My KCC Election Manifesto & Video

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Calls to Close Ramsgate Port as Losses Reach £2.7million.

Former Green Party Councillor, Ian Driver, has called for the closure of the Port of Ramsgate  as figures provided to him by Thanet Council reveal that in the two and a half  years since the collapse of TransEuropa Ferries the port has run up operating losses of £2.7 million (1).

Said Driver “Its time to face the facts the port of  Ramsgate is finished. Competition from Dover Harbour, which is undergoing a mulit-million-pound  expansion programme,  and the massive ultra-modern London Gateway freight terminal on the Thames Estuary means that the there’s no possibility of Ramsgate becoming a commercially sustainable port. This is why, despite its best efforts, Thanet Council has been unable to attract any serious and credible industry players to operate ferry or freight services after TransEuropa went bust”.
“In my opinion Thanet Council should close the port as quickly as possible  and begin a review of its future uses. I have long favoured transforming the port into a modern state of the art 21st century marina and sea sports complex which would complement and enhance the Royal Harbour. A modern marina would attract tens of  thousands of new visitors from the UK, Europe and across the world who will spend their  money in the town’s shops, bars, restaurants and hotels. This would be a major shot in the arm for Ramsgate which will create hundreds of jobs and lots of new business opportunities. The closure of the port would also put an end to the cruel and barbaric export live farm animals from the town”.

In addition to the £2.7 million operating losses   £2.6 million was recently paid out in legal fees and compensation to animal transporters following Thanet Councils unlawful suspension of their trade in 2012 and in 2014  £3.4miilion in port charges were lost as  a result of a secret payment deferral agreement with TransEuropa Ferries.
Said Driver “Ramsgate Port’s operating losses, unpaid debts and compensation payouts over the past 2.5 years total up to an  eye-watering  £8.4 million! That’s £140 for every household in Thanet. Frittering away tax payers money on the incompetent management of a port without a future does not make sense. Its time to close the port cut the public’s losses and think again about new uses for this important seafront facility.

Breaking News
In response to a Freedom of Information request from Ian Driver Thanet Council has revealed that the 69 second promotional film about the port of Ramsgate which was unveiled last week and which can be see here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9Zfpmb5_98
cost the Council £2,975 or £43 per second. Said Driver surely the Council should have been producing promotional videos immediately after the collapse of TransEuropa Ferries, rather than waiting 2.5  years until losses, unpaid debts and compensation had racked up to £8.4 million.

 
Here's a short video made by AbeMedia  about the Port earlier this year 

Ends

For more information contact Ian Driver on 07866588766 e-mail ianddriver@yahoo.co.uk

(1)   Spread sheet of  operating losses for 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 attached. To this e-mail. Spreadsheet  is based  upon data released by Thanet Council to Ian Driver during this period

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