Arts & Elbows

A catalogue of commentary on events in Thanet and occassionally the rest of the world.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Viva La Revolution!

Although I originally intended to build this blogarama to report on interesting developments in arts and regeneration it has fast become a collection of barely concealed problems. From Kent County Council spending £10 million on sweet fanny adams but shamelessly claiming excellence in delivering a new arts centre while nothing was built, via an artist happy to use imagery from the shoal for shameless promotional purposes to Thanet District Council's attempt to rob us of a brilliant library service and disguise it as an exercise in public consultancy. Each a despicable attempt at empire building at public cost and with scant regard for us, the public, who pay for it.
It brings me no pleasure at all to reveal this latest story in deliberate local uselessness, where a landlord is putting a worthy business beyond viability with a whopping rent increase in excess of 218%. Who could this evil landlord be? Some portfolio property speculator with no regard for community or public no doubt.
Wrong! The heartless landlord is Thanet Community Development Trust and the tenant under threat is Revolution Skatepark. Just how TCDT can continue to claim their "first priority is to improve Thanet for everyone who lives, works or visits here" while increasing Revolution's annual rent from £20,000 to £43,650 and thereby putting them out of business is highly questionable.
Here's an outstanding facility - one of the best of it's kind in the country, used by thousands of locals and visitors under threat from a well funded quango which spends around £2 million pounds a year.
TCDT remains unperturbed by their greed threatening seven full-time jobs, six part-time nor the five hundred visitors a week who enjoy the wide range of activities on offer. These aren't limited to skating or skateboarding, but also include climbing, BMX, scootering and offering safe equipment for sale. Venues to perform these activities are scarce in the UK as is the expertise to run them, so to have one right in the middle of Thanet is a fantastic opportunity for local youngsters to participate in something healthy, and legal, safely right on their doorstep.
It has taken years of hard work and determination to provide such a facility and as a result, Revolution have created one of the best extreme leisure facilities in Europe which is also known as being one of the safest and friendliest there is. What they provide is a unique, indoor, fully supervised facility aimed at everyone from toddlers to adults.
Faced with imminent closure and a wealthy quango unwilling to negotiate in any way the brave staff at Revolution have started an SOS, Save Our Skatepark, campaign. So if you'd like to keep a world class facility in our neighbourhood, or you're bored with mindless quangos ruining our community while being very well paid for it you might want to sign Revolution's online petition and get in touch to share your thoughts with the following people;
Councillors Sandy Ezekiel (Leader of the Council) Jeffrey Kirkpatrick (Chairman of the Council) Roger Latchford (Deputy Leader of the Council)
Thanet District Council telephone: 01843 577000
Members of Parliament Dr. Steve Ladyman (Labour MP for Thanet South) Roger Gale (Conservative MP for Thanet North)
Thanet Community Development Trust Ltd (Trustees) (Chairman) (Vice Chairman)
Thanet Community Development Trust Ltd (Directors) Keith Morris (Chief Executive) Keith Single (Finance Director)
Telephone: 01843 282470

For the next development on this story click here.


Blogger Snailspace said...

There's little enough for the kids around here to do at the moment.
If Revolution closes there will be nothing.
It would be a good idea for the Council to subsidise not penalise such facilities

10:58 PM  
Anonymous jay the geologist said...

i live just down the road from the skatepark and used to go there alot as a kid, now i mainly go to use the climbing wall, (also one of the noly ones accsessibal in the area)

every day i see loads of kids making there way down my road to go to the skate park, they come from far and wide you know! ahsfor even london! to see the skate park go out of business through TDC's lack of though and caring for one of thanets greatist comercial assests would be a crying shame.

does ne one know if there are ne save our skatpark flyers or what ever around that people could hand out?


12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is going on with Thanet? The promised new facilities hardly ever materialise, and the ones that are there they seem hellbent on closing down!

Why do they need the extra £20K+ in rent? Have they explained that? Or maybe a developer has quietly expressed an interest and they'd rather have yet another rash of 100 'executive homes' paying council tax?

If they don't want people to smell a rat, they should come clean and explain themselves. Grrr!

9:54 AM  
Blogger Nethercourt said...

I smell a rat! Housing developers?

11:09 AM  
Anonymous worm said...

I have emailed the director and signed the petition. Development trusts is profiteering dressed up to look like philanthropism.
Remember LDDC? London Docklands Development Trust? "Looking after the interests of Londoners" HA!

3:29 PM  
Anonymous worm said...

Here's an example of what TCDT might have in mind:

Office space would be very lucrative n'est ce pas?

3:33 PM  
Blogger Artyblartfast said...

Interesting points one and all. It does seem decidely odd especially barely six months after TDC were claiming there was going to be a leisure revolution... maybe closing this down was what they had in mind.

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TDC hang your collective heads in shame. Would TDC like 500 kids to skate, BMX, inline skate etc outside of the council offices? The bottom line is these kids are safe in there... I seem to remember this place was threatened with closure many years ago and Roger gale and Iris Johnson showed up and i think stepped in behind the scenes... come on, prove your worth and do it again.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why oh why do we always come back to the same kind of discussion, A great place threatened by closure because of fat cats in suits want more money, yet millions wasted on things that people do not really want. If Revolution closes it will be dark times ahead in Thanet, Kent and even further afeild. This must not be allowed to close. Keep up the good work guys and thanks for being there over the years

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not just kids who use the park!! I'm an extreme mum who blades there with my son. It would be a national scandal if the park closes. I can't imagine life without it and neither can my son who is not at all ashamed of me!! Get writing to the powers that be-skater power is what is needed. Extreme mum.

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK how's this? We all pay a yearly membership fee of say,£10.00 and as a member you could pay £4.00 for a session. Non-members pay £5/£6.00 a session. If we all really want to save the park £10.00 a year is not much of a sacrifice but with enough of us it may be enough to help meet the raise in rent.

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Thanet Matt said...

I understand from my the only one of my friends into skate and the likes that skate-boards come from as far away as London to use the place.

There has to be a way to cover more cost via some earnings surely...

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why do you want another extra 20k there is nothing else for us to do now if you shut down revolution. revolution is a much better skatepark then far off any other and is good fun.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noted the personal attack on the owner and his increased salary. I believe it is now £30k pa? For the amount of work and effort the owner has put in (initially on a much lower salary)he could get a much higher salary in other industries.

All I've ever seen are excited, cheerful, polite kids walking to or from the park, or waiting at the bus stop.

Those I encounter during my lunch hour in Margate town centre waiting for the bus to get there are some of the politest kids I've encountered.

This move makes no sense at all.

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot beleive that this is happening! It's absolutely disgusting that the rent can be doubled.This is so demotivating for the locals!

We are talking about £20,000 a year shortfall,which equates to £385 a week,yes!

I know of a family that claim something similar to that figure and have never worked nor likely to.

I've been there several times with my son and the kids are great,they respect the park and owners.There is an air of freindlyness and safety.

It's no secret how much the local council waste or mismanage,we all know the £20,000 is a small price to pay,compared to the ill effect closure will cause....

Let's do some sums:

I'm just guessing but let's assume because my sons membership number is 4 numbers and begins with 3,it's fair to say that 3,000 kids are gonna be upset and angry to see there park close,these kids all have 2 parents,that's alot of voters!!!!

Those 3000 are keeping reasonably fit,there off the streets where they could be causing criminal damage,graffiti ect.They spend money on local buses and trains to and from the park.To top it all,these kids are the next generation of voters! closing there park will stick with them for ever and they will remember this at the polling booth....

I know there's probaly more to it than my small mind can imagine....but surely the council can find a compromise.....!!??

2:32 AM  

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