A Thanet council Cabinet member will be ousted from her role after refusing to resign in ‘a restructure’

Suzanne Brimm

Thanet council’s cabinet member for operational services Suzanne Brimm is to be removed from her post despite refusing to resign.

The Birchington mum-of-two says she received a call from council leader Chris Wells on August 10 saying she should step down.

The former electrician and mum-of-two said: “The leader of TDC, Chris Wells, has asked me to resign from my post as Cabinet Member for Operational Services with immediate effect.

“I understand he plans to replace me with Cllr Stuart Piper.

“I have no intention of resigning or giving in to bullying due to internal politics.”

Cllr Wells says Cllr Brimm has been removed from her role due to a Cabinet restructure. He says portfolios – the areas Cabinet members are responsible for – will also be changed.

He said: “I can confirm that in the course of restructuring the Cabinet portfolios I have had to inform Cllr Suzanne Brimm that while she remains a valued and enthusiastic councillor she will no longer be a Cabinet member.

“I wish her good fortune in her campaigning from the back benches and, given UKIP has no whip in place, she has greater freedom to express herself openly and fully.

“Full details of Cabinet changes will follow early next week as portfolio changes also need to be advised to the Leader of the Opposition for his shadow structure to reflect the changes.”

Since being in the Cabinet Cllr Brimm has been involved with the introduction of a dog DNA scheme, the installation of a puffin crossing outside King Ethelbert school, improvements to play areas in Westgate and Birchington and a flytipping crackdown initiative.

She has also been involved in some heated debates in the council chamber.

Despite the removal of her role Cllr Brimm says she has no intention of leaving the council or the Ukip Party.

She said: “Actually I never wanted to be a councillor, I was only ever involved because I care about my community so I am not going to scrap around fighting for a position in politics.

“I told Cllr Wells I wasn’t resigning and I don’t believe he is acting in the best interests of the party or the people we represent.”

Cllr Stuart Piper, pictured with UKIP’s Nigel Farage

It is understood Cllr Stuart Piper will receive a Cabinet role although the nature of that post has not yet been revealed.

The Northwood ward councillor currently sits on the scrutiny and standards committees and is a reserve member of the governance and audit committee. He was previously the council chairman, a role now filled by fellow Ukip councillor Janet Falcon, and  made an unsuccessful bid to be elected as the South Thanet MP in June’s snap election.

The changes, which are expected to come into force at the end of the month, follow the defection of former Ukip councillor Beverly Martin to the Conservatives, leaving Ukip without a council majority, and the election of Labour’s Ian Venables to the Margate Central seat.

The make up of Thanet council is now 27 Ukip; 21 Conservative; 6 Labour and 2 Independent Group.