Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Would you park here?

St Mildred's Bay Westgate-on-Sea

For some time now the question has been raised who parks here when for many people payment by this method is either impossible or too much bother. The question also needs to be asked is the Council getting any revenue for this car park and any others it has in its wisdom changed to this payment method. Some people have commented that some mobile networks  do not have a signal here.

Several times this summer I have walked by this car park and on most occasions it has been empty as in the picture below.

So where are people parking? The answer is in the surrounding streets taking up valuable street parking normally used by residents or they just go away. No doubt this has an affect on the local beach café.

There is no CCTV so how is the council fining parkers who do not pay? There does not appear to be anyone checking or is this a voluntary scheme?

One of our Westgate councillors has asked the questions so it will be interesting to see what replies are forthcoming. I am certain there will be very little revenue so would it be better to make this car park free and encourage visitors to this bay?

Sunday, 20 September 2015









Richard Charlton, (chair), twenty one members, Thanet District Cllr Bertie Braidwood, Westgate Town Cllr Richard Charlton.


The chairman welcomed all to the meeting.



Apologies had been received from Sam Secombe, Chris and Derek Smith, Cllrs Ash Ashbee, Carol Partington, and KCC Warden Laura Bungard.




The chairman told the meeting that details of the balance and prevention of falls classes as outlined by Mr Peter Ellis at last month's meeting will be to hand shortly.  




The minutes of the last meeting, (10th August 2015), which had been circulated, were amended and adopted on a prop by Stephanie Sutton sec by Don Eacott, and signed.




1)      Westgate Town Council – Information from Meetings.  Richard told the meeting that he had arranged for the clerk to prepare a precis of the minutes so that he could read from this at W&WRA general meetings. The full minutes will also be shown from the space allotted in the window at the Town Hall  Building.

2)      Flowers/Railings Margate Sea Front.  KCC had wanted to remove railings and some had already gone.  These were there as safety barriers as people came up from the beach and to assist those who are blind.  TDC had not been involved but there had not been the proper procedures or consultation.

3)      Accounts.  Several members asked about last year's accounts as they had not had the opportunity to see them.  Richard is to arrange for copies to be available at the next meeting and on the Bake House noticeboard.  Usually they also appear in the magazine. 




Cllr Bertie Braidwood:

1)      Family Fun Day.  Cllr Braidwood congratulated Abigail on a very good day.

2)      St Mildred's Bay Car Park.  Cllr Braidwood had asked Mike Humber who is going to see the Civil Enforcement Manager to check the situation and payments received.

3)      Speedwatch.  The present scheme only covers the villages, and Westbrook/Westgate would need an advisor/coordinator, plus volunteers and £2,000 funding.  Iris Johnston said that there was TDC funding to help start up such schemes.


Cllr Carol Partington:(Report read out by Richard)

1)      Local Plan.  There is to be a planning meeting with Keith Holland very soon concerning the local plan, and Cllr Partington offered to take any specific questions or issues to this.  (It was thought that that some of the buildings already built are included in the total count, and Iris Johnston said that the Draft Options Local Plan shows no housing on Manston Airport, but there was a need to watch what was happening especially developments around Belmont Road).



KCC Community Warden Laura Bungard:  August report read out by Richard:

Items dealt with include police matters, pavement obstruction, highways (trees and potholes/drains), homeless, youths in care homes, bus stop repairs, vulnerable adults and children, waste/recycling and fly tips, parking, dog warden called, DVLA enquiries, vandalism, lost and found, scams, noise, housing, social services, speed watch, ASB, domestic, burglary, RTA, NEM, illegal campers and also other items.



None received.



1) 37, Sea Road, (Westcliff House).  Application for permission to erect a four storey building with flats and access, and a rear extension to Westcliff House.  Refused.



Sam had sent in her report:  Bank balance £7,040 and bills paid to date.  However income from the Bridge Club ceases from 17th September as they have had declining numbers, and their rental had been a considerable proportion of the W&WRA income.  Richard hoped to produce a press feature on the Bake House which now has available time slots for hire.  Charges are £11/hour, (trials available at special prices), and can hold up to thirty five people.



Most of the magazines have been delivered, but more road stewards are urgently required.



Ray and Christina Taylor have taken up the work of membership secretaries, and it was proposed by Don Eacott and seconded by Jane Welch that they be elected to the position.  This was agreed unanimously.



Civic Society.  James Brazier reported that there is an outing to the Imperial War Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum on Tuesday 22nd September.  Monthly meetings commence on Thursday 1st October when the AGM will be held followed by a talk on “Turner Contemporary's Waste Land Community Project”.


Westgate Heritage Centre.  Next meeting is on Saturday 3rd October from 10.00am with the talk “October 1973 Water water everywhere”, by John Naden who was a local police constable at the time of the flooding.



Jane reported on last month's events. which included a visit  to Ramsgate Tunnels, some members joined a trip with Carol Peters to Rye, Quiz night last week (thank you to Richard), and some members enjoyed the Community Centre's family fun day at the weekend.  Some members failed to turn up for the Ramsgate outing , so that a deposit will be requested with bookings for future outings.

Future events/trips.  Sunday lunch at the Golf Club 20th Sept (pre-orders required as a good number are coming).  Isle of Sheppey music hall trip 29th Sept, “Silver Sunday” different things to try out and buffet at St Augustines 10.30am to 5.30pm 4th October, also a tea dance in the Winter Gardens, a shopping trip in November, and new year lunch on 10th January 2016.

Discounts have been arranged for members at the Golf Club and in some local businesses on Mondays on production of a membership card.

Abigail reported on the family fun day which was good but suffered poor weather and so was down on last year, but did not make a loss.  However the Centre has had

a new floor and kitchen and men's toilets.  More work is needed.  Other events to come will include Halloween and Easter.


1)      Work on Promenade between St Mildred's and West Bays.  This appeared to have been completed but one very large skip of rubble had been left behind.  Cllr Bertie Braidwood agreed to chase this up.

2)      Pavement and Drop Kerb Obstruction.  A new shop in Station Road called “Volunteers Trust”, apparently open on two days a week has caused the obstruction.  Cllr Bertie Braidwood and Warden Laura Bungard will be checking on this.

3)      Westbrook Road blocked by Abandoned Cars.  This was reported by a member, and Iris Johnston suggested contacting Phil Snook (TDC), or the police or highways.

4)      Canterbury Road near King Ethelbert School.  A member reported seeing bags tied to trees in the centre of the dual carriageway.  This was thought to be due to the work of the Birchington anti litter group, concern was expressed for the safety of those working in that location.     

5)      Walmer Castle Pub.  Richard pointed out that the CAMRA group had exercised the right to buy by community groups and the CAAG were concerned about the plans for a house or dwelling behind the existing building as it could involve reversing onto the main road.  The Westgate Town Council did not stop the sale, plans will now be considered by TDC

6)      Illegal Camping on the Sea Front.  Tony Sykes informed the meeting that this could be reported direct to Thanet Coast Project as an incident, and prompt action usually follows.  On the roads Iris Johnston said the correct protocol was to inform the KCC, if the jacks or legs of a caravan are down this becomes illegal.

7)      Westbrook Undercliff Green Annual Cut.  Tony Sykes said this would now take place in January following the advice of the RSPB, and it is hoped that the Bumble Bee Trust will be introducing and monitoring bees in addition to the miner bees already  present.  Members of the “WASPS” group keep the weeds down on the areas planted with shrubs and other plants suitable for  wild life.

8)      Talk “The Dornier Restoration” by Nina Hadaway (RAF Hendon) takes place in Birchington Village Centre on Wednesday 16th September at 7.30pm for 8.00pm.

9)      Beach Clean St Mildred's Bay.  This will take place on Saturday 19th September at 10.00am all welcome. 



 Monday 12th October, at the Westgate Town Hall Building 7.00pm for 7.15pm.


There being no other business the meeting concluded at 8.30pm.