Saturday, 29 October 2016

Brett scandal: the waste of East Kent

The Brett scandal seems to have been sprung on us all again, showing the weakness and corruption of East Kent governance.

A KCC Planning application (led by KCC? Or Brett?) suddenly pops up at the Ramsgate town Council meeting 10 days ago. And is rejected.

But apparently it’s some sort of non-democratic pseudo-order by KCC too.

Yet it’s an order that apparently is not approved by any KCC councillor. Although it may have been approved by TDC councillors.

Confusing and murky given the doublehatter status of most councillors if not triplehatters on RTC, TDC and KCC trying to crowd out democracy.

We need more detail on this farce and it was good the public review of the process began on Thursday with the Gravel Tsunami public meeting. A packed meeting of over 200 people with the usual bizarre 100% public opposition by public and councillors MP’#s to something that is already well-developed.

We’re now starting to see the volume of documents and maps prepared by KCC and TDC at public expense.

While the aggregate works that was a fairly small-scale part of the port dredging activity also seem s to have had a cement plant constructed in the last year or two to the surprise of the public (approved by who and when?).

And this cement works will also be mega-expanded, and with minimal detail on the choking clouds of cement dust over the port and harbour and town.
I’ve described this activity as very fishy – for the whole port and seafront and coast of East Kent seems under secret and sustained attack:

• We have the UK’s largest crane doing some building work for HGV ferries
• We have Jack back, the RTC decorator, with the Slipways cade/porthole restaurant/Hornby centre thingy, rejected numerous times
• The Goodwin Sands listed site have aggregate/cement plans
• As does the Port of Dover expansion
• The mega-boozer by Wetherspoons at the Pavilion hustled through and signed off by one clerk without any councillor involvement – utterly illegal as you’d expect

While to add insult to injury on the very same day of the Gravel Tsunami meeting, BBCTV Kent were able to get hold of plans that show the cement works at the port would be linked ot mega-warehouses at the Manston site.

Shades of the O’Regan plans a year ago and ChinaGate warehouses and night flights before that.

Clearly this is larger than one Brett application – with mega-sites and multiple sites.

And very, very fishy.

And letters to the local newspaper by the capable Bill Moses MBE the former port developer, now detail the involvement of John Bunnett the former TDC Deputy CEO and Ashford Council CEO – now the Director of Land at Brett.

Again shades of ORegan with the involvement of the Gang of Four’s Brian White the former TDC Planning Director resigned off over the Manston monitors fraud and cancer with Latchford.

And this week we have the resignation of Peter Evans the TDC Planning Chair over wanting to reopen Manston as an airport – and the farce of Suzanne Evans UKIP national leader wanting to open it but Leader Wells of Kent UKIP saying it should remain closed. And Kent UKIP of Latchford, Heale and Shonk failing to gain KC approval to reopen it.

And Gale and Mackinlay playing the blame game over UKIP failing to open Manston – but it was in their main election manifesto too. They’ve done nothing.
And now for LocalCraig along with pretending to live in Ramsgate rather than Chatham, hence the bussing on of central party activists, we have the farce of his only other main pledge to regenerate the port and harbour now sunk out of sight with a KCC plan to turn it into a cement works!

Or his equally ridiculous idea to rebuild the Royal Brittania yacht and berth it in the harbour or wasting parliamentary time trying to prop up tobacco sales.

But fishy.

Because there are 2 problems:

• Either our councillors do have knowledge and involvement in these Brett plans and are misleading us all as with Manston and Thor cancer

• Or they don’t know and are simply being led by the nose for a secret civil servant vanity project or worse secret bungs

For there is not one manifesto statement or public statement or public document or public consultation on any of these plans.

Not so much as a grain of sand – until the last week or so when it all plops out.

At least the East Kent Supercouncil may be a barrier against this sort of Maidstone/West Kent excess and imposition on East Kent. Any project you like as long as it's cement.

For the reality is that Maidstone (or the SELEP quango that’s merely KCC and other SE councils) have no plans for East Kent other than dumping or industrialisation as we saw with the Manston night flights mega-cargo airport.

And it’s concerning that TDC – with councillor knowledge? – have applied to SELEP for c.£6M in tax funds to develop the Brett port.

Much as SELEP gained £250M from Westminster for Stack mega-lorry park cementing the countryside or the missing £20M for the Manston Parkway invisible railway mega-station.

And were the secret Pleasurama plans that resulted in Cllr Driver being the only UK councillor ever to be sued and fined £23k part of the Brett activity?
All cement projects of little value except to Paul Carter’s cement and vanity project cabal with the Kent Developers Group.

And as with the Northfleet intestine children the horrific Infratil cancer and Thor problems brushed under the carpet.

East Kent’s coast is under sustained attack and we need to take back control:

1. A council tax strike perks up the councillor and bureaucrats – not just restrictions on salaries and pensions but difficult explanations to Westminster and Whitehall why the peasants are revolting
2. Sack any civil servant involved in this undemocratic farce
3. A vote of no confidence in Wells, Latchford and Gale and Mackinlay urging them to resign
4. Public meetings where these plans can be taken in hand with those directly involved in them: is overseeing the Brett process at KCC
5. Cancel the existing Brett contracts and Slipways
6. Retrospective planning applications to demolish the new cement works and 100 Se Rd garden grabbing all in breach of TDC’s own Local Plan
7. Organised mega-demonstrations for organised trespass onto Pleasurama and blockade next year’s animal exports: 1,000 cars in the port tunnel and organised protests with various rugby and boxing clubs and pub bouncers should ensure the peaceful demonstrators are unharmed and can ensure RSPCA review of the lorries
8. A Shadow-Council – in-waiting would be useful to replace RTC and begin the process of Ramsgate’s £17M tax spent in Ramsgate
9. Magnitsky list of corrupt and failed officials

While the inaction on Pleasurama and Dreamland and Eastcliff Bandstand that would improve Thanet have been ignored.

While the GEFCO car-dumping or £3.5M spent on the empty Manston lorry park is utter waste.

The GIAAA £500K Port fraud is still bubbling under - who was involved?

It’s an utter shambles isn’t it. We’re paying £100k salaries for our civil service experts for this mess.

£3.5M for example is a tiny part of KCC’s £2BN budget – yet would provide a free tablet PC or mobie phone to any schoolkid or pensioner that wanted one.
Far more use than bags of gravel or bags of tax-waste.

For, despite claims of a non-political Gravel Tsumani meeting, the MP and several councillors were there. And on every seat was a glossy colour printed leaflet by Thanet Labour on Brett. How did they know to print that?

And very delicately-worded guff was dancing around the issue of land and water toxic contamination of mercury and oil. No doubt in the next few weeks we’ll have a “crikey-golly-gosh-you-mean-there’s-manston and-thor-mercury –contamination-and-missing-monitors” from our councillors.

And strange that Cllr Hunter Sturmer-Schmelling the TDC Economic councillor produces a new Ramsgate Harbour plan along with the mega-crane this week.
Very. Very, Fishy and undoubtedly more will be revealed and not one bag of cement or gravel produced with public action.

It’s 18 months since the May 2015 election and nothing has been done only rolling back to corruption and secrecy and failed 1970’s mega-industrialisation. Our pensioners have failed us and they should stand down and step aside.

I will stand for direct KCC Leader against Paul Carter for KCC via Trevor Shonks ludicrous RTC/TDC/KCC/Mayor seat to cancel all the Brett plans and extradite Infratil with Charles Buchanan of Lydd, involved in Riveroak, and protect the East Kent coast.

Time for Change

• Year #1 of the UNSDG30 #global goals is nearly over. What’s been achieved? Certainly nothing has been done in UK. £13BN in aid is a lot of money to not spend wisely. For example the UK $20M fund to Cambodia could easily be reinstated
• And why another r14 years to achieve UNDG30? It took 15 years of UNMDG to achieve say 90% of children in school – it can’t take as long for the last 10%?
• And Hunger is merely logistics in supplying food and water and vitamins – the good folks of Tesco and Asda and Waitrose do that every day. And there’s so much food that 30% is wasted.
• Good news from Ramsgate Asda, with Yok St florist with a range of £5 Kent Orchids. Treat yourself or buy one for a friend.
• Time for Kent Orchids and the Battle of Flowers again. Red is Ramsgate. Blue is Broadstairs and Orange for the flames of Margate.
• Spanish Armada soon: 2018 anniversary and British sailors left to die in the streets of Margate. Not so different now with homeless veterans and failed admirals and generals
• Magellan Anniversary soon: 2019-22 from Portugal and Spain to Argentina and Philippines
• Free Economy underway: not just the good folks of British Gas with Freetime free weekend electricity but wider debate on a Universal basic Income in Switzerland, Holland, Canada etc – a step on the way to a full Free Economy eg as with Barclays ban on trading in a basket of food commodities why wouldn’t the next decade or even year or two have healthy eating of say baskets upto £10 each day? Already Scotland has followed Finland (and the similar Bounty idea) of providing free clothes and food to newborn babies. And UK?
• Tie for Project Johnny Appleseed: more later
• Gilagamesh: China declares 79 as its National Plan aim for longevity
* Manston Spitfire Museum. Time for celebration of The Very Few Polish pilots and Hurricanes and a Liberation Route Europe and EastKent-EastEU strategy: Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia and Croatia - more later
* Basketcase East Africa: more later
* Fab Lucky Iron Fish now not only features in prestigious Entrepreneur magazine but also cited by Mashable as one of the top ten aid products

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