Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Laura Sandys: Are you serious about splitting Margate in half?

From Michelle Fenner and Alan Poole.

At the Boundary Review Commission meeting in Maidstone last week we were astonished to hear the MP for South Thanet speak enthusiastically about the strong links between Little Stour and Ashstone and Ramsgate and that it would be perfectly acceptable to exclude Salmestone from the new Margate and Ramsgate constituency, and not to include either Garlinge or Westbrook!

Can you imagine the new Margate Constituency without the QEQM? Without Margate train station? Without Margate Football Club? Without Margate Cricket Club? Without Hartsdown Technology College? Even without the Margate cemetery and Thanet crematorium?
No doubt Ms. Sandys was being very selective about what she calls ‘community links’.

What is shocking is that our current MP for South Thanet does not seem to want to represent the whole community of Margate and yet is prepared to get rid of significant areas of it in favour of Sandwich, Little Stour and Ashstone.

The Margate community is closely-knit and must not be split. We strongly urge residents to write to:
The Boundary Commission:
35 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BQTelephone: 020 7276 1102
Email address for representations: 

supporting the inclusion of the Margate Wards of Westbrook and Garlinge and keeping Salmestone in the proposed new constituency of Margate & Ramsgate as they form an integral part of Margate and Thanet.


  1. I am appalled that Laura Sandys should propose these changes and have emailed the Boundary Commission to protest
    To me it shows a lack of respect and lack of local knowledge that anyone should propose that Margate is split in half
    This must not happen

  2. Doubt Miss Sandys is as 'passionate' about Salmestone, Garlinge or Westbrook as she seems to be about Little Stour and Ashstone. Wonder why or could it be merely that the residents of Little Stour etc are more likely to be voting for her than the good folk of Garlinge, Salmestone and Westbrook.

    Is there any truth in the rumour she may be wanting to follow Roger Gale and stand instead in the new Herne Bay seat, surely a safer bet for her than Margate and Ramsgate constituency?

  3. Surely Margate, leastways the one I recall from childhood, includes Cliftonville yet that is already split in the existing South and North Thanet constituencies. Furthermore, as a Broadstairs resident I oppose the name, Margate & Ramsgate constituency, considering my home town equally important, particularly historically. What is wrong with South Thanet as a name.

    On Miss Sandys' possible reasons for preferring Little Stour and Ashstone could it not be equally argued that a Labour candidate might prefer to include Salmestone and Garlinge. Each side is hoping to stack the odds in their favour.

  4. The Labour party of course has factored these things into it. However when making these decisions you also have to look at the local area and the links between communities. Mrs Sandys doesn't appear to have done this and has instead barrelled in with a political calculation and not thought about the ramifications.

    Also just because Margate is currently awkwardly split is no argument to justify an even more awkward division. I don't agree with the current split, and nor do I agree with what Mrs Sandys has proposed either.

    I agree with you that the name does not properly en-capture the nature of the new constituency because Broadstairs is one of the three main towns. Thanet towns would be a good choice or variations around this.

  5. Anonymous 19.03, Cliftonville isn't split between Thanet North and South and has, in fact,all been in the current S. Thanet constituency since 2010.

    Including these two TDC wards undoubtedly gave Ms. Sandys an advantage in the general election so I am sure having the area around Wingham and Ash would ensure her parliamentary seat is safe next time round.

  6. Cllr. Scobie, agree Thanet towns would placate a certain anger in Broadstairs though might not satisfy the residents of Sandwich.

    8:44 Cliftonville has been split for years and only the east part came into Thanet South for 2010, leaving part of the western side in Thanet north. And, yes, there would be electoral advantages to the Conservatives to include Wingham and Ash as there would be to Labour to exclude them.

    Hopefully it is a matter for the boundaries commission and not political parties.

  7. Anonymous 10.19, I was referring to the two Cliftonville wards, East and West are now in S. Thanet although I suppose geographically it all depends where you consider Cliftonville starts and ends.