The push to create a town council for Margate has now reached 1,000 signatures of support.
Residents in seven Margate wards (Garlinge, Westbrook, Margate central, Cliftonville East and West, Dane Valley and Salmestone) will have had a leaflet through their door telling them about Margate’s bid to become a Town Council. Unlike other Thanet towns, Margate is a Charter Town and instead of town councillors the representatives for those wards automatically become Charter Trustees.
Councillor and Charter Trustee for Cliftonville West and Deputy Mayor for Margate, Heather Keen, said: “The roles are very different. A Town Council would be able to make decisions for their community, by people with real local knowledge. A Town Council could renovate our sea shelters as Birchington Parish Council has done, or employ extra street cleaners, as Ramsgate Town Council has, or renovate the Dane Park Fountain, but we as Charter Trustees can do none of this.
“This is why we have launched our bid for a Margate Town Council and have been holding public meetings in each ward to tell people about this and answer questions. “We need to collect 3100 signatures from the people registered to vote in the seven Margate wards who would like to see a Town Council. Once we have the signatures, Thanet District Council will undertake a Community Governance Review and then residents will be asked to vote for or against the idea, with the majority vote winning.
“I think a Town Council would bring real benefits to Margate and we have many passionate people in our community who would make excellent town councillors and give a real voice to local people.
“So far we have collected almost 1000 signatures, but this is only one third of what we need, so I hope people will continue to sign the online petition.”
If successful the town council could be approved early in 2023 and come into operation from April 2023, Existing charter trustees would likely be the interim town councillors until elections in May 2023.
District councillor and Charter Trustee Rob Yates added: “A Margate Town Council is an excellent opportunity to bring much needed investment into our town – from hiring dedicated maintenance teams, restoring the Dane Park fountain, investing in derelict buildings and borrowing money to invest in future projects. We need every registered voter in each Margate household to sign the petition to get this moving, so please sign and share! We hope we can get the final 2,000 signatures by Christmas this year.”
Find the petition at MargateTownCouncil.co.uk