Margate’s Visitor Information Centre now operating on reduced hours

Droit House Photo Frank Leppard

Droit House’s Visitor Information Centre is now operating on a reduced timetable as a result of a Thanet council review of services.

Fears were raised in March that the service would shut as part of a cash-cutting drive by Thanet council which included jobs being put at risk in tourism/coastal and operation services departments.

Thanet council later announced it had secured the lease for another 12 months but confirmed the service would still be reviewed.

As from this week Droit House will be opening five days a week, Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm. The VIC will be closed on a Monday and Tuesday. The new timetable was brought into effect on Monday (June 3).

‘Serious financial pressures’

A council spokesperson said: “Tourism is an integral part of Thanet’s ongoing success as a destination. Since 2011, the number of visitors has increased by over 35% and jobs supported by the visitor economy have increased by 45%. The district’s tourism economy is worth £320m and is one of the fastest growing in the UK.

“Over the next 12 months, the council will review how it continues to deliver an effective tourism service for the district into the future. This is to ensure it remains a successful part of the local economy. This is in the context of the council facing serious financial pressures and significant cuts in central Government funding.”

Staff roles at risk

Trade union Unison said it understood between 15 and 20 staff were affected by the  ‘restructure’ of tourism, coastal and operational services, including the Thanet Coast Officer role held by Tony Child.

Unison regional organiser Mark Hammond said: “They (TDC) have concluded the process. We do not know the final decision  but believe the number of redundancies is potentially 15 to 20. We know there is potential for the redundancies but are of the view that the council cannot afford to make them. We hope a decision will be for no redundancies.”

The outcome of the process is yet to be made public.

Cuts were examined across Thanet council departments as part of an  ‘efficiencies’ programme.

According to the budget for 2019-20 -which was agreed by a majority at full council on February 28 – proposals were to make £250,000 in savings.


  1. Cut the cost of the CEO on £125k plus her expenses she has made this town a disgrace and that salary is a poor reflection of the way TDC officers are. Making us £30m and more in debt… Cut out officers. This town was great before we had money grabbing our taxes for your own stealth. Shame on you all.

  2. I would love to blame it all on the senior staff at the Council and, especially on the Tory/Ukip councillors of recent times who have seemed so inept. But, in the end, most local government funds don’t come from the local Community Charge payers. Most comes from central government in London. So we have to examine the policies of the ruling Party at Westminster to work out why so much money is being cut from the budgets in Thanet. It doesn,t matter (not much, anyway) which Party runs TDC if the whole country is being run by “austerity” policies at Westminster.
    Many people in Thanet are in despair about the way the area is being run down by cut-backs in the Health Service, in social Care,in Council services etc. So they can’t be voting for the Tories can they? Oh! Wait…..!

  3. But it’s about choice isn’t it. However small or cut a budget is, there are always choices. TDC could generate £5 million by simply not moving office, and not putting money into a railway parkway that nobody wants or needs.

    When growth in tourism is Thanet’s biggest economic generator, why cut the provisions for those supporting and enabling the growth?

    Makes zero sense and is unfathomable.

  4. With tourism being one of our only growth areas, not counting the London dormitory houses being built all over thanet, it seem fairly counterproductive to reduce staff and resources to service this growth. New hotels planned for Margate bringing more earning potential for local businesses. Let’s cut help for those visitors, what a great plan??

  5. The management of TDC are inept. Cut the top salaries by 10% for starters. Make those that sign on contribute one day a week by engaging in sreet cleaning as most residents said they hate to see the inctease of litter everywhere. You could also engage these people in painting and renovating our public buildings which look terribly shabby. Make a payment gesture to these people as it would cost a whole lot less then what the big companies charge. Get some bloody flowers in the baskets in Margate!!! We went to a focus group 21.03.18 with other members of the public to discuss clean streets with Madeline Homer and Gavin Waite. Never heard anything more from it.These two members of staff earn around £245,000 between them and we have to lose staff at the Margate information centre that are paid the minimum wages!!!! I could run and save them money better than they do! If you want to save money you have to think of innovative ways to engage people. Sadly TDC lack those requisite skills.

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