Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Time Out

What with Conservative councillors questioned under police caution for conspiracy, and The Duffers in a fighting mood over the Pleasurama Eyesore, it's hard to know which way is up here on the septic isle these days.

Let alone divining the difference between Miles Bar, Milo's Bar, Miles and Barr and a Mars Bar.

So I'm going to be taking a few days respite at the Skegness Home For Bewildered Thespians. Hopefully, once the tablets kick in, I'll be right as rain and back firing on all one cylinder. A bientot!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

News Rubble

A story about the, er, spot of local difficulty on Facebook has finally appeared in the Observer. Click here to read that. Plus, of course, there's more background on our local flying doctor's blog here.

I should also have alerted readers yesterday to the fact that there is a series of concerts happening at St Augustine's Church here in the Millionaires' Playground, to celebrate Pugin's birthday, the first of which was, um, last night. No matter, there are two more coming up in March. The poster for the concerts is below.

That has also been mentioned on Simon Moores' blog, so really, just pop over there and you should be alright. He's much more sober than me - especially at the weekend - and therefore generally less prone to dropping a bollock. You really wouldn't want to be sitting in a teeny-tiny plane with the likes of me piloting it. Oh no. No siree.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Weekly Message From The Supreme Leader Of The Democratic People's Republic Of Thanet

Only in your super, soaraway Isle of Thanet Gazunder! North Thanet leader Kim Jong-Hart gives us his take on what's hot and what's not on the Thanet peninsula!

Service personnel of the Thanetian People's Army, all the people, and other compatriots.

2014 is filled with confidence in the future and revolutionary self-respect. May all the families across the country overflow with great happiness and joy.

My greetings go also to my compatriots in the south, who are fighting for independence, democracy and national reunification. Our Party's policies of respecting the people and loving them, and the people's hearty loyalty of trusting and following the Party as they would do their mothers have become integrated, and thus the blood-sealed ties between them have reached a new, higher stage.

In the seething period of the effort for building a thriving country, we have taken the resolute measure of removing the factionalists lurking in the Party. As our Party detected and purged the anti-Party, counter-revolutionary factionalists at an opportune time and with a correct decision, the Party revolutionary ranks were further consolidated and our single-hearted unity was solidified to the maximum.

Construction is an important front for solidifying the foundations of a thriving country and creating bases for the people's happy life. The construction sector should set up world-class structures and build many other structures that could contribute to improving the people's living conditions, thus laying firm foundations of the self-supporting economy and providing the people with conditions for a more affluent and civilised life.

The state should take measures to bolster up the fishing sector. The sector should follow the example of the fishing sector of the People's Army that landed a huge haul of fishes by carrying out the order of the Supreme Comman

That's enough Kim Jong-Hart - Ed.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Gone With The Wind?

A busy week on the news front, what with work getting underway at the Ramsgate tunnels in preparation for a June opening, people pissing on war memorials, £10 rail tickets from London to Margate (but not Ramsgate and Broadstairs), and now the news that The Duffers are finally giving the 'developers' of the Pleasurama Eyesore the old heave-ho!

Lord, that I should have lived long enough to see that!

But strangely no local media outlet appears to have given a damn about yesterday's announcement by London Array that they have cancelled the second stage of their Thames Estuary wind farm - because of concern over the potential impact on the red-throated diver. That's a bird, apparently. Which the cynical might say has provided a convenient excuse to scrap something London Array didn't want to do in the first place.

The news that a potential 56 further turbines will not now be added to the 175 already blighting sea views from Margate will probably be received as a blessing by NorthEnders, but here on the sunny south side there could be some wailing and gnashing of teeth, given that London Array are based in the Port of Ramsgate.

Which means despite all the recent positive spin by our beloved council about a great future for the port and harbour based on leisure craft, a £7m loan for a cargo quay, and the wind farm business, we're currently down 50+ turbines, as well as a cross-channel operator. And, er, can we have our 3.4m quid back?

Oh well. Never mind. Something's bound to come up. After all, tomorrow's another day!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Thanet Watch

Reader Steve writes:

Dear ECR,

I found this piece of jewellery in my back garden. Looks like something one wouldn't want to lose. Can you help me reunite it with its owner?

Well Steve, us Ramsgate millionaires are early adopters, as you know. Personally, I wouldn't be seen dead driving my state-of-the-art hybrid without watching the box set of Breaking Bad on my Google Glass whilst taking a selfie on my superduper phablet.

So my guess is that this is one of those fancy new smart watches. It's probably insured, but in case any of you lovely readers recognise it as yours, do get in touch by emailing me at the address on the right.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Granville Designs

Yikes! I see Surrey-based developer Jason Hough has re-submitted his plans to build 346,907 flats with three parking spaces on the Granville Eyesore, here on Ramsgate's trendy East Cliff!

Actually there's not much more I can say about this that our local Bibliobloke hasn't already said on his excellent thanetonline blog. Click here for that.

Jason and the architects, Clague of Canterbury, are still proposing a hideous, 80s-style monstrosity, much taller than any previous structure that was on the site, along the lines of the one that was wholeheartedly rejected last year. The only difference appears to be that he has counted 100 parking spaces in the area, thus justifying the mingey parking allocation on his site. All I can say is that he must have counted them on a wet Wednesday in December, not in the blazing heat of a sunny Saturday in August, with a scout concert going on at the Granville Theatre.

If Kent Highways, who were one of the main objectors last time, fall for that, then they must be dafter than we all give them credit for.

The other sticking point last time was Jason's refusal to contribute a sum of some £50K to the community chest, to cover the extra strain on local services and infrastructure (schools, hospitals, roads, etc) which such a huge development would inevitably place. Poor Jason said it would mean his development wasn't financially viable. To which the correct response is: 'So you want to subsidise your development with public money, eh?'

Whilst all the focus is rightly on the Pleasurama Eyesore down on the front, the Granville Eyesore eyesore pre-dates Pleasurama by some 15 years. That's right. More than 30 years an eyesore. Much of the hoarding around the site is now dilapidated, and the entire area looks a mess.

So I'm not agin development as such. But please Jason, come up with some plans that everyone can get behind!!

Update: The deadline for comments on this proposal is 14 March 2014, not 4 March (which is what the silly council duffers put on their letter to local residents). You can email them at planning.services@thanet.gov.uk

Monday, February 17, 2014

Wilko Over And Out?

Lumme! Local social media is buzzing with the rumour that Wilkinson, the homeware and hardware store, is about to vacate Ramsgate and head off to Westworld Cross!

I must say, when I popped in for a gold-plated sink plug at the weekend the place did look remarkably bereft of stock. Not only that, but on a trip to Shed City a few hours later, the old BHS store seemed to be in the process of being totally gutted. So perhaps they're moving there?

If the rumour's true it'll be a shame as Wilko, along with Waitrose, is definitely one of the reasons to visit the Millionaires' Playground. I have to admit that just setting foot in the place used to make me physically ill, as it has a Poundland/Aldi quality which assaulted my Fortnum and Mason sensibilities. But d'you know what, dear reader? After nearly ten years in Thanet, I've pretty much got used to slumming it!

Worse still, the T word (Tesco) has been mentioned as a potential replacement. As if we need another one of those. I've got a good mind to tweet our Police Commissioner and ask her to put a stop to it!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Where's Willy?

For some reason I haven't been invited to the BAFTAs tonight. It might be something to do with that incident at last year's awards when I offered to check a D-list female celebrity's, er, lungs. I am a cuddly, huggly, playful sort of chap, and I fear my friendly offer may have been misinterpreted. Ho-hum.

So in the continuing spirit of ignoring everything that is going on around me, here are more of your Will Scobie pics.

Actually I'm getting rather cheesed off with these, so I'll be back with all the rumour and gossip that's unfit to print next week, including news of a local councillor who has been caught with his trousers down - literally! Pip pip!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Scobie-Dobie-Don't!

In the spirit of totally ignoring what our local flying doctor has revealed in the last 24 hours over on the seedy north side of the island, here's some more chucklesome Scobie snaps sent in by my readers. Keep 'em coming!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Scobie Snaps

One of my regular contributors has clearly been inspired by the Gazunder's weekly photos of Will Scobie, our foetal Labour parliamentary candidate for Sarf Fannit, who is invariably posed standing next to a pothole/sandwich/knitted ambulance...
Hmmm. It just goes to show, he does get around a bit!

Have you spotted Scoobie? Send your pics to the email address on the right, and I'll publish them here.

And speaking of parliamentary candidates for Sarf Fannit, the Green Party's Cllr Motormouth has recently espoused the idea of setting up a cannabis cafe on the island. Writing on Facebook, he says that the cafe would be 'a relaxed place where people could meet up with friends, have something to eat and drink and bring their own cannabis to smoke in a safe and tranquil place.

'In Manchester and Brighton people are discussing setting up cannabis cafes. Across the world attitudes to cannabis use are changing so lets start a discussion in Thanet. I appreciate that like alcohol and tobacco, cannabis can damage health but its time to think about developing a new approach to drugs because it's clear that enforcement is becoming an incredibly expensive waste of money.'

And there was me thinking Thanet had already gone to pot! Geddit??!??!??!!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Faecebook

video
Oh dear. I seem to be on a bit of a toilet roll with these headlines.

So, multi-zillionaire Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook is currently robo-generating one-minute films from your top photos and comments on the social networking site to 'celebrate' its tenth anniversary. If you're on FB, you'll have already seen them, no doubt. Some geek in California has written a bit of software code, and hey presto! - now your best bits are a video, complete with a music track that smells of pure American cheese. An infinite number of monkeys in an infinite number of Avid edit suites would have done a better job, but there you go.

Any-old-hoo, when I went to look at mine, I didn't have one! Apparently my life is so dull that it doesn't even warrant 60 seconds to cover the last decade! I know, you're shocked, aren't you?!?!

No matter, reader John has come to my rescue, and put the above BAFTA nominated piece together. Thanks John!

And while we're on the topic of technology, Apple is giving me the pip. I've used the firm's stuff since Steve Jobs was a foetus, but in the last few years its products have proven shoddy and unreliable. iPads have stopped working, iPhones have developed an inner life of their own, and laptops have burnt out. Its not just me that's suffered, friends have too. You only have to look at the 10 mile queues at the Genius Bars in your local Apple Stores to see that something's gone a bit wormy.

None of that is at all relevant to Ramsgate in particular, or the Ile de Thanet in general. But then that doesn't seem to trouble you lot much when it comes to comments, does it?!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Wind

Thankfully we're not suffering from wind as much as those poor pasty-munching buggers down in Cornwall are at the moment. But as this picture of the hoarding around the Granville Eyesore here in the Millionaires' Playground shows, one or two things have nonetheless blown off. I'm glad it wasn't my Lamborghini Veneno parked there at the time!

It's the second occasion in a month that the fan's hit the shit, as it were. Property developer Jason Hough, who owns the site, really should have read January's notice on the excellent FixMyStreet website a bit more carefully. If he had, he'd have seen that one more hefty puff was about to bring the rest of his hoardy house down.

Still, by this afternoon Kent Highways had bulldozed it from their road and crammed it back into his hole, so that's not bad going.

Speaking of eyesores, the Pleasurama Eyesore rightly gets all the coverage when it comes to the Cannes of Kent, but the Granville's just as 'orrible in my humble proverbial, as is this in Bellevue Road, which is rapidly becoming the local flytippers' landfill of choice...
Not to mention the old cop shop on Cavendish Street.

I dunno. At this rate it might be worth resurrecting the old Eyesore Tours from 2008!

Monday, February 03, 2014

Floaters

Eurgh! Reader Ben has sent me this photo he took today of our lovely Royal Harbour, and writes:

I couldn't help noticing that the Ramsgate inner harbour was filthy today. There was a large oily slick of floating rubbish - not far from the disused King George IV Maritime Heritage Pontoons. This is hardly a good advert for Ramsgate's tourist industry. TDC used to employ a chap who would row out and scoop it up, I guess this is no longer the case.

Indeed. And with a Eurofunded project under way to tart the harbour up, you'd think they'd be taking a bit more care of it! Oh, but then they'd probably want more Eurofunding to do that.

Speaking of poop decks, word has reached the old ECR shell-likes that our former dredger, fittingly enough called Ramsgate, has turned up in Norway after being flogged off by The Duffers for £65,000 a few years ago. That was apparently part of a plan by Cllr Latchford (Who he? - Ed.) to bring in new, super-duper dredging arrangements. Ramsgate has been refurbed and is still apparently doing sterling work for the Norgies, so it does make you wonder whether TDC could have done the same and saved a few bob on the hundreds of thousands they've subsequently spent on getting contractors to do the job.

Hang on a mo. I think I may have spotted some of my council tax floating in that slick pic!

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Psychic Dick

Well, I can't delay blowing my own trumpet and showing off my crystal balls any longer.

Yep, you read it here first. On the 18th of November last year to be precise. Our beloved council's' legal beagle Harvey Patterson is off to pastures new.

The story was splashed all over the front of Friday's Isle of Thanet Gazunder. Harvey's departure is part of a shake-up that will see The Duffers' Chief Exec, Dr Sue McGonigal, relinquish some of her power, but not any of her £100K+ per year salary. As I wrote at the time: '(Harvey's departure) could mark the start of an admin shake-up at Duffer Central'. We've yet to be told whether Harve'll be collecting any dosh as he passes 'Go'.

You know, it's hard being so right all the time. But I do it all for you, my dear readers!

Click here to read my exclusive scoop from last November.
Click here to read The Gazunder's story, which came out two months later.