Agenda item

Leaders Report

To receive a report from the Leader of the Council in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 2.4.



During his report the Leader covered the following areas:

  • Councillor Rattigan was welcomed to the Chamber and thanks were offered to former Councillors Stevens and Constantine for their contribution to the Council when in office.
  • It had been a long time since the last Leaders Report, there would be a review of the timetable to see if the distribution of Council meetings could be more evenly spread across the year.
  • The failure of the QEQM Hospital stroke service judicial review had left many people worried.  There were also concerning reports of maternal care failings at the hospital.
  • Operation Brock had been stood down.
  • On 17 February 2020 Cabinet formally agreed to bring the management of the Councils’ housing stock in house.  The transition was expected to take 12 months and a Cabinet Advisory Board would be established to monitor the transition.
  • The Ramsgate Port and Harbour feasibility study had been published and a three month stakeholder engagement exercise was now underway.
  • The Council had committed £2million to the Thanet Parkway Station project along side significantly larger amounts from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership and Kent County Council. The project looked to get planning consent from Kent County Council in May.
  • The Margate Town Deal Board would meet next week.  A viable Town Investment Plan would be required in order to access the £25million Town Fund.
  • The Thanet Community Forest School successfully applied to the Urban Tree Challenge Fund.
  • Cabinet would receive a report on the work underway in response to the climate emergency declaration at its next meeting.
  • The Leader and Deputy Leader had received a guided tour of Hartsdown and Ramsgate Leisure Centres in January.  These facilities were successfully managed by Your Leisure on behalf of the Council, despite the level of completion in the fitness sector.
  • Thanks were offered to all Members for their cooperation in working for the people of Thanet.


Councillor Game as Leader of the Conservative Party responded with the following points:

  • There was a lot of concern about the future of the QEQM hospital and its performance.
  • A Cabinet Advisory Board to review the East Kent Housing (EKH) transition was good, and it was important to have regular communication with Council tenants. 
  • The Members briefing on the Port and Harbour feasibility study was well attended and well presented. 
  • The Isle of Thanet Tree and Woodland Initiative submitted the bid to the Urban Tree Community Fund, and used the Thanet Community Forest School as the lead name. Thanks were offered to Mr Evans and Councillor Ashbee for their work on the bid.  Over 300 volunteers had been involved planting trees and a special thank you was offered to TDC Officer Mr Bowen for his support.
  • The Conservative group would continue to work closely with the Leader for the benefit of the people of Thanet.


Councillor Reverend Piper as leader of the Thanet Independents Party made the following points:

  • Welcome was extended to Councillor Rattigan and concern was expressed at the resignation of former Councillor Stevens. 
  • The failure of the QEQM judicial review was disappointing but not surprising.  There was a need to persuade clinicians to take a different approach. 
  • Maternity care at QEQM hospital needed urgent attention. The Council must have a voice to urge proper care to be carried out.
  • There were allegations that  money had been spent on safety checks that were not carried out during EKH’s management of the Council’s housing stock.  These allegations should be investigated.


The Leader replied to Councillor Reverend Piper’s comments with the following point:

  • Following the failure of EKH, people lost their jobs and the Board had been removed. 


Councillor Roper as Leader the Green Party made the following points:

  • Congratulations were offered to Councillor Rattigan.
  • Concern about the QEQM hospital were shared, it was hoped that the recent bad news would be used to help focus efforts.
  • It was disturbing that it had cost £18.4 million to keep the Manston airport site prepared for Operation Brock.
  • Concern about the Parkway Station had been raised from residents during the recent Cliffsend and Pegwell by-election.
  • TDC should work with Stage Coach and KCC to ensure that the Parkway Station has a suitable bus service.
  • Consultation following the Port and Harbour feasibility study should involve all stakeholders.
  • Plans to increase street cleaning staff were good as it would make the area look more attractive to visitors.
  • Congratulations were offered to the Isle of Thanet Tree and Woodland Initiative, however more needed to be done to protect existing trees within Thanet.  The Council should also stop using harmful weed killers.
  • Council Members were working well together for the people of Thanet. 


The Leader replied to Councillor Roper’s comments noting that:

  • £18.4 million was a lot of money, however it was good that the Manston lorry park had not been put into use.
  • Opinion in Cliffsend and Pegwell was divided regarding the Parkway Station.  It was a big opportunity for the District as a whole.


Councillor Pugh joined the meeting during consideration of this item.


Supporting documents: