If you look at the papers for the next meeting of the Cabinet on 14th November here item 6 East Kent Opportunities Spine Road Repayment makes a recommendation that Thanet Council pay back to KCC £2.7 million of its share of the cost of building the New Haine Road. This money is coming from cash reserves which would otherwise have been invested.
I am sure that the Cabinet and ultimately the Council will agree to pay off the £2.7 million in one lump sum, but there are options . Repayment could be delayed or a partial repayment made. I am sure that KCC would not object too strongly. This would leave TDC with £1-2million ready cash which could be invested in the Pavilion.
Because the Pavilion has been classified as one of the most important Victorian seafront buildings in the country it should be relatively straightforward to secure a grant of £2-3 millions from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help to the restore the Pavilion and secure additional grants from other charitable foundations and perhaps even donations from local business such as Cardy's or SFP Ventures (joke). Either way it should be relatively easy to raise £3-4 million to pay for the restoration of the Pavilion. The Council would then have a fabulous building which it could use for commercial income generating purposes such a Saturday afternoon wrestling featuring large overweight councillors, or community use. Ramsgate Town Council could even hold its meetings there if it hasn't already been abolished due lack of relevance or interest! But seriously it would hard for a refurbished Pavilion not to make enough money to wipe it face
This is a practical and achievable solution which means that we do not have to rely on Weathersppons to be the saviour of the Pavilion. On the contrary, we can do it ourselves and have a wonderful restored building working for the interests of local business and local people. Look at Canterbury Council they did something similar with the Beany! Look at the De la War Pavilion in Bexhill. It can be done. So why not in Thanet?
Simple! Because Thanet's political elite are incredibly unimaginative. Worst of all, the politicians responsible for running the Council through its Cabinet do not trust local people. Instead of harnessing the incredible skills, knowledge, talents and experience of the local community Thanet's political leadership prefers instead to work with outsiders like Rank, Weatherspoons, SFP Ventures, and dodgy rust-bucket ferry operators who don't pay their bills.
I understand Councillor Allan Poole one of the Cabinet Members with responsibility for the Pavilion said that Weatherspoons "are the only game in town". The same words I recall him using about SFP Ventures and Pleasurama. With respect Councillor Poole you are "the only fool in town because you don't trust the community you are supposed to represent to be able to do the right thing by Ramsgate and Thanet.
Roll on 2015 when we can vote for councillors who listen to, trust and work in partnership with the community. Hopefully many of them will be Green Party Councillors!