Agenda item

Leaders Report

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



The Leader’s report had been circulated to Members and was published on the Council’s website before the meeting. The report has been attached as an annex to these minutes.


Councillor Ashbee as Leader of the Conservative Party made the following points:

  • She gave her condolences and expressed sadness at the passing of Councillor Peter Campbell.
  • Thanks were offered to Councillor Taylor for his contribution before his retirement.
  • She offered her gratitude to care staff and NHS workers, but also noted that the work of other front line staff should not be forgotten, including those working at the Council. 
  • The Council’s finance team had worked hard to provide grant funding to businesses in the District.
  • It was a shame that use of the Manston airport site had escalated from a contingency site into a key component of the Country’s import and export strategy.
  • The sale of Dreamland was the best solution for the Council and for the future of the Park. She asked the Leader if the time taken for an additional valuation had impacted negatively upon the value of the sale.
  • It was sensible to use the Margate Town Deal project model following the provisional award of £2.700,000 of Future High Street Fund funding for Ramsgate.  It was important to engage with all local groups.
  • There was concern that a shift to online meetings would mean that the public would become less involved in the democratic process.  However virtual meetings may be practical for training and member briefing sessions.  Committee meetings should be hybrid, and some Members should be allowed back into the Council Chamber for the next Council meeting.
  • Residents should not be charged an admin fee if they choose to submit comments on planning matters by paper or email rather than by using the online consultation portal.


The Leader replied to Councillor Ashbee’s comments with the following points:

  • The sale of Dreamland was an exceptionally complicated matter, the two valuations did not have an impact on the sale.
  • The law did not allow virtual council meetings to take place after 2 May, however this was likely to change.  There was a need to make best use of the technology, the future should involve a mixture of virtual and physical meetings.
  • The proposed administration charge for submission of planning comments outside of the online consultation portal was currently out for consultation.  The conservative group could have raised its concerns at the Cabinet meeting that recently considered the proposal. 


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

  • Council Officers deserved continued full support, it was good for the public to know that Officers were supported by Members.
  • Broadly speaking the lock down and vaccinations seem to have worked, but there was a need to continue to encourage people to abide by the rules.
  • The Council’s  communication with the public had improved over recent months, hopefully this would continue.
  • The Thanet Independent Group would like to endorse everything said about Councillor Campbell.


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

  • He welcomed the comments about staff, all the Officers were working admirably.


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

  • He wished to join the Leader and Members in expressing his sadness at the news of Cllr Campbell’s passing.
  • It was also sad that Councillor Taylor decided to retire, his contribution would also be missed.
  • Thanks were offered to all front line workers across the District including Council staff.
  • He welcomed the engagement with Members regarding the new Public Space Protection Orders.  Enforcement and communication would be essential to their success.  There should be a provision to protect wildlife from the impact of jet skis. 
  • There did not appear to be a clear path to end the use of Manston Airport for testing and as a lorry park.  Regarding the DCO, the Secretary of State should accept that there was no case to reopen the airport.
  • He welcomed news about the £2.700,000 High Street Fund, and hoped that interested groups would be fully engaged throughout the process.
  • The Ramsgate Port consultation now seemed to have been incorporated into a wider Ramsgate consultation, there was potential at the Port, however it was losing money so a plan was needed.
  • He welcomed the Leader's commitment for better communication with the people of Thanet. The best way to tackle miss-information was to engage with the community in public forums and issue as many facts as possible.


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

  • He felt there was a lot more that could be shared with residents online. He wished to improve public accessibility in order to show residents who the Members were.
  • Issues around jet ski usage was discussed at a recent Members Briefing.  The intention of the PSPO was to better manage jet skis. The proposed PSPO’s would be discussed at the next Cabinet meeting on 18 March.


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