Thanet Star

Margate is missing out

We may mock and we may be wrong when it comes to Ramsgate Parish Council (RPC).

Up to now I have not written anything expressing an opinion about the formation of Ramsgate Parish Council. This has been because there has been too little information for me to forma firm opinion on the subject of RPC. However my research has shown me that Ramsgate may have had the right idea.

Consider this:

  • How much focus has Margate town centre and the issues of parking been given by Thanet District Council?
  • What safe guards did Margate town centre have in place from Thanet District Council when Westwood Cross was given the green light?
  • Margate town centre is the worst in the country with 25% of shops closed
  • Margate museum is closed
  • What has been done to promote and maintain Margate Caves as a tourist attraction?
  • How much scrutiny had the proposed use of the old dreamland site been given by the Council?
  • Other than the KCC funded Turner centre what has TDC done to promote growth in Margate?
  • Whose idea was the disastrous clock tower traffic lights which went ahead despite mass objections?

Does it seem to anyone else that Margate is not getting the attention it deserves?

It seems that way to me.

Keep reading and discover that Margate is the Kentish "odd man out" and how it could be hurting Margate's future.

Margate is the odd man out

Margate is now the only part of Thanet without a parish. Parish councils are the norm:

  • Acol
  • Birchington
  • Broadstairs and St Peters
  • Cliffsend
  • Manston
  • Minster
  • Monkton
  • Ramsgate
  • Sarre
  • St Nicholas-at-Wade

Look at Broadstairs and St Peters. They have been hit by the credit crunch too and yet they are doing very well all things considered. They clearly had some long term planning in place the protected them from the effects of Westwood Cross and then the Credit Crunch. Could it be that this was because they had a parish council?

Look at all of Kent. Having a parish is normal. Sevenoaks has no unparished areas. Shepway and Dover are equally fully parished.

We all moan about Thanet District Council not caring for this aspect of our town or that. If we are convinced they are not up tot he job (and the evidence is certainly damning) then maybe we took some of that Job away from TDC and gave it to people who will do the job.

It has worked in almost all of Kent. It has worked in almost all of Thanet. It will work for Margate too.

Yes, I'm sure that a few moaning and groaning fusspots will complain that it might cost money but frankly TDC with it's massive overspends and KCC with the aborted attempts to build an art centre and the money lost pointlessly into Icelandic banks have already shown that they are too expensive to be trusted with the whole budget. A more focused (niche) council would, even on a reduced budget, be considerably more efficient by default.

The credit crunch has shown us repeatedly that spending in a focused way is good for the economy and for growth. In Margate this would directly translate as local jobs and local jobs mean local spending which is significantly more beneficial for an area than big national chain based jobs as all cash flow occurs locally and is not lost to an out of town HQ.

As such then any increase in spending by a parish council would, aside from being quite minor, be a benefit in itself to Margate. Margate (and therefore all of Thanet) wins whatever the new parish council does.

It's time to get our head out of the sand and protect our local economy before TDC rub it out of existence.

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