|KANDY OF FORS BBC INTERVIEW|
SFP Director, Sean Patrick Keegan, and his side-kick Terrence Painter, a well known Thanet estate agent, have been bigging-up their plans for the site for over a decade. In that time, SFP has done precious little development work. Instead it has allowed an important area of Ramsgate's seafront to fester and decay like a wartime bombsite, blighting the town for more than ten long years.
Some people have suggested that SFP was more interested in land speculation and profiteering than the development of Ramsgate seafront. Others have speculated that some councillors or political parties may have profited from voting certain ways in relation to this development. Personally I think these suggestions are groundless. But there again fact can sometimes be stranger than fiction, especially in Thanet where its not unknown for Council leaders to be gaoled for misconduct in public office.
One thing that has come to light however, is the fact that SFP and Mr Keegan are closely linked to Mr Colin Hill, a multi-millionaire and one of the richest men in the country. It would appear that Mr Keegan and Mr Hill and the mysterious Lichtenstein registered Wetmore Foundation, might have been linked to some very interesting land transactions involving Peterborough United Football Club and Peterborough Council. Although perfectly legal, some people have said that these buy low- sell high transactions were pushing the boundaries of business ethics a little too far and that the council tax payers of Peterborough might not have done well out of the £8million deal. But that is pure speculation. My point is however beware of leopards and spots. If Thanet Council is able to reclaim the land from the grip of SFP it will have acted wisely and very much in the interest of local taxpayers.
Which gets me to my next point. Less than one year ago Thanet Labour Councillors were hell bent on supporting SFP and the Pleasurama Project. I can't recall how many times they described this project as "the only game in town" or how many times councillors said it was the "best option for Ramsgate". So firmly attached to SFP were the Labour Councillors, that they voted to prevent discussion of my motion to the Council opposing the developers.
It was only through the work of Friends of Ramsgate Seafront and a number of Tory Councillors who campaigned tirelessly against the Pleasurama Project that Labour politicians began to listen. When they realised just how angry Ramsgate residents were becoming, they cynically calculated that if they didn't give the impression they were doing something about Pleasurama, their Council seats might be in danger.
So well done to Friends of Ramsgate Seafront. Had you not kicked the arses of many of those lazy good nothings who have the cheek to describe themselves as Councillors, they would still have been singing the praises of SFP Ventures and making abusive comments about anyone who dared to challenge their opinions.
Also well done Michael from the bookshop. You kept the Pleasurama issue alive, almost single headedly for many years. Lets hope we see a lot more People Power in Ramsgate and Thanet. Its time for a change!