Friday, 25 April 2014


Cllr Clive Hart - Report to council – 24/04/2014

“Thank you Chairman.

We have a number of projects planned across Thanet, from re-planting of public gardens to the regeneration of empty properties and the creation of more affordable housing.
Working together with the local communities we’re making real headway.
Some of the projects:

£2million partnership bid is proposed to be made to the Heritage Lottery Fund this Autumn (2014).
The bid will comprise:
•   Capital works to structures
•   Conservation Management Plan for the Harbour
•   Agreement with English Heritage as to what requires listed building consent
•   Funding of post to promote Harbour as a Heritage Destination and an education and engagement programme


Proposal to discuss whether to develop a town square for Ramsgate in this location, with consideration given to the current public parking.
This would involve:
•   Developing as town square for Ramsgate
•   Relocation of Saturday Market
•   Proposal to remove as off street car park

The Dolphin lights are a key heritage feature of Ramsgate.
Work will be undertaken to undertake repairs and will involve some changes to location of the lights to make the layout more rational.
The arches opposite the dolphin lights on Royal Parade are to be cleared out and washed, with some replanting and the placing of large seafront pots in some of the alcoves by Ramsgate Town Council.

This will involve:
•   Formal planting scheme around the Bandstand
•   Friends of Ramsgate Seafront taking on planting bed by Granville Theatre
•   Madeira Walk planting to match work at Albion Gardens
•   Supporting potential HLF bid by Ramsgate Society on Ramsgate Heritage Promenades


The regeneration of The Centre at Newington is progressing well with 37 new affordable homes delivered and 38 more homes with planning consent due to be delivered by Orbit Housing.
The Council have transferred the Flowing Bowl site to Orbit to complete the regeneration of the area. This final phase of the regeneration should be complete by 2016.


The regeneration of empty properties in Ramsgate is underway with three new affordable homes complete and works due to start at 52 Addington street and 59 Grange road providing an additional six new homes.
There are further properties and projects in the pipeline to provide a further 17 affordable homes.


There are nearly 4 miles of disused tunnels underneath Ramsgate which are the responsibility of Thanet District Council.
A Big Lottery grant of £53k was achieved by Ramsgate Town Council for feasibility work.
Thanet Council is providing £51k of funding to the Ramsgate Regeneration Heritage Trust (RRHT) for safety equipment, services, security and asbestos removal.
The terms of a lease are being finalised for RRHT to operate 'Tunnel Explorer' tours starting this summer.
RHRT have recently secured a further grant from Heritage Lottery Fund for £84k.
The grand opening of the tunnels is programmed for the beginning of June.


Recent negotiation with the lead partner of the LOPINOD Interreg project.
The aim is to develop self-funding investment projects.

Potential projects to be covered by study include:
•   Tidal turbines using Smeaton's inner harbour sluices
•   Photo panels on port and harbour building
•   Micro- wind turbines and Marine heat pumps


Consultants are to consider the feasibility of developing a centre dedicated to the low carbon and environmental goods and services sector in Thanet.
The proposed centre could provide a combination of accommodation for businesses, education and exhibition space, café/networking space and somewhere for people to find out more about renewable technologies.
This would form part of the Council’s Economic Growth and Regeneration Strategy – way to take advantage of a growing sector in the district, taking advantage of the Operations and Maintenance bases of the offshore windfarms, Thanet Earth, East Kent College’s Environmental Technologies training centre, developing solar farms and other renewable activities in and around the district.
The aim would be to act as a catalyst for a step-change in the acceptance of low carbon solutions as an important part of our economy

King Street in Ramsgate has previously benefitted from previous interventions to convert underutlisied/derelict properties into residential use.Discussions are now underway to progress a deliverable vision for the area.

•   Lease negotiations to proceed with JD Wetherspoon.
•   Create a high quality restaurant/pub in two thirds of the building.
•   The other third will be available for leisure or retail offers.
•   But JD Wetherspoon must satisfy the Council lease terms, adhere to listed building requirements and gain planning permission. 

•   Invest approximately £3 million pounds in the building.
•   Create employment – 50/60 jobs in their restaurant.
•   The other third will be refurbished to a high standard ready for fit out.
•   Once open will draw people into the area.
Likely to stimulate other commercial activity in the vicinity.


Thanet District Council is progressing with plans to create a world class leisure attraction at the Dreamland site in Margate.
The council, which owns the entire Dreamland site in Margate, plans to develop the whole site for leisure use and has assembled a funding package to bring forward the first stage of Dreamland’s restoration.
As the successful operation of an amusement park requires specialist technical expertise, the council is now looking to progress an open procurement process, to identify a suitable operating company to run the park.
The council is working towards re-opening the first phase of the park in 2015 with a restored Scenic Railway, thrilling historic rides and top quality food and beverage outlets. Further phases would then follow.
The council has a professional project management team on-board to manage the project.
This team of professionals have pulled together detailed cost plans and are working through the costs and risks on a day to day basis. They meet regularly with council officers, and updates on progress will continue to be shared with Councillors.


At Cabinet we agreed to provide approximately £40,000 of funding to help improve the facilities at Memorial Park playground in Broadstairs.
The decision follows a 1,760 strong petition submitted to the council by local residents to undertake major improvements to the Broadstairs play area, and will include relocation of the play area to a more suitable place.
Cabinet agreed to the refurbishment of four play areas across Thanet that were highlighted by ROSPA (Royal Society for the prevention of accidents) as a health and safety risk.
The other four play areas to receive funding cover Margate, Ramsgate and the Villages, so undertaking improvements in Broadstairs also means the council will now be investing in play facilities across the whole district.

Thanet District Council has committed almost a quarter of a million pounds to develop new skate park facilities across the district.
£220,000 has been set aside to develop three brand new state of the art skate parks in Broadstairs, Ramsgate and Margate.
The council is very close to awarding the contract and has been involving the local community and groups of young skaters in the plans for some time.
I’m very keen keen to set the record straight following recent coverage of the demolition of the unofficial skate park constructed in Cliftonville.
The council is serious about creating new opportunities for our young people and has listened to the requests for the council to develop more skate parks in Thanet.
Following a petition last year, we’ve set aside a considerable amount of money to achieve this and have been involving the young skaters directly in the plans.
With hundreds of thousands of pounds committed to developing new state of the art skate facilities right across the district, we believe we now need to move forward more positively in partnership with the local community and celebrate what’s still to come!


I proposed an emergency motion on Thursday 20 March to crucial regional meetings concerning exploring the extension of the enterprise zone. This was discussed at the Kent Leader’s meeting and at the Thanet Regeneration Board.
I put forward the emergency motion so that we could explore the possibility of extending the Enterprise Zone from Discovery Park at Richborough. I’ve suggested discussing extending this to cover the Richborough corridor, which is a former power station site, Manston Business Park and Manston Airport itself.
The council has been clear that it has supported the airport and this could help us find the best opportunity to either save the airport in its current form or find the best possible future for the site, whichever scenario plays out. This proposal was well-received and it is reassuring that this has been discussed.
Government is now officially being asked to consider extending the current enterprise zone at Discovery Park in Sandwich to also cover Thanet.
The final draft of the Kent and Medway Growth Deal document, delivered to Government this week, features as a chapter in the South East LEP'S Strategic Economic Plan. 
It asks Government to permit Thanet District Council to retain 100% of business rate receipts within the Zone with no impact on their baseline, in order that discounts can be fully funded by receipts above the discount level.
It proposes to allocate £3.5 million in Local Growth Fund finance to support commercial development at Manston and Discovery Park.
It also proposes to support SEFUND investment in commercial and residential development.
The recent news of the proposal to consult on possible closure of the airport came as a real shock. However, whether or not the site remains as an airport, the proposals to Government in the Kent and Medway Growth Plan for enterprise zone status will give us the very best chance to turn the current situation into a long-term success.


Thanet District Council has supported the project by issuing a licence to the Broadstairs Town Team. The agreement has allowed the Shed project to have base to work from and in return they will help TDC by repairing some of the building at Pierremont and thereby reduce the potential costs the Council would have faced had it needed to pay for the repairs. The Shed project has the potential to work on improving projects in the local town and ideas have already included a temporary disabled ramp to the nearby War Memorial for commemorative purposes and discussions possibly to provide a fence to the proposed new play area at nearby Memorial Recreation Ground.
This has been the focus of a lot of local enthusiasm and a bid to the Peoples Millions succeeded this last year and TDC has granted a licence for a wildlife garden to be installed which was . This is part of a bigger project that officers have worked on to try and secure a Heritage Lottery Bid that is being considered currently. Work has been undertaken to allow a mobile unit in the park to keep the public updated on progress and also work to install toilets for the events being held on a regular basis in the park.

We are also supporting the Maritime Museum through the Steam Museum Trust, Project Motorhouse and Margate Caves Educational Trust who each have some very positive long-term plans.

Last but far from least: The South-East Urban Coast Creative Enterprise Support Scheme (SUCCESS) provides grants for new or expanding creative businesses that are creating jobs in the Hastings, Thanet and Tendring local authority areas.
It aims to help creative businesses to grow and flourish, and create new jobs.
I attended a governance meeting in Hastings on Thursday and I’m pleased to report that Thanet projects look to be the first to be successful through SUCCESS”.

Published by Thanet Labour Group Press Office – 44 Northdown Road, Margate, Kent CT9 2RW.


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