Agenda item

Leaders Report

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



The Leader, Councillor Ashbee, presented her report to Council, covering the following key points:


·  The Leader noted that it had been a great privilege to have been elected as Leader in June 2021.

·  Numerous goals had been achieved since June 2021, and there was a feeling that the council was in a much better place than beforehand.

·  Personal thanks were given to Chris Blundell during this period. Colin Carmichael was also thanked for joining the council as the Chief Executive, aiding the council into a calmer and more productive state.

·  Thanks were also given to group leaders, cabinet members, councillors and officers for their efforts.

·  The ferry service in the port of Ramsgate was closer, this was considered of huge potential, and should be utilised to it’s full potential.

·  The Southern Water payment of £100,000 would be utilised for improvements some of the coastal assets.

·  Warm and welcome packs had been given out to households in fuel poverty in partnership with Social Enterprise Kent. Each pack contained an electric blanket, an air fryer, draft excluders and other cold weather kit.

·  Earlier in 2022, a defendant has been found guilty of fly tipping bagged waste and household gods in Chatham passage, Ramsgate. It was important to send out the message that TDC had zero tolerance for fly tipping offenders.

·  Thanet’s ‘tentastic’ had begun and ran until Sunday 2nd April. This was to encourage people to shop in local town centres with events and activities being organised by local businesses as well as promoting £10 offers.


Councillor Everitt as the Leader of the Labour Group made the following points:


·  It was agreed that the council was in a better place than it was in June 2021, there was acknowledgment to the leader in the part she had played in this. However, this wouldn’t have been achieved without the previous Labour council administration.

·  The choices in 2022 around the senior management had only been available because of the culmination of a long and difficult internal process which established the core facts. This resulted directly in one statutory officer leaving.

·  All parties had faced the common challenges of the pandemic.

·  The revival of the Ramsgate Port was something that the Labour administration had set in progress, with the Conservative Group brining this forth and was a good example of cross-party working.

·  It was positive that some good came out of the shameful performance of Southern Water.  However, this should not distract from the point that the company had failed.

·  The warm and well pack were welcomed, however this was noted as a sticking plaster against the gaping wounds caused by the cost of living crisis and austerity. 


The Leader responded to Councillor Everitt’s comments with the following points:


·  Thanks were given to Councillor Everitt for his comments.

·  It was agreed that the parties worked well together, this was essential due to the challenging and difficult times which had occurred.

·  The council was stronger for going through these challenging times.


Councillor Rev. Piper as Leader of the Thanet Independents made the following points:


·  The council had done well distributing money to the right people during the pandemic, but also beyond this period.

·  Fly tipping was distressing, and it was agreed that the council should continue with a zero tolerance policy in regards to this.

·  The new online booking system for the household waste recycling centre in the district was not good for digital restricted residents.

·  Thanks were given to all councillors which had served during the term.


The Leader replied to Councillor Rev. Piper’s comments with the following points:


·  The distribution of funds was down to councils. Central government did not give enough respect to these councils for the work that was carried out in the work of distribution.

·  The accounts team had done tremendous work, with the local authorities being noted as the foot soldiers to central government.

·  The household waste recycling centre’s website was run by Kent County Council.


Councillor Garner as Leader of the Green and Independent Groups made the following points:


·  Thanks were given to the Leader for her hard work.

·  It was agreed that the Leader took over during a difficult time, the council was now in a better place than it was.

·  Thanks were offered to Chris Blundell, Colin Carmichael and all officers.

·  There was still work to do, as seen through the recent reviews of the Berth 4 / 5 and IMO recommendations. It was important to process the lessons learnt, going forth it was necessary to remain vigilant, open and transparent.

·  Southern Water had got off lightly from the devastation which had been caused.

·  All councillors and candidates running for the upcoming election were wished luck.

·  It was of upmost importance for the next administration to look at issues such as safe streets, environmental strategies, support for those communities most affected by the cost of living crisis.


The Leader replied to Councillor Garners comments with the following points:


·  The points were taken noted regarding Southern Water, however this was also considered and infrastructure problem.

·  Thanks were given to all officers and councillors for all of their hard work.

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