Tuesday, 23 June 2009


Continuing the tourism theme of recent posts, regular readers may recall my post in April Green Tourism the Future but Thanet is Stuck in the Past.
I wrote at the time:

"In Cliftonville long established flower beds are facing the threat of being grassed over. My colleagues who are ward councillors Linda Aldred, Doug Clark and Clive Hart are angry at Thanet Council's plans to grass over flower beds on the roadside verge in Eastern Esplanade Cliftonville at the entrance to the popular bowling greens and indoor bowls centre. Clive Hart is pictured by a flowerbed threatened with grassing over in front of the renowned Walpole Bay Hotel."
Sadly, instead of reflecting on this constructive criticism, the response of Cabinet member for Finance Martin Wise was to write to make a political point score. Rather than considering what was best for Thanet, he was helped by Conservative blogger Cllr. Simon Moores to produce a defence of the flowerbed cuts. Click here and scroll down to the 14th April post Green Fingers.

As the saying goes, there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents. I am pleased to report that Cllr. Clive Hart's formidable powers of persuasion and campaigning skills have enabled Cllr. Martin Wise to see the light, and to acknowledge he got things wrong in relation to the grassing over of the flower beds in Eastern Esplanade, Cliftonville.
Cllr. Clive Hart, Labour's Thanet Council group leader reports:
"At last Tuesday's Thanet Council Cabinet meeting Cllr. Martin Wise gave a lengthy speech explaining how the recent elections had highlighted the real wishes of local residents, and that 'we' may have made wrong decisions in relation to local residents priorities. He gave removal of the flower beds in Cliftonville as one example. Cllr. Ezekiel then also stated that he now accepted "we didn't consult well enough on the flower beds" and then went on to say "we need better co-ordination".

As a Cliftonville West ward councillor Clive Hart told me:
"at last the Conservative leadership accept they got things wrong. As I said at the time, these flower beds were at the entrance to the bowling greens, one of our few remaining tourist attractions in Cliftonville. They were also on the edge of the Renewal Area where public spaces should be protected and enhanced. The government are quite rightly investing millions of pounds in Cliftonville West and Margate Central and the action to remove the flower beds was pointless penny pinching by Thanet Council. I do sincerely hope the flower beds will now be reinstated as soon as possible".
I am pleased to see Cllrs Ezekiel and Wise have been able to learn from the greater knowledge and expertise of Cllr. Hart. Congratulations to them.


  1. I had visitors down from London at the weekend and they commented how few well-kept gardens and flowerbeds the area has. They said they expected to see those sort of things at a seaside resort and have seen them at other resorts eg Bournemouth, Isle of Wight etc. Going back many years Thanet was famous for its floral displays sadly they are now mostly gone.

  2. Cllr.Hart likes to think that he gets things done but actually never does. The local residents in our action group called SRAAG talked to Cllr.Wise and as a result he agreed to see what he could do to get the lift to the beach and nearby toilet reopened for the weekends now, and continuously in July and August. So even though the flowers, toilet and lift are in Cllr.Hart's ward, Cllr.Wise did the job. That is what we want. Action from people like Cllr.Wise. Not talk from Cllr.Hart. And I have not heard Cllr.Wise bragging to anyone about what he has done. We could do with more like him.

  3. Anon 16.07 I am sure you will understand that by commenting anonymously many observers will take you to be a source very close to Cllr. Wise. It would be good if you could provide your name in fairness to Cllr. Wise as you hold him in such regard.

  4. We need flower beds and all the green space we can get but any chance of catchinh the bleeders who keep ripping the flowers out of the beds at Saint Pauls or are the cameras in Northdown road just for show ??

  5. Laurence Davies24 June 2009 at 20:35

    I apologise for digressing from the subject of this post but I have to comment as regards Cllr Wise. I am pleased someone holds Cllr Wise in such high regard. I certainly don't after his dismissive and condescending attitude to the cleansing issues of Eastcliff and Central Harbour Ward at the full Council Meeting on 23rd April. He reminds me a little of Marie Antoinette as after Cllr Campbell had raised issues of later collections of refuse from Willsons Road and the problems with the gull population, Councillor Wise stood up and said words to the effect let the residents buy bins! Still I suppose as Willsons Road is in Ramsgate he is not interested.

    Laurence Davies

  6. If green tourism is really the future then perhaps naturism should be encouraged more...