Thanet council director Gavin Waite leaves post after being suspended since June

Gavin Waite is the final member of the previous senior management team of 4 to exit the authority


The last remaining officer of Thanet council’s previous senior management team has left his role.

Gavin Waite, who was Director of Communities/Operational Services, was suspended from his post on June 13. It is understood allegations of harassment and discrimination were lodged.

He had still been officially employed by Thanet council but finally quit the post with his last official day being November 30.

The suspension followed an announcement on June 9 of former chief executive Madeline Homer’s exit from Thanet council with an understood £327,000 severance payment.

That role is currently being undertaken by former Canterbury council chief Colin Carmichael.

Madeline Homer’s exit came on the heels of an independent report into failings at the authority, which included ‘serious breakdown’ in relationships of the top management team and the use of disciplinary action against staff trying to raise complaints.

Last year external auditors Grant Thornton issued a report branding relationships between the authority’s top officers as in “serious breakdown” and listing a catalogue of failures within the council, including attempting to discredit criticism in independent reports; draining finances due to disciplinary and tribunal actions and causing significant reputational harm to those involved in prolonged grievance processes.

Thanet District Council unanimously agreed to Grant Thornton’s four statutory recommendations – including bringing in an independent Monitoring Officer.

A summary version of the report by Independent Monitoring Officer, Quentin Baker, was published in May and highlighted concerns such as the personal relationship between then-chief exec Madeline Homer and Gavin Waite; the hostile relationship between the top four senior officers and the pay out of more than £1.5m for redundancy or employment tribunal deals between 2015-2021..

On two occasions disciplinary proceedings were launched against members of the top management team -one of which resulted in a serious disciplinary sanction against Monitoring Officer Tim Howes, leading to his dismissal in April of this year and the other ending with a public apology and £280k severance deal for deputy chief Tim Willis who left the council in October 2021.

Gavin Waite exits the council after eight years to ‘focus on new opportunities’ according to a message sent to all council staff and members by Mr Carmichael.


  1. So how much has Gavin Waite cost the residents of Thanet since June with a potential payment for termination of position at TDC.
    If Madeline Homer’s exit from Thanet council was an understood £327,000 severance payment. One shudders to think how much Mr Waite will receive

  2. Bye Bye Gavin! You and Maddy can now buy a better caravan. I am sure there is a south sea island that needs bad administration somewhere.

  3. Were we still paying for him to sit at home? , I hadn’t realised.
    Corruption, or perhaps it was ineptitude (?) pays handsomely, it seems.
    Bloody scandalous, and we all pay for it in higher costs and less amenities.

  4. Yes, good riddance indeed – but their legacy of an organisation in chaos lives on.
    So where is TDC going from here, the top team cleared out and an interim running the show. A financial crisis looming, more family silver being sold off, more houses being built on prime agricultural land, TDC owned commercial premises in a mess, no sign of any progress at the Winter Gardens and elections in May….

  5. yep another sad little bully boy getting paid off for what should be treated as a crime. and whos money do these ars*oles get ?

  6. So we can all Heave a huge sigh of relief now that the last officer from TDC’S senior team has gone. What a mess they have left for others to sort out. Now that the obstacles to good governance have been removed can our elected members change their ways and take this authority forward without continual scandals collusion and bad practices .

  7. eye watering and scandalous, how on earth can TDS get away with letting these inept people get rewarded with golden hand shakes, …….only in Thanet it seems, 🙁

  8. If a school or hospital is poorly managed then it gets put into “Special Measures”. But our political system is comparable to a fish that is rotting from the head down.

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