Thanet District Council has today hosted a visit from five members of the House of Lords Select Committee on Regenerating Seaside Towns and Communities.
The cross-party peers are conducting an inquiry into the complex challenges faced by seaside towns and communities and requested a visit to Margate as part of their evidence gathering.
Members of the committee met with senior councillors and officers from the council as well as key partners from the public sector and representatives from the local business community. Their objective was to understand some of the challenges the area faces, including issues around housing as well as examining the effect of regeneration and the role of the visitor economy in generating change.
The visit provided an opportunity for the council to demonstrate the positive impact of a range of ongoing projects including the ‘Live Margate’ Housing Intervention Programme, the Multi-Agency Task Force and Dalby Square regeneration through a tour of key sites in Cliftonville. In addition, visits to Turner Contemporary and Dreamland were held to showcase examples of successful regeneration in the town.
Cllr Bob Bayford, Leader of Thanet District Council said: “We were delighted to host today’s visit. Being able to demonstrate the impact of the work we’re already undertaking and the ongoing challenges we face in the area itself, was a unique and welcomed opportunity.
“The council will be submitting a district-wide response as part of the committee’s call for evidence, as we recognise this is something which affects all of Thanet’s seaside towns.
“Thanet is fortunate that in recent years visitor growth has bucked the national trend, so we have a positive story to tell. That said, we face significant pockets of deprivation and the related challenges that brings – something many seaside resorts experience.
“Although we are working hard to tackle this, there is always more that can be done and I am hopeful that by working together across government and the public, private and voluntary sectors, we can strengthen our approach and continue to thrive as a coastal destination.”
Lord Bassam of Brighton, Chairman of the House of Lords Select Committee on Regenerating Seaside Towns and Communities, said:
“Seaside towns face a range of complex challenges; some are local, while others are common to many coastal areas. We’ve been in Margate to find out what the big challenges are, and to learn more about the work done in recent years to promote the arts and cultural sectors here. The valuable insights we’ve gained today will play an important part in our inquiry.”
The Select Committee was set up earlier this year and has until March 2019 to reach its conclusions and publish a report.