Ramsgate Christmas lights still disrupted by power supply fault despite best efforts to get cable repaired

The tree is in place but a supply issue meant the town's Christmas lights were off Photo Jo Hanchett

Update (Dec 23) UK Power Networks are on site now trying to resolve the matter

A spokesperson said: “We are today working quickly and safely to complete the repair of a faulty streetlight connection at High Street, Ramsgate required to power the town’s Christmas lights in this area. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

A last ditch appeal is being made for action over Ramsgate’s Christmas lights which look unlikely to be back on during the festive season due to an electricity supply fault.

The lights were switched on at the Christmas family fun day on November 28 and for the late night shopping event on December 9 but only due to the efforts of Ramsgate Town Council which paid for a generator to supply the power.

Despite reporting the issue and chasing it up on a weekly basis the fault remains.

In a statement on social media Ramsgate Town Council said: “When Ramsgate Town Council’s technicians put up the town centre Christmas lights in early November it was identified that there was an underground cable fault and no electricity supply to the lights.

“We immediately reported this problem to Kent County Council and have continued to chase up on this repair every week.

“Despite KCC’s best efforts they have been unable to find the fault and the matter has been reported to UK Power Network, which is unable to confirm when this work might be addressed, and we fear that at this stage it will now be in the New Year.

“The Christmas Lights have been working on a couple of occasions for ‘Ramsgate Christmas Fun Day’ and ‘Late Night Shopping’, but that is because Ramsgate Town Council paid for a generator. Unfortunately, this was an expensive way of doing things and not something that we could replicate every day.

“We apologise to the residents of Ramsgate for the Christmas lights not working this year, we have tried our best!”

County Councillor Karen Constantine has now appealed to KCC leader Roger Gough to step in and help.

She said: “These lights are important not only to local residents, but also to traders, who are relying on Christmas trade from visitors to the town. It’s part of our tourism offer and Ramsgate traders need every single boost they can get at this time of the year, much more so due to Covid.

“It just so very sad and disappointing that Ramsgate has ended up in this situation.

“I think we are probably the only town in Kent with this problem and I feel certain, if this issue occurred in a more leafy suburb, KCC would act decisively and swiftly to rectify it, especially at this time of the year.

“I’ve raised this with KCC Conservative leader Cllr Roger Gough to see if any last minute solution can be pulled out of the bag.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The stunning Ramsgate harbour lights displayed by boat owners and businesses in the Military Road arches are not affected and have attracted a constant stream of visitors.

Ramsgate fireworks 2020 Photo by Malcolm Kirkaldie

And Ramsgate Town Council has announced that the New Year’s Eve firework display is scheduled to go ahead. The display, at midnight, will be visible from the harbour and both West and East cliffs.

There is a warning that bad weather or new covid restrictions may result in cancellation


  1. This year the Christmas lights in Margate looked far better in comparison to the ones in Ramsgate. Two beautiful Christmas trees in the Old Town and lots of colourful lights adoring the shops (special nod to Petals and Milk and Cookies) Who needs a Town Council….

  2. You should be so lucky, Xmas lights inMargate are either totally lacking or half working.
    You would be hard pressed to think Christmas had arrived in our town very sad to see, why can’t we get it right???

  3. Rather symbolic of the rest of the disasters that have been made worse by the Tories over the last decade.

    Welcome to Ramsgate, the Blackout Experience.

  4. Why even the waterfall is not illuminated, Ramsgate council can find £10,000 when they want to try and stop the airport reopening but at Christmas all they can find is some duff lights that don’t work. Also what’s the point of those stupid lollipop things in Wellington crescent they must have cost a fortune to make and set up but not lit up at night.

    • £10,000 sounds like a bargain to express horror at the thought of a cargo hub destroying the town. It would cost the town tens of millions not thousands if that airport ever goes ahead.

  5. An excellent case of local infrastructure not maintained or no one taking responsibility or both !

    Councillors involved now, so all sorted soon!

  6. Ian, do you actually think what you are saying before you say it. The Town of Crawley near Gatwick airport was turned from a highly successful buzzing town into ghost town overnight when the travel restrictions were put in place due to the pandemic with no planes flying from the airport. That clearly demonstrates the benefits of having an airport open contrary to destroying the town it would make East Kent so very much more successful and more importantly produce thousands upon thousands of jobs both directly and indirectly wake up and smell the coffee airport will be reopening.
    I guess you are retired and could not careless about jobs.

    • Ann your delusional! Where do you get these figures from, a Christmas cracker? The Independent Examination of the DCO application says in paragraph 3.8 “The environmental impact in the local area of re-opening the airport will be substantial. It is imperative a real NEED for the development can be demonstrated, and future demand verified in order to be sure there is a realistic prospect of benefits forthcoming”.

      So you see Ann, you have been misled if you think “thousands of jobs” will be created, because NO demand figures were provided in the DCO application! This means they have no idea how much demand there is for a Cargo Hub at Manston, so they can’t predict how many jobs would be created. But in any event if Manston was re-opened it would wipe out the tourist/hospitality industry not just in the Ramsgate Harbour area, it would destroy property values especially in the CT11 postal code area, and of course all of Thanet would be poisoned by the air pollution created!

    • Ann, I do care about jobs, especially local jobs, but I can’t imagine what type of jobs will be created if Manston re-opens as an anti-social cargo hub. The only ones I can think of are double glazing sales opportunities, to muffle the extra noise, and road widening schemes, to accommodate all the HGVs thundering through the village lanes. But any new  jobs will be cancelled out by the job losses in the hospitality sector. 

  7. Ann

    Thing is Gatwick is on the fuel grid, close to very good infrastructure, big catchment area, fairly central to the country. All the things manston isnt.

    But back to the lights. Such a shame about the lights the little kids love to see them. Be nice if the fault could be found before Christmas but there isnt much time.

  8. Hardly the end of the world-just the piles of dog mess will look their usual shade of brown, rather than being fluorescent.

  9. Dumpton. I don’t give one dot what the so-called “independent” inspector said I would like them [inspectors] investigated I would like to know just how independent they were. As I have said time and time again Manston airport was operating for many years as a cargo hub and passenger airport. All this tosh of fuel grid and ruining the area is a pathetic argument. Manston airport should just go ahead a reopen as soon as possible it’s NOT a new airport it’s always been an airport longer than anyone living in this area and it will continue to do so.

    • I’m sure many people would like to know why Grant Shapps ignored the advice of the planning inspectors.

      However, the airport/non-airport isn’t relevant to Ramsgate’s Christmas lights.

    • Deary, deary me.
      The airport closed 7 years ago, having accumulated losses in the £Ms.
      Over a dozen expert opinions say that commercial aviation at Manston won’t work. The PI agreed with that point of view.
      And it’s simply not true that it’s “always been an airport”. It has been a military aerodrome for a long time, but it only became a civilian airport in 1998, since when it has been an economic failure.
      None of which has anything to do with Ramsgate’s lights.
      There’s nothing wrong with the bulbs and the wires. The problem lies with the distribution, which is down to the electricity company, not RTC.

    • Ann you should get help! Manston as an airport failed at least 4 times due to lack of demand, do you understand that Ann! The Independent airport investigation was paid for by the government, and has clearly come out in favour of showing there is no NEED for a cargo airport at Manston as there is plenty of spare capacity at the East Midlands, Southend, and other airports, including Lydd, that are better located and served with existing transport infrastructure! The report goes on to say “The applicant has failed to demonstrate sufficient need for the DCO”. What part of that don’t you understand Ann? In order for a DCO to be accepted, it must show there is a NATIONAL NEED for it, and there just isn’t, as there are better alternative airports elsewhere! In the unlikely event of Manston reopening as a cargo airport, it would fail, because there is no demand for it, thats why the applicant didn’t show any evidence for demand, because there just ian’t any, do you understand that Ann?

  10. The connection of Manston Airport and Ramsgate Christmas lights relates to Ramsgate Town Council soon found £10,00 within a matter of hours to give to a “ close friends “ fund to go towards a judicial review yet Ramsgate lights are naff. Ramsgate used to have some wonderful lights all year round not just at Christmas. The ram jumping over the gate and all the arches were lit up in nursery rhymes theme. Invicta Airways was flying passengers from Manston Airport in the 1960s Andrew get your facts right.

    • The facts are that civilian operators used Manston RAF base for a number of years. But it became a completely commercial operation as a commercial airport in 1998, since when it has consistentlylost money, as I said.
      May I suggest that if you think there’s anything dodgy about the money contributed by RTC to the JR crowd funding, then you raise your complaint with the appropriate authorities. Stuart Piper tried, and failed.
      The failure of the lights has absolutely nothing to do with RTC. Had you bothered to read the piece, you would see that either KCC or the electricity company is responsible.
      Do get your facts right.

    • Another fact is that RTC only donated £5K.
      And surely no one wants an illegal operation on our doorstep? I would have thought it is in everyone’s interest to make sure that the SoS’s decision was legally arrived at. And the JR showed that it wasn’t.
      So thanks to RTC and the 1800 other people who’ve raised more than £110k to challenge the SoS’s quite bonkers decision.

  11. Was / is Jenny Dawes a friend of persons in authority at Ramsgate Town Council. YES read into that what you want.
    Has Manston Airport ever been an “ illegal operation” NO. Will it be “illegal” when it reopens NO. The feed back from appropriate authorities was [“I can understand the concerns that many Ramsgate residents have raised regarding the matter of taxpayers funds being used in such a way, at this stage we have matters that we will examine in due course
    this mater will be included with the complaints we have received, these matters do take a considerable time to fully investigate so I cannot at this stage give you a timescale. However I will be contacting all complainants in due course”]

    • The ExA concluded that a DCO should not be approved.
      The SoS overturned that decision.
      A JR was launched, and the SoS capitulated, acknowledging that his reasons for granting the DCO were inadequate.
      Thus, in the nick of time, the SoS was saved from making an illegal determination.
      Which “Appopriate Authority” are you quoting?

  12. Yes I’m quoting from the letter sent to me. The SOS withdrew the DCO due to a legal technicality.
    The next DCO will be watertight from.

    • There was no “technicallity”. The SoS (and RSP) conceded because the SoS had no case! That’s why he’s invited RSP and others to submit yet more evidence, and engaged Ove Arup to evaluate those responses.
      You must be aware that Ove Arup supported the ExA’s conclusions, as did York Aviation and Alan Stratford associates.
      What letter are you quoting from? What Authority (eg Ombudsman) is considering action against RTC?

    • Going by past history and Manston’s immovable site, there isn’t a hope in hell of any future airport there being successful! A pity the previous TDC didn’t fancy a mixed-use plan.

  13. The use of money supplied by Ramsgate Council in support of the Judicial Review was totally appropriate, because should Manston reopen, it would destroy Ramsgate, especially the Harbour!

Comments are closed.