Thanet Star

Is it just Airport vs Houses in Manston?

Is our only choice for Manston between a CPO and houses?

On the one hand you have Riveroak who are willing to run Manston as a viable airport and on the other you have a group of companies of questionable ethics, liquidity and viability offering us another out of town private town centre.

I look at the mediocrity that Westwood Cross is and the plans to develop a new town with a private high street. That has hardly been the roaring success that was predicted and what little success it did build was at the cost of Margate high street. Even here we rarely balance the loss of jobs against the gain as usually the person doing the presenting is pushing for or against something.

It's all well and good to say that a new project will produce jobs but the real question we need to start asking is will it produce a net increase in jobs or just move the ones we already have about a bit.

Manston offers us the chance of new business at the cost of overhead noise or the more houses and business buildings at the potential cost of businesses elsewhere nearby and an influx of more people who will be looking for work.

Neither option is perfect, far from it, but one of those options adds a net gain for the cost it brings. Which ever the result is Thanet will have a price to pay.

Perhaps there are other options but if there are I have no idea what they are. Even if some third choice could be found there will still be a price for Thanet to pay. We just have to insist that it is the right price for the right gain.

Value for money, in other words.

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Big Wheel Returns to Margate

A friend snapped this glorious image on the new "big wheel" going up in Dreamland.

Here it is on the first day of construction (Yesterday).

Dreamland Big Wheel

According to the Dreamland website this new Big Wheel will be 35 meters high and very colourful.

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Are Manston owners about to go bankrupt?

Strong doubts have been expressed over the ability of the current owners of Manston Airport to continue due to massive debts.

Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave brought a majority share in Manston from Stage Coach owner Anne Gloag but their company (Wynyard Park Limited), shows debts of over £30m. This debt is for the financial year ending 2014 and auditors have expressed expressed doubts about the groups ability to continue, say the BBC.

A spokesman for the company has claimed that they have since paid off that huge debt and are, all evidence to the contrary, a great success.

This news calls into question the ability of Stagecoach's Ann Gloag and Wynyard Park's duo to afford to build something worthwhile on the airport site.

At the same time one has to wonder how strongly they can actually afford to resist a competent Compulsory Purchase of the site.

Only time will tell.

What do you think will happen?

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Yes, there was an earthquake last night

In case you were not one to jump on Twitter the moment it happened there was an earthquake in Thanet last night.

At this stage details are a big sketchy but it looks like a 4.2 magnitude quake which took place about 12km down and out to sea somewhere.

Did you feel the quake? tell us about it.

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Is the new TDC leader up to the job?

As Thanet comes to grips with the fact that it elected a UKIP council we take a closer look at UKIPs only non-novice councillor - Chris Wells.

Before joining UKIP Chris Wells was a conservative councillor in TDC, KCC and Broadstairs Town Council (BTC). He was a significant figure n a number of controversies that outraged the public and he was fond of casting unfounded insults in the direction of Thanet's grass roots news sources.

Cllr Wells was never what you might call a "hard working councillor". In 2013 Wells won the Thanet Star unaward for being the laziest councillor in TDC. He had failed to turn up to 50% of the meetings he had made a commitment to attending.

Not much has changed for Cllr Wells. This year Wells clocked in an impressive 100% absentee rate.

Overall Wells managed to attend 71% of his expected meetings. Or to put this in simple terms he missed more than 1 in 4 meetings. More so recently. Hardly doing a favour to reputation (however well deserved) that UKIP candidates are lazy once in office.

What could possibly be going on that would cause UKIP's only experienced councillor to be even more tardy than usual?

It would appear that UKIP Councillor Chris Wells was only last year (while he was still a Tory) declaired bankrupt for failing to pay his council tax. The news, which I understand was published in the Gazette, was that Cllr Wells had a large amount of unpaid council tax that had been outstanding for quite some time.

For more information on Cllr Wells and the bankruptcy: "Councillor Declared Bankrupt after Failing to Pay Council Tax." Isle of Thanet Gazette, 14th March 2014. (Via HighBeam Research).

While I have no doubt that this was a deeply unpleasant experience, the further details of which are not really any of our business, the nature of the debt and the impact of it raises several significant questions. Not least of which is that Cllr Wells's ability to serve as a councillor at this time.

  • What sort of example was Cllr Wells setting as a sitting Councillor?
  • Has the experience compromised Cllr Wells's ability to serve as a councillor?
  • Can a councillor that failed to show up to council meetings for five months be an effective councillor?
  • Can Wells manage the TDC budget if his own is such a mess?
  • Is this the profile of a suitable leader?

...

» Continue Reading: Is the new TDC leader up to the job?

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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

Facts
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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.

Facts
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Did Labour Lie?

Who actually believes TDCs Health and Safety line? Comment now on Thanet Star.

Questions
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MRP Minutes

All of the Margate Renewal Partnership Board Meeting Minutes (Via FOI)

General
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Manston Airport

Two weeks to find Manston Airport buyer says North Thanet MP (via BBC)

General
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CCG to review

Thanet CCG told by High Court judge that policy on assistive reproduction technique is “unlawful”. [link]

General
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