Thursday, August 02, 2012

Packed and Stacked

Following-on from the incident I blogged-about over the weekend, one of our local police inspectors called me yesterday for a chat and to hear some of my concerns over local policing, which is a good sign at least.

Like every other community in the South-east, I'm worried that we are losing scarce resources to police the Olympic games and I'm pretty sure that the criminal and anti-social element here in Thanet is pretty well-aware of the situation.

Yesterday, I was at the council offices to witness the opening of the tender for the engineering works at the harbour arches at Ramsgate and the Leader's new jacuzzi and commented to my opposition colleague, that around the town and the Gateway, I'm seeing what looks to me, like an acceleration in the number of new faces and families arriving here from eastern-Europe and beyond. He put this down to the new squeeze on housing benefit allowances in London and I'm sure he's right.

The Olympics, demonstrates beyond doubt that London is a global city; a 21st century population super-hub and it simply doesn't have the social housing space to accommodate the expanding migrant population that will do almost anything to reach it. Consequently and like a balloon being squeezed, the resultant bulge in population and social services pressure is now expanding beyond the Medway towns in our direction, as I've commented in the past.

If we are going to be realistic rather than simply aspirational, about the future, here in Thanet, without intervention of some kind by central Government to spread the flow outside and beyond the south-east, we are looking at a one-way-street for welfare migrants. This will have a measurable impact on the balance of opportunity and will in some already pressured locations, place an increased load on our schools, medical services, social housing and more. Successive administrations have, in the past, tried to address this without much success and the results are clearly visible to all in the Cliftonville West and Margate Central wards. However, in this age of austerity, I sense a new urgency and recognising the local implications, of the population growth forecast for the South-east in the decade ahead of us, would be a good place to start.

Finally, and as you can see from the photo and the news story, this week, Margate's beach suffered the attention of thousands of migrating plastic yellow ducks, all in the name of modern art, a form of expression which I find increasingly bizarre and elusive these days.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does it really matter whether they're from "Eastern Europe and beyond" or white people that look like you and I Simon?

simon moores said...

I believe that for many people in Thanet and beyond it does matter very much indeed and harks back to Gordon's Brown's 'British Jobs for British Workers' slogan!

Generosity has its limits, the great European experiment has failed and we can be thankful that at least we have £Sterling and not the Euro. In the deepest recession since the 30s we don't have the economic or welfare capacity to play host to the the fringes of Eastern Europe and Sub Saharan Africa.

This is a debate which would have been impossible five years ago but today, it simply represent a rational assessment of cost. Who pays and where does the housing come from?

Anonymous said...

Many of the people in Thanet are stuck in the 1930's with their attitudes to other races and cultures. I'm surprised we don't still have the Black and White Minstrel Show on at The Winter Gardens and a new "Uncle Bones" on Broadstairs beach!

simon moores said...

Just reminding Peter Checksfield he remains banned!

Tom Clarke said...

And there was me stupidily thinking that people from Eastern Europe are white. Indeed, are these not the sort of places where their fans make racist gestures and grunts at our black footballers.

Think someone, no prizes for guessing who, is trying to make out you are motivated by racism, Simon.

Anonymous said...

And we have a few scroungers of our own resting their backsides on the labour benches at the council. When are you going to expose that lazy work shy good for not much oaf hart for what he is Simon? I see him about town sometimes and it makes my blood boil to think he doesn't contribute to the economy and is lording over us like we owe him a living.

simon moores said...

Sorry I can't carry the allegation about the Leader of the Council .. Best not to use names as it simply leads to complaints against this blog

simon moores said...

I should add that I have a delightful work colleague from the far fringes of Eastern Europe, an invaluable asset who speaks fluent Russian, English and German and is here to work and works extremely hard too

Anonymous said...

Peter Checksfield wrote the first comment (I should know!).

I'm not John Worrow said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NLteYxxdUo

oops, I was just abouts to ask if she was any relation to you, as it's pretty much on your door step, but she's missing an S on her surname.

:D