Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Schhhh Labour’s Dirty Little Pleasurama Secret

So how much money will the Council make from selling the Pleasurama site to Cardy’s;  the big hearted builders who despite being asked to sever  links with the original failed developers continue to have a close relationship  with them in Lowestoft?  How much will Cardy’s contribute towards the maintenance and repair of the cliff face which threatens  to gobble up every last penny that  TDC earns from the deal with Cardy? Will the freehold of the Pleasurama site  be handed over to Cardy before the development is completed? What leverage will TDC have over Cardy if they do not compete the development on time and how much time are Cardy  really being given to complete. What power does TDC have to stop Cardy selling on the site once they have got their hands on the freehold.? Will the flats ever be sold? Will a hotel ever be built and who will it be managed by? There are so many questions which need asking and which TDC’s pathetically condescending QA crib sheet on its website fails to ask.

In what might be my last act as Ramsgate Councillor, I asked to see a copy of the agreement with Cardy so that I could find the answers to some of these questions. I then planned to publish information from the agreement to keep the   residents of Ramsgate fully informed about the latest developments concerning this  controversial development which as blighted the seafront for over a decade.  After unacceptable delays and the publication of misleading council propaganda  I was eventually told by the monitoring officer, Steven Boyle,  that  the agreement contains a clause which "forbids disclosure and cites commercial sensitivity as the reason".

Mr Boyles  response is utterly astonishing. Council’s do not normally sign agreements with developers which remain secret for what appears to be perpetuity. Council’s are supposed to be accountable to the public they serve. To keep the terms of this £multi-million deal with Cardy secret is profoundly undemocratic and extremely worrying. Local people have a right to know by how much they will benefit  from the sale of publicly owned property. They also have a right to have access to information which will allow them to  decide for themselves whether the deal with Cardy represents  good or bad value.  Its utterly inconceivable that this  secrecy clause could have been inserted into the Cardy deal without the express authority of Thanet Council’s ruling  Labour Cabinet which includes  Ramsgate Councillors David Green and Rick Everitt  who are seeking re-election in less than 5 weeks time.

I can only assume that by approving the secrecy clause in the Cardy deal the Labour Cabinet are trying to conceal important information about the Cardy deal from  Ramsgate residents. Just as the Council did when it  imposed a High Court Gagging Injunction on me which, with a threat of imprisonment,  still unfairly prevents me from talking about certain aspects of the Council’s management of the Pleasurama development and the estimated value of the site.

The reason why the Council’s Labour bosses are happy for the deal with Cardy to be shrouded in secrecy must surely be because the deal is highly likely to be bad value for Council and its taxpayers. Many people have speculated that  in the long run the deal will cost the Council and its taxpayers much more than it will ever gain. This is precisely why the Labour Cabinet  have supressed the truth from the public by supporting a secrecy clause in the Cardy deal. But I guess I shouldn’t be too shocked. After all it  was the Thanet Council Labour Cabinet which  deliberately kept the debt deferral deal with TransEuropa Ferries secret until the company went bust almost 2 years ago owing the Council £3.4million. The people of Ramsgate have been misled, deceived and kept ignorance  by a Labour-led Council for far too long. I have helped to publically expose their undemocratic  treachery. In 5 weeks time you can vote for  Green Councillors in Ramsgate and Margate who end the culture of political corruption and secrecy which has been a feature of  Thanet politics for far too long.  

1 comment:

  1. The Tdc contract forbids disclosure? That's illegal given FOI applies. They may as well have a clause forbidding Iris standing on her head. If she's signed that she should go as should Boyle for drafting it.

    Have no other councillors raised this?