Anger at cancellation of next full council meeting


Thanet’s Labour opposition group has slammed a decision to cancel the next full council meeting on September 5.

The decision was formally taken by the Conservative chair of council, Cllr Jason Savage, due to “a paucity of substantive items”- meaning a lack of items to discuss. The council is led by a minority Conservative administration.

Members were notified by an email from an officer this morning (August 21).

But Thanet Labour leader Rick Everitt says his 20-strong group was given no advance warning and there was no consultation with its leadership in advance of the announcement.

The Conservatives, who have 25 out of the 56 councillors on the authority, lead the council thanks to the casting vote of the chair at annual council in May, after members voted 24-24 for their candidate Bob Bayford and Labour’s leader Rick Everitt.

Cllr Everitt said: “I think the public will find it disturbing that the minority Conservative administration can cancel a full council meeting without even the courtesy of consulting the main opposition group leader.

“They may also wonder with all the issues Thanet faces why the administration apparently has nothing of substance to bring forward.

“The Labour group had already submitted important questions to cabinet members and more were to follow before next week’s deadline.

“In addition, the decision means the leader does not have to make his formal report to members and cannot be questioned by me and other leaders on the record.

“Whether or not the cancellation is the correct action, the failure to consult the Labour leadership first is outrageous. The full council meeting is not a concession to be withheld at the discretion of the minority Tory group.”

Independent councillor Ruth Bailey added: “I am extremely disappointed and annoyed to hear the next full council meeting has been cancelled due to ‘paucity’ of business. Since the new administration was voted in on May 3 -if we ignore the first annual meeting which was just to elect and apportion key roles – we have had just one substantive meeting which was on July 11. The next meeting isn’t scheduled until October 10 – that’s one full business meeting in five months.

“Personally, I would have thought that there were plenty of matters to discuss and I am very frustrated at this withdrawal of one of the few opportunities we get to scrutinise and question policy.  The question I had submitted, regarding the Viking Bay lift, will now be forwarded to the next meeting on October 10. As members are only allowed to submit one question per meeting I have now lost the opportunity to bring up another issue within the next couple of months.”

Campaigners share their message Photo Carly Jeffrey

Campaigners Save Our NHS in Kent (SONIK) are also angered at the sudden cancellation. SONIK Chair Jon Flaig explained: “We had been given three minutes to speak at this full council meeting about the fight for QEQM’s stroke unit and we have a demonstration planned outside on the council steps.

“We have some very important warnings about the hospital that we want to express in person to councillors and we hoped to ask them to act promptly. We are stunned that Cllr Savage claims there’s a lack of items on the agenda.

“We are absolutely still going to have the protest on September 5 and we will ensure that we are allowed to communicate our urgent message to councillors one way or another.”

Carly Jeffrey of SONIK, who received the email today explaining the meeting had been cancelled, said “Claiming there is nothing on the agenda is bizarre. I have asked for an explanation from Nicholas Hughes, Committee Services Manager, who emailed me to tell me about the cancellation of the meeting and the postponement of our address to councillors until October.

“In his email to me, no reason was given for the cancellation, but I have seen the reason given in the Isle of Thanet News. To Thanet residents, the future of our hospital is crucially important – the explanation given by councillor Savage suggests that key members of the council leadership do not agree.”



  1. Paucity of business? Really? Surely with so much happening locally and questions already accepted, the meeting should go ahead with the leader answering questions from Labour, the Greens and TIGs plus the one Independent.

  2. Someone was going to talk about the closed lift on Broadstairs sea front at this meeting. There’s a lot of Conservative voters in Broadstairs. Beware Bob, the stick users will march on Kingsgate and demand to be heard!

  3. Cllr Jason Savage, due to “a paucity of substantive items”- meaning a lack of items to discuss ! Reaĺly cllr Savage ? I can think of a list of things that councillors need to be addressing, around the way the council is run, the port at Ramsgate, the paucity of services and responsibility taken by the ruling Conservative group, the fact that the Tories might have no concerns to discuss only shows how out of touch they are.

  4. Paucity of substantive items? Is Jacob Reece-Mogg writing Tory Group’s Press Releases and emails now? It’s almost as if we’re on the brink of a General Election…..

  5. Save Our NHS in Kent’s (SONiK) protest at the council offices GOES AHEAD on 5th Sept, 6pm! The idea that there is nothing to discuss when vital services at QEQM are under threat is a nonsense.

  6. Shocking, bins not being collected, stroke unit closure,, port Ramsgate chaos, housing crisis, Brexit chaos imminent, are conservatives councillors going to have their pay stopped as they are nothing to discuss?meanwhile I will carry on regardless.

  7. Cllr. Savage clearly does not represent the Thanetian people. Stroke unit closure, increase in homelessness, ineffective local services.

    Dear Broadstairs, stop enabling.

  8. Save Our NHS in Kent’s (SONiK) protest at the council offices GOES AHEAD on 5th Sept, 6pm! The idea that there is nothing to discuss when vital services at QEQM are under threat is a nonsense.

  9. Even if there were a ‘paucity of substantive items’ to discuss, that is no excuse to cancel a full meeting. The items that are on the agenda should be discussed which would then allow more matters to be raised at the next meeting. And if the meeting were to finish earlier than normal, what’s wrong with that? But to cancel it completely shows a complete lack of respect not only for those councillors who do want the meeting to proceed but for all Thanet residents. As others have written, I don’t think there are any Thanet residents who believe there are a lack of matters to discuss. Councillor Savage – you and all councillors are here to serve Thanet residents and so I suggest you review your decision in light of comments you now receive.

    • I recall one full council meeting that lasted 45 minutes, just, with not a huge amount to discuss but it went ahead. The Leader gave his report, group leaders raised their points. We probably voted on something.then we all went home.

      • Many Cabinet meetings, or extraordinary meetings, are called for just one single issue and are over with in 15-20 minutes.

        I don’t think we have enough full council meetings as it is, let alone cancelling them, there are always plenty of matters to discuss.

        It is only democratic that opposition members are given regular opportunities to meet, engage with, and challenge, the controlling party’s ideologies and policies.

        Full council meetings also provide an opportunity for councillors across the parties to meet and chat informally over a range of issues.

  10. This is maladministration by a minority . It’s about time ‘ Tormented of Thanet ‘ showed his displeasure by calling in the Ombudsman . Scant regard for the community , deaf ears to the campaigners trying to save it’s Hospital services , environment etc , blatant whitewashing of claims of corruption , flagrant disregard of Planning Committee decisions by the Executive and systemic bullying of employees are the byword of Thanet District Council . Now the rot has spread to those some of us elected to protect our Island .

  11. The deadline for questions from the public, and from councillors is August 28th. So the chair did not even wait until the deadline to say there’s no business. Also, How many full council meetings have there even been this year? Two bouts of purdah due to two elections saw a long period pass with no meetings. And a general election is on the cards, so that could lead to more cancelled meetings! What a joke! I think Cllr Savage, Bob Bayford and Madeline Homer want to avoid facing the public.There has been so much outcry about the running of the council this year, and recently, a lot of scandal involving the bullying culture of the leadership. Thanet deserves better!

  12. There will never be a reason to cancel a regular full council meeting. This is a right that all local ratepayers would expect. There cannot be no business to discuss, Steve services, council toilets, dreamland and local services will all regularly need discussion!!
    Do I understand that the elected councillors will be refunding their month expenses etc. As they obviously have nothing to do, so should not be paid

    • To be fair Alan, most of the councillors DON’T want the meeting to be cancelled. They are calling for it to go ahead. It’s a handful that are trying to cancel it to avoid questions they don’t want to deal with. Bayford and Savage are clearly behind this, but quite likely also the Cheif Exec and a number of officers. Perhaps we should all write to our local cllrs and ask them if they are behind this cancellation or not.

  13. Good to know there is nothing to discuss in thanet and that the Tories are doing such a great job and everything is going so well…….

    Or back in the real world we just put up with these numptys who cant find anything to discuss in thanet unreal !!

  14. Mr Bayford needs to step aside. Vote for a committee style council and then get rid of chief exec, make her job redundant then get on with sorting out the rest. Employ more staff on saved wages. Bring in street cleaners, sweepers, open the toilets up and buy bigger bins and recycling bins where you can get rid of plastic. The place would start looking good if this was done.

  15. And what happened to my completely sensible idea of free parking. ( Will remind you if necessary) Thanet council appear not to have a heart. Now I have a mole who can give me the facts & truths, I will be watching every movement or non movement, in the operation of this town. Free parking. £1per car at Westwood’s Tdc collect the cash. Thanet towns / villages parking free and unlimited. Simples.

    • If free parking, let’s have free public transport too. Better by far for the environment than the private car is.

  16. Plain rudeness. Cancelling the Council meeting and saying there’s no business is so pompous. How dare they say there’s nothing much to hold a full council for, when the streets are full of litter and debris, the poo bins are not emptied. Recycling and rubbish pick ups are just a fire fighting exercise and those in charge just putting their feet up and relaxing at home. We are heading for a complete disaster. But they who cause this will walk away without any guilt whatsoever.

  17. This kind of thing is the very reason why the public have little confidence in Tdc and its existing Tory administration . The stench of bad faith and bad practise hang heavily over this council . When it comes to Tdc one is never surprised by their latest slippery move . This is just a crude means to avoid democratic scrutiny
    The senior officers and leader yet again show scant regard to the local people they serve .

  18. Perhaps the Council, Bob and co. with help from the chief executive will be spending their time rearranging the deckchairs on the sinking SS Ti-thanet. What a coprolitic council!

  19. The corruption comes because they all are friends with each other. Bob calls The chief exec Maddy and Maddy calls Bob, Bobby. Maddy calls Mr Waite Darling and it just goes on and on. Supporting and protecting each other in their little group. Protecting each other from any form scrutiny. The last thing they want to happen. That’s why Bob B is not taking any action.

  20. Cllr Savage, the conscience of the Council and Chairman, second to Bob Bayford. Was this meeting conflicting with holidays or was he just not bothered to preside over it? There was plenty to discuss in a coastal area like Thanet, some of the items were urgent enough not to be delayed until the next full meeting. Thanet is not like a Church PCC where there might not be anything on the agenda, but even then they are hardly ever cancelled. This is pure maladministration again by those fools in charge.

  21. Maybe we should hold a mass demonstration showing that the people of Thanet have no confidence in the ability of TDC to run our island. A reduction in their pay packet for the missed council meeting seems appropriate. We would be quite happy to meet with the councillors who do bother to turn up to discuss all current issues.

  22. Instead of a protest I suggest that someone contacts the LG Ombudsman as it appears that TDC have not followed their own process. Why set deadlines for business to be transacted if they then ignore those deadlines. Cllr Savage could have said lack of business after that date, but it is a bit odd to say that before the deadline expires.There is always business to transact, it merely means that it is not important enough for the executive.
    It smacks of Westminster proroguing chicanery.

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