A row, attempted theft and wheelie bin protest: An eventful day at Thanet’s election polling stations

Sancha Grieve took her wheelie bin to the polling station in protest at another missed collection

Voting for the local election is nearly over with polling stations closing at 10pm. And it seems to have been quite an eventful day.

In Birchington there are reports of a blazing row breaking out between candidates Suzanne Brimm, Independent, and Phil Fellows, Conservative. Over in Ramsgate there is reported to have been an attempted ballot box theft while in Broadstairs one disgruntled resident turned up at the polling station at Holy Trinity Church with her black wheelie bin in tow.

Sancha Grieve, of Rectory Road, said “enough is enough” when binmen failed to collect her rubbish for a second time.

She said: “Last time it was three and a half weeks before it was collected, this time it wasn’t collected and when I phone the council assured me they would pick it up this morning. They didn’t so I phoned them and told them I would be taking the bin to the polling station.

“I didn’t dump it there as it is a church and that would be disrespectful. The Conservative candidate was there when I arrived. I wheeled it into the polling station, to the bemusement of people in there, and told people I was bringing it with me while I voted. Then I told them there was nothing to vote for and wheeled it back out!”

On her way out Sancha says she passed the Conservative candidate as he was taking off his rosette and talking on the phone. She then received a surprise phone call.

She said: “Out of the blue from the director of refuse at the council called, claiming he was unaware of my plight despite me being assured by council that the bin would be emptied today. He asked me very nicely to take my rubbish home as he would have it collected within half an hour!

“Thirty-one minutes after my call from council the  bin lorry arrived to collect my rubbish. They were kind enough to notice that the lid was broken so are going to replace it.

“Having had my rubbish removed I returned to polling station to cast my vote and was greeted by some rather perplexed expressions when I told them my good news, the bin had been emptied!”

Polls close at 10pm. The ballot paper count and results announcement will take place at Margate Winter Gardens tomorrow (May 3).

Correction: The count starts at 1pm, results due in from around 5pm.


  1. And me. 🙂
    Its only 9 + months since I sent an e-mail to the CE of TDC who said she would look into my complaint. 4 months later after a further complaint the head of planning said he would come back to me. You guessed it. Still no reply. I think I will take a photo and send it to every dept of TDC and make an official complaint. The sooner we get rid of the top paid employee’s at TDC the better. They would rather flood Thanet with houses than sort out the existing problems.

  2. Well I’m happy your refuse has been collected as it should be . I read this week the council has spent close to 1/4 million pounds on agency staff in the first quarter of this year alone , no doubt its because of situations like this . It’s really poor management and I hope they will be voted out today .

  3. Hahaha! Good report Ms Bailes!
    And Carly Jeffrey, you’re reportedly good at research – find out! 😉

  4. I hope the lady gets her bin lid replaced we are still waiting over two years later. Oh, and yes numerous requests have fallen on deaf ears.
    I too want to hear about the attempted ballot box theft, it sounds interesting!

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