Monday, 21 March 2016

Kent on Sunday letter: TDC and RTC collapse

Dear Editor

Clearly we’re seeing the collapse of both RTC and TDC with now the resignation of Iris Johnson as TDC Labour Leader, and the sudden announcements of a council tax increase at TDC and now the absurd attempt at a 40% increase at RTC.

Our councillors have failed us.

Roger Latchford at KCC will go, and Bayford and Wells at TDC struggle to hang on – all of them silent on the Manston monitors with both Infratil and Gloag, and the Pleasurama corruption.

Clearly RTC uplifting the TDC grant from c.£400K to almost c.£600k is laughable given the lack of activity: this Bank Holiday seems to have no activity prepared by either TDC or RTC. The councils are even struggling to sweep the prom of sand or ticket/clamp illegal parking. Perhaps though we should be glad the awful damp bra decorations from the August Bank Holiday, or feeble Xmas decorations won’t reappear.

A £200k RTC increase can hardly be for the £9,000 Saturday car parking costs and seems secret pay rises and pensions increases – the latter already the highest District pensions in Kent.

Clerk Richard Stiles and Cllr Shonk (with a hat-trick of RTC, TDC and KCC job titles) seem scared to ask for more funds from either TDC or KCC – funds we pay through tax - and keen to hustle through tax increases on the quiet – despite their being no manifesto mandate to do so.

They have failed and should resign or be pushed out.

And the mess of the slipways and Pleasurama corruption and 100 Se Rd garden grabbing/TDC Planning fraud remains unresolved.

With the 30th March formal public meeting at RTC (is it just one per year now rather than the three required?) we need a vote of no confidence along with full FOI details of wages and pensions and cars and expenses. And questions asked over why Ramsgate contributes £17M in tax to TDC yet only receives £400k back via RTC?

What has RTC done in the last year of any worth? If not the previous 5 years?

Outgoing Mayor Shonk’s and UKIP’s manifesto seems a blank piece of paper now, with neither the reopening of Manston nor the end of live animal exports: what exactly have they been doing for the last year?

A Litter Enforcer in a stab vest glowering at the public in case they drop a crisp packet - picking up some litter themselves would be of more use - once a week is hardly £17M worth of tax either.

RTC now has no formal role other than funding those in it by hook or crook and slipping and sliding over what they do or are responsible for. In effect, actively destroying the towns to ride the decline down for as long as they can.

A council tax strike and councillor boycott seems relevant.

As Ramsgate Mayor candidate I will call for P45 reform at RTC, directly elected Mayors responsible to the public not shallow parties, Ramsgate’s £17M tax provided to RTC, the cancellation and police inquiry into Pleasurama etc and end of double hatter councillors unsure whether they represent the Town or District and doing neither.

Tim Garbutt, Ramsgate


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