Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Ramsgsate Town Council: a mini-TDC of incompetence

The 3rd meeting of RTC last night and a series of rigged questions, bewildered silence, off-agenda items and one heated debate over the cost of a bouncy castle.

I've made a formal compaint to Dave Green as Mayor below.

Clearly the towns that burn down aand fall down are entrusted to councillors and civil servants by the public.

If they can't do thje job then new ones are required.

Hi Dave

As Mayor I wanted to write to you expressing concern over last night’s RTC meeting chaired by you.

The vote of no confidence below was provided some 3 weeks ago and was not present on the agenda for councillor debate.

Clearly there were several instances of bureaucratic gamesmanship eg restricted public speaking and various other items eg ChinaGate, Pleasurama and Thor mercury simply left off the agenda

Please advise how this vote of no confidence has been raised with TDC and RTC.

I would alert you that if there is a repeat of this kind of advance censorship then I will recommend a vote of no confidence in you and a formal complaint to the Secretary of State.

I'll raise the matter with Steve Ladyman so he can pretend to raise it in Parliament.

Richard Nicholson’s report on Infratil night flights was largely nonsense given that as an Airport Working Party representative he must be aware of the removal of noise monitors etc and Infratil’s suggestions from the staged press conference with TDC. As TDC backtracks on night flights it’s clear – as the Vote of No confidence below – that our councillors and civil servants have been complicit in endangering the public.

For councillors still not to understand that these are 24/7 night flights is ludicrous.

With TDC as one of Britain’s worst councils and RTC created by public demand at such poor performance then the impetus is for reform beyond merely creating a mini-TDC of incompetence and corruption, or a pensioners club.

Several points made were also incorrect that I would expect councillors or the Mayor to correct eg:

1. “buying” Albion House from TDC with public funds when it is funded from public funds.

2. A precept tax for RTC of £165k when £60M is raised through TDC: presumably c.£20M from Ramsgate.

3. An FOI exclusion sought under the Finance Committee under 1960 legislation (!): what was that item? As stated before the 2000 FOI/EIR Act provides the Public Right to Know for all reports, open meetings etc.

Paul Carter recently stated in KM that all local government information should be open.

4. And a lack of clarity over TDC payroll of c.£60M tax-take and payroll of c.£22M for c.750 staff – presumably councillors don’t review the payroll which makes me wonder what they do beyond ceremonial activities? On this basis increased costs of £20k for a 3 day week Town Clerk and duplicate costs for TDC and RTC councillors seem mere bloat – and extra waste given that many of the councillors have been supposedly dealing with the dereliction of Ramsgate in previous years. I presume a Clerk from the 750 TDC or separate EKO staff can be found.

5. A carnival budget of £4,000 for a week seems a nonsense.

6. The Ramsgate Fund (and General Fund: what are the funds and budgets?) is again presumably from TDC/public funds and should be increased for regeneration from TDC?KCC funds before a further tax-take.

Can you confirm the costs of RTC: costs, expenses salaries/allowances to date please – clearly RTC shouldn’t create duplicate costs with TDC, nor top-up costs from committees, allowances etc.

Clearly little has been done with public funds.

Please advise on the above and I’ll blog more publicly on this matter.

The written questions requested were:

1. Where are the signed plans for Pleasurama and is it to be built above the clifftop?
2. Why are Infratil’s banned training loop flights continuing?
3. What action has been taken on preventing Infratil’s water pollution?
4. What action has been taken on Thor mercury? And who is the Nash Rd estate councillor?
5. Where is the TDC payroll ie name, dept and salary? Your suggestion of providing payroll without costs is absurd.
6. What is the repair schedule for the derelict Granville building?
7. When will the TDC website and webcam of meetings be ready? Presumably in the meantime the public should take mobile phone/video footage.

I trust the next RTC meeting will be more productive to improve the town.

If not, then public meeting for a discussion on recall and providing new or more effective councillors should be held.

I’m embarrassed to have to write to you but after 3 meetings of RTC and the delays in creating it, the stewardship of RTC so far leaves little option.

Kindest regards

Vote of No Confidence dated 20th August 2009

Hi Dave

Can you ensure this resolution is included in the Ramsgate Town Council and/or TDC agenda please:

“A vote of no confidence – by councillor and/or public vote - is required in the Gang of Four: Messrs Latchford, Ezekiel, Samuel and White as endangering the public though mismanagement of controls Manston airport, notably removal of noise and air monitors from 2005/2006. Failed to provide full monitoring and other repeated breaches eg water pollution, broken radar, banned EU aircraft, loop training flights. The recommendation is dismissal from office with no payoffs, no pension sand a restriction on future public sector jobs.”

Also presumably there is a simple “public recall” option of 25% of the vote for councillors and civil servants for RTC and TDC?

Civil servants tend not to be included in most public recall votes for some reason: maybe they’re writing the rules for the councillors.

Is there an agenda for RTC on Thor, Sericol etc etc?

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