Word is leaking out over Twitter that our beloved council have called a press conference this morning to announce plans for Dreamland. According to yourfannitinnit newshound Tom Betts, the Duffers are thinking of ploughing £4m into the place, and invoking a compulsory purchase order to take control of the site. More news as it comes.
Update: The full story is now running on the Gazunder website. Apparently Thanet Council is committing £4m of our taxpayers sovs to compensate for the amount that the site's owners, Margate Town Centre Regeneration Partnership (aka Jimmy Godden), will not now be putting up due, one assumes, to straitened financial circumstances. It seems this would be for the purchase of the land from MTCRP, as TDC are threatening to compulsorily purchase it if they don't play ball. It's unclear whether this amount is for the entire site, or whether it's just for the half where the knackered old rides are going to be. In which case Our Jimmy will still be left with a sizeable block of land on which to plonk yet more 'luxury apartments'.
TDC's chief executive Richard Samuel says they hope to recoup the money once the heritage theme park is up and running, although the council's record of recouping anything is woeful (where's our £4m they spent on the M&S building in Margate high street?). And quite why they should be offering this dosh to Jimmy Godden, who did his worst to run what was still a viable attraction into the ground, and failed to comply with a notice to rebuild and reinstate the listed Scenic Railway after it burnt down in 2008, lord knows!
And how is it that the Jurassic Tory Junta can lecture us ad infinitum about the need to save money, close our museums and bogs, sell off tennis courts and run Ramsgate Harbour into the ground, when they can cough up what amounts to 3000 homes' council tax on a whim that nobody round here thinks has got a rollercoaster's chance in Margate of being a commercial success?
Click here for more on Gazunder website
Click here for more on Thanet Extra website