Opinion with Ramsgate Town Councillor Pat Makinson: Civic Pride in Ramsgate

Ramsgate Photo Frank Leppard

Ramsgate Town Councillor Pat Makinson is Chair of Planning & Infrastructure Committee for the grassroots authority.

She says there are many plans in the pipeline to improve the town but urges people to play their part in the Civic Pride scheme:

Ramsgate has always had some bad press about the state of the town. When I became chair of the RTC Planning and Infrastructure committee I wanted to see what could be done under the Infrastructure heading.

Firstly, I collected a small list of blocked drains, broken pavements and damaged roads in Ramsgate which was sent to Kent County Council. After some persuasion they have logged all these and say something will be done.

So far they have repaired part of Harbour Street and we are eagerly awaiting work for the rest of Harbour Street and all the blocked drains in Ramsgate.

Through Facebook I have asked people to monitor these and also to report further individual blocked drains themselves. They will get a reference number which can be tracked, and, if nothing happens I can report this to Paul Valek of KCC. What I can’t find out is whether there is a regular schedule for checking all drains. I think there is, but KCC won’t tell me. We live in hope.

Then to the problem of litter, graffiti, weeds and general dereliction of the town centre. We have dreamed up the Civic Pride scheme which asks shops and businesses to go beyond the call of duty and clean up around their premises. We have a Civic Pride certificate to issue to those contributing.

We know that 99% of all businesses already do this and we have a wonderful team of street sweepers, RTC technicians and volunteers to supplement this work.

Many people complain that they already pay their rates and expect more from the council. Unfortunately, our grant has been cut so drastically that the council can only afford the bare minimum so that people will have to help.

To be fair, if our town looks better and more attractive more people will come to shop here which benefits everyone.

The empty shops are a problem that we have yet to solve. Art work would be good, but no money!

In the pipeline are some further initiatives. We all eagerly await the installation of the gate at the foot of Harbour Street. This will help remind the drivers that it is a pedestrian area which includes them. Signs are very clear but some drivers will get out of their car and move the sign rather than find an alternative route.

We are also aiming to have a purge on drivers who park in the town outside (mainly) pedestrian hours under the no parking signs and blocking pavements. They are allowed to unload for 15 minutes, but then must move on. They don’t!

In our Highways Action Plan which is being put together there are many ideas to put to KCC. Including a loading bay in York Street, a bollard at Turner Street and, most controversially, a 20mph speed limit in the town.

There has been a perception that Ramsgate is ignored in favour of Margate and Thanet is ignored in favour of more prosperous parts of Kent. We aim to shout louder!

19 Comments

  1. why do they always show photos of ramsgate harbour ? why dont they show the real ramsgate – king street , the high street , all the dereliction and boarded up shops ?

    • Its a lovely photo, just like estate agents photographs.

      Where is the arty barge, has it sunk ?

      The local infrastructure can be maintained but rtc are not addressing the prominent problem.
      Little will change, an estate agent told me and they are known to be truthful.

    • Ramsgate harbour is part of the real Ramsgate which “real world” never seems to see, as he or she wears opposite-to-rose-coloured glasses.

  2. I presume Pat will monitor comments if so here goes
    1. All these ideas have been promulgated for more than 10 years as no nothing is done.
    2. A gate at the bottom of Harbour street was mooted in 2013 still nothing
    3. Drains blocked all over Ramsgate still KCC ignore requests to clear
    4. Civic Pride that is something that a lot of shopkeepers have but a certificate won’t pay the bills
    5. Parking is a joke but if wardens work 9-5 Mon-Fri you aren’t going to stop them
    As RTC have no clout then just keep dreaming because nothing will change

    • 1.I know. But I must try. I think the town was better already.
      2. The gate is definitely coming in October. Sad that we have to spend council tax money on this but too many entitled drivers feel the pedestrian area doesn’t apply to them.
      3. I am having a big push on blocked drains. People can report themselves on KCC web site and monitor the progress. I am monitoring about 15. Doesn’t mean they will be done – but I will nag and nag.
      4. Civic Pride is asking business owners to go beyond their own premises. Not fair I know, but neither is it fair that people drop litter all day.
      5. Parking is a joke. TDC currently have 8 vacancies for traffic wardens. Even before that it was a joke. There is a feeling Margate gets more attention. That is next on my list.
      You are correct – we have no clout. But we can push and push. Already some of the road in Harbour Street and High Street have been marked for repair. The public can also push.

  3. If 99% of businesses already clean up and do take pride then what is the point of this scheme? The article makes no sense.

    Ramsgate needs 7 day street cleaning. We deserve to know how much extra tax a year this would cost us and then let the townsfolk decide if it is a price they want to pay. It wouldn’t be hard to cost it up and then share the figure.

  4. Well done Pat you have already made difference to Ramsgate Town with your ongoing purges to business owners to smarten up their act with regards to litter. Even the Nationwide didn’t get passed your demands. Cavendish Street you helped stop the abandoned cars now in your sight is the toilet block and the bins behind it. Keep on keeping on please.

    • I agree, well done. If everyone who moaned on here moaned repeatedly to the correct authority or individual, giving a practical solution Ramsgate would be a brighter place all round

  5. even our own ” mr ramsgate ” sir ralph hoult does not venture much further than the harbour and maderia walk , especially now the old granville is up for the chop !

  6. It’s great when politicians actually do something for the community who elect them but thete are very substantial issues for Rams that aren’t mentioned.
    The Granville, The Maritime Museum clock house building, the old cafe on Western Undercliffe, the massive number if Rams people who already volunteer in many ways to keep the town looking good.
    An estate agent would show the harbour but the “buyers” solicitor and surveyor would want to see Newington,Nethercourt the High Street and the appalling decision to “house” a few desperate Travellers on the port!
    The Rams community already works hard but the Politicians and senior officers obstruct development and progress as if it was a policy.

    • Ramsgate Town Council has very little power (or money). These places you mention are all TDC. I can assure you that RTC councillors do not obstruct anything and this Civic Pride iniatitive takes in the whole of Ramsgate. We push TDC hard for the places you mention – and more!

        • It was given as a contingency and 12 of the 16 councillors at RTC were elected as opposing the cargo hub. It would not go very far in the town. Unfortunately most of your councillors believe that 4 jumbo jets an hour less than 300 ft above the town are not a good idea. There are some who do support that. Even Riveroak say that it will have a detrimental effect on the town.

  7. This morning once again I woke to see my front garden full of other peoples rubbish, and its not all down to last Saturdays storm, it a constant problem. Ramsgate isn’t just the town, but all the surrounding arears too! I am going to organise a street party if we ever get a road sweeper!

  8. It seems the only street to get a good make over is Harbour Street , I wonder if it’s because the Ramsgate mayor has a business there ,

    • WE already get 7 day a wek street cleaning. Only once a day though. We are pushing for more litter bins. Try joining the Ramsgate ROAD (Ramsgate Residents One A Day)Face Book page. In these difficult times we need to contribute!

    • Your insinuations are very unfair. The mayor has no more influence to get the street sorted than you or I .Harbour Street is very important as the entry to the town and it is in everyone’s interests that it is improved. The gate is going in and part of the road has already been repaired. The road gets damaged by the POundland Pantechnicons which travel up there every second night. We have approached them to use their delivery bay in Cavendish street but they are not cooperative.

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