And now I AM on the new website… hurrah! But here is my latest Plain Jane for those who’ve got used to reading it here… And Happy Friday!
(And greetings from Brighton, where, my friends, there has been SUN! And HOT weather. Was quite a shock to the system when I arrived….)
Council double-speak hides another waste of money
I AM sure you will be delighted to learn that Thanet District Council is carrying out a “targeted consultation with identified stakeholders within the business community, statutory organisations and key representatives from the voluntary and community sector” to ensure that their “draft action plan” setting out how the council “will deliver its regeneration priorities in partnership with other public sector organisations, the private and third sectors over the next ten years” fully reflects the “views of the people and organisations that will help to deliver it”.
This is part of the council’s new “Economic Growth and Regeneration Strategy” and will provide feedback on the “draft action plan” which is split into five areas to “reflect the priorities of the overall strategy” which will help shape the “final action plan” to be approved by the Cabinet at some date in the future.
Would you like me to translate?
What all this guff means is that yet again a lot of hot air is about to be expended on what can be done to give Thanet a kick up the jacksie.
You can view the finer details online if you’re a bit bored and tired of watching paint dry.
But we’re basically talking (I quote) Business Growth; Investing in Assets; Green Economy (whatever that will actually mean); Heritage, Culture and Visitor Economy (tourism to you and me) and Skills for Employment and Growth.
In other words, what they can do to boost the day-tripper numbers so that the whole area gets a bit more dosh spent in it and this has a good knock-on effect.
Far be it from me, a humble hack, to know anything – I lost the will to live even looking for said plan on the TDC website – but haven’t we been here before? Instead of more “consultations” (at a cost of I-dread-to-think) why not hire a decent PR company to spread the news of the joys of Thanet across the national media, or take the cheaper option and get some of the council’s many admin workers to have a go at writing such press releases themselves.
A tip for whoever wrote this one: simple words work well too…
SPEAKING of the joys of the island, how nice to see an exhibition devoted to its more pleasing corners. Scottish-born, Dutch-resident-but-confirmed-Thanet-devotee, Paul Ellis’s Coast to Coast held in the Harbour Arm Gallery in Margate, has sadly just closed, but do check out his website http://www.paulellis.nl for paintings of places you’ll recognise.
To quote Tracey Emin: “Wherever art goes, regeneration follows.” Promote the artistic endeavours TDC and the rest may take care of itself…
THANK you for all the breakfast suggestions that have come in following my last column.
These have included Angela’s Cafe in Margate, the brunch at the Churchill Tavern in Ramsgate, Quex Barn, Dalby Cafe, Yama’s Thai Cafe, Picnic Pantry Cafe and Wyatt & Jones. My son is poised for a full comparison study – I will try to waddle my way round them all in due course.
AND while I am on best breakfasts, I am also inviting nominations for worst evening fare.
Can you beat this?
There is a place in Thanet that belies the rumour that the Brits are becoming more discerning restaurant-wise.
Imagine tired décor and the air thick with eau-de-la chip-pan.
Grudging service that is added to the bill. An Italian slant to the menu but no parmesan cheese or pepper grinder. Faces pulled when one enquires.
French fries served with pasta.
No ice-cream, no cheese, no credit cards taken.
Well it won’t last, I hear you cry. Sadly, it’s been going 25 years…
Tracey Emin is forever stating that wherever art goes, regeneration follows, as if it were a fact. It’s not. Here are just a few examples the arts mafia would prefer you didn’t know about:
The Public, an arts centre in West Bromwich, which was predicted to attract 160,000 visitors a year. Cost £63 million, with £30 million from the Arts Council, dubbed the Pink Elephant and described as the “biggest arts scandal of the decade”.
Then there was Colchester’s Visual Arts Facility, derided as the “Golden Banana”, and the £26 million Rich Mix multicultural arts centre in East London.
An article in the Daily Express (unlikely to have been read by the Guardian-reading types) revealed how since 1997 more than £1 billion of public money has been doled out to crisis-hit arts projects.
Lesson: Don’t believe everything you hear, just because it is said by somebody famous!
(Loved the article, though – even while intensely jealous of your sunshine.)