My KCC Election Manifesto & Video

Sunday, 7 April 2013

RAMSGATE PLEASURAMA


I am becoming increasingly worried about the public scandal called Ramsgate Pleasurama. So are thousands of Ramsgate residents who have signed a petition demanding an end to the project and no sale of the Pleasurama freehold.

The developers SFP  Ventures UK Ltd were appointed by Thanet District Council almost 11 years ago to manage this project. In that 11 year period  no significant progress towards the completion of  the prestigious flats and hotel complex has been made. All we have is an appalling eyesore that has blighted one of the most beautiful parts of Ramsgate's Seafront for over a decade.

Despite promise after promise, the developers have failed to  raise the money to take the project forward. And to its everlasting shame Thanet District Council has failed to take robust action to deal with the failing developers. In 2009 senior officers advised Councillors to  terminate the development agreement with the SFP. But Councillors from both the Conservative and Labour Parties voted by an overwhelming majority to continue with the agreement. Worst of all they also voted to extend the deadline by which SFP could complete the work until 2017!. That's AN INCREDIBLE  15 YEARS to build this project. I don't think the ancient Egyptian  Pyramids  took this long to build! And get this!  the same councillors also voted to reduce SFPs performance bond from £5.6. million to £1million.

All this is the face of officer advice to terminate the contract. I wonder why a Council, led at the time by gaoled and disgraced Sandy Ezekeil, would want to ignore the professional advice of its officers, and give the failing developers yet another chance?  

If this were not bad enough the project developers SFP Ventures UK Ltd, were originally called SFP Venture Partners Ltd which was owned by SPF Services. Both of these companies are/ were  registered in the British Virgin Islands. Offshore companies such as these  do not  reveal who their directors are. I speculate as to whether the directors of these organisations may have had links with Thanet politics or business or both. We will never know.

 But one question must be asked why did Thanet Council enter into a £multi-million  legal agreement with an offshore company who's directors were unknown to the Council. This is incompetence of the first order and should have never been allowed to happen.

And the latest news is  that SFP are now demanding that Thanet Council sell them the freehold before the development is completed for £3.3 million. I say that Thanet Council would be mad to do this. Under no circumstances should the freehold be sold to SFP. After all they already have an 199 year leasehold on the site.

I am the only Thanet Councillor who has been consistently speaking our against the Ramsgate Pleasurama development.

I call on Thanet Council to terminate its development agreement with SFP with immediate effect. Let's get rid of the failing developer and  have a public consultation on what  the site should be used for.

If I am elected to Kent County Council I will continue this campaign and will not rest until this  development is halted.
 
Here is some footage of a recent public meeting about Pleasurama at which I spoke.


15 comments:

  1. They are ignoring the advice of professional officers because they are fools!

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  2. That's why it's called advice, it can be taken or left, no unusual at all for it to be left.

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  3. This has the stamp of Ezekeilism all over it. No wonder Bayford is so quiet. If there wasn't a hidden Tory interest and the decision to reduce the bond against the officer recommendation was straightforward and above board, he would be shouting from the rooftops by now. Bayford knows a lot more than he is letting on.

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  4. The officers clearly knew what Ezekiel was up to, which would explain why they and Iris set out to get him put inside.

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  5. There is the example of Tesco's in Westgate and Margate, both reccoended by officers, neither as yet approved. Just because council doesn't follow officers advice (lets remember the vast majority voted to ignore them, not a couple in this instance), doesn't make the result wrong or illegal.

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  6. James you really are a pompous arse. With your tory mate who was responsible for the ridiculous decision in 2009 having gone to jail, how can you have the audacity to question someone who is trying to get some sense into TDC. There should be a full enquiry and disclosure of all the parties involved. And for the sake of the Tory Party you should keep your mouth shut. Least said soonest mended should be your strance. Just like your current leader, Bayford.

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    1. Ian, I hope you will acknowledge that you have not been the only councillor being pro-active and asking questions about this issue for some time? Cllr Julie Marson

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    2. Ian, You are absolutely right. Both Jo and Julie could make a huge contribution to the conservative leadership team. Not sure they could cope with the line up of officers that need to be sacked. Trouble is the current tired old wannabes including Bayford wont admit they are either beyond their sell by dates or totally useless. The conservatives at the moment may as well not be there.

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  7. How unusual Solo. TDC don't like addressing their critics. Probably because there are too many and they don't have plausible answers. Will you publish the application no please.

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  8. An appeal against a fourth enforcement is underway as we speak 20.16, and I will publish the application number as soon as I have sight of it.

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  9. Shame Bayford and his mates haven't the guts to apologise for the Ezekiel behaviour. On the other hand their apologies would be getting an boring by now. Cat Killer Raffell , homophobic Gregory, Panama what's his name. When will it end?

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  10. COUNCILLORS will discuss the potential sell-off of the controversial former Pleasurama site on Ramsgate seafront at a council meeting on April 18.

    The item has been put on the agenda after a petition gained 1072 signatures and triggered the debate.

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  11. Well said Ian. Most people in Thanet know how obstructive TDC officers are and the depths they will go to suppress information. Michael has done a sterling and thankless job and you have taken up the reins within the Council. Everyone knows that the deal stinks to high heaven. Keep it up.

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    1. Anon Michael is undoubtedly the hero of this. He has worked for years gathering information, asking awkward questions and making the facts available on his blogsite. Many senior Ramsgate Councillors and senior council officers happily slag off Michael and try to portray him as a troublesome eccentric. Had it not been for Michael I would not have been able to campaign effectively against Pleasurama and the Friends of Ramsgate Seafront would not have been as influential as they are. My only wish is that Michael should also have been running in this election as an Independent as well. I mentioned this to him and he laughed at me.

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  12. The outcome of the meeting on 18th is clear for all to see. On current track record there will be a decision to 'defer for another date', 'order a judicial enquiry' or, 'have a further cinsultation period'. Not so much "Yes Minister". More "The Godfather Pt IV" As for upcoming elections .... it would be a dereliction of duty to vote for any of the clowns now standing in line to get their noses into the trough. What would Mrs.T make of this lot?

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