As the eagle-eyed will know from the What's On in Thanet section in my sidebar on the right, Margate has played host for the last two days to a national conference on regeneration, and the launch of a new 'Coastal Handbook'. Oh the irony! Anyhow, fresh from the fray, one of my (Labour, you'll no doubt correctly surmise) spies has sent this report:
From someone who attended the Coastal Communities Alliance two-day event. You are free to use any of it if you wish, bearing in mind TDC tried to prevent Labour councillors from attending.
Wednesday commenced with two separate trips, one for the Margate regeneration/history and the other for commercial sites. When we went into Dreamland, who should be there to open the gates? Only the supposedly very ill Mayor of Margate [And alleged kitten killer - Ed] Ted Watt-Ruffell. He seemed fine as he strode to open two heavy security gates.
Also on Wednesday a very hot and flushed Latchford came rushing over to Ezekiel with the Yourthanet. Page 2 (the report of the ECR poll to find a new leader for Thanet Tories) has got him rattled. This was in the middle of the conference!
The conference was okay, but repeating everything we all know already. The book was £20 but free to delegates. Steve Ladyman had not been on the list to speak as they didn't really want Labour there, but as the Labour national spokesperson Gordon Marsden couldn’t get there they asked Steve to fill in. He was excellent. Roger Gale chaired the session and referred to Laura Sandys, his fellow Tory candidate for South Thanet, as ‘the lady over there’, as if he had never seen her before!
I put them straight on all the Government has been doing for Thanet… Surestart, Building Schools for the Future, doctors' surgeries, better hospital and promised poly clinics. As it was the Tories in Lincolnshire who suggested to the Tories in Thanet that they should run the event, the last thing some of them wanted was a good news Labour story.
I have been to much better conferences and fortunately some of the people there knew how Thanet has gone down under the Tories. The good news items were done in our time.
I had complaints about Smith Court Hotel from 4 people. The rooms were freezing and apparently the radiators that were working were on timers, and this was the recommended hotel for delegates!!