Wednesday, 4 March 2015

O'Regan Plans: Ramsgate Councillors Stab Community In Back

Green Party Councillor and Parliamentary Candidate for South Thanet, Ian Driver, has accused Ramsgate’s   ‘political establishment’ of “betraying the people they were elected to represent”. His comments follow revelations that Ramsgate Town Council (RTC) and the town’s County Councillors failed to respond to a consultation about KCC’s Minerals and Waste Local Plan (MWLP) last summer. The MWLP regulates the aggregate industry in Kent, and lists Ramsgate Port as an aggregate processing site. This designation means that the O’Regan Group’s controversial proposal to locate a concrete block manufacturing plant at the port, which was opposed at a packed meeting of over 300 townspeople earlier this year, is in fact likely to be approved.
Opportunities missed KCC invited Ramsgate Town Council (RTC) to comment on the revised MWLP last summer. This would have provided RTC with an opportunity to raise issues about the sensitive environmental sites close to the port and the port’s proximity to tourist and residential areas, allowing planners more discretion to reject unsuitable applications such as the O’Regan proposal.  However, minutes of RTC meetings reveal that the issue was never discussed by the Labour-controlled body, and KCC records show that it did not make a consultation submission.
KCC’s consultation took place between July and September 2014. This is the period in which the O’Regan Group held its first 3 meetings with Thanet Council about its proposals for the port. It is believed that Ramsgate Town Councillor Mike Harrison who, in his second job as a Thanet District Councillor, is responsible for overseeing the management of the Port, knew about the KCC consultation and the talks with O’Regan.
Councillors ‘failed in their duties’
It’s also believed by some that Ramsgate Town Councillors David Green and Rick Everitt, who are also Thanet District Councillors with responsibility for Planning and Finance, would also have known about the O’Regan talks and the KCC consultation. If this assumption is correct, why didn’t Harrison, Green, and Everitt insist on RTC participating in the consultation and put forward suggestions which would have made it much easier for planners to reject unsuitable developments at the port?
But it wasn’t just the failure of RTC and its politicians which let residents down. UKIP’s County Councillors Trevor Shonk and Martyn Heale, and Labour’s Parliamentary hopeful for Ramsgate and current County Councillor, Will Scobie, appear to have failed in their duties as public servants too.  Heale, Shonk and Scobie attended a meeting at Maidstone’s County Hall where KCC’s Minerals and Waste Local Plan was discussed and the consultation timetable approved.
If they had read the reports, they would have realised how important the MWLP was in relation to planning policy for the Port of Ramsgate. They would have recognised that the consultation process offered them a chance to put forward suggestions to try to balance industrial use of the port with the environmental, residential and tourist issues in the surrounding area. Records show that Heale, Shonk and Scobie, unlike other County Councillors, did not do this.
Said Driver: “The O’Regan controversy sadly demonstrates that Ramsgate’s politicians are shambolic failures who are not fit for public office. Instead of engaging in processes which could have protected the town from a development nobody wants, they sat on their backsides and did nothing. Instead of trying to fight for the interests of the people who elected them, they have stabbed them in the back. These so-called politicians have brought themselves into disrepute - and in 8 weeks’ time you can replace them with Green councillors who will be pro-active, carry out their duties with care and diligence, and  put the interests of the community first!”


  1. I would have thought the answer to your questions is that Everitt, Harrison and Green were and are in favour of the proposal.

    None of this means a waste wood recycling plant should be on the port. Beware the incinerator at Richborough.

    If Thanet Council cannot find better uses for this valuable site it shows the wrong people are in charge of it.

    After years of decline they should let someone else have a go.

  2. Good work Ian! These sly bastards are unfit for public office, and need to be exposed!!

    1. TDC is not really fit for purpose.

  3. Bloody disgrace.

  4. Well done Ian and what a disgrace we are all having to resist this ridiculous plan because of idiots like Everitt and Harrison.

    We need a clearout at RTC and TDC although it's the same people.

  5. The sheer complacency and hypocrisy shown by Ramsgate Town Councillors, Thanet District Councillors and KCC councillors on this issue is terrible.
    Why did Peter Campbell call a public nmeeting? Was he too enraged by the officers and behaviour of cabinet member Mike Harrison. Is that why Mike Harrison was deselected? Does this also account for the alleged courting of Mike Harrison to join UKIP? Did he not have the balls to defect?

    What is clear is that the people of Ramsgate do not want this cement and wood processing facility at the port. Not only will it be next to the only Royal Harbour in the country, and an enormous tourist attraction for both mariners and public - it is an amazing architectural backdrop to this fantastic regeneration seaside resort. The industry will pollute in both dust, noise and transport movements. The Crown Estates and KCC only want this for their selfish needs, they have no concern whether it will blot our local seascape.

    Other councillors such as David Green are also weaselling out of speaking against this development. He and his colleagues are so inadequate at securing any meaningful inward investment that I am surpised they don't want the port to transport nuclear waste.

    This revelation has made me feel extremely angry about the majority of our useless elected representatives, Labour, Tory and UKIP. They have completely failed the people of Ramsgate.
    None of those who were in aposition to halt this project in a timely fashion have any right to be re-elected to Ramsgate, or Thanet District Council. They should all be named and shamed and the members responsible mad to explain themselves on the dock!

  6. Councillor David Green for Ramsgate Town Council and Cabinet Member for Thanet District Council in his statement to the nearly 3000 members of Friends of Ramsgate Seafront, is hedging his bets and clearly has not stood up in a timely manner to halting the process of application by O'Regan's. O'Regan's of course have been identified from their business in Ireland to be unreliable and have dumped waste illegally.

    David Green:- I'm glad that Terry (Askew,Labour) at least is talking some sense on here. Remember, it was a senior Labour Councillor, Cllr Campbell that brought this potential application to peoples attention. O'Regans representatives have had a number of exploratory meetings with Port staff, and one regarding pre-planning advice. Given that 50 or so jobs are potentially on offer and a substantial income for the Council, it would be irresponsible not to examine the proposal thoroughly. To date, no formal application has been made. If and when there is, Cabinet will have to consider it and balance economic and environmental considerations. Part of the application will also require planning permission, which, by law will be considered by the planning committee and be evidence based. My own view, based on the evidence I have seen so far, is that this is not the direction I would like to take the Port. I would favour encouraging leisure, boat maintainance, building, the existing service operations, fishing, rather than industrial. However, until I've seen all the evidence, I'm not going to commit myself.
    18 February at 22:53

    So the response of over 300 Ramsgate resident's who are against this development after having it explained to them by O'Regan's representative and consults, ex TDC officers, doesn't feature in Cllr David Green's decision making process. It is well known that he managed to get TDC to do up the square in front of his house, but he's quite happy to blight the regeneration of Ramsgate?

  7. These Cllrs know what they have been doing, why is another question!
    We have had the demise of the future of the ferries, the harbour, the only Royal harbour in England, with no listed status???
    The sale of the slipways, with not being on the asset disposal list, the slipways we have are the only ones around for 50 miles.
    The sluice gates possibly being taken/scrapped, after the brilliant thoughts of making them hydro-electric, but too costly apparently.
    The high visitors rates for mooring in the harbour, the lack of high standard amenities, to go with the high prices.
    The sale of the dredger, which now leaves us with obstructive sand banks.
    The idea of this 'town square' infront of the clock tower, taking the fishermans slipway, and access to it, moving the yachts to the east side and fishing vessels to the west side, again away from the fishermans slipway.
    Security isnt up to standard, cameras not working or blurry.
    The length of time to repair broken things like shower block, toilets, camera's etc
    I am personally worried after hearing that the O'reagans are in connection with Ann Gloag with the bio-mass business, with this collaboration, the future of our precious harbour/port/seafront/sites of special interest/local business's/boat building is on a very rocky path indeed. :-(
    These Cllrs have all had a hand in ruining our potential. these people do need to be taken out of their comfy seats and people who can do the job in hand be tendered out for. I know of at least two people who could turn this whole area (harbour/port) around with TDC stepping away and letting people who want whats best to be allowed to do so.

  8. KCC is too large and does not care for Thanet. KCC thinks East Kent is Dover Port, Discovery Park and the rest is dumping ground for anything West Kent do not want.

  9. Elections are coming.....I keep mentioning it....

  10. As the O'Regan plans would be so damaging environmentally, and with the port situated so close to the residences and businesses of local people, surely we can do something to
    stop this happening. The plans seem to be under the delusion that the port is well away from people, but we know that is not the case. There must be regulations and public boides that we can use to stop this happening to our local asset.