Sunday, 29 March 2009


A glorious day in the sun, but cold in the shade here's a picture from down on the foreshore of Pegwell Bay. Great in the garden too harvesting leeks, spring onions, kale, beetroot, cabbages, sorrel and parsley.

I see that Conservative Thanet Cllr. Simon Moores has not for the first time taken a quote from this blog without linking to its source. Strange as I know Simon is one of my most avid readers. Here is where the full letter is. I am curious as to why Simon does not allow his readers to be easily able to check his sources. I have read Simon complain about what he calls "spinning", so no doubt he will explain why he only wants to portray part of the story here. He links on other stories, but this is not the first time he has not linked to the relevant post when quoting me. His blog, his choice.

I try and cross reference and source wherever I can. It's a habit I learnt at University and it has stuck with me since. Ultimately though it is my opinion like it says at the top.

On this matter it is fine that we differ but there are some questions that need further consideration. If as Simon says, Thanet needs more financial reserves then why why was this not budgeted for? Is he saying Cllr. Martin Wise made an error? Some of my colleagues have pointed out the significance of ensuring the Council Tax increase was 3.99%, an extra £314, 324 for reserves would have taken the Council Tax increase over the psychologically important 4% mark.

Does he diagree with Laura Sandys? She says:

"Conservatives would ensure that small firms automatically receive rate relief, cutting their paperwork and their tax bills and giving many of them a fighting chance to stay afloat (during the recession)."

I think this is a good idea and I support it, but Simon does not in his post. Again that's fine, but we could have had an innovative approach from Thanet Council publicising the need to claim business tax relief and have this money directed at local small businesses. There are local businesses suffering at present who would appreciate some help with their tax bills. Most notably locally at St. Peters where it is Labour representatives leading the way in trying to get help.

Simon then tries the line that £314,324 divided by 70,000 Thanet citizens leaves £4.49 per head which he characterises as

"quite possibly leaves enough change for a small burger and French fries and if your'e lucky, a milkshake, divided among 70,000 or so Thanet residents. "

Slight problem here Simon, a quick search for Thanet population provides a figure of about 130,000 so Simon is 60,000 people out. Simon does say though

"I'm not convinced Cllr Nottingham has done all his homework on the subject."

Maybe Simon, but I'm not convinced you've done yours either! I am concerned that someone serving on the Council's Governance and Audit Committee is so out of touch with such important figures, perhaps it was an oversight, we all make them.

Simon dismisses this as a small sum to him, but that is not the view of other Conservatives. David Cameron thinks an extra £3 for every household (so about £1 per head) is worth making a fuss about. That's why he launched the policy recently of no increase in the television licence this year. Click here for more details. My view is that David Cameron should write to Thanet Council's Conservative Group and point out that as he would like people to have more money now, and they are Conservatives they should spend the £314,324, not save it.

So there you have it, all the local and national Labour Party representatives, David Cameron, Roger Gale and Laura Sandys all arguing for government money to be put into the hands of local people and businesses NOW, and on the other hand Thanet Conservatives who think they know better.

1 comment:

  1. Best read what Martin Wise had to say about in my comments section Mark. As for the population figures, I stand corrected, I was taking a stab at the voting population, without recalling the exact figure. In any case, done your way, the burger and fries ends up at rather less than the fries on their own I suspect!

    Either way Mark and writing as a 'small businessman' your suggestion is risible and I rather doubt that you would find many people sympathetic to the notion.

    Unless you have ever run a business, you would have no idea of the weight of paperwork and overall regulatory burden placed upon us by this Government. I could never do today what I managed to do in the eighties in setting up £million pound plus turnover business. There are too mant barriers, which explains why we have a bloated public sector and a strugglingprivate sector, thanks to New Labour!