Friday, 19 July 2013



The Pleasurama Working Group got off to a good start last night. Members of the group agreed to look at the due diligence processes carried out by the Council into site developers SFP Ventures (UK) Ltd. They will also be looking carefully at the existing development agreement with SFP and  almost certainly taking independent legal advice about how the Council can best manage current and future non-performance by SFP. The group will also be considering alternative uses for the site should the happy day ever come when, or if,  the Council decides to boot SFP  off the site for breach of agreement!

The group agreed that it will be inviting local organisations  such as the Friends of Ramsgate Seafront (FORS)  to give evidence about the development. Members of the group also agreed a long list of background documents they wished to see before they meet again in August.

My impression is that the group means business and will give serious thought to how this decade long disaster can be resolved. In my opinion the only resolution is sacking SFP as the developers and having a  proper consultation with the people of Ramsgate  about what they would like to see on this  stretch of prime seafront land. Perhaps a community focused space that will benefit local people and visitors alike?

Finally, the fact that this group was set up at all is a tribute to the people of Ramsgate who through organisations like FORS, and through tireless lobbying, campaigning, signing petitions and attending meetings, have forced their councillors to act.
But don't forget that all of the Labour  councillors on the working group are the same councillors who less than year ago voted  to prevent Thanet Council from debating Pleasurama at all. The only difference now is that they are frightened of losing their seats in 2015 and want to be seen to doing something in response to the public outcry against Pleasurama. So although the meeting was a great start to what is likely to be a long job, it's important for Ramsgate people to keep the pressure on these councillors, otherwise they are likely to revert to type.

I will produce a regular commentary on meetings of the working group so  that you are kept in the picture


  1. Cllr Driver,

    What you say is interesting. However, can you please clarify what you mean by your phrase, "a community focused space"?

    1. Hi John I was thinking of a beachside park with stuff for kids and adults. Perhaps even a stage for entertainments as well. But to me the MOST important thing is that local people have a major input instead of councillors of and officers adopting a "top down - we know best attitude"

    2. Thank you Ian,

      The Beach Side Park sounds good, expecially the stage. I have seen something similar in Brighton and Southsea. Would this park be funded by private enterprise or by the council tax? Personally, I do not favour bulding a bunch of flats.

  2. Well done Ian. Don't allow any more bureaucratic delays and facesaving as with Dreamland. not a brick will be laid at Pleasurama. Cancel it and turf the site for what's left of the tourist season.

    Close Manston too.

  3. Losing their seats! Why don't they consider leaving Ramsgate bouyant (as it should be) to be more important than just politics and their short term political life, versus the thousands of years that the legacy might survive for. So glad Ian that you watched the spelling, S v B - sacking not backing SFP. When will the video of the meeting be available to see?

  4. Ian The important thing to me right now is here if you can spare valuable time to read. That is the biggie and I expect the Attorney General to decide to once again use secret public interest to deny access to Court. If he does grant Fiat then the verdict has to first quash. If that happens then the High Court will determine my application that they sit as HM Coroner in public interest. If that happens the implications eventually touching on Thanet and matters paramilitary may well unroll under Judicial authority. Softly softly.

    Attorney General review

    And here is a less important one to TDC

    FOI re TDC cllrs and Chief Executive contacting Kent Police and Scotland Yard

    I do in fact still have Cllr Coppock's correspondence so I await the TDC FOI response with interest.

    The TDC that received the planning application for Pleasurama was in disarray. This is your context foundation. A Standards procedure had been caught out hiding evidence from the cllrs. It seems that a Planning Officer thus exempted Standards attention may have received severance.

    The council solicitor Mr BORLEY had been caught out when he tried to challenge evidence I was putting to European Court of Human Rights. And he had to admit the evidence was withheld from Standards Cttee cllrs.

    As you know one of the new Chief Executives actions, Richard Samuel wrote to me and chose to copy the Standards Procedure to Kent Police.

    So in 98 and 99 Cllrs approaching police. Circa 2002/2003 the new Chief Exec reporting to police.

    The legal advice offered cllrs (whilst evidence was hidden from them) was based on what is called a Begging the Question fallacy. The proposition becomes the conclusion. IE Cllr hayton in High Court 98 was a witness of fact and as a witness of fact we can exempt him from Standards jurisdiction.

    Clive Hart is still not answering. Wasn't Cllr hayton an Expert Witness by virtue of knowledge gained in elected office ? And that is a whole new ballgame. And Full Council jurisdiction because they previously voted on the basis of flawed legal advice and not knowing evidence had been hidden from the procedure.

    In the 6th Thanet Range evidence you have TDC verifying police claims that a chalk face naturally retreated 12 feet in less than three years. This was exposed as fallacy by surveyors and reference to the Ordnance Survey. But the TDC "Experts" would be the same ones Shaun Keegan relied on for TDC chalk face expertise to safeguard his site and investment.

    This all goes to issues of good faith. And TDC concealed the aquifer contamination. Concealed environment concern reports which implied Pfizer may not be operating long term. Things that could seriously undermine the market for development properties.

    1. Reading the above puts me in mind of several historical decisions made by TDC, but to be frank your statement is oblique. Will the Cllr know what you mean? Do you expect the general public to understand what you are referring? Is this pettifogging?

    2. Even Rick who wrote it does not know what he means so you can hardly expect the council to understand.