A ‘new’ Thanet council leader has been elected – with just one vote sealing the outcome

Labour's Rick Everitt takes over as council leader from Conservative Bob Bayford

A poll at tonight’s first full council meeting since the local elections on May 2 has confirmed Conservative Bob Bayford as the leader of Thanet council – but only by one vote.

Cllr Bayford and Labour leader Rick Everitt were both nominated for the position and a show of hands resulted in 24 votes apiece.

The casting vote taken by new council chairman Jason Savage resulted in the appointment of Cllr Bayford.

Thanet council’s three new Green councillors and Independent Ruth Bailey voted for Cllr Everitt. Conservatives voted for Bob Bayford. The Thanet Independent Party members abstained from voting for either candidate.


Cllr Bayford said: “Looking at the larger Labour opposition it reminds me f the old days, notice I I am not saying the good old days, I remember this chamber a few years ago was fractious and that did not help the quality of votes or decisions.

” I think the chamber is very interesting now, we have a spread of parties. We now have Green Party members for the first time, a range of experience and a lot of much younger councillors.

“It is no secret that this is a difficult time for local government and Thanet faces particular challenges and to meet these challenges it will be far more effective if we work together.”

Cabinet posts

Conservative Westbrook ward councillor Ash Asby was appointed deputy leader and portfolio holder for operational services.

Reece Pugh is the new portfolio holder for corporate governance; David Saunders heads up financial services; Lesley Anne Game takes the housing portfolio again and Cllr Bayford will continue to oversee Ramsgate port and harbour.

Labour leader Rick Everitt announced his shadow positions. Helen Whitehead is deputy leader and housing portfolio; Rob Yates heads is shadow financial services; Steve Albon takes operational services and Ruth Duckworth is shadow portfolio holder for corporate governance.

Conservative councillor Linda Wright was elected as vice chair.

This month’s election saw Labour gain 15 seats, going from five seats to 20, while Conservatives gained three taking their total to 25.

Greens are on the authority for the first time winning three seats. Independent Ruth Brackstone-Bailey also gained a seat. Thanet Independents party won seven seats, a loss of six pre-election places, and UKIP was completely wiped out.

The make up of the council means it is minority led by the Conservatives but alliance from other groups will be needed to gain approval for motions.


  1. So the person who has so royally ruined Ramsgate harbour continues to have the portfolio. God help us all.

  2. We must get rid of this old regime and its government lacks asap before they concrete over Thanet ,stifle the arts revolution further and sell what is left of public goods.a sad day.

  3. Hmmm . . . what did the Thanet Independent Party achieve by sitting on the fence ?

    They put themselves forward to be elected as Councillors to make difficult decisions – not to avoid making them !

  4. Thanet Independents will not vote for either Labour or the Conservatives in such an election. It would be against their promise of acting for the people. The last time TDC was split like this, the TDC Councillors were called ‘Toxic & Dysfunctional. By abstaining to Vote Thanet Independents are ‘testing the ground’! Early days yet, let’s see what happens soon. I don’t think Bayford will last long as Leader. One or perhaps two inexcusable mistakes, and the Tory ‘rats pack’ will have his throat!

    • I certainly agree about the toxic and dysfunctional name calling, finger pointing and blame game that has preciously occurred with our elected members in the Council Chamber – lined up like two opposing gangs on either side of the school playground. Lets hope it does not degenerate to that again.

      Batford survived a long time as Leader previously – and now he has been elected again. The Independents had their opportunity to elect someone else and missed it. There was only ever going to be a choice of two – they will now have to be happy with the outcome of their decision.

  5. As I said during the local elections, Thanet needed to elect councillors who would put party politics to one side and work together for the benefit of Thanet. I am afraid there were not enough councillors elected who I feel will put Thanet before party. We hope this is not the case, but time will tell.

    John Finnegan
    Liberal Democrats

  6. The independent councillors forgot to put their batteries in. Not a good start. My piper needs to clean his windows if he want to watch what’s going on.

  7. Let’s hope he does a better job this time! Let’s face it he could not do anything more devastating as last time e

  8. They are a council that has inherited a review of past contaminated land strategy And inherited a change of position by TDC to the Manston National Planning Process. And inherited call for report from Local Plan Inspector about quality and safety of Thanet water supply.

    TDC and Southern Water have form re Tivoli Brook. But that could pale in significance compared to the issue of toxic residue Manston contaminating Thanet water supply.

    This should by law have been reported into planning process and into the CCG joint NHS CCG planning process. Hence the stroke unit decision was reached on unlawful process — that a lot of cllrs still want to keep quiet while they cry crocodile tears about Thanet being denied a stroke unit.

  9. Of course Stuart piper voted for Mr bayford so called independents are to rise in discuse. All those old ones want sacking they are not fit for purpose . Bayford will do nothing for Ramsgate.

  10. Well done, more of the same old local councillors led by the one and only Bob ‘ the plank ‘ Bayford. Thanet is the epitome of a divided nation, those that have want more, while those without have no voice. The latest report shows Thanet has the largest amount of children living in poverty in the country, what a disgrace. I hope all those who voted for the same sleep well, but I’m sure there will be a day of reckoning. Can’t wait!

  11. This is why I don’t vote in local elections,tdc are rotten to the core, laughing stock of the country, never been fit for purpose, couldn’t organise a piss up.

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