Monday, May 19, 2008

FOI FYI

As exclusively predicted last week in your super, soaraway Eastcliff Richard, Ramsgate Firster Gerry O'Donnell has now put in an FOI request to Thanet Council demanding to know what progress has been made towards establishing a teeny-tiny council here in the Millionaires' Playground. In an official letter today to TDC's Chief Executive, Chief O'Donnell writes:

I have been informed by the Communities and Local Government department that Thanet District Council has been allowed to organise the process (as allowed under the 2007 Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act, specifically, chapters 3 & 4.)

As you are aware from my previous email dated 7th May to the Department for Communities and Local Government, we in Ramsgate First, who organised the Petition that triggered the whole process, are concerned by the delays that have attended the implementation of Thanet District Council’s request to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in December 2006 that Ramsgate be granted its own parish council.

I have been previously advised by the department of Communities and Local Government that the delays are entirely of Thanet District Council’s making and that but for these delays there was every reason to suppose that elections to a Ramsgate Parish Council could have taken place in May 2008.

I am now requesting you, under the Freedom of Information Act, to advise Ramsgate First and the Press, within 21 days, of what you are proposing to recommend to the Full Council, and when, so as to fulfil, as soon as possible, the overwhelming democratic will of the electorate of the unparished areas of Ramsgate, as expressed in a referendum organised by Thanet District Council in November 2006, which was to have their own Parish/Town Council.

Yours faithfully,
Gerry O’Donnell
Chairman
Ramsgate First


Strong words from our Jezzer there. Let's hope they have the desired effect!

13 comments:

Ian J said...

What TDC officers and their lapdogs the elected member do something, Oh! what a wish!

Tony Beachcomber said...

I suppose in a way it is a bit like a Prime Minister calling a general election. TDC will grant it when there is a political advantage for the party in power.

Michael Child said...

I have just done a post about it too, I have to admit that the manipulation of democracy in this way is something I find inherently repulsive. Having paid my tax, I feel unrepresented and ignored by a decayed administration operating in the main rival town.

Cllr David Green said...

Jerry getting a little over excited? I havnt heard any date mentioned other than next May to co-incide with the County Council elections due on that date.
This would avoid much of the expence of holding a seperate election. I'm not sure if Jerry speaks for anyone other than himself nowadays.

Ian J said...

I know what you mean MC, the voters of Herne Bay and Whitstable have been bemoaning their attachment to Canterbury City Council for years.
Remember the screams when CCC ripped up the medevil pavement in Whitstable and relaid them in Canterbury, and replaced them with modern ones Perhaps we should start calling in Margate District Council MDC

Anonymous said...

Of course Cllr Green, TDC is the true voice of Thanet? (not)

Tony said...

Sorry, forgot to put my name to 5:38PM. Hate any anons.

Eastcliff Richard said...

Tim Garbutt has posted this response via email:

This sounds good.

I've requested public meetings at Albion Hosue (Ramsgate's Town Hall) from 7pm this Friday and next Friday to:

1. Vote off the current Charter Trustees and establish a non-party political Interim Town Council: 6-10 members

2. Establish monhtly public meetings for the Town Council at Albion House: last Tuesday of every month

3. Request the Interim Town Council to create a working constitution and agenda to operate as the Town Council until the elections

4. Establish formal elections to the Town Council immediately

5. Establish a vote of no confidence in TDC and request details of council salaries, expenses and other costs for public scrutiny immediately and ongoing

6. Request a vote of no confidence in the current policies of overbuilding, China Gateway, Pleasurama and excessive pollution by Infratil at Manston airport

7. Request direct involvement by KCC in providing increased funding to Ramsgate to reserve decades of mismanagement

In short to remove TDC - one of Britain's worst councils - from any meaningful operation in Ramsgate and create accountable and effective local democracy.

A Margate town council would remove the need for TDC altogether with the town councils funded direct from KCC.

Tim

Cllr David Green said...

Funnily enough, I received my copy of TDC Cabinet forward plan this evening. Arrangements for Ramsgate Town Council elections are due for decision (after consultation) inn September of this year. That is on schedule for an election next May.
I also checked the bookings for Albion House. No-one has booked it either this or next Friday.

Cllr. Mike Harrison said...

An interesting if somewhat off the wall post by Tim Garbutt, like most of the remaining members of Ramsgate First, (those that haven’t left or defected to the Tories) his proposal is full of holes.

1, You cant just vote off Charter Trustee’s they are appointed automatically by virtue of being ELECTED to Thanet Council, and incidentally don’t have the powers that Ramsgate First seem to think they have. Having a small ‘Council’ of 6-10 Members is not very representative is it, no prizes for guessing who would be on it.

2, Why not establish Monthly OPEN meetings of Ramsgate First, also no mention of how this is going to be paid for, Albion House is in the ownership of TDC at present.

3, Any Constitution would be subject to several Acts of Parliament and approval by the Secretary of State. You cant operate as a Council without Statutory Powers.

4, You cant have elections until you appoint a Returning Officer, again no mention of who is going to pay for these elections, estimated cost £60,000.00 about a pound per elector.

5, In the unlikely event that Tim Garbutt ever gets elected to Ramsgate Council eventually he will soon come to understand about Exempt Information and peoples salaries with few exceptions are deemed exempt, unless of course he would like to publish his earnings and exactly how he earns his money for all to see.

6, Fine, but just ask those unemployed in Ramsgate about stopping the prospect of jobs coming to the area. In fact it shows a myopic attitude to taking Ramsgate forward.

7, Again this demonstrates a fundamental lack of knowledge about how Local Government works and who funds what and how the money is raised.
Doing away with TDC will need whatever takes its place to take on issues like, waste collection, street cleaning, Planning, Council Tax collection, Social Housing 2000 plus Ramsgate families on the waiting list, Environmental Services, Leisure Services, these are just a few of the duties of any Local Authority and only highlight what I said before that these people have no concept about how Local Government works

In short it is an ill thought out argument and takes absolutely no account of how any of this is going to be funded, a Town Council will need a Chief Executive, Staff, both office and white collar, accommodation, vehicles, not to mention a lot of money to undertake the various projects that RF seem to think will regenerate the Town.
And how is this going to be paid for?
Well the current precept for Ramsgate wont cover it !

Lets not forget that Ramsgate First's vision of Ramsgate covers the area bounded by Grange Road to the junction of Park Road down to Boundary Road, up Victoria road to the seafront and along the front back to the start of the artificial beach and up to Grange road again, the rest is not considered part of Ramsgate.
Come next May it will be interesting to read how Ramsgate First are going to fund their grandios plans.
How will they address issues in Newington, Nethercourt, Northwood Dumpton?.
Where do they propose to accommodate the Staff that a mini Council will need?.
Wha specific proposals do they have to revitalise the Town?.
And how will they be paid for?.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the decay of our town centres, Tdc has failed local residents. The way forward is to hand more power back to local residents and business to get our towns back on track. Doubt this will ever happen as the Jobsworths will be more concerned about their job security and power bases rather than the wishes of local residents.

Anonymous said...

District Councils are now outmoded to the requirements of modern society and are becoming very detached from the poeple they should represent, Tdc need to start listening.

Anonymous said...

Tim Garbutt is not and never has been a member of Ramsgate First.