Thanet council leader calls in central government to deal with governance at the authority

Council leader Ash Ashbee welcomed the recommendations

Thanet council leader Ash Ashbee has called in central government to step in to deal with the culture at the council by “request(ing) the assistance of DHCLG to, in the public interest, regularise the governance of TDC”.

The letter, sent to Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities, and Local Government (DHCLG) comes amid on-going disciplinary and grievance proceedings at the authority which have racked up a legal bill of more than £733,000.

Of costs incurred to June, £114,000 relates to overall process management, £111,000 to internal processes under the council’s control and £22,000 for external employment tribunals.

Future anticipated/potential costs are split between £78,000 to conclude Thanet council internal processes and £408,000 for external employment tribunals.

A review into Thanet District Council’s finances has also revealed “significant challenges” due to a further erosion of reserves.

In a report due to be discussed by cabinet members on Thursday, “multiple financial risks” facing the local authority are highlighted as well as the need to take steps to improve financial management.

Cllr Ashbee said: ” Since I took over the Leadership of Thanet District Council on 3rd June 2021 it has become apparent to me that the governance of this local authority is not acceptable in its present form.

“Following a meeting with the then Secretary of State for Local Government in Margate at the beginning of the month, I have now written to the new Secretary of State Michael Gove to formally invite MHCLG to provide the intervention necessary to rectify the situation.

“I have done so in what I believe to be in the public interest and in the interest of the residents and businesses of Thanet.”

In March Thanet councillors on the Governance and Audit Committee called for action ‘sooner rather than later’ to review the culture at the authority.

Then-committee chairman Mike Garner said the review, which was pencilled in for 10 days in the 2021-22 financial year, needs to be “prioritised.”

The Thanet Green Party member added: “My suggestion is that it is one of the first things that is done.”

But the review could not take place until the conclusion of the investigations into staff grievances and disciplinary processes being dealt with by the Investigations & Disciplinary Sub-Committee (IDSC). It was said that this would cause an overlap and mean certain issues could not be discussed openly.

There have also been complaints and counter complaints involving all four of the top management team – CEO Madeline Homer, Gavin Waite, Tim Willis and monitoring officer Tim Howes, who has been suspended from his post since last December.

Mr Willis had also been subject to a suspension in 2019 but was subsequently cleared of all allegations.

There is at least one staff grievance that has been dragging on since 2019 and is still to reach a conclusion.

The situation has prompted Cllr Ashbee to call for the government intervention.

However, council chief executive Madeline Homer said staff are ‘shocked’ at the news.

She said: “ Staff are shocked and surprised at this action by the Leader, which appears to have been taken without cross party consultation and support, and certainly without discussion with the senior management team.

“The council is nearing the conclusion of various grievance and disciplinary matters, with the full knowledge and support of both the external auditor and the Leader, who is herself a member of the relevant grievance and disciplinary committees.

“However, the council will provide all the information that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government  (MHCLG) requires in order to act in the best interests of Thanet, its residents and businesses.”

Thanet Labour Party leader Rick Everitt said his party is calling for Cllr Ashbee to resign and says she “is running away from her responsibilities as leader and seeking political cover from the Conservative government when she should be taking charge herself.”

Cllr Everitt said he has previously asked the external auditor to report on the governance and culture of the organisation, which she is due to do soon, and says he is concerned that this is an attempt to replace proper process with a political fix.

He added: “I am worried that her action will cost the council taxpayers even more money if it cuts across individuals’ employment rights and that it will affect the chances of the Ramsgate levelling-up bid succeeding, because it will undermine confidence in Thanet at central government level.

“”Cllr Ashbee hasn’t even had the courtesy to discuss her actions with me, which is very disappointing because the working relationship between the two main parties has been good since 2019 and that includes between the two of us. I am sorry that she has now chosen to act in this partisan way and it seems to me she is being influenced by senior Conservatives and others with a limited understanding of the issues rather than making her own judgements.

“Calling in the ministry is a straightforward admission that she can’t do her job. That being the case, she should resign and make way for someone who can.”

North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale

However the leader’s actions have been backed by North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale, who said: “Cllr Ashbee has acted entirely within her remit as an elected representative and Leader of Thanet District Council.  She has my full support in the action she has taken.”

Thanet Green Party councillors have also expressed support for Cllr Ashbee’s decision.

Cllr Garner said: “It has been clear for a very long time that action needed to be taken on this serious issue.

“Indeed, we were elected in May 2019 on a platform that included addressing it and we’ve been calling for openness and transparency.

“Recently we have seen legal costs associated with the ongoing IDSC continue to rise past the £750k mark and will later this week hear about other  significant financial risks which could see our reserves reduce to an unacceptably low level.

“We hope that this intervention will finally enable us to resolve the longstanding governance and culture issues at the council and to work for the benefit of all the residents of Thanet.”

A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, (formerly the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government) ,spokesperson said: “We are aware of the concerns raised about Thanet Council’s governance and will remain in close contact with the council.”

GMB Trade Union backing

Frank Macklin, Regional Organiser for the GMB Trade Union said “The GMB Trade Union welcomes the news that the Leader of Thanet Council has written to the Government to set out her concerns that are shared by the GMB Trade Union.

“This is a truly brave move that will see Councillor Ashbee’s character and reputation attacked by others who could and should have acted sooner, I have written to Councillor Everitt to enquire what was the outcome of his own governance report that both he and Ms Homer, the Chief Executive of Thanet District Council, instigated with the Local Government Association over a year ago. I have asked if the report was ever completed and if it was, what was the outcome and recommendations.”

Mr Macklin says concerns about bullying were raised two years ago and one member who has made an allegation is now expected to see his role made redundant in a ‘restructure.’

He added: “Our GMB members outstanding complaints against (top officers) still remain unheard for over a year now and with Thanet District Council ignoring the recommendations of not one but two independent individuals recommending that all the outstanding complaints should be investigated as a matter of urgency. One of those independent individuals is a well respected QC So if Councillor Ashbee’s letter of concern means that Thanet District Council is finally investigated for poor management and governance, the GMB will offer our full support to this process.”

Mr Macklin said Cllr Everitt should work with the council leader rather than calling for her to resign, adding: “The GMB Trade Union will support Councillor Ashbee and any other body that supports the Government stepping in to sort out the many serious issues that we believe are  stopping Thanet District Council providing a safe working environment for its employees and providing a service that the local tax paying public can be proud of.”

86 Comments

  1. WHY is Labour not supporting this long overdue scrutiny?

    Year after year of absurd wrangling and it simply must stop.

    I am shocked there is not full cross party support. Absolutely shocked. Can Rick evidence any examples of outcomes from his enquiries or, more crucially, an end to what seems gross incompetence? Why the accrual for future employment tribunals is so high is also preposterous when you look at average tribunal awards, how many cases do they have queuing up?

    All out our expense.

    I’m no tory, but well done Cllr Ashby.

    • The point is that process is very close to producing outcomes but it appears Cllr Ashby and her allies doesn’t like them so she now heading off in another direction. If the council departs from the lawful process in an attempt to satisfy a few noisy individuals who don’t actually have the facts then it is council taxpayers who will pay the price – and even MHCLG cannot override employment law.

      We are all frustrated by the length of time and the amount of money it has taken to get this far, but veering off course at the end when you have yourself overseen the process is worse than negligence. It’s an abdication of her responsibilities.

      • In your opinion Rick.

        What has upset you?

        Perhaps as evidenced by your denigration of CLLR Ash Ashbee, a woman has proved she has balls whilst you hold onto your testicles? You have never understood the meaning of transparency although your own wheeling a dealings are far from opaque. Take for example your conflict of interest in Parkway Station. You ignored the majority of people’s concerns about this project and actively lobbied to get it done and with TDC money which was never required at the start.
        You even failed to take heed of years of the bullying culture at TDC – Frank Macklin and Cllr Constantine’s efforts to get this dealt with were ignored by you.

        Your self-inflated opinion of your own competence saw you lose your seat in 2015 and abandon the Labour Party completely for 4 years until you saw a way of getting back on the Councillor gravy train.
        Your vile temper and ingratiation with the worst SMT that we’ve had in years beggars belief. If anyone should resign it is you for being a Councillor whose first class ineptitude finds himself in this instance misjudging the seriousness of TDC’s problems and weirdly investing trust in the CEO when all around you can see clearly that you have donned the Emperor’s new clothes.
        I suggest you keep your well known misogyny to yourself along with your uninspiring opinions of others who are trying to cut the crap at the Council.

        • Couldn’t agree more. You have positioned yourself as Homer’s chief defender Rick which won’t play out well when the truth of what has been going on in that building gets out.

  2. £733,000 in legal fees ???? Good job they don’t run a brewery. All the councillors of TDC should be removed and another council who are competent who know what they are at (whoever they are) take over the running of the council until the chaos is sorted out then we can have new local elections.

    • Bill, it’s not the councillors, it’s the management team. Councillors, particularly Greens, have been pushing for ages. TDC have been burning money on failing projects like the port for years. Time for some clear outs at the top.

  3. At last is something actually going to be done about the incompetent shower of **** who purport to be the “senior management team” Thanet council are a laughing stock and by far the worst in Kent if not England.Well done to the leader who clearly is not content to preside over this shower.I suppose however that if incompetence is evidenced by the enquiry then Golden goodbyes will follow costing council tax payers even more cash!

  4. It is the Council Management team who need to go, as they are not able to operate in a transparent way. The Councillors and 2 MP’s also need to be taken to task for their shameful continuous talking without seemingly ever doing anything about the obvious lack of proper management in the Council top team. We can vote out the Councillors but they appear to change political allegiances just to keep their places in the trough. But there doesn’t seem to be anyone who can jump in and really lead Thanet out of this mire. At least Ash is asking for help from the only people who can influence in general the actions of Councils Nationwide.

    • Help should have been sought when the UKIP, TIC and Tory councillors were doing their best to scupper the local plan (in which they succeeded, leading to 1000s of houses being built on Greenfield land)
      If Privatd Eye is anything to go by, then TDC must be reasonably competent – it hasn’t appeared in the “Rotten Boroughs” column for years.

    • Was it the “senior management team” that decided to pursue the animal export bandwagon ? Surely it was the councillors and council leaders that took the decision. If i ‘ve got that wrong then please correct me. Just as many other decisions are party/councillor led in terms of policy and direction. The only matters that could be attributable to the management are the in house employment cases/ tribunals.
      Dreamland/Pleasurama/Carparks , decisions on investment in TDC owned properties are all basically down to the whims of the political leadership , management are there to carry out the whims , not that there are not problems within the management structure, but even then how many of these are political?

  5. Im pleased that we now have Council Leader who realises that there are big questions to be answered about the running of Thanet Council and it cannot be solved by chats behind closed doors with the senior management team! The Greens are to be congratulated on supporting this move and all the work they have done to expose long running issues on the management of Thanet Council.

    As far as the Chief Executive is concerned for her to make a statement to the press in the terms she has speaks volumes and I will say no more.

    All I can say is call in Max Caller to head the investigation into the governance of Thanet Council after dealing with the failings of Northamptonshire County Council, Tower Hamlets in London and lastly Liverpool he and his colleagues who supported him can deal with anything.

    • “As far as the Chief Executive is concerned for her to make a statement to the press in the terms she has speaks volumes and I will say no more.”
      A bit rich.
      For years social media and local blogs have been awash with all sorts of accusations against council officers, with no opportunity nor right to reply.

      • ‘A bit rich’ Well that’s is the type of comment that I expect from you. The Chief Executive is openly challenging the decision of the Leader of the Council in the public domain.Plain wrong. Or is it self preservation! Finally as usual you cherry pick comments from people you disagree with I take it you agree with Para 1 and 3 of my post?

      • That will be because they’ve likely been subjected to a NDA instigated and signed off by the chief executive of the council.

    • Madeline Homer’s response seems pretty calm and measured, especially considering the disgusting and puerile comments made about her on Ramsgate Action Group’s facebook page, where she appears to have been stalked by a photographer after work more than once.

    • I think you know as well as anyone. Laurence, that you cannot override the findings of a proper employment process which you have yourself overseen by calling in a third party to change the outcome because you don’t like it. It will only end one way, with a huge payout of council taxpayers’ money to officers involved.

      I told the group leaders in February 2020 that they either put a big bag of pubic money on the table and divided it up between the officers or they followed the law and ran a proper process. We all agreed to do that latter, despite it having huge cost, and at the end of it the people who have participated it (which I haven’t in case of perception of predetermination) have not found the evidence to do what they wanted, so they are now running away from by asking MHCLG to intervene.

      The outcome will be the huge payout to individuals that they didn’t want in the first place and there is nothing brave about being unwilling to face down loud and mostly uninformed voices with an outcome they won’t like. It certainly isn’t leadership.

      Councillors have not been responsible for what has happened here, but you cannot dismiss staff without establishing cause, you cannot sack a statutory officer except by decision of full council and you cannot agree a pay-off exceeding £100,000 without the agreement of full council, which would not have been forthcoming at any stage when I was leader.

      People may well have their own views of individuals and they are entitled to them. The leader has to act within the law and safeguard the interests of council taxpayers. There are hugely complex issues here because they were allowed to fester under the previous Conservative administration but the lack of resolution has not been the fault of any individual councillor. Until now we have worked together to resolve them. I established and the council has followed a lawful process. I asked the external auditor to look at it and report to the public retrospectively.

      Unfortunately, some councillors and others are not interested in the facts stablished at some length and great cost. They only want to target someone they have decided they don’t like. It is “sack the manager” syndrome recognisable to any football fan, but it won’t solve Thanet’s problems even if executed. And it is residents who will pay the price.

      • You make no mention of the new cases in the process of being filed to go to tribunal for bullying, assault, homophobic abuse and procedure breaks. In some cases the cases are so cut and dried with mountains of documented proof they should be settled without wasting ten’s of thousands of pounds of tax payers money to fight something that cannot be won.
        Cllr Ashbee has taken a step back, considered everything and taken the apropriate action, if there is nothing to hide and all is proven to be well then she will have egg on her face.
        Cllr Everitt your support of an excutive team that have been witnessed and filmed abusing staff members is shocking, your personal friend ship with Ms Homer and Mr Waite is common knowledge and this is why we the voting public have lost faith in you and while never been a conservative fan, Cllr Ashbee has won my respect and vote.

  6. Let’s be honest TDC have always been consistent since 1974 consistently BAD. Roger Gale can’t talk the Tories have also been as bad.

  7. It is nothing more than total incompetence by the senior management at TDC and they all need to be removed from the chief executive downwards and replaced with people who understand how to run a council. It would help of course if all the elected officials could agree on the way forward without political dogma getting in the way. The people of Thanet deserve better than this failing council.

  8. Laurence. “ The Greens are to be congratulated “ Don’t be ridiculous the greens are a disgrace that lot made me miss a very important hospital appointment yesterday by sitting on the M25. I asked one what was the point and she replied
    “Actually I’m a green but no one takes us serious so I’m helping Insulate Britain.” Idiots.

    • Ann I’m not talking about the clowns disrupting roads. I’m talking about the three Green Councillors on Thanet Council. Two of them in the ward I live in and they have done more work as Councillors in assisting residents than a lot of their predecessors have done! They are asking pertinent questions Council wide more than the majority of other Councillors of all political parties who resemble most of the time a set of terracotta statues!

    • Did you ‘rattle there cages’ Ann?

      How did you get on with rattling the civil servants cages by the way on your trip to London the other week in regards to Manston? You do get about don’t you!

      • Was this the lady who is now paralysed from her stroke because she didn’t get to the hospital in time. That was dreadful. Those protestors should be at Downing St not on the motorway playing with peoples lives.

  9. Well done to Councillor Ashbee and the Greens.

    Someone has at last had enough of the back stabbing and petulant behaviour from the TDC top team. Approaching a million pounds in fees whilst TDC services are going down the pan even further. Just think of all the local things that could have been paid for with that money.

    Rick Everitt is exposed as any investigation will reveal he could have dealt with this a long time ago but did nothing with it after it landed on his desk.

    Regarding Homer’s claim that the staff are shocked. I think not. I know plenty of staff in that building who can’t wait to get rid of the top team as it is their behaviour which continually drags the reputation of the Council through the mud.

    I daresay the top team are shocked. Shocked that someone has, at last, had the front to stand up to them and say their behaviour and standard of services simply aren’t acceptable from senior managers earning six figure sums a year.

  10. God help us. I Don’t drive these days too tedious with too many idiots on the road my chauffeur is ex police he knows the road and how to get there. It’s idiot greens who need a GPS to show them where the pavements are.

  11. Margate Borough Council and then Thanet District have as long history of corruption, criminality and incompetence, which have on occasions included the police chief, mayor and chief executive. All this ends up costing the taxpayer unnecessary expense and has over the years prevented many competent residents from standing for election because they don’t want their own reputations tarnished. For perhaps 60 years or more the exchange of brown envelopes has been one of the main activities (I have been offered illegal and immoral deals by councillor’s, mayor’s and senior employees on several occasions so know what I am talking about)

    • Whilst i have no first hand knowledge of such activities, the demise of Samuels, Mcgonigall, Ezekiel, Hart ( those that immediately spring to mind) would intuitively lead me to have a degree of belief in your view.

  12. An investigation by central govt is long overdue. Many weary TDC residents have been calling for an investigation into the running of TDC for years. At least the Tories have acted now where Labour failed to do so. Tdc as freeholder for the Arlington site has failed miserably to hold Freshwater the head lease holder to book for the mismanagement and neglect of the Arlington House site . Neither Labour or the Tories were interested . This is only one of a very long list of issues that administrations of varying complexions have chosen to ignore over many years and have colluded with poor decision making by the senior management .
    Previous UKIP Labour and Tory administrations have colluded with what appears to the general public to have been an unaccountable corrupt and dysfunctional council for years.
    Hopefully a far reaching investigation will take place and the council will be placed under special measures or similar and if wrong doing is found a change of the senior tier will take place. There clearly needs to be a far reaching root and branch investigation into all aspects of governance and management practices of TDC.
    The generally public have also lost confidence in the members of what ever persuasion ,there clearly needs to be at the same time a clear out of dead wood across all parties .

  13. Well we all know that Tory asking for Tory help means, cover up to suit them selves.. but maybe Ashbee might think she can get more Grant’s to cover up and pay off this mess lol. Personally out the lot at the top and a fresh

    • I’d guess the opposite, this will be the opportunity to get all the skeletons out of the closet and determine the full extent of TDC’s financial position, it would also be interesting if any inquiry was to look into any all gagging orders and non disclosure agreements made by the council in the last 20 years as a minmum.
      The utter farce of EKH deserves a volume ofits own, has any figure been given as to the amount sqaundered on what was meant to be a money saving exercise? Contracts issued via EKH need scrutinising along with those with Paramount.

  14. What Ashbee is doing is getting the government to overthrow the management of the council. Which in turn will lead to big pay offs to staff who will be deemed to be treated unfairly by employment tribunals.
    Ashbee seems to have her own personal agenda for these actions that look likely to go pear shape.

  15. I would hope the government can tell the difference between the legitimate needs of the community to benefit from the levelling up bud, and the ongoing alleged concerns about some elements of TDC performance. Wasn’t central gov called in within the last 2 years to get a local plan agreed after years of no plan whatsoever.

    What would a culture review even do? What was the purpose of suggesting one? Lets just say the culture wasn’t good. Then what? What would that even mean? It would be opinion based, not evidence based. A bit like a staff survey.

  16. You don’t seem to be aware of how democracy in the UK works.
    The elected representatives of the people (ie councillors or MPs) make policy. The officers (local or national civil servants) will carry out those policies (as long as they are legal)
    Sometimes, officers will advise the elected representatives, or will recommend a particular cause of action. But the Council, in its committees, can decline to take that advice, as we have seen happen many times in Thanet.
    The idea that a senior local government officer rides rough shod over democratic processes is nonsense.

    • A relativelly recent example being the conversion of the old british legion, councillors hell bent on forcing it through, planning and listed building law flagrantly ignored along with the objections of many locals , all in order for whitehead and co to get their pet project through.

      • Another example is the Granville Theatre, a plan with funds that would see the site developed as a community asset, ignored by TDC for so long.
        Another is the utter mess surrounding the gorgeous Maritime Museum on the Harbour. TDC give the “repair and maintenance” lease over but refuse to act when no repairs or maintenance are done. Its future may be saved if government funding comes through but as the money will be controlled by TDC who knows what’ll happen?
        Typically the museum has been kept open by volunteers, not TDC or the absentee leaseholder! But nothing significant can be done to develop the exhibits and archives while TDC and the leaseholder refuse to engage.

        • Not as blatant as the old british legion, the council colluded with paramount in a new design, ignored planning and listed building legislation and then just waived it through when applied for retrospectively. Building regs were notified when works started, council was effectively doing everything it could to forcemit through as fast as possible. Then totally ignored the objections of locals. All this helping a private commercial partner of the council, who’ll be paid by TDC to operate the facility. There is a planning condition stating the interiro needs to be reinstated within 3 years of the permission being granted. I’ve no doubt this will be waived/ignored when the time comes.

    • Andrew, the problem, as I understand it, is that elected members are often refused information by TDC Officers. Frequently reports are heavily redacted preventing elected Cllr’s being able to make informed decisions.
      I know Thanet Green Party Cllr’s have been challenging Madeline Homer for years about this disgraceful obstruction to democracy and have raised their concerns with relevant agencies to get the matter addressed.
      I’m aware that other Cllr’s have also raised concerns but toeing party lines seems to have prevented proper action.
      TDC’s CEO management team seem incapable of managing, pure and simple.

      • Then the councillors should refuse to make a decision and put any ongoing matters on hold, where information is being with held.
        However i would take such claims with a pinch of salt, it’s a local council they are running not state security and battling terrorist insurgents.

      • Is that what “seems” to have happened, or what really has happend?
        Social media is full of what “seems” to have happened, with very little hard evidence to back it up.
        I can understand that some details in some reports might not be made available to all councillors. I find it hard to believe (maybe you have evidence) that the SMT does it’s own thing, and systematically denies councillors and their committees access to information.

        • Yes Andrew that evidence does exist and concerned councillors have made the situation clear in the proper national quarters.

  17. I would think like all civil servants in local as well as national government they must get fed up with the here -today-gone-tomorrow politicians who think they will change the world. On the other side the counsellors can’t believe their luck that they have actually been elected and with their surge of delusions of grandeur want to try and interfere with due process of employment law. Roger Gale was suspended for one day from Parliament albeit on a Friday when he never goes on that day for writing to a judge and trying to put a word in for his mate Charlie ex MP for Dover. This action by lady Ashbee and the tree kissing greens is a similar insomuch it’s to try and interfere with employment law.

    • I wasn’t aware that Green councillors kissed trees.
      By using such absurd imagery you’ve spoiled quite an insightful piece.
      Only a C+, and it could have been an A.

  18. Sadly the voters of Thanet don’t vote the Officers in power, some are I’m sure good people who do their best for the area, others are toxic and have their own agenda.
    Some Councillors are good others again toxic.

    The money that appears to be wasted is shocking and certainly not been used for the betterment of Thanet.

  19. Andrew, the Greens don’t only kiss trees they also sit on the M25 causing accidents and disruption Ann will confirm that. This is how mad they are think of the world as a football with a hole in it letting the air out, the greens and other Climate change and con-artist want us all to stick little plasters all over the ball to stop the air leaking however the hole it is leaking out of is called China who do not give a Cracker about the Greens Or the lies about climate change. Nonetheless the greens think they will save the world just like they said in 1985 that the icebergs will all be melted in 10 years. I treat them with the contempt they deserve.

    • Yep, numpties with nothing better to do, nothing wrong with moving away from fossil fuels ( its a finite resource and best saved for other uses than energy) but it should be a slow informed transition built upon reliable technologies available at reasonable cost.
      Unless of course we want our standard of living to fall considerably and become a walk on character in the world stage. The uk paupering itself to allow boris to keep his missus happy will achieve nothing , as the rest of the world, china, india, russia especially to just do as they please.
      All the endless bleating about fuel poverty from often the same people that want us to follow this lunacy, the green agenda has increased fuel bills massively and they will continue to rise and of late a lobby to increase gas prices through policy to make green electricity look more attrative and less of an expensive folly.

    • If you think that climate change isn’t happening and isn’t caused by humans then you’re sadly ill educated.
      I don’t actually approve of the direct and confrontational actions of XR and so on; but when the PM proposes to fly to a G7 climate meeting in his personal jet then I despair.
      Indeed China is a huge polluter. But do you think that makes it ok for the rest of us to carry on polluting, given the dire climate, economic and social consequences?

      • My personal view is that the earths climate is continually changing , as can be demonstrated by fossil records, glacial core samples, antartic ice etc, as to the earths curent trajectory on climate i don’t see that anyone knows for sure and all the doom mongering is driven all sorts of personal beliefs and agendas.
        In my short time on this planet , i’ve been told
        Use plastic not paper to save the rainforest
        Global cooling
        Global warming
        Climate change
        Stop using fossil fuels
        Don’t use plastic

        Etc etc, mankinds effects on the planet are no doubt many and varied but i’m not convinced that we really have that much effect on the global climate and what effect there is , could be due to many things carbon being a tiny part of it.
        As i previously said reducing use of fossil fuels for fuel can only be a good thing in that it saves a resource for other things, but the headlong suicidal rush the UK is embarking on is lunacy, The internal combustion engine of today is incredibly clean and efficient, its use should continue until electric vehicles are a better proposition and all the issues of rare earth metal production and disposal are solved. The same goes for wind turbines . Nuclear is the only sensible low carbon alternative for power generation but we’ve started on it too late.
        An energy industry based on 20 year subsidy deals is never going to be good value .
        We’ve offshored a lot of our carbon emissions but they’re still ours as we consume the products. Having the UK’ s future dictated by a teenage scandinavian with clear social and mental issues along with the wants of our Pm’s latest squeeze who is pretty much detached from the lives of your average UK resident, is a road to ruin.
        Slow and steady should be the approach not some headlong blind dash into the unknkown.

    • What are “the lies about climate change”? It cannot be reasonably denied that climate change is not only happening but accelerating.

      • I don’t for a moment deny climate change, but its part of the earths natural evolution. How would you explain the ice ages? The scandinavian fear pixie with the perpetual scowl and shouty voice , will in the fullness of time be unmasked as having been manipulated.

        • How would you explain the tight correlation between increase in CO2 in the atmosphere and the rise in global temperatures?
          How would you explain that all the worlds climate scientists think we’re on the brink of a disaster?
          Ice ages? What would you like to know? Just ask, and I’ll be pleased to tell you.

  20. Andrew, The dire consequences of following these madcap climate change delusional bods will be recession and poverty for most and billionaires for the few who have conned the rest of us by their doomsday predictions. Like what Greta Thunberg ( a child) said “ The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change” As stated in her book. How totally unadulterated rubbish her scaremongering is. The only real climate change I can see if we keep going down that road is people will be freezing to death in their homes because they won’t be able to use any form of real heating and the food supply will be totally unable to meet the needs of the population. I am writing a book myself
    [The 1001 false climate change claims ] It list dates / times of predictions made by those so- called experts and how hollow their claims turned out to be. When it’s published ( it has already been accepted by a publisher), I will let you have a free copy.

    • I look forward to reading it.
      Meanwhile, all the world’s climate scientists (bar a handful of mavericks) are convinced that the Earth’s climate is changing, and it’s changing because of human activity.
      Indeed the climate is changing all the time. But these cycles (the Milankovich Cycles) are well understood by climatologists, but do not explain the current rise in CO2 nor global warming.
      No matter how efficient (30%?) an internal combustion engine is, if it burns fossil fuel, it produces CO2 and H2O as byproduct.
      Global warming really is happening.
      It really is driven by human activity.
      There is only one realistic solution: stop burning carbon.

      • Could you come up with some figures for the carbon intensity of the mining and production of the rare earth metals needed for the batteries and motors in the eco friendly electric cars. A real world full life carbon intensity of the electricity they will use again taking into account the carbon “cost” to build , run, maintain, dismantle and dispose of both cars and wind turbines/ solar panels etc. Not forgetting the cost of installing charging infrastucture and rebuilding the national grid while you’re at it.
        Too much faith is being placed in too many as yet unproven technologies.
        We have drax burning 14 tonnes of imported wood pellet every minute and this will go on for 20 years at the minimum , so 147 million tonnes of processed wood, that’s virgin wood , no bark, twigs etc so i have no idea how many mature trees that is. All harvested , processed and transported across the globe.
        I don’t believe the green propoganda for one minute. Want to reduce emissions then ban foreign holidays, do away with cruise ships, tourist attractions, sporting events anything that needs people to move fromplace to place for any reason other than work or needed for survival. Perhaps we should all go back to being hunter gatherers. Its all madness.
        7 odd billion people on the planet are going to produce a lot of waste products. The uk has a poor record in its recycling of plastic, dumping it overseas with no audit trail to prove its truly been recycled.
        We shoudl build modern incinerators and turn waste into power and heat, but the green lobby have a meltdown over such a thought.

          • God help us, you are one of those 7 billion, and you are (as all in the rich countries) one of the biggest polluters. Are you going to put your money where your mouth is and exit this world for the sake of the planet? I thought not…

    • You’re misquoting Ms Thunberg.
      This is what happened:
      ‘According to teenage activist Greta Thunberg, “We are less than 12 years away from not being able to undo our mistakes.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in front of a crowd in New York City in January, was more blunt, saying: “The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.” ‘
      There’s a bit of a difference. Ms Thunberg is saying that unless we radically alter our behaviour within the next 12 years, then it will be too late to prevent runaway warming.
      The other person was a bit over excited. Nevertheless, for some folk living in California , Australia, parts of Europe, the world has effectively come to an end: their homes and businesses and whole communities, have been lost to abnormal wildfires and floods.

    • I too think we should ban foreign holidays-if people fly there and back. In fact, aviation should just be banned. Cars should too,unless people need them for important purpose (eg delivering babies, going to perform surgery, and suchlike.)

  21. The whole situation is a pigs breakfast. The situation must be resolved by people outside who will be able to see the whole picture. It cannot be right that there is so many staff who have been ‘let go’ under a cloud and that nearly a million has been spent on lawyers and compensation claims. Previous TDC managers have left with large amounts of compensation. No one has been able to get to the facts about the expenditures at Ramsgate Port over the years with millions in losses. This is not the way to run an organisation and this appears to be a way to get at the truth and install some transparency!

  22. The problem with TDC is that the senior officers think they’re in charge, but in Local Government (as in the main Government), it should be the elected councillors (or MPs) who make the decisions, then the officers should implement them, whether they like those decisions or not. It doesn’t happen at TDC, sadly. The SMT think they’re in charge, so try to dictate the rules to the councillors, which is totally the wrong way round. For Homer to question the Leader’s actions is preposterous, but reinforces Cllr Ashbee’s actions!

    • That’s all very well in principle but thanet changes its political leadership faster than most change their socks, as a result you get countless changes of direction and policy, the council officers have to try and steer a course through this. You can’t start on one path then abandon it completely and embark on another .It must be remembered that council officers are prodpfessionals and councillors for the most part enthusiastic amateurs.
      The council has its statutory duties which should come first but as we’ve seen these are often sidelined and delayed to find money for political ideals elsewhere.
      There’s a balance to be struck.
      Lok at the planning and listed building application for the old british legion and in particular the comments by the conservation officer , who is plainly not happy with what has happened , has effectively had their role ignored and evaded , in this instance councillors have overidden the professionals and their ability to ensure the law is followed.
      At times the leadership team and councillors agree and go down paths that are meant to be to the areas benefit, selective licensing for example in cliftonville, kept leadership and councillors happy as it made for good headlines but more importantly bought in cash.
      Or the grant scheme for the dalby square area the council ensured that all its cost were covered and took a chunk to cover the cost of rebuilding the square wall and bottom carpark that the council had neglected for years.

  23. Well said Frank Macklin!

    Cllr Everitt should hang his head in shame.
    All he appears to have done is collude with the chief perpetrator, the CEO, concealing the root of TDC’s governance problems.

    Doesn’t he realise that’s why the Labour Group lost cross-party support at TDC and lost control of the Council?

    For all we know, behind the scenes, the Labour Leader and the CEO may have been having candlelit dinners whilst plotting a cover-up.

  24. Thanet has two huge problems. 1. The Senior Management Team of TDC. They are useless, and their only priority is their own salaries. 2. The councillors themselves. Just look at the dross that gets voted in, time and time again. Seriously? The absolute cream of the crop, the very best Thanet has to offer is the likes of the Tomlinsons, Everitt, the Bayfords and Steve Albon. Come on!

    What I’d like to know is, who are the absolute morons voting this shower in? It’s a case of the blind leading the blind. The elected members are supposed to set the direction and policy for the good of the area and its residents. The paid staff are there to implement that. But, when you have elected members who couldn’t find their backside with their hand and staff who will do whatever it takes to subvert whatever they need to in order to meet their own ends, it’s hardly surprising we’re in the absolute mess we’re in.

    To clarify, my statement about paid staff is not extended to officer level staff who, in my experience, are decent, hard working residents themselves. I aim this squarely at senior management. The officers are all as sick of the lies, corruption and deceit as the rest of us, and should not be tarred with the same brush.

    • I agree most all of your comments I have personally Sean bullying and unprofessional management over thirty years in tdc employment millions lost in unrecoverable debts that could have been avoided.

  25. I seem to have entered a parallel universe where a big Union support the Conservative action and have turned their back on Labour. Just shows how out of touch the local Labour party position is.

  26. I don’t think it is fair or accurate to tar every elected official as ‘dross’ as there are some talented, professional councillors across Thanet desperately trying to make a difference, and to hold TDC to account.

    Unfortunately, TDC has a terrible reputation and it is not exactly an inspiring remit to put yourself forward for. What we seem to suffer is endless red/blue arguing when what we need is total cross party unity for the benefit of Thanet residents. The financial losses are absolutely shocking, truly shocking, especially Ramsgate Port. The employment costs just add insult to this misery but it is also a shocking use of public money.

    I really hope things can change for the better.

Comments are closed.