Unearthed article raises more questions

March 01, 2018

This cutting from the EKM, 10th June 2010, shows that there were many other options than selling to 'Silver Screen'. There was originally a better offer on the table but this feel through. DDC, in their wisdom, allowed TWO DAYS to find new buyers. Seems fair, right? They rushed through the sale to Wallace & Digweed for unknown reasons.

Extraordinary rebuttal from CEO of DDC

February 28, 2018

Read it and weep. Our letter - drafted with the help of retired solicitor Yvonne Hossack - presented all of the (hard fought for) evidence to the DDC for consideration. They have either disagreed with most points or told us is it's 'too late' to do anything about it.

 

No responsibility for the leaky legal agreements or selling a community asset for a song.

No responsibility for anything really.

 

We have something else to try - that's what we're fundraising for. If you think this is shoddy in the extreme, do please consider chipping in.

Help us take them to task!

January 09, 2018

We're fundraising to take advantage of a lead we've been given by a retired solicitor. For this, we'll need legal counsel, and that's not very cheap. All contributions gratefully received. We feel we have to examine every avenue surrounding this shambles… the building – and Deal – deserves it.

Cabinet's response to Scrutiny

September 03, 2017

Update to Scrutiny Committee meeting at the Astor on 3rd August 2017.

Decisions made based on the recommendations put forward.

Cabinet Meeting 4th Sept 2017

i) That the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee’s recommendations (i) and (ii), made at its meeting held on 3 August 2017 (Minute No 4), be approved, subject to (i) being amended as follows:

(i) That the Leader of the Council chair and attempt to facilitate a meeting between the owners of the Regent Cinema and representatives of the Reopen the Regent Group and the Deal Society.

(ii) That the Cabinet encourage the owners of the Regent Cinema to have regular contact with the ward Councillors for Deal and local community groups.

(b) That the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee’s recommendation (iii) be rejected as it is considered that the information requested on a Compulsory Purchase Order has already been provided and that a further report is therefore unnecessary.

(c) That the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee’s recommendation (iv) be rejected since the Council currently has no plans to pursue a Compulsory Purchase Order.

(d) That the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee’s recommendation (v) be approved, noting that the Director of Finance, Housing and Community has requested an update on business rates.

(e) That the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee’s recommendations (vi) and (vii) be approved, noting that these requests can be taken forward by Officers at the meeting. convened between theowners, the Reopen the Regent Group and the Deal Society.

(f) That the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee’s recommendation (viii) be rejected since the covenant cannot be changed by the Council.

(g) That the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee’s recommendation (ix) be rejected since the history of the site and how it came to be in the Council’s ownership is well known and publicly available.

(h) That the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee’s recommendation 
(x) be approved, albeit that the Council is likely to rely on a legal mechanism rather than a covenant. Should any transfer or sale of land take place, the relevant Portfolio Holder would be consulted.

Standing room only!

August 02, 2017

There was a great turnout for the Scrutiny Committee's public meeting at the Astor. Extra seats were brought in, the balcony opened up and many people were content to stand in order to hear the latest news. Unsurprisingly, the owners didn't turn up but they sent a representative from the Kent Chamber of Commerce to share their news. Mr Foley's announcement that plans would be submitted to DDC in September was met with derision… the town has been promised such plans for the past seven years.

After some very heated debate (highlights included an eloquent speech by Alan Sutherland on why DDC should up its game – people feel let down by them and don't trust their motives; Richard Taylor-Jones urged DDC to have some vision and to do right by the town; Kathryn Reilly brought the panel's attention to some dubious online posts between Cllr Frost and Leader of the Council, Paul Watkins) the Committee settled on the following recommendations, which will be presented to the Cabinet on 4th September.

The recommendations arising from last night’s meeting of the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee. The recommendations will be considered by the Cabinet at its meeting on 4 September 2017.

SCRUTINY (POLICY & PERFORMANCE) COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE REGENT CINEMA:

 

(a) That it be recommended to the Cabinet:


(i) That the Leader of the Council chair and facilitate a meeting between the owners of the Regent Cinema and representatives of the Reopen the Regent Group and the Deal Society.

 

(ii) That the Cabinet encourage the owners of the Regent Cinema to have regular contact with the ward councillors for Deal and local community groups.

 

(iii) That a report be submitted to the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee on the feasibility, process, obstacles, costs and likelihood of success of a Compulsory Purchase Order by the Council for the Regent Cinema.

 

(iv) That the Cabinet be requested to start investigating now if a potential operator for a cinema on the Regent Cinema site could be found as part of developing a viable Compulsory Purchase Order.

 

(v) That officers be requested to investigate and report back to the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee on whether the correct business rates had been paid based on actual usage (i.e. as offices) for the Regent Cinema rather than based on the historic usage (as a bingo hall).

 

(vi) That in the event that no planning application for the Regent Cinema is submitted in September 2017, the owners be requested by officers to permit access to the Regent Cinema site by representatives of the Reopen the Regent Group so that they can start to develop a business case for the site.

 

(vii) That, noting the statement on behalf of the owners of the Regent Cinema that they expected to submit a planning application in September 2017, they be urged to submit a planning application for the site as soon as possible.

viii) That the Cabinet reviews how the Council drafts covenants in future and investigate whether the conditions of the existing covenant on the Regent Cinema could be changed by the Council.

 

(ix) That the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee be provided with an update on the background as to how the Regent Cinema originally came to be into the Council’s ownership.

 

(x) That the Cabinet ensures that safeguards (such as a covenant) are put in place if any further land such as from the neighbouring car park is sold to the Regent Cinema owners to support the development.


(b) That in the event that no planning application for the Regent Cinema is submitted during September 2017, the owners of the Regent Cinema be invited as soon as possible thereafter to a meeting of the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee on a date at which they can be present.

 

 

(c) That the speakers and members of the public present at the meeting of the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee be thanked for attending.

We sincerely hope that Cabinet approves these recommendations.

Scrutiny Committee update

April 17, 2017

At a meeting at DDC's offices today, the Committee's progress was discussed. Formal minutes will be posted when they are available.

In the meantime, the Group showed the Committee images of the south side of the Regent building, which is deteriorating badly.

The Committee is recommending a public meeting in Deal, to be scheduled as soon after the General Election as possible.

New supporter is an acting great

March 22, 2017

Award-winning actor, Mark Rylance, joins the campaign, saying: 

'There are few rituals as old, for human beings, as hearing a story together. As technology increasingly isolates us and we see and hear stories at home, alone or only with family, cinemas and theatres have become much more important social meeting places. They provide a centre, a heart to a community. With the loss of so many pubs too, they provide a place to meet and experience something with strangers. They are the antidote to the dreadful plight of loneliness which is far more widespread than one imagines. Save the Regent Cinema! That’s what the BFG says.'

Scrutiny Committee meeting at Deal Town Hall

September 12, 2016

Reopen the Regent cinema's presentation of the petition and subsequent questions to Dover District Council's Scrutiny Committee has resulted in the following recommendations, which will be passed on to DDC's Cabinet for consideration:

'The recommendations of the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee held on 13 September 2016 to the Cabinet meeting to be held on 3 October 2016 are as follows:

That it be recommended to the Cabinet:

(a) That planning officers be instructed to immediately cease providing pre-application advice to the developers of the Regent Cinema.

(b) That the developer be given 3 months to submit an outline planning application and 6 months to submit a full planning application for the Regent Cinema building and if these deadlines are not met the Council take enforcement action in respect of the building.

(c) That officers be requested to investigate the heritage value of the Regent Cinema building.

(d) That officers be requested to investigate applying for Listed Building status for the Regent Cinema building.

(e) That an immediate inspection of the Regent Cinema building be undertaken by officers to look at whether a Section 215 notice can be issued and a report be provided to a future meeting of the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee outlining the action taken.

(f) That immediate enforcement action be taken to ensure compliance with the Covenant on the permitted use of the Regent Cinema building.

(g) That a local fire officer be requested to conduct an immediate inspection of the Regent Cinema building.

(h) That the Director of Environment and Corporate Assets be requested as a matter of urgency to investigate if the condition of the Regent Cinema building is adversely affecting the Timeball Tower and take appropriate action.

(i) That officers be asked to investigate whether the correct level of business rates has been paid on the Regent Cinema building for its actual use over the last six years and the findings, including any action taken as a result, be reported to a future meeting of the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee.

(j) That a report be submitted to a future meeting of the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee on the feasibility of the Council undertaking a Compulsory Purchase Order in respect of the Regent Cinema building in the event the developer does not take the requested actions.

(k) That the Regent Cinema be included as an item within the Scrutiny (Policy and Performance) Committee’s rolling work programme.

The next stage in the process will be for the Cabinet to consider the recommendations of the scrutiny committee and determine what course of action it wishes to undertake. The Committee will discuss the decision of the Cabinet at its meeting to be held on 11 October 2016.

In addition, as indicated last night and shown in the above recommendations the Committee intends to continue to monitor the situation through its work programme.'

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