proffessor Jones, who lectures at the London School of Economics and Political Science once described our council as clearly dysfunctional.

We need our council to realise that being on a council is not a game. From failing to verify anything their contractors tell them to failing to understand what goes on in the area (and what actually sees any use) Thanet District Council has failed us. From necessitating corruption probes to allowing a company to sit on prime land until the contracts expired of old age Thanet District Council has failed us. From loosing £3.4 Million by failing to secure a debt to refusing to be open and honest about what it does Thanet District Council has failed us.

This is why we need to hold a vote of no confindence in Thanet District Council.

This is how:

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» Continue Reading: It is time to tell the council enough

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GEEK 2014 in Pictures

We took a massive number of pictures at GEEK 2014 and will be sharing them on Facebook, Twitter, TumblR, Pinterest and other locations. Gotta catch 'em all.


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» Continue Reading: GEEK 2014 in Pictures

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Cover up over KCC Poverty Report?

Does anyone believe the Tories in KCC did not change the poverty report for political reasons?

In November KCC published a report on poverty in Kent which strongly linked the worsening of poverty to the cuts in benefits. By January the top Tories at KCC had re-written the report to cast the blame onto housing issues and the economy and away from Tory led policies of benefit cuts.

Does anyone here believe that there was not a conflict of interest in that action?

According to the BBC The first report said increases in homelessness, a rise in people in temporary accommodation, increased use of food banks and rising crime in some areas could be linked to the government's welfare changes.

Yet the revised report blames house prices, the economy (which the Tories say is getting better not worse) and the cost of living. I'm not the only one to notice the inconsistency in this or to observe that if the cost of living goes sharply up at a time when the amount of benefits drops then poverty results. Same thing different words.

Thanet Families in Need have also called out KCC's Tory spin machine on their weasley words:

Kerry Keating, director of a food bank run by Thanet Families in Need, said she blamed benefits changes for the increase in clients.

"How can the economy be blamed when there is growth in the economy?" she said.

"People are coming to us because of benefits cuts."

Source: BBC Report on the Kent Council Report on Poverty and the Possible Cover Up

Tony Travers, professor in government at the London School of Economics suggested to the BCC that The only way to get to the truth would be to get an independent organisation to look at it.

So the question remains does anyone here belive that KCC are not covering up on the issue of poverty in Kent? Is anyone convinced that they are not simply trying to protect their Westminster colleagues?

Did KCC's Conservative Leader accidently tell the truth or did he really need to make the report a little more "balanced" and by whose definition of balance?

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Ignorance of the law is no defence, Simon

In The Guardian article "Rival Facebook campaigns stir up a storm in a seaside teacup" I read that Simon Moores really does not understand publishing, the Internet, the law or all three.

We might have to explain it for him.

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» Continue Reading: Ignorance of the law is no defence, Simon

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GEEK 2014 has been (mostly) great

We have been having a great time (not) reporting from The Game Expo East Kent.

We would love to be reporting but the WiFi signal while strong is very hard to get a stable Internet connection with. We will be trying to get reports out during the day today but honestly do not know if this will be possible.

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Xbox One at GEEK 2014

Game Expo East Kent (GEEK) which opens 10am today will be boasting 16 Xbox Ones, the latest console from Microsoft which was released at the end of last year.

The following games are confirmed to be available on the new XBox Ones:

  • NBA2K14
  • Need for Speed Rivals
  • Battlefield 4
  • Ryse Son of Rome
  • Forza 5
  • Dead Rising 3
  • FIFA14
  • LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
  • Ryse*
  • Deadrising*
  • Battlefield*

*Pegi 18, ID may be required to play.

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Pleasurama Progress: No More SFP

In a move that has pleasantly surprise people Thanet District Council have finally axed the decade old dud that has been the Pleasurama development agreement. According to Thanet Gazette the Pleasurama site is free from the strangle hold of developers, SFP. This comes with the obvious result that council is now free to consult with "experts" on other options for the site.

What would like to see built at the site?

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What's On In Thanet: Half Term Special

This week is Half Term for the children! Whether you are a parent, a bored teenager, or a singleton who wants to have fun away from any families, we have a little something for everyone.

Tuesday the 18th February 2014

Jewellry & Soap Making Workshop

Friends of Thanet Star, shop No 60 Gifts & Things in Margate are offering Half Term fun with their craftsmen showing attendees how to make bracelets for £2 and fragranced soaps for £3. 9am-4pm. All goods made by attendees can be taken home. No need to book, just drop in!

Open Mic Night @ Lifeboat

From 8pm Onwards it is Open Mic Night at the Lifeboat Ale and Cider House in Margate's Old Town.

German Conversation Group

A German Conversation Group meet at 2pm at Gerry's Coffee and Art House (17 Albert Court, York Street, Ramsgate, CT11 9DN).

Vue Super Tuesday

The Vue at Westwood Cross are offering a third off on adult ticket prices every Tuesday. In order to qualify you need to register on site.

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» Continue Reading: What's On In Thanet: Half Term Special

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Drug Laws Make No Sense

The suggestion of a Cannabis Café for Thanet got a lot of people talking but what are the issues we are talking about here?

Blogger Chazwold (the chap who UKIP's thugs hit for no reason) writes about Drug Policy and raises the point that understanding of drug culture and use and legislation are worlds apart.

Indeed he is not alone. There is a growing consensus that the current enforcement led approach is not working. In fact there is a strong suggestion that a full cost benefit analysis of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 might show that that the cost of the act far outweighs any benefit it might have produced. Caroline Lucas MP has been campaigning for such an investigation into the value for money that drug laws actually bring.

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» Continue Reading: Drug Laws Make No Sense

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Is the South Thanet Vote set already?

In a Survation Poll of posible voting activity in South Thanet it was revealed that not only is Labour in the lead right now but the possible UKIP vote is not primerily made up of Conservative voters but a mix of voters who would as a second choice pick a range of other parties.

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» Continue Reading: Is the South Thanet Vote set already?

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Do you want an East Kent Unitary Authority?

It's not specifically something that Thanet Star is proposing but it it is not incompatible with having a vote of no confidence in Thanet District Council but some on Facebook have suggested that we should have a unitary authority for East Kent.


What do you think?

Would ditching TDC and KCC in favour of an East Kent Unitary Authority (EKUA) which would take care of everything be good bad or indifferent?

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What's On In Thanet: Valentines Day Special

Valentines Day is that time of the year when if you are of a cynical frame of mind men are required to prove that they love their partner... For most of us it is a day when we take our other half on a date.

This special edition of What's On In Thanet looks at romantic events and outings that you might be interested in going to both for couples and singles and anyone of the "it's complicated" camp.

The Winter Gardens Mask Ball is not going ahead

For those hoping for a romantic masked ball in Margate you might need to find somewhere else to go as it has been postponed until May. Read more here

Fortunately we have lots of alternatives for you.

Free Glass Of Wine At The Wheatsheaf In Margate

Get yourself a free glass of rose wine by "Liking" Hungry Horse on Facebook, filling in a quick form and printing or showing them (on any digital device) your voucher.

Free Valentines Sundae At The Toby Carvery

Simply sign up to their newsletter for regular deals to be sent to your email inbox and download your voucher for a free ice cream sundae this Valentine's weekend.

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» Continue Reading: What's On In Thanet: Valentines Day Special

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Port Ramsgate Animal Abuse: Guilty

Live export verdict is: Guilty.

According to a Facebook post made just over an hour ago the organisation behind the live exports out of Port Ramsgate were today found guilty of animal welfare abuse.

Thomas Lomas and Channel Livestock Ltd were found guilty of animal welfare abuse charges in Dover Magistrates Court today. Lomas was given a 6 month suspended sentence and ordered to pay £4,000 costs. His company, Channel Livestock Ltd was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £10,000 costs. reports Ian Driver.


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» Continue Reading: Port Ramsgate Animal Abuse: Guilty

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Cannabis Café for Thanet?

Could Thanet one day be the pot capital of Kent?

Ian Driver has publicly stated that he plans to organise a meeting in March to discuss the possibility of setting up a cannabis café in Thanet. Driver suggests creating a place where people bring their own cannabis to smoke.

Of course none of this changes the fact that Cannabis can only be obtained on the black market as selling Cannabis is currently against the law.

I appreciate that like alcohol and tobacco, cannabis can damage health but its time to think about developing a new approach to drugs because its clear that enforcement is becoming an incredibly expensive waste of money.

Is this a good idea? Here are some Cannabis facts. We will let you make up your own mind about Ian Driver's proposal.

Cannabis Facts

Cannabis is illegal to possess, grow, distribute or sell in the UK without the appropriate licences. It is currently classed as a Class B drug. Read more about what that means here.

There is a growing body of evidence that suggests many therapeutic uses of Cannabis.

Cannabis is at times linked to young people beginning to smoke tobacco as cannabis is often smoked with tobacco in the United Kingdom, unlike in many other parts of the world.

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» Continue Reading: Cannabis Café for Thanet?

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Thanet Floods (or lack thereof)

A few people have been posting alarming pictures suggesting the flooding of Thanet and that we would end up as an island maybe as soon as yesterday.

Now I get that there are flood warnings all over the show at the moment and it is the season to get wet. I get that there suddenly seems to be all this water just randomly falling out of the sky but this happens every year. Every year. It is called rain.

Also there is almost no chance of any significant flooding Thanet right now.

I know this because I looked on the Environment Agency Flood Warnings page.

Thanet Flooding? Nope.

Of course just outside Thanet things don't look so good. There are some for real flood warnings going on. But please notice that there are none for Thanet itself.

Can we assume that there will be no more silly flood stories? You know who you are - stop it now.

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Micro Pubs in Thanet

Google Maps use Malcolm has created a map of all the Micro Pubs in Thanet and here they all are.


View Micro Pubs Of Thanet in a larger map

How many of these have you had a drink in yet?

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Lighthouse Project closed by KCC

The Isle of Thanet Gazette is reporting that a charity that helps homeless young people is due to close. Reading between the lines it seem that this is because Kent County Council (KCC) want to find a cheaper option for helping young people.

The Lighthouse Project opened in November 2003 and will be closing March 31, to make way for a new KCC funded project to help vulnerable young people in Thanet.

After all if something is doing a good job we should, you know, shut it down. Said no sane person ever.

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Ramsgate Harbour Filthy

Thanet blogger Eastcliff Richard posted yesterday about oil and grime floating in Ramsgate Harbour.

Filth in Ramsgate Harbour

The Ramsgate inner harbour was filthy today. There was a large oily slick of floating rubbish - not far from the disused King George IV Maritime Heritage Pontoons. Reports ECR (visit page for a bigger picture).

Quite rightly it has been pointed out that this is not the sort oft hing that leaves a good impression on visitors. It's just as well then that it is the off season and people only ever visit in the summer. Oh wait...

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What's On In Thanet: 3rd to 9th Feburary 2014

Are you looking to do something interesting this week. Then look no further.

In this week's edition we have art, plays, meetings, social events, geekery, gigs and so much more.

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» Continue Reading: What's On In Thanet: 3rd to 9th Feburary 2014

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A vote of no confidence in Thanet District Council

It is time that Thanet District Council's elected members faced up to the fact that the council has not lived up to expectation.

The Council's own Standard Committee recognise this failure but the councillors have chosen to reject this out of hand. The report said that the Council is held in low regard by the public [Joanne Pearman, Standards Committee report dated 21 November 2013: 2.8]. They went on to say The independent members of the Standards Committee are of the mind that this situation cannot be allowed to continue if Thanet District Council and its Councillors are to be viewed as true leaders within the District. The dominant view of the Council and its elected members must be rehabilitated as a matter of urgency. [Ibid., 4.1]

Over the past three years I have been doing a lot of research and talking to a lot of different people about bringing in change to our council. While a lot of people agree that our council is not what it should be it has not always been clear what we can do about it. A few very real and possible options are open to us.

Of these few options the most actionable is that we the people of Thanet take what amounts to a vote of no confidence in the leadership of the council and force a significant change in the way it is organised, lead and the way it is run.

There is legal precedent for doing this and a requirement can be made to force the council to hold a formal referendum on the matter in which we, the people of Thanet, will vote and by which the council will be bound to the outcome.

Obviously there are certain requirements that must be met to achieve this and it must be carried out in a specific manner but we do have the right to hold the council to account and to force change upon them if they will not voluntarily change.

The chances are that we will only get the one shot at making this change so it is important that it is done right.

I feel that this is something that must be done sooner rather than later. The secrecy and corruption seen within Thanet's wayward council must come to an end.

I will be writing more about how we can make this happen.

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Byte Sized

Mentions

We got a mention in 5 ways to blog from Thanet now.

Blogs
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Creatives

Thanet Creative have a new webiste and a new name

Blogs
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Local Art

Local Artist, John Wooster-Brown has a new website.

Blogs
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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.

Blogs
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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.

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