Thursday, 27 February 2014

Thanet Council - High Court Verdict in Live Animal Exports Case

The High Court has today (Thursday 27 February) ruled that Thanet District Council did not have the power to impose a temporary ban preventing live animal exports from the Port of Ramsgate.
As part of the ruling, the council will be liable to pay compensation to the exporters to cover the loss of income incurred as a result of the ban.

The council is exploring the options for appeal with our legal advisors.

Cabinet Member for Business, Corporate and Regulatory Services, Cllr Michelle Fenner, said: “We’re extremely disappointed by today’s ruling, especially given the recent convictions of some of the exporters for animal cruelty.
“Our position has always been to work within the legal framework to ensure the welfare of animals and to highlight the ill-treatment of animals in transit.
“The decision to impose the temporary ban in 2012 was not taken lightly and was supported by legal advice following the horrific slaughter of more than 40 animals at the Port.
“We took this action at the time to protect the welfare of animals and to protect our members of staff – as there are no suitable facilities in place at the Port.
“There is little change in the fact that we know our hands are tied by Central Government and Defra, however we will explore the options for appealing the decision and consider this trade to be morally wrong.”

The scale of the damages is still to be determined.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Green Party Election Candidiate Supports Call for Ramsgate Seafront Masterplan

Green Party Councillor and Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Thanet South, Ian Driver, has lent his support to the call from current Thanet South MP, Laura Sandys, for the development of a Ramsgate  seafront masterplan.
“Following Thanet Council’s decision to  terminate  the failed  Pleasurama scheme which has blighted Ramsgate  for  more than a decade, the time is now  right  to begin consulting  with local people about how they would like to see their historic seafront developed” said Driver. “The ex-Pleasurama site offers huge potential for leisure based development  which could be linked with imaginative  plans for  the nearby Royal Pavilion, an iconic building which has been boarded up an allowed to rot for the past six years. The Council’s review of Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour and it’s adjacent Port whichall but closed following the collapse of TransEuropa Ferries last year, needs to be added to the mix, as does the development of the wartime tunnels which are set to  open this summer, the restoration of the old motor museum and the completion of a full high speed rail link to Ramsgate cutting journey time  to London to less than an hour”.
“I believe Ramsgate is  in the  unique position of having several linked development opportunities coming together at the same time. It’s a once in a generation opportunity, which if managed properly through joined up strategic planning, could make a massive impact on the fortunes of the town and Thanet as whole. This is too important a chance  to squandered for lack of a vision. I love Ramsgate and desperately want it to  re-invent itself and succeed, that’s why I am supporting Laura’s call for a seafront masterplan. I  want to work with her as Thanet South’s  MP to make things happen for Ramsgate”.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Statement from TDC Conservative Group re Cabinet decision to terminate Royal Sands development contract

The Conservative Group at Thanet District Council welcomes the decision of Cabinet to accept the recommendations of the Pleasurama Task and Finish Group and Overview and Scrutiny Panel and to terminate the Royal Sands development contract.

Group Leader, Cllr Bob Bayford said: “We welcome this decision.  It does, however, come over a year and a half after I and my Conservative colleagues on Overview and Scrutiny opposed the handing over of the site freehold to the developer.  This opposition was met with scorn by the Cabinet, including Ramsgate councillors Alan Poole, David Green and Rick Everitt.   It also follows the huge public outcry in Ramsgate and the Friends of Ramsgate Seafront campaign.

Legal proceedings are only just commencing and there is some way to go, but finally, thanks to the work of the Task and Finish Group, Scrutiny and the continued efforts of the people of Ramsgate, we can begin to look forward to a new start for the site.”

Council engages new advocates to help Thanet shine

Thanet District Council is thrilled to have new company, Tourism Works, onboard to help drive forward Thanet’s Destination Management Plan.
Thanet District Council instigated the Destination Management Plan and formulated this with input from partners and local businesses. This aims to champion Thanet’s distinctive assets and help it stand out from the competition. Tourism consultancy, Tourism Works is now working with Thanet District Council to maintain strategic partnerships and liaise with local businesses to facilitate the delivery of this plan.
Almost 100 local businesses were involved in the formulation of the plan which was the first of its kind in Kent and acts as a blueprint for developing, managing and promoting Thanet as a tourist destination. At the heart of this is the partnership between the council and tourism businesses with both public and private entities working together to maximise the tourism potential of the unique area.  
Tourism Works will be assisting in the delivery of the plan and implementing key activities with local businesses, individuals and organisations through a Steering Group and three Project Groups, one for each of the key priorities. The groups consist of individual volunteers who will be representing and acting on behalf of the tourism industry to help oversee and deliver the actions set out in the Destination Management Plan. 
The three key priorities in the Destination Management Plan and a snapshot of actions for 2014 include:
  • Beach Management and Development - including a strategic focus on beach management with a beach by beach approach to ensure the regions beaches are at their prime in time for the peak tourist season
  • Coastal Regeneration – including promotion of key tourism development sites to investors
  • Telling our Stories – including use of digital marketing
Cabinet Member for Tourism, Cllr. Iris Johnston, said: “The Destination Management Plan has been shaped by partners and local businesses who work in the tourism industry. This coming together of private and public organisations will ensure we are doing the best we can to attract millions of new visitors to the area. We aim to appeal to new investors at the same time. Tourism is worth in excess of £230 million to the local economy and I’m very pleased to have Tourism Works assisting.’
Founders of Tourism Works Fran Warrington and Kiki Case live locally bringing a wealth of experience in not only the national tourism scene but also all important local knowledge. Kiki says, “Fran and I are excited about being involved in the development of this beautiful area. There is a positive energy in the air – increasing numbers of visitors are coming back to the Great British seaside, people are moving here for the air, the space and the calmer pace of life. The Destination Management Plan has come at the perfect time and we are looking forward to working with local businesses, the community and the Council to make positive changes to Thanet.”
Local tourism businesses and people passionate about Thanet, with relevant experience and time to spare who would like to be actively involved in the Project Groups should send expressions of interest to Fran Warrington (Beach Management and Development and also Coastal Regeneration) or to  (Telling Our Stories).
Thanet District Council’s Economic Growth and Regeneration Strategy can be found in the district’s Corporate Plan. Further information about visiting Thanet can be found at to read the Destination Management Plan in full visit the council’s website

Friday, 21 February 2014

Birthday concert series for Pugin at St. Augustine’s Ramsgate

•       Saturday 22nd February  8.15pm  – Quodlibet: “Dangerous Candlelight,” and explanatory lecture

•       Saturday 8th March 7pm  – Victoria Consort: “Allegri Miserere by Candlelight; Passiontide Music”

•       Saturday 15th March  7.30pm  – Thames Chamber Choir: “O Magnum Mysterium: sacred music from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries”

o       Tickets may be purchased by ringing 01843 850829, or in person at St. Augustine’s and St. Ethelbert’s churches in Ramsgate, or on the door. Tickets for the last concert may also be purchased at

o       Prices for the concerts are all £10 per person, with £7.50 concessions for the last concert.

A series of three concerts will be held at the church be built in Ramsgate to mark Augustus Pugin’s birthday. Over three Saturdays from the end of February to the middle of March a diverse range of choral music will be performed by choirs from Kent and further afield.

The concerts will be entertaining evenings. Rector of St. Augustine’s, Fr. Marcus Holden, said, “These promise to be excellent concerts, taking place in such an atmospheric building as St. Augustine’s. Pugin built this church to be a special place, and these concerts will fill it with special music.” The first concert, by Quodlibet, will begin with an explanatory lecture to set their music in its historical and cultural context.
St. Augustine’s is a major Ramsgate site, developing as a shrine to St. Augustine, a centre of Pugin studies and enthusiasm, and as a tourist attraction, as well as a concert venue. It has previously hosted concerts by Jesus College, Cambridge, the Merry Opera Company, and Thomas Bowes. It attracts many people with interest in Pugin’s work, as well as religious pilgrims, school groups and tourists.

Augustus Pugin was born in 1812 and died in Ramsgate aged 40, having built his house, The Grange, and his own church, St. Augustine’s, next door. He was one of the most prolific and influential architects of the nineteenth century, driving the Gothic Revival which shifted architecture away from the symmetrical Regency style, designing many significant buildings and parts of the Houses of Parliament, and he has even been credited with foreshadowing designs of famous modern structures such as the Lloyd’s Building in the City of London.

Thursday, 20 February 2014


Members of Cabinet have tonight (Thursday 20 February) decided to adopt the recommendations of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel to terminate the development agreement in relation to the Pleasurama site in Ramsgate.
A construction expert will now be appointed to advise the council on the steps to be taken next.


Members of the council’s Planning Committee have approved new guidelines which aim to prevent unacceptable concentrations of Houses in Multiple Occupation across Thanet.
At their meeting last night (Wednesday 19 February) members agreed that although applications would still be considered on their individual merits, they would give special attention to applications that would result in more than 10% of HMOs within a 100 metre radius.
The approach has been introduced following concerns raised by local people around the number of houses being used, or proposed for use, as multiple occupancy student accommodation close to the University Campus at Broadstairs.
Cabinet Member for Planning, Cllr David Green, wanted to see clearer guidelines introduced when determining whether HMOs are approved. He said: “I’ve raised the issue at Planning Committee because it’s clear that local people are concerned. The current guidelines are open to quite wide interpretation. We need to be sure that we can legitimately consider whether approving a new HMO is ultimately right for the local community.
“These new guidelines will ensure that we can objectively assess whether approving a new HMO would constitute an unacceptable concentration and potentially detrimentally impact upon the character of the area.
“We’re keen to get the balance right here. We support the local University and want to ensure there are facilities in place to support the further education of our young people, but this needs to be done in a way that complements the local community.”
The guidance has been introduced as an interim measure and will be replaced by the district’s new Local Plan once approved.
The new policy will not impact on the Cliftonville West Renewal Area where a restrictive approach is already applied to prevent high concentrations of HMOs.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014


Next week (Wed 26 Feb) sees the screening of a new film about public attitudes to Thanet Council.
Called “Thanet Council: A History of Mistrust” the film documents the council’s record over the last 20 years – and what local people have said about it.
Including interviews with councillors of both major parties, the film includes controversial material about the old Pleasurama site in Ramsgate, Westwood Cross, the proposed Broadstairs community centre and Dreamland in Margate.
The film is the work of Christine Tongue and, she says, “it offers a fascinating insight into what councils - controlled by both major parties - have – and haven’t done -- and the way ordinary people react to the results.”
Following the screening there will be an open discussion in which people will be invited to consider what, if anything, should be done to improve local government in the area.
Christine said: “In recent months people have been telling us the council should be scrapped and replaced with a unitary authority. Others have been blaming the cabinet system of local government and saying we should have a new committee-based system.
“The screening of the film will be a good opportunity to get these ideas out into the open and to debate what realistically might be done.”
The meeting is on Wed 26 February at 7pm at The Red Hall, 11 Grosvenor Rd, Broadstairs CT10 2BT. Entry is free but seating is limited so book your place now. Email or tel 01843 604253 / 07989 070843 


Sunday 2nd March 2014

The Granville Theatre,

Doors  7:00pm

Admission £8.00  (Students  £6.50)

For tickets  email  or call07525364261

Compere:  Andre Vincent

Richard Morton, Susan Murray and Joe Wells
plus guest speaker tbc

Monday, 17 February 2014

Council to undergo Peer Review

Thanet District Council will be taking part in a Peer Review this spring, in partnership with the Local Government Association.

A Peer Review is an external review of the council’s activities. It will focus on:
  • understanding the local context and priority setting
  • financial planning
  • political and managerial leadership
  • governance and decision making
  • organisational capacity
For Thanet, there will also be a particular focus on Economic Development and the council’s customer services approach.

The purpose of a Peer Review is to help the council improve and to ensure there is capacity to continue to deliver local priorities in the current financial climate.

The Peer Review includes an on-site visit to Thanet District Council between 11-13 March with a team of Councillors and senior officers from other councils.

Cabinet Member for Business, Corporate and Regulatory Services, Cllr. Michelle Fenner, said: “This is a great opportunity to have some external perspective on what we do and how we do it. It will help us to identify the council’s strengths, highlight areas for improvement and will help us to inform our future plans.
“We are proud of our achievements regarding our careful financial management and our ethical procurement of services and goods. We are not complacent and welcome any constructive criticism given by experienced representatives from other Councils.”

Since 2011, nearly a third of local authorities (105) have undergone a Peer Review. This is expected to rise to more than 180 councils by the end of 2014.

Sport 4 life is a runaway success

Since its January launch nearly 100 Thanet residents have tried out sport every week with Thanet District Council’s Sport 4 Life programme.
Sport 4 life is a free activity programme for anyone 16 or over in Thanet. It aims to get locals moving who, previously, may not have felt that they have had the time or money to get involved with sport.
As part of the scheme residents get to try fun, relaxed sports activities which will have a positive knock-on effect on their overall fitness and well-being. This varied programme includes: beginners running groups, FA Just Play Football, Netball, New Age Kurling, Handball, Rugby, Dodgeball and even fitness workouts.
The take up of activities has been fantastically successful with over 40 new runners every week as well as 20 new netball players and 25 new handball players! Those who get the sports bug will then be helped to find a suitable activity after the 8 weeks of free activities ends.
Thanet District Council’s Member for Community Services Cllr Iris Johnston said, “Sport 4 Life has been a massive success yet again and has contributed to huge numbers of residents engaging in positive structured sports sessions.  We all know how everyday life can create barriers to exercise, from work commitments to lack of time, but this programme allows residents to have a go for FREE. Sport and physical activity is essential in reducing many illnesses and reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. I’d urge residents to give it a go and they can then benefit from the support of the Sport Matters team who’ll continue to help them to adopt a healthier lifestyle" 
Thanet District Council’s Sports Development Officer Colin Rouse says, ‘There are still plenty of opportunities to get involved! If you’re 16 or over and fancy getting back into sport for free with like-minded people then simply get in touch.’
For more information please contact the Sport Matters team on 01843 577032, e-mail To find out more about the Sport 4 Life programme and sport in Thanet visit

Friday, 14 February 2014

Sir Roger Gale MP: £1,316,010 for primary school sport in North Thanet

Local MP, Roger Gale, has welcomed the news that the Prime Minister David Cameron has committed to keeping the £150m a year Primary PE and Sport Premium until 2020. This means that between 2014 and 2020 primary schools in North Thanet will receive around £1,316,010. This is part of the Government’s long-term economic plan, will secure the Olympic and Paralympic legacy, and will help to deliver the best schools for young people.

Primary schools around England are already using the premium to get children doing more sport. Schools are using the money for a wide range of activities including hiring extra professional coaches and PE specialist teachers, purchasing new equipment, offering more after-school clubs and delivering holiday and weekend activities.

Sir Roger Gale commented:

‘Under the last Labour government there were thousands of schools where no pupils at all took part in competitive sport.

It is great news for young people in North Thanet  that this Government has committed £150 million a year to securing the Olympic and Paralympic legacy in our Primary Schools.

This is part of our long-term plan to create an education system that gives young people who want to work hard the skills they need to get on in life and have a more secure and better future.’

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

‘Sport is so important because it encourages children to be active, lead a healthy lifestyle, make friends and, of course, have fun. But quality school sport has benefits that spread right across the curriculum and beyond – it develops confidence and a sense of achievement, it teaches young people how to rise to a challenge, and nurtures the character and skills that will help them get on and succeed in life.

‘It’s an important part of our long-term plan to deliver the best schools and skills for young people. That is why I am committing to guarantee the primary school sports funding until 2020.’

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

TDC response to Government regulations on secure acces

Cabinet members are to consider measures to ensure that the council complies with new compulsory Central Government regulations on secure access.

The statutory regulations mean that Local Authorities country-wide will no longer be able to use non-council owned equipment to access council information, and e-mails, remotely.

Cabinet will consider the most efficient and cost-effective way to take this forward at their meeting next week (Thursday 20 February).

In order to comply, one option being considered is to move all Council agendas and reports to electronic devices, rather than producing printed papers for the council’s 56 elected members ahead of each Council meeting.

It is anticipated that this could save the council almost £30,000 per year in printing and mail out costs.
The council has to comply with new regulations in order to access the secure government network ‘Public Sector Network’ (PSN) which is needed to send and receive data from central government. 

The key data the council receives as part of this system allows the payment of housing benefit to local people.

The new regulations come into force from 1 April 2014. Failure to comply could result in significant fines.

Cliftonville Design Code

Thanet District Council is working in partnership with the local community to develop a new Design Code for Cliftonville.
The new code will be a design-focused document which will set out specific guidance on the public realm, street-scene and appearance of future developments. This will include criteria such as the size, layout and type of housing being sought, guidance for commercial areas and the creation of a palette of materials for new buildings.

The code will consider the role of conservation within the ward, including the identification of potential new conservation areas.  It will also ensure that wider programmes of regeneration, such as the £23.1 million Housing Intervention Programme and the Townscape Heritage Initiative scheme in Dalby Square (conservation area) all work together to provide a more holistic approach to the development of the town.
Initial discussions on a new design code took place with the community in November last year (2013) and are now being developed by the council.
A community workshop, facilitated by the Academy of Urbanism, will take place this April, where local residents and businesses will have the chance to directly feed into the development of the code.
In advance of the meeting, the council will publish the findings of five appraisal documents which consider future potential sites for conservation within Cliftonville.
To view the documents from Friday 14 February, go to

Cabinet Member for Planning, Cllr David Green, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for members of the community to be directly involved in how their town develops. Preserving the heritage and important historic architecture of Cliftonville is a key part of the wider regeneration here and we need to ensure we take a holistic approach to how the town develops.
“The design code is set to identify what makes Cliftonville special and to develop a set of guidance that can ensure we continue to protect this special character and to consider how this character can be replicated within new developments.”

Cliff top returns to nature

Thanet District Council is returning a former pitch and putt course at Foreness Point back to nature as part of its priority to protect the district’s open spaces.
The cliff top grassland area (by the Ridings, Cliftonville) was a seasonal facility without toilets or wider amenities and was last used for pitch and putt in 2009.
The land was highlighted in an external audit of Thanet’s open spaces (PPG17) in 2009 as being suitable for alternative uses, given the range of pitch and putt facilities available across the district. Since that time the council received no interest for an alternative commercial use.
The council will now allocate the area for natural chalk grassland, a rare type of grassland, to promote the growth of wild flowers and to encourage wildlife and is already becoming renowned for attracting rare butterflies and insects.
Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr Clive Hart, said: “Enhancing our public open spaces for the benefit of the local community is vital. We are fortunate to have an array of open space in Thanet, from areas of cliff top grassland through to formal parks. We need to do what we can to encourage these natural spaces.
“Returning the management of this land in a way that encourages and supports nature is wonderful for the many local families and visitors who enjoy this well-trodden natural clifftop walk and reflects our commitment to protecting and preserving our beautiful open spaces.”
Up to 40 species of flowering plants can be found in one square metre of lowland calcareous chalk grassland. It has even been called the European equivalent of the tropical rainforest. (Source the Wildlife Trust

Friday, 7 February 2014


The second group of local young people has graduated successfully from the Get On Track programme run by Dame Kelly Holmes’ charity, the DKH Legacy Trust, delivered in partnership with Thanet District Council and Sport 4 NRG. 
This Wednesday (5 February) saw the young people celebrate their achievements at Baypoint Leisure Club, Sandwich at a presentation ceremony with their mentor athletes and Thanet District Council’s Chairman, Cllr Kay Dark. 

Get On Track, which is delivered in partnership with Thanet District Council and Sport 4 NRG, has seen world-class athletes provide mentoring and support to youngsters as they get ‘fit for work’. Through committing to a healthy and active lifestyle, this will help inspire them to make positive changes to their lives.

The athlete mentors on the programme were International Beach Volleyball player Chris Gregory and Commonwealth Games triple-jumper Michelle Griffith-Robinson. These athletes used their knowledge and experience of facing adversity and overcoming the odds to succeed, to help the young people struggling to find work.
This is the second Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust programme to take place in Thanet, following the successful programme in April and May. Over the past few weeks, the young adults have learnt skills such as how to plaster a wall, how to lay a brick wall and even cared for the community over Christmas time by providing lunch for the elderly. They have also achieved both a first aid and a sports leadership qualification and through the support of local businesses, they’ve also gained an insight into employment.
Dame Kelly was delighted with the group’s progression on the programme, having visited them in December 2013, and is looking forward to being a part of their continued journey over the coming months.
She said: “They’ve been on an incredible journey over the past few weeks, and the key focus now is for them to remain positive and keep up all their good work. 
“It was fantastic to meet the group earlier on in the programme, and this group can now take inspiration from the coming weeks of sport, and see just what success a determined, positive attitude can bring. Success in sport can be linked to success in life; and this is a value this group has learnt from the past weeks on my charity’s programme.”
Chairman of Thanet District Council, Councillor Kay Dark said: “This fantastic programme has motivated and brought a group of 18-24 year olds out of their shell and has turned them into confident and self-motivated young adults. I’m delighted that we’re the first council in Kent to deliver this scheme as it has been incredible to see the positive impact that Clare, Michelle and Chris have had on the Get on Track candidates.”

Thursday, 6 February 2014


What's your view of Thanet District Council?
How well are they serving this community? How should things change?
Should the council be abolished?
Come to this public meeting, called by Thanet Watch magazine, to put your views.
The meeting will begin with the screening of a new short film about the council.

Entry is free but seating is limited so book your place now.
Email or tel 01843 604253 / 07989 070843 

The meeting is on Wed 26 February at 7pm at The Red Hall, 11 Grosvenor Rd, Broadstairs CT10 2BT

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Council receives Manston Green planning application

Thanet District Council has received an outline planning application for a development at the site known as Manston Green, located on the land east and west of Haine Road in Ramsgate.

The application submitted to the council's planning department is for the development of:
  • 800 houses;
  • highways infrastructure works including a new dual carriageway link road, public transport interchange including bus drop off/pick up points and park and ride;
  • a primary school;
  •  a community hall; public open space. 
Details of the application are available on the website, under reference number OL/TH/14/0050
A copy of the application can also be inspected at Thanet’s Gateway Plus in Cecil Street, Margate, between the hours of 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday (Thursday 9am to 8pm) and Saturday 9am to 5pm.
To comment on the application, members of the public can either e-mail or write to Planning Applications Section, Thanet District Council, Po Box 9, Cecil Street, Margate, CT9 1XZ.

Please quote the reference number and provide your name and full address on your response.
All comments must be received by Friday 28 February 2014 to be considered.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Sandys Calls on Prime Minister to Support Minimum Wage Increase

Sandys Calls on Prime Minister to Support Minimum Wage Increase
South Thanet MP Laura Sandys today called for the Government to increase the minimum wage following a tranche of positive data on the British economy.

Figures from the ONS yesterday showed the economy grew by 1.9% in 2013, following the IMF’s upgrade of the 2014 UK growth forecast to 2.4%. Last week also saw the announcement of the biggest quarterly fall in unemployment since 1997, meaning that there are now more people in work in the UK than ever before.
Responding to Laura’s question, the Prime Minister said:
“I hope it will be possible to see the real value of the minimum wage restored. I think we should listen and allow the Low Pay Commission to do their work – I don’t want to see this issue become something of a political football – but I think everybody agrees, as an economy recovers, it should be possible to restore that value”
Speaking afterwards, Laura said:
“It is important to make sure that everyone feels the benefits of this economic recovery, and I am very pleased that the Government has already frozen rail fare rises, cut fuel duty and taken many of the lowest earners out of tax altogether.
“I hope that the Low Pay Commission will now take a lead from the Prime Minister and increase the minimum wage, so ordinary working people who have battled through the downturn really feel the impact of the recovery in their wallet.
“I think this will have a huge impact on Thanet and East Kent workers, reinforcing the message that it really does pay to be in work, and I am so glad that the Prime Minister is as keen as I am see an increase in the minimum wage.
Laura will be host the third annual Thanet Jobs Fair this summer to help local people into work. Please for more information.