It was the British Resorts Association working with Government, when I represented Thanet District Council (TDC) at Conferences in 2001, that led to action on helping sea side areas. I had to remind Conservative TDC on several occasions that we needed to get a bid in for Sea Change funds and we even missed the first tranche.
Thanet also received 3.7 million in April 2006 for a Safer Stronger Communities Fund within Margate Central and Cliftonville from the Labour government. Unlike Roger Gale, Thanet District Council acknowledges a further £700,000 for the next 2 years on its website. New play areas in Dane Park and Cliftonville, and significant crime reduction measures along with return to work initiatives and housing renewal funds show real Government commitment to Margate. I have never seen Mr Gale as the local MP at any of the meetings to make these things happen, nor indeed supporting pensioners bus passes, nursery provision or the minimum wage.
The fact that unemployment has dropped from over 23% in 1995 to, a now unfortunately recently rising, 5.7%, shows we cannot be complacent. The Governments 4.9 million Thanet Works funding along with other schemes to help people find work and train for employment must be targeted appropriately. Thanet District Council gets £65 Million of tax payers money annually from Central Government to cover Housing and Council Tax benefits and Labour councillors' regular requests for a breakdown on how exactly this is allocated are still outstanding.
Mr Derek Harding, who deserves great credit for his efforts in getting the 3.7 million pounds for Dreamland, attended TDC's Overview and Scrutiny Panel on 17th November at my request. He mentioned that around £4o million had come into Margate for Regeneration purposes. It is the responsibility of all councillors to ensure it is best and quickly used to regenerate Margate. Mr Gale might like to join us rather than spending so much time defending his allowances system."