The meeting was addressed by John Davies chairman of the Friends of Ramsgate Seafront (FORS) group and former Thanet Councillor, Ian Driver, a longstanding campaigner against the Pleasurama development. Mr Davies said that FORs will be campaigning for a public inquiry into Thanet Council’s management of the site, especially the sale of the freehold to developers Cardy Ramsgate for £3million last week at a time when other Cardy companies were reported to be facing serious financial difficulties. Mr Davies said that FORS will be organising more public meetings in the near future to gather support for their campaign for an inquiry with the ultimate aim of securing the return of the land to the council.Ian Driver, said that the derelict Pleasurama site had blighted Ramsgate seafront for more than 20 years and had deterred investment and development in the area at the cost of £millions in lost income and jobs. He said that he did not believe that Cardy Ramsgate would ever complete the development and that Cardy’s funder, the offshore Panamanian based Mintal Group, would ultimately take control of seafront site and land bank it till prices rose. He explained that Mintal appeared to be owned by multi-millionaire, Colin Hill, who was also the financier for the previous failed Pleasurama developers SFP Ventures. He said that Thanet Council should make a determined effort to regain ownership of the land and that there should be a major public consultation with the people of Ramsagate about what the land should be used for. His preferred option was from leisure and community use.
See video of Ian Driver's speech to the meeting below