Thursday, 3 October 2013


Cllr Clive Hart - TDC Leader


The Centre for Social Justice was established in 2004 to seek effective solutions to poverty that blights parts of Britain.

Those of us representing the most challenging wards here in Thanet walk a ‘tight-rope’ each and every day regarding the problems and issues facing us. On the one hand we do everything we possibly can to promote our area, on the other, we have to face the problems head on and fight for the necessary funding and resources.

I was therefore only too pleased to take part in the recently published Centre for Social Justice report on Seaside Towns. I also commend Cllrs Iris Johnston and Will Scobie for their contributions.

Whilst mentioning Cllr Scobie, can I just quickly take this opportunity to congratulate him on his selection as the Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate for South Thanet.


We continue to work on the aptly named SUCCESS Programme with Hastings and Tendring councils. Indeed, I spoke to our officer who was in Hastings earlier today on the matter. The programme aims to speed things along and encourage growth in the creative and cultural industries in the South East coastal area.

The SUCCESS programme will provide financial support for small and medium creative businesses across Thanet. It will be targeted at creative businesses looking to locate or expand in Thanet, aiming to encourage the growth of this sector and enabling jobs to be created.

Together, we are also fighting the case for coastal areas through the LEP Growth Plan. Housing, worklessness and offshore renewable energy are a core themes we all share.


We continue to work closely with KCC on housing issues here in Thanet. I know there have been some concerns regarding recent demolition of a building on a KCC part of the Live Margate programme raised this evening, but I was delighted to attend the TDC ‘handing over of keys’ for two beautiful 4 bedroom properties in Cliftonville last week.

Our part of the project turned an ugly and problematic 20-30 bed HMO into two family homes and Cllr David Green and all the officers involved should be very proud indeed.

Further funding accessed through the Homes and Communities Agency will create 30 homes in Ramsgate and 15 more properties above local shops will be regenerated.  


We continue to work closely with our neighbouring authorities across East Kent and I’m pleased to say a particularly close working relationship between Thanet and Dover is developing due to our joint Assisted Area Status, economic and geographic connections. The Dover leader and I have put any political differences well aside to work for the benefit of residents across our districts and we also continue to support the Grow For It East Kent campaign.


We’re also building close working relationships with the Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group. We recently welcomed them to the TDC offices where they are now located and in addition to the established full Health and Wellbeing Board meetings we have also planned a series of joint internal discussion sessions. The last full meeting of the board also included a Children’s Summit involving leading local children’s agencies.

On that last point – my best wishes go to all those who will be campaigning outside County Hall for our local Children’s Centre’s across Kent and especially here in Thanet to remain open.


I’d also like to congratulate you yourself Chairman on your wish to focus on our local businesses during your term of office. I was delighted when you asked me to join you on a programme of business visits here in Thanet. As the figurehead of TDC and these visits fall under your civic role, but they 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. 

With just a handful of visits under our belts, we 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.


What a scorcher of a summer it's been. The island came alive with summer events.

Among other events, in our main towns we had carnivals, a Lark in the Park, a Soul Weekend, a Water Gala, a Vintage Fair, a Summer Squall, Broadstairs Folk Week, Ramsgate Week and Margate Masters.

In villages and parks, in gardens and community centres, and on different bandstands and stages across Thanet where numerous summer fairs, fetes and parties were also staged by local resident, voluntary and community groups.

It's a huge privilege and an honour to be the District Leader and often this summer I've been delighted to accept thanks on behalf of the council and its staff for help and assistance with many local events.

I know TDC may not be directly involved with every single event but I simply have to mention three of my TDC Cabinet Members - Cllrs Iris Johnston, Alan Poole and Rick Everitt who worked so hard to find funding to support local groups, drive events forward and tidy up our district afterwards.


Last week I attended the KIACC public meeting where the usual frank discussion took place. Some interesting, if often-conflicting views of local residents were voiced.

Earlier in the summer I was delighted to attend the arrival of the A380 Airbus which was quite incredible to witness.

We continue to support the airport through our environmental services with staffing the airports designated port of entry requirements.

And a little surprisingly, through the Thanet Regeneration Board, I was interested to learn at our last meeting that the MP for South Thanet also has serious reservations regarding the KCC proposed Parkway Station – as the minutes will confirm.

On a personal note I also told the public KIACC meeting last week how my wife and I spent a wonderful weekend in Amsterdam recently, flying from Manston. The journey was effortless and for a change we returned home from a holiday totally relaxed and stress free due to the virtual lack of travelling time. Indeed, coming home we left Amsterdam at 8.30pm and arrived home at 8.15pm – now that’s what I call service!

Whilst on the airport:


Following the news that the airport working party has been ‘stood down’ the Labour group felt we needed to find some new way to monitor activities at Manston Airport.

I therefore announce my intention to form a Cabinet Advisory Group to cover such matters.

The CAG will consider and assess the environmental impacts arising from the development of Kent International Airport in terms of noise, air quality and traffic management and the impact on protected habitats and how any adverse impacts can be mitigated.

It will consider and recommend to Cabinet how the Council should respond to any current or future airport operators night time flying proposals.

The CAG will keep under review the Section 106 Agreement regulating Kent International Airport and recommend to Cabinet any amendments to the Agreement considered necessary or desirable as a result of the future development and expansion of the airport.

I’d like to thank Cllr Michelle Fenner for her sterling work on this matter and I will shortly contact the Leader of the Opposition for his nomination.


I am making the following changes within Cabinet portfolios

As from today:

Enforcement Services (environment and parking - not planning) will move to the Operational Services portfolio.

Property Services will move to the Finance portfolio.

Environmental Health, Licensing and Land Charges will move to the Community Services portfolio.

In this regard, I’d like to thank my Cabinet colleagues for the smooth transition they’ve been working towards, behind the scenes.


I’d like to thank all the council’s staff who are working so hard in increasingly difficult circumstances in relation to resources.

Lastly, I would usually be annoyed when a councillor doesn’t get to a full council meeting but in light of recent news I’d like to send our very best wishes to Cllr Kim Gibson and I sincerely hope she is having a truly wonderful time!

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