Labour takes overall control of Thanet council in election success

Thanet Labour took 30 seats at the 2023 elections

Thanet council is now under overall control of Labour.

The return to control saw gains in wards including Westbrook, Northwood and Westgate.

The voting saw the loss of former council leader Conservative Ash Ashbee and Tory stalwart Bob Bayford who had held the Kingsgate seat for 32 years but lost it this time around to Independent Alan Munns. Conservative seats were cut by 8 from 25 to 17.

The result saw Labour double the number of seats held and means the party has overall control for the first time since 2003  with 30 seats out of 56.

Labour leader Rick Everitt and Cllr Corinna Huxley

Labour leader Rick Everitt said: “It has been a thrilling day for Labour in Thanet and they have been rewarded for all their hard work over the last months.

We had a strong candidates and new people who I am really excited about and we have the experience of the team who have been in for the last four years.

“Now we have the power to make the changes the people of Thanet are looking for.”

Labour’s last overall control election win was in 1999 but control was then taken by Conservatives in the 2003 election.

The make up of Thanet council is now Labour 30 seats, Conservative 17, Green 5, Thanet Independents 3, Independent 1.

Thanet district election 2023: At the count


  1. Let’s hope the proof will be in the pudding.
    I am looking forward to seeing a dynamic change at Ramsgate Port and Harbour.

  2. Some nice bike lanes please and thank you!!!!!!!

    • Nothing to do with TDC, cycle lanes are a Kent County Council problem, but don’t let that stop you, I was riding a bike for 26 years up to last May, but had to admit defeat when I fell off it twice, when standing still! Got myself a mobility scooter, and discovered pavements are worse than the roads in Thanet, and thats saying something! Tree roots are the biggest problem, and people who have drives so they can park their cars in their front garden, again thats a KCC problem!

  3. Im looking forward to seeing all the litter regularly picked up,green turfs removed from kerbs,roads swept, weeds killed etc.The area has started to look third world.Labour has got a lot to do if it wants to continue my vote.

  4. Fantastic news, really hope they can make the necessary changes to improve the community. Very happy to have voted labour.

  5. Hopefully a sign of things to come.
    And any notion that the people of Thanet want Manston Airport is quite firmly kicked into the long grass.

      • I agree too, people soon change their mind once they know that should Manston re-open there will be no passenger aircraft, only cargo planes! And no jobs unless you know how to strip a jet engine down! Don’t listen to Gale and Mackinlay, our two Thanet Chocolate tea pot MP’s, they are traitors promoting Manston, because low flying dirty old cargo planes flying at less than 300 meters over Ramsgate Harbour will destroy the hospitality trade, and devalue property in the CT11 postal area!

    • me thinks a lot of Thanet people want Manston to be an Airport again – if the majority want it then it should proceed – if not, then it should not that’s democracy.

      • Rob, we literally just had a local election where the Conservatives ran with the “we are the only ones supporting Manston, if you want Manston more for us’. Where do you get the idea that Thanet people want the airfield open again? From Nana Stevens? From Roger Gale? From Craig McPlane?

      • Rob your are wrong! Why should someone vote to re-open Manston if they will be unaffected by low flying dirty old cargo planes flying over Ramsgate at less than 300 meters high, destroying their businesses, and devaluing their property? The only people who should vote for or against the re-opening of Manston should be those who will be directly affected, and thats most people in the CT11 postal code area! All of Thanet would be affected by noise, and air pollution, but some more than others, do you get it Rob?

  6. I did notice that the independent cllr manns was talking outside the poling station is that not allowed under election rules encouraging people to vote for him there should now be a by-election many potential candidates must know that is not allowed they say about corruption Definetly here.

  7. Superb. Watching Dover and Thanet turn red is a lovely sight. Let’s hope it’s replicated at the GE.

    • Just a scare tactic… No one in their right mind would vote for labour and their loonies in the GE…

    • Well if it does you can thank the Tories you voted for for 13 years who have cut funding to councils year on year.

      Add in the billions given to mates during covid and the loss of a compounded 50 billion a year because of the last suicide note called Brexit and yes…

      Thank god Starmer isn’t PM ruining the finances hey.
      Economics not a strong point?

  8. When should we expect to see all of the changes that have been predicted? I am going to miss all of the negative comments.

  9. Looking forward to the responses in future articles in IOTN from Craig McAirport and Roger.

  10. Well so much for everyone in Thanet wanting Manston Airport. Just shows you what lies the Torries were spinning.

      • Yes Trete, the ones who don’t know there will only be cargo aircraft using it, as no passenger airlines are planned in the DCO, also because at least 4 passenger airlines have gone bust in the past due to lack of demand!! Also, people don’t want Manston who live under the flight path with aircraft flying in over Ramsgate Harbour at less than 300 meters high! Once this is explained to them, they soon change their minds!

  11. For a change, some really good news. Well done Thanet. I wonder if Craig still thinks the people of Thanet are really behind him?

  12. Still a council with exactly the same budget constraints and probably worse now as central government will be less generous with the handouts !

  13. Too late the airport will get the go ahead and prevent the damage that 30000 cars will cause let alone all the concreting of the green areas of Thanet, however let’s hope that the regeneration of MFC can continue at a faster pace

    • The point being made is that contrary to what Sir RogerOak and MacKinlay and others have constantly said, the people of Thanet do *not* overwhelmingly want an airport.
      The green areas of Thanet are being concreted because the Tory/UKIP Local Plan forbids house building on the Manston site. So it has to be built on the greenfields instead.

      • Beg to differ honey, the vast majority of people want Manston open, sadly, that won’t happen now with these idiots in charge, RIP Thanet.

        • Please share the research you are citing. I’d love to see the data that exactly proves how the people of Thanet feel about wanting an airport, or not.

        • TDC has absolutely no say in the outcome of the DCO. No matter which idiots are in charge at TDC, the DCO will be decided by the SoS.

        • The Conservatives’ flyer leant very heavily on their commitment to re-opening Manston Airport. Having read so many comments here saying that the majority of Thanet residents supported re-opening the airport, I thought that there would be a high turnout of voters and that most of them would vote Tory. But there wasn’t.

          Marva Rees

          • “God help us” – the outcome of the DCO is 100%, completely and utterly in the hands of the SoS.
            If the DCO goes ahead, then TDC will have an involvement in monitoring etc various of RSP’s activities.

        • Like all of the airfield supporters you make ridiculous statements without any shred of evidence.

    • How many lorries from the very exaggerated predicted flights then??? And the damsge s as Mc delays to the 2 lane Thanet Way and M2???

  14. Many are worried now that Labour are all for building all over Thanets farmland which the people of Thanet do not want.Time will tell if Labour has learnt from the mistakes of its Tory predecessors. We do not want our island population increased by numbers that equal the size of Ramsgate!

    • Do you need a nurse
      Houses were to be built on Manston. All the backward looking folks didnt want that so the Conservative TDC had to zone those lovely green fields for housing.
      Did you miss all of that? How can Labour who have just been elected be responsible for that and houses already going up.
      Please explain

      • I saw a report that Folkestone & Hythe council have approved the development of a disused race course just outside of the town, to be used to build 8,000 dwellings! Manston once had outline planning for 4,000 dwellings I believe!

  15. I am glad Piper has gone after hocking his votes in order to gain something.I would like to see what the Manstonian fringe say now.

  16. Now you have the keys to the door. Let’s see some positive change . You have now the chance to make a difference to the people of thanet how have put you were you are. No sagas about we inherited just make this a better place for all.

  17. When you make your primary election promise to support the airport like the Northwood Independents and the Tories and still get royally stuffed out of sight then you have to accept that the airport is just not supported by the majority of Thanet residents.

    As others have said, it’s totally out of local hands anyway but hopefully this will gag some of the most vociferous and annoying pro airport social media commentators.

  18. Well done Labour I would have been shocked if Labour had not done well with the utter appalling government we have. As far as Manston Airport is concerned as I said before it’s the court of law that will give to go ahead or no ahead not the council.

  19. With Labour now in control at TDC and RTC, What improvements can we expect to see ?
    Will the Binmen get their pay rise .. ? Will that trigger pay demands from all the other Council Staff ?
    Is there sufficient funds to do that? Or will the Council Tax have to be raised again?
    Can we expect to see improvements to the street cleaning regime, graffiti removed and a general rise in standards all around?
    Will the improvements to the Royal Harbour, and the fiasco of the Winter Gardens be resolved, and will all the missing dog poo bins be replaced and emptied regularly?
    There is a lot to do, I certainly hope we can expect to see these changes and improvements begin immediately.
    Action this day, as Winston was wont to say.
    Forget the infighting, and the Manston debate…
    There are real issues that Councillors must address…

    • Can I add to your list Observer, anti-social behaviour! The TDC Community Safety Team, which has police in it, are abysmal when it comes to clamping down on anti-social behaviour! I could give you a list of my own of instances, but know its a waste of time and effort, like the TDC Community safety Team itself! I hope the new Labour councillors are aware of this, and do something about it!

  20. Whilst the previous administration was abhorrent, it’s doubtful there will be any improvement from this Labour cohort, it is naive to think otherwise. Only the Greens could implement any real positive change and sadly there aren’t enough of them.

  21. It’s ironic that Ashbee was the council leader not Everett who helped to seal Homers fate. What confidence can one really have in a ( labour ) leader with such a poor track record and questionable judgement. Isn’t it time for a new labour leader carrying less baggage with fresh ideas ?
    In the meantime let’s see what Labour will do to change the direction in Thanet now that they have a working majority, noting the poor turnout in many of the wards.
    I agree with much written by an “observer “ above .

    • Agree Roman, Ashbee did seem to attempt to clean up TDC while Labour just looked the other way. Main parties are just an illusion of choice for the little people to me, but it’s worth noticing who has done some good, or not, locally, and who bothered to engage at residents’ meetings and who didn’t. And how close the vote seemed to be in Westbrook.

      • seeing as Tory have been in charge for much of the last 20 years not sure why you seem so set against Labour.

  22. Not really a large mandate to win can we welcome back dole on sea that those in Ramsgate want to see as for the airport those who don’t want it that area is the water table for the district underneath the area is still wartime tunnels with possible unexploded wartime ammunition it would cost a fortune selfish is the name on the game the turn out was low how many of the votes were postal as labour seemed to want everyone to have one they should be counted on the day not behind closed doors were the council workers on the poling stations checking I’d postal voting is not real proof of I’d all the fuss about I’d we need one for a driving licence bus passes rail travel passes a passport and bank accounts thos who moan about that must have something to hide.As for our beaches I asked the current Labour leader why don’t we have rows of bins on Margate main sands that worked for years people would use them beach cleaners would empty the bins and put fresh bags in the large machine always was used at 6pm daily that prevented beach parties later and the beaches were always clean his answer er don’t do that anymore you don’t need a protest group like rise up thate purely political the public don’t like being told what they use common sense.

  23. Congratulations to The Labour group in Thanet, however all the time we have the incompetence of the Tories in Westminster trying to do anything of any significance will be difficult. At least under Labour in Thanet, we can look forward to The corruption locally dwindling away, helped by Bayford and Co disappearing, and Manston will finally die as it should, there are better sustainable options for that site which would produce far more jobs.

        • Peter quite agree. I must admit I just like winding up one or two individuals up now and again on this website as they take themselves so seriously. My interest in the goings on in Thanet have almost reached zero as we moved well away from Thanet and Kent over a year ago.

          • Why don’t you just shut up here then, Laurence Davies, and start winding-up one or two individuals who live close to your new home?

          • “Winding-up” people who disagree with you is such a mature and intelligent thing to do!

          • Phyllida Roberts or is it Marva Rees today? Yes ma’am ‘I will shut up’ as you so eloquently put it. No need to wind people up where i live now as on the most part they are pleasant unlike you. Plus they have a sense of humour! Will be visiting Ramsgate next year will be interesting to see if the place has improved I won’t hold my breath! As you would say in Ammanford hwyl fawr

    • No Peter, they will be in the same hole as the previous administration.Instead of investing in green energy,local government,the NHS and public transport, Central govt has delivered bonuses to energy companies,indulged in crony capitalism, and defunded much of what makes this country a place worth living.
      Labour will do their best, but they will struggle against the sleaze and mania for ‘stopping the boats’ which substitutes for policies, that a broken Tory Govt run by incompetent radicals appears to operate.
      The conservative party will be destroyed unless it returns to its core one nation ideas, and boots out the chancers and the deranged right wing like Truss, Braverman and Rees-Mogg.
      I suspect when many of the new administrations in the south open up the books, they will find a lot of unsustainable borrowing on commercial property.Canterbury is one of those. Funnily enough Thanet has not borrowed heavily which is why it might weather the coming storm.Same applies to Dover. I wonder how old Carmichael is going to cope with a Labour administration,the old dog will have to learn new tricks.

      • But we’ll just end up with another bunch of incompetent radicals, we’ll swerve in terms of policy and ideals to opposite end of the spectrum purely formthe sake of proving they are different and as ever the sensible middle ground won’t get a look in and chance to show it’d probably be the best way forward.

      • No, Mr Davies, “hwyl fawr” is a north Welsh phrase. Ammanford is in South Wales, but it is not my home town. Now leave me be. Find yourself some delightful neighbours to talk to.

  24. I’m excited to see this result and pray this sends a strong message across Thanet
    I’m a lifelong Labour supporter but I hope the airport reopens (this decision will not come from TDC anyway)
    There is much to do but I’m hopeful land confident that decisions within the council will be for the many and not the few x well done

  25. Come on then, now’s your chance. I didn’t vote this time, nor will at the general election. So fed up with everyone moaning about the Tories. Having lived through successive governments, it will soon become apparent that nothing will change. Each change of party will blame the failure of the previous one for having to clear up the mess, and any party in control for a long period will become complacent.

  26. I am sure I am not alone in doubting the efficacy of this new Labour-controlled council.

    True the Tories deserved the drubbing they got, but will Labour be an improvement? Time will tell!

    I would like to see more Green councillors elected. They represent kinder, more collaborative politics and have integrity.

    They do not display the inevitable in-fighting we see within the Labour Party. I hope these newly elected Labour councillors will not squander this opportunity for positive change.

    • Yep decades of poor management ent and even poorer decisions, lack of reasoned thinking and never ending attempts to score points on the cheap, have left thanet skint and dilapidated, no real assets of anyworth and just about everything owned by the council neglected and in need of substantial investment. But we’ve no money and councillors will as ever continue chasing their own vain pet projects , no matter the cost both directly and via the political trade offs needed to get their dreams through the system.
      If ever there was a time to concentrate on the basics and get them sorted along with saving what little thanet has left , it’s now.

  27. It seems the de facto referendum on Manston the tories turned these elections into has returned a resounding no to a 24/7/365 cargo hub. Nearly all the most outspoken councillors like Bayford, Shonk, Ashbee and Piper who support RSP’s plans have lost their seats. Let’s hope MacKinlay and Gale get the message

    • The pro-Manston commentators are protesting like mad that the local election was not a referendum on Manston.
      If that were true, one might wonder why the Tory election leaflet banged on about Manston, and invited people to sign a (totally worthless) petition?
      Were I a less sensitive soul, I might be tempted to say “Suck it up, snowflakes.”

  28. “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”
    ‘Won’t Be Fooled Again”
    The Who

  29. I look forward to clean streets all graffiti removed off ALL buildings ALL theatres, reopened ALL bushes removed from the gutters. Dog wardens to fine the low life who let their dogs mess the streets. Ramsgate Port reopened Manston Airport reopened and all the boarded up shops reopened. Mmmmm that was a nice
    dream. Nothing will change the only difference is now that the little clique has got a bit bigger.

  30. Before Labour says anything about Manston Airport being reopen again they need to wait for High Court to announce in July if they squashed the DCO on reopening Manston Airport. Labour can have opinion in Thanet but it was the actual Government that gave the DCO planning permission not Thanet District Council.

    • I don’t think the TDC is going to say anything. As you (and others) point out, it’s down to the SoS.
      The point that many people are making is that the overwhelming election of Labour and Green councillors, with their anti-airport stance, suggests that the oft-repeated view that most in Thant want an airport is probably tosh.

      • We could always have a local referendum and actually ask people there view and put that argument to bed.

          • But it’d settle the endless comments on the IOTN on the relative levels of support for Manston both by those that make assertions with no substance and those that dispute them with similar lack of actual fact.

  31. I’m a lifelong Labour voter but of course I want Manston Airport opened and operating like it should. I did not vote Labour to be anti airport I voted Labour because I hate beyond passion the corruption, dodgy dealing of what the Conservatives do when they’re in power, looking after their rich friends, whilst walking over the rest of us. However if the new Labour administration think they can take me or my family’s vote for granted then they had better think again because we are not not sheep. I personally don’t mind if the council tax does increase as long it’s spent for the benefit of all of us and doesn’t disappear into a bottomless pit.

    • Yes, they even admitted that they were ‘intensely relaxed about people becoming FILTHY rich’. Oh wait a minute, that was Labour!

  32. Amazing. So to sum up:
    – the marsden cargo airport supporters cannot be bothered to vote for their representatives, as told by Craig MAMA airlines,
    – the marsden cargo airport supporters cannot be bothered to put their signature down on the petition launched by their MP Craig MAMA airlines
    – the marsden cargo airport supporters could not be bothered to use the airport when it was open for passengers,

  33. Seems most of the plane spotters forget that TDC is the designated planning authority for the DCO.
    The planning committee have the right to call in all decisions made by officers so don’t imagine RSP will get planning to rubber stamp their decisions without scrutiny.
    This may go some way to understand why RSP didn’t want TDC to be the planning authority

  34. Thank you Kathy for putting up results up given official thanet council site shows NOTHING

    • The TDC website showed live results. The full results appeared about 10minutes after the result appeared on Twitter, also posted in full. You may not have found them but I assure you, it did work.

    • “May 2023 Local Elections
      Election results for the May 2023 Local Elections will be published shortly.”
      From the TDC website (18:088 Sat 6 May)

      • Andrew fipobt know where you are looking. Go on the Council website and look at the top banner in red. States The count for yesterdays Local Elections is currently taking place then underlined view live results. Last updated May5th 9:30 am. Now click view live results underlined and your are taken to another page scroll down Elections results. Most recent elections on blue background line 1 & 2 District Council Elections 2023, 04/05/2023 line 2 are Parish elections. Click on either and you’re taken to the results! I am using an IPad don’t know what you are using!

  35. Andrew sorry ‘ fipobt’crikey don’t know how that came out should read’ ‘I don’t know’ 🤷‍♂️

  36. Congratulations!
    All problems will now be solved. I’ve bought a red pen to tick all the boxes on the lists of promises.
    I do believe in magic and miracles.
    And I’m ever so happy most reviewers haven’t got a license to kill one another.

  37. Andrew just gone onto the Thanet website again and clicked the X to remove the red banner. Obviously it disappears and then nothing as you and Barry say! ! Poor to say the least! Apologies to you both if you have no red banner you are in the dark! Someone in The Council needs to get their act together!

  38. Has everybody noticed how the banner ad from RSP has changed the message now? Does not mention the JR anymore…Maybe they got a letter from some of those lefty, pesky, human rights lawyers…

  39. Residents would be astonished to learn that in my experience the political parties in Thanet seldom have anything more than their leaflets as a plan for the coming 4 years. Just those general catch-all headings that mean nothing without pages of detail to explain to the Chief Executive what is required of Council officers in the coming 4 years. This kind of planning is well beyond the capability of most councillors in Thanet and the reason you seldom see any new initiatives coming from them. Current priorities will be the jostling for position to get the best jobs and highest allowances. The priorities of the public who voted for them will be secondary.

    • One initiative demonstrated by a Council was a recent one by UKIP.
      They (eventually) approved a Local Plan that resulted in tens if thousands of houses being built on green fields all around the Isle.

      • No. The Council was required to put more houses in the Plan. No political party could overrule that without the government intervening to implement its own plan.

        • If UKIP had got its act together, the Local Plan would have been submitted earlier, when a previous version of the housing formula allocated 1000s fewer houses to Thanet. But they shillied and shallied, arguing about the status of the airport site.
          So, when the LP was finally adopted, there were 1000s of extra houses, and none of them could be built at Manston, so 1000s are being built on greenfields instead.
          A double whammy.

    • Martin – how true – looking at this new bunch, I despair for Thanet. Same load of old faces who will no doubt spout the usual rubbish and, meanwhile, my Council tax will go through the roof without any local improvements.

      • Your Council Yax can’t “go through the roof” because Local Authorities are constrained by law to a maximum tax rise of 5%.
        When the then Tory administration last put the council tax up, it went up by almost 5%.

    • That’s very much not true, Mr. Wise; I know you follow my page, and can find a 19 page commitment and plan just related to Planning there.

      We’ve put a huge amount of effort into policy approaches, and I have spent four years working on Housing and Planning policy in particular, so I know you don’t believe what you just wrote.

      • Hi Helen. If you have a manifesto document covering all aspects of the Council’s business that you will be giving to the CE today, and which outlines your requirements of him and his officers for the next 4 years, then I trust you will share it with residents.

  40. Its a shame so many people both locally and nationally couldn’t be bothered to vote, the results are what they are,but you’d be a bit silly to think the next general election is a forgone conclusion, because it certainly isn’t.
    As for labour running Thanet council, god help us all, more houses on greenbelt imminent and not a lot else will change if anything.
    There’s no money to spend.

    • The houses are being built on green fields round Birchington and the villages because UKIP’s Local Plan wouldn’t allow houses to be built on the 500 acres of brownfield site at Manston.
      Nothing to do with Labour at all.

  41. To park at Ramsgate Harbour in February £1.80 per hour.
    To park there today £3.70 per hour. I hope it nothing to worry Labour.

    • Use the bus. It costs £0.00 to park.
      Or, if you *must* drive, park in Stafford St car park. It’s only £1.50 an hour – cheaper than the bus fare.

      • Fine – unless one lives in the many villages and hamlets without a bus service. There’s a world outside Ramsgate y’know.

        • There are cheaper carports in Ramsgate, too.
          And if people used buses rather than cars, then they wouldn’t have any problems parking, and the buses would run.
          Be part of the solution, not the problem.

  42. Why would I use a bus??? I’ll tell you why not it takes ages in Thanet to get anywhere in a bus, stop start stop start that’s before you get to an actual bus stop the traffic lights are not in sequence. They’re just all a miss blocking roundabouts and junctions. They should all be coordinated which they’re not. It’s bad enough traveling around in a car never mind a bus.

    • Oh the irony!
      Buses stop and start because the roads are clogged up with cars. One bus will carry the equivalent of 100 cars’ worth of passengers. Just think: 100 cars off the road!

  43. My experience of bus journeys here is very different from Bill’s.

    Of course, I have very little experience of being a passenger in a car. but I prefer to travel in a bus, partly because it feels much safer.

  44. I used to travel in a bus almost every day up to the pandemic I’ve not traveled once since using the car instead. On the bus I felt so much more vulnerable to others who were coughing and sneezing then they grab the handrails spreading their germs so guess I’ve become paranoid of catching the Covid again I’ve had it at Christmas no wish to catch it again.

    • In the UK, 40,000 people die prematurely from respiratory conditions brought on largely by emissions from ICE vehicles.
      Glad that you feel safer in your car.

  45. I hope you all behave more decently on the streets than in this chat. Remember who the real enemy is. Enjoy La Dolce Vita and Benefit Britain and hope it lasts. No air raid alarms here today…

  46. What was the official voter turnout for the Thanet Council Elections ? how many actually bothered to vote.

  47. I just hope someone will fix our broken housing system. With Thanet being one council in the sough east who have dragged their heels with regard to housing investment and developments for social housing sector, thats pushing locals away from family even further away because of its inability to predict we need more homes here. With all the interest at Turner, Dreamland and Manston over the last 10 plus years. I hope someone sees that medway council are nailing it in comparison for the people. Dont get me started on a £36 million pound uneeded railway/folly… who says our council dont waste time and money??
    Lolz early predictions suggest its still gonna be a sh*^show. ✌️

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