Email Height Parking financial accountability
I am trying to sort this bit of the site out to make it easier to use.
As I do the links at the top (you can scroll the black bit down and there are lots of them now) should start with my most recent emails
followed by the most recent replies.
under my emails I'll try to put a list of the addresses I sent them to and after that a list of the ones that wouldn't send

On the 20th of October 2004 I tried to send an email to all of the councillors in order find out the current position with the old Pleasurama site on the seafront in Ramsgate.

What happened was something one would expect to find in a comic novel.

So here's the correspondence I have also tried to include any previous correspondence about the issues.

I have endeavoured to put the most recent at the top

Dear councillor

I gather you have received my email about the Pleasurama site development in Ramsgate.

Thank you if you have replied already, I will reply to you personally later.

Because I met with considerable difficulties trying to contact you by email if felt you ought to know about it.

I should also like to point out the potential danger inherent in counsellors not having a email address, which is that members of the public cannot be certain that they have received an email from you and not some malicious impostor.

A genuine email will have the following in the properties or details.
“Received: from Gateway-MTA by
     with Novell_GroupWise; Fri, 29 Oct 2004 18:00:14 +0100
By clicking on the tab at the top of the email you can check its authenticity should you have any suspicions. Obviously make this information available to the public both to reassure them and protect you.

On Wednesday of last week I typed out an email with the intention of sending it to all the TDC councillors.

When I looked on the TDC website I discovered that most of the councillors email addresses had vanished. In most cases it had gone altogether in some it had been replaced with

I duly sent it to, I added a note asking for it to be passed on to all councillors.

I did a similar mailing in April using a different email address for each councillor, frankly it was very difficult and took a long time as about half the email addresses didn't work because they were out of date. I eventually managed to get an updated list of addresses and from the responses felt that I had contacted a fair proportion of councillors.

By Friday I had had no replies, I thought this was a bit strange as it was about a fairly controversial issue and in April after a couple of days I had had about ten replies. Anyway I telephoned the council and asked for the IT department to see if anything had gone wrong. After the usual business with large organisations switchboards (if you want to press 3 press 7 etc.) I spoke to Kevin Wiltshire who seemed to be at home with emails and computers, I definitely felt he new the difference between rom and ram and would sort it out for me. I duly thanked him and promised to send him an old picture of Ramsgate by email to cheer the onerous task.

I prepared a few additional sentences explaining what had gone wrong, how I felt about it and sent it to him. He promised to send it on to all the councillors he could find email addresses for and being skilled in IT reckoned he could make it look like it had come directly from me. This would mean that when a councillor went to reply I would get it and not Mr Wiltshire.

Then to my surprise I received a series of emails and phone calls that made me feel as though I was dealing with the political censor in a banana republic rather than local council officials. Essentially they refused to pass on the email to any of the councillors.

Here are the emails

Hi Michael,

Thank you for the picture. I understand that you have now had a
conversation with our Member Services Department and that they have
explained what has happened with your email.

Best Regards,

Kevin Wiltshire
Technical Support Manager
Thanet District Council
DDI 01843 577778


>>> <> 26/10/2004 14:02:55 >>>

In a message dated 26/10/2004 11:37:32 GMT Standard Time, writes:

Hi Michael,

It looks like you forgot to include the picture as there is no

I have forwarded your email to Sharon Humber
( for attention. She is the Member
Services Manager and will be the best person to forward your email on
Members.  She has now received your email and advised me that it was
sent to all 56 members yesterday. She said she will be in touch with
you later today via phone.

Best Regards,

Hi Kevin
I spoke to Sharon Humber who has now agreed to send the email on to some of the councillors by email and send me a list of those councillors.
I explained to her that I thought delaying councillors email by up to six days without telling the member of the public who had emailed them was totally unacceptable.
The email to all councillors was not the only one to have been delayed in this way in the last 10 days.
I also explained to her that if a member of the public thinks that he has sent an email to a councillor especially a cabinet or committee member but what in fact happens is that the council member receives a printed copy of the email up to 6 days later this makes it very difficult for the council member to reply both technically and within a timeframe of courtesy and efficiency.
I should add that I have had considerable problems emailing members of the council for a period of about a year and have drawn this to various people within the IT department of TDC
I also explained that I thought that cabinet and committee members should have functioning email addresses published on the TDC website.
She said that they were still working on this as they were a year ago but she would send me a list of email addresses for councillors.
We then discussed the committee minutes library I told her that if the agendas for the meetings don't actually get published until the meeting is over it makes the whole business pointless. she explained to me that publishing to the committee minutes library was behind due to technical problems. I suggested that the current minuets and agendas be published onto the TDC website in HTML and suggested that the trove server didn't work properly from an end users point of view and was an inappropriate method for such a small amount of data.
As you see I am still not a happy chappie.
your picture was embedded in the email you need to adjust your mail program to see images and objects however i have attached the picture as a file.
As i haven't had a single reply or acknowledgement of receipt I still await some written confirmation that a single email has reached a single councillor. Pardon all the singles one of those days
All the best Michael.
Hi Kevin
I find myself in an extraordinary position. Having sent an email to all councillors last Wednesday and not having had a single confirmation of receipt or reply i am coming to the conclusion that none of them have received it.
Could you possibly do as you promised yesterday and send it on for me.
The following are copies of my communications with your Member Services Department.
All the best Michael.
Mr Child,
Further to our earlier conversation, I can confirm that I have sent an
electronic version of your letter to those Councillors that have access
to email.
In addition I have been instructed by Cllr John Kirby to advise you as
'Due to legal considerations I do not intend to propose to respond
personally to any further individual emails or letters from members of
the public regarding questions concerning the Pleasurama site.
As you know I have been the victim of unsolicited correspondence, which
could be considered libelous, during the past week or so.
In the circumstances, I am taking legal advice on this matter and will
therefore not be corresponding until this matter is sorted out'
Thank you
Mrs Firmin
Mrs Firmin
Could you please send me a list of the councillors you sent it to and the list of councillors emails that you said you would during our telephone conversation.
Could you please let me know if the council has an official position on the pleasurama site at the moment.
Can you please confirm that the above email is what Cllr John Kirby wants me to publish as his position on the pleasurama development.
I am asking this as he made a particular visit to see me to ensure his position on the subject was not misrepresented on the internet.
Kind regards Michael Child
Mr Child,
Please be advised that a reminder email was sent to the following
Members yesterday (26th October) - this is the list of Members' email
addresses. A copy of the letter was not sent as a hard copy had been
hand delivered to all Members in their despatch the day before (Monday). - Cllr K Gregory - Cllr B Nicholson - Cllr Hayton - Cllr Bayford - Cllr Goodwin - Cllr Harrison - Cllr D Green - Cllr E Green - Cllr Biggs - Cllr I Gregory - Cllr Spencer - Cllr Cohen - Cllr Kirkpatrick - Cllr Booth - Cllr Fullarton - Cllr Aldred - Cllrs Tomlinson - Cllr Fenner - Cllr Poole - Cllr R Nicholson - Cllr Latchford - Cllr Day - Cllr Ward - Cllr Emes - Cllr Fuller
zita@wiltshire/ - Cllr Wiltshire
In respect of Cllr John Kirby, I can only reiterate his earlier message
to you and advise that this is the case until the Police have concluded
their enquiries. I am therefore not confirming that Cllr John Kirby
wishes you to publish as this as his position on the pleasurama
In respect of this matter I can advise you that a report will be going
to the Cabinet meeting on 10.11.04
Thank you
Mrs Firmin
Mrs Firmin
I am charitably assuming that your PA has made some dreadful mistake and that your list of email addresses was only partially sent.
The alternative that you are unwilling or unable to pass on an email to most of the cabinet and committee members in a form that they can reply to by email and that you have prevented Kevin Wiltshire, who promised to do so yesterday from so doing, would of course be the subject of an immediate official complaint.
I am reminding you that all the correspondence relating to this matter will be published on the internet this weekend.
I feel that I must now insist that my email, copy below, is passed on with my email address as the return address as promised yesterday by Kevin Wiltshire.
I should like you to make it clear to cabinet and relevant committee members that failure to reply in some relevant and coherent way in a reasonable time relative to an email may result in my making a complaint about them.
I also hope that you will explain to them why it was delayed for a week.
Michael Child.

Mrs Firmin
You are genuinely telling me that you have for instance no email address for the leader of the council
Michael Child

I then telephoned the councils IT department and spoke to Yvonne Darkes who fully understood the potential problems caused by delayed and unsent emails and promised that she would have no difficulty in sending the email on to all the councillors who had email addresses and let me know of any that hadn't so I would no who I had written to.

Thank you for your email Mr Child.
Please accept my apologies in respect of this but as you had already
accessed our website I mistakenly thought that you were aware of the email addresses for the Cabinet Members.
Mrs Firmin

Mrs Firmin
the whole reason that i first asked Mr Wiltshire to send on my emails was because the email addresses had vanished from the TDC website. this he confirmed by looking at the site during the phone call.
will you please send the following to all the email addresses now.
Michael Child

Pleasurama site
28/10/2004 11:10:12 am GMT Daylight time

Dear Members
Please see email which Mr Child has requested be forwarded to you.
Please be advised that a hard copy of Mr Child's letter was despatched to all Members in their hand delivery on 25.10.04. In addition an electronic reminder note was then sent to Members with email access at home.
Thankyou, Annette

Mrs Firmin
Have you sent the email to all the councillors with a email address or only the 14 that I can see listed at the top of the email.
please can you send me a list of who you have sent it to anyway.
please can you send me a list of those councillors that have no email address so that I can contact them separately.
please can you send me a list also of all the available email addresses for councillors as now they have vanished from the TDC website it is very difficult to know who you have contacted and therefore who has failed to reply to you.
I have been assured by various members of your IT department that it should be possible to email most of the councillors this way
Michael Child

 As you see I counted them all twice.

Hi Yvonne
As far as I can see Mrs Firmin has only sent the email to eight councillors.
If you could find anyone who would be prepared to send it to the rest I would appreciate it
Perhaps you can now understand why I tried to get you to promise to send it yourself
Kind regards Michael

Dear Mr Child

I refer to your recent correspondence with Mrs Firmin.

To draw a line under this issue I confirm the following:

1) a copy of your email has been sent to all Councillors with a address.

2) a copy of your email has been sent to all Councillors with their
own email address at home.

3) a copy of email has been sent to all 56 Councillors by post.

4)  a copy of the email addressees (which includes both council and
home addresses) for Councillors is attached.

I fail to see what else we can do to assist you.

Yours sincerely

Sharon Humber
Member Services Manager
Thanet District Council
P O Box 9, Cecil Street
Margate, Kent CT9 1XZ

Direct Dial Telephone: (01843) 577203     Fax: (01843) 291640
E-mail:     Web:


BOOTH, Joanna
BROWN, Simon
CLARK, Douglas W
COOK, Barbara A
DAY, Simon
DUNCAN, Rozanne
EMES, Trevor
FENNER, Michelle
GORE, Wynne L
GREEN, David
GREEN, Elizabeth
HART, Clive
HART, Dennis
HAYTON, William
HIBBERD, Charles
HIGGS, Laura
PAYNE, Dennis
POOLE, Elizabeth
ROBERTS, Michael J
WARD, Stephen C
WELLS, Christopher T
WISE, Martin J
YOUNG, Charles F J

As all this progressed I added a description of some of my difficulties to my original email about the Pleasurama site so I am slightly confused about who has received what and when.

You may note there are some differences between the various lists of email addresses.

I am publishing all of this correspondence on the website today any comments you send me on either the Pleasurama site or the email issue I will publish there.

Kind regards Michael Child

Dear Ms. Humber
I have discovered that because of a discrepancy between two planning documents of 3.4 Meters that was unopposed by the planning department, the new Pleasurama building, instead of as described in the planning and design statement (as being concealed discreetly below the cliff top), will now tower 11 feet above it.
That the retail part of the building (about the size of Tescos) is served by only 10 parking places shared with the hotel guests while the whole development involves the removal of the main car park in the area.
With these factors in mind I tried to discover from Companies House if any of the councillors or council officials have a financial interest in the project. After considerable investigation it emerges that a foreign company of convenience has been formed to hide all the beneficiaries, receipts in excess of £60 million are expected from the project.
I then discovered that a cabinet meeting is to be held very soon 10/12/04 to finalise these arrangements. In view of the time factor involved and the complexity of the issue I attempted to email my councillors on the 20/10/04 to see if they had any views on the matter.
After several days without a single response I telephoned the council and was promised on two occasions by different council officials that my email would be forwarded immediately, after several more days without a response I discover that a council employee is deliberately delaying my email from reaching the councillors. Obviously I have drawn my own conclusions as to why this was done.
I thank you for forwarding my email after all this time however I would like some assurance that there will be better provision made for the forwarding of councillors emails, now that most of their email addresses have been removed from the TDC website.
I have noticed that all the council employees I have discussed this with have email addresses, whereas only 8 of the councillors have email addresses, I can only conclude that this shows the importance with which elected members and therefore the electorate are regarded within the council.
It has been suggested by some of the councillors that providing them with email addresses is considered too expensive. If this is the case I will be happy to provide you with a list of reputable companies offering this facility free of charge.
Finally as it was not possible to tell if the email you sent was the one containing a description of the difficulty I was having in sending it, I re-sent this part using the list of email addresses you sent me.
I received the following message from my i.s.p.
----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----
I am sure you will appreciate that the fact that, through no fault of your own, you have told me that you have sent these three people my email rather confirms the problem.
Kind regards Michael Child.
In a message dated 29/10/2004 17:58:20 GMT Standard Time, writes: