Saturday, 16 May 2015

Dreamland Margate Travellers moved on

As readers will know from the Thanet Gazette and Thanet Online, travellers moved into Dreamland car park Sunday afternoon. The Council seemed to be told almost immediately by the staff on site and Monday morning the Council sent a team round as per its protocol.

The good news is that yesterday afternoon they moved on. I'm assuming the Council got its eviction notice or found some other way of persuading them to go. Well done to the Council for getting on top of it quickly

However, the Council didn't contact the properties affected by this. As part of the Dreamland works a tall brick wall has been replaced by a shorter metal fence, reducing the privacy for residents next to the car park. That meant that a series of strip lights attached to the fencing at the Scenic Railway shone directly at the backs of the houses on Belgrave Road.

Moan over.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Fair Play and UKIP

As the local elections came I'm sure many were looking forward to a refreshed Council with less of the back-biting and bickering between Councillors. That good Councillors were stepping down due to the antics of the last Council was a damning indictment of the last four years. Would the polls provide a fresh start that might go some way to meeting the things I had talked about well over two years ago?

UKIP decisively won the Thanet election and will take control at next Thursday's Annual Council meeting. We've already had a taster of their plans with TDC Leader-elect Chris Wells pledging to take immediate action on the Manston CPO, no doubt bolstered by the Conservatives and the Save Manston campaigners, the latter forming part of their group.

I don't much like UKIP. Some of their policies are backwards and some of their supporters unsavoury. A lot of them of course have switched allegiance from the Conservatives, though I also know some who have since returned. Chris Wells is indeed one of those former Tories. No bad blood on that one. He's a grown man and made a choice.

Matthew Brown of Thanet Star has posted an article, querying whether Wells is the right man for Leader. While its to be expected we would see a certain level of bite, I'm disheartened to see an attack via Wells's past financial problems, listing some (rhetorical?) questions related to it, in the absence of any detail of what happened.

People get into problems for all sorts of reasons. Brown simply states the bankruptcy and leaves it hanging in the air without explanation, as if bankruptcy is in itself enough to say someone is not fit for office. Its a low blow and says more about Brown's desire to attack UKIP than tackling the issues.

There will be plenty of opportunities to hold the new leadership to account and when that happens we bloggers will surely do so. But with so few local political bloggers around, this sort of personal attack stains us all. At our best, blogs raise the standard of debate and awareness of issues close to the public. The level of depth and variety of opinion that we provide into key issues can offer something fresh alongside the local press. At our worst, we are just gossip columns. We can do better than this.