Saturday, 30 January 2010

£16M worth of failure

Mayor Green’s alerted me that the tax-take for each of the Thanet towns is about £16M each.

Clearly there are serious problems in Margate with the collapse of Dreamland and Cliftonville over the years and now accelerating.

The only hope seems more public funds to build a Tesco.

But have our politicians simply been spending District funds for their own towns and neglecting the other towns?

Hence Ramsgate with the folly of the Granville, more and more car parks to view fewer and fewer attractions, and waterfalls filled with concrete to save funds or “generate income for the public sector”.

I thought all public services were free in this country. Not merely creeping charges for civil service salaries or failures.

No wonder we have 6M civil servants in the UK. There seems no understanding that bureaucracy by its very nature is waste. And where it is required it’s a service.

Add in the Margate-isation of the tourist centres: simply closong Ramsgate and Broadstairs to expand Margate and it’s clear that the policy in Thanet is to do less and less – except when it comes to civil service bloat and pay increases.

Yet we have £60M raised in tax: more than enough for upkeep and improvements of our towns.

Except for bloat and waste.

The words “I’m sorry Mr Civil Servant but you’re fired” seems hard to say for our councillors and MP’s.

Even less so than “Why are the public funding a civil service pension on top of a civil service salary”? Shouldn't the civil service pay for their pensions out of their salary like the private sector?

Hence the ever-expanding bloat: TDC staff up 30% in the last 3 years to 750 staff; primarily to handle complaints forms about the shoddy services.

Isn’t the job title of “Information Request Assessor” just fancy-speak for “Clerk”?

And we have expanding secret pay rises for failure - hence the public frauds of 0% pay rises for Messrs White and Samuel that are 30% increases.

Then the mushrooming of quangos to make discussions that politicians should make – or to allow civil service expansion through the back door. Hence the c.£600k EKO quango that seems to have £70k salaries within it and £400k in management and legal fees plus costs - for something that we already pay our existing councillors and civil servants.

Plus 76 lawyers on the rates at KCC and more in each District.

With a tax-take of £60M in Thanet and £22M spent on civil service salaries there seems no comprehension that in effect a 30% admin charge for tax collection is absurd. ANd then the remiaing £40M is sent to KCC for another admin slice off that!

Throw in some of the worst or misfired regeneration in Britain and the pricetag looks excessive.

Yet most charities for example operate on a 1% admin rate to funds. For TDC that would be under £1M for administration of the taxtake and service provision which seems ample.

Certainly if we’re to have the worst deprivation and health rate in Kent.

The slippery frauds of tax havens, 0% public funds and China trips for developer land-deals look distinctly shop-soiled.

And our coucnillors don't even have copies of the TDC and KCC payroll, pensions, expenses, cars and pensions - what do they review each month?

A view borne out for Britain plc in last week’s Sunday Times:

“Over the past 20 years Britain has spent billions on endless regeneration and anti-poverty schemes. But our cities remain largely unregenerated and endemic poverty remains. In many cases politicians have money to spend but precious little idea about the things to spend it on”. The Mayor of London’s policy director. He’s right.

Just look at the farce from KCC again of a “parkway station” by Paul Carter and Roger Gale to try and push Manston 24/7 cargo airport through – despite knowing of the water and air pollution to the public.


And these people control multi-million budgets and the welfare of a million people in Kent.

To pour concrete and fill up the morgue.

I wouldn’t trust them to run a bath let alone a county.

In Thanet we’ve seen mere ceremonial and bumf projects galore, cargo airports expansion by removing the noise and air monitors, Xmas bin collections collapsing, the coastguard office closed and mere civil service committees and bumf for our tax and our towns.

With a £60M tax-take let alone the £2Bn KCC funds and the national tax and VAT and road tax funds we have civil servants and politicians that are unable to improve the area.

Mere silence and papershuffling for coverup rather than cleanup.

Nothing on the Gasworks or Richboro or Pegwell.


We have schools without computers or mobile phone for every child or every old person that wants one.

We have world’s biggest windfarm buying off our civil servants for £175k when there’s free electricity from our ocean for every home in Thanet.

Councillors and civil servants simply voting themselves pay increases to ride the decline down.

Here’s how I will stop that as MP:

Sack the Gang of Four: no rewards for failure; no rewards for poisoning your own citizens with Infratil and Thor; refund the 0% fraud, no payoffs and witholding of pensions until done so. Jail time from a Parliamentary investigation.

End ChinaGate: specifically prohibit this development – and any new construction except on brownfield or refurb of Kent’s 6,000 empty homes and solar/insulation greening of the current stock

Close Manston: regeneration work in remediation and protecting the water supply with a Water Protection Zone and removing petrol stations on the water table

Relocate the Kent Film Office to end the usual West-East Kent split for KCC’s Cabinet - and establish the Kent Film studio in Thanet for film and animation

Demolish Richboro: as point 3 and create the “2nd Pfizer” for the UN MiIlennium Goals on malaria research, vaccines and net manufacturing

Abolish “pink sheets” of supposedly confidential council documents in the age of FOI and EIR - and publish all costs and contracts: civil service salaries, pensions, cars, contacts and quangos – every penny. And establish the “Quango Fund” to highlight pointless and wasteful departments and quangos for closure.

Create Town Budgets from the existing funds with reductions in civil service staff and salary and benefits- and a democratic Margate Town Council

Impose a 3 month limit on planning in the public sector – after 3 months the project is cancelled, the civil servant fired or it’s placed into the private sector – to end the public sector disease of secrecy and planning and planning and planning and planning and replanning and planning and planning

Reopen and expand all 3 tourist offices (repairing the plywood window) and the Margate coastguard – to ensure cargo ships are not berthed off Margate and flushing pollution onto the Blue Flag beaches

Manke no mistake your £60M tax has simply been wasted year after year for decades of stagnation. The only role the civil service has it to cover up not clean up and delay and delay to keep paying out their salaries before the axe falls.

Ask to see the TDC and KCC payroll: it's your money that funds the civil servants. See what you think.

Tomorrow: the announcement of the calendar of meetings for volunteers and supporters to end the collapse of Thanet.

Time for Change 6th May 2010

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

G'bye Matt

Infratil’s junior CEO at Kent Manston is returning to NZ as the link below after public protests over night flights and pollution including the removal of the air and noise monitors for an airport slated for expansion.

Looks like this airport below may provide a new opportunity: sounds like a rerun of Manston: ex-airforce base, compliant local council, assurances of no pollution etc.

Thanet now has a 11 year health gap compared to the rest of Kent - and air quality similar to London for a small rural town.

My favourite bit of Infratil to date was the green part of the Masterplan with dumped jumbo jets as roosts for bats.


Although the difference between a Dcb and a Leq rating is also very clever bullshot.

Clearly Matt was a very nice chap though as he told us of investments in radar, safeguards for water pollution, excellent air monitoring, adhering to the 106 etc etc.

Not unlike the Infratil chap before Matt and the Planestation and EUJet chaps.

A friendly smile. A kind word. And faked monitoring and a thousand promises.

True gentlemen.

None of them seemed to quite understand the effects - at first - of aviation fuel in terms of asthma, cancer and genetic birth defects as - surprisingly - the Masterplan for the NZ expansion airport doesn't make clear either.

Well I never.

Although of course airport staff would suffer perhaps even more greatly from them being constantly bathed in aviation fuel at close quarters.

Lets hope NZ has an NHS too. It certainly has an extradition agreement in case Kent Police or Special Branch need to take witness statements or ensure jail sentences for corporate manslaughter.

And strange that even up until August Manston was due to expand with night flights.

And the removal of the noise and air monitors.

And with Infratil leaving who will clean the water? And the soil? And the air?

And - gulp - the people.

Still at least from the new NZ Masterplan it's clear Infratil has hundreds of millions of dollars of investment money. Yet so little for Kent.

Maybe Paul's parkway. Now not at the airport.

You couldn't make this stuff up could you? And we're paying in every way possible.

And still the planes fly over the towns.

G'bye Matt. Remember - it wasn't you it was the Board of Directors that made you do it. Or Brian.

For 3 years.

Time for Change.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Air pollution and cancer in Thanet

The Gazette this week provides lots of details on the various pollution spots around the area.

It seems astonishing that TDC haven’t been able to provide this monitoring at all.

Except of course by the deliberate removal of the noise and air monitors by TDC with Infratil.

Not just under Matt Clarke but previously with Rowland Gunn one of Infratil’s Board Directors removing noise monitors as far back as October 2006 – for an airport slated for expansion and with the KCC USA flights just 3 months away.

We even had the downplaying of monitoring under Planestation and EUJet and the rushed consultations breaching the 106 guidelines and TDC’s policies.

Clearly some of the Thanet pollution will relate to cars. Like anywhere with cars.

But the pollution levels are so high: on a par with major industrial towns such as London or Manchester that it couldn’t be down to cars.

Pollution that – even without Manston expanding – breaches the EU guidelines on air pollution.

And all with noise and air monitors for the airport removed.

Pollution is of course one of the benefits of being close to an airport. An airport with 447 monthly flight movements already. And breaching all the 106 guidelines from TDC.

As jets start their engines or fly at low levels over the towns then they dump aviation fuel and exhaust fumes over the towns. A degree in rocket science or aviation fuel thermodynamics isn’t required to understand that.

We’ve had civil servants and councillors though that were aware of these problems and not only removed the monitors but failed to then provide replacements.

And failed to direct flights away from the towns as required by their own 106 policies.

The latest benzene monitor was even removed in July – at the time of the night flights announcement by TDC and Infratil.

A council initiative on night flights that seems to have fallen by the wayside as the full impact of cancer, asthma, leukaemia, genetic birth defects and the like become prevalent the more urgent the problem.

The question now is who removed the monitors and who knew?

Silence from Brian White the head of monitoring and KIACC representative.

Silence from Richard Samuel the TDC Chief Exec and former Chair of KIACC.

Silence from Brian Gibson the head of Kent air quality.

Silence from 56 TDC councillors.

Silence from Roger Latchford the Cabinet member announcing Infratil’s night flights.

Silence from Sandy Ezekiel the Cabinet head.

But views from Paul Carter at KCC on expanding Manston, the failed KCC USA flights and now some kind of a parkway station on the rates.

Silence from Roger Gale except parrotting Paul Carter’s parkway - as Margate burns down after 30 years of dereliction.

Silence from Laura Sandys except expansion by containing the environmental concerns. That I’d like to understand.

Silence from Steve Ladyman except for a survey on night flights without any mention of cancer.

And how many deaths, shortened lives and ill-health can we expect before the airport is closed?

So much cancer and yet so much silence from our politicians and civil servants.

We seem to have MP’s, councillors and civil servants that seem unwilling to detail how we have such high cancer rates, high pollution rates and polluted water.

Perhaps they’re merely incompetent – but deliberately removing monitors is something far more serious.

That verges on manslaughter and jail sentences.

Were the councillors and civil servants simply hoping to cover it up? Maybe sort out a few of the problems eventually?

Keep picking up their paychecks and pensions in the meantime? Maybe get pushed out with a redundancy payment and take another public sector job?

No prizes for poisoning your own citizens. No prizes for doing nothing about it.

And still the planes fly over the town and land at an airport built on the water supply.

And an MOD fire station starting fires on the water supply.

What fools and knaves we have governing us.

Failed. Failed. Failed.

Time for Change 6th May

Friday, 22 January 2010

BBC TV to investigate Thor mercury

I've had a note that BBCTV are to investigate Thor mercury at Margate and how the site never closed. And with over 20x the legal limit of mercury.

Also a note from the head of Nature England that there is no outfall of pollution from Manston into Pegwell Bay. Funny. As every other agency and Infratil itself confirmed there is.

And that the Jet petrol station on the floodline had a petrol leak 2 years ago.

And we have nothing from our MP's, councillors or civil servants.

No statements, no inquiry, no cleanup reports, no regular items at council meetings.

Mere coverup and delay and hope the problem goes away and their pension and careers don't suffer.

In fact statements from both MP's that there was no problem and the factory and airport were well-managed and the clouds of toxic smoke from the chemical fire were no concern.

It was a fire at a factory supposedly closed 20 years ago and now has 20x the mercury limit in the soil and water.

Perhaps the public sector is meant to be like this.

Mere bloat, bluster and bullshot while the public pay the price for failure in cancer and early deaths.

With the deliberate removal of noise and air monitors from Manston we have the result in some of the highest cancer levels in the UK and some of the most polluted water.

And the worst council rated by the Government itself

What fools and knaves we have pretending to govern us.

Thankfully they don't have to keep their positions or pensions.

But what about the dead?

Failed. Failed. Failed.

Time for Change on 6th May

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Fires at Manston

I've received a letter from MOD Manston via the Fire Base at Hampshire detailing operations at the Fire School under FOI and EIR freedom of information.

In 2009 there were 1,009 fires at MOD Manston for firefighter training.

About 92,500 litres of foam concentrate was used.

Interestingly there was £17k of non-MOD revenue and and a cost of the water of £36k.

The water and foam runoff was drained into the sewerage system.

Foam wasn't used on any grassed areas and - gulp - monitoring was undertaken by TDC and Amanda Berry.

They only use aviation fuel and wood and don't burn cars or aircraft. I'd have thought burning aircraft was the point otherwise the normal Fire Training would be used?

Seems daft to burn aviation fuel on the water supply even with safeguards.

I've also received another note from Brian Gibson the air quality officer for Kent at Dover Council regarding the removal of the benzene monitor at Kentmere Avenue.

A removal authorised by Amanda and supervised by Brian White with bizarre and incorrect recommendations by the AEA, a civil service organisation, at the time of the night flights announcement in August.

Apparently Heathrow just uses the diffusion test tubes - which is complete cobblers as you'd expect for Europe's largest airport.

Seems a lot of fires and foam though near the water table and towns.

Seems a lot of missing noise and air monitors and now the St Lawrence air quality management area under the flightpath.

Seems a lot of civil servants saying everything's fine.

Seems a lot of councillors and MP's staying very quiet.

Looks to me like the noise and air monitors were removed to allow expansion of the cargo airport without any data on the health problems.

Looks to me like a lot of civil servants and politicians dancing around trying to cover the traces.

A bit of passing the buck onto the juniors or onto a different department.

A quick news release in December from the August monitor removal.

And now night flights readjusted into oblivion by our politicians.

Maybe a quick emergency council session again for some half-baked idea.

Maybe a 0% but 30% pay rise of public funds for a job well done.

Looks like P45's for Messrs Samuel and White when I'm elected MP if our current politicians are too feeble to do so before May.

It;s only 3 years since the noise monitors were removed from the EUJet expansion wiht KCC.

Only a few more months for Paul Carter and Roger Gale to suggest a parkway station to expand Manston.

Looks like they'll be lucky not to have jail time.

No rewards in poisoning your own citizens.

Not this side of Auschwitz.

And an 11 year and 17 year health gap in Thanet.

Maybe it's the cigarettes rather than jumbo jets at rooftop height.

Maybe Thanet Council staff aren't bothered about lax monitoring.

Maybe Kent Police aren't bothered about lax monitoring.

Maybe the RAF and MOD aren't bothered about lax monitoring.

Mabybe Thanet's politicians aren't bothered about lax monitoirng.

And maybe their families aren't either.

And still the planes fly over the towns and onto the water supply.

Failed. Failed. Failed.

Time for Change.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Another Thor mercury report

"From 1978 monitoring by British health inspectors showed environmental health problems and poisonings at the Margate plant. The findings of the UK health and safety executive indicated that the health of British workers was being negatively affected. A 1981 inspection at the UK plant found airborne levels of mercury 20 times higher than the acceptable limit, and in 1983 another inspection at the UK plant found the same high levels persisting. By 1987, the health and safety executive, which was still finding unacceptable levels at the Margate plant, issued an ultimatum to Thor—to either clean up or face court action (UK health and safety executive 1994). That year Thor discontinued its mercury operations in the UK but its South African mercury processing operations continued."

Silence from Thanet's MP's.

Silence from Thanet's councillors and civil servants.


Because Thor Margate never closed.

For 20 years it has continued polluting the water, soil and air.

That figure again: mercury poisoning 20 times higher than the acceptable limit.

A fire and explosion in 2007.

Silence in 2008.

Silence in 2009.

What is happening in 2010?

A regular TDC Board and Cabinet item?

Mentioned in Parliament?

Site visits and cleanup schedules published?

We have mere fools and knaves in positions of responsibility.

And a 17 year health gap in Thanet to the rest of Kent.

Failed. Failed. Failed.

Time for Change.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Manston and asthma in Thanet

Friday’s Gazette details the high levels of nitrogen dioxide around St Lawrence High Street (under the landing flightpath) requiring an Air Quality Management Area and the resulting asthma and lung problems.

18 months to prepare the plan – and then however long to implement it and then report it on it of course means lots more continued asthma and lung problems and early deaths.

What has happened to the air monitoring at Manston? Gone the way of Brian White’s noise-monitoring-by-not-noise-monitoring?

It’s clear the politicians and civil servants have quietly agreed not to bother with monitoring while the airport expanded – and the death rate climbed.

Here’s a very sensible quote though from Cllr Liz Green:

“I find this extremely worrying and I am quite shocked. It is known that residents living near busy roads are particularly affected by this pollution. Part of my concern is that long-term exposure can decrease lung function and increase the risk of respiratory symptoms, acute bronchitis and coughs particularly in children. Although it is recognised that road traffic is likely to be the cause I would like an investigation into whether the airport and low-flying planes could be contributory. This is a busy road but there are other busy roads in Ramsgate. What makes this road different? Could it be the proximity to the airport”.


St Lawrence would certainly get the highest dosage of aviation fuel: planes throttling back to land and exhaust fumes. Although the fumes would of course drift over all Thanet.

And still the planes fly at low-level over the towns and onto the water supply.

The most polluted water in South East England and the highest cancer rates in Kent.

With a 17 year health gap between Thanet and the rest of Kent.

What have the Gang of Four of Messrs Latchford, Samuel, Ezekiel and White been doing and when did they agree to remove noise and air monitors from an airport slated for expansion?

And only silence now from our MP’s.

It seems noise and air monitoring isn’t a subject for them or Parliament.

What must be happening with other airports and noise and air monitoring in Kent? And at Herne Bay?

Clearly we shouldn’t be told.

And only silence on the cleanup at Thor.

Failed. Failed. Failed.

Time for Change.