My KCC Election Manifesto & Video

Monday, 6 January 2014

Ramsgate Pleasurama People Power

Apparently the Council has received encouraging advice about dealing with the so-called developers of the Ramsgate seafront Pleasurama site. I understand that the advice might allow the Council to rid itself of  SFP Ventures (UK) Ltd and, in due course,  take back control of the land. Whoopee!

 SFP Director, Sean Patrick Keegan, and his side-kick Terrence Painter, a well known Thanet estate agent, have been bigging-up their plans for the site for over a decade. In that time, SFP has done precious little development work. Instead it  has allowed an important area of Ramsgate's seafront  to fester and decay like a wartime bombsite, blighting the town for more than ten long years.

Some people have suggested  that SFP was more interested in land speculation and profiteering than the  development of Ramsgate seafront. Others have speculated  that some  councillors or political parties may have profited from voting certain ways in relation to this development.  Personally I think these suggestions are  groundless. But there again fact can sometimes be stranger than fiction, especially in Thanet where its not unknown for Council leaders to be gaoled for misconduct in public office.

One thing that has come to light however, is the fact that SFP and Mr Keegan are closely linked to Mr Colin Hill, a multi-millionaire and one of the richest men in the country. It would appear that Mr Keegan and Mr Hill and the mysterious Lichtenstein registered Wetmore Foundation, might have  been linked to some very interesting land transactions involving Peterborough United  Football Club and Peterborough Council. Although perfectly legal, some people have said that these buy low- sell high transactions were pushing the boundaries of  business  ethics a little too far and that the  council tax payers of Peterborough might not have done well out of the £8million deal. But that is pure speculation. My point is however beware of  leopards and spots.  If Thanet Council is able to reclaim the land from the grip of SFP it will have acted wisely and very much in the interest of local taxpayers.

Which gets  me to  my next point. Less than one year ago Thanet Labour Councillors were hell bent on supporting SFP and the Pleasurama Project. I can't recall how many times they described this project as "the only game in town" or how many times councillors said it was the "best option for Ramsgate". So firmly attached to SFP were  the Labour Councillors, that they voted to  prevent discussion of my motion to the Council opposing the developers.

It was only through the work of Friends of Ramsgate Seafront and a number of Tory Councillors who campaigned tirelessly against the Pleasurama Project that Labour politicians began to listen. When they realised just how angry Ramsgate residents were becoming, they cynically calculated that if they didn't give the impression they were doing something about Pleasurama, their Council seats might be in danger.

So well done to Friends of Ramsgate Seafront. Had you not kicked the arses of many  of those  lazy good nothings who have the cheek to describe themselves as Councillors, they  would still have been singing the praises of SFP Ventures and making abusive comments about anyone who dared to challenge their opinions.

Also well done Michael from the bookshop. You kept the Pleasurama issue alive, almost single headedly for many years. Lets hope we see a lot more People Power in Ramsgate and Thanet. Its time for a change!


  1. Ian, you are perfectly aware that the Conservative Group were not supporting SFP Ventures a year ago. Quite the contrary. I, along with Cllr Bayford, led the opposition to any amendment to the agreement at Scrutiny, to the disgust of its Labour members. Bob Bayford, along with yourself as then Chairman, called the Labour Cabinet decision into Scrutiny in the first place. We have consistently spoken against any concessions to the developer. When your motion was not discussed I believe that we had already discussed the same motion - there was never an effort by my party to support the developers in council and you know it. You have played an important role but please do not try to claim that you are or have ever been a lone voice on this subject (though I concede that you may be the loudest!). It has been the Labour Group trying to force through the amended agreement who were stopped in their tracks by Scrutiny and also the efforts of The Friends of Ramsgate Seafront who do indeed deserve huge credit. Cllr Julie Marson

    1. Thank you Ian! Julie

    2. Incredible how Cllr Marson is rewriting the past. Wasn't Pleasurama a key part of the Ezekiel/Bayford party's policies when in power? That's when work actually began on the site!

      And then as she says only the lightest opposition to Labour doing the same last year. If only she'd spoken up last year, the year before, the year before...

    3. You have to wonder why the people of Eastcliff vote for David Green. He doesn't seem to be representing what they think very well.

  2. Keegan seems to be Painter's employee from Portugal housing developments. Bayford and Painter need to detail what they know about Pleasurama as they seem to have a very cosy relationship of property developer and accountant/councillor through the Ezekiel regime. As do Hart and Poole until last year, as it does look like tax havens and council bungs. And why are we waiting yet another month for admin technicalities to clear the site?

  3. Barry, it's detailed in documents (Painter's own descriptions of SFP, from memory) on Michael's website from c.1-2 years ago. Go read them yourself, and try saying please if you want something.

  4. Ian hello. I would love to know if you can write anything on the flood risk for the Pleasurama site. It just seems like an accident waiting to happen and given the recent flooding in the UK, and along the East coast, I cannot believe that anyone would even invest in the actual Pleasurama flats, let alone the supposed restaurants along the ground floor. How did this get planning permission? Can there be an inquiry into the risks for this site? Your thoughts would be welcomed..