Friday, June 19, 2009

East Of The Wantsum

Here's this week's East of the Wantsum. Click on it to get the bigger picture.

Now, last week I had some unsolicited advice and crappy comments from various anonymous numbskulls, the most laughable being 'Stick to what you're good at'. Really, how would you know what I'm good at? And how would we know that you're good at anything whatsoever? Anyhow, it all got a bit messy.

I'm nipping out now for a few glasses of Krug with one of my millionaire chums, so do play nicely. I don't want to have to throw my toys out of the pram again when I get back!

48 comments:

ascu75 aka Don said...

Richard we love you when you get a cob on ... hope you played nicely with the boys and girls

Puzzled? said...

If as Dr Moores suggests the council are so short of money why don't they concentrate on necessities of life such as litter removal and toilets rather than building an art gallery?

Anonymous said...

I liked the fact the normally supine Gazette showed ways the council could save a bob or two by cutting out consultants etc. There goes the advertising budget from TDC, Rebecca. A critical comment. Wow!!

tony flaig bignews said...

What were the comments?

I've, just taken a butchers at last weeks and am disappointed not see them.

Still a subversive rascal such as yourself must expect a bit of flack. How you get such dangerous anti-establishment humour past Rebecca Smith is beyond me.

Keep taking the Krug, no doubt you'll be in the VIP tent at this weekends Big Event.

Anyhow should you venture out into the crowd and join us lower orders, I would be happy to offer you a glass of 2009 White Lightning.

Anonymous said...

Tony, you cant think that ECR will venture out to watch old noisy planes when he can stay at home to do just that.

Peter Checksfield said...

Has anyone got a list of all the boarded up (or concreted up in some cases) public toilets in Thanet? Just curious...

Anonymous said...

We could start one:

Albion Street, Broadstairs (boarded)
Harbour Street, Broadstairs (boarded)
East Cliff, Ramsgate (demolished)
Boundary Road, Ramsgate (boarded)
West Undercliff, Ramsgate (boarded)

Any more?

DrM. said...

The construction of the Turner Centre has absolutely nothing to do with the council budget!

As for other items, rest assured that appropriate budget decisions are being made. Frequently though in the public sector, consultants are used to reduce project costs because they are not directly employed. A council does also resemble any large and complex organisation; rather like a super tanker, it can't instantly change course or stop, there's a process involved in the slowing down and re-purposing of funds, which is what you now see happening.

I really can't stress enough how difficult the times ahead are likely to be for the public sector. The Institute for Fiscal Studies drew a comparison this week with the 1970s. We've had a decade of over generous use of public funds and now we will have to deal with the consequences of a deficit with so many 000000's that it's hard to grasp!

tony flaig bignews said...

Does that mean the 15% increase given to TDC Top Knobs which you helped ratify will now be clawed back DR M

Eastcliff Richard said...

Spoken like a politician, Doc! Blame the national Labour government for your local Tory council's ineptitude!

Why are all those wheelie bins parked down at the port, while the streets here in Ramsgate are awash with rubbish? Is that the Labour government's fault? Why are all the public loos being gradually boarded up? Is that Gordon's fault too?

Not that there aren't things to blame the Labour government for. But considering your lot were also in charge here in Thanet during the boom times, your record ain't great, is it?

I glanced out of the window of my London pied-a-terre the other day, to witness the sweepie-uppie man hoeing - yes, hoeing! - the weeds out of the pavement. We don't even get a sweepie-uppie man on the East Cliff these days! And I'm talking about a London borough that has as many deprived areas and funding problems as Thanet.

The difference is that, unlike Thanet, it's well managed, they listen to the people who pay their wages (us taxpayers), and they've got their priorities right. Grrr!

Anonymous said...

I was talking recently to a resident in one of the roads in Ramsgate that hasn't got wheelie bins.

He told me he gets threatening letters from the council threatening him with fines for 'dropping rubbish' when it's the binmen who no longer clear up after the rounds leaving the cr*p behind from the split bags. Certainly the street was in an appalling mess and I did see the refuse lorry turning into an adjacent street.

Assuming what he says is true why can't one of the binmen be given a broom, a bin-bag and the task of sweeping the street? After all, didn't the council at one time actually employ more than a handful of roadsweepers?

Anonymous said...

Surely the union would whinge about that?

Peter Checksfield said...

Thank you anon 6:01, there's also a bricked up toilet on the promenade near Westgate, & another one just before Minnis Bay (Grenham Bay?). I'm sure there's others...

ascu75 aka Don said...

a very nice example of a cast iron doulton urinal in Park lane bye Dajne Park boarded up/ Puzzled county money pays for the art gallery

Anxious to spend a penny said...

Toilet closed opposite the old Ellington Girls' School in St Lawrence High Street.
There used to be toilets on the steep hill going down from Gerry's kiosk opposite where Nero's nightclub used to be.
There were toilets in Queen Street where there is now a coffee bar
Next to the Granville Theatre they demolished them!

DrM. said...

ECR, you can believe what you want to believe. I'm not the council, I'm a councillor and the two have different roles which few people understand clearly.

The money has either run out or is running out for most local authorities. In the SE only Hastings has, I believe, a level of deprivation which is compatible with ours and we are closer to the more challenged London councils, which is why we see so many of their problems coming in our direction to benefit from the cheaper seaside accomodation available in houses of multiple occupancy.

It's very easy to blame the present Government for the circumstances in which we find ourselves and as only a fraction of our council tax goes towards supporting the full costs of our local services the cuts are going to hurt us alongside every other local council in the country.

By all means give your local councillors a kicking but it makes no difference to the outcome!

Without the money we need, simply to stand still, hard decisions will have to be made and every week the consequences of the recession are placing more demand on our most essential services.

You can decide for yourself whether I'm simply playing politics or telling the truth. Either way and until 2011 gives you the opportunity to register your vote elsewhere, I and my colleagues in the Conservative Group, have the responsibility of doing the best we can for the people of Thanet in increasingly difficult circumstances.

Anonymous said...

"The construction of the Turner Centre has absolutely nothing to do with the council budget!".
Really, Dr M? Final answer? Sure you don't want to reconsider, before following in the footsteps of your county crony Paul Carter and his infamous "not a penny more" pledge?
No money for poncy receptions? No rent/rate concessions on prime sites? No spending of officers' time or allocation of council resources?
If that is indeed the case, I salute you.

Cllr. Mike Harrison said...

DrM. said...

" ECR, you can believe what you want to believe. I'm not the council, I'm a councillor and the two have different roles which few people understand clearly."

Very true, Councillors make the decisions,,

the Council Officers carry them out.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to seeing what a difference the new Labour mayor and fresh faced Ramsgate councillors will make to the town? Given all their hype and big egos you would think these illustrious new servants of the people will make the streets spotless and the people prosperous just by their existence. How disappointed you are all going to be when the realities hit and you end up paying even more, for even less. Ha Ha Ha.

At least Dr.M put himself up for it,when all ECR, Bertie, Tony Big Mouth, et al do is snipe from the sides like the small weiner men they undoubtedly are.

Which one are you ECR - Beavis, Butthead, or one of those banjo plucking country boy hicks from Deliverance. Play us a toon boy - de de di de di de di de da ....

tony flaig bignews said...

I just wonder what games
Dr M is playing these days, its interesting he doesn't answer the point about him presiding over the meeting, that we are led to believe, resulted in senior officers getting a special fat 15% increase ignoring the current crisis in the economy.

Dr M has become a bit of an operator, one moment opposing Sandy then the next day, he's singing for his supper like all good conservatives with a cabinet post.

Sandy says jump and the Dr asks how high.

We all have a pretty good idea why senior officers were sorted and Dr M can't comment and as the Doctor would probably say "I suspect it wasn't for greater responsibility".

Simon Moores in no position to lecture on good housekeeping since Tories in Kent can't give your money away fast enough whether its over paying TDC chiefs or paying millions too much for the M&S building.

Simon why in the current crisis did you give huge pay raises to the "management" @TDC

Anonymous said...

How can the money be running out when we pay council tax every month to the council ? Every year it increases & for most of us, that council tax is substantially higher than what we have to pay for gas & electric.

Anonymous said...

Didn't TDC buy the old M & S building for several £millions and let the Turner whatsit having it for nothing, nada, not a penny, so the council, whilst not paying for the new Turner building as such has some involvement in the whole process? How much is the M & S building costing us each year and how much rental could it have made? There are how many staff being paid for by the tax payer to curate nothing and put on exhibitions that, if we are to be believed, bring in very few visitors each week?

I am well-aware it's a county pet project that will go ahead regardless and just hope it will, in the end, bring vistors to the area, if we all live long enough.

Meanwhile, I'd like a loo somewhere where I can spend a necessary penny as I get older.

DrM. said...

Tony

Nobody tells me to"jump" I make my own decisions.

You keep bringing-up the pay settlement and I will direct you back to the account on my website.

The results were a "Saving" of £200,000 for senior management costs, adding to reductions of over £1.5m in the last five years.

And "Yes", as a consequence of the restructuring which left a handful of senior managers with greater responsibilities, they were bought up to a par with the "median" Kent remuneration for the jobs involved as Thanet has lagged behind now for some time.

Personally, I'm no great enthusiast of the high civil service salaries that have been introduced over the last ten years however you may have noticed the remarkable improvements made by TDC since I slated them in a column in Computer Weekly some four years ago. The council is now receiving both awards and recognition (i.e. Charter Mark last week)for the quality of its services and we have to make every effort to both attract and keep good management in a highly competitive public sector salary environment. If not, we simply lose our best people to councils further West who will pay more!

It was these and other considerations that required taking into account when the GP Committee awarded the rises, which weren't huge as you suggest.

Finally and for the benefit of the later comment from anonymous of 6:59am, only a proportion of the the money that we all pay as council tax goes towards the provision of local services and here in Thanet. This is never enough by order of magnitude and requires significant "topping-up" by Central Government to deal with our unusually high levels of deprivation, pressure on the NHS etc etc. A huge chunk of your council tax goes towards paying the public sector pension requirment and this proportion is steadily increasing with an ageing population; thus presenting local Government with a pensions crisis ahead much like many large businesses in the private sector.

I hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

It would also help, Dr M, or at least it would help me enjoy my weekend more, if you were to confirm your earlier claim that TDC's budget is not affected, directly or indirectly, by the Turner centre. Yes, I know it is KCC which apparently has limitless sums to throw at the project while everything else can go hang, but I really would like your assurance that TDC is not a support player in this farce.

DrM. said...

My last word on the subject. The Tuner Centre is directly funded by the Arts Council, SEEDA, KCC et al. I've lost count of the times that this question has been posed - possibly by the same person - and answered in some detail, here, perhaps, in the local papers e.g Your Thanet and on ThanetLife. If you want the detail then pop along to www.thanetlife.com and re-discover all the information.

Stop Manston Expansion Group said...

poor tdc, running out of money so they can't clean the streets.

Maybe they'd have more cash if they stopped sending TDC employees (I counted 5) to out-of-hours meetings to discuss night flights that have not even been asked for, allegedly. Oh, and paying for the use for the failing Airport departure lounge, while paid for council offices sit idle.

If TDC are struggling with the economics of something as simple as "empty-wheelie-bins-sitting-idle-in-port verses bag-collection- + paying-someone-to-sweep-up-the- seagull-pecked-mess", I'm happy to help out.

Tony + others are correct. If are seriously suggesting Turner has not a penny burden on local government funds, you are lying.

Every business has resource issue at the moment, and money only gets spent on business critical issues. If our bin collections are at the detriment of Turner or airport meetings, you've unsurprisingly got your priorities wrong.

Stop Manston Expansion Group said...

oh, and would anyone give a shit if Brian White fecked off to blight some other area with an airport if we didn't give him a £25k pay rise?

Anonymous said...

How revealing that Dr M's "last word on the subject" doesn't answer the question of whether TDC has, directly or indirectly, had financial input into the Turner Centre. We can now guess the answer without troubling him further.

Anonymous said...

7.35 AM. TC has had to pay TDC a huge rent for their time in the first floor of the old M&S building, they are moving out soon, then what?

Anonymous said...

to pretend that the Turner Centre is free of any costs directly or indirectly to TDC ratepayers is as stupid as believing an MP's expences are correct, but hey thats politicians for you

Anonymous said...

As with most flag ship projects , galleries , theatres ,art centres etc the initial funding comes from a central body .

After it opens and has to stand on its own two feet the support of the council becomes vital . Unless SEEDA etc are taking on a long term funding pledge .

The temporary exhibitions held in the M&S building are free and attract hardly any visitors, so what will keep it going, the sale of postcards the odd Latte sold in the foyer?. I work in this sector and have seen these projects fail repeatedly because all the energy is directed to getting it open with no long term strategy of how to keep it going.

It will fail as a tourist generator so it will have to become a community based resource eventually, and the tab for that will be picked up by the local taxpayer and the council.

I agree with Simes about the start up costs but far more seriously are its long term running costs

Eastcliff Richard said...

Insults based on ancient cartoon characters and penis size? How delightfully quaint, 12:10am! And your semi-racist 'boy' just about puts the pointy, pillowcase hat on it! You must be one of those Thanet Lifers who has come over from the dark side.

Hardly advances the argument, though. Which, if you haven't noticed, you are losing.

As for protestations from Dr M that no TDC money will be spent on the TC, methinks he doth protestate too much.

ascu75 aka Don said...

someone mentioned spotless streets the filth in the streets around here is made by idiots who come out of the shop unwrap their fags drop the wrapper and their screaming kids screww up the crisp packet and chuck it on the floor EDUCATE people to stop doing that and half the rubbish would dissapear straight away

Anonymous said...

Don the shopkeepers need to take some responsibilty for this do they have a bin outside their shop? If no make them put one there. They could also start making the kids write their names on their sweetie wrappers when they buy them and then be punished by doing a clear up if they are found to be littering, this has been tried successfully elsewhere. Or the shop owner could be named and shamed into being more community minded and clear the rubbish themselves.

Peter Checksfield said...

Far far worse than kids with sweets are (drunk) adults with takeaways! I went for a 5:30 AM cycle ride last saturday, & I was appalled to see so much mess along Margate seafront which (even at that time) some hard working TDC employees were clearing up.

Anonymous said...

That's nothing Peter, you want to see the Ramsgate High street on a Saturday and Sunday morning...I sense a convergence in the force - Dr (two planes) M possibly it is, to answer this one!!!

Hugin said...

Having read through Dr M's comments I have to agree that, as he puts it, 'hard decisions will have to be made '. This gives his Leader and the cabinet the chance to lead by example, they can all volunteer to take a 25% cut in the allowances that we pay them.

Anonymous said...

Starting with Sandy '£18K a year' Ezekiel.

Anonymous said...

I believe TDC borrowed some millions for the purchase of M&S building on the understanding it would be developed within a certain amount of time which it wasn't. They are now faced with paying back the millions as a result.

Anonymous said...

I understood the money gained from the sale of Manston Road allotment site was 4.2 million. In the Gazette last week this had become 1.5 million.
Where is the rest?

Anonymous said...

Same place as the billions upon billions of pounds of our dosh lost by this incompetent Labour government led by the incompetent Gordon the Moron Prime Minister.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Gordon is a moron 6:40. But I think you will find the question related to our own homegrown morons - Lord Ezekiel and his carpet-bagging chums.

Anonymous said...

Re. the allotment money some has gone to other allotment sites to provide security fences but the rest, who knows?

Anonymous said...

Anon 6.40, since 1997 a load of the dosh has been provided by Labour to regenerate Thanet. What local councilors have decided to do with it is another matter. Currently TDC is being given an extra £110,000 per month to try and get the young of Thanet into work. You may ask where this money has been going and should central government pull the plug on it as a lost cause.

Anonymous said...

I see that on his own blog site Dr M is now dismissing as "usual suspects" and "mischief-makers" those who have the temerity to ask whether TDC is spending money on the Turner catastrophe. Gratuitous abuse is a poor substitute for straight answers.

Anonymous said...

9-00 AM... It should read' Dr ( 3 planes)M'. Although his carbon foot print is still smaller than his ego !!

Anonymous said...

The public loos at Thanet Bowls Centre, (ST Georges Green) have been shut for months. They opened for the Big Vent and now they are closed again. The walls next to them are once again the public toilet.

Anonymous said...

Tell a lie! They are now open! This couldn't have anything to do with ENCAMS surveyors visiting the beaches at this time of year to make sure the criteria for Blue Flag are being met could it?