Let me quite clearly state the Council wishes to see Revolution Skate Park remain open.
Let me also make it quite clear that we do not have any members on the board of the Thanet Development Community Trust (TCDC). Why? Because I believe that a member of Council that sits as a board member of any organisation has an obligation to that board. Cllr. Ingrid Spencer and I attended meetings of TCDC as observers and if they wish to discuss confidential matters, we make it clear that we will make our own judgements as to the confidentiality of any item on the agenda. Should TCDC wish to go into a closed meeting and not have the business placed in the public domain, they then have the right to ask us to leave.
To date, senior officers and I have met with Dan to gain an understanding of his business and why there is a potential vast increase in rent. The meeting was friendly, but frank about what we could and couldn't do.
During the meeting, Dan was advised to: -
- Obtain his own valuation on a reasonable market rent for his premises
- Look into the possibility of arbitration under the current Landlord and Tenant Act
- Try and seek a reasonable explanation from TCDC as to why the hike in rent is justifiable, as the current rental value as determined by the District Valuer for business rates is nearer the rent as currently being charged by TCDC.
- Business rates are not subject to discounts by the District Valuer. It is their job to obtain a fair market rent for business premises.
- Look into forming a trust; this could bring benefits in savings, such as business rates.
We are meeting with TCDC this week to see if we can reach a permanent solution. TCDC were set up by the government to enhance and benefit the residents of Thanet. I believe if they are to continue to be of benefit to Thanet, then they have the opportunity to just that in supporting the Skate Park.
Many of your readers will also be aware that Cllr. Chris Wells is also working with TCDC, Dan and I to try and bring about a solution.
Chris has expertise in funding and his help is most welcome by all.
Following the meetings that are taking place this week, I would be happy to meet with any of your readers to inform them of the outcomes.