Wednesday, 23 December 2015

TDC garden grabbing

Many people are familiar with this: repeated garden grabbing attempts rejected. Then strangely rushed through by TDC earlier this year then silence over public complaints.

Copy of the minutes below from a meeting I had with Abigail Raymond and Lin Fairbrass and Emma Fibbens following a site view by Simon Thomas and apparently a site visit by Steve Albon- none of the points denied mere silence.

The strange thing is not just 11 flats specified in TDC's own Local Plan(!) but 13 being built if not more. But that RTC approved only 11 flats and didn't know of 13 and now seemingly unwilling to raise it with TDC which rather makes a mockery of the RTC approval process.

While TDC as you can see below attempted to rely on a Planning Inspectorate letter for withdrawn plans - and had expired(!).

Clearly we have a situation where TDC is randomly breaching its own rules. The latest email was form a formal complaint raised to Tim Howes the legal bod who said he's considered the points "and had nothing to add" which is the vaguest of enquiries if not a waste of e-paper. Although I think it's legalese for "you've got us bang to rights".

TDC aside I'm astonished at Miles and Barr and Daniel Gent Construction getting involved in breaching the Local Plan and this as one of the worst examples of gardengrabbing and overbuild - I expected better.

Lin and the TDC councilors now seem struck dumb at best or being lead by the nose by the civil servants at worse.

Frankly I would have expected a few P45's issued for this mess and resulting BS and whitewash - otherwise how will TDC improve?

A Stop Notice and demolition/reinstatement order is also required - otherwise why bother with a Local Plan?

Time for Change

Thursday 12th November 2015
Cllr Lin Fairbrass
TDC Cabinet/Planning
TDC council
Minutes: 100SE Rd meeting

Dear Lin

As promised I wanted to write to minute the key points from our meeting at TDC with Abigail Raymond and Emma Fibbens on Thursday 5th November last week regarding the 100 South Eastern Rd gardengrabbing issue.

A. Latest site info: 2015

1. Attached are the two colour photos we initially discussed from the August site exterior visit with Simon Thomas 27th August 2015.
2. From the photos you can see:
• The frontage of the site is c.100% larger than the original building
• The frontage is assymetrical despite points to the contrary by TDC ie imbalanced new small windows and gable front and a new roof addition
• This new frontage extends to the full depth of the building plus wraps around in an L-shape to cover c.90% of the rear – the new build has doubled the original building filling almost all the plot except for a much smaller garden to be tarmacked
• Not shown on the photo but discussed was what seems to be a subsequent ground/first storey addition to the left front of the site
• As well the right front includes the purchase of the next door garage to enable a narrow driveway for carparking by tarmacking the whole of the rear garden
• Separately I’ll forward a photo of the latest rearward extension: clearly this can be seen to be at least x2 if not x3 the depth of other property extensions and extending even higher than the original building – despite Emma’s claims to the contrary

B. Background: 2008-2015

1. We noted that the original application in 2008 was specifically rejected by TDC with amongst several issues of overbuild, to protect the gardens/shrubs.
2. From 2008 to the new application in 2015 there have been c.6 attempts to develop the site by different builders – all of which were rejected/withdrawn.
At every instance and including the 2015 application, the public have protested the damage and overbuild and gardengrabbing.
3. The property is a c.5 bed suburban family house in a suburban side street with a large front garden and a c. 2 football pitches in length rear garden that would be lost.
We agreed that the building was not Listed. It is however merely 5 minutes walk from the main Ramsgate Conservation Area. Subsequent to the meeting the site is now being renamed as Pugin House because of its Pugin features and proximity to Pugin’s house – this would at least make it eligible for the Local List if not a full listing.
4. One application included the typical demolition of the house and replacing it with a mini-tower block. And another application included even more flats than the 13 now in the 2015 application.
From memory, no prior application included the purchase of the next door garage and tarmacking of the whole driveway.
5. Emma made the point that the new design fits in with the existing streetscape ie terraced houses. Although it was pointed out that South Eastern Rd has a range of styles dating from c.1870 to mainly pre-WW1 eg semidetached houses next door, a large similar property opposite, terraced houses and a detached bungalow. Of course as a c.1870 property the street would have been designed/completed around it.
6. We discussed the fact that c.13 flats would result in problems of car parking even with the rear carpark – and especially problems with the sewers given the various problems anyway with Southern Water.

C. Planning Inspectorate letter of 2012

1. Some discussion was had around the Planning inspectorate site visit letter dated 12/2/12 which upheld the original 2008 and/or 2011 appeal albeit some 3 years later.

This letter seems to be a sticking point for TDC although we discussed that the 2008 appeal was rejected/withdrawn so the 12/2/12 Planning Inspectorate letter was irrelevant.
2. Indeed if the public had believed this letter would be cited for any subsequent application then its points would have been formally rebutted in 2008/2012.
Please accept this note as a formal repudiation of the points made.
3. As well it’s unusual for TDC to now rely on this as the Planning Inspectorate letter points out on point 1 of the Annex that any construction would need to begin within 3 years from the decision date of 24/2/12. Simon’s planning consent is dated 13/3/15 - so even on its own merits the PI letter fails.
4. Similarly the other c.12 requirements of the Planning Inspectorate letter: materials samples, bats survey etc etc presumably not completed again rendering the letter – and 2015 application – completely invalid.

D. 2015 ongoing concerns

1. Emma raised the possibility of a Retrospective Planning Application – presumably to retrofit any issues of paperwork - and Tim pointed out that would invariably result in a class action by the residents. TDC’s concerns over legal costs would undoubtedly be higher with public compensation etc than any such action by the builder.
2. Tim pointed out that be public had behaved perfectly correctly for 7 years and repeated applications on this site upto and including the 2015 site.
3. Tim pointed out since the issue was raised in c.March there had been a strange limbo of the residents’ remit in the planning process being ignored. Indeed the issue had to be raised again with Greg Clark MP the Communities Minister who had been involved in the original 2008 issue. As well since the August site visit with Simon requests for clarity on his explanation of the planning permissions etc had simply been ignored: a further 2 months of delay.

E. National and Local government policy against gardengrabbing

Both National and TDC’s Local Plan 2011-31 dated January 2015 confirms the need to prevent gardengrabbing: overbuild etc etc.
(Subsequent to the meeting Tim confirmed SP29 as the relevant TDC policy along with sections 3, 4 and 13 on protecting green spaces and quality developments etc – as well the 100 Se Rd site is listed in the Plan on P.222 as site SR11 – but for only 11 flats not 13.)

Emma raised the point of public protests and Tim highlighted that he was aware of at least 5 complaints to TDC and these would not be included in the file. (Subsequent to this meeting Tim had details from a resident who previously met Ramsgate mayor/TDC/RTC councillor Trevor Shonk at the site with Emma to complain about the overbuild, design eg Juliet balconies etc).

Except for other minor planning matters the meeting concluded and Tim confirmed to Abigail’s point in managing expectations by raising a possible 21 day turnaround that prompt action was now required for the agreed interior site inspection/enforcement of the blueprints.

Tim said that both a Stop Notice and subsequent Demolition/Reinstatement Notice similar to the Fidler haystacks-castle case would be relevant and as valid as a Retrospective Planning Application to adjust the paperwork.
Thank you again for the meeting and this note with my email of Friday 6th November 2015 should help consolidate the issue. Please advise if there are any significant disagreements with the minuted points as detailed above within 7 days.

Please advise immediately on the immediate issue of Site visit/requested blueprints and Stop Notice.
Kindest regards
Yours sincerely

Tim Garbutt

Friday, 18 December 2015

An army of cops with guns on the rates?

Tim Garbutt KCC Leader 2017 candidate said:

" Ann Barnes seems intent on one final bout of nonsense before she stands down as PCC.

I think few of us would jump at the threat of AlQaeda in the Garden of Kent as opposed to the new threat of paying an extra £5 council tax for 37 extra firearms cops.

Rather it's a laughable argument. Why should there be this notional 50% increase of 37 firearms cops? It seems a central government made-up number. Why not 20? Or 50 extra? Why not a regiment of guncops?

What would they do? Patrolling the fertiliser aisle at BandQ? Coordinate a drone strike on the failed towns of Medway? Raiding the machete shops of East Kent?

What other options have been explored say Ghurkas on stand by, police rota improvements or even a review of existing firearms cops, training and weapons?

From the Twin Towers terrorism of 2001 and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and Libya and Yemen barely a shot has been fired in Kent. Manchester may have been lost to grenades and drug gangs but not yet Kent.

Nobody downplays public security but 37 extra firearms cops sat in the police station finishing off Ann's cupasoups seem poor value and a feeble way to circumvent council tax rises through scaremongering.

The real Kent threats are drug crime, rape and burglary not creating a Police Army on the rates - never mind the rampant Kent council corruption and contaminated elections the police prefer to remain silent on.

While the lack of Kent joined up thinking is as always weak given the recent £1M waste on body cameras or nobody in the Preventive Policing Mystic Meg division seeing the need for extra firearms cops. Never mind even the Scottish £700k cop.

Or even the bloat of multiple public sector 101 backoffice reforms and 112 failure.

£5 on council tax to review the whole £330M police budget would be better value rather than kneejerk demands for more money. And another 5 years of Barnes is enough to strike terror into everyone in Kent".

Time for Change


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Kent: Fossil Fools - update

Update 16/12/15:

* KCC were claiming they follow UN investment principles which is cobblers given they're investing in tobacco and oil etc. UNPRI the investment authority confirm today KCC aren't signatories to the principles. Complete cobblers by KCC to pretend investing in tobacco is valid and somehow approved by the UN. Outrageous.

* UN announce today there will be a clear and open UN Secretary General election process for 2016 - although they don't say exactly what. The days of closed door appointnments, Buggins Turn rotas, and even lack of a UN Parliament seem numbered #whennotif

* TDC confirmed the Munday election is open to candidates for TDC and RTC to at least 21st Dec not 5th ie 10 days notice not 4 but still far too little.

* GRIT campaign for elected Mayors in Thanet again which is positive.

* Good news too the Wetherspoons application for the Pav is declared invalid (I've made no bones I want to take it on as a Community Asset and restore it properly - let's hope the Slipways and Pegwell Bay Nemo pipeline are too. Isn't the whole point of Grade 1 listing and SSSI etc to reject such plans automatically?

* RTC aware of gardengrabbing but unclear given they approved one set of plans and TDC did another set afterwards. Farcical. And TDC now facing Court action by the public to demolish and restore it as it braches every part of TDC@s own legal plan. And the rather murky change of 11 flats being approved suddenly jumping to 13. What were TDC and Daniel Gent construction thinking given TDC's own rules on gardengrabbing? And why are TDC dragging their hells on this?

* Pleasurama repainting again farcical: the sooner this BVI corruption project is cancelled the better.


KCC investing in tobacco and oil and gas as the rest of the world doesn't after COP21.

What are Carter and the Toxic 3 and Simmonds doing before their afternoon nap?

The Fossil Free Europe has had astonishing success in just 6 months: summary below form September 2-0105 to COP"! last week - where Copenhagen and Berlin also pledges to divest fossil fuel investments.

A no-brainer and easy: invest in solar instead - quite frankly anything else at all.

As KCC leader I will sell off any remaining British Gas and Tobacco shares immediately.

Indeed hold a review of these lavish public sector pensions and salaries and staffing still not with routine FOI.

Separately the threat of court action on 100Se Rd and Abigail Rayment at TDC Planning suddenly pipes up. But no movement on why the delays in replying and blatant breaches of the TDC local Plan - even 11 flats approved and 13 built. Brown envelopes or muckups?

Fair play to Cllrs Fairbrass and Bambridge and Shonk and others raising this but the civil servants seem to be leading them by the nose to do as they want on the rates. Useless - copies of minutes here tomorrow. We need a Planning clearout.

Same for the awful Slipways building. Looks just like cement profits rather than an need given so many empty buildings.

And £67k spent on lawyers for the Pleasurama corruption rejig from a British Virgin Island company. With the same people. Do they think we're idiots and lawyers can somehow magic that fraud away? Even Lord Grabiner and the Glickgate boys would struggle with that.

Bizarre Dreamland shambles again iwht the opening - by the owners described in the legal documents to sue TDC etc -as chaos.

Good that Wetherspons Pleasurama ruled invalid.

Manston Stone Hill is a mess of unnecessary overbuild jeopardizing the aquifer - and where are the Gloag/Stagecoach fines for missing monitors or shall we pretend that cancer is only for Xmas?

Good that Eileen and her team at RTC gained £50k for Harbour St renewals - long overdue public investment in the towns. £2Bn at KCC and £20M at TDC simply funding staff to say there's no money.

Even the KP cops have at last got their trousers on and started ticketing illegal cars etc.

And excellent news that the Saudi elections have 17 women councilors for the first time - indeed the first elections since 2005, and 1965 before that. Funded by the UK taxpayer via Sangcom fighter jets fraud etc.

Time for Change

In September 2014, 181 institutions representing $50 billion in assets had made a divestment commitment. On September 21, during Climate Week in New York City, and Divest-Invest announced the number had jumped to 400 institutions representing $2.6 trillion under management, and launched a “Divest for Paris” initiative to garner new commitments ahead of COP21. In the intervening 10 weeks between then and today, more than 100 institutions made new divestment commitments.

Organizers will announce a series of new divestment announcements and endorsements on Wednesday, including:

19 French Cities have endorsed divestment ahead of COP21: will announce for the first time that they have secured commitments from 19 French cities, including Lille, Bordeaux, Dijon, Saint-Denis, Rannes, Ile-de-France, and others.

The French parliament has endorsed divestment: On November 25th, the French National Assembly adopted a resolution encouraging public investors, companies (especially those in which the states owns shares) and local authorities not to invest in fossil fuels anymore. The resolution is the first step to formalizing the policy as law.

The French Ensemble Foundation will join European Divest-Invest: Jacqueline Délia Brémond, Co-founder and Co-Chair will announce that the foundation will join the European Divest-Invest initiative and divest their holdings from fossil fuels. Since 2004, the foundation has given over $28 million to environmental causes around the world.

Some of the most notable new announcements since September 21, 2015 include:

Uppsala became the largest city in Sweden to endorse fossil fuel divestment.

Münster became the first city in Germany to divest completely from fossil fuels.

Melbourne, the capital of Australia, committed to go fossil free ahead of COP21. In fact, Australia has seen a seven-fold growth in the divestment movement, from two councils divesting in 2014, to 14 divesting as of now. Together, these funds represent AUD $5.5 billion in assets under management.

Oslo, the capital of Norway, announced that it will divest its $9 billion pension fund (€8 billion) from coal, oil and gas companies, becoming the first capital city in the world to ban investments in fossil fuels.

Dutch pension fund PFZW announced it will divest from coal companies and reduce its investments in other fossil fuel companies. The fund has €161 billion of assets under management.

London School of Economics, one of the preeminent economics schools in the world, dropped all its direct and indirect holdings of coal and tar sands, and all direct holdings of fossil fuel companies.

Allianz, Europe’s largest insurance company, divested €630 million of their own capital investment portfolio from coal, and are reinvesting over €4 billion into wind energy over the next 6 months. This is one of the largest funds to make a commitment to divest from fossil fuels. Allianz tied their announcement to COP21, making the moral and economic case for investing in cleaner technologies

APRA AMCOS, the biggest music industry organisation in the southern hemisphere announced that it is beginning the process of divesting from all fossil fuels. APRA AMCOS distributed over $250 million in royalties to its 87,000 songwriter and composer members last year, making it a large cultural force for divestment.

London Science Museum announced plans to dump Shell Oil as a sponsor, amidst controversy and public pressure.

In addition to the London School of Economics 5 Universities from the UK took action: Oxford Brookes University, University of the Arts London, University of Surrey and University of Sheffield divested from all fossil fuel companies; Wolfson College (Oxford university) divested from coal and tar sands. Fund manager CCLA, which manages investments for Birmingham City University, Cranfiled University, Heriot-Watt University, University of Hertfordshire, University of Portsmouth, University of Westminster excluded coal and tar sands from its investments.

The first church in Germany, the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau, managing €1.8 billion, committed to drop investments in coal, oil and gas too.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Carter Must Go: Kent the Sick Man of Europe

Tim Garbutt, KCC Leader candidate 2017 said:

"It seems to be Carter versus the public. He seems not content with the contamination from Manston monitors and Thor on his watch, or the corruption around British Virgin Islands/Pleasurama for Kent's largest seafront development or 0% salaries council fraud - apt for Anticorruption Day today (9th Dec).

Now we have Kent Public Health - tobacco, alcohol, mental health and obesity and pandemics - being scrapped for the sake of £4M on a £2BN budget.

We need Public Health and a clean environment in the Age of Climate Change not KCC investing £250M in tobacco and fossil fuels or watching the slum towns of Medway fall apart. 90% of Kent orchards gone since 1945 and in the week of COP21 not one Climate Change policy. Not one.

We have a Third World health gap in Kent with dirty NHS hospitals in Special Measures (only the 20th best in EU according to OECD), contaminated Southern Water, Jimmy Savile Children care homes and the horror of East Kent's population - by KCC's own figures - dying 12 years earlier than the rest of Kent.

How could they poison us?

The Kent economy collapses too: Dreamland is already failing after 6 months with £4M debts announced today just as Pfizer and Glaxo Kent collapsed and the Turner Centre was rebuilt twice for £50M on Carter's watch.

Kent's only growth industry is the undertaker.

We don't need Leader Carter or his elderly Blue Communists turning Kent into the Sick Man of Europe by raising taxes and cutting services to the public while sat on padded pensions and salaries and reserves.

With the most £100K salaries in Local Government, and white elephants like the £17M Parkway or Road to Nowhere or £900M Operation Stack car park, Carter has failed us.

KCC has lost its way and become an empty council only for those in it, or those keen to cement Kent.

I urge every citizen to cancel their direct debits for council tax. Short pay. Wrong Pay. £2M already withheld.

No taxation without - effective - representation.

And no payment for corruption or failure.

2016 is already a Lost Year for Kent. It is Leader Carter that should be scrapped."

Time for Change


Tim's Titbits:

* today confirmation that Medway's primary schools are the worst in UK(!)
* points tomorrow on 100Se Rd gardengrabbing: mere silence from TDC unable to explain it
* Excellent Daily Mail front page article on the importance of FOI - and councils/NHS etc writing to the parliamentary review to limit it - on your paycheque. Bizarrely, universities claiming they're not funded by public money(!)

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Corrupt Kent election: letter to Madeline Homer TDC CEO

Dear Madeline

I wanted to write to you regarding the Cllr Vince Munday election for TDC and RTC.

I understand TDC have issued a strange notice on 1st/2nd December requesting candidates before 5th December ie two days’ time (tomorrow) for an election on 21st January?

Clearly 4 days or so is far too short a notice for candidates (or even as the notice says for the election to happen?) – can you advise on detail/electoral Best Practice?

Also any Returning Officer fees: I understand the £62k general election fee can be returned/not claimed? It seems excessive given most of the electoral process is handled by volunteers.

I’m also unclear why the election is referred to “a Casual vacancy for Office of Councillor”? Presumably it simply means a notice of an election for a councillor?


No information is provided on the Ramsgate Town Council election – for which Vince Munday also sat.
Indeed it seems the May 2015 RTC election never actually took place?

And there may be confusion over TDC and RTC elections being separately contested rather than pseudo/auto-elections as currently with TDC Margate and Margate Charter Trustee seats.

RTC was never intended to be doublehatters of TDC nor the public excluded from standing as Mayor. TDC’s own survey of c.3 years ago showed elected Mayors as in other towns were viable.

Please advise what has been going on.

I’m sure as Returning Office and TDC CEO and £400k funder of RTC you take a British election very seriously in making sure it is both well run and free and fair.

I’d also highlight the previously run TDC elections/ballot boxes in May as not ideal: ballot boxes not opened and counted. Delays in count. LibDem illegal civil servant candidate etc.

Separately, given TDC’s reputation for corruption as cited by Private Eye and Local Government Association and even TDC’s own Scrutiny Committee before their resignation en-masse(!) can I flag up:

1. Pleasurama/British Virgin islands corruption – can you advise given since February 2015 the project could have been cancelled yet TDC seem to have reissued the project with Steve Keegan of BVI and Cardy the builders?
2. 0% fraud by your predecessor McGonigal
3. 100 Se Rd garden grabbing: not just breaching every national guidelines but TDC’s own policies
4. Contamination at Thor, Manston, Poorhole Lane and SW sewers and beaches – it seems strange the latter given a clean bill of health after 20 tons of shit were dumped on the beaches at least once? And TDC seems to have ignored the extensive and worsening pollution at these sites no doubt affecting the health of the population
5. Infratil and Gloag: missing monitors, pollution and fines
6. The sale of Minster war memorial: who put this up for sale and how much is expected? I’d like to offer a shiny new penny. Perhaps more if it sits over war-graves?
7. General confusion over housing for Thanet eg 15k plus 3k at Manston plus Discovery Park plus 15k EKO?
8. TDC seems to be slipping back into its bad old ways of seeking exemptions to FOI rather than the presumption of FOI: please clarify how many/what reasons FOI – or EIR – requests are sought by TDC in 2015. Presumably a Public Interest for EIR would be approved outside TDC rather than effectively marking its own homework?
9. Pegwell Bay/NEMO Link: construction work through a SSSI/UNESCO site
10. Port/Marina: slipways construction work without review for the UK’s only Grade 1 listed and Royal Harbour
11. Repair work for Eastcliff Bandstand: again a Grade 1 Listed and derelict for over 15 years if not 40 years.
12. Ramsgate £1M Fire station/2nd swimming pool the former wasteful and latter needed for seaside towns

I appreciate some of these did not become your direct responsibility until c.6 months ago but they are now.
I’ve copied Kent Police, Electoral Commission and OESCE who are responsible for supervision of elections and the former also for Misconduct in Public Office prosecutions.

Also Michael Gove Justice Minister and Greg Clark Local Government Minister for Parliamentary review. And I’ll place this note on my KCC/MP blog for public review.

If it helps, please consider this note as notice that the January election is required albeit with time for candidates etc. And bearing in mind TDC closures over the Xmas holidays.

4 days for a British election notice is almost deliberately ridiculous.

Can I as an EIR request have specifics of the c.£20M total, salaries/pensions./cars/expenses by TDC department – presumably any existing councillor/candidate would need this info to evaluate council performance?

Finally, should external monitors supervise the election?

Please advise within the TDC service guidelines of 10 days.

Kindest regards

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

COP21 Paris Climate Change, bombing Syria and Ramsgate Town Council fake election.

Three issues dominate the headlines this week: COP21 Paris Climate Change, bombing Syria and Ramsgate Town Council fake election.

OK perhaps the last one is fairly minor.

But COP21 Climate change Summit could be as irrelevant. 150 world leaders and 4,000 people for a summit on Climate Change for a fortnight? So what? Thankfully Climate Change is now recognised as one of the greatest threats to humanity, up there with pandemics or another meteor strike or a nuclear winter.

But what will be achieved? Some warm words? A pledge to do something? Where for example is the UK Action Plan on Climate Change already? I’m interested n this stuff and I couldn’t tell you. I’m sure a casual observer of Climate Change hoping something is being done, but not knowing what, wouldn’t have a clue either.

A beanfeast summit like COP21 and Copenhagen and Kyoto before it achieve nothing now. More effective would be the UN Climate Change group issuing its annual report with specifics at the UN.

We seem to be funding rafts of international groups and departments to abdicate responsibility and create yet more working parties and summits etc.

With the UK bombing of Syria, my view has changed since the decision not to bomb c.3 years ago for which I was in favour. Exactly as we’ve seen the tide of ISIS could have been turned back in the deserts of Syria before it flooded across Western Syria into Iraq and lapping against the Turkish and Iranian borders. And whole citiies lost.
Now I don’t support UK bombing of Syria. Why? It’s vanity bombing for the UK to be seen to be joining in. An empty gesture of half a dozen UK jets from Cyprus getting in the way of Russia and USA and France.

Let them do that job and do it well and let UK concentrate on Iraq.

One statistic: 3 major towns such as Mosul have been lost to ISIS in Iraq and only fly-blown Raqqa in Syria.
ISIS taking over most of Iraq and picking over the ruins of Syria is completely viable.

An aside on USA and Terrorism: c.750 deaths from terrorism in the last decade in USA. And 30,000 guns deaths each and every year. And 400 deaths each year by being shot by police although there’s no accurate record kept(!).
And Ramsgate Town Council elections? A point of interest in that I helped set up the council c.7 or so years ago as a counterweight to the corruption and failure of TDC. And elections were initially held. Then the council became swamped by the TDC councillor party fanatics and changing seat boundaries etc so it became a toothless mini-TDC.

Bizarrely the May 2015 election of new councillors doesn’t seem to have taken place at all. Only the Ramsgate (or rather mainly Ramsgate) TDC councillors assuming those seats much as happens with the Margate Charter Trustees – Margate the only town in Kent without any elected town council.

And now Ramsgate too it seems.

I’m also hearing reports of excessive salaries and pensions at RTC– the highest in Kent - and reserves from the c.£400k provide by TDC. If we’re not careful we could be back to the bad old days of doublehatters rubberstamping their own decisions through a pseudo-council and much of the budget going on those in the council so nothing can actually be done.

Info on the election and salaries etc much appreciated: anonymous if you prefer:

You can see my concerns over Kent elections in the letter to OESCE election monitoring body in the blog post below eg not free elections:

• having to pay to stand – how is that free? And wasn’t that sort of 1800’s land/money levy exactly what free and fair elections were meant to prevent?
• The Police keeping their heads down on investigating election abuses eg the LibDem a serving civil servant which is banned or even LocalCraig (local candidates rather than parachute candidates is a separate issue) as a JP as well as MP. Making the laws and locking up people? Probably 1700’s?
• Saudi elections next month: first chance for women to vote. How long will the ban on women driving remain? Only Dubai/UAE and Brunei remain where nobody can vote. Several one party states/rigged elections of course.
• Votes at 16: Lords votes for it and Commons votes against – already happens in Scotland and Jersey so rather farcical
• Hereditary Lords: another bizarre election of the 92 hereditary Lords voting for another hereditary Lord to join them(!) – the only election in the Lords(!). While Bishops in the Lords are the only parliamentary religious grouping in the world outside of Iran. And the largest Upper Chamber in the world outside of China(!).
• It’s the work of moments to reduce the Lords to 300, peg sitting to under 80’s and not criminals and attendees and abolish hereditary and bishops for a parliamentary committee if required. Elections could be held by region and still fit with the Lords role in delaying but not rejecting Commons legislation.

Time for Change

Tim’s Titbits

• 100 SE Rd gardengrabbing: after 3 weeks of meeting with TDC and a set of detailed minutes they’re unable to explain how 13 flats are being built by Christopher Gent Property and not the 11 specified in TDC’s own Local Plan(!). Nor the breach of every part of that and national plan on building in gardens – and the previous 6 applications rejected since 2008. An utter mess at best and TDC now spinning in circles to come up with excuses.

• Try Simon Thomas and Emma Fibbens in TDC Planning: and

• If Court action is required to close the site and demolish back to previous size then certainly TDC should bear those costs along with a Misconduct in Public Office order for salary deductions/dismissal. If we’re not careful we’ll have councils using the public’s own funds against the public while safeguarding their own salaries for their error.

• High Court corruption: Lord Grabiner of One Essex Court remains silent on the Barrister Hollingworth (the Ali Bongo Barrister) fraud and elderly Glick QC and BSB coverup. Quite extraordinary as both Grabiner and Glick are themselves High Court Deputy Judges(!) – Hollingworth seems to have learnt his fraudulent tricks at their knee as well as Paul Daniels'.

• Kent Fire: FOI Finchy and Ramsgate Fire £1M station: silence so far. FOI doesn’t apply to Kent Fire it seems…

• Kent Police panto: silence but promises of a surprise. Oh yes there is.

• NEMOLink: a bit of a strange one this. Cables from a megawindfarm in Belgium being proposed to be laid across the Channel and ashore at Pegwell bay and Richboro power station. Nothing outrageously wrong with that except:

o Nobody can explain why the pylons from Richboro to Canterbury can’t be buried as part of the mega-billion costs. Surely all new pylons should be buried?
o Nor why the cables have to come ashore through SSSI and UNESCO Pegwell Bay rather than say 5 miles either way? Surely the point of SSSI status is not to have to go through the palaver of having to protect Pegwell bay or say the Lake District from any construction
o Nobody can explain the value of the windfarm in terms of electricity to UK – and why is the Thanet windfarm not producing electricity for Thanet? If they don’t know then why build it apart from the government tax-grants?
o And planning approval was given by TDC and DDC in February 2013 (but only now is there a public consultation) and approval was given – I kid you not you can read it for yourself – without knowing what the development would be. Shadeso f 100 Se Rd perhaps of we’ll build something but you won’t find out until it’s too late…
o Try: Simon Thomas at TDC again: and – be careful there’s now 170(!) documents of bullshit it seems, but Natterjack Toads may be protected part of the year as the rest of the Bay is dug up. So that’s alright then.

• Kent Corruption: Pleasurama. HMRC Taxman is now advertising that over 90 territories such as BVI and Cayman Islands will exchange financial information with UK tax authorities so we may well find out who was involved in this. Keegan and Cardy can’t have suddenly developed it all themselves and then sold it to each other via TDC? For a new Broom Wells and UKIP are proving more of the same so far.

• Kent Contamination: silence on Thor and Manston aquifer. So many councillors and civil servants yet so much silence around these toxic sites.

• Autumn Budget Statement: good news on the Tampon tax being rebated but why not simply make it 0% VAT as other products? And when will the 20% VAT be reduced back to 17.5%? Fairly silly statements on increasing housing new build to 400k per year. It’s never been above 130k per year since WW2 so hardly likely or needed beyond the cement lobby. While £250M on Operation Stack is bizarre without saying What It Is. But at least a reduction from KCC’s punt at £900M for a car park: almost half the annual KCC budget.

• Silence on the £17M KCC Parkway – has that budget been swallowed up by KCC already as a windfall for documents and tea and biscuits and pensions?

• An excellent Stacy Dooley BBCTV documentary last week on the horrific Philippines paedophile webcams. I was astonished when I was in the Philippines earlier this year of the number of street kids in main towns such as Manila. All the more concerning that BBC4 will closed in January after producing the sort of programmes that BBC2 and C4 used to do and the like so of C5 or ITV2 will never do. And a complete justification of the BBC as one of the world’s best broadcasters.

• Should there be a BBC Licence Fee? Of course not. It’s a silly and wasteful tax from the 1930’s when there was only the BCC. And now 90% of court cases involve the State chasing this £145 tax that is actually illegal anyway if you’re only watching DVD’s and not live TV etc. There’s even an argument with the volume of repeats or replayed programmes as to whether the station is live. Then of course there’s other channels that are not the BCC and funded with nothing to do with the Licence fee.

• It’s a pointless mess. Abolish it and fund the BBC from an annual budget signed off by Parliament as per every other State funded organisation. Indeed there’s an argument that the BBC should be leading on time staggered channels eg BBC1 plus 2, full 24/7 TV not merging the channels after 10pm or some channels not broadcasting before 7pm and even other foreign free to air/State channels broadcast eg the BBC of German or Korean TV etc. Isn’t UK supposed to be improving at languages and exports to other nations?

• KORA and 2LB coming soon.

• Death penalty: 23 UK citizens on Death Row around the world including Margate’s Joshua French in the Congo. Even the Margate Saudi homebrew pensioner last month or Kent golfclub extradition to Texas of a few years ago. UK assistance? Stuff all. If it happens to you you’re on your own. Surely to support the various charities that do help there should be a specific UK court and police force dealing with these issues?

• UK Defence Review 2015: I’ve received some interesting points on this and to summarise various issues:

o perhaps 20 or so Royal Navy main ships in future - and 2 aircraft carriers as huge target practice for any tuppenny drone or RPG attack
o 142 F35 jets initially for the aircraft carriers and various – needed – transport planes etc
o Army supposed reform to 2x5,000 Strike Brigades although these already exist so it’s mere wording.
o 2% of GDP on the military but that now includes the security services (and Police Special branch?) and various items that were listed differently from most NATO nations. And may include the nuclear weapons that only France in Europe also posseses. So the actuality is probably nearer 1.7% of GDP – while much of NATO is nearer 1.4%. Even Germany - despite funding wasteful conscription/national service while trying to abolish it. Perhaps one, rather ineffective way, to achieve full youth employment. No functioning army is much less than 10k troops so 80k troops seems plenty not outrageous cuts. With even 20k still sat in Germany so the actual figure could be nearer 60k
o With military expenditure the UK still seems far too top heavy for the old conflicts of WW2 and the Cold War of tank battalions thundering across Germany and Poland against a background of nuclear airbursts. Britain has no main enemies of the scale of Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia any more – if the latter ever was a real enemy beyond Eastern Europe and Olympic weightlifting. Even in Afghanistan UK only deployed 10k troops.
o Back to the Syria point: where are the Spanish and Italian military and bomber jets? Or Polish tanks? Or Hungarian troops? Or the Saudi military? Why are Greece and Turkey not in disarmament talks around their border and Cyprus as NATO allies?
o Britain’s enemy in the 21st century is this kind of End of Empire posturing and make it up on the hoof and the real threat of dictators such as Saddam and Gaddafi and Assad or more recently Bashir of Sudan or Obiang of Equatorial Guinea. And complete lack of any Ministry of Reconstruction for basket-case nations such as Libya or Sudan or Somali or Yemen or Afghanistan where the next threats will undoubtedly fester.
o The terror attacks across Mali and Nigeria and Kenya and Somalia and Yemen show France rather than Britain is leading the fight on terror while 20k UK troops are sat in Germany drinking schnapps and watching their and Germany’s tanks rust.

• An interesting point that the USA has produced over 70k nuclear weapons since 1945. Figures vary on 2k to 6k still held by USA and the same with Russia. And a point I’d not heard before on the risk of nuclear accidents where a fighter plane and pilot and nuclear bomb rolled off the USS Ticonderoga aircraft carrier into the sea in 1965. They’re all still lost.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Police farce: Indy letter

Dear Editor

Here we go again.

Barry Coppinger Police PCC of Cleveland writes in today’s Independent that police budgets should not be cut. Because he’s spoken to senior police officers.

Well I never. Xmas and turkeys are nearer than I thought.

Rather than ratchet the fear and paranoia levels up a few notches, why not cut police budgets? At the very least they didn’t prevent terror attacks so to paraphrase Dave Brown’s thoroughly unpleasant scaremongering cartoon heads must roll.

And the Paris attacks weren’t deterred by Frances’s nukes or aircraft carriers or even 20,000 UK Cold War troops still sat nearby in Germany watching their tanks rust. Or even with GCHQ already monitoring every phone and internet call.

Surely we should consider the effectiveness of a mish-mash of 43 police forces (larger than the Royal Navy) tripping over each other. Or the ludicrous procurement waste of different police boots costing from £25 to £125. Or the Police Scotland £737k copper. Or even the viability of the excess of guns and ammunition and firearms training with only 6 shots fired in anger each year.

Costs that perhaps pale into insignificance after the Chilcot and Hillsboro and Deepcut and Bloody Sunday inquiries.

In Kent we’ve been especially badly-served by the silly Ann Barnes PCC regime of £100k clerks acting as flabby cheerleaders for the police rather than effectively holding the police to account.

For example, Kent Police are simply too scared to investigate the rampant KCC Toxic Three council corruption around BVI Pleasurama or Manston and Ostend airports gunrunning or GlickGate High Court fraud.

Again, hardly reassuring in facing a real terror attack rather than blowing up unattended Xmas presents, issuing warnings on buying fertiliser, asking schools to spy on kids and their parents, not issuing parking tickets, or not arresting the real Most Wanted of rapists, drugs dealers and burglars.

And Mr Coppinger places too much faith in an extra 1,900 MI5 clerks no doubt following his Facebook feed and providing reasons to increase their salaries and pensions. A random 2%GDP defence target is a good start. No doubt the good folk of Cleveland have more to fear from excess police costs and actions especially as after the closure of SSI Steelworks there must be little left to steal or destroy.

And of course with most terror attacks now suicide bombers, there’s even less need for detective work in future…

Yours faithfully

Tim Garbutt, Ramsgate

Tim's Titbits:

1. Silence on 100 Se Rd gardengrabbing...
2. KORA and 2LB nearly ready
3. Ed Targett excellent article on tax havens eg Pleasurama corruption
4. Port, Wetherspoons and Slipways all quiet
5. Bizarre UK purchase of 20 F35 jets and then another 130: the most expensive and useless kit possible in the age of drones and massive peace outside of the Middle East and Sahel. And wasn't the Eurofightr supposed to be the UK/NATO plane? And horrifyingly MOD clerks to be 40k - already one clerk per soldier!
6. Good that Jo Gideon of Manston Airport Committee has been rejected as Kent PCC candidate by the Tories - now as irrelevant as the scoundrel Latchford

Monday, 16 November 2015

Manston and Thor. Birth defects and tumours the size of grapefruit?

Cheer up Cancer Victims. It’s not so bad.

It could be worse.

Before we talk about the problems in Kent from Infratil and Thor mercury and Southern Water and TDC and KCC have a think about cancers Agent Orange or Minamata or Thor Cato Ridge.

Almost all the info is googleable.

There’s a few interesting points in the book “An Army Waiting to Die” perhaps the definitive source on Agent Orange.

The book is useful in summarising the problems of Agent Orange but also the battles of US army veterans with the government for medical screenings and treatment – the book title referring to the policy of simply waiting for them to die off. Similar to the UK more recently with Ghurka pensions or soldiers in the Pacific nuclear tests or Gulf War syndrome of uranium and chemicals or even medals for the Arctic Convoys.

Wait long enough and they’ll die off and hey presto no extra costs to be found.

Also relevant for the Syrian War and Assad’s use of chemical weapons even more recently.

And interesting for the similar effects of Agent Orange on Australian and New Zealand veterans of the Vietnam War and with the Australian and NZ governments.

And perhaps similar to Kent's Northfleet children with their intestines growing outside their bodies:

Agent Orange was a herbicide chemical used with Agents Blue, White and Purple between 1961-70 as Operation RanchHand to defoliate the forests of Vietnam (and Laos and Cambodia) to allow for enemy troops to be exposed.
And also to contaminate rice crops to destroy food supplies – a policy of enforced famine similar to the Nazi policies in WW2 Soviet Russia.

Parts of Danang, the main USAF airbase, to this day are some of the most contaminated parts of Vietnam with toxin levels at least 350x higher than anywhere else.

Toxin levels that I saw hundreds of miles further south in Saigon in the French and American War Crimes Museum (now War Remnants) of row upon row of glass jars with deformed human foetuses – cleft lip, withered arms and legs and monstrous deformations.

Truly horrifying.

The book cites the testimony of the villagers of DakRosa amongst others who reported stillbirths, massive tumours, skin rashes, cramps, diarrhoea as well as most of their pigs and cattle and chickens dying within a few days and weeks of spraying by Agent Orange. The chemicals were so deadly that the forests would be stripped bare within days of spraying.

One farmer’s wife reported: “Her baby began screaming in agony and pulling its hair until bald spots appeared. She subsequently has suffered three miscarriages although she previously had borne six healthy children…a dramatic decline in the quantity of milk produced by two cows. Her pigs gave birth to piglets that were either abnormally large or small. Rabbits had premature or deformed offspring.”

Not ideal and sad even if it happened in 1960’s wartime far away in the jungles of Vietnam.

But that farmer’s wife was in Minnesota in 1978.

4 million acres of Agent Orange in total were sprayed over Vietnam from 1961 until 1970. But 4 million acres each year were sprayed in USA and continued until the early 1980’s, and a 1984 Vietnam war veterans settlement with Dow and Monsanto etc who manufactured Agent Orange.

3M Vietnamese are still suffering from the effects of Agent Orange with upto 1M children. As over 12% of South Vietnam was sprayed and 20% of the forests.

Only in 2010 did Hillary Clinton agree a multi-million-dollar cleanup of the Danang airbase. Delays partly because British use of herbicide in Malaya in the 1950’s were cited as not being chemical warfare.

While in the USA 50% of groundwater is contaminated and more deaths from air pollution than car accidents and more children will die from cancer than any other disease.

While the Seveso disaster in Italy in 1976 released as plume of Agent Orange chemicals from the factory with predictable results in terms of deaths etc. Perhaps Thor, Margate is simply a more mundane Kent Bhopal or Chernobyl or even Thalidomide.

So in Kent there are a few questions over the contamination by Infratil and Thor mercury.

Knowing the effects of airborne pollutants – and I’m not suggesting for one moment that aviation fuel is as specifically toxic as Agent Orange, although it might be especially at low level and repeated doses – why did Infratil and TDC and KCC and the various airlines such as KLM deliberately and repeatedly into Manston over the towns rather than the required rural end of the airport?

An extra journey time and fuel cost of moments and pennies. And already legislated as illegal... Even Paul Carter Leader of the KCC Toxic Three repeatedly cited “the planes fly straight out to sea” knowing that they should fly to the land-side. Away from the towns and people by the sea…

Even now why hasn’t he called for the contamination documents and a KCC review into Manston?

Why hasn’t animal-lover Roger Gale MP called for an investigation of the effects of aviation fuel droplets on animals if not his constituents?

All this activity with higher KCC involvement whether the SEEDA car park on the rates or the Road to nowhere even now the Parkway station.

And over 10 years of the public being illegally and repeatedly contaminated breaching all the safety standards resulting in over 4x EU safe emissions. For a tiny cargo airport of a few flights a day. Even before the plans of 30 flights day and night.

Airlines such as Cargolux or KLM and even IranAir and DAS Air.

Fitzgerald and Clark are still running Wellington Airport in NZ and Buchanan running Kent’s Lydd Airport. Perhaps adjusting the monitors there too again.

And why were the noise and air monitors repeatedly broken, run by Infratil and then simply removed from Clarendon School in the heart of Ramsgate where the planes fly lowest?

Where was the Environment Agency – specifically tasked with protecting the human and natural environment? Where were Button, Berry and Sproates when specifically tasked with pollution and airport monitoring at TDC?

Month after month in the TDC Airport Committee with councillors such as Latchford and Wells and Gideon reviewing the monitor data with clerks such as White and pretending the monitors were still there.

And Gale and King and Carter and Sandys and LocalCraig and Farage trotting in and out of the Infratil and Gloag boardroom, pledging their support and tax breaks for developing the airport but silent on the monitors or contamination.

And let’s not forget Thor mercury in Margate.

And Farage placing Manston at the heart of UKIP national policy but refusing to answer questions on contamination there or Thor.

If Cato Ridge in South Africa is so horrifying with a litany of water poisonings, sickness and deaths – so much so that the case was tried in the UK High Court – then why isn’t Thor Margate being discussed?

Where was (or rather is) the Environment agency cleanup in Kent – until at least the 2007 fire the factory was expanding. But is supposed to have closed in 1988 for cleanup with the Environment Agency.

Minamata in Japan is perhaps the benchmark and summary of such mercury poisonings – all the way back in 1971.

And of course there’s always asbestos in 86% schools: banned as a serious contaminant eventually in 1999 but detailed as a major toxin for at least a decade before then neither TDC nor KCC have a detailed register of asbestos in Kent schools. And nothing on cleanup.

The old public sector chestnut of leave it alone and take the tax-salary rather than clean it up.
We’ve seen in recent weeks the furore over red meat and sugar as toxins and contributors to obesity – albeit with a measure of choice as to whether you eat those.

But the measure of choice indeed requirement - in reducing contamination in Kent from Infratil was simply ignored.
Even now not one public statement of wrongdoing form either Infratil or Gloag or KCC or TDC or Environment Agency.

Silence form every councillor and MP.

A big game of let’s pretend and coverup and the police are too scared and the NHS can try out a few new cancer drugs at the Rare Cancers Ward at the QEQM in Margate.

Jobs for lawyers and judges and court clerks in the trials, perhaps slippery characters Like Lord Grabiner or Glick QC or Hollingworth or Downs law can while away the hours in court blaming pollen or pixie dust or maybe just some tumours but not all of them? A little bit of pollution but not a lot?

But now only 4 questions remain:
1. Who will be sacked or jailed?
2. Who will be fined and how much?
3. How’s the cleanup going?
4. How many tumours and birth defects are there?

Shut up.
Pay your tax.
Don’t forget to vote.
Cheer up Cancer Victims. It’s not so bad?

Time for Change

Tim’s Titbits

• Party politics becomes ever more laughable: it now seems Jo “Oh No It’s Jo” Gideon the Tory TDC councillor stood for MP …for Scunthorpe in May. And as the old adage of voting for a rosette got almost exactly the same number of votes as the previous Tory candidate. Switching back to being the local Kent candidate is laughable but I suppose you must admire her brass neck. And now standing as Kent Police Commissioner to replace Ann Barnes. Removing the S from Scunthorpe would be more relevant for where Jo’s standing is in my view.

• Here’s the other 3 candidates:
o Matthew Scott heard of him? No me neither.
o Gavin Mackinnon never heard of him either. But worrying that he actually works for Kent Police as Head of Communications. Aren’t civil servants banned from political roles? If they’re so desperate to stand then let them resign beforehand. And wouldn’t it be a bit too cosy: a former senior KP official reviewing KP? – oops just announced today: within days of being announced he’s withdrawn apparently
• Richard Bunting not heard of him either but perhaps the best of a weak bunch as Deputy of Ashford Conservatives albeit also Islington Conservatives(!). Unless the others have any amazing policies – and with a week until the election of the candidate it’s unlikely - probably the one to vote for if you’re a Tory

• Surely an oversight with LocalCraig being only an MP and magistrate he could also be PCC as per his previous attempt? And why not Shonky crossing the floor and hoovering up a few more political roles? Or is he already UKIP PCC candidate? I hope so.

• Certainly Barnes needs replacing after the C4 documentary farce and Yoof Tsar and AnnVan mobile police stations drivel. Worrying that she’d been doing the job for 10 years before that. She’s had her chance and been found wanting.

• No news on the other parties candidates or process for the May 2016 election. No wonder nobody bothers to vote if by late November the major parties can’t even select any candidates or produce their manifesto.

• I’m often asked if I’m standing but I’ve made no decision other than concentrating on the 2017 KCC Leader election and jailing Infratil and “Stop the Corruption. Stop the Pollution, Stop the Construction”. Certainly 43 police forces is too many – the farce of one (of at least four) Deputy Chief Constables being on £737,000 is outrageous bloat and waste. Imagine the other 43 forces – and this is after Police Scotland merged four Scottish forces(!). Or imagine the waste in stocking up on guns and ammunition and training to fire only 6 shots a year.

• UN 2016 election: some process reforms – weird Buggins Turn of Eastern Europeans or Women. The organisation turning inwards on itself.

• My FOI request from July(!) popped into my inbox from TDC on Friday from Sophie Chadwick, to be fair, picking up the pieces after Planning Director Crowley was resigned. Apparently it’s illegal for me to know of the documents from the weird February rejig of Pleasurama/British Virgin Islands by TDC and Keegan/Painter selling it to Cardy their builder.

• A point of FOI detail on that though: the exclusion sought (they have to be sought they’re not automatic) was on legal professional privilege grounds. there’s a few issues with that as a wriggle:
o TDC did its own Public interest Test ie the council deciding the council was right to withold council information from the public(!)

o Legal professional privilege exemption relies on the client -not the lawyer- requesting that exemption ie TDC requesting of itself to refuse providing documents

o Legal professional privilege refers to legal documents ie issued by a law firm not general documents

o FOI is very, very clear that – as you’d expect the first and overriding principle is disclosure. The name’s on the FOI tin. If you insist on seeking an exemption, especially an exemption with a Public interest test that it’s in the public interest for the public not to know, then you need to be on very solid ground and not rubberstamping and delaying your own decisions.

o I can’t think of any FOI information to be withheld except on national security eg the nuclear launch codes. Possibly a specific price within a tender document but even then range price would be relevant eg between £500M-£1M and then the specific final price disclosed etc. I’m struggling to think of anything else. Even the Army publishes each year details of its 350 tanks and 80,000 soldiers so hardly many huge national security issues there. Routine publication of info, whether every month or quarter, simply reduces the cost of having to confirm it exists and then disclosing it. The discussion can then be around the facts: do we need 350 tanks? Should the xyz tender cost £500k or £1M?

o Sophie cited that Legal Professional Privilege was sought as disclosure “may jeopardise future criminal trials”. Indeed. But on that basis any document would be refused which I suppose is where FOI would end up: NotFreedomofInformation or in name only. And there is no criminal activity around Pleasurama is there? So why is TDC worried about potential future criminal trials? TDC have been leading on this for almost a year since the whole project could have been cancelled in February 2015 and dragged out into the sunlight for discussion. Certainly 20 years of a massive derelict site would be grounds for negligence anyway whether it’s a BVI pension project or not. How much of TDC funds have been shifted offshore already? How many civil servant and councillor meetings and documents in 15 years?

o One major sticking point for TDC though: Legal professional privilege can’t be relied on to cover up a crime…
o Two sticking points actually – I’ve asked for a list of all the documents: not the content just a list eg letter of 1/1/15 from xx to yy.

o And a third sticking point: I’ve forwarded the note to Kent Police for review by them or another of the 43 police forces rather than the usual inaction. TDC is after alone of the most corrupt councils in UK according to TDC(!), Local government Association, DCLG, Private Eye etc etc. Kent Plod should be able to get their trousers on for this.

o Who’d expect Kent’s largest seafront development to be registered in the Caribbean by and with unknown directors. Surely Bayford as a senior council official and accountant can advise on this? And I never understood why a council would build a hotel registered in the BVI…without a hotel company?

o Judge Smith’s suitcases still adrift in the aviation ether although he has been removed from the multi-billion(!) BA High Court trial

• KORA and 2LB due shortly

* No news as yet o0nthe 100 SE Rd garden grabbing form TDC

* An interesting letter back from OESCE on the Kent elections: doublehatters, civil servants standing for LibDems etc

And The Chief has issued his latest Haiku last week:

Speaking from the Kent Police Bonfire Control Room, Chief Alan Pughsley said:

"This week's Kent Police Meiji reforms haiku commemorates Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night. I ain't saying it's right but he was described as the last man to enter Parliament with honest intentions:

Remembering the 5th of November, Minamata and Agent Orange

Kent corruption 0%, Infratil and Thor mercury contamination too

Police scared to take action

I'd remind the public to stay indoors and close their windows and book early for the Kent Police panto with more special announcements later."

Time for Change


Thursday, 12 November 2015

FOI review and Kent corruption: more or less public info?

I wanted to write on the FOI review by Jack Straw: email, below and you can write too or copy and paste/amend this note if you want before 20th November:

Dear Sir/Madam

Page 37 of today's Private Eye eloquently lists the outcomes of various FOI investigations: MP expenses, offshore companies, Saudi/MOD arms bungs etc.

I would particularly cite though here similar Kent outcomes:

* Infratil secretly removing airport monitors at Manston with the council thus contaminating 100k people

* Ostend gunrunning and secret IranAir flights

* Pleasurama tax haven corruption by council

* Greg Clark's gardengrabbing review

* 0% TDC salary fraud - declaring no pay increases but secretly providing 10% increases

* KCC salaries the most over £100k in UK etc

* Southern Water sewage and faeces in the drinking water

* Thor mercury banned factory open and contamination by Env Agency inaction

Also the failures:

* Environment Agency refusing an EIR request by citing the Public Interest Test - but without detailing what that involved nor why it's in the public interest for the Public not to know

* Kent Fire Brigade similarly on salaries etc

One constant theme that emerges with FOI is delay, partial information often requiring further requests and sometimes those being - mischeviously - classed as vexatious.

And certainly a theme of seeking exemptions rather than prioritising disclosure as required under FOI.

I would amend the UK FOI law simply to that of EIR with perhaps one clause for national security - but such exemptions having to be approved by a Cabinet Minister.

The UN has recommended FOI since 1948 so the UK introducing it some 70 years later is absurd - as are wriggles such as draft documents not being released, meetings not minuted or written on post-it notes to circumvent FOI.

We need more not less FOI eg routine monthly publication of dept staffing and salaries which DFID already does and to prevent waste such as the Daily Mail revealing one Scottish Police Deputy Constable on an outrageous £737,000.

And restricting secret court sessions eg Judge Smith's suitcases or GlickGate.

After 10 years, FOI has highlighted the British Disease of Secrecy and much of government being to protect the salaries of those in government: a Rolls Royce civil service but up on bricks.

Please advise if you need any info.

Kindest regards


Time for Change

Tim's Titbits

* announcement on KORA and 2LB next week
* 100 SE garden grabbing just appalling mega-carbuncle: surprised at Ward and Co and DanielGent construction involvement even TDC supporting then failing public at last hurdle - more later
* Myanmar election: c.90% of seats so far to Aung San - a huge majority even with 25% of seats reserved for military
* astonishing KCC tobacco and fossil fuel investments: Carter and Simmonds stuck in the past - UK should lead COP21 with divesting such investments across public sector and universities. So much for the KCC Public Health remit investing in Marlboro. Idiotic.
* shocking Daily Mail revelations on NHS etc bloat and waste - that wouldn't have been possible without FOI. Kent NHS backoffice costs?
* Fun but bizarre lawyers: Scousers and Lord Harley of Counsel - weblinks to follow. Thank goodness we don't have the death penalty with such fools
* Bizarre hereditary Lords election yet again: another of the 92 die off so only they can elect another one? Ridiculous. Get rid of them and unelected Bishops - the only such parliament in the world

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Kent Police begin weekly Haiku: update

Speaking from the Great British Shakespeare room at Maidstone Police HQ Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said:

"Many people have congratulated me on the Kent Police haiku from last week and asked for more. Especially as in the bustle of our everyday policing days it's often relevant to take time out and reflect on reform - whether that be procurement, tasering junkies and dealers, wider social policy or verse.

That's why I'm delighted to be continuing the Meiji Kent initiative to promote such activities through the medium of haiku.

I wandered lonely as a cloud on my beat

Winter draws in

Many pensioners dead from cold"

Chief Constable Pughsley went on to point out that no more than £50M of the Kent Police £300M budget would be spent on poetry, and the cost would anyway be far cheaper than normal Kent council corruption or social failure.

Time for Change


Tim's Titbits:

* a useful meeting at TDC this week on the 100 SE Rd garden-grabbing - some initial reluctance to take action but realisation of just a monstrous carbuncle. I'm surprised at Daniel Gent Construction and Ward and Partners participating in this sort of thing. And certainly TDC have plenty of grounds, given the Local Plan and National policy to reject this sort of blight. Photos to follow.

* TDC in last week's Private Eye yet again with Rotten Boroughs and "Wells Hung" article on Manston and resignations and the bizarre story of Freudmann struck off as a solicitor and Head of Shropshire council(!) and his lawfirm partners letting his car tyres down(!).

* Remembrance Day and Myanmar elections fall on the same day tomorrow - and for the UK's Forgotten War sparklingly well-maintained Commonwealth War graves across Burma and Thailand. Not in Vietnam though - and hideous failure by the Australian War Graves organization too.

* KORA and 2LB underway.

* EKFOS and Pav under discussion: astonishing oversight by Visit Kent given the Spectre James Bond movie - the largest UK film ever and after Skyfall - the previous largest UK film ever. And of course East Kent's links to Bond and Fleming whether the 007 bus or Moonraker rockets under the cliffs. The latest UK exports reports has film tourism specifically as contributing £2BN in income/investment to UK.

* Slipways and Port seems to be slipping around again. Just a mess.

* While illegal parking: pedestrian zones, yellow lines and on pavements is as bad as ever.

* Lord Grabiner of GLickGate's LIBOR report to follow and still no sign of Judge Smith's suitcases.

* And with airport luggage prominent given the Egypt bomb at SharmAlSheik has resulted in much tighter security - worth noting the EgyptAir 3am flights into Manston when it was closed and also into Ostend. Buchanan of Lydd as with Freudmann and Infratil and Gloag seem to have had a loose if not downright incompetent and dangerous approach to running airports. As KCC Leader I will seek jail sentences for them.

* Excellent Daily Mail investigation into public sector fatcats and bloat and FOI: £737k for one Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable? Ridiculous.
Time for Change

* Maidstone cultural desert:
Time for Change

* North Kent 10th worst place to live: Demos/PWC report:
Time for Change

* Excellent review by Ed Targett of KCC fossil fuel and tobacco investments:
Time for Change

* Myanmar: Aung San election as of midnight local time: winning 97% of first 119 seats.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Manston spirals downwards and GarbuttMP2020 points

Garbutt draft KCC Leader 2017 and MP 2020 manifesto out for consultation and a few points in more detail below:

1. Lebanon: women’s rights tweak – illegal for a woman to vote unless she's completed elementary education. Doesn’t apply to men. A minor gender equality tweak though as both sexes c.94% complete elementary education. Nevertheless gender discrimination given all Saudi women can now vote. Only UAE and Brunei have equal opportunities of not allowing anyone to vote(!).

2. EU vote at 16: #whennotif the EU introduces a universal vote at 16. How can territories such as Jersey or various German regions or nations such as Scotland and Austria allow vote at 16 but not elsewhere? Wasn’t a key point of the EU to introduce consistent standards?

3. UK elections exams: politicians are the only public sector workers without exams. Elected then 5 years of fixed term power. Kent has politicians that can barely read or write. A simple multichoice exam on various political points should be introduced. While a minimum and maximum age for such roles say 30 and 80 should be introduced as well as fixed terms.

4. Royals and Military Oath: abolish the loyalty oath of the military to the royals and replace with to parliament and the public. A 17th century leftover.

5. End Dictators: one of the greatest threats to UK eg Saddam, Gadaffi etc. End the last 5 African dictators with fixed terms and no extensions eg Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Zimbabwe etc.

6. UN Secretary-General: clear election procedure and public and UN Assembly choice rubberstamped by Security Council. No more Buggins Turn empty symbolism and secret rotas of tame officials: an East European this year or a woman next year. Maybe both at once to solve a non-existent problem. Closed shop discrimination.

7. Nuclear disarmament: the only WMD not limited. Reduce stockpiles to under 1,000 for USA and Russia and under 50 for existing nuclear nations with roadmap to zero.

8. Rabies: 70,000 deaths every year mainly in India nb the global death rate is 0.88% pa: c.54m deaths – and 90% of those could be reduced with existing infant care eg measles vaccinations etc. Why should UK have twice the infant death rate than Sweden for example?

9. G20 Third World aid: roadmap to 0.7% GNI aid budgets nb the EU spends more on dog food than the global Third World aid budget.

10. #GlobalGoals: now launched and ratified 1stjanuary 2016 to achieve zero poverty etc by 2030. Not one Kent public sector organisation as yet signs up. Road accidents to be halved etc but Tobacco Framework feeble. Strangely no mention of a unified Space Programme for 2030.

Time for Change

Tim’s Titbits: Misc points:

A. Predictive policing: Kent Police’s Mystic Meg policing experiment results in…an 11% increase(!) in crime according to The Economist last week. Who would have seen that coming? Yet strangely Kent Police seems to be hailing this as a great success and the basis for more research. More later and details of Kent Police Panto and 007 review…

B. Worth noting the excellent Kent Police drug den raids in Operation Jupiter: a drugs den raid every day, and Knife Amnesty 2016.

C. Kent Tourism silent on James Bond/Fleming Trail given the launch of Spectre after Skyfall the biggest Bond and British move ever. Shocking. Positively shocking.

D. Ann Barnes yet again with over a year(!) for CPS/Police/PCC/KCC and Uncle Tom Cobley and all to investigate a minor insurance car prang. The Yoof Tsars and DaftAnnVan mobile police stations twaddle. What an utter, utter waste of time and money. 2016 Police election in May.

E. Silence from FOI Finchy and the Kent Fire Brigade £1M fire station on the rates. Interesting too with the Jack Straw review on the effectiveness of UK FOI. I’ve never understood how having the EU EIR provides FOI yet the UK introduces its own law – with numerous (possible) exemptions. The British Disease of Secrecy.

F. Silence on the Broadstairs rape lawyer.

G. Silence on Gale MP being sued by the council for criticising the council.

H. Just awful Vagina Added Tax: bizarre VAT charge on tampons not instantly rectified as a medical or public health issue and even available on prescription like condoms or the pill

I. Manston: Freudmann offers sweeties and a pony to the Carter and the councillors with holidays to Torremolinos for a cargo airport on the rates. Just like EUJet then… And never mention the missing monitors and 4x EU safe cancer levels. But nothing else done in 6 months. Nothing. No TDC or KCC activity at all. Nothing. Only fake election promises and another dance around ignoring the aquifer.

J. Silence on Discovery park and pharma/science jobs.

K. Silence on the bizarre slipways building at the only(?) Royal Harbour in UK if not the world: first a restaurant then a Hornby thingummy. A bungalow in search of a reason on the rates.

L. Silence on Button and Sproates at TDC the Manston pollution clerks.

M. Silence on the aquifer pollution and Thor mercury contamination.

N. Silence on the BVI tax haven Pleasurama reshuffle and fake Wetherspoons Pav consultation.

O. Litter Police: £50k to the contractor and c.£3k to TDC? Why aren’t the normal police handing out tickets or council staff on an afternoon rota?

P. Silence on the £12M shortfall and council tax strike requiring more budget cuts. Who would you sack at TDC?

Q. Silence on 100 SE Rd gardengrabbing: bizarre planning permission approved despite being repeatedly rejected excuse. And Daniel Gent Construction carbuncle.

R. Grabbin’ Grabiner speaks: Lord Grabiner, the head of the GlickGate fraud firm One Essex Court finally speaks in the Lords – silent all this year – to resign the Tory whip (amend: it was the Labour whip but how would you know?). But still silent on why as a Lord he was charging hundreds of thousands of pounds for chairing a Bank of England review of the LIBOR fraud – and heavily criticised by Parliament for a feeble report. Silent on GlickGate of course with hatches battened down to avoid explaining Glick’s review and the Ali Bongo barrister Hollingworth providing fraudulent invoices to High Court – but refusing to do so to BSB. Silence. More time as a director at Wentworth the £125k entry-fee golf course, advising Parliament on tax(!) or director of Lincoln’s Inn selecting barristers for the High Court closed shop…no doubt.

S. On the tax point I don’t understand how barristers employed in a barrister company are described and taxed as self-employed? Do you? Even LLP lawyers aren’t classed as self-employed?

T. Silence on Judge Smith’s missing underpants. Dread nought he says in the Smithy Code - although it seems to have come out as Fister not Fisher(!). Although it is the Royal Navy. The underpants must be found – even if the CEO of BA is arrested and jailed and brought to High Court on the rates. 100 High Court judges seems about 80 too many.

U. Red Meat and Sugar Tax cancer etc: feeble UK food safety standards and delays for #whennotif reform.

V. COP12 Climate Change in November in Paris: talking shop of inaction. Why has every public sector office not switched to solar or wind electricity? A simple and quick and cheap no-brainer. A UK lead potential too in a Climate Parliament of Mayors of smaller towns beyond Big City Bloomberg initiatives etc eg Kirklees rather than New York etc.

W. NemoLink Planning permission for cables through Pegwell Bay the SSSI and Ramsar UNESCO site. Surely the whole point of such designations is that they are meant to simply avoid such construction work? Silence on burying the pylons too. More to follow.

X. Redcar SSI/Scunthorpe/Motherwell UK steel industry etc: how foolish to allow the destruction of the UK steel industry with the growth of hispeed rail and UK car industry – State Aid twaddle given the German government for example actively funds say Volkswagen and China’s State steel industry has been illegally dumping cutprice steel for years. Northern Powerhouse and Maker’s Britain falls at the first hurdle.

Y. Payday Loans reforms underway but Victorian Living Wage reforms weak: credit to Aldi introducing the 2020 Living Wage of c.£9ph already(!). More reasons to shop at Aldi!

Z. KORA and 2LB and EKFOS nearly ready.

Tim’s Bits: some personal bits and bobs of mine:

1. Looking for university lecturer role at Kent Uni, CCU, or LSE or Thammasat: advertising/business studies. Anyone know of anything?
2. DVD or online shop link for Contraband movie set in WW2 Ramsgate.
3. Insurance company client wanted:
4. Volunteers wanted: charity tenders nb weblink changing in the next day or so.
5. Kent’s apples and orchards. Anyone know?

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Broken Kent and UK elections

FAO Michael-georg Link, Director OSCE, Office for Democratic Institutions

Dear Michael-georg

In your OSCE election observer/reporter role I wanted to raise various issues with the UK/Kent 2015 elections:

1. Not free: £500 or £5k charge for candidates
2. Illegal candidate: LibDem in in Thanet North election George Cunningham a civil servant for the EU/Taiwan
3. Dual roles: MP and magistrate – not strictly illegal but not a separation of powers
4. Doublehatters: numerous candidates standing for roles ie 4 seats but the same person so reducing democracy and increasing costs
5. Parachute candidates: numerous candidates from out of area ie diminishing local representation
6. Numerous family members and ex-civil servants standing
7. Police silence on point 2 despite being the required investigative authority
8. Electoral Commission: ditto
9. Vote at 16: bias to some UK regions eg Scotland (as well as in EU eg Austria) with greater representation
10. Postal ballots: numerous and weak
11. Election night ballot box counting discrepancies: some counts returned within two hours and some 12 hours for similar numbers of ballots
12. Hereditary Lords: a strange internal/undemocratic election when a hereditary Lord dies
13. Lords: excessive numbers – the largest assembly outside of China
14. Civil service £62k fee for election night – excessive cost and should be contractually required
15. FOI: weak and presumption towards seeking exemptions and minimising EIR and illegal eg Environment Agency and Fire Brigade refusing Public Interest test
16. UK High Court: fraud and weak BSB/SRA regulatory oversight as Clementi review
17. Sangcom – previously Al-Yamamah – Saudi guns for bungs bribes by MOD with specific MOD and civil service departments to bribe Saudi princes
18. Local Government Ombudsman: a tame whitewash facility
19. Ostend/Manston/Lydd/Vienna airports gunrunning and banned flights
20. Election manifestos vague/incomplete and not provided unti 10 days before an election despite fixed terms
21. Thor/Southern Water pollution ignored/illegal

It is worth noting the various corruption incidents in Kent – by the councils eg Infratil monitors, Pleasurama BVI tax haven, 0% salary fraud etc as detailed in Private Eye describing the councils as: “ a byword for corruption”.

Can you advise on the above are OSCE election observers seem invisible in UK and the above should form part of your reports and recommendations for reform.

Kindest regards
Tim Garbutt

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The end of Wells and UKIP with Manston.

Clearly Manston is already a dead duck.

Indeed one point that seems to have escaped UKIP et al’s notice is the sale of Jentex at the corner of the airfield – which was the fuel store.

So UKIP – and Tories - are trying to reopen an airport without planes or fuel or radar or buildings – only a runway that could be a lorry park.

Maybe a Parkway train station soon.

Don't titter.

And after, almost 6 months, nothing for UKIP to show for being elected but an internal revolt and end of their majority to just one - and now none.

And the DCLG poverty figures slide backwards to one of the worst in UK. Today Medway cited as the worst in UK for Year 4 schools.

Not exactly a flagship process for Britain’s only – and last? - UKIP council.

While at KCC any plans for Manston and trust in Latchford and Shonk and the NF chap were completely rejected. So UKIP at County has absolutely no policies.

And to lose one District councillor is careless. But five?

And are election promises so weak in a British election that all the parties are idiotic enough to want an airport on the aquifer? What next? A free Ferrari for everyone? A nuclear reactor on the aquifer? Free cancer?

Bayford and Gale and the Tories have hardly covered themselves in glory by remaining silent on their policy for Manston.

Surely attention must focus on Bayford rather than Wells now for explanations on Manston and BVI Pleasurama.

Interesting that today’s Private Eye details c.60% of property sales by value in Kensington are to tax havens…and the most popular destination for tax haven funds in UK is…BVI - as funded with Pleasurama.

With a Tory crackdown on tax havens Bayford as the senior Tory figure from Ezekiel onwards must have details of Painter’s and Keegan’s plans for the site and funds? And I don’t understand why a council would get involved in building a hotel without a hotel company? And shunt the money offshore?

And why are TDC – despite Crowley leaving – allowing the bizarre new sale of Pleasurama to Keegan/Cardy (see point 7 below) to cover their tracks when the whole thing expired and could have been cancelled instantly in February?

As KCC Leader I will halt the development and call in the police. Sussex Police if Kent Police are too scared.

For this we pay over £3Bn in Kent tax?

Chimps and lame duck governance.

But the new spat between Wells and Yerrall of River Oak is revealing for a couple of things:

1. Despite public utterances to the contrary there have been neither meetings not emails between TDC and Riveroak until last Wednesday when Wells supplied a whole bunch of rather lame excuses for Riveroak to respond to. These have suddenly emerged? Not before May? Or in the last 6 months? And very bizarre Wells rounds on the Manston supporters to get them to source crowdfunding - despite his election pledge!

2. Astonishing that Tony Freudmann of Riveroak and formerly Wiggins at Manston was not only Leader at Shropshire County Council but was banned from that role as well as struck off as a solicitor and Deputy Judge(!) for stealing client money. So much so that his law firm partners not only withheld his company car when they sacked him – but let the tyres down to make sure he didn’t take it(!).

The latter raises some key issues:

A. How on earth did TDC and KCC think Freudmann at either Wiggins or now Riveroak was suitable to run Manston? So much so as Wiggins when it went belly-up after the EUJet scandal had various other accounting fraud issues raised.

B. The increasingly ridiculous LocalCraigMP - now reduced to highlightiong tax on public loos, yawn - and Gale and Bayford remaining silent on the Tory election promises to reopen Manston. How will they do that without fuel and on the aquifer?

C. An interesting point in Yerrall’s emails that TDC had previously hired KCC for legal advice(!) before using their own lawyers – presumably Geoff Wild of the Toxic Three and his huge lawfirm on the rates of 150 lawyers at KCC?

D. As with Glick QC and Hollingworth of One Essex Court (the former a High Court Judge) we have the astonishingly feeble oversight of lawyers and barristers. The SDT Tribunal for Freudmann made much of the outrage of stealing client money but excused it on the basis that it may have been the lawyers funds later! Presumably if they’d issued a large enough invoice to take it! And rather than jailing him as they admitted was the main route, chose to issue a fairly minor fine. And up he pops again.

As with the Broadstairs rape lawyer, in hiding for accusing a rape victim of lying about their client and to withhold testimony we need far tighter implementation of the Clementi reforms.

Silence so far on Smithy’s suitcase: Judge Peter Smith’s (he too was involved in GlickGate briefly you may remember) lost suitcase where he threatened the arrest of the BA CEO(!) in a separate BA case in High Court unless he had his underpants returned.

I will be writing to the Chief to see if Kent Police have had any lost property handed in.

Smithy’s a bit of a character with his Smithy Code in the Da Vinci case. You couldn’t make it up.

He's at it again. But the Judge must have his underpants back.

The SRA and SDT and BSB are tame whitewash organisations designed to dissolve away complaints and boost law costs. And often taken over by lawyers themselves despite meant to be independent. While secret courts and lack of jury trial ensure courts are closed shops for lawyers.

How can for example Glick QC run One Essex Court yet sit as a High Court Judge in the same court where most of his cases are heard? What an outrageous conflict of interest.

We need far reaching legal reforms if the UK legal system isn’t to remain the laughing-stock of the world for only Russian oligarch libel cases on the court rates:

• Fixed and transparent fees and end of fees upfront – the latter a licence for invoice shaping
• End Judges working for law firms
• End barrister and lawyer secret meetings with Judges
• End magistrates sitting as MP’s – as with LocalCraig
• End secret courts and reintroduce jury trial and a minimum of 3 judges per case
• Limit shunting cases to different courts
• End LLP law firms and barristers/staff as supposedly self-employed
• End the new guilty court fees in advance
• Uphold courts financial limits eg High Court £100k
• Overhaul SRA etc to act for the public not lawyers

No wonder only one barrister in 800 years(!) has been jailed.

And astonishing with the breathtaking corruption in Kent through most political parties and councils, not one lawyer or law firm has stepped forward to highlight such injustice. Given their whole work ethic is supposed to be upholding justice – and often funded for it through Legal Aid or CPS as well as practising it in public-funded courts it seems astonishing.

Perhaps Kent lawyers and judges don’t drink or bathe in Southern Water.

Time for Change

Tim’s Titbits; Misc Points

1. KCC have finally issued under FOI their latest investment funds details – your tax funds for council and police etc pensions. And c.£40M invested in 2 tobacco firms. And c.£100M(!) with Climate Change oil and gas firms. Hardly sensible given both KCC’s public health remit and Climate Change cant. Please email me at if you want the full list of investments

2. On the latter Climate Change point, it’s astonishing that Ashford’s recycling rate is only 13%(!) despite signing various empty Climate Change council pledges – I do have my doubts as to whether Kent’s recycling after being sorted by the public is simply dumped in the same landfill hole?

3. G20 Summit in Turkey next month and an astonishing bit of guff from the pre-Summit tourism pledge – more later

4. 2LB and KORA almost ready to launch

5. Dreamland wooden railway to reopen this weekend – announced this week. Shambolic marketing. Who knew?

6. Silence on the ownership of Dreamland and 100 SE Rd gardengrabbing still although I’ve been asked to another TDC meeting (5th November is the earliest they can apparently), and Wetherspoons and the Pav given Edwina’s recent resignation given this murky activity. Ask Simon:

7. Pleasurama clifftop scaffolding only just finished being put up- after repairs were due to be completed. So much for Cllrs Townend and Evans in Planning. Silence too on the weird sale by TDC from tax haven Keegan et al to Cardy. Surely Messrs Bayford and Painter must know something about this? And why exactly a council would be building a hotel without any hotel buyer? And on the largest seafront plot in Kent if not the UK? And the whole lot registered in a Caribbean tax haven? Surely Bayford as Tory Leader or LocalCraig MP/Magistrate or Gale will speak up given Tory and EU policy of clamping down on tax havens? Why not call in the police? As KCC Leader I will and cancel the whole stinking mess.

8. UK heroin deaths triple – and rise in knife crime. Kent Police snoozing in the station rather than sorting out machete sales. They’re already banned.

9. FOI Finchy silent: still no news from CEO Millington and James Finch at Kent Fire Brigade on the fancy Ramsgate Fire Station: can you help? Simply email Finchy and say

“Dear James, Under EIR please advise to me the issues Tim has raised with you.”

Some 10 years after FOI legislation (that was required way back in 1948 by the UN and nations such as Sweden and USA have had for almost 50 years) we still have the public sector desperately trying to cover up what it’s doing on our dime.

10. An excellent article in The Economist on the reduction of malaria to under 500k deaths with 44% of at risk groups (mainly under5’s in Africa) now with bednets. As well as the reduction of polio to almost zero and measles to 96k deaths down form 2M in 1980(!). Astonishing though that eradication of such diseases as well as rabies or Chagas or EU rare diseases is supposed to take another decade or two. Why? There are billions in funding and excellent communications in roads and railways and radio and television and internet. And these diseases in EU and USA were eradicated almost 50 years ago. The collapse of Syria has shown that the greatest long-term threat to Britain apart from Climate Change are dictatorships and pandemics not refugees or terrorism as such.

11. Operation Stack in parliament today again – more later. Still with a £500M price tag though as KCC bleats about refugees costing an extra £8M. I’ve asked for details of council reserves – how much is set aside each year for such contingencies. Have a guess. We’ve already seen c.£37M of your money invested in tobacco as above.

12. Homer sues Gale letter – more later. Fascinating the council Chief Executive threatening to sue the MP (as with Cllr Driver before) for accusing the council of incompetence etc. Presumably with public funds. Fascinating. Silly. But fascinating.

13. LIBOR jail sentences progressing with more bankers on trial for rigging the rates on your mortgage and credit card.

14. An interesting point on UK guns for bungs with Saudi – essentially an MOD mechanism to sell jets and pay bribes to Arab princes (as we know in Kent with Jonathan Aitken the former MP and Al-Yamamah case part of the Sangcom fraud). Why are UK civil servants and tax being used in this way? And astonishing that the UKTI dept (DSO)that deals with arms sales has 120 civil servants based in London – more than all the other UKTI sectors put together. No wonder UK does so badly in exports if we’re all busy funding monopoly arms companies and monopoly public services and Arab princes. Shut up! Work Harder! Pay more!

15. Good that both smoking in cars and plastic bag legislation introduced – although reducing stores and banning plastic bags completely and in all shops is a flimsy waystation to real reform. The Pacific Plastic Patch is the size of Texas and will only get bigger as plastic corrodes

16. Ramsgate Port and GEFCO car shippers: more later - although I don’t understand how Wells is claiming 50 new jobs for drivers? Surely cars would be c.10 per car transporter and the drivers of those transporters would drive them on at Ostend or wherever, and off and away from Ramsgate? Resulting in no new jobs at all beyond - perhaps - a few more security guards or cleaners and noise and fumes? Or is it a car park?

17. Pegwell Bay Nemo Link: more later, but apparently TDC has given planning permission to lay cable through the middle of the UNESCO site. What’s the point of UNESCO and SSSI protection then?

18. Kent Police and Manchester Police investigation into Chief Inspector John Buttress who is accused of various spurious crimes by his own police force that were all dismissed – and Manchester Police now lose control of Salford as Mexchester with two gang shootings yesterday, 18 in the last year, plus the deaths of the two policewomen by grenade.

19. SDG goals #globalgoals launched last week. Not one Kent sector public sector organisation even pays lip service to them as yet.

20. Marina Slipways - more later but what a mess again.

21. Parkway £17M train station. Stop tittering. You've paid £17M for it.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Chief: Kent Police haiku for National Poetry Day

It's National Poetry Day and The Chief has released a Kent Police haiku to celebrate:

Roses are red, Violets are blue

Kent councils are corrupt and High Court too

But not Kent Police.

Speaking from the Kent Police poetry room, Chief Alan Pughsley said:

"Obviously we is very busy what with drug dens raids and the Kent Police Xmas panto, but we felt it was in the tradition of Great British Policing celebrating the Great British Creative Industries that we should help celebrate National Poetry Day.

Especially in Kent, he said, the county of literary greats like Dickens and Shelley and Keats, we felt that a Meiji haiku would be interesting. It doesn't rhyme properly but that's haikus for you. And anyway the Environment Agency contamination had too many syllables in it to fit.

Meanwhile if anyone knows the whereabouts of good governance then please call 101 as it is missing."

Time for Change