Plans announced to create a Margate Town Council

Margate mayor making Photo Frank Leppard

The Mayor and Charter Trustees of Margate have agreed that a plan for a Town Council for Margate should be actively pursued.

They say the formation of an independent Town Council for Margate would mean better direct access to government funds and grants. This could benefit the community by being channelled into local projects and initiatives with a more tangible impact.

If successful, the newly-formed Town Council could provide services around litter, parking, crime prevention and  parks and green spaces.

External consultants, Think Studio, have been engaged to help shape the proposal and head up a messaging and awareness campaign, so the wider community sees what the benefit would be for them.

The electorate in CT9 will be asked to have their say on whether plans should be progressed, via an e-petition. If the results show that the majority support the formation of Margate Town Council, then a proposal will be sent to Thanet District Council for consideration.

Mayor making ceremony Photo Frank Leppard

Margate Mayor, Cllr Mick Tomlinson is backing the initiative. He said: “For those of us that care about the CT9 area, voting ‘yes’ for Margate Town Council could channel much-needed funds to benefit the whole community.”

Gemma Pearson, Project Director at Think Studio, says she wants to focus on transparency of information; “We’re working closely with the Charter Trustees of Margate to ensure that there’s clarity on both the collective and individual benefits for the electorate, so everyone understands the impact of this proposal.”

The steps

To set up your own town or parish council, you’ll need to first give your local authority a petition containing the signatures of at least 7.5% of the local population.

The petition must:

  • state exactly what it proposes: creating a parish or town council for a defined area
  • contain the signatures of at least 7.5% of local electors, based on the most recent electoral register – you’ll need more signatures for areas with fewer than 2,500 electors

If the petition is valid, the local authority will carry out a ‘community governance review’ to see if a local council should be created. This can take up to 12 months.

Photo Frank Leppard

Margate held its mayor making ceremony yesterday (May 25) with Mick Tomlinson installed as mayor and Heather Keen as deputy mayor.

23 Comments

  1. Is this in response to Eddie Kemsley awarding her project Dreamland four million via sitting on the Margate Town Deal & the other back scratching & cronyism going on there?

  2. At least Ramsgate Town Council can be contacted by email, unlike Thanet District Council that introduced an Online Contact Form, that doesn’t work! They introduced an Online Form, without Blocking or removing their old email addresses, which were not being monitored, Duurh!

  3. The reality is that the creation of a town council will lead to residents paying twice for the same service. Ramsgate Town Council has to step in and address the filthy state of the streets locally as TDC are incapable of doing it properly. All this means in practice is that you end up paying the town council for doing this but are still paying TDC for the work they are meant to be doing, but aren’t. So everyone’s Council Tax bill goes up.

    The only answer is to negotiate a true transfer of function from TDC to town councils accompanied by a budget transfer to go alongside. This will mean the function will be carried out more efficiently at no extra cost to the public.

    • Apartfrom losing the economies of scale in terms of having to buy their own refuse vehicles and duplication of administrative roles etc.

  4. Absolute waste of money. TDC agee with the forming of a Margate Town Council.
    Several meetings have already been held involving local groups and residents. Interesting the Mayor Cllr Tomlinson did not agree with the a Town Council and made it clear at the first meeting. The problem here is the same people who fail to deliver on the council now want control of the Margate Town Council. This is a disaster.

  5. Town councils are just another line of red tape and bureaucracy making a few think they are important.
    All Allotment holders should be able to form a cooperative and take over the allotments off the town council.

  6. I’ve been probing the accounts of the Margate Charter Trustees through several emails that I have written to them. I have now had no alternative but to refer their responses to the auditors. They raise money far in excess of what they need to spend. Why? I asked them if they would share more money with needy charities in Margate especially food charities to help those in need during Covid. They said they had engaged with organisations to come forward if they needed funds. But when I asked them in one of my letters to substantiate this and how they had engaged those charities, they did not choose to respond. Why? The mayor continually avoids putting his receipts in despite being warned by the auditors who have reminded him again that they are bound by a “Code of Transparency” because money is raised by the public purse. I have now been THREATENED by the secretary that if I publish any of their emails they have written in response to my questions they will close down all future correspondence with me. I have in effect been silenced. Why? Their books and figures are also supposed to be open to the public at ALL times.

    They are not at liberty to engage consultants without asking us first because it is OUR money. It is ironic that after all this time of doing very little for its residents they now feel they need to do something to justify the huge amounts of money which are raised annually. The use of precept money to engage a consultant is unacceptable. Furthermore, what is the associated costs of this consultation? As usual there is no transparency or accountability from the Trustees. They are not to be trusted.

  7. Mr Chance. Family members in other parts of the country have taken over their allotments and the fees are recycled back into the garden and they tell me things work very well and it sounds a good idea.

  8. I think the people of Margate instead of being asked if they do or do not want a Town Council. They should be asked if they want to pay twice for the same services and pay extra Council tax, or not. I wonder if people would be so keen then. If I remember correctly one of Ramsgates Town Council first big decisions was to buy a 30 grand table. I for one will not be voting for it. Paying for one wastful Council is enough for me. The only ones to gain from it will be the staff and Councillors, of this new Council who be on a nice earner.

  9. Oh dear another waste of money and time. Question should be is what does TDC do? Does it take a town council at our cost to do the job TDC should be doing? Incapable and incompetent is what TDC is and always will be. A town council will make little difference.

  10. Yet another layer of council tax to pay for. TDC was formed to bring inefficient small councils together to give better value and efficiency for council tax payers – some hope!

    Now our local council hopefuls want to drag us back 50 years, I just hope they are more literate than councilors and aldermen were at that time.

    The only change I want is an easy Kent unitary authority to keep the actual workers and get rid of the management level.

  11. I think this is really good news! – During covid, we seen how seriously some of the population will swallow any fake news, so the first thing is to say that this will Not cost twice as much; the second is that tdc were against the idea last time, however commonsense seems to have prevailed; thirdly, a Town Council does not have to be political,the current Charter trustees will be thanked and retired, the Mayor’s secretary’s role will be revaluated. This will all provide a better level of local accountability whether a Kent unitary authority is established or not – in the event of tdc ‘evaporating’, a Margate Town council would be left in an even stronger position.

    • You are absolutely correct Steve if the right people are involved I hope to be one a much better service can be delivered …recycling, toilets, streets cleaner and applying for grants we are precluded from now. Trying to save our beautiful town hall the TDC has sat back and allowed to decay … potentially a brilliant community building and further education Center, art , all to compliment what is going on already in Margate

  12. Steve Villette is absolutely correct. All the other comments are rubbish, with one exception, that of Donna Garfield. The Mayor does have to show/provide receipts for all expenses to do with Mayoring, not his private money.

    • I can not see that all the other comments are rubbish. Can you tell me there will not be a increase in council tax to pay for this, like the other parts of Thanet with Town Councils? If not who do you think will pay for it?

      • Ramsgate town council put their council rates up 2 years ago , by 21.4% ,they have taken a lot of work off TDC but you don’t see TDC rates come down only RTC and TDC rates go up , it’s a rip off

  13. I feel this is important for people living in all areas of Margate to understand and come to their own decision about the benefits of becoming a town council. It will cost more, but perhaps that will outweigh the control that TDC currently have. If we want more say/input, let’s find out more about becoming a town council. The process will take at least 18mths if not longer. Council tax does go up, but local councils get very little of it and certainly not 21%. Most goes to KCC, Police, Kent Fire & Rescue, Social Services.
    I am sure Kathy Bailes will help to inform people of the facts as everyone should hear of this, including those not connected to the Internet; otherwise, the outcome will not be an accurate reflection. Don’t let this be a TDC tick box exercise.

  14. Consultants fees and Mick Tomlinson on the gravy train… There’s your increase in council tax spent!

    What’s the solution to ineffective, inept and corrupt bureaucracy? Yep, you guessed it, another layer of the same bureaucratic nonsense, presided over by the usual local faces who’ve been milking the proverbials off the public purse for longer than most of us have been alive… Good luck Margate.

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