Thursday, May 29, 2008

Harbour Views

With other local commentators seemingly obsessed by that old Chinese water chestnut at the moment, there's more than an air of ennui in the blogosphere. I mean, who could care less about water when there's plenty of champagne at the local Waitrose?

So what better way to brighten things up than to talk about accountancy? There's been some debate recently about whether Ramsgate's splendid port and harbour is a net contributor to the council's coffers or not, with campaigning biblio-bloke Michael Child unearthing some figures which appear to show us council taxpayers subsidising the place to the tune of more than 800,000 lovely pounds a year.

However, after a lengthy chat with my accountant Cyril (which frankly left me feeling more than a little lightheaded) I can exclusively reveal that on a day-to-day, cash flow basis the port, harbour and marina contribute substantially - to the tune of around half a million smackeroonies a year. The reason for the deficit is apparently asset depreciation - the amount the council considers everything has crumbled by over the year. Which, let's face it, given the way things are allowed to fall apart in Thanet, is always going to be substantial.

Further evidence comes in the form of a missive from the Ramsgate Marina Association which states that the marina alone makes a profit, after all expenses, in excess of £250K a year. You might be interested to know that TDC gaily includes this particular piece of campaigning literature in all the bills it sends to boat owners. Shades of Gerald Ratner telling everyone his jewellery was 'total crap' if you ask me!
Click on image to enlarge

1 comment:

Michael Child said...

Richard there is a rumour that the ferry operator hasn’t been keeping up with the payments and owes TDC megabucks, something I will look into, once the water problem is resolved. I also gather that TDC made some sort of hash of the pontoons which it was leasing and had to buy back, that could account for the high depreciation figure on the marina.

However like it or not depreciation is still part of the sum, you have to pay for capital assets and replace them which is still an expense, accounting any other way would mean that if for example we bought a new dredger for 2 million this year, it would all show as part of this years expenses, although it would probably have a useful life of about 10 years.

Having seen the Ramsgate tourist information figures that suggest one through the door enquiry a minute in high season I am a little sceptical at the moment.