Motion put forward by Independent Group councillors to remove Thanet council leader Bob Bayford

TDC leader Bob Bayford

A  motion for a vote of no confidence in Thanet council leader Bob Bayford will be put forward at a full council meeting on October 10.

The motion is being put by Thanet Independent Group leader Cllr Stuart Piper and has been backed by Independent Group Councillors John Dennis, Lynda Piper, Bertie Braidwood and Gary Taylor.

Cllr Piper said: “The main substance (of the motion) will be presented at the meeting, A number of members have expressed serious concerns about his ability to continue as leader. The Constitution allows members to move such a motion and so the letter was sent to the council chairman calling the meeting.

“He has obliged and suggested October 10.  I can’t prejudice members views by giving details in advance of that meeting.”

Cllr Bayford took the role of council leader in March 2018 when then-UKIP leader Chris Wells resigned, signalling the end of the country’s first UKIP council which had been elected in a landslide victory in 2015.

The resignation followed a split in the Thanet UKIP party due to the issue of Manston airport and the draft Local Plan.

Twelve UKIP members quit the group to form their own independent party after refusing to back a Local Plan that designated the Manston site for mixed use instead of aviation.

Cllr Bayford, as Leader of the largest group on council, moved to form a fresh administration. Cllr Wells agreed to step aside to minimise disruption and maintain stability at the council by ensuring a vote for a new leader without the disruption of a vote of no confidence.

In May this year a poll at the first full council meeting since the local elections on May 2 confirmed Cllr 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.

The motion on October 10 will need to have a majority backing to go on to debate or vote. If a vote of no confidence is passed Cllr Bayford would be expected to resign his role as leader and a new leader installed. However, the motion could also fall, meaning a vote will not take place.

Thanet Labour Party leader Rick Everitt said the motion would have ‘no practical effect.’

He said:: “The motion as proposed has no practical effect.  Either Cllr Piper doesn’t know that because he has council procedure confused with Westminster or he is not serious about changing the leader and is just playing to the gallery. I can only assume the latter as he hasn’t spoken to me about it.”

The motion comes on the heels of councillors calling for a complete change of hands at the top of the management structure at Thanet council in the wake of revelations about bullying and harassment grievances being made against the chief executive and Director of Operational Services.

There has also been councillor unrest over decisions made regarding Ramsgate Port and Harbour.

Thanet has 56 councillors – 25 Conservative, 20 Labour, 7 Thanet Independent Group, 3 Green and 1 Independent.


  1. Worst council leader ever.
    Oh wait, wasn’t that Chris Wells? Ah what about the convicted criminal Sandy Ezekiel?

    Wow. Tough competition!

    • Chris Wells was the best leader TDC had given the debt he inherited from both Labour and Tories. With the aid of most of the councillors at TDC the council was turned from toxic to award winning. Despite UKIP’s manifesto to save the airport, Riveroak at that time couldn’t evidence they had the monies to proceed with a CPO. Bayford ranks as the worst leader, given when he was handed control in 2018 he promised (standing on the floor of the Council chamber) a 10-point plan within a month of taking office. Conveniently for him, no-one remembered the promise, and so no plan was ever published. So he didn’t have to deliver anything.

  2. Well, turn up for the record…. let’s see… UKIP took over £14,200,000 debt inherited from Last Labour Admin. Conservatives absolutely ignoring Local matters since gaining power… that leaves?????? Could Thanet Independents gain control of the TDC with so few?

  3. How was Chris Wells a bad Council leader?
    He did what UKIP’s manifesto promised to do: he strove to return aviation to Manston. But when confronted with mounting evidence that aviation was most unlikely to succeed, he decided to look for a plan “B” and stop flogging a dead unicorn.
    Eminently sensible thing for a leader to do.

    • For god’s sake put party political motives aside and do what Thanet needs. Elect someone who will take the officers on head on. If you all can’t see that then Thanet is lost. As for Wells being a good leader…. Words fail me!

  4. He (Ex UKIP TDC Leader) nearly sacrificed Manston’s very existence as an Airport, rumour has it he was promised a large new house by the previous owners SHP for intervening on their behalf, but this remains a rumour.
    Who knows?
    He started good, but changed his mind, much to the annoyance of most of his Councillors.

    • Oh dearie me
      Another person who believes in fantasy
      Manston isn’t viable
      and Riverjoke failed to impress the Council when it came to producing proof of their finances not once but 3 times
      You seem to forget that when asked RO failed just because they found a money tree in 2019 and in Panama in all places doesn’t prove that in 2014, 2015 and 2016 they had any money whatsoever. You really are gullible

    • Careful Robster. Please remember you told several people who you really are, when ‘in your cups’.

    • Chris Wells changed his mind after he’d read the Avia Report which made it clear that commercial aviation was unlikely to be a success at Manston.

  5. Manston Airport doesn’t exist and hasn’t for a few years. So how could Chris Wells “nearly sacrifice” it?

    A rumour with no evidence to verify it remains a rumour, meaningless gossip.

  6. Thanet is skint has been for years and has little prospect of changing this for the foreseeable future, Pleasurama, the animal export fiasco, Dreamland, the 2 multistorey carparks, the inability to appoint a chief executive that lasts and can perform to an acceptable standard, just a few of the bigger problems. Manston is more an issue created by the countries tax laws ( which gave Gloag an opportunity to buy a substantial asset for next to nothing and offset tax due against the debts) , the whole airport story has years to run yet, as has the Dreamland saga which looks set to be another disaster for the district and its viability/finances.
    To try and keep up with ever mounting costs of the above, we’ve sold off just about anything of any value, done away with or farmed out as many services/responsibilities as possible.
    Yet we seem amazed when whoever picks up the poison chalice fails to pave the streets with gold and keep everyone happy.
    Expecting the past/present/future procession of the inept/amateurish/dishonest to make a silk purse from a sows ear really is a triumph of hope over experience.
    We can’t even run our social housing properly , compare Councillor Game’s press releases when it comes to private landlords in the area and her wording when it comes to the failings of TDC and EKH in its management of its housing.
    Thanet has not had a decent functioning council for probably as long as i’ve lived here. ( 30 plus years).

  7. “Manston is more an issue created by the countries tax laws ( which gave Gloag an opportunity to buy a substantial asset for next to nothing and offset tax due against the debts) ”
    Actually, anyone with a £1 in his pocket could have bought Manston.

    • But they would have bought the debt with it, Gloag’s company happened to be sitting on a profit that could be offset against the debt, making for a very convenient deal.

      • As could any other company, if they’d wanted to. RiverOak Strategic Partners, for example.
        But they didn’t.

        • Riveroak would have needed a time machine to have done so ,being incorporated in 2016, the sale for the magical pound was in 2013.
          Manston has no future as a passenger airport other than as a sideline to freight and maintenance , its pointless filling thanet with evermore houses but no jobs for those that are going to occupy them, but whether or not the site has any sort of aviation future is beyond me.

          • RiverOak Strategic Investment Corporation af America ( the entity which twice tried, and failed, to engineer a CPO partnership with TDC) has been around a lot longer than that!
            KPMG had the place for sale on the international market for 22 months before Ms Gloag made an offer which was accepted.
            The Aviation Industry is beyond me too, but not beyond the likes of Louise Congdon of York Aviation. She doesn’t give Manston much hope as a commercial airport. Nor do any other aviation authorities.

  8. Wow, not just me then. Mr. Bayford is the epitome of local government being fun by second rate businessmen. Never mind the fact that he’s a Tory following his leaders example of ‘ I don’t care what you think, I know I’m right’ attitude.
    I say again, how on earth can an area with so much deprivation, child poverty, poor schools be run by the Conservatives. Hang on, that’s why there is deprivation etc etc. It’s what they have done throughout history. Deprive and rule. Won’t be long now, once Boris has been sussed and dumped we may get a chance to realign our country to become somewhere that would work for everyone. I can dream can’t I ?

  9. Bayford ranks as worst leader TDC ever. When he was handed control in 2018 he promised (standing on the floor of the Council chamber) a 10-point plan within a month of taking office. Conveniently for him, no-one remembered the promise, and so no plan was ever published. So he didn’t have to deliver anything. His Tory Councillors are all nodding poodles.

  10. Poor Bob!!! At least he does very little – rather than something actually illegal or semi-legal, like quite a lot of our previous politicians. Well, at least as far as we know …..

  11. And meanwhile on the RAG facebook page they have gone off topic on this subject and are slagging off the Labour party instead of putting their differences aside. But what do you expect when one of the admins on there is a ‘Tory Boy’

    • It’s quite difficult to know what’s on topic on RAG because Steven Coombes’ postings are impossible to understand.

  12. Ironic, isn’t it, considering how one of their prime objectives has been to dislodge some of the council officers from their current jobs partly on the grounds of bullying not only council employees but councillors.

  13. Hypocrisy rules on the RAG Facebook page. Condemning bullying in TDC but allowing it from the Keyboard Warriors. You couldn’t make it up.

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