Saturday, August 21, 2010

Light Not Fantastic

My spies in our teeny-tiny council here in the Millionaires' Playground tell me that some consternation was engendered at the last meeting when one of their number looked up and spotted the council chamber's substantial chandelier dangling by a thread! Or electrical wire in this case.

Quite why the thing wasn't bolted to a joist is a mystery. After all, as the above clip demonstrates, even Del Boy knows that's the proper way to do it.

You'd have thought that the recent renovation of the Custom House, where the council sits, would have been done to top notch standards, especially given the fact that it was aided by a grant from the Ramsgate Seafront Townscape Heritage Initiative Scheme. Oh well, what do you expect from the people who also accidentally demolished the Grade II listed Marina Restaurant on the front!

And talking of council premises (and backs of vans), another spy has sent me these pics of what looks like period furniture being bundled out of Albion House and into the back of an auctioneer's van early yesterday morning. If you recall, Ramsgate Town Council stuck two fingers up at Thanet Council earlier this year and shifted from Albion House to the Custom House.

I wonder who's flogging what are, after all, our assets? TDC or RTC? I think we should be told!


Anonymous said...

Hi Green Blazer Chep here.

The story of chandelier suspense is enthralling and appalling.

How could such a thing occur in the town where I was educated into aspirations beyond working for the council ?

Anonymous said...

Well, whilst 8:43 AM scores no points for originality, the evidence of his tiny mind finding merriment in an oft repeated, err, joke, for lack of a better word, is there for all to see.

Having moved on from attempting to extract the urine from some other commentator he is now presenting himself as the aforementioned scribe.

What a wit! (or should there be a 't' in front of the 'w')

Anonymous said...

Getting back on the real story...has our teeny tiny council actually proved ownership of these chattels - and are they actually owned by TDC as ECR has put it.

Is this a case of Council theft?

Anonymous said...

Sadly the stripping of Albion House goes back to the decision to move the Ramsgate Town Council in the first place.

Perhaps, had the TDC and our local MP not played their hand too soon, by showing their support for Albion House, things might have been different. Unfortunately, once it was seen that the 'Tories' favoured staying put, the non-Tory majority on the Ramsgate Council, with one exception, voted to move. Might have been smarter had the TDC said they wanted the move to the Customs house when the Labour and other non-Conservative councillors would have vehemently opposed it.

The minute, however, the decision was taken it opened up the historic contents of Albion House to the number crunchers and the temptation to whisk everything off to auction proved too great.

As to the chandolier, what can one say. ECR makes the point well. How could this have been missed on the refurb unless, of course, the work was done by some well connected local cowboy!

Anonymous said...

9:58 AM, makes a valid point but do we know whether it is the TDC or the RTC that removed these items. Does the guy in the blue top loading the van look familiar?

Whoever, and Michael Child sugests the items have gone to the Canterbury Auction rooms, the point of ownership is an interesting one. Were any of these items gifts to the town by former citizens, always a possibility.

Anonymous said...

anon again!

'Dear TDC,
The residents of Thanet would like to enquire if our furniture, is indeed, to be auctioned off?
If so, could the profit be credited to our enormous Council Tax bills, and be deducted from next year's same.
Yours sincerely,
anon again! & many others.

Anonymous said...

They should have got several German sparks in to do the chandelier as we all know that many Hans make light work-boom! boom!
Oh! and can we have a few more constructive notes instead of the usual jibes.
Furniture is probably abroad by now.If not can someone tell me who profits from its removal and sale?
I'll check the next auction at Canterbury Galleries.

Anonymous said...

Presumably, 2:39 PM, 'too many Hans' is a constructive comment and what exactly do you mean by the usual jibes? Perhaps, if you care to explain, the rest of us might avoid offending in future.

Tony Beachcomber said...

In 1995 when both sets of Charter Trustees became Labour controlled, the Margate Charter Trustees did a root and branch audit of everything on the inventory. It soon exposed many errors like under insured items and missing items. However, in the Margate Charter Trustees posession were a number of chairs and a painting that were found to be the property of the Ramsgate Charter Trustees. They were duly returned to the Ramsgate Charter Trustees this was minuted and documented in archives. Therefore without doubt a number of chairs in Albion House are the property of the former Ramsgate Charter Trustees.

Anonymous said...

Oh! 3.51 pm. lighten up dear! As Mr Wilde once said, "Life is too important to be taken seriously"

Anonymous said...


I take it that there proper provenance was checked, other than just being minuted...there is thumping great difference?

Being the custodian of property is also vastly different than owning property?

Anonymous said...

Good point, 10:24 PM, but lightening up did not do poor old Oscar much good!

Anonymous said...

Can we auction off a few of the old duffers in Cecil Square?

Anonymous said...

10:25 AM Idea but, to be replaced by who? More 'old duffers' who can find the time to attend meetings and respond to members of the public on issues raised. Would you do it for I wouldn't, especially after following Thanet's blogs for a couple of years. I like to walk around town without fear of being accosted by the peasants!

Anonymous said...

I gather there are a number of Margate items stored at Albion House too. Will they also be flogged off?

Anonymous said...

"I like to walk around town without fear of being accosted by the peasants!"

Occasionally, our "anonymous" friend who is oh-so-supportive-of-the-Council-but-wouldn't-dream-of-standing-for-election, lets slip the mask.

I think your danger of being accosted is dramatically increased by your attitude towards the people who elected you. They are not peasants, and you are not some feudal Lord. You are a Councillor and it is your job to represent the interests of your constituents, even if you don't always agree with them.

For the record. Dave Green seems to walk around and spend time in local restaurants and hostelries without suffering the abuse of which you are so afraid.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else see the excellent Cyril Parfitt exhibition upstairs at the Custom House over the weekend? Well done to all involved. More please!

Anonymous said...

2:07 PM

Interesting theory that 10:43 AM, having said he would not want to be a councillor, has somehow 'let the mask slip' and is actually a covert councillor. Quite how you work that out is beyond my simple comprehension.

I also would not want to be on the council although I do not always support them. Does that make me one aswell?

Town councillors, like those in Ramsgate, get a pittance for all the time and effort they put in and, at least, it is good to hear someone saying something positive about one of them, Dave Green in this instance.

Always remember, if we didn't have them, we would have nothing to write about on these pages.

Richard Eastcliff said...

I'm not sure I'd have 'nothing to write about' if we didn't have councillors, 3pm. After all, you can't get rid of me that easily!

But I do agree Dave Green rocks! Go DG!

Tony Beachcomber said...

annon 8:16

The provenance was established for the chairs along with the provenance of the painting.

In 1974 during local government reorganisation the handover of items from the Bouroughs of Ramsgate and Margate to KCC, TDC and the Charter Trustees was chaotic with pooorly kept records. The biggest clanger was the Webb painting valued at £100,000 that hung in the entrance of Margate library which turned out to be the property of TDC and KKC thought it was theirs.
In fact I do have documentary evidence on some cocks ups.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Another fact while on the subject, when the Margate Museum closed I contacted the charity commission regarding the Margate Museum collection. I did this because under the EKMT stewardship the Margate Museum was managed as a registered charity.I was concerned because items donated to the museum under charity commission rules may have some protection, as the charity has ceased to be, so what happens to these items. The answer was pretty straight forward that everything in the museum reverts to the ownership of TDC. This also include Ramsgate items aquired by the trust left in the Margate Museum.
Furthermore I looked into this further and found everything in the TDC collection can be disposed of by TDC at anytime should they wish at it is classed as a assett of TDC. The only exemptions are items covered by covenants.

The details of the TDC collection is not available under the freedom of information act as they use a clause under the data protection act to block it.

Cllr David Green said...

For the record, Ramsgate Town Council has been instructed to vacate Albion House asap.
There is a range of artifacts still in Albion House belonging to RTC that we are now removing.
There is nothing there of any great monetary value, but there are many items of civic value or
historically. The Town Council will be discussing disposal retention policy at next wednesdays Council meeting. Any views are welcome.

Anonymous said...

Bonfire and buy some nice stuff from IKEA.

Anonymous said...

So, after all the howls of rage and venting of spite towards the TDC, it was our local teeny town council after all. Furthermore, there being nothing of value (bet 'Bargain Hunt' might find a treasure or two)its disposal is to be subject of a council discussion.

OK, all ye Thanet whingers, how about bombarding Cllr Green with well thought out suggestions or are we limited to knocking TDC!

Michael Child said...

Dave 9.18 I think a very important point here is that when we voted for a town council we rather assumed that we would all know what the town council were up to. The town council’s website doesn’t seem to say anything much an I am afraid that if the town council doesn’t tell the town’s people what is going on then we are likely to assume the worst.