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.