Monday, July 08, 2013

'Cheap Space And Out Of Control'

Yes fashion fans - that's top designer Wayne Hemingway's verdict on the Arsonists' Playground in a recent interview with The Sun! Although I have to say it sounds more like the sort of thing a bent Tory council leader might utter to his 'investor' chums.

Oh well, as you probably all know by now, Wayne's in charge of revitalising Dreamland by shipping in a load of knackered old rides and poshing it up a bit. Sort of like Jimmy Godden Mk2, but with red specs and a designer tie. His latest utterings at least give poor old Margate some much-needed publicity. But, as we Millionaires' know, Ramsgate's miles better!

PS: Bet you didn't know that our beloved Duffers over in Cecil Square have spent £620,000 of our council tax buying several of those knackered old rides on behalf of the Dreamland Trust? Well I'm here to tell you they have. It's in the small print of their 2012 accounts. Doesn't sound that cheap to me, but it does seem a little bit out of control!

Click here to read interview with Wayne Hemingway in The Sun

40 comments:

Solo Gays said...

All we ever wanted was our shelter maintained at Winterstoke Gardens in Ramsgate. I found out the other day that someone set fire to themselves in there recently.

I wonder if building a Tesco there would have prevented that?

Anonymous said...

But it is not your shelter is it, SG. It is there for use by the public to rest up or take cover from inclement weather. It is not a meeting place or a knocking shop for that matter.

Richard Eastcliff said...

Yes, I heard that too SG.

I really don't mean to be mean about Margate, but it is annoying to see all the money being spent over there with precious little left for Ramsgate. Even the fart farm launch with our bum-faced PM last week was held at the Turnip, when all the actual work is done from our lovely harbour, with it not costing a single penny on the rates!

Still, at least Ramsgate doesn't smell like the solids separator at a sewage treatment works.

Solo Gays said...

Its been going on for decades 5.43, and what are you trying to insinuate anyway? I am trying to find a boyfriend online, but all you get is anonymous nut jobs mucking you about.

Solo Gays said...

Sorry about that ECR, I like to respond to fan mail promptly.

Enjoyed all 3 posts of yours this afternon, feels like some triple karate knockout!

Richard Eastcliff said...

Thank you SG! And good luck with the boyfriend hunt!

Peter Checksfield said...

I wish you Ramsgate lot would stop being so ungrateful. Who got a brand new concrete ping pong table? Not Margate!

Anonymous said...

I have always said that new leased rides with current safety certificates would work out far cheaper in the long run as well as being more attractive to visitors if a long term park is to be viable. The cost of making out of date worn out rides servicable and safe is un-viable. A clothing label designer is not a correctly qualified person to ascertain that, and should not have been hired. Having connections with one of the South-Easts largest Amusements Parks in the past, I do know a little of what I am talking about.

Anonymous said...

So true, 6.21pm, but style will always get priority over substance in these crazy times. The last person they would want to listen to is someone in the business pointing out that it is a financial nonsense. Those involved in this scheme will get their money whether it succeeds or not.

MadFiddler said...

It so happens Wayne Hemingway may be a safe pair of hands. Hemingway Designs have done some good things and I've recently been to his Beanotown exhibition at the Southbank, London which he's done well with, considering the space restraints.
And why old rides? Because the Dreamland site is too small for modern rides, and Alton/Chessington/Legoland do them much better. As travelling fairs show, old-style nostalgia will make it a popular attraction.
As an ex-Ramsgatonian, it might even attract me to visit, something I rarely did as a resident of 20+ years, preferring Ramsgate, which does at least have the harbour. But that's it!!!

Anonymous said...

Wayne is the son of a true red indian
Billy Two Rivers,now their was a showman.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Wayne Hemingway came up with the best presentation when Dreamland Heritage put the job out to tender. I assume they got a good deal and at least they have chosen somebody that will generate publicity. Its a bit like Mary Portas generates publicity, some good for Margate and much of it just self publicity.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a ghost train you could turn Arlington House into. Massive.

Anonymous said...

£620k!! How many does "several" mean exactly? Bit vague. Any photos of this £620k worth. What fund was used for that? Who valued them? Is this another Thanet Council negligence time-bomb? Presumably they must be visible somewhere, but where?

Anonymous said...

Yes 6.44 Ramsgate can't complain making out they don't get their fair share considering they have the inefficient loss-making harbour to go with the loss making port and the Council that manages and subsidizes both can't even be bothered to make the customers pay, witness serial debt write-offs.

Anonymous said...

All of the Rides purchased were cast-offs from other Amusement Parks in the UK. They are cast-offs in the sense that they were no longer attractive to visitors, and hence were replaced by more modern, safer equipment. Some were even from closed down Amusement Parks, there should be a clue here! They are past their sell-by date and only Thanet Council would actually pay for them. This is not an Arts space it is an Amusement Park and people will expect to be amused, not find an extension of the Turnip Centre! Wayne might be an expert in his field, but this is not Amusement parks. He has been hired to design it, someone should ask how he is qualified to do this. How many Amusement Parks are on his portfolio.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7.58 you should check the TDC accounts. For 2011/12 the harbour made a £812,000 profit.

Anonymous said...

But Anon 8.22 you should check out Wayne's water butt. I think the stopcock is in the wrong place though.

Anonymous said...

Ahh,Billy Two Rivers 1960's famous wrestler,tomahawk chop was his specialality.

Anonymous said...

Wayne Hemingway has no experience of amusement parks as 8:22 points out. It is exactly like the Mary Portas hype. The Beanotown work is awful: a few cardboard cartoons over the viaducts.

Anonymous said...

TDC accounts are open for inspection: invoices, contracts, salaries etc - email Andy Mack: andy.l.mack@uk.gt.com

He's jumpoed ship to Grnat Thornton as the Audit Commission was closed down for incompetence. Grant Thornton as a private auditor will be less forgiving of Thanet corruption.

Although Andy is the same chap so hardly better scrutiny to be expected?

But ask for Pleasurama invoices etc etc. He always says he hasn't got them but he is meant to audit them.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see Thanet Council can be so open with information when it suits them like their website 4 July spouting about a named individual Mr Allan Jones (56) of Gresham Avenue, Margate who was investigated for Housing Benefit Fraud, Council Tax Benefit Fraud and Income Support Fraud overpayments: Housing Benefit - £32,582.43; Council Tax Benefit - £6,778.67; Income Support - £15,089.70 and Cllr Rick Everitt, Cabinet Member for Financial Services commented “This is another successful prosecution as result of the hard work undertaken by Thanet District Council and Department of Work and Pensions Fraud Teams. Benefit Fraud will not be tolerated and the Court has confirmed this by giving a custodial sentence.” Shame on Thanet Council for not being so open about the antics of their own senior management! I bet Mr Jones would be kicking his cell walls and his family appearing on TV if they knew TDC who effectively jailed him have committed greater fraud than he yet nobody acts and they take their salaries and praise for jailing others. What Cllr Everitt actually means is it is just Benefit Fraud that won’t be tolerated at TDC. It would be better if all fraud was investigated and those responsible given “a custodial sentence.”

Anonymous said...

Civil servants are above the law and cannot and must not be jailed for wasting or stealing public funds.

Councillors must cover up any frauds to help the civil servants.

Anonymous said...

Nice attempt at defending them 11:45, I hope you get your pay rise, but TDC’s executives are Local Government Officers and not Civil Servants

Anonymous said...

So what happened at the Pleasurama meeting yesterday? I was at work and missed it. Did the councillors offer to dig into their pockets and run SFP out of town? (I wish)

Anonymous said...

Here's an article from the Sun about Ramsgate from September last year

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/4535264/Rod-Liddle-in-Ramsgate-Single-mums-are-trapped-in-low-paid-jobs-and-our-kids-are-suffering-in-recession.html

It;'s about what a shithole Ramsgate is. So there we have it - TDC's press office trumpeting Margate as the new Valhalla while crapping on Ramsgate.

He even describes the Pleasurama development as a bomb site. There again, he seems to think Ashford is 'down the road'. Der!

Anonymous said...

Anon 8.35, for reasons only known to them the Council stopped publishing accounts for the Harbour years ago so there is no way of telling what is or is not included within the £812000 “profit” you quote, but if you and their Auditor Andy Mack are the two who trust their figures, the overall position is still the same. The Port and Marina in the last three years ending in 2011, 2012 and 2013 had deficits of £4.22million, £54k, and £1.3million. Even if you add back the £3.7m impairment whatever that was in 2011 the total deficit for the three years is £1.9million. If these figures still include the Transeuropa income but not the bad debt the deficit for the three years is over £5million. Without accounts being published for the Harbour it is very hard to establish anything, but what is there shows Ramsgate as a subsidized operation.

Anonymous said...

So, if the harbour accounts aren't part of the council's accounts, can the harbour go bust without impacting on the taxpayer? I can't (legally) see how a council could create a separate entity for which it bore financial responsibility and then fail to report the losses. If that was legal they'd all be doing it.

Anonymous said...

The harbour accounts are part of the overall tdc accounts, what is actually in the accounts depends on the whim of the chief exec/finance officer. A bit of forensic accounting will be required to get the true picture.

Anonymous said...

Blimey 9:46, well put, you took the words out of my mouth, or keyboard in this instance.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know why Jennifer Sealey left TDC's Audit - thought i would ask?

Anonymous said...

The audit contact for copy invoices, payslips, expenses, contracts etc is:
andy.l.mack@uk.gt.com

He always tries to wriggle out of providing them or auditing them though.

Jail required for mcgonigal?

Anonymous said...

What is the difference between Local Government Officers and Civil servants?

Anonymous said...

In answer to 10.37 Civil Servants work in the Civil Service. Local Government is not the Civil Service.

Anonymous said...

Re 10.07 Why? Was Jennifer Seeley ever anything to do with Audit? She was the S151 Officer or "CFO" until she was kicked out around the time of some Thanet Gazette front page chocolate nonsense. I think she counter-sued TDC and won. Soon after they got McGonigal......

Anonymous said...

Fabtastic. So, the law states that accounts are supposed to give a true and accurate picture of the finances, but what goes into the accounts depends on the whim of the Chief Executive. Am I the only one who thinks that there is an inconsistency here? Surely, the "whim of the Chief Executive" cannot extend to omitting item and information resulting on the accounts not giving a true and accurate picture of the finances.

Anonymous said...

And 4.13 you have inadvertently brought up the weakness in the current Thanet Council where the Chief Executive is also the Finance Director, and so the "whim" is very easily exercised, and then you only have to get the Auditor Mack to agree, then presumably you authorize his payment.

Anonymous said...

Council Chief Executive - and Deputy - arrested for fraud and misuse of public office over the salary increases. Caerphilly Council not Thanet and in Private Eye.

Macgonigal must be off to jail soon. Moores will keep quiet on 0% too.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I reckon a safe pair of hands, MadFiddler – no one else has designed such a thing before (world's first and all). Son of a showman with urban design and seaside regeneration credentials – sounds suitably qualified to me!

Hattie McHat said...

Think historic rides paid for with grant cash not tax tokens and according to all the recent talks and presentations only part of amusement attraction anyway.