My KCC Election Manifesto & Video

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Illegal Demolition? Can't be Arsed!

I am normally slow to anger, but one thing that winds me up is a well paid bureaucrat who can't be arsed to do his/ her job properly. Case in point on 27th October I e-mailed  the Council's Chief Executive, Sue  McGonigal (salary at least £113,000 a year)  expressing my concern about what I believe to be illegal demolition works on Ramsgate High St.
In that e-mail I clearly set out the reasons why I believed the company Panther was acting illegally - namely because they were carrying out demolition works beyond the scope of what was  agreed with the Council and which had been set out in in Sue McGonigal's e-mail to me of 23rd October. A copy of my e-mail of 27 October  is in my previous post about this demolition

Here is a copy of Sue McGonigal's reply to me of 30th October  

Dear Cllr Driver,

So that I can instruct the appropriate officer to visit, please could you give me details of what you believe the breach to be.
Dr Sue McGonigal
Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer
Thanet District Council

So the highest paid employee of Thanet District Council, who is supposed to support elected councillors in resolving  problems raised by the public, has clearly failed to read my previous e-mail which set out the reasons why Panther appeared to be acting illegally. Perhaps this could possibly  be because she is one person doing 2 jobs?

Here is my reply to the Chief Executive

Dear Ms McGonigal
I am perplexed by your reply.
In my e-mail to you of 27th October I provided you with an explanation of the potential breach namely
"that the works being carried out by the developers or its agents appear  to have  far exceeded the permitted limits you described to me (in your email of 23 October). I have been advised that the developers or its agents have now demolished property beyond the roof and gables including the total demolition of another building".
I am do not believe I could have been any clearer. I also understand  that local residents have contacted the Council about the demolition work which is causing them considerable concern
I would be grateful if you could now arrange  for officer to visit the site and ascertain if the developers have exceeded any permissions granted by the Council.
This is a potentially serious issue and merits urgent attention.
I look forward to your reply
Cllr Ian Driver
I have occasionally speculated  in my previous posts about Pleasurama and TransEuropa Ferries,  that Thanet Council  might not be  well served by some of its civil servants. I will leavereaders to view this correspondence and make up their own minds.
What annoys me most is that members of public are being forced to endure potentially illegal actions because the most senior officer of TDC, appears not have read her e-mails. I think Thanet taxpayers deserve much better.
Here's some music from one of my daughters' favourite TV programmes. Very apt I think.


  1. Once again your language leaves much to be desired. 'Arsed' may be acceptable where you come from. It is NOT acceptable in polite society. Such language merely demonstrates crass ignorance and poor communication skills. Please clean up your act.

  2. so how did your representation to the EU go? re illegal support to TEFL?

  3. If the demolition was illegal, McGonigal should be sacked for failing to act in response to a clear warning. At the very least, a council which was working would summon her to appear before them to explain her failure to act. In this sense, when we are talking about people who can't be *rs*d (I care rather more about actions than the language being used) the councillors have to come top of the list. We have over 50 of them, all collecting allowances and expenses, yet they continually fail to function as a council at the most basic level. This is precisely why Thanet is being ruined; because development is not controlled by the people employed, specifically, to do this on our behalf. If you are a councillor, it is your job to ensure you know what's going on and is proposed for your patch, to scrutinise proposals, to listen to the people who live on your patch, to represent their views and to protect their pockets. Above all, it is your job to control the council and to ensure that officers do what they are told to do, and not what they think is a good idea. I don't think you'll find many people in Thanet who think their councillors are doing this for them. Most people think their councillors know little about what is going on, don't listen to their constituents, are not in control of the council and play politics with every issue that comes before them.