Thanet councillor for Cliffsend and Pegwell resigns with stress – blaming ‘bullying and intimidation’

David Stevens has resigned from his seat at Thanet District Council

A district councillor for Cliffsend and Pegwell has resigned over claims of bullying.

David Stevens was elected in May’s poll as the Conservative member for the ward. The other seat for the ward is held by fellow Conservative Cllr Brenda Rogers.

Mr Stevens handed in his resignation to Thanet council today (December 20). Thanet council says it is not aware of any complaints relating to bullying.

In a statement the retired teacher from Pegwell  said: “It is with great sadness and regret that I have today stepped down as a councillor of TDC due to mounting stress.

“I would like to apologise to the residents of Cliffsend and Pegwell because I feel I have let them and Cllr Rogers down. I would like to thank my fellow councillors and officers at TDC for all the help and support they have given to me because the vast majority of them are hard working, honest people trying to do a very difficult job.

“However, there is a minority of “rotten apples” at the heart of TDC that need to be removed and it is a huge disappointment to me that I have not been able to complete the task.

“There is no place for bullying and intimidation in any organisation and I hope that my fellow elected members will continue the work to remove the perpetrators.”

The resignation is the latest blow for Cliffsend which has also seen two parish councillors and the clerk hand in their resignations as well as the chairman, who resigned his role in October.

A by-election is now expected to be called for the vacant seat.

A Thanet council Spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Cllr David Stevens has resigned but we are not aware of any complaints or concerns that suggests that this was related to bullying. A by election is likely to be held in February. We will confirm the details in the New Year.”

The isle’s Conservative Party leader Lesley Game said she had “no knowledge of any bullying,” but added: “I regret his departure and wish him well for the future.”

A statement from the Thanet Green Party adds: “We were very sorry to hear of Cllr David Stevens’ resignation as a Thanet District Councillor, and to read that he has felt forced into this decision as a result of stress.

“We are of different political persuasions and obviously do not agree on some issues, but we have always respected David as a man of integrity. As a Councillor he has been hardworking, conscientious and determined to do a good job for the people of Cliffsend and of Thanet.

“Our three Green Councillors were elected in May at the same time as David, and since then have found him very willing to work cross-party for the good of the area. So it is disappointing that he will not be continuing with the excellent work he was doing, particularly on the council’s constitution, which we believe is in urgent need of review.

“In particular, we were disturbed to see the words ‘bullying and intimidation’ in David’s resignation statement. We wholly support his view that there is no place for these in any organisation. We commit to continuing to work across the Chamber to ensure that anyone responsible for such actions is held to account, and to move forward in the long process of bringing Thanet District Council into line with local authority best practice.”


  1. What a carry on. Maybe they should rename the Village Emmerdale, it’s like a TV soap. Recent tales of swinging parties and other frolickings going ons. Makes North Foreland seem most boring. On a serious note bullying only happens because the victims allow it if you stand up to a bully they will soon back off. When I was at school I used to beat up the bullies it only happened twice they never picked on me or anyone else in the school again in front of me because if I found out I would beat them up again.

    • Bullies need victims. What doesn’t really hang together is the claim that he’s been bullied, and TDC’s statement that they aren’t aware of a complaint. I’d expect anyone in an elected position to have used the systems available to them before throwing their toys out of the pram and resigning. If you’ve been bullied and you don’t make a formal complaint, you’re just allowing them to do it to someone else.

    • Hardly throwing toys out of the pram when it makes a person so ill that they unable to do their job. Councillor Stevens was a brilliant councillor and will be a sad loss to Pegwell and Cliffsend and to Thanet Council as a whole.

  2. It’s a known trait of the council Mr Lewis that councilors bully
    Two Labour councilors now ex council told another councilor to mind his back as he was going down the stairs but that never got reported Mr Lewis. Nor did you listen to me about my findings on Sands Heritage. I’ve done it myself and will bring this council down soon enough

  3. I was at the standards committee meeting where I saw Labour councilors bully the committee hence they all left… Says a lot really for local people who you vote for…
    The officers are also bullies…
    I would never work with bullies yes stand up to them gets you nowhere these days.
    My further findings on East Kent Housing has led me to one of biggest fraud scandals this town knows feck all about… Its been reported

  4. There are many people who don’t understand the difference between being bullied and failing to be assertive. The bottom line is that, in all walks of life, there are people trying to get you do do things which you don’t want to do. Effective upward management requires that you develop the right language for saying: “No,” and are able to persuade people of the merits of your own ideas. One of the problems of electing members of SMAa is that they’ve never been prepared to debate their ideas;they exist only in secretive, closed internet groups where they are surrounded by fellow plane-spotters. It doesn’t really qualify you to participate in the rough and tumble of the real world.

  5. How hypocritical to complain of bullying, when as an admin on SMAA, he allowed bullying and vile comments about certain ‘Antis’

  6. News flash, Boris and his friend Zac are looking at ditching Heathrow expansion and looking at Manston Airport. They were before the election. Announcement soon. So I’ve been told today. “Let’s get Manston Done”. Hmmm I’ve heard that before somewhere.

  7. Sadly, the nastiest comments and personal comments on SMA, came from the same people who, I presume, are on here now and who caused the split of the group a couple of years ago. There is a catalogue of evidence of it. One member (not committee) of SMAA has saved every meme and comment. SMAA was then formed and stayed loyal to RiverOak/RSP, believing in their airport plans. Some of SMA admin were rude and personal beyond reason about them as well as committee members. As an SMA and SMAA member I have NEVER known David Stevens to be a bully or make personal comments about anyone. Plus, only a handful of people know the full story, so until you do, please stop the personal insults. It doesn’t help anything or anyone!, but shows you up for what you really are!

    • sadly those with vested interests will always defend their own
      David was vice chair and an admin of the SMAa FB group.
      Whilst he may not have PERSONALLY abused a soul he certainly did nothing about the trolls on SMAa who regularly abused anyone who disagreed with their POV
      “It has been said that for evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing.” To you he may be “good” however the quote does fit to a T
      He may not like being bullied but what goes around comes around. Maybe if he had stopped the abusive trolls on SMAa from the outset then folk would have learnt not to abuse others

      • The nasty vile comments are also on the other airport Facebook group, SMA run by the man with many profiles, Mr Skeedale. His group unlike SMAA cannot be taken seriously.

  8. There is nothing about this on the BBC news, so let’s hope Ann’s source of information is mistaken. There is an item about Heathrow, but it doesn’t mention Manston.

    • It’s no good going over old ground who said what when, as the year nears it’s end it’s time to turn a page and look anew to the year ahead. To all who agree or disagree with me on here and for the wonderful Cathy who makes this site possible I wish you all good health and happiness in the new year. We are off to somewhere a little dryer and warmer later. Best wishes to you all.

  9. Prestwick is up for sale and and the Scottish government announced, today, that they’ve identified a preferred bidder. Wouldn’t it be amusing if Ann Gloag bought it….for £1

  10. If, as Ann implies, Manston is to be developed instead of H3, there are a question or two to be answered.
    1) who’s going to pay the bill? RSP can’t scrape the £300m necessary to get Manston going, let alone the vastly larger amount of money to make it HR3.
    2) Heathrow’s owners won’t want their third runway 100 miles away from R1 and R2.
    3) the infrastructure linking H with M is woefully inadequate. Who will pay the £100ms necessary to build the required roads and railways linking the two sites?
    4) climate change and global warming are real, and happening. In a very short space of time, governments will have to curb aviation, not expand it.

    • Presumably we will hear very soon that the government has CPOd the former airport site from RSP in order to turn it into Heathrow Mark 2.

  11. There is one minor wrinkle in the notion that Manston could substitute for the third runway. The entire DCO process and the recommendations made by the Planning Inspectorate are founded on the premise that it would be a freight depot. If they wanted to use it as the third runway it’s back to square 1.

  12. I would never condone bullying if proven.
    We had to experience members of SMAa putting up pictures of where they believed we lived and awful commenta directed at us on social media.
    I will never unhear the awful and ugly comments made by Mr and Mrs Stevens about the residents of Ramsgate and Thanet at the Planning Inspectorate examination.
    Mr Stevens was also the councillor that went around to at least 1 local school with RSP. The purpose of the visit was to get the school to accept a fraction of the noise mitigation costs that KCC had recommended. How is that not bullying?

  13. All one can add is that Mr Stevens, and his family, did little or nothing to stop the horrendous commentaries on anyone in authority not doing their unevidenced desires at any stage. He was a great teacher in years gone by; taught some of my children very well In retirement he became suckered in like so many others by promises that will never be fulfilled, and became less of a man of integrity because of it. He was, however, personally and face to face, more polite and civilised than most airport supporters became. Very sad. I wish him well in retirement, and hope he recovers from whatever ailments afflict him.

  14. Still “unevidenced”, as Mr. Wells politely puts it, even after a lengthy and detailed application to the Planning Inspectorate by RSP.

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