Community meeting in Cliftonville as Margate Town Council bid continues

Margate Photo Steven Collis

A meeting will take place on January 18 as the bid to create a Margate Town Council continues.

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.

A Town Council would have powers to make decisions for their community and could renovate sea shelters, employ extra street cleaners, and renovate the Dane Park Fountain.

Some 3100 signatures from the people registered to vote in the seven Margate wards are needed for Thanet District Council to undertake a Community Governance Review. Residents will then be asked to vote for or against the idea, with the majority vote winning.

The January 18 meeting takes place from 7pm-9pm at St Philip’s Church Hall, Summerfield Road, Cliftonville.

Find the petition at MargateTownCouncil.co.uk

12 Comments

  1. Not seen any leaflet. Not overly enthusiastic, seeing how a lot of these town councils with huge egos behave-like that embarrassing Zoom meeting last year & that most get into politics for all or one of these reasons- financial/personal gain, publicity/ego/social standing & to have control over others & boss them around, rather than to benefit the community.

  2. A major drawback with town councils is that you end up paying twice for the same service.

    Ramsgate Town Council are very proactive and do a lot of work to make the streets cleaner. They have to do this as TDC don’t do it. Ramsgate Town Council step in and support the failing service which TDC should be providing.

    The obvious problem is that TDC don’t charge residents any less for not doing what they should be doing. Ramsgate Town Council cover their costs in their part of the Council Tax so taxpayers pay twice for the same service.

    Expect much more of this over the coming years as TDC stop doing more and more whilst keep hiking up Council Tax. Town Councils then have to step in which increases their costs and results in higher bills to the taxpayers.

    • Have you been to that circular bit of Station Approach outside Ramsgate Station lately? I walked along there yesterday, and there were plants several inches high growing out of the gutter. It is certainly no better than outside Margate station.

  3. A town council for Margate will be the most positive thing that can happen! It gives more control to the local area and can do things that TDC and the current Charter Trustees cannot or will not do! Christmas in Margate was miserable with lack of decoration, coordination of events and the town suffered. Once the Town Council is formed is there any need for TDC?

    Sign the petition online and lets get Margate Town Council formed.

    • Are you seriously suggesting that a town council will take on all of the services that TDC offer including electoral services, planning, building control, housing, benefit payments and revenue collections? Splitting TDC into three smaller councils would increase costs massively as any resilience would be lost and additional cost burdens (software etc) would fall on a smaller group to fund.

      If anything a larger East Kent authority needs to be looked into again as this is probably the only realistic way to offer the savings the Councils need (as long as they are properly managed).

    • Hi Jack, it really is not that simple, but I do know the MTC, when and if it exists, would be the proper and best owners of Old Town Hall and Museum, not a group of trustees, even if I was one of them.
      Your desire to transfer public assets from TDC to one or more trusts, is problematic, so I wish you could direct that enthusiasm into holding TDC accountable for properly using and maintaining such assets.
      TDC’s properties need to be serving the community or earning revenue, and that really needs to be achieved under TDC’s ownership, so that Thanet’s legacy does not simply disintegrate. I would fully support you in finding ways of achieving that.

  4. Another duplication of services with residents paying twice for the same service. Another batch of councillors and duplicated staff on th gravy train.

    If you want to feed your family and heat your house refuse to sin up for an organisation with no intention of being value for money.

    What about a petition to cut TDC management level staff by 50 per cent?
    Might even get a reduction on our tax bill.

  5. Last I heard it was around 2,000 signatures before Christmas, so a heck of a long way to go. I asked several carefully considered questions of the Mayor and after nearly 2 months and several chasers, got the reply that I would not be getting a response. I have since had access to a previous mayor’s private papers and I am satisfied that a Town Council is desirable, but not until the dysfunctionality of TDC has been ended. For MTC to be attempted before that, would put Margate at a permanent disadvantage. All our discontent and focus must remain on TDC, until we resolve that. TDC’s asset disposals, many of which would be best maintained by MTC, must be halted. The MTC must also be sold to us with the real truth that whatever we want from it, we will have to pay twice for, regardless of the fact that we already pay TDC for that. Personally I consider that a price worth paying for, as we cannot expect the services we really need, for just 68 pence a day!

  6. That is interesting as I thought the figure hadn’t increased much beyond 1500
    Initially I thought a town council was a very good idea although I along with a number of friends haven’t cast our vote in favour as we are yet to be convinced of the merits of introducing yet another layer of administration into our local affairs .
    I would personally feel more predisposed to such a new system if I could see clear action with positive results that our councillors had taken in addressing many of our existing local problems, for eg rubbish collection , street cleaning , provision and management and provision of public conveniences ,management of public spaces including children’s play areas, not to mention contracting in general and asset disposal , to name a few .
    My feeling is councillors of all persuasion need to significantly improve their performance both in terms of management and transparency of existing arrangements before they should be trusted with more devolved powers and budgets.
    TDC’s ( senior and middle management ) dysfunctional way of conducting business needs addressing head on as a priority and regrettably that is where our councillors energy should focus at this time.

    • I totally agree. Action is required now, within the existing legal framework, not delaying and tweaking it in the hope that it is the problem to be solved.
      Councillors, get together and sort TDC out!!

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