Ramsgate mayor Raushan Ara says the need for inward investment in Ramsgate has been brought into stark focus as the collapse of Thomas Cook on Monday (September 23) resulted in yet another high street closure and loss of local jobs.
The travel firm went into compulsory administration with the loss of 9,000 UK jobs.
Cllr Ara said: “I am deeply saddened by the sudden closure of Thomas Cook. Many customers have been left stranded and in some cases kicked out of hotels. Those that have managed to get home so far often find they are left many miles from their homes. “Having returned from Labour’s party conference my thoughts are also with the many employees who lost their jobs without any notice.
“Yesterday evening I was approached by a man whose granddaughter had lost her job with Thomas Cook and is now desperate for another. All of these people have bills to pay including mortgages/rent. Many have families to look after, what will they do now?
“This is yet another blow to Ramsgate’s High Street with the closure of Thomas Cook. The need for inward investment in Ramsgate has never been more clear. The future of Ramsgate’s High Street, and those across the country, is reliant on real investment in people and small businesses.”
Those who bought a package holiday will be covered by the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence scheme (Atol) meaning the cost of the holiday will be refunded.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will head a service to manage refunds from September 30.
All refunds should be processed within two months of a claim form being submitted properly.
Those who booked flight only will not get an automatic refund but should be able to claim through the provider of the credit or debit card used to pay for the flights.
I share Mayor Ara’s concern. But the cynic in me concludes that I was in the wrong job before I retired.
I should have had enough money to buy some kind of badly-indebted, failing firm. A travel company, a clothing chain, a chain of fitness centres maybe. It doesn’t matter if I know nothing about such firms. That’s not the point.
I present myself as the “saviour” of the business, promising new ideas, new investment, a whole new company ethos. You know the sort of thing. We read about it all the time in our lazy, corrupt newspapers.
Then I would let the firm carry on, let the workers carry on sweating to make it a success (maybe they would work even harder, come up with new ideas to keep it afloat), and I would encourage the customers to carry on buying whatever the firm produced. (A brash new company logo and advertising campaign would come in useful here. Very expensive, of course, but saving money and paying the company debts is not the point).
Meanwhile, of course, I would be paying myself millions in wages and bonuses and the other directors would be in on the deal and would get their bonuses as well.
Of course, you can’t keep a con just running on and on. In the end , the Receivers get called in and bankruptcy looms. At this point, having salted all the cash away in a tax-haven, pausing only to make a handsome donation to a Brexit campaign so that the UK leaves the EU before January 2020 when new laws demanding honesty about paying taxes comes into effect, I would “sadly” announce closure and talk of all the efforts I had made to keep the firm going. The workforce would be left jobless and the customers will be losing cash big time. But the taxpayer will pick up the bill for that and I will certainly NOT be a taxpayer!
Job done! Move onto another struggling company.
There is only one flaw in this scheme and it is one that I share with the vast majority of the population. I have never had enough money to buy the failing company in the first place. You have to come from a family of con-men and “entrepreneurs” to get a head start in “business”.
Another shop going to be boarded up, lets hope not for long. A decent town High St is paramount if you want to attract visitors/tourists also it’s the heart of the community.
Job losses notwithstanding, am glad Thomas Cook has bit the dust, and not a moment too soon. I always found them a rip-off, with the occasional rude staff member.