Friday, 21 March 2014


The council has suggested exploring the extension of the Discovery Park Enterprise Zone to cover Manston Airport as well as the Manston Business Park and Richborough Corridor.
Leader of Thanet District Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Development Cllr Clive Hart proposed an emergency motion on Thursday 20 March to crucial regional meetings concerning exploring the extension of the enterprise zone. This was discussed at the Kent Leader’s meeting and at the Thanet Regeneration Board.
Cllr Hart said, ‘I put forward this emergency motion so that we could explore the possibility of extending the Enterprise Zone from Discovery Park at Richborough. I’ve suggesting discussing extending this to cover the Richborough corridor, which is a former power station site, Manston Business Park and Manston Airport itself. The council has been clear that it has supported the airport and this could help us find the best opportunity to either save the airport in its current form or find the best possible future for the site, whichever scenario plays out. This proposal was well-received and it is reassuring that this has been discussed.’
This comes after the operators of Manston Airport confirmed that they have commenced a process of consultation over the possible closure of the airport.


Wednesday, 19 March 2014


Cllr Clive Hart - TDC Leader

The consultation on the proposed closure of Manston Airport is potentially a devastating blow to the local economy with the potential loss of direct and indirect employment in Thanet.

The council has been clear that it has supported the future development of the airport. We have worked with operators to ensure that the economic benefits to the district could be maximised including the council’s direct port of entry service and therefore this is very disappointing news.

Saturday, 15 March 2014


Thanet District Council has taken part in a voluntary Peer Review this week (11 – 13 March) as part of its commitment to improve.
A team of peers from other local authorities and the Local Government Association were invited by the council to review how it operates and to provide suggestions for ways to improve.
As part of the review there was a particular focus on Economic Development and the council’s customer services approach, as these are priority areas for the council.
More than 100 Councillors, council staff and external stakeholders, which included community groups, private companies, partner organisations and local press, took part in focus group sessions with the review team.
The council received a verbal summary of the initial findings at a short presentation today (Thursday 13 March) and will receive a detailed report from the review team within the next month. The report will be published on the council’s website.
Council Leader, Cllr Clive Hart, said: “We welcome the initial findings of the review which highlight that the council is heading in the right direction, with improvement achieved in a number of areas.
“We recognise that there is more improvement to be made and will be actively responding to the feedback we receive.
“I would like to thank the Peer Review Team for their time this week and for their insight and suggestions and to everyone who contributed to this process".
The Peer Review team for Thanet included:
  • Pete Rentell, Programme Manager – Local Government Support,  LGA
  • Matt Nicholls, Head of News and Internal Comms, LGA
  • Cllr Helen Holland, Leader of the Labour Group, Bristol City Council
  • Cllr Terry Hone, Deputy Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder, North Herts District Council and Deputy Executive Member for Resources and Economic Wellbeing at Herts County Council
  • Andrew Muter, Chief Executive, Newark and Sherwood District Council
  • Graham Cook, Deputy Chief Executive, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council
Since 2011, nearly a third of local authorities (105) have undergone a Peer Review. This is expected to rise to more than 180 councils by the end of 2014.

Sunday, 2 March 2014


Cllr Michelle Fenner (TDC Cabinet Member).

Judgement regarding the live animal exports from Ramsgate Port.

The Judge ruled that:

- the Animal Health Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA, which is a Government Agency, part of DEFRA) has the total authority regarding transport of live animals

- even though we are the port owners, we cannot intervene in what goes on within the transit in Ramsgate port.

The terrible events at the port in September 2012 showed clearly that it was AHVLA who took the decision to unload animals (very conveniently) in our port and not to take them to a so called nearby lairage facility.

The consequences of this unloading were that it caused havoc in OUR port and potentially put OUR staff safety at risk.

Then collectively as the TDC administration we decided to impose a temporary suspension of this trade whilst we sought re-assurances about the transport of animals from DEFRA.

We are now told by the Judge that in spite of these terrible incidents we should not have imposed this temporary ban and that we will have to compensate the unscrupulous transporters who, a few weeks ago, were convicted for cruelty to animals.

We are not just disappointed by this judgment, we are outraged: we are the port owners, we did not choose to have live animal exports going through our port, we did not cause the incidents of September 2012, we did not create this situation, and yet we are made to pick up the tab for the actions, the wrong decisions and the incompetence of Government Agencies.

We are looking into options for appeal against this unjust judgement.

We will also put the case to the local MP who has publicly agreed that the port does not have the correct facilities and has claimed she is also opposed to this vile trade. Now is the time for her to take action and get some results from Central Government.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Ed Miliband’s closing words to Labour’s Special Conference

Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, in his closing words to the Labour Party’s Special Conference, said:

Well friends, first of all, thank you.

You know, I took a big risk last July but I did it because I believed, and I believe today that we can only face up to the big challenges that our country faces if we face up to the challenges in our party. 

That is what we have done today and we should all be proud of the Labour party that has shown the courage to change.

I just want to say one thing very directly to the country.

Some of you left us at the last general election.

Some of you thought we lost touch.

You were right.

These changes agreed today are designed to ensure that this party never loses touch again with the British people.

And now, the vote to change our party has been won.

The fight to change our country is just beginning.

So let’s go out and fight for the young people who need a job.

Let’s go out and fight for disabled people paying the bedroom tax today in our country.

Let’s go out and fight for all the low paid workers facing a cost of living crisis.

Let’s go out and fight for those families who need better childcare.

Let’s go out and fight for the small businesses people who need someone on their side.

And let’s go out and fight for the future of our National Health Service.

Above all, let’s go out and fight with every fibre of our being for the future of this country.

It’s in our hands.

We know Britain can be better than this.

Let’s go out and prove it.

Let’s go out and win.