Sunday, 29 September 2013


Cllr Clive Hart - TDC Leader.

Historically, council chairman often have their own individual styles and whilst carrying out their general duties they sometimes find different ways to focus on the things they feel really matter. The current TDC Chairman Cllr Kay Dark is no exception. Indeed, she is a good friend and colleague who not only controls fierce debate in the chamber, but also works tirelessly on her civic role for the council representing us across a very wide spectrum.

One matter in particular that Cllr Dark wishes to focus on during her term as chairman is our local businesses. I was therefore delighted when Kay asked me to join her on a programme of business visits here in Thanet. The chairman is the figurehead of TDC and these visits fall under her civic role, but the visits are also very much in line with my role as cabinet member for economic development and although the programme is in its early stages it is proving to be extremely useful in fully understanding the diverse nature of business across our island. I thought my former career as a craftsman in electricity supply had taken me to almost every kind of working environment in East Kent but there truly is always something new to see and experience first hand. 

With just a handful of visits under our belts, Kay and I have already witnessed local companies employing large numbers of local people, creating diverse products for clients all over the world. We've seen some incredibly complexed machinery and 'state of the art' technology being used by local people here in Thanet to keep our businesses ahead of some very fast changing worldwide sectors. We've seen product designers working to keep their companies out in front of fierce international competition and we've met local businessman and company directors who have expanded their businesses over many decades despite some incredibly difficult periods. These companies are winning major contracts, often against wealthier and more powerful international competitors and keeping local people here in Thanet employed.

Last week, the Chairman and I were also present when another vibrant local company opened their new facility at Manston that is now working extremely closely with a leading international aircraft manufacturer. Both the showroom building and the surrounding skies were full of helicopters and as they flew in and out of the event I was pleased to see they passed over new industrial units being built at Manston Business Park.

Our coastline is second to none, our villages are lovely, our towns each have their own distinctive character. Most importantly, against all the odds, Thanet is well and truly taking off - onwards and upwards!

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