Green Party councillor resigns from role after becoming “stuck” in France due to covid restrictions

Trevor Roper has resigned from his council seat

Thanet Green Party’s Trevor Roper has resigned his seat at Thanet District Council.

Mr Roper was elected in 2019 to represent Thanet Villages Ward.

Last month former councillor Ian Driver published blog posts accusing Mr Roper of ‘a lack of truthfulness’ over the sale of his house in Minster and ‘a move’ to France while still serving as a district councillor.

Mr Driver published two posts highlighting the sale of the property 14 months ago by Mr Roper and his failure to notify the council’s Monitoring Officer, which can constitute a breach of the Members’ Code of Conduct.

Mr Driver went on to say that Mr Roper made a social media post on May 15 this year which included a geolocation tag placing him in the area of Fontenille Saint Martin D’Entragues in southwest France.

A second post by Mr Driver says Cllr Roper had responded to say he was in France and had forgotten to update his details with the council.

Mr Driver questioned this on the basis of councillors having received training for the code of conduct and an exchange of emails between the councillor and TDC Democratic Services about making the update.

Thanet Green Party responded to say they were ‘puzzled’ over the ‘vicious attack’, which they described as ‘distorted, inaccurate and based on half-truths’.

A statement issued by the party said: “After selling their house in Minster last year, Cllr Roper and his wife Karen rented in Ramsgate for a few months and later stayed with relatives in Maidstone.

“During this time he continued with his council duties as usual, including attending many parish council meetings in his Thanet Villages ward, for which he has chalked up nearly 100% attendance since his election in 2019. When travel was allowed again, the Ropers went to France to realise their retirement dream of buying a French property – only to find themselves stuck there by increasingly restrictive Covid rules and trouble obtaining vaccinations.

“Cllr Roper continued to attend online meetings and undertake other duties from a distance, but could not return from France – so when physical meetings restarted in May, he was unable to attend.

“Mr Driver’s blog claims Cllr Roper has behaved ‘deceitfully’ – but colleagues insist he has deceived no-one, and his only error was forgetting to update TDC’s Register of Members’ Interests to show he had sold his Minster property.”

The party has now posted Mr Roper’s resignation letter to social media.

It states: “I have today sent in my resignation as a TDC Councillor. This has become inevitable as after my wife and I bought a house in France last year and have become stuck here due to the Covid restrictions. We had hoped to return frequently to continue with my Councillor duties, but now feel that this is impractical.

“I feel very proud to have been one of the first Green Party Councillors at TDC, but know that Tricia, Beck and Mike (Green councillors) will continue to be an effective force for good in Thanet and beyond.”


  1. Driver is a pot calling the kettle black, Driver (was) responsible for the graffiti he put on buildings, he was found guilty.

  2. Quelle surprise!

    Resigning before being disqualified, but now to be investigated for taking the Councillors allowances under false pretences?

    It would appear that Ian Driver’s clarification on the electoral law was irrefutable, and Roper’s use of the Covid 19 emergency zoom meetings as cover for his masquerade was unacceptable.

    His resignation is one of desperation in the face of TDC imminently disqualifying him.

    His rolling out the ridiculous excuses of being stuck in France and dream retirement is pure flim-flam in the face of what appears to be a deception to the point of former Councillor Roper telling the Secretary of State that he was still living at his former address on July 8th this year.

    Apart from returning his expenses dated from May 2020, there is also the retrospective question of whether the Green Party really had a stake in the Committees they occupied at TDC as their true eligibility of numbers of members to qualify them would no longer be valid as Roper was not eligible to be a Councillor from May 2020.

    I hope at this time when protecting our environment and fighting climate change the Green Party will own their mistake and get on with the job they were elected to do and not support gaming Democratic processes and Electoral Law. A media statement that isn’t attacking the messenger would be a wholesome start.

    • I former IOTN article said TDC were not taking any action as they were satisfied about Cllr Roper’s situation. TDC did not say they were asking him to resign so I wonder whete you got that info?

      • She made it up.
        Also forgot to mention that ex-Cllr Driver was found guilty of several counts of criminal damage and fined £Ks.

  3. I honestly think TDC needs complete change from the ground up. Everyone needs laying off and all positions advertised for / elected again. As the whole thing just seems rotten to the core, is there one honest person who works there or are they all crooks just looking to benefit themselves and cheat council tax payers out of as much money as possible

    • Totally agree – why did it take an ex councillor to unveil this fiddle? And why did TDC say it would take no further action?
      Lazy, incompetent, smug, too comfortable, don’t care – all come to mind.

  4. There are no restrictions on travel between France and the UK so it seems Ian Driver was right again.

    • Travel from France was (until recently) restricted. Cllr Roper indeed could have come back to the UK, but it would have cost hike more in quarantine hotel charges than Ian Driver’s fines!

  5. This all seems like a storm in a teacup. Especially on a day when it was revealed that David Cameron made $10M from Greensill prior to its collapse

    • Ian, Thanet is a teacup, to National Government’s banquet dinner set.

      And a few people on here should start reading their tea leaves, clearly, that would be more informative to them than actually reading and understanding the facts.

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