Talking of decaying seaside towns getting a Sugar coating, I've received this email from former councillor and town crier Paul Conyers-Silverthorn:
Open Letter re Tourism in Thanet
The national press is full of stories of the re-growth of domestic holidays and the windfall increase in inbound tourism due to the weakness of sterling. When I was a councillor I was unable to generate interest in an overall strategy for the development of tourism. I cannot remain silent when I see what appears to be a failure in tactical response right now.
I urge councillors and everyone involved in tourism and the provision of tourist and leisure facilities not just to promote their own business interests but to get together to create a joined-up response. In Thanet we have a wonderful tourism product base: superb beaches and a far more clement climate than anywhere in mainland Britain save Torbay. There is a pressing need either to grasp these advantages and enhance them or to sideline them in favour of other 'maybe' developments and watch them decline. If we enhance our resource we will also be in a better position to attract business investment.
One main forum exists through which action might be coordinated: Thanet District Council.
Broadstairs, Ramsgate and Margate each has its own small promotional organisation and 'fan club'. Each means well but has meagre resources. Together, and in cooperation with various other organisations such as the LVA, KCC, museum trustees etc., a concerted effort could be made both to market Thanet for business and leisure and to ensure sustainable improvement to the product base.
Yes, we are in the middle of a financial crisis. But this has thrown up a raft of opportunities, of which we need to take advantage urgently - that is to say, before other groups of mutual interest coalesce elsewhere in the UK with the same intention.
I would welcome comments on the above.
Tel: 01843 861993
Well Paul, I presume this is the same Thanet District Council which has singularly failed to provide any feature event for the island's premier town this year, after losing our excellent Powerboat Weekend to Gravesend!