|Image courtesy of @retrodan16|
"I am relieved to be out of the team. The essence of Portas Pilots has been lost. There's no project or action plan going forward. At least I had one for Poportunity. It was supposed to work with other elements of the bid like education, marketing and wi-fi but they haven't happened for one reason or another. "I feel let down for the people in there who are working hard."Poportunity launched on October 20th as part of Mary Portas' 'Margate Relaunch' event for the Optomen Television produced upcoming series: Mary Queen of Shops.
|Richard Ash (centre)|
Yet, Margate Town Team's Chairman, Richard Ash is quoted in today's article in the Gazette as saying:
"I would like to thank Wanda publicly for all she has done in very difficult circumstances. The numbers have to add up. The graph plotting Poportunity's progress has been going downhill like a toboggan since October. The aim of Poportunity was always for start-up businesses to test ideas out but it cannot be treated like a bucket with holes in, with the town team endlessly filling it with money."
What an odd thing for Richard to say. Afterall, Richard has also been Chairman of Margate Town Team since last October, a full six months ago.
Back in November I blogged about an interview Richard had given to BBC Radio Kent, where he was keen to say how much of a success Poportunity was. Listen to the following section from 2:31 in:
In the same interview, Richard stated the only Portas Pilot funds spent so far was £800 on the annual checks of the High Street Christmas lights. The ones that in the end weren't working for Christmas. This was later clarified by TDC as being a Margate Town Partnership responsibility and the bill was covered by TDC not Margate Town Team.
Then, in March Richard was quoted in the Sunday Times he was 'proud as a peacock' for the Town Team's progress so far in not spending any money. http://margatearchitecture.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/sunday-times-queen-of-shops-all-pomp.html
So there we have it: The endearing image of a peacock, riding a toboggan down a dying High Street with £100k of winnings stashed in the bank at TDC.