UKIP slips to third place party at Thanet council with formation of new Independent group

Cllr Stuart Piper

Twelve Thanet councillors who quit the UKIP group on the authority to serve as UKIP Independents have now ditched the UKIP tag altogether .

The 12, plus Independent councillors Suzanne Brimm and Alan Howes, have now formed the Thanet Independent Councillors group.

The alliance means ‘official UKIP’ is now currently the third largest party on Thanet council with 13 members, behind TIC with 14 members and Conservatives with 21 councillors. Labour has 6 members and there are two other Independents.

Cllr Chris Wells

The move comes ahead of a vote on Thursday to elect a new council leader following the resignation of UKIP’s Chris Wells – effective as of tomorrow (February 28).

TIC group leader Cllr Stuart Piper said: “Thanet Independent Councillors name has been accepted and we are 14 in number as of today.”

It is believed the Independent group members will either quit national UKIP or allow party membership to lapse.

Cllr Brimm said: “National party politics has no place at local level. We need to be Independent, working on local issues for local people.”

The UKIP Party split was prompted by January’s vote on the Thanet Draft Local Plan. The sticking point of the plan was the proposal to remove the aviation-only designation for the Manston airport site and instead earmark it for 2,500 homes.

An “11th hour” amendment to defer for two years the mixed-use designation for Manston airport pending the resolution of the DCO process was not enough to get the plan voted through to publication stage.

Councillors voted the plan down

Instead the UKIP ‘rebel 12’ voted with Conservatives to reject the next stage of the plan – making the vote 35 against and 20 in favour.

Cllr Wells handed in his resignation on February 19 following talks with Thanet Tory leader Bob Bayford who moved to form a fresh administration.

The leadership vote takes place at the council at 7pm.


  1. Totally UNACCEPTABLE – the arrogance of ALL these people to think they are still wanted in a council. There needs to be NEW ELECTIONS to let the people of Thanet decide who should or should not form a council.

    • I think UKIP supported the return of Manston to get some footing in Thanet.If Labour had done what they should have done and backed the people of Thanet’s wish for the return of Manston as an airport they would hav more councillors. Manston airport is too important for the local economy to lose and I hope, one way or another it returns. I didn’t mind the can being kicked down the road by the rebel council because as soon as mixed use was granted, the land would have the price tag of land with planning permission for houses. I say well done TDC and I for one do not care which political party the councillors represent.

      • The Labour Administration, under Iris Johnstone, did engage with a CPO with ROIC, but to no avail.
        The ex airport is by no shape or form important to the econony of Thanet. Quite the opposite: of the £100Ms lost by successive operators at Manston, quite a lot was public money.
        We’d have been better off without it.

        • MANSTON is ldeal as a proper Airport providing it is built properly by profesionals and operated by profesionals.
          Not built and operated in bits and peices.
          Stone Hill Park Ltd or one of its nominated
          companies have completely assit stripped the airport, even down to the loo holders. ln a way it it will save us Thousands in demoliction costa when we come out from the archives. we have been watching this fiasko for the last 2.1/2 years.
          l will sign off for now and let our monies put aside £ 250m for starters and let it gain
          interest in safe hands.

          • The ex-Manston Airport WAS opperated by professionals. At one time, it was operated by the struck off solicitor Tony Freudmann, the chap who is currently a director of RSP.
            Surely you’re not suggesting that Mr Freudmann is not professional?

  2. At last! Getting rid of councillors who have reneged on their election promises. Sadly, a few have been misled and misinformed about what is necessary for an Indemnity partnership to succeed. However, now the DCO is almost ready for submission, the real deal will be revealed.
    Reading the Planning Act 2008, even new investors wanting a CPO with TDC, will not succeed, as any DCO started before a CPO, wins the day. Any new investors will still have to do all the relevant environment tests etc., and are at least 18 months behind RiverOak already! So, please don’t waste your time and money, TDC, on even more useless and pointless soft market testing. At least, wait until the DCO result is known before you do anything. If it is not accepted for examination, then fine, do more soft market testing, but if it IS accepted, the job of securing Manston Airport for ever will just about be done.

    • The best use for SHP’s brownfield site is accommodating as much as possible of the new housing which the government wishes Thanet to build, plus workspaces, green spaces and whatever social amenities need to be included for such a large development.

      The health and environmental consequences of an airport next to Ramsgate would be seriously detrimental.

  3. B. Jones. If the TIC group have formed in order to carry out the promises made by ukip (and abandoned as soon as they got into power) I fail to see how this is a bad thing. They have just over a year to prove themselves before the next elections and I confidently feel that if they carry out these promises then they will be re-elected as most Thanet people don’t care what banner they go under…they care what they do for Thanet. UKIP has been a bitter disappointment, so let’s give them a chance to show their worth. My belief is that a group of people, who are independent of party politics, is an excellent way forward.

  4. Party Politics at local level is definitely not in the interests of the electorate. It is necessary at Westminster but seriously detrimental at County or Borough/City level. We need Councillors to represent their Ward not be nodding donkeys and vote when told. Well done all those independents in Thanet.

  5. It is evident that any councillor standing on the UKIP ticket next time round will lose their seat. So I do not think for one minute think that the ex UKIP councillors have seen the light by going independant it is all about being elected again as a councillor. Looking back at Thanet political history how many independent groups have we had and where have they ended up. Desperate measures by desperate people. In a way it has been four wasted years for Thanet.

  6. Won’t be long before theyre bickering, squabbling over status and which positions to take. Respect isn’t the first thing on top of the list for some. It Was just the other day Cllr Brimm was told to keep her language clean after writing on FB telling the Mayor of Ramsgate to shut the thuc up. (For purposes of not swearing on here) Cllr Brimm was told to remove the abusing comment, but defiance hit out again as normal and Instead of removing the belittling message to the Mayor, she just changed the language with an asterisk. No apologies needed then, just carry on. Never did any harm to berate a colleague in front of several hundred people on FB.

  7. This is TDC’s own Gotterdammerung! In the 2015 General Election Ruth Bailey stood as the Manston Independent Party candidate, and received a massive(sic) 191 votes! These local politicians are not only deceiving the electorate, they are deceiving themselves if they think the people of Thanet want to see an American Hedge Fund company use Manston as a cargo aircraft hub, flying in 2 to 3 planes and hour, day and night, at 300 meters above Ramsgate Harbour, descending to 100 meters over the Nethercourt estate! In the process destroying Ramsgate tourist industry, the health and quality of life of thousands of people with noise and air pollution, and devaluing their property! Its very noble of all these local politicians, few of whom live under the flight paths, or even in Thanet like the 2 MP’s, to want to sacrifice the quality of life of the people of Ramsgate/Thanet this way! They must be mental if they think people will vote for them, if this is what they can expect!

  8. This bunch of fruit-cakes only ever stood for election because they want to see an airport reopened at Manston. They keep claiming that people only voted for them for the same reason but this isn’t true. People voted UKIP for a variety of reasons but the predominant reason is that they wanted to leave the EU. Now, right when it is essential that UKIP pulls itself together to make sure that the government delivers a sensible Brexit deal, this bunch of plane-spotters has a hissy fit and leaves the party in a huff. Hopefully, the people who elected them won’t make the same mistake again.

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