Thursday, 7 November 2013

Ramsgate Pavilion The Only Fool in Town

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!


  1. Good points Ian. The Pavilion is too important to be wasted any more.

    And Pleasurama still needs clearing before the Winter ready for the Summer. The Port and Marina need a proper plan. As do the sewers and cliffs. And what is happening on Dreamland now TDC own that too?

    The recycling improvements are a good start but 20% recycling is abysmal: it needs to be 100% with zero exports/dumping or incineration. And a plastic bag ban.

  2. Why would anyone think that TDC would be able to pull off such a restoration, even if a councilor could be found to lead the restoration, who would be willing to be sniped at by all sides, from the inception of any restoration, till it's conclusion and beyond?

    It needs passing to someone/an organisation that can afford to carry the restoration, and is able to make a success of the restored building, without the taxpayers of Thanet footing the bill now or in the future.