As someone committed to open and transparent government I would like to be able to tell what the legal advice said and what the Working Group decided. However, on this occasion even I, who has previously released secret Thanet Council documents in the public interest, have to agree that the advice was of such a sensitive nature that it should remain confidential for a short while longer.My personal view is that SFP has been in breach of its development agreement with the Council for at least a year and that the company should have been thrown off the site a long time ago. When I began to campaign for the removal of the developers more than a year ago I met nothing but from resistance, ridicule and downright hostility from the Council’s ruling Labour Group, especially Ramsgate Labour councillors, who openly supported the developers despite a decade of failure. Thankfully a number of Conservative Councillors including Jo Gideon, Ros Binks and Julie Marsden joined with me to call for the removal of SFP. It is only relatively recently, when the labour Councillors realised they might lose their seats at the next election that they woke up to reality and decided to take the matter seriously.
My view has not changed. I believe that the Council must remove this company of failed developers from the site as quickly as possible. Whilst not going into details, I believe that the legal advice received by the Council is very helpful in this regard. I repeated my views at yesterday’s meeting and I was not alone. There will be another 2 meetings where the legal advice will be discussed and a final decision on what the Council will do should be taken in the next 2-3 weeks.
I sincerely hope that the Council will decide to rid itself of its incompetent and failing developers as quickly as is legally possibly. If this course of action is approved and the Council recovers ownership of the land there should be a proper and meaningful discussion with the people of Ramsgate about the Pleausurama site should be used for.