Wednesday, 20 June 2012
THANET FALLING BEHIND THANKS TO LOCAL TORIES
At the East Kent Joint Arrangements Committee meeting (EKJAC) held at the Guildhall in Canterbury on Wednesday (20th June), the Leaders and Deputy Leaders of four East Kent District Council's and the KCC Deputy Leader Alex King agreed that EKJAC, the forum which brought together County and District council leaders in East Kent, should now be dissolved. Furthermore, the district representatives were assured that KCC would maintain close working relations with East Kent Districts primarily through the new Locality Boards, as it does in the rest of Kent.
Thanet Labour Deputy Leader Alan Poole then immediately asked Cllr King to get KCC Leader Paul Carter and his Cabinet Member Mike Hill to create a Locality Board for Thanet as a matter of urgency!
Thanet Labour Leader Clive Hart was chairing what was probably the last meeting of EKJAC and afterwards said "Across the vast majority of Kent, these new Locality Boards are blazing the trail for closer co-operation between district and county council's and we most desperately need one here in Thanet.
As a gesture of good will, and in an effort to help foster a proper Locality Board for Thanet, our Labour Cabinet recently met with Thanet's Conservative dominated group of County Councillor's to discuss the issue of Youth Service provision in Thanet. The meeting was a great success and proved that cross-party working really can work for the benefit of local residents. Two different groups of councillors from two different local authorities and two different political parties came together for the benefit of local residents and despite our differences a large amount of common ground was found. Despite this resounding success, Thanet Conservative County Councillor's are still intransigent and simply will not move towards a regular and formal Locality Board for the residents of Thanet.
Time is slipping by and Thanet is loosing out. At the last Kent Forum of Leaders and Chief Executives public meeting held at County Hall in May, I had to request firm intervention from KCC Leader Paul Carter and his Cabinet Member Mike Hill and now my deputy has had to do the same at a public meeting here in East Kent. Our Labour administration is 100% committed to a Locality Board for the people of Thanet but I am extremely concerned that Thanet residents are being denied a fresh, vibrant and progressive level of representation and co-operation enjoyed by the vast majority of Kent residents".