Thanet Star

Should Port Ramsgate Close?

A YouTube Channel calling itself Shipping TV has described Port Ramsgate as derilict and suggest closing it would be the best move for TDC.

The video (shown below) which looks at the one commercial crossing made from Ramsgate - that of Live Animal Exports - suggests TDC would save themselves and Kent Police a lot of money by simply closing the port and denying the animal exporters use of the port.

Is this the answer to stopping this barbaric trade?

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Is this council a bad joke?

What do you get when you let a man who went bankrupt for non-payment of council tax run the council?

That sounds like the start of a bad joke and the current TDC administration most certainly is. An administration full of whoever UKIP could press-gang into standing led by a bankrupt, ex-tory, backbencher. All without the slightest apparent support or advice of their national party or any real leadership from the local "leader".

Wells' dictatorial behaviour shows exactly why he failed in his bid to become the leader of the Thanet Tories. One has to wonder whether Wells left the Conservatives or was kicked out? Although, I have to admit that his insufficient and non explanatory statements in response to a crisis in the ranks are exactly the same as jail-bird Sandy Ezekiel, who Wells used to kiss up to back in his Tory days.

As for UKIP's Thanet "leader", well, Wells is anything but a team player. Wells, the lazeiest councillor in Kent (2013), back in 2008 actually got himself a KCC cabinet post and then quit months later, perhaps because real work was too hard for him?

In 2011 Wells accused Thanet Star of publishing an unctious fantasy when repeating what Wells' fellow Tory had said. Wells also insisted that we were full of lies when we published the Ј300k pay-off that the chief exec was getting. Facts that were actually available to Wells but were leaked to us.

Wells' total lack of leadership ability is showing as the loose coalition of bargan basement councillors waving the purple flag crumbles over their only election promise. That's what you get for voting for a "single issue party" - a group of has-been and want-to-be councillors with more interpersonal issues than actual policy ideas.

But then again, what can we actually expect from an admistration that continues the Labour policy of allowing the council to take bribes?

Perhaps it is time to back a party able to offer a true alternative to the old-boys-club mentality that we've seen for so long?

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This might upset the council?

Thanet man, Jordan Williams, is Raising Funds For the people of Calais and we are behind him 100%.

I have watched this humanitarian crisis continue and I, for one, would like to help these people so desperate for help and our compassion. Says Jordan. Myself and Matthew Brown (editor of Thanet Star) would like to be able to go across to Calais with donations of food, clothes, shoes and other basic resources and equipment that are so desperately needed by the asylum seekers currently stuck in Calais.

If even 1% of the people of Thanet donated Ј1 then Jordan's goal of Ј1000 to help people in need, on our own doorstep, would be realised. Most people are too afraid to offer help but I also know that some of us are better than that.

Regardless of if you are doing it because you care or just to spite the local racists donate today and make a difference in the world.

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Why are TDC councillors still allowed to take bribes?

They call them gifts and hospitality but that does not hide the fact that councillors can take bribes and UKIP like it that way.

How do I know UKIP like the bribe rules at TDC? Simple, they still exist and UKIP have control of TDC. If UKIP were as different as some people claim then why did they keep the bribe rule and not changed it?

UK pounds in coffee cup

Two years ago Thanet Star reported that the rule allowing the bribery of councillors was passed unopposed. The rule which was supported by both Tory and Labour still stands.

The change still allows councillors to accept gifts, benefits and hospitality up to the value of Ј100, from any given party, without disclosure.

Since 2013, when this rule was passed, even the NHS has tightened up on gifts from lobbying persons and groups. Not so TDC. Under Labour TDC allowed themselves more space to take secret bribes. Under UKIP they continued to do so.

Assuming an average gift of Ј90, where a UKIP councillor to visit five (5) campaigners each day then, over a five working day week, they could net Ј450 and not tell anyone. Assuming that they take four weeks off a year, that's Ј21,600 in tax free bribes.

So I ask again, if UKIP were so different why did they not changed this rule?

Folded pile of Ј10 notes

When we first told you about this rule we also worked out how, with a little laundering, someone could pay just shy of Ј500 a day to a councillor and it would never show up on any records in the council nor break any rules. Get five people doing that for you each day and you are netting over Ј100,000 a year tax free in "gifts" without a single rule being broken (on paper).

Even if ongoing gifts do not fit under this rule and this huge windfall is not happening for UKIP councillors there is nothing to stop a developer getting several hundred quid into a few hands to grease a planning application through.

While this rule stands we cannot trust anything that the UKIP council does.

Housing Market Gamble

If UKIP were so different why did they keep this rule?

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TDC staff have no idea where the files are

Apparently not even the TDC Systems Officer does not know where TDC keeps it's files.

I recently sent in a very simple Freedom of Information request (FOI) to Thanet District Council. Asking about records relating to their u-turn on offering Margate a town council.

This should have been a relatively boring exchange of emails followed by a rather dry legal document being shared.

What actually happened was that the TDC Systems Officer tried to claim that TDC were exempt from sharing this file because it was already publically available. She kindly sent a link with her reply to an error message on the TDC website.

It seems not even TDC's Systems Officer can find anything on the TDC website. If the "expert" cannot find the information how are the public supposed to do so?

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3 Months Ago they promised a CPO

Three months ago the new TDC arrived with promises of a compulsory purchase of Manston. So what's happened?

Aside from a very public falling out in the Tory Party between the MP for Thanet North and the leader of KCC nothing much has changed.

Meanwhile, Thanet District Council have issued a few fines (about two hundred in Margate and next to none anywhere else) and made very little difference. Many of those brand new councillors were and are members of one of the pro-manston activist groups so one might be forgiven for thinking that there might have been efforts made to progress the CPO, if it has legs.

So what is happening exact?

Are the council that was elected capable of taking a definitive action (one way or the other) regarding Manston?

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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.

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

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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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