Thanet district election: Thanet Villages and Westgate

Election time

Thanet Villages

Derek Crow-Brown UKIP

Living in Minster, I have been proud to have served the five parish councils in the villages ward these past four years, dealing with numerous aspects that are part and parcel of being a district councillor.

Since being elected in 2015, I have had the privilege of serving as a cabinet member for Corporate Governance, giving me a huge insight into how local government works.

I served in the Royal Air Force for over 30 years, finishing in the rank of warrant officer. My military background as an instructor in leadership and management and in the field of logistics has put me in good stead as a councillor, having also been trained in welfare, diversity, conducting investigations, contract management and quality assurance. My major accomplishments in the villages ward are:

* Working alongside Cllr Grove on behalf of Minster Parish Council, managing to save Minster’s two car parks from having parking meters installed.

* On behalf of Minster Parish Council, I was responsible with Cllr Grove for progressing the asset transfer of Minster’s two car parks and toilet from Thanet District Council to our parish

* Liaising with TDC for the continuation of a yearly agency fee for the litter collection and ground maintenance of Minster’s cemetery’s and recreation ground

* Assisting 3 Princess of Wales Royal Regiment Army Reserve in the early planning of their move to MoD Manston

* Lobbying TDC Housing for a local lettings plan for all new builds, benefitting village residents on the social housing waiting list

* Assisting Acol Parish Council for an enforcement notice on the former Crown and Sceptre public house

* As Armed Forces Champion, I have assisted the local Gurkha community at MoD Manston advising their welfare officer on the benefits of military covenant I am an opponent of the Cliffsend Parkway station, given it is generally accepted there will be hundreds of houses built round the site. Being ex military, I am pro aviation at the Manston site, although against regular night flights. I will continue to fight against the building of large housing estates in the villages. I am hopeful the Local Plan for Thanet is accepted by the Planning Inspectorate, without adding further numbers to the 17,000 plus allocation.

Angie Curwen Lib Dem

I am standing to bring about change.  I believe that the way in which we are governed locally needs fresh eyes looking at how we do things.  Council Tax is rising by a total of 5% and yet concerns about cuts to services are at their greatest level for many years.

We carried out a survey in Thanet Villages in January 2018 and the results showed that voters want the services they pay for through their taxes provided efficiently and in a timely manner.  This is not the case currently and I believe this is because of the financial pressures on Thanet District Council.

I want to be a part of a new way of looking at things, setting priorities that meet the needs of the residents and challenging old working practices.  I’ve been told this can’t be done but where there is a will there is a way!

We believe the residents of Thanet deserve better and we will demand better on their behalf.

Del Goddard Labour

David Hart Conservative

Jeremy Kitt Lib Dem

Jeremy runs his own successful web design business in Thanet and East Kent. His background is in International Telecommunications Management, with over twenty years experience as a senior manager with both Siemens and Ericsson. Jeremy has a degree in Psychology from the University of Reading and is the author of Making Happiness a Habit, a self help guide aimed at promoting individual happiness. Jeremy is a local radio presenter and newsreader on Academy FM. It was reading the local news that first sparked Jeremy’s interest in  local issues and created a desire to help improve services for the people of Thanet. A keen conservationist, he is in favour of supporting local businesses and creating opportunities for young people in Thanet.

An advocate of promoting local growth through investment, he believes that the failure of the Council to invest in Thanet is largely responsible for the lack of jobs and the general decline in the area. The lack of investment and poor financial management exercised by the current administration is evident in their “make do and mend” policies. Selling off assets for short term financial gain can never be a sustainable policy. Jeremy is in favour of keeping Manston Airport as a viable airport. Jeremy is an advocate of a responsible housing policy, building a mix of affordable houses and social housing supported by an investment in schools and health services. He is an active supporter of the campaign to ensure that a hyper-acute stroke unit is located at the QEQM Hospital.

Reece Pugh Conservative

Born and raised in St Nicholas at Wade and Sarre, I am a passionate supporter of our Villages and their strong communities. As a current District Councillor for the Villages, I have thoroughly enjoyed representing residents at Thanet District Council. I am a strong supporter of community led decision making and am proud that the draft Local Plan ensures Manston remains an Airport. After working for my family’s estate agency locally, I now work in Westminster handling constituency casework for a Member of Parliament. If you elect me to continue as one of your District Councillors, I will ensure that our Village communities are heard at Thanet District Council, and your views are well represented

Trevor Roper Green Party

I have lived in Minster for 26 years, after moving to the area to become Head of Design and Technology at Clarendon House School. Following 18 years in that role and before that a long career in a wide variety of schools, I am now retired.

I was the South Thanet Green Party Candidate at the 2017 General Election and have a keen interest in and knowledge of environmental issues and their implications – for example, for transport, renewable energy and recycling.

I have been active in opposing the development of Manston as a Cargo Hub Airport because the noise and air pollution produced would cause severe damage to the area. Instead, I believe that the site provides the ideal location for mixed-use development, thus avoiding thousands of houses being built on greenfield sites spread around the local villages.

If elected I will work to:

  • promote open, transparent Council decision-making
  • defend health, education, housing and other public services from cuts
  • promote efficient, affordable public transport for the villages
  • protect our trees, green spaces and play areas
  • encourage more powers to be delegated to parish councils
  • secure better prospects for everyone – especially the elderly, young and vulnerable

Guy Wilson Conservative


Sam Bambridge Conservative

It has been a great privilege to serve the Westgate-on-Sea people, and during my tenure since 2015 I have worked alongside the community and Town Council to improve the quality of services delivered by TDC.   I have been instrumental in returning assets to residents, assisting in achieving common sense planning decisions, improved operational services and fought against parking charges and excessive housing.   In the future I would like to work to achieve greater opportunities for Westgate-on-Sea in addition to maintaining and caring for such a beautiful town.  District wise I have listened to our residents desire to return Manston Airport to aviation use and have actively campaigned to achieve this end.  I have also been involved in the process of retaining our stroke services to maintain a sufficient level of care for our community, and have put a lot of focus into engaging with investors to promote the benefits of creating business in the Isle of Thanet.

Bertie Braidwood Thanet Independents

Dr John Cornwall Labour

Semi-retired, and a resident of Westgate, I am keen to see that the interests of all in this ward are represented at Thanet District Council. My life and work have been driven by a desire to see a just and fair society. Westgate is a thriving village community with the emphasis on ‘community’.

So, representing people who are socially and commercially active and those who are vulnerable and in difficulty, is of prime importance. Over the past 50 or so years these fundamental principles have shown themselves in my work as an author, school teacher, learning and organisational consultant, musician and composer, and research psychologist. Social justice is so very important and we are going through very challenging times under a Government and their local representatives who seem to have little will to deal with the very real difficulties facing ordinary people.

David Donaldson Labour

I love our town and am very proud of it. My family has lived here for nearly 30 years and I have a deep desire to give something back to Westgate on Sea. I am very conscious of local issues affecting local people in Westgate. There are real concerns following the closure of health services, particularly the stroke unit at the Margate Hospital and the threat to local GP services. The neighbourhood plan is imposing some 2000 extra houses on prime green fields. As your councillor, I will actively campaign against these.

For most of my career I have worked in community and local economic development both at home and abroad. As a father and grandfather, I am passionate about young people and their future.

“Together we can make a cleaner, safer and even more beautiful Westgate on Sea”.

Rob Edwards Green Party

I am 26 and have lived in Westgate-on-Sea nearly all my life. I am committed to the community of Westgate: in the past I have worked at the Carlton Cinema, delivered papers and helped with other community efforts in the town. I now work as a personal trainer in Sandwich but spend most of my spare time in Westgate.

As a younger person with friends my own age and older relatives in the town, I believe I understand the perspectives and needs of different generations in Westgate-on-Sea.

I am standing as a Green candidate because I believe that people in this ward need someone who will speak up and make sure they are heard on local issues that directly affect them. We have several important green spaces in Westgate, as well as a beautiful beach, which all need nurturing and protecting.

I am young, tenacious, enthusiastic and can dedicate my time to ensuring that Westgate is well represented and looked after.

As your councillor I would work to:

  • promote open, transparent Council decision-making
  • defend health, education, housing and other public services from cuts
  • delegate more powers to parish councils
  • secure better lives for everyone – especially the elderly, young and vulnerable

Carol Messenger Conservative

Since being elected in 2015 I have made a positive difference to residents’ lives in Westgate on Sea; helping to improve living standards and provide a cleaner street scene.  As well as contribute to the greater good of the community.

In 2015 residents wanted the return of Manston as an airport and I have continued to support this pledge and lobbied the council to maintain this promise…the fight continues.

A seasoned councillor once told me that it takes your first term to learn how to be an effective councillor…she was right.  I know if I was privileged to be elected again that knowledge would further benefit the residents of Westgate on Sea.

Cheri Pennington Lib Dem

Cheri Pennington teaches children with special educational needs, and lives in Westgate on Sea.  She grew up in Yorkshire, and studied languages at Wolverhampton Polytechnic, before leaving to work for the European Commission at the age of 19. She is a church youth leader, Scout leader, loves animals and dancing (particularly Salsa).

She said: “The people of Thanet need support from those who live in and care for their Community, which is in desperate need of an injection of cash and energy to revitalise its beautiful seaside towns and lovely countryside.  They deserve better than they are getting from Westminster at the moment, and the Liberal Democrats are one of the few parties not in crisis who can be relied upon to work hard and deliver.“

Martyn Pennington Lib Dem

Martyn Pennington is chair of the Town Council here in Westgate on Sea, where he lives with his wife Cheri. He was born in Bolton (Lancashire), but grew up on Tyneside. He studied modern languages at University College London before spending two years as a volunteer English teacher in Madagascar. His career was in international development, working for the UK Government and the European Commission in the design, implementation and evaluation of development programmes, from community-level projects, through major infrastructure projects, national programmes and budget management. Now retired, he enjoys watching football and cricket, and playing guitar in the worship band at Christ Church in Westgate.

He said: “I believe local councils have a key part to play in our communities, yet we’ve been treated very badly by the Conservatives in Westminster and Maidstone. Lots of people work hard in Thanet for our community, giving their time and energy to make it a better place, but get no support; we are losing our health services just to save money, our teachers are exhausted, our police are too few to do their job, and businesses are given no help to grow.  I support re-opening Manston Airport for freight and for aviation training, giving local youngsters a great opportunity to learn 21st century skills.”

Matthew Scott Conservative 

My goal is to continue to make a difference to our local area and the district as a whole – Keeping Westgate’s streets, open spaces and beaches clean, Retaining and supporting local businesses, Ensuring safe roads for whole of the town, Increasing youth engagement in the community and improving recreational facilities, Ensuring future developments are suitable for local needs rather than remote plans. I’m proud to say that I was born and raised in Thanet, choosing to move to Westgate-on-Sea 6 years ago. This town has captured my heart with its unique heritage, lovely beaches and welcoming community. I am helpful, approachable and proactive person within the community.


  1. I have never been a labour man, but when tdc decided to sell off our workshops at the Dane Valley Enterprise units,the only Councillors that tried to prevent us being kicked out were Jenny Matterface and Caroline Constantine of the labour party,the others sold us out, so I would never vote again.

Comments are closed.