Green Party raises concerns over Thanet council asset sell-off list

Thanet council

Green district councillor Becky Wing is seeking a meeting with council leader Bob Bayford and officers to express concern over Thanet council owned properties on the authority’s asset disposal list.

The list details decisions that have previously been made to either sell properties and land on the open market or to transfer them to community groups or town and parish councils. There are no new additions to the list.

Among the items listed is the Ice House in Ramsgate, which was passed to the 6th Ramsgate Sea Scouts as a Community Asset Transfer in 2017.

Margate Museum

Also on the list, from October 2018, are Margate Museum, Tudor House, Dickens House and Margate Town Hall. The council agreed to take steps for other organisations to take over and run the sites.

Thanet council said the action was necessary as it does not have the funds to repair and maintain the premises.

Margate Museums Trust has confirmed it will put in a bid to take over both Margate Museum and the Tudor House.

Baseline costs are stated as £911,400 for Margate Museum and Town Hall; £215,250 for Tudor House and £210,450 for Dickens House.

The report shows that Dickens House makes an annual profit of around £2,160 but Margate Museum and Town Hall cost £18,000 per year and Tudor House costs around £5,940 per annum.

The Old Town Hall has been closed for several years due to health and safety concerns.

Architect and Margate Museums Trustee Peter Thomas said the Trust will put in a bid for the museum and Tudor House.

He said: “We have a vision for both Margate Museum and the Tudor House and we will be putting forward an expression of interest.”

A decision to sell or transfer closed toilets in Thanet was approved in January.

The decision is the first part of an ongoing review of the isle’s public toilets.

Loos in Beresford Gap, Birchington, Marina Road, Ramsgate, Minnis Bay, Birchington, Park Road, Margate, St Johns Cemetery, Margate and Albion Street, Broadstairs were due to be sold at market value.

For the toilet at St Johns Cemetery preference was to be given to a use related to bereavement. Broadstairs and St Peters Town Council have expressed an interest in buying the closed loos at Albion Street as part of their regeneration plans for Broadstairs.

Land and toilets in Minster have been operated by Minster-in-Thanet Parish Council for several years.

The listed urinal at Park Road will be sold Photo Frank Leppard

The urinal in Park Road, Margate, is Grade II listed. The cast Iron Victorian structure was listed by Historic England in 1997. It has suffered vandalism and rubbish has been dumped at the site.

A report to Cabinet members in January said: “A review of operational property, including toilets is ongoing. The first stage of this review has been to identify and confirm closed toilets, that have not been in operation for many years, are surplus to Thanet council requirements. They are in various stages of disrepair and bringing them to the market will provide opportunities for redevelopment subject to all necessary consents.”

A further plan has been suggested to involve businesses in a toilets for use scheme.

The bandstand, clock tower, kiosk and shelter in the area of Victoria Gardens, Broadstairs have already been approved for transfer to Broadstairs and St. Peters Town Council. The council was expected to agree a similar arrangement for Victoria Gardens, including the toilets.

Photo Carole Adams

Albion Gardens, including the Madeira Waterfall, in Ramsgate, is proposed for transfer to Ramsgate Town Council or another qualifying community organisation.

Newgate Gap Shelter and The Oval, in Cliftonville, were due to be advertised for community asset transfer as will pavilions, previously operated by Your Leisure which have been returned to the council, in Garlinge, Hartsdown and Northdown. These are used by sports and social clubs and  the council aims to dispose of them to the clubs through a community asset transfer.

The council also announced the possible transfer or sale of land at Hartsdown and the earmarked sale to the owners of the Nayland Rock Hotel of land fronting Royal Crescent .

It was also proposed to sell off land at the rear of Margate’s Tudor House.

Land at Rossetti Gardens, the Memorial Field and Dog Acre are being taken on by Birchington Parish Council. Westgate Town Council is expected to take on Lymington playing fields and the shelter opposite St Mildred’s Road.

Thanet council carried out the review as part of a bid to save £175,000 in its 2019-20 budget.

Green Councillor for Ramsgate Central Harbour Becky Wing said she was “deeply concerned at the recent list of assets for disposal issued by TDC.”

She added: “ It contains recently closed toilets, gardens which have been looked after by a community group and iconic historic attractions in all three towns. The Green Party will seek a meeting with Bob Bayford and the officer involved as soon as possible”.


  1. Has anyone actually looked into these premises not actually being owned by the council but were in fact willed to the PEOPLE so NOT council property. The toilets by dane Park certainly is one of those

  2. Well done to the Greens it’s about time someone showed concern for the disgusting sell offs. As per usual with Tories when they sell off public assets others will profit very much more than the taxpayers who paid for them in the first place.

  3. Back in the good old days, it was taken for granted that the local Council would run public toilets, museums, local cultural attractions including ancient buildings etc. It was what Councils were FOR!
    But now they are all being sold-off or passed on to other bodies who will need funding to keep them going. Local Councils are being run down and deprived of resources before our eyes. Central government has no interest in the actual life we lead in Thanet or other areas.
    Yet, we cannot avoid the fact that local voters have repeatedly returned Conservative MPs to Westminster where they have voted for more of this “austerity”. So it’s no good blaming the local Councils when it was ourselves who decided to elect MPs committed to shrinking Council budgets.

  4. EVERYTHING TDC estimates and says about the OLD Town Hall, is an absolute LIE. These are totally invented figures, invented to get the will of the Public in order to sell it off. There is an up-to-date KUDOS Report with an estimate of around £500,000 for needed repairs. When in fact £100,000 would be more than enough to bring it back in to the hands of the Public (Represented by The Charter Trustees of Margate). This beautiful building was gifted to the People of Margate, and should, under any and all circumstances, be kept that way. TDC would LIE their way out of a paper bag to prevent Public ownership happening. Mark my words.

  5. The old town hall was given to the people of still belongs to the people for use as a civic building for the use of the borough council and the queen’s mayor. I asked for this in a petition for both the town hall not to be sold off signed by the people of Margate matter.
    A decision is to be made at the next ordinary council meeting on the 11th June.this was discussed at recent meeting of the cabinet.

  6. Im sure someone should investigate what’s happening with TDC behaviour. The Westgate Pavilion was sold for £27k despite offers of £60k from the current tenant?

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