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

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