New Thanet council leader and portfolio holders confirmed

Councillor Rick Everitt says it is the first increase in a decade

The first meeting of Thanet council since the elections this month has been  , concentrated on formally appointing the Leader and Deputy Leader and creating committees.

Councillor Rick Everitt was appointed as Leader while Councillor Helen Whitehead was appointed as Deputy Leader.

Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet portfolio holders were also confirmed at the session which saw many newly-elected councillors attending for the first time.

Following the elections held on Thursday 4 May, Labour secured 30 seats giving them an overall majority and  control of the council. The results of the elections were  30 Labour; 17 Conservative; 5 Green; 3 Thanet Independent; 1 Independent.

In total there are 56 seats in Thanet representing 23 different wards across the district. Of the 56 elected members, 23 are newly-elected.

New Council Leader, Councillor Rick Everitt said: ​”I am delighted to have been able to appoint an experienced and enthusiastic team to lead the new council.

“While this may be a majority administration, which has been a rarity in Thanet in recent years, we recognise that our duty is to advance the interests of all parts of the district and work hard for all residents. We will do so with humility, integrity and determination.”

During the meeting Cllr Everitt spoke of his respect for former leader Ash Ashbee, who lost her Westbrook seat, and Bob Bayford, who lost his seat in Kingsgate after 32 years of service.

Cllr Reece Pugh has taken on the role of Thanet Conservative party leader.

The Cabinet portfolio holders are:

Strategy and transformation Cllr Everitt (leader)

Housing Cllr Whitehead (deputy leader)

Cleansing and coastal Cllr Steve Albon

Corporate services Cllr Rob Yates

Neighbourhoods Cllr Heather Keen

Regeneration and property Cllr Ruth Duckworth

At the meeting, councillors were also appointed to serve on each of committees, including Planning, Overview and Scrutiny, Licensing and Standards.

The Council Chair is Cllr John Edwards and the Vice Chair is Cllr Debra Owen-Hughes.


  1. It’s always going to be this way and South Thanet has more labour councillors independents usually are cross the floor labour or conservatives or green or liberal democrats nothing changes I suppose the town council for Margate will be shelved we will see.

  2. Think they would do much better if Everett was not leader and fresh leader chosen to give labour best opportunity to change Thanet for the better

  3. If the airport is constantly being campaigned about no chance of Thanet getting better we will see now that they were campaigning about the wintergardens which they new about it before the local elections that your Leasure pulled out of the contract with TDC three years earlier that people should have known about it and not forgetting the theatre royal look at the recent fiasco with the Granville theatre over the licensing times.

    • Given the chicanery she engaged in ( along with officers within tdc) to ensure paramount and the contract the council had with them , made no effort to engage with local residents, in respect of the old british legion and the drug hostel created within it, total disregard for planning and listed building legislation, not sure i agree. Can you imagine the uproar if a tory had pushed through such an arrangement with a private contractor? There’s no issue with the aim and final result , but the process to achieve was hardly correct.

      • Dear Lc (as you’re choosing to be anonymous, I can’t engage with you using your actual name); I’m happy to contradict the same story, using the same phrasing, that periodically appears.

        Firstly, homelessness accommodation is not a “drug hostel”; it’s a necessary and important provision, unfortunately, as homelessness is a growing issue.

        Secondly, contrary to what you’ve said, there was no “chicanery”, nothing incorrect regarding Planning (which is, incidentally, a Committee I didn’t sit on, so would have no influence on) and the Dalby Square Association and the Trustees of the school will be able to confirm that I met with them, and anyone else who contacted me.

        If you think there were procedural errors with Planning, please report them to TDC; as I have said before. No one would want Planning errors, and accusations of Councillor impropriety regarding Planning is something that should be investigated, as it is a serious matter that requires far more than anonymous comments.



        • The Old British Legion was bought by Paramount Property Services (TDC’s favoured partner for emergency housing provision , who have benefited to the tune of several millions of pounds from TDC)
          Paramount already had property in the St.Johns area which was the subject of repeated anti social behaviour and dumped rubbish (when the tenants changed)
          Additionally there was the property next door to the Legion, which was the centre of several years of appalling incidents , revolving around drugs , alcohol, violence,etc. The building was in a terrible state , didn’t meet the required standards on many levels and the police attended pretty much weekly. The council did next to nothing until there was the firebombing of the common areas.
          Paramount applied for planning permission to turn the Legion into Flats, thisstalled in the planning system during which time Paramaount and TDC were in negotiation (as reported in the Iotn) for the provision of emergency housing , drug related services etc etc in the building.
          No planning or listed building consent was applied for , but on the first week of the first lockdown work commenced on gutting and coverting the building.
          In the july a restrospective planning and listed building application was submitted for the now partially completed works to provide the drug/alcohol/accomodation/services as per TDC’s requirements.
          There were over 50 objections, but the application didn’t even go to committee because the ward councillors wouldknt put it forward. You being one of them.
          The apllication was pretty much waived through with a triviial condition regarding the listed status ( which will shortly be due to be complied with or altered) .
          You talk of meeting with the Dalby Square association ( which would be odd given the geographic disconnect) and i’m sure you mean Hawley Square. Quite why you spent your time liasing with them and not the residents immediately adjacent to the building seems odd, especially given the incidents they’d had to put up with from Paramounts other properties and the ongoing saga at 17a ( iirc).
          Other councillors tell me that the project was a personal crusade of yours.
          The council must have been aware of the plans for the building as they were involved in its design as they procured the service, will have been aware work started with no consents in place, you chose not to take it to committee. Didn’t liase with the residents closest to the building.
          For the council to have done all it can to push a project through to completion as fast as possible, so saving the contractor the costs of delays and applying for full listed building consent, choosing not put the application to committee ( very unusual given the number of objections) , is if nothing else an abuse of position and choosing to give the project an easy passage. Not to mention the councils previous “climate emergency declaration” and to then use a building with next to no insulation as a 24/7 housing / substance abuse centre.
          A homeowner not too far away has been threatened with legal action because they painted the front of their house without consent and i a colour the council doesn’t like. There’s seems an extreme disconnect with how the two properties have been treated, and given the commercial links between tdc and paramount , it would be hoped that TDC its councillors and officers would act in a manner that was open, honest and adhered in full to the applicable rules and regs. It can be claimed that at worst the most convenient legal path was chosen.

          But could be seen as

          Private company, arranges with council, to avoid planning and listed building law, makes retrospective application, this sails through , avoiding all the normal complications and delays normally experienced in planning/ listed building consent, works completed, contract signed for TDC to pay the private company.

          Or perhaps all planning and listed building applications will be treated in the same way across the district and so ensure equal treatment for all.

          Hardly looks as though it’s all above board. That there’s a need for the housing no one is disputing, but full and proper process needs to be followed and not tailored to suit the councils aims and ignoring the concerns of local residents plagued for several years by drug related issues and behaviour of those placed in emergency housing in the area. IParamount wouldn’t buy or use properties in the selective licensing area because of the problems they’d encounter doing so, why allow so many of lifes least fortunate and most problematic in an area that was already plagued by such issue?

          Recently the police were in attendance at the building, canvassed local householders regarding an incident, the area is full of alcoholics of late ( may be coincidence , but has the council placed those formerly in the school of english in broadstairs there?)

          The company has since put in another application for conversion to flats as the councils 3 year contract is coming towrds its end, but the application is still awaiting decision, i’d guess awaiting a decision from TDC on funding to continue the current service.

          The whole affair undermines trust in the system, council officer and councillors. Which is why i disagreed with the statement in the original post that you should have been council leader.

          • There’s a huge amount that’s incorrect in that post Jc (although I’ll perfectly happily acknowledge the switch between Hawley and Darby, as I was working on casework when I answered the first post; apologies on that front).

            As I said previously, if you believe that anything untoward has happened (and I could spend a very long time correcting almost everything within your last post) please contact Planning, and lodge a complaint and report process. Also, please feel free to refer me to Standards, as not for the first time, you are implying that I have done something wrong in simply supporting accommodation for our homeless.

            You ask why I met with the Residents Association and the trustees; and the simple answer is that they approached me with concerns, and so I met with them.

            Others choosing not to raise objections with me, and not asking to meet, is not within my control.

            Objections on Planning grounds can and will be processed by Officers; but it is misleading to imply that the number of objections should determine whether or not something goes to Committee. Objections not based on planning grounds, or based on incorrect information (such as complaining about property usage for a “drugs hostel”, which was not in any way an appropriate description of usage) wouldn’t meet any Planning threshold, as it would be an inaccurate description of the provision.

            It’s odd that you seem determined to portray me as being somehow in favour of private provision, when my Cabinet post involved bringing several services back in house, including Housing, and setting up in house temporary housing specifically to reduce the usage of private providers; but you can choose to portray me as the opposite of who I am, if you wish.

            If you ever choose to identify yourself, you’re more than welcome to contact me, and please, if you have any concerns regarding any application, contact Planning and Standards before posting rather serious allegations.

            All the best,


  4. Well let’s hope Councillor Albon actually finishes the long awaited review of public toilets that he promised numerous times when he had the portfolio last time.

    Better late than never I guess.

    • Unlikely. He failed in everything he had responsibility for when labour briefly had control.

  5. I hope Cllr Albon can stop the Binmen from going on strike …..
    As for the Administration doing much to improve the area….?
    We are hoping they can, but not holding our collective breath.

    • I wonder what his budget will be? Everything depends on budgets, which have been severely cut year on year by the Tory government. I would like to see a rubbish bin on every street corner, so people who do not want to take their rubbish home with them, have somewhere they can put it! Of course the bins would need to emptied weekly, and that would cost!

  6. Can you give the names of the councillors who have been given the planning and other portfolios you mentioned at the end of your article?

  7. let all us constituents wish the new council the very best of luck in the increasingly difficult circumanstances – particularly Councillor Albon , in view of KCC’s proposals for Richborough

  8. Really? The best they could do is Tricky Ricky as Leader? Strategy and Transformation? Is this his strategy to transform his bank personal bank balance?

    Thanet truly is in the gutter, politically.

  9. There is nothing Tricky about Ricky, but he needs all the luck he can get with Thanet. At least he has not had to suffer the impediment of Homer and a tireless crew of incompetents. You can thank Ash Ashbee for that.
    Thanet’s big problem is that no one of any ability wants to work there. The CEO is rooted in sense and sensibility, but he could not stop Canterbury from going mad, and he cannot be there for ever.
    Thanet + Dover have often worked together, so perhaps, as both CEO’s are knocking on they could hire in someone of stature.
    The augean stable is not yet swept clean, as there are a few names that ought to be defenestrated.

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