Friday, 28 August 2009

Silly night flights.

Clearly night flights at Manston is a very silly policy by one or two of our councillors and civil servants. Especially given their repeated 106 breaches.

Equally silly are weekend overflights and the “loop” training flights for untrained pilots.

With the highest lung cancer rate in Kent and the runway built on the drinking water, and air pollution drifting over the population of over 130,000 it’s very silly and very dangerous.

Thank goodness the proposals are being double-checked.

But what if there’s a crash? Scooping up the wet bits with a shovel and binbag? An apology?

The new TDC cleaner, greener and safer strategy makes far more sense. Certainly in improving the inward-facing council itself.

Reports, Policies, Payroll, Presentations, Meetings open and available.

Maybe the old-style Party Machine has failed and a mix of Independents and Progressive Labour, Tory etc Parties are required.

And more should be done.

Regeneration has collapsed following ManstonGate, ChinaGate, SFP Pleasurama, Westwood Cross out-of-town-but-near-the-towns-shopping-centre decimating the town centres, increasing traffic pollution and the decline of industries such as Grupo Antolin, Pearce Signs and even Pfizer.

1. Still no foot ferry.

2. Certainly Dreamland needs revitalising as a heritage fun park and IMAX to complement the Turner Centre. Extra housing makes little sense with so many empty properties in Margate as people die or leave.

3. But there is the potential for jobs created via a “2nd Pfizer” such as Astra Zeneca and DFID centred on the UNMDG for malaria research and vaccine and nets manufacturing at Pfizer and Richboro as a brownfield site.

4. As Manston closes and Infratil leaves, the access road to Ramsgate can be improved, petrol prevented form leaking into the water supply and the water supply cleaned.

Building on the site would be foolish given the need for the aquifer to refill and clean. Concrete and tarmac – even from paving front gardens reduces the water levels.

Any farmland would need strictly monitoring though for pesticides by new councillors and civil servants.

5. Town centre regeneration through New Pleasurama and New Lido/Spa and a wider tourism programme would round out the mix.

All these jobs would be both sustainable and provide short-term opportunities in clean-up and construction for the brownfield sites.

6. Combined with the available “One Laptop” education and adult literacy programmes and smoking cessation programmes and suspensions at the large supermarkets, the health inequalities or “early death rate” would begin to rapidly improve.

7. The only problem might be overdevelopment: more out of town shopping centres, skyscrapers, car-parks, motorways, cargo airports, dual carriageways.

Lung cancer. Third world death rate.

Impossible though. Impossible. Never happen in Kent.

Not with so many of our councillors and civil servants to safeguard us.

Time for Change.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Manston: Police investigation

Last time I looked Thanet’s and Kent Police (and Sussex and the Met) were paid from public funds.

From, memory I thin it’s about 5% of council tax. Plus national tax.

One of the strengths of the British Police is that they’re not a State force but of the people and for the people.

We seem to have a culture of ”public sector partnerships” though. I don’t recall the council or fire brigade or anyone else having a partnership with the police.
Only the public have a partnership with the police.

And the Police serve the public.

Uphold law and order. Without fear or favour.

If someone’s stolen noise monitors or stolen or misused public funds or any other public sector crime then the Police should investigate.

MP’s go to jail. Councillors go to jail. Civil servants go to jail.

Councils approve public expenditure from Cabinet policies. And Committee polices and scrutiny oversight.

Against manifestos. Against policies. Against the law. And ultimately public approval.

0% salary increases that are actually 30% are deliberate fraud. Of public funds. And public scrutiny.

Removing noise and air monitors and pretending the results are available is fraud and possible manslaughter.

“Asset Lists” that remove or sideline assets is fraud.

Our civil servants need dragging out into the light where they are available for pubic scrutiny by councillors and the public.

Service standards on delivery need implementing.
Clearer manifestos and 4 year plans.

All funds disclosed.

Webcasts and minutes of all meetings.

We have cod-investigations by the Local Government Ombudsman usually retired civil servants of councils.

Or cod-investigations by the CAA: civil servant from other departments.

Or cod-investigations by the Audit Commission who invoice the council itself.

All funds must be transparent and disclosed each month automatically under FOI and EIR.

Even Paul Carter of KCC has publicly stated all local government costs should be published.


Pleasurama contracts.

ChinaGate expenses.

EKO expenses.



Shares and investments.

Maybe we need less Party machine councillors on the Kent Police authority and more members of the public. In effect “a jury of the Police”.

The 1970’s corruption of the Police was changed.

The Police are not above scrutiny.

They certainly do not partner with the public sector. They police the public sector. On behalf of the public.

Their only remit is to partner with the public they serve.

They certainly do not turn a blind eye to one of Britain’s most corrupt and incompetent councils.

Or indulge in petty wordplay and innocence by memo.

It seems our councillors and civil servants are the last to change.

Who authorised the removal of the noise monitors?

When did our councillors and civil servants know about it?

What did they do?

Why were replacements not in place?

Are the salary increases 0% or are they not?

What pollution has been allowed at Infratil and Thor?

What clean-up has been done?

When will it be completed?

We seem to have grave incompetence endangering the public - beyond the scrutiny of Council or Public.

Then the Police must become involved in the Thanet rats-nest.

Change for Kent. Change for Thanet.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Manston and the dead of Thanet

While the politicians bicker and rake over the ashes of their policies, the civil servants are slowly getting to grips with the dead of Thanet.

The highest lung cancer rate in Kent.

The most polluted water in the South East.

Massive pollution scandals such as Infratil and Thor mercury.

And now the beginnings of a policy from TDC:

NI 120 The all-age all cause mortality rate


Of course this figure is “made-up” rather than estimated as it doesn’t contain any reference to NHS data or coroners reports.

Looks too low to me.

Yet in Thanet we die 11 years earlier from the usual Kent death rate of 81 years: a 14% shortfall. Even upwards of 30% given that only 4% of UK deaths are before the age of 45.

So it’s clear that for the last 5 years and longer absolutely nothing has been done to reverse the death rate.

And in fact policies such as removing noise and air monitors, expanding the airport and sitting on their hands have actually increased the death rate.

A death rate on a par with parts of the Third World such as Iraq or Kazakhstan: an 11 year early death in Thanet compared to the rest of Kent.

An utter scandal.

And the Gang of Four stay silent.

Removing noise and air monitors form a town is of course a criminal offence in endangering the public.

Removing them from a school. A tower block. From 2006 onwards.

And not replacing them.

From an airport slated for expansion.

KCC Cabinet know.

KCC councillors know.

Thanet’s MP’s know.

Kent’s MP’s know.

Parliament knows.

TDC’s councillors know.

TDC’s civil servants know.

Best move slowly though.

Doesn’t look good on the CV or the ballot paper all these early deaths.

Talk about replacing monitors at some point. Maybe shift them to where the people aren’t.

No monitors. No data. No problem.

Or quickly introduce them and claim everything’s better now and whoops what a mistake, well I never.

Removed from 2006? Oh dear. Broken radar too? Crikey. Water pollution. Golly gosh.

What have our councillors and civil servants been doing?

They couldn’t run a bath let alone a few small towns.

Thanet may well be the worst-run council in Britain: because of the people running it.

Bumbling and bullshotting through every non-policy possible.

So stupid they’ve allowed the pollution of their own water and air.

What have our councillors and MP’s been doing?

Lung cancer. Nothing.

Early death rate. Nothing.

Derelict buildings. Nothing.

Billions of County tax and public salary scrutiny. Nothing.

Consultations on night flights – perhaps next we need a consultation on whether water is wet.

The Gang of Four: Messrs Samuel, White, Latchford and Ezekiel are a busted flush.

Merely hanging on to power and their pay cheques for no purpose.

Utter fools and incompetents.

Gale and Ladyman and Sandys are silent: better to say nothing and hope it all blows away.

Sweep it under the carpet. Nothing to say. Nothing to do.

And all of it on the public purse and time.

8 more months to an election: best not resign, hold on and claim the Parliamentary pension.

8 months of nothing: no scrutiny of SEEDA funding, no scrutiny of Locate in Kent, no scrutiny of the Environment Agency, no scrutiny of KCC funding, no scrutiny of the Kent Property Developers Group, no scrutiny of the CAA, no scrutiny of the Local Government Ombudsman, no scrutiny of Infratil’s staff health and safety, no scrutiny under EIR of the airport flight logs and radar.

The reality is TDC can't gain funding - because they're too incompetent. Why would Government or anyone else give them extra funds to spray up the wall?

But a good place to dump Kent's dirty industries.

And councillors and civil servants so foolish they think that's growth.

Drink deep of the water.

And don’t ask if there’s a place crash.

Everything’s fine. And even if it’s not, nothing could be done. Impossible.

We certainly need a public consultation: on the performance of our councillors and civil servants.

Cleaning up pollution.

Reversing the early death rate.

Reducing cancer.

Regeneration activity beyond the failures of Infratil.

If the civil servants can’t regenerate the area, and the councillors can’t ensure they’re doing so then the public need to replace them.

Because the dead of Thanet are silent.

Failed. Failed. Failed.

Change for Kent. Change for Thanet.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Infratil and the missing £4M fines and lung cancer

The current 106 is clear: no night flights between 11pm and 7am – the option to allow for KCC’s USA flights from 6am was dropped after KCC stopped supporting the airport.

The 106 also states that fines are incurred for noise. And other breaches of the 106: overflights, training flights etc.

Infratil even changed the training flights guidelines themselves.

Infratil confirm with TDC that these could incur upto £4M per year.

Givne Infratil and TDC removed the nosie and air monitors then all flights are in breach of the 106.

Which of the Gang of Four approved that?

From 2006.

If the option for £4M of fines for the public’s Community Fund has been waived then who has done that?

Which council meeting? Which Cabinet meeting? Which Airport Committee meeting? Where are the minutes and costings?

Sounds to me as if Infratil and young Matt are talking up reasons for their failure at Manston.

The lad's achieved nothing at Manston: simply every breach of safety possible: with an EU investigation into Infratil he might need to come up with better excuses to remain in the aviation industry. Or it's back to Rotorua.

Because with the proper safety procedures in place the overflights wouldn't continue: Infratil staff wear ear protectors and face masks for avaition pollution, and less than a mile away the public would need to do the same.

Hence the Dept of Transport in 1993 refusing to approve Manston for expansion: too noisy, too polluting, too near the towns, too near Heathrow, too far from anywhere.

Unless you hustle through 24/7 night flights and ignore hte health and safety problesm.

Hence our failed councillors failed attempts at regeration.

And the highest lung cancer rate in Kent.

Who at TDC has raised that? Which Council meeting? Which Cabinet meeting? Which Airport Committee?

The 106 requires noise and air monitoring – but TDC and Infratil removed the noise and air monitors?

From 2006.

So why hasn’t the Council raised this? Cabinet? The Airport Committee?

Now TDC refer to a figure of 1,700 early deaths per year. Perhaps higher if you die at 81 in Kent but 69 in Thanet that's a 14% death rate. Higher for those over 45.

Cancer and Cancer Jobs and Early Death for Thanet is all the regeneration our failed council can offer.

Trading the public's safeguards for their own careers.

Why have the air and noise monitors not been replaced?

In 3 years.

Will Messrs Gale and Sandys and Ladyman join me in requesting the noise and air reports from 2006?

They know they’ve been removed.

From a tower block.

From a school.


Ask them. Ask Brian White. Ask Richard Samuel.

Ask one of your 56 councillors when they knew. When was it discussed by Cabinet or Council?

Tasked with improving the area. They walk among us.

And lie and deceive to endanger the public they serve.

11 years early death rate.

As MP I will:

# close Manston and clean the site to protect the water
# insitgate "recall" of councillors and civil servants
# instigate the "Infratil Bill" for removal of pensions , payoffs and public sector jobs for failure to protect the public
# Police verification of all airport noise and air monitors by the CAA and local authorities
# publish all coroners reports, council payroll, quango payroll

Change for Kent. Change for Thanet.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Night night Infratil and TDC

How silly.

Trying to extend the night flight times by 90 minutes.

And also trying to introduce the possibility of scheduled night flights and waiving any night flight fines.

The current 106 is clear: no night flights between 11pm and 7am – the option to allow for KCC’s USA flights from 6am was dropped.

The 106 also states that fines are incurred for noise.

If the option for £4M of fines for the public’s Community Fund has been waived then who has done that? We need to invoice TDC and Infratil the missing funds.

Will the CAA draft the invoice?

Which council meeting waived these funds? Which Cabinet meeting? Which Airport Committee meeting? Where are the minutes and costings?

The 106 also restricts the Loop training flights – but Infratil have waived that restriction themselves. Who at TDC allowed that? Which Council meeting? Which Cabinet meeting? Which Airpot Committee?

The 106 requires noise and air monitoring – but TDC and Infratil removed the noise and air monitors?

From 2006.

So why hasn’t the Council raised this? Cabinet? The Airport Committee?

As we’ve seen with TC it’s simply a cosy little arrangement to allow airport expansion based on Infratil’s figures – without the required public safety prociedures in place?

Are Infratil as lax with their own staff safety?

Nobody wants a cancer job.

2 month’s worth of noise reports from Infratil’s own monitors out of 48 months.

What safety measures are in place?

Why have the air and noise monitors not been replaced?

Will Messrs Gale and Sandys and Ladyman join me in requesting the noise and air reports from 2006?

They know they’ve been removed.


They knew at the time.


The councilors knoew.


The civil servants knew.


Where are the fines for the breaches of the 106: late flights, loop training flights?

I’ve only seen £1,000 fines not £4M fines.

Why is the radar repeatedly broken?

We seem to have an aerodrome for light aircraft being used to land Jumbo Jets – with the radar or binoculars upgraded some time never.

What is the cost of this consultation: public funds, public officials time?

An estimated allowance for public time on top of council tax costs would be useful for future fake and frequent consultations?

The council seem to spend more time on Infratil than the public.

Will Matt Clarke release the control tower flights logs?

Under EIR (the fuller version of FOI) airports are classed as eligible as a highly polluting infrastructure.

Will the noise consultation include air monitoring?

Seems silly not to include air pollution from Jumbo Jet exhausts.

Will it include the pollution reports from the Environment Agency on the water supply polluted by Infratil?

Will the coroners reports on the highest lung cancer rate in Kent be included?

Will the early mortality rate for Thanet be included?


It’s clear.

Our councillors and MP’s have through ignorance, incompetence and deliberate deceit allowed the expansion of Manston through breaches of all the safety standards.

Perhaps the best use of public and council time would be requesting a vote of no confidence in the Gang of Four.

Certainly pensions and payoffs should be withheld as they move on to other jobs.

Perhaps they’ll consider themselves lucky not to be jailed.

The only question now would be: if there’s a crash on the runway and water supply or over the towns – who would be responsible?

Matt Clarke?

Brian White?

Richard Samuel?

Sandy Ezekiel?

Roger Latchford?

That would be a consultation and public inquiry worth attending.

If you could.

Ramsgate Town Council 7th September: update on noise and air pollution, Thor pollution, Sericol pollution, highest lung cancer rate in Kent, early death rate.

And a public vote of no confidence in the Gang of Four.

I'll froward a draft resolution for the agenda to Mayor Dave.

Time for them to go.

They’ve failed.

Huge failure.

No pensions. No payoffs. No public sector jobs.

The personnel file stamped “removed airport monitors”.

No monitors. No data. No problem.

Consider themselves lucky not to be jailed.

Consider themselves lucky only a few people will have gained lung cancer.

A 1970’s council playing at international airports.

How silly.

Failed. Failed. Failed.

Change for Kent. Change for Thanet.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

A higher Thanet standard

Improvements begin with the next generation.

Thanet as one of the most corrupt, polluted and incompetent regions of Kent – as recognised by the government itself- requires a higher standard in education on governance, environment and history.

As MP I will support improvements to the “Thanet Standard” of school and college curriculum with 30 minute lessons on:

# Health problems: lung cancer etc – as a one of the highest rates of lung cancer in Kent and an early death rate of 11 years from the rest of Kent more needs to be done: publishing coroners reports by postcode, highlighting cancer in the environment eg the missing contaminated land/pollution register, EA updates on “how not to pollute the water supply”
# Good governance: production of 35 years of failure: recording the decline of the pre-eminent seaside towns in the UK through a mix of political and policy failure
# Excellent governance: producing copies of every schoolchild of Tom Paine of Margate and Sandwich’s pamphlet on US democracy (the forerunner of the UN Charter): “Common Sense”
# Political governance: creation of good governance and citizenship exams including British governance, FOI and EIR
# Thanet history and identity: the unique features of the area to be protected and preserved for the generations to come
# Civil service governance: voluntary examinations for councillors and civil servants
# Create a “cheat sheet” for ways to manipulate democracy and governance: vague manifestos, Party whips/bloc voting, unaccountable costs and quangos,
# Enhanced whistle-blower procedures for corruption or misuse of public funds
# Sports and Culture: the 2012 Olympics in Kent and London – for the last time in a generation
# Electronic Libraries: one laptop per Thanet child and adult literacy classes

The result would be that within a generation or two the governance, environment and community would be significantly enhanced.

More widely, Thanet would lead the way in reversing the traditional UK standards of secrecy and cover-up to a higher standard of openness and transparency.

I’ll consult with schools to go further in:

# publishing asbestos reports and cleanup for each school
# Education, NHS and Police reports to Council
# regular drinking water and soil and seawater testing for chemistry lessons
# school textbook “de-pulping” for African libraries: the Carnegie Libraries of our day
# school notebooks: health messages eg no smoking
# adopting the UN Millennium Goals – in effect the “to-do list of the world”
# developing Africa Twin Towns – as with UK and Europe towns before to encourage peace, prosperity and human rights
# instigating the World Parliament democratic assembly: “the House of Commons in the UN”
# the first GCSE lessons in humanitarian standards

Again the result would be a “Thanet Standard” of improved quality of governance, education and quality of life.

Certainly the corruption and incompetence of TDC would be reversed. The failure of TDC-centric policy would be reversed. The use of TDC as a “District dumping ground” would be reversed. The failures of regeneration would be reversed. The brain-drain of students leaving the area would be reversed. Political and Civic society would be refreshed.

The development of Ramsgate and Margate Town council would provide specific identities and policy for each town.

The knowledge of “35 years of failure” and the “Infratil Standard” would reinforce understanding for future political and governance systems.

The highest lung cancer rate.

Poisoned water.

Removing air and noise monitors.

Repeated 106 breaches at the airport.

An 11 year early death rate: Third World standards.

In Kent.

In the 21st century.

What has been going on?

Change for Thanet. Change for Kent.

Pleasurama. Swiss Hit-n-Miss

What are they doing? TDC’s Brian and Richard of the Gang of Four and Pleasurama.

A fireball and hole in the ground for 10 years. And now tax haven companies from the Caribbean to the Continent.

It seems the Pleasurama Directors are now listed as “c/o SBP Banque, Geneva, Switzerland”.

And Essex.

There seems two references to SBP: one with a slightly different address as affiliated to Lehman Bros bank. Which went bust-in-billions last year.

The other with the SBP Banque CEO and Trading Director resigning last month and several irregularities with the Swiss Banking authorities.

There may well be another SBP based in Geneva but they look to be one and the same.

And they’re handling the largest property development in Ramsgate? With Brian and Richard?

And the same or similar SFP Ventures was also listed in the British Virgin Islands and then the UK and now Geneva? And Essex?

And “SFP Ventures” standing for “Site of Former Pleasurama Ventures” it looks like little more than a brass-plate company.

For Ramsgate? With Brian and Richard? Council scrutiny? Reduced bankers bonds.

And coming hard on the heels of the banking crash and clampdown on off-shore and tax havens: Swiss banks already have to provide details of account holders to US authorities, and with the current trial of Zambia’s President Chiluba for money laundering and State corruption and several despots holding billion dollar accounts (as much as £90Bn offshore) it all looks a bit strange.

For a burned down property.

In Ramsgate.

But as with Kent’s largest planning application with ChinaGate and strange developer trips and £25k donations to both Parties and the Tesco bag of receipts, it’s more than a bit strange.

Unless it’s a good old-fashioned bung and hooky deal.

But Brian and Richard are paid over £100k each. Some of the highest public sector salaries in the UK. For running a £20M District Council.

Surely not. I don’t think so. But it’s very silly either way.

Looks like monopoly serivces and monopoly money.

And the same team were involved in Wiggins/Planestation which went bust at Manston with a multi-million accounting fraud. And EUJet collapsed and then went offshore in Eire and now the Isle of Man tax haven.

Is this sensible?

I can’t fathom the EKO mini-council-quango either. It’s listed as £10M of land from KCC and TDC ie public land. Plus another £139k costs. But no other staff costs or details.

Again a bit strange for what is public land. And civil servants and councillors. Why not just create a TDC-KCC team?

If you told me I wouldn’t believe any of this. In Britain. In Kent. In the 21st century?

Is this how it is?

With another low-level MK jet flying over the centre of Ramsgate from Ostend cargo airport spewing out pollution in breach of Brian’s 106 and the noise monitors with no monitors is it really sensible for the council to be involved in Swiss deals, China deals and New Zealand airport companies?

I admire young Matt Clarke for flannelling on cargo and the like: it’s as if Manston is superb rather than a dead duck – but it’s all fun and games until a child loses a lung or a jet crashes.

And he’s in jail. His Directors won't be any use to him then will they?

Because Infratil didn’t want to pay for air monitors. Nor radar. And the council didn’t want to enforce their own 106. At an airport slated for expansion.

No monitors. No data. No problem.

What has been going on?

Poisoned water.

The highest lung cancer rate in Kent.

Repeated 106 breaches.

Are the civil servant running rings round the councillors or are the councillors steering the civil servants?

Does Canterbury council do this?





Zambia does.

How low we have fallen.

Mistakes happen. This just seems wilful incompetence and deceit.

All on public time. Public expenses. Public salaries. Public pensions.

Just embarrassing now.

Where are Sandy and Roger on this? Where are the Cabinet? Where are the 56 Councillors?


And where are Messrs Gale and Ladyman and Sandys?


Don’t MP’s get involved in governance in their constituencies? No regeneration projects? No town funding? No central government support? No questions on quangos? No questions on Infratil? None for Thor? None for the Environment Agency?

And if a jumbo jet crashes or lung cancer increases or the water pollution increases because Richard and Brian were messing about with Caribbean tax havens and ChinaGate show-trials?

As MP I will:

# Close Manston
# Instigate Manston Water Park to protect and replenish the polluted water supply
# Regenerate a cleaned Richboro and Pegwell as a “Pharma Corridor”
# Jail the Infratil Directors for breaches of public safety and ban Infratil from Europe
# Axe Chinagate: all phases
# Axe Old Pleasurama and SFP/SBP
# Instigate a Kent Protocol banning all tax havens, offshore companies and quangos of councillors and civil servants within Kent and UK
# Publish details of all shares, bonds and pensions investments with a UN-Kent Ethical Protocol of arms, tobacco, embargo corporations: a disgrace that KCC is investing in tobacco and Total Burma firms
# A Civil Service Efficiency Protocol to recharge costs from council tax and Treasury funds for waste and inefficiencies in the Civil Service: a 6 month limit on moving a project from Planning into Delivery
# Special Measures for TDC to move to Excellence Governance within 2 years – as rated by the AC and Public oversight committee
# Instigate Councillor and Civil Service exams
# TDC and KCC to lead UK councils in adopting the UN Millennium Development Goals Principles and Practice

Failed. Failed. Failed.

Change for Thanet. Change for Kent.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Pleasurama: British Virgin Islands and now Geneva!

What have the Gang of Four been up to?

Not happy with the Pleasurama SFP Ventures being a British Virgin Island tax haven company it then quickly became a UK company.

And now the Director's information have been released.

But one of them's registered at a Swiss Bank.

"SFP is a commercial entity unrelated to the Council, however, in the course of doing business with this organisation the Council has obtained this information, and I therefore see no reason that this information can not be shared with you. Brian White informs me that the Directors of SFP are as follows:-

1. Miss Jennifer Wood, The Coach House, Churchfield Road, Stutton, Ipswich, IP9 2SD

2. Mr. Shaun Patrick Keegan, c/o SBP Banque, 3 Rue Fredg Maurice, CH1211, Geneva, Switzerland.

3. Mr. Robert John Murrill, 10 Clarendon Road, Pitsea, Essex, SS13 2BL."

What next for Messrs White and Samuel?

Registering the council with the Bank of Nigeria?

What a mess.

They simply don't know how to do it do they?

Take public money. Use it well. And regenerate the area.

All these flaky schemes. Vague bonds for mystery Directors for incompetent plans

Towns falling down. And burning down.

EUJet registered offshore.

Removing the noise and air monitors so the air and noise data isn't revealed.

Thor mercury and the missing toxin reports and contaminated land register

Trips to China funded with the CGP developer of ChinaGate.

Now the shennanigans over Pleasurama: mystery Directors, tax haven companies and now a Swiss Bank.

And they think this is good governance?

Idiots the lot of them. Mere career-jockeying, secrecy, deceit and incompetence.

Get rid of Brian White, councillors.

Get rid of Richard Samuel.

Ditch Latchford and Ezekiel.

They're a busted flush.

The phrase they'll respond to councillors, is: "We'd like to have a vote of confidence in the Chief Executive and Directors and review the payroll and termination arrangements."

They might well find themselves in the "Fred the Shred" position of no payoff, no pension and no more public sector jobs.

Didn't this kind of public deceit and corruption go out of fashion in the 1970's?

Didn't it go out of fashion in Kent with "Save-Wye"?

Apparently not because we then have EKO set up to develop ChinaGate.

Directors? TDC and KCC politicians and civil servants.

East Kent Opportunities is a Limited Liability Partnership of Kent County Council and Thanet District Council. There are six Directors in total - three from Kent County Council (Mr K Lynes, Mrs T Bruton, Mr M Austerberry) and three from Thanet District Council (Mrs S McGonigal, Mr R Latchford, Mr J Bunnett).

Why they're setting up a pseudo-company with extra costs and staff for what the council is meant to be doing anyway is absurd.

Empty costs upon empty costs. Pseudo-distancing from the councils. All with public funds and time.

What have our sheep-councillors and sheep-MP's been doing?

Don't they even review the TDC payroll in council meetings? Not once?

Don't they have details of the Directors?

No contaminated land register?

Don't they ask where the noise and air monitors are?

Of course not.

The civil servants are running rings round them. And the councillors think it's easier to cover the mess up.

Where are Messrs Gale and Ladyman in all this?

No Parliamentary scutiny of one of Britain's worst councils? Lung cancer off the scale? An early death rate like the Third World?

Hanging on a few more months to collect their pensions and Parliament pay-off? Fine. Good luck to them.

But where are their policies for the next 8 months? Lung cancer. Manston. Dreamland.

Where are the regeneration programmes? 2,000 lost jobs in Thanet and 20,000 over the next decade.

Nobody at KCC, TDC or SEEDA seems to have twigged that the Turner will be built before any other regeneration work is even begun. Visitors for an art gallery in the midst of decay?

Is that sensible regeneration?

As MP I will:

# cancel ChinaGate
# cancel Old Pleasurama
# publish monthly all MP, councillor and civil servants costs and payroll
# slash bumf: one page memos for 90% of council business
# slash council grease from employment contracts: no public sector pensions, no free parking, no company cars, no extra holiday or costs
# publish all contracts for major Planning applications
# confirm no "commercial confidentiality" exclusions nor any FOI or EIR exemptions sought: Paul Carter of KCC confirms all local government information should be public yet not in Thanet it seems
# close Manston and protect the water with a Priority Water Protection Zone
# instigate "public recall" as in USA of underperforming councillors, civil servants and MP's with 25% of the electorate
# "Special measures" for TDC: the KCC £110M of bank charges, District apportionment by head and need, council tax rebates and refunds for diastrous governance
# Fast-forward Dreamland and demolish TDC's offices down to Arlington with Margate Town Council

Let's hope Infratril don't crash before then or we'll be regenerating most of Ramsgate or Herne Bay. And drinking from a puddle.

What dismal failure. For years. And still it continues.

Failed. Failed. Failed.

Time for Change.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Happy Birthday Infratil. Goodbye.

Infratil limps along into infamy.

Next week marks 4 years since they took over Manston.

4 years prior to that Planestation/Wiggins took over Manston and collapsed in a multi-million accounting fraud. Stranding 30,000 Kent citizens abroad.

EUJet lasted for 4 months before collapsing (actually about 6 weeks before being quickly taken over by Planestation) - the CEO now operates a similar flight service form the Isle of Man tax haven. After suggestions at the time that both Eire where they operated form, Kent and now the Isle of Man are somehow beyond the jurisdiction of ther EU.

The chap was hyped by TDC and KCC as the former Chief Executive of Ryanair - and indeed he was. When Ryanair went bust - and had to be sorted out by Michael O'Leary the successful CEO of Ryanair.

And Infratil.

No passenger flights. Every passenger service from Manston has collapsed. Only the RAF-subsidised flights lasted for any period of time in the 1960's and 1970's.

Stops the public complaining about the noise and pollution from an RAF base.

KCC's US flights never even got out of the hangar: 90% of tickets not sold.

A SEEDA car park empty and over the drinking water supply.

And now just cargo flights. From Ostend cargo airport just over the Channel.

Emergency council sessions to hustle through night flights without consultation.

And a runway at Manston built on the drinking water supply.

Noise and air monitors removedby the Infratil Board and TDC.

6 dumped jumbo jets: impossible for Infratil or KCC or the EA or TDC to remove these.

Empty cargo sheds: any freight offloaded onto trucks and taken upto Heathrow.

Broken radar. Impossible to repair. Except on the cheap.

The highest lung cancer rate in Kent.

The highest early death rate in Kent - by 11 years.

11 years.

Third World death rates.

In Kent.

Happy Birthday Infratil.


You will be tidying up the airport and water supply before you leave?


Oh well, less council tax to spend on hospital services, schools....

What have our councillors, civil servants and MP's been doing?

And still the planes overfly the towns polluting the people.

And our politicians and civil servants are frozen in the headlights.

And Infratil - like Thor - leave the gift of pollution that keeps giving - genetic birth defects, ashtma, lung cancer.

As MP I will:

# close any remnants of Manston still operating
# axe ChinaGate
# remove the cargo sheds, passenger portakabin, Jet summit building and runway
# Manston will be a designated High Priority Water Protection Zone
# the road into Ramsgate will be widened and improved for road safety
# drainage into the sea prevented
# all new or existing petrol stations and fuel depots will need a Water Protection Zone Order approved by all councillors and MP's with weekly audits of pollution
# all noise, air and water reports will be published weekly - to exceed Blue Flag and WPZ requirements
# establish the Infratil Fund for victims of Infratil and Thor
# provide legislation for local tax on airports for aviation fuel subsidies and the Infratil Fund
# school curriculum lessons on water protection and lung cancer
# ban all tobacco in Thanet's 6 main supermarkets as a High Cancer Zone

All Thanet needs now is the derleict power station to collapse into the sea and the destruction of the area is complete.

Or one of Infratil's well-regulated cargo flights to miss the broken radar.

What will our councilors and civil servants and MP's say then?

Failed. Failed. Failed.

Time for Change.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Dead Thanet

I don't think you could get a better example of an area collapsing. Nor a clearer case of "death by council".

Highest lung cancer rate.

Most polluted water in South East: EA says it is, Southern Water says it's not. Neither of thenm can confirm the toxin reports at Thor or Infratil. We can guess.

Mercury factory banned in Kent and Africa - but still operating in Margate.

Toxic dust to "strip paint off cars" from the derelict Richboro power station

An early death rate on a par with Iraq or Kazakhstan

Worst adult literacy in Kent

Highest unemployment in Kent and now the highest-ever youth unemployment: only SuperDole jobs

Yet not one councillor opr civil servant or MP has spoken publicly or in council meetings on these points.

Glad to see Government by Government for Government is the Kent way.

Here's some thoughts for improvements.

# suspend cargo flights at Manston to protect the water: there’s only one or two a day. What if there’s a crash now?
# instigate a KCC audit of TDC to tighten up procedures
# axe ChinaGate, KCC Business Park and Pleasurama: plenty of empty SEEDA warehouses around the towns
# publish all KCC and TDC info: payroll etc etc
# A Cabinet Member for Coastal Kent/Deprivation
# KCC and EA teams based in Ramsgate at the Town Hall


# Begin New Pleasurama and New Dreamland
# Improving the airport boundary road as Infratil leave
# Clean-up at Thor, Richboro and Infratil
# Emergency "special measures" for TDC

As MP I will instigate all the above and provide the "Laptop for every Thanet Schoolkid" programme: the government already provides vouchers for schools and disadvantaged areas for computers.

But none in place for the few thousand Thanet school children and a couple for hundred quid for computers.

And £110M spent at KCC on bank charges processing: more than the entire Highways budget.

Tony Benn's lad is down to Thanet to help filter the water but not to help grow the kids of Thanet.

No growth industries such as a "2nd Pfizer at Richboro" as part of the "Farmer and Pharma" regeneration strategy.

A cancer job is all Future Thanet is offered.

Failed. Failed. Failed.

Time for Change.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Airport lung. Mercury kidney.

Clearly TDC are changing in terms of the new plans and the Water Protection Zone around Manston.

Yet the EA certainly seem to be dragging their heels on clean-up at Thor, Richboro and Manston and Sericol.

The early death rate in Thanet: for 69 years not 80 years isn’t very scientific as an overview but is staggeringly high.

A death rate similar to Iraq or Kazakhstan. In Kent. And with such a small and defined population.

Cleary there’ll be early deaths from some of the East Kent coalmines. Maybe even a skew for care home residents. A little bit for smoking etc.

But lots of seaside towns have care homes. Lots of deprived areas smoke a little more.

An ex-RAF base slated for international airport expansion with cargo planes at rooftop height over the towns is of course far more likely to affect the health of everybody within a 20 or 30 mile radius.

Maybe even further with strong coastal winds to spread the air pollution around.

Throw in the most polluted drinking water in the South East. Plus outfall of aviation fuel and chemicals over the water supply under the runway and outfall directly into the sea and it’s certainly ludicrous for Infratil and Manston to continue.

After 4 years they’ve achieved nothing except broken radar, 106 breaches - as with Planestation and EUJet (now in the Isle of Man) before them.

Except a 14% reduction in mortality.

But it’s higher than that.

Aside from a few cot deaths or youths in car accidents, most people live to at least 45. Only 4% of UK citizens die before that age.

So that’s an 11 year reduction from 45 years old: nearly 33% early death rate.

The sooner Manston and Thor are closed and cleanup detailed and progressed the better.

Respected politicians like Caroline Lucas and now Hillary Benn highlight the problems around Thanet.

Respected citizens like Malcolm Kirkaldie highlight the problems of Manston.

And still Infratil continue to pollute: EA warnings in 2006, Thor warnings from 1988: presumably the people of Lubeck, Prestwick and Cato Ridge have the same problems.

More needs doing in tracing the workers and families of Thor and Infratil/Manston and alerting GP’s and hospitals of the problem and establishing compensation funds.

The hacking cough of “airport lung” or rattle of “mercury kidney” should give them away.

Time for Change.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Margate: fuelled by Infratil

And the people of Ramsgate, Herne Bay, Broadstairs, Deal, Canterbury, Wye, Dover, several villages and the water supply from each flight by Infratil at Manston.

A report on the effects of aviation fuel - especially at low level - on the population: worth remembering that Thanet has a - specialist - cancer hospital and an 11 year early death rate.

You die at 69 in Thanet but 80 in the rest of Kent:

The American Cancer Society predicts that in the US, one out of every two men
and one out of every three women will eventually be diagnosed with cancer. In July, the
New England Journal of Medicine reported that environmental factors - mainly radiation
and chemical pollution - are roughly twice as likely as genetic factors to contribute to
cancer cases.

Aviation is responsible for emissions of nitrogen oxide, hydrocarbons, sulfur
dioxide, naphthalene, benzene (a known carcinogen), formaldehyde (a suspected
carcinogen), and dust particles that harm human health and contribute to global warming.

The poison circle from a single runway can extend six miles from its hub and run
20 miles downwind. The cancer rate for people living on the perimeter of Chicago's
O'Hare airport is 70 percent higher than the rate for the average Chicagoan, according to

A University of Illinois School of Public Medicine study estimates that pollution
from O'Hare's seven runways could be affecting the health of five million individuals.
Dioxins from spilled jet fuel, di-ethelyne glycol from de-icing fluids, leaked
engine oil and dissolved jet exhaust particulates commonly flood the tarmac and seep into
the ground, streams, and creeks bordering O'Hare.

The run-off ultimately flows into the Des Planes River, endangering the health of downstream communities.

A 1993 EPA health risk assessment concluded that aircraft engines are
responsible for approximately 10.5 percent of the cancer cases within a 16-square-mile
area surrounding Chicago's Midway airport.

The National Resources Defense Council
warns that "the same conclusion might apply to people living immediately adjacent to
airports all over the country."

The Santa Monica Airport is the oldest community airport in Los Angeles County
and the busiest single-runway airport in the nation.

In August 1995, the Los Angeles
Unified School District asked the FAA to determine the airport's health impacts on the
students and staff of nearby schools. The study determined that hydrocarbons and carbon
dioxide far exceeded the National Ambient Air Quality Standard, and that maximum
cancer risks were 23 times greater than the Federal Clean Air Act's "acceptable risk
criterion" of one-in-a million.

"Environmental Bombs"

Jet planes pollute much more on the ground than in the air. Up to 90 percent of
aircraft hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions occur when planes idle and taxi.

There is no information as yet on Thor mercury as the Environment Agency haven't released the details of what is stored there. The pollution to the water table has spread beyond the factory site though.

As you'd expect without any clean-up.

Thor was banned from Margate after poisoning several workers and the water table in 1988. It was then banned from Africa after doing the same there. Only the Margate factory never closed until 2008 after another chemical fire.

No Parish, Town, District or County Council has any meetings on record to review the pollution levels and speed up the clean-up.

Clearly Infratil and Thor contributes little to the area and every flight and the existing pollution, permits to pollute, discharge consents and failed clean-up can only make things worse.

Feel free to contact your councillors, MP, the Environment Agency: the 3rd Ramsgate Town Council meeting on 7th September will be reviewing all the pollution reports from Infratil, Thor, Richboro, the Environemnt Agency, TDC, KCC and the TDC contaminated land register.

Failed. Failed. Failed.

Time for Change.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Has the steam run out of SEEDA for Kent regeneration?

Chairman Jim Braithwaite ousted.

The toll of taxi fares and lack of regeneration beyond funding warehouses has taken its toll.
The nail in the coffin – UN Poverty Agency funding for a Kent’s international airport at Manston.

Even an EU investigation into Infratil.

Manston airport built on the drinking water, opposite Ostend cargo airport and only by the removal of noise and air monitors.

With the highest lung cancer rates in Kent and the most polluted drinking water.


And then stealing UN money destined for the poor of Bangladesh or China or India.

For scum like Infratil and scoundrels like the Gang of Four and sub-quangos like EKO.

But where now for SEEDA?

Where now for KCC and TDC? Never a mention of improving the lung cancer rate or drinking water in Cabinet meetings or Council sessions. Nothing.

Yet SEEDA has over £400M in budget and the new Conservative government threatening abolition of quangos?

TDC has £1M in SEEDA quango funds. The usual public statements highly inflated. But there it is in the TDC accounts. Just £1M quid. For the year.

Peanuts. A fraction of a percent for the worst council in Britain and serious deprivation in a handful of streets.

Yet TDC and associated quangos like Margate Partnership cite £40M or £60M budgets.


It’s £1M quid. Unless there’s a set of side budgets or side accounts. Unless it's over 40 years. Unless it's counting the regeneration projects twice.

An interesting idea for civil servants but that would be jail time for fraud if they did so – not dissimilar to the 0% pay rises but 30% increase fraud.

And no doubt most of the budgets will be gobbled up by appointing civil servants to check that it’s being apportioned.

And indeed it is.

Until the money dribbles away to nothing.

In effect a “bowler hat tax” of bloat and bureaucracy for bureaucracy on public funds.

86 lawyers at KCC on the public payroll: about 10 entire legal firms. For what? Road closure notices?

£110M in bank processing charges: more than the entire Highways budget.

And Thanet has £1M in SEEDA funding.

While SEEDA passes its funds onto other sub-quangos. Ever onwards. And we wonder why the Kent economy has collapsed into an alphabet soup of quangos.

And empty statements that everything is perfect.

Highest lung cancer rate in Kent.

An 11 year early death rate.

Polluted drinking water.

KCC couldn’t even arrange a meeting for September as they had nothing to do. While TDC and RTC don’t even have 12 meetings as they’ve nothing to do.

Except secret meetings and emergency meetings to hustle unpopular and made-up policy past the sheep-councillors.

Councillors don’t even look over the TDC payroll or budgets: the civil servants must be running rings round them.

And SEEDA provides £1M for the worst 5% poverty areas in the South East – no, the UK.
With the hidden bowler hat tax soaks up public funds all along the chain.

Government by Government for Government. Paid for by the public.

The best we can then hope for is Messrs Shaw and Ladyman creating a new fund of “super-dole” to give cardboard minimum wage jobs to people already on the dole to patch up the economy like a leaking bucket.

A start but ultimately utter waste.

Time to publish all civil service salaries and costs for every government and quango organisations then we can see the cost and the value of the services provided.

I’ll introduce a Bill to limit the chopping and changing of department titles and ratings procedures as the civil service plays sleight of hand with the budgets.

It looks like recording the decline or simply restating that which is already there and creating bowler hat jobs through stealth tax.

From the Parliamentary review of SEEDA, will the new SEEDA Chairman Rob Douglas publish the payroll for SEEDA? Where is the GOSE payroll? Where is the full TDC payroll? Where is the KCC payroll?

All by month, by department, separating out expenses, pensions, cars, allowances and so on: most councils and Government depts do this.

It looks like Paul Carter at KCC has been asleep at the wheel and let wheezing bureaucracy spread around Kent under his control.

No Government money to build an airport on the drinking water Mr Carter, no Government money to remove the air and noise monitors: there are no glory projects in poisoning your own citizens.

An 11 year early death rate -looks like KCC and SEEDA are building a Third World Class Euroregion not a World Class region.

Or did they not know?

The highest lung cancer rate in the UK.

An airport built on the drinking water.

Thor mercury banned in Africa but open in Margate – after being closed in 1988

As MP I will:

# publish all Government finances by dept – and region: all KCC and TDC region quangos to be itemised with a £10,000 public reward for “Close a Quango”
# merge GOSE and SEEDA – and apportion by County for oversight: too big, too broad, too duplicated, too ineffective
# all sub-quangos to be branded “a KCC-funded quango” etc: pseudo companies that are funded by KCC as former internal depts should be more clearly flagged – and itemised and in the KCC accounts for greater clarity, transparency and effectiveness
# ban all quango company cars and reduce the 4 (yes 4) Government pensions to 1 – and open it to the public
# introduce a Bill to prevent the sleight of hand of shifting job titles and departments and rating systems
# introduce service standards on the ratio of funds to bowler hats and delivery - and the timescales to outsourcing: the public sector does one thing and one thing only: take public funds and places them back into the private sector against effective plans for the benefit of the public
# all new quangos and sub-quangos to be signed off by the Secretary of State – with a remit to slash the frozen numbers and costs
# create the Green Growth economy for Coastal Kent: marine technology and renewables patents
# call a halt to all SEEDA warehouse proposals: does SEEDA build nothing else? Quick, cheap and useless. With a few new-build houses stuck on the side.
# a Kent windfarm levy of free renewables electricity for every house in Coastal Kent
# seek a KCC Cabinet Member for Deprivation and Coastal Kent to focus the abysmal attempts to reverse deprivation so far
# a “Thor” levy on the Environment Agency to expedite clean up of the brownfield sites of Manston, Thor and Richboro
# call on Messrs Ladyman and Gale for their 8 month plan – beyond mere “SuperDole” – prior to the May election on securing new SEEDA and GOSE and KCC investment for Coastal Kent: the Pharma-Corridor around Pfizer – the largest USA inward investment in Europe – has collapsed and needs reactivating with AstraZeneca as a “2nd Pfizer” and a Kent-SEEDA Malaria Development Fund for the UN Poverty Agency
# While DFID has collapsed into 2 head offices and £2Bn budgets and barely a road or school or hospital built: the sub-quango model again

It’s as if nobody knows how to regenerate a region beyond the memo.

And the “We are Klang” TV show is a fiction.

It seems the Dept of Public have been seriously let down. Over years and decades.

With lung cancer, removal of noise and air monitors, 106 breaches, poisoned drinking water and regeneration by jerrycan.

Failed. Failed. Failed.
Time for Change.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

The Gang of Four a busted flush?

Certainly looks like it.

Unless you’re the Gang of Four, or a civil servant brown-noser’s or a councillor-cheerleader.

At last we have - let’s hope - a ferry to replace the Sally Line of 1998.

Why the 10 year delay? It hasn’t even been in the TDC Forward Plan.

Yet another knee-jerk reaction with an election coming up and the collapse of Infratil, Grupo Antolin, EUJet etc.

Every Thanet regeneration project has collapsed almost immediately.

Largely because they’re stupid ideas.

A failed cargo airport - built on the drinking water.

The noise and air monitors removed so it appears the public isn’t being endangered.

Derelict town centres – that were vibrant.

Switching budgets between the 3 towns and selling off museums.

Minimum wage multiple shops and traffic congestion for Westwood Cross as part of the failed 4th Town Centre glory project.

Rampant new build housing – with 3,000 empty properties. More than the number of council houses managed by TDC.

The mystery Directors of tax haven Pleasurama. That's a sensible use of public funds.

New plans of a Ramsgate-Dubai seafront skyscraper fantasy. Idiocy on a grand scale.

The highest lung cancer rate in Kent. Do nothing the problem will solve itself.

The highest unemployment rate: double the Kent average.

They can’t do it can they?

The Gang of Four.

They can’t take council tax and Government funds and run the towns well can they?

We seem to have Planning for new build favours.

Grants for Dreamland and associated businesses as they burn down.

And council services only for council salaries.

With Dundee House next to Ramsgate Town Hall being refurbed ready for the demolition of TDC’s offices down to Dreamland, all we need now is a Margate Town Council and the towns can run their own affairs with greater public scrutiny, transparency of funds and fewer civil servants and quangos.

The councillors have failed us.

Unanimous votes for ChinaGate and the dodgy Party donations.

Unanimous votes for 0% pay rises but really 30% increases fraud.

The civil servants have failed us: £100k salaries plus expenses to run towns like this?

They can generate bumf and bullshot but they can’t run towns.

What waste.

Of time and money.

Utter waste.

Another lost decade.

The reduction in Council Tax and Tax Rebates must be huge for decades of failure and deliberately endangering the public.

Yet its increases and asset sales for their own salaries.

They can’t do it can they?

Even the Government rates TDC as one of Britain’s worst councils with poverty in the top 5% of all UK districts.

And it hasn’t improved in years.

Messrs Ezekiel and Latchford and White and Samuel have let themselves down, let local governance down and let the towns down.

Two more years of this nonsense if we let them delay, deceive and bluster.

They’ll pick up their pay cheques and we’ll have to pick up the pieces.

The Gang of Four.

A busted flush.

As MP I will:

# close Manston - with the Infratil Kiwi criminals banned from Europe and the Directors on trial or extradited in chains
# close Thor with water rates refunds and emergency NHS funding
# clean-up Manston, Thor and Richboro
# Axe tax-haven Pleasurama and CGP/EKO ChinaGate
# A windfarm levy of free green electricity for the area: 20 jobs is that it?
# Create the New Ramsgate Lido and New Pleasurama Flats and Ice-rink
# Instigate car park charges at Westwood Cross and a multiples levy to be split between the 3 towns and no charges for the first hour in the town centres
# sack any underperforming civil servant earning £50k plus immediately or within 12 months of failing to reverse the problems in Thanet
# instigate “recall” or “vote of no confidence” for any under-performing civil servants and councillors by a 10% public vote
# withhold Thanet council tax from KCC for rebates and refunds
# abolish council-quangos-for-councils funded from public funds eg the Local Government Association with £250k of Kent taxpayer funds
# reallocate the £100M in KCC bank processing charges and funds for 86 KCC in-house lawyers for regeneration
# instigate a Parliamentary inquiry into the failure of reform in Kent and regeneration by jerrycan
# publish monthly all MP, Lords, MEP, quango and civil service costs, pensions etc by department with no “redactions” or “censorship”
# institute service standards for planning timescales and then outsourcing to the private sector
# establish councillor and civil servant exams and standards

I call on Messrs Ladyman and Gale to publish their Parliamentary reports for the next 8 months before the election: the collapse of Thanet is no time for them to hang on just for their pensions.

Failed. Failed. Failed.

Time for Change.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

FOI and EIR Right to Know

These are known as the “Public Right to Know” acts effective from 2005.

Basically FOI is the UK version of the EU’s EIR.

Both provide the right of the public to access: see and hold all public information.

FOI has some exemptions. But the EIR has far fewer if any. And crucially EIR requires a “Public Interest Test” to justify any exemption sought.

Clearly it’s pretty impossible to justify it being in the public interest not to provide public-funded information to the public.

At a local government level I can think of no information that could be withheld: civil servant payroll, coroners reports, Police staffing and payroll costs, NHS etc etc.

Councillor wages are made public as are MP costs and quite right too.

Even MI5 has to disclose its expenses and costs.

The only areas that aren’t routinely made public are civil servants costs: salaries, pensions, cars, expenses, allowances. And MEP’s. And council and Government department investments, bank accounts and reserves.

Why? Any half-decent accountant or management consultant could then take a view on the costs for the services provided.

I can’t understand how TDC councillors are making decisions on policies and effectiveness if they don’t have copies of the payroll and dept staffing levels?

Closing museums might be viable as a policy but so might cutting council salaries or staff or obtaining more funds or reducing council tax.

The civil servants seem to be running rings round the councillors to cut services, boost salaries and not improve the area.

Over 500 staff at TDC. 900 at CCC, tax-budgets of £60M-plus. Quangos and semi-quangos. The worst drinking water. The highest lung cancer rate. The highest early death rate.

What has been going on?

Not one council meeting or one councillor has raised the issue of Thor or the drinking water.

KCC has even cancelled its September Council meeting as there isn't enough for it to do.

Under FOI/EIR there is no exemption for “commercial confidentiality” as clearly any company doing business with the public sector would realise that its contracts etc can be disclosed.

As well, EIR cover utilities too: airports, electricity, water, rail and so on.

EIR is particularly useful for obtaining information as it covers: soil, water, air and the human policies and documents affecting these.

In short everything. And in the public interest. As a right to know.

All Government and council and quango departments should routinely publish all their costs each month. Plus MEP’s and the departments they’re responsible for. Plus investments and bank accounts and reserves.

With the internet and Excel sheets it’s not difficult or time-consuming, The information already exists. Any “side documents or budgets” would quickly be weeded out.

Which is why the FOI was introduced by the UK Government to water down some of these disclosures.

If you need to obtain information simply telephone, write or email and request “what information relates to xyz or please provide xyz under FOI/EIR”.

You should have a response within 20 days. This can be for documents, handwritten notes, internal documents, memos, emails etc.

The Environment Agency – remember Thanet has the worst drinking water in the South East – has been unable to provide any toxin reports from Thor mercury for over 6 months now.

An Environment Agency that cannot protect the Environment.

And is no doubt staring into the black hole of Thor and wondering what to do – as the pollution by their own confirmation seeps beyond the factory site.

Thor should have closed in 1988 after polluting the water table and poisoning several workers.

Are any local people suffering from the effects of mercury?

Maybe not after 20 years.

Time for Change.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Cancer for Kent: Richboro

The highest lung cancer rate in Kent is around Thanet.

Such a small area. Such a massive skew in cancers.

And an 11 year early death rate compared to the rest of Kent.

Yet we have a cargo airport on the drinking water and tipping pollution into Pegwell Bay.

A mercury factory.

A car recycling plant.

A new waste facility.

And Richboro power station derelict for years: this link details the final uses of a bitumen oil called “orimulsion” which was noted to “strip the paint off cars” from the “toxic dust”.

This link details the latest plan for Richboro (purchased buy a new owner in 2000) and a letter form KCC highways dated April 2007) which seems to be suggesting upto 200 lorries and cars to use the site as another waste processing facility.

Is this “sticking all the cr#p by the coast” which is as far away from Maidstone as can be, and which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as the Sandwich Road attracts more pollution industries or is it a well-measured approach to clean brownfield sites, provide jobs and use wind farm technology without polluting Pegwell Bay and the 250,000 people in the nearby area?

No doubt Pfizer would then think “well hang on a minute, we could be sued by our staff for basing them near a toxic dump, maybe it’s another reason to move elsewhere or slash the tax-take”.

Councils and polluting organisations like Thor and Infratil like poorer and smaller councils: shout jobs and they’ll come running for any old rubbish. Not too many safeguards. Careers to be made in politics and the civil service. Big projects. Lots of jobs all at once supposedly. Quick fix. More votes. More council tax. Approved? Unanimously.

Don’t ask about later. Someone else can burn the bodies. Someone else can clear the sites. Or just leave it. Until? It falls down. Or becomes so toxic it’s easier to use it - for more toxic sites.

New Richboro. Will it reverse the highest lung cancer rate in Kent and the most polluted drinking water in the South East?

Will Infratil? Will Thor?

We’ve seen with Infratil and Thor that the EA and TDC are "flexible around monitoring" to the extent of removing noise and air monitors with Infratil.

Thor didn’t even close in 1987 but had permits issued by the EA to continue and to operate and store chemicals until last year – even after another chemical fire!

And our councilors and MP’s remain silent. Has anyone seen any Council agenda or meeting minutes on reversing the 11 year death rate in Thanet? Or monitoring of Infratil and Thor and Richboro?

2000 for Richboro. 2005 for Infratil. Last year for Thor. Mentioned just once in a meeting?

Easieir to issue bumf or hold "strategy meetings" or blame the public: paint down the sink, stay indoors, close the windows, it’s all normal.

The public's fault.

In a way it is.

Failed. Failed. Failed.

Time for Change.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Planning to fail: Thor and Infratil

EA and TDC aviation fuel into Pegwell Bay.

Sewage from Tivoli Brook into Margate seafront.

Low-level flights over the towns.

A cargo airport by stealth built on the drinking water supply.

Planning permission for a passenger terminal but cargo sheds built.
ChinaGate warehouses built on the drinking water supply.

A Thor mercury factory with water pollution spreading beyond the factory and rolling downhill into Margate.

The EA attempting to refuse to provide under EIR: toxin reports, internal memos, emails, sampling reports etc.

Thor mercury were banned in Africa.

The worst drinking water in Kent.

The highest lung cancer rate in Kent.

Thor mercury and Infratil’s 747 Jumbo Jets don’t discharge candy floss into the water supply do they?

Here’s extracts from 2 reports on Thor:

Prior to Thor Chemicals� move to South Africa in 1988, a mercury plant was operated, beginning in the mid 70s, at Margate, Kent, England.� During the 1980s, concerns were first raised by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) �when allegations of excessive levels of mercury in the air and in workers� urine were investigated� (Mills 10).� Threatened by prosecution by the HSE for over-exposure of workers to mercury, Thor closed its plant in 1987, relocating to South Africa, where untrained and unskilled Zulu-speaking labour was employed.� Within a year the local water board there [in Natal] found high levels of mercury pollution in a nearby river� (Pallister 8).

The workers of Thor Chemicals, Inc., were uninformed of the potential dangers of and precautions to take against mercury poisoning.� Instead, employees were either moved to another part of the factory or terminated:� �[w]hen workers recorded high mercury contamination levels they were advised to drink orange juice� (McGreal 14) in order to expedite the excretion of excess mercury.� One worker, Siphiwe Sibiya, ignored the incinerator clouds that spread around him:� ��if you touched your lips with your tongue or washed your face there was a bitter taste.� My nails went black.� Sometimes I would take off my mask to find blood in it.� Then my nose was bleeding, my hands shaking��

Thor didn’t close in 1987.

It closed in 2008. After the chemical fire at Xmas 2007.

What is stored there?
How is the cleanup going?
Why are Thor mercury handling the cleanup?
Why didn’t it close?
Who issued permits to continue?

All remain unanswered from the Environment Agency.

From the EA presentation on “how not to poison your own water supply” last month what action have TDC taken?

Have any councikllors riasefdd this?

Have any councillors and civil servants discussed this at TDC?

Are there copies of the minutes?

Here’s the news report on the Corby case this week of “death by council” with unregulated disposal and cleanup of toxic materials causing genetic birth defects.

TDC still have no contaminated land register.

Ask Paul:
Ask Andrew:
Ask Brian:

Do they need to appear before the public each month at Ramsgate Town Council?

Does water need to be provided for them for the Taste Test?

Steve Ladyman and Roger Gale MP tell us - from an EA briefing - that it’s the public’s fault for pouring paint down the sink and absolutely nothing to do with a mercury factory or cargo airport at all.

Definitely not.


Don’t tell the public.

Failed. Failed. Failed.

Time for Change.