Election: Thanet council and Ramsgate town council by-elections

Election

On Thursday, May 6, in addition to the county council election there will be by-elections for district council seats representing Newington, Dane Valley and Central Harbour wards.

There will also be a by-election for Central Harbour ward on Ramsgate Town Council.

Polling for the Broadstairs Neighbourhood Plan Referendum and the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner will also take place.

Thanet District Council Newington Ward

Katie Gerrard (Green)

I’ve lived in Newington for six years. I’m a mum with two children: my daughter’s at Royal Harbour and my son’s at primary school. I feel it’s time that someone from Newington represented Newington on TDC – someone who’s here every day and understands the practicalities of life.

Newington is an area that’s easily overlooked by TDC, so I feel it doesn’t always get its fair share of attention or spending. I will speak up for Newington, make sure Thanet District Council listens to Newington residents’ ideas and responds properly to our needs!

The things that matter to the residents I know include decent housing, jobs and a good education for our children. I’ve worked in housing, recruitment and education and believe I can help improve things. There are so many excellent initiatives happening in Newington, and with a bit more attention from TDC I think this could be our time!

Mary King (Labour)

I believe that my experience, in life and as a previous councillor, makes me well suited to represent everyone in Newington. My background is in retail, serving the public in a local supermarket. I have been a council tenant locally for many years. I also have mobility issues, which means I know all about the challenges which people with disabilities encounter daily. I have been shielding during the pandemic and so had first-hand experience of the tremendous work being done by our local NHS.

Having previously been a member of Thanet District Council, I know how to take forward the sort of concerns that residents are likely to need addressed. Housing is a big issue for many residents in Newington and I understand from personal experience some of the problems people face. I also know that there is a great community spirit and that many residents really value living here.

Trevor Shonk (Conservative)

Trevor Shonk has lived in Ramsgate all his life and has served as Mayor of Ramsgate, Town Councillor, District Councillor and County Councillor. He’s Chairman of Monkton Nature Reserve and supported it for 25 years. He knows crime, highways and health are key issues in Ramsgate and will hold regular surgeries if elected.

Grahame Birchall (Independent)

Grahame says he is an unashamed champion of Ramsgate and Thanet, “the jewels in Kent’s crown” as he calls it. He is leading the GRIT campaign for changing the system of local government here in Thanet, starting with our residents’ right to hold a local referendum for a directly elected council leader.  This alone, he says, will strengthen the powers invested in communities like Ramsgate Town Council and its electors. Grahame’ campaign will ultimately lead to removing Thanet from KCC, and put it  under a more open, transparent, accessible and accountable unitary authority. His campaign website is at www.grit.how.

Grahame is a self-employed businessman who has served as an activist in both the Labour and Conservative parties over the last 30 years. He was President of the Whitstable Chamber of Commerce for 4 years, and as a councillor he served under two completely different systems of government in Canterbury, which gave him vast experience in how to bring long overdue changes in Thanet, which will help remove the more deleterious effects of party politics. “

Thanet District Council Dane Valley

Martin Boyd (Labour)

I want to stand to be your local Councillor because I care about our community and want things to improve. I have always worked in a customer service role and enjoy helping people. If you elect me, I will be a Councillor that answers my phones, replies to email/letters and provides regular updates on what I have been working on. No political party has a majority on Thanet District Council, so it is vital that Dane Valley has active and strong Councillors to fight for the local area.

I am standing for Labour because I want everyone to benefit, rather than just a few. If you elect me, I will work cross-party to get improvements for our area. My top priority issues will be: tackling anti-social behaviour; getting fly tipping cleared up; opposing any cuts to services in the community; supporting local businesses recover from COVID-19; and campaigning against food, fuel and energy poverty.

David Wallin (Conservative)

Whilst currently living in Westgate, where he is an independent Town Councillor, 50-year-old David moved to the Thanet at the age of 6 and has lived in several places, all over the Isle, ever since – so now truly considers himself to be a thoroughbred ‘Thanetian’.

In the ’90s, David primarily worked as an Estate Agent covering the whole of the Isle – now, following having a ‘minor’ confrontation with a car, he works almost entirely in IT.

With family members presently living in Dane Valley, previously & for nearly a decade, David lived just yards over the border, in Cliftonville West.

Finally, as an animal loving, fan of both Music & Real Ale, a Christian and a volunteer delivery driver, David is happy to confirm that, whilst he voted for Brexit in the referendum, which ever way the vote went, he would have supported the choice of the People.

Mark Websper (Thanet Independents)

I have always had a close connection with Dane Valley personally and professionally. I went to Drapers Mill School grew up in and around the area and as an adult I lived in the area for over 10 years. I was Project Co-ordinator for Northdown Community association and MNCA for 10 years and worked for KCC Youth and Community.

Whilst at NCA I, along with some wonderful colleagues and volunteers, successfully managed to gain funding for traffic calming, created the Dane Valley Woodland Project encompassing the extension of the local cycle route, fought for the rebuilding of the Millmead Road Scouts Hall, piloted the national Veg Box Scheme and provided Dane Valley with a profusion of activities for our young community whilst supporting families in need. Dane Valley has so much to offer and I want to continue the work I started 20 years ago. Vote for a true local, vote for a candidate that won’t be bound by Party Politics, Vote Thanet Independents.

Thanet District Council Central Harbour

John Davis (Conservative)

Born, raised and educated in Ramsgate, John Davis brings over fifty years of knowledge and experience of the many challenges affecting the residents and businesses of Central Harbour Ward.

Former chair of The Friends of Ramsgate Seafront, he is also the founding chair of the widely respected and successful community campaign organisation, Ramsgate Action Group. Well known as a passionate advocate for the entire community, he is a key member of the Ramsgate Regeneration Alliance team working to bring hundreds of jobs and training opportunities to the local area through the establishment of a Green Energy Academy and Centre of Excellence at the Port of Ramsgate, along with a number of projects to enhance the environment and visitor experience in Ramsgate.

John said: “I would be honoured to provide a strong and effective voice representing you at Thanet District Council with a proper understanding of the real issues affecting us all.”

Tricia Austin (Green)

Since moving to my husband’s hometown of Ramsgate nine years ago, I’ve been active in the life of the community.  I’m Town Team Secretary and chair the Litter Forum (so I’m ‘The Rubbish Lady’!) I’m on the Coastal Community and Neighbourhood Plan groups, I’m a school Governor and have been a Ramsgate Town Councillor. I started Thanet Funding Forum three years ago to help voluntary groups access funding information – increasingly important as Council budgets shrink.

I’ve worked in Councils, so I know how they should operate, and I don’t believe TDC functions effectively. I will push TDC to be properly led by the Councillors we elect, to be honest and transparent and to build constructive, equal relationships with residents.

Central Harbour has its challenges – but its residents have fantastic skills, enthusiasm and ideas. I will help TDC and RTC harness these, to help us all have a bright future.

David Green (Labour)

I am sad that this election in Central Harbour is necessary, following the recent death of Cllr Peter Campbell, who was a friend as well as a popular Labour colleague of mine for so many years. This election comes at a crucial time for Ramsgate following the Labour-led council’s announcement of its £20m bid to the government’s levelling up fund for our town. It is vital that we have strong, experienced voices making sure that the bid reflects what the town needs and local people want. I believe that as a former mayor and long-serving district councillor for Ramsgate, I am well placed to do that if elected. I have always spoken up for Ramsgate, including campaigning against the prospect of night flights or a cargo hub at Manston. I know how the council works and how to get things done for residents, whatever their own political views.

Ramsgate Town Council Central Harbour

Will Scobie (Labour)

I am standing because I believe I can bring a different perspective. I was previously a member of Thanet Council and Kent County Council, before taking a break from politics. In that break, I started working for a local business and have since been promoted to one of Company Directors. I lead for the company on Finance and have previously led on Compliance and Governance. I feel that this blend of experiences will give me a unique perspective to bring to Ramsgate Town Council.

My key priority, if elected, will be to help our local community recover after COVID-19. Local businesses have had a difficult time and need support. Our High Street in Ramsgate, and other smaller shopping parades such as in Grange Road, need all the help that they can get.  If elected, I promise to work hard to represent people in Central Harbour and respond to any requests for help.

Trevor Shonk (Conservative)

Trevor has lived in Ramsgate all his life and has served as Mayor of Ramsgate, Town Councillor, District Councillor and County Councillor. He’s Chairman of Monkton Nature Reserve and supported it for 25 years. He knows crime, highways and health are key issues in Ramsgate and will hold regular surgeries if elected.

Tricia Austin (Green)

Since moving to my husband’s hometown of Ramsgate nine years ago, I’ve been active in the life of the community.  I’m Town Team Secretary and chair the Litter Forum (so I’m ‘The Rubbish Lady’!) I’m on the Coastal Community and Neighbourhood Plan groups, I’m a school Governor and have been a Ramsgate Town Councillor. I started Thanet Funding Forum three years ago to help voluntary groups access funding information – increasingly important as Council budgets shrink.

I’ve worked in Councils, so I know how they should operate, and I don’t believe TDC functions effectively. I will push TDC to be properly led by the Councillors we elect, to be honest and transparent and to build constructive, equal relationships with residents.

Central Harbour has its challenges – but its residents have fantastic skills, enthusiasm and ideas. I will help TDC and RTC harness these, to help us all have a bright future.

Grahame Birchall (Independent)

Grahame says he is an unashamed champion of Ramsgate and Thanet, “the jewels in Kent’s crown” as he calls it. He is leading the GRIT campaign for changing the system of local government here in Thanet, starting with our residents’ right to hold a local referendum for a directly elected council leader.  This alone, he says, will strengthen the powers invested in communities like Ramsgate Town Council and its electors. Grahame’ campaign will ultimately lead to removing Thanet from KCC, and put it  under a more open, transparent, accessible and accountable unitary authority. His campaign website is at www.grit.how.

Grahame is a self-employed businessman who has served as an activist in both the Labour and Conservative parties over the last 30 years. He was President of the Whitstable Chamber of Commerce for 4 years, and as a councillor he served under two completely different systems of government in Canterbury, which gave him vast experience in how to bring long overdue changes in Thanet, which will help remove the more deleterious effects of party politics. “

James Brady (Independent)

statement to come

20 Comments

  1. John Davis what a star
    “This nonsense is completely and utterly farcical. I rang RTC yesterday afternoon enquiring as to why the link had not been published as it normally would have been, and was told it would only be published within half an hour of the meeting start time. I stated that I sincerely hoped there would be no “technical errors” at such short notice, to which I got no response. I believe that this meeting was effectively hijacked by the Labour “group” on RTC, and in the absence of any live questions regarding the activities and conduct of this clearly confused and disfunctional group of politicians, this utter debacle can only be considered as biased electioneering and a clear breach of Purdah rules, given the upcoming by-election. Absolutely disgraceful, yet sadly predictable.”
    Another conspiracy John surely not
    “Complete denial of our democratic rights, and the whole principle behind having an Annual Town Meeting. Still, at least it’s serving to highlight just how far those responsible are prepared to go to hide the truth about their behaviour and how unfit for public office they really are…”
    another conspiracy and knowing your name is down for central harbour ward. What was that about Purdah and electioneering?

  2. I just wish the candidates, local councillors and M.P’s lived on the ward they are actually voted on to represent. ( fail on one try another )

  3. I like my green and liberal political opponents in the Margate division live in the actual area we want to represent, cllr Barry lewis

    • Bully for you Barry Lewis! As far as I’m concerned there needs to be a total clear out of of sitting County Councillors and those seeking to defend seats for a certain party at District and Town Council level on May 6th especiallly in Ramsgate. So as far as I’m concerned it’s not blue, it’s not yellow and it certainly isn’t your lot where I live! I don’t like people who trumpet what they do at every turn for cheap publicity. I want people that get on with the job including keeping the streets clean!

  4. Will Scobie was a councilor for one of the most deprived areas of the SE, Dane Valley, He was useless, preffered to climb the greasy political pole than help local residents. When he went to KCC We never heard from him.

    • He visited a local primary school several years back as part of his camapaigning, the kids he met generally had the same view of him , a rather odd chap. Odd enough for it to be discussed in class, perhaps all our politicians should be judged by the complete honesty/ innocence of childhood.

  5. Well, wouldn’t it be a good idea, that we make this election, about who wants an Airport & a proper functional Harbour, that will create proper Jobs for the young people of Thanet.

    • Not really. It doesn’t matter who wants an airport or not as that is out of the hands of local councils now.

  6. Tripod, are tourism jobs not proper jobs then?

    Any vote for Manston is a vote to kill off our tourist industry and end thousands of jobs for those young people you’re supposedly lobbying for.

    Thankfully, the judge quashed the Manston DCO, the Secretary of State chose not to defend his incompetent decision and RSP didn’t either. Oh, then the CAA sent their homework back too. It ain’t I pressure is it, this supposed employment Shangri-la.

    I agree with you on the port and I’d love to see the port and harbour thrive but TDC seem to be making a very bad job of it, losing millions.

  7. What kind of jobs do you think a cargo hub would generate Peter? Mostly fractional, mostly low paid like the last time they went bust, with less than 150 folk employed.

    Unlike the aviation industry, which is in global decline, the tourist and creative economies are on the rise and are worth supporting. If a cargo hub opens, bringing a gigantic cargo plane in over the harbour at 500 feet every 12 minutes, I wouldn’t think many folk would want to be in Ramsgate at all.

    It ain’t 3 half empty flights a week to Amsterdam like the old days. This plan involves monstrous volume, horrific noise and exceptional pollution.

    • 150 zero hours jobs watching automated cargo handling machinery vs 1000s of jobs in the leisure industry with knock on to builders, farmers, drivers, restaurants etc etc. Not to mention clean air, quiet skies, less road congestion from freight and fuel tankers. Bit of a no brainer really. The airport is dead. Let it RIP.

      • Whether or not there is ultimately an airport is no doubt going to be an ongoing saga. If however it does transpire, there’s opportunity for many jobs to be created/ supported.
        There will be the control room staff
        Ground crew
        Security
        Cargo handling
        Customs and excise
        Maintenance and repair staff
        Canteen and cleaning
        List is endless.

        Then there is the opportunity for maintenance / repair and training.

        Bringing good numbers of well paid skilled jobs to the area and reducing the need for facilities at the london airports. Manston is an assett that thanet actually has as a physical reality rather than some sort of whistful thinking and as such represents opportunity.

        The area is as has been seen going to expand massively in terms of housing there needs to be jobs to go with it. Obviously covid will have made a mess of any forward looking predictions in terms of passenger numbers and numbers of flights required and many flights that may have taken passengers may revert to cargo to make businesses viable. As such sensibly its quite likely the demand for any use of manston will be delayed a few years, so not really surprising that the whole thing is under review.

  8. Tripod this simply isn’t correct.

    Parking a monstrous noisy polluting hub to one side, there are many other ways to generate proper employment growth. Wind farm development and harbour development being good ones. Also not forgetting Stone Hill Park would have generated thousands of jobs. Unlike an automated cargo hub.

  9. LC it isn’t under review, the DCO was quashed. Ended. Game over.

    Now the Secretary of State can either 1. redo his DCO outcome homework and generate more evidence of benefit and need (he struggled with that last time because neither exists) or 2. pack up and go home.

    It is also a DCO for a cargo hub. These supposedly complimentary passenger numbers are a pipe dream. Do people think Easyjet and others, clinging on for survival, are going to open for business in Thanet? At an airport that couldn’t sustain enough customers the first, second, third and fourth time around last time? I hardly think so.

    By the way, flight traffic control is proposed to be off site, not on site.

Comments are closed.