Thanet Council’s ambitious target to open the Margate Dreamland Amusement Park by April 2015, has suffered yet another major set back. Plans agreed on 1 May to seek an external management organisation to run the tourist attraction on behalf of the Council were revealed today to be in breach of European Procurement rules which prohibit preference being given to not-for-profit contractors when letting tenders (1). The ruling means that the Dreamland Trust, seen by many as TDCs preferred operator of the amusement park, will now have to compete against commercial organisations to become the park operators.
Green Party Councillor, Ian Driver, a critic of TDCs management of the Dreamland Project said “although I am 110% behind the amusement park and hope that it will be a massive success, I believe that an April 2015 launch is far too optimistic . This latest news means that its extremely unlikely to have an external management organisation in place in time to oversee the opening of the park. I have previously expressed my concerns about delays in beginning the refurbishment and restoration of the park and its rides. I have also aired serious doubts about whether the Dreamland budget will cover the final cost of the Compulsory Purchase Order for the site and the all the work which must be done to have it in a fit state to be open to the public next April (2). I think that the Council should now begin a fundamental review of it’s project plans for the amusement park and come up with more sensible budget and timeline otherwise Margate’s Dreamland will soon become Margate’s Nightmare”.1. http://democracy.thanet.gov.uk/documents/d3519/Printed%20decision%20Procurement%20of%20Dreamland.pdf?T=5
see also Publhttp://thanetgreencouncillor.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/margates-dreamland-becomes-margates.htmlic Sector Law Blog (last case at bottom of page) http://publicsector.practicallaw.com/blog/publicsector/plc/?p=2290