Public speaking at Council meetings

Submit a question for Full Council 11 July 2024.

Please make sure you have read through the guidance below before submitting your question.

A question can also be posted to: the Committee Services Manager, Council Offices, PO Box 9, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent CT10 1XZ

Members of the press and residents of Thanet can ask questions at ordinary meetings of Council; the exceptions being the annual council meeting, the annual budget-setting meeting (usually at the beginning of February) and extraordinary meetings.

A question must be submitted by the person who will ask the question at the Council meeting and not someone else on the questioner’s behalf.  You can submit a question by clicking on the date of the meeting in the table below.

Upcoming meetings and dates by which your questions should be submitted

The Committee Services Manager must receive your question at least five full working days before the date of the meeting. Saturdays and Sundays and bank holidays do not count as ‘working days’.

Date of ordinary meeting of council Time by which your question should be received
Thursday 11th July 2024 5.30, Wednesday 3rd July 2024
Thursday 10th October 2024 5.30, Wednesday 2nd October 2024
Thursday 12th December 2024 5.30, Wednesday 4th December 2024


Further information

Summary of Questions and Responses at the Council meeting of  28 March 2024


Questions from Councillors

Question from Councillor W.Scobie to Cllr Albon 

“Would the Cabinet member please provide an update on planned improvements at Jacky Bakers and the proposed Master Plan for this site?”


Cabinet considered a report about Jackey Bakers at its meeting on 14 December 2023. The report recommended the demolition of the existing Pavillion and the installation of temporary portacabin style changing facilities.

Over the past three months officers had undertaken the design work required to submit a planning application for the installation of the temporary portacabin style changing facilities. In addition officers had also developed the tender documents required for both the demolition work and the new facility installation. The planning application will be submitted early in April 2024, with the tender advertised while the planning application is being considered.

The report also included a draft master plan for future improvements to the facilities at Jackey Bakers, and recommended that the council consult with the community about this before adopting the proposal. The report also advised that the proposals in the draft master plan were, at that stage unfunded.

The adoption of a master plan could however provide an opportunity to bid for further external funding if and when opportunities arise, and to work collaboratively with local and national partners to deliver a long term and ambitious vision for the site.

Since that time the council has agreed a new budget for the financial year 2024/25, including a one-off sum of £50k, to be drawn from reserves, to support sports development in the district. In addition, recent conversations with the Kent Football Association have been positive about funding that could become available via them to increase the work done with local communities and their access to sport and facilities. This includes potential support for pitch improvements at Jackey Bakers for the 2024/25 football season.

Plans are being developed around the use of the £50k funding for sports development, which will provide an opportunity to progress with the public consultation about Jackey Bakers.

Question from Cllr Munns to Cllr Albon

Last year we learned in answer to my question to Council that no FPNs were issued under the Council’s PSPO – only interventions. 

Despite TDC officers’ assurances to me and fellow Councillors, we did not deploy employ warranted officers. 

This season, how many enforcement officers will be patrolling Thanet beaches, and crucially, will they be warranted to issue penalty notices and will senior TDC officers direct them to do so?

TDC has a duty of care to visitors. Last year on Botany Bay beach a child suffered serious burns from a buried disposable BBQ. Issuing fines and publicising the fact would help deter breaches of the PSPO and protect visitors.  

What level of operational cooperation will TDC enforcement officers have with local police? Please outline what, if any, formal process exists between senior TDC officers and Thanet police to ensure cooperation and operational effectiveness and how is this monitored?


Last year the Council employed a team of new coastal enforcement officers who needed to undertake training in order to exercise their delegated authority to enforce. This training was completed in June, and from July onwards they could enforce.  Records are made of interactions between our coastal enforcement officers and beach users. These records indicate that over 500 breaches were prevented last year due to educational interventions. Community Protection Warnings were also issued when required.

This year the council would employ three full time time permanent coastal enforcement officers. The level of resource will be supplemented over the summer season with a further four part time seasonal coastal enforcement officers to maximise coverage during busy periods. New coastal enforcement officers would be trained in May. Coastal enforcement officers will be directed to issue fixed penalty notices where appropriate. Coastal enforcement officers will however continue to take a balanced and proportionate approach to its work with a focus on interaction with members of the public and prevention of behaviour which would otherwise warrant the issuing of fixed penalty notices. The coastal enforcement team is part of an ongoing project with local police teams, working in close partnership with each other. The coastal enforcement team will share daily updates and meet weekly with the local police team to share logs, reports and information to aid partnership working.

It is unacceptable when anyone is hurt on our beaches due to the irresponsible behaviour of a minority of beach users. The PSPO specifically references bonfires and disposable barbecues which are not allowed on our beaches at any time. The council’s website provides guidance for the safe use and removal of barbecues after 6pm.  This guidance will be promoted and highlighted via social media channels ahead of and during the 2024 season

Question from Cllr Rogers to Cllr Albon

“Since my question put to the last full council meeting, I have received many written and verbal complaints regarding the huge waste of public money spent on removing green waste at the Dane Park Depot. I have since found out that officers were concerned about this issue three years ago but were ignored. A local farmer estimated that the cost of disposing 2,200 tonnes of usable compostable material could have cost the council £30,000 not £275,000. My question is are the council considering managing this waste to produce a profitable income stream?”


The accumulated waste at Dane Park Depot was mixed waste, which included soil, green waste, wood and metal. For this reason it could not be removed as green waste only. The waste removal was carried out to ensure compliance with Environment Agency requirements and to protect the local environment.

When this issue was brought to the attention of the council’s Corporate Management Team (CMT) by the Head of Coastal and Public Realm in November 2023, it was progressed with urgency, as described in the report to Cabinet on 25 January 2024.  It makes sense that some officers may have been aware of the accumulation of waste earlier than this but the issue was not brought to the attention of CMT until the later part of 2023.

Moving forward, the exemptions the Council have put in place allow for materials (including wood, metal, plastics, hardcore and green waste) to be separated into material types with different storage areas, and stored at the depot.

The Council is aware of the value of recycling waste from moral, ethical and legislative obligations. The Council’s grass cuttings are ‘grasscycled’ and left to provide a natural fertiliser to grassed areas. Materials will be re-used where they can, such as wood chips being used for paths or borders. Materials that can not be re-used by the service, are recycled wherever possible and the segregation ensures this is maximised.

The Council is looking at all avenues open to it to ensure waste is recycled in the most cost effective, legal and ethical way possible.

Question from Cllr Rattigan to Cllr Duckworth

“Can I please have an update on the winter gardens, how many expression of interests have there been,  are any of these expressions being taken forward to further discussion , if so do we have any target dates.


A detailed update on the Margate Regeneration Programme was considered by Cabinet at its meeting on 29 February 2024 and subsequently by the Overview and Scrutiny Panel. 

A further report about the programme was considered by Cabinet on 14 March 2024, when it was agreed that £4m of the Margate Town Deal funding would be allocated to the Winter Gardens project.

The report provided an update on the marketing campaign and expressions of interest. In particular, the report stated that,

‘The deadline for expressions of interest (EoI) was on 22 February, 2024. By the deadline there was only one EoI, that at this stage had limited information about the finances for the refurbishment of the building, but identified that there would be a need to work closely with the council to help deal with a potential funding gap.’

A second expression of interest has subsequently been received, also recognising the funding gap in the project, linked to its heritage deficit.

The agents, Colliers, also provided further information on other interested parties that had engaged with the marketing process but not submitted an EoI. A financial gap was a recurring theme through their feedback about the Winter Gardens.

Now that the council has agreed to allocate £4m of Town Deal funding to the project, we will be proceeding with stage two of the marketing campaign, and will be seeking more detailed submissions in relation to the proposed refurbishment of the building and the operational arrangements for the venue.  As part of stage 2, the data room will be updated with information about the £4m funding and further open days will be arranged. We expect this stage 2 process to start in April and be completed during May 2024.

Question from Cllr Fellows to Cllr Everitt

Following cabinets full agreement to the recommendations in the Review from Overview and Scrutiny on ‘Collaboration between TDC and Town/Parish councils’; 

Can Cllr Everett confirm when the first Full Parish Forum will take place.?”


Council Officers are currently preparing terms of reference for a new Parish Forum and will be in a position to contact Town and Parish Councils during April 2024, with a view to agreeing a date for an initial meeting in May 2024.

There were eight recommendations in total from the review, all of which Cabinet agreed last autumn. I believe that one of the roles of the new forum should be to oversee and monitor their implementation, but of course that is something for the forum to agree.

Question from Cllr Bambridge to Cllr Albon

“Labour promised to clean the streets but I see litter everywhere. Can you please confirm how many fines have been issued for littering in the past 12 months?”


In order to continue to tackle the problem of litter on our streets the 2024/25 budget includes a growth item enabling the recruitment of six permanent Street Cleansing Operatives. This will complement the core service including the electric ‘walk behind’ sweepers deployed in Margate, Broadstairs, Ramsgate and Cliftonville. The council is also in the process of purchasing two large 7.5 tonne mechanical sweepers which will double the current large sweeper provision.

In recent years the Environmental Education Officer has led some successful campaigns and interventions to educate people on the impacts of littering.  This post is currently vacant but recruitment is being undertaken. 

Enforcement teams investigated 2,881 fly tipping complaints in 2022 and issued 82 penalty notices. The team works hard to tackle waste issues.

Question from Cllr Pugh to Cllr Everitt

“Can the Leader provide an update to councillors on any meetings he has had with Riveroak Strategic Partners in relation to the reopening of Manston Airport?”


A meeting with Tony Freudmann from RSP happened on 20 December 2023, and RSP provided an update on the site. A note of that meeting was provided to all councillors. I also attended a site visit, at the invitation of RSP, on 16 December 2023, along with other councillors and a council officer to talk about RSP’s plans for the site.

It was agreed on 20 December that Mr Freudmann would attend a members’ briefing in the late spring or summer, when the situation had moved on. 

There remain a large number of detailed matters that are still to be determined in relation to the necessary development at the airport.

Tony Freudmann has submitted a document to the council, listing all of the matters that are still to be determined in accordance with the Development Control Order issued by the Government, and officers have already provided some feedback on these issues.

The courts are still working through the legal process in relation to the DCO. The most recent Judicial Review application was initially refused, however the Court of Appeal has now granted permission to appeal on the sole ground of need and we await the outcome of that appeal.

Question from Cllr Towning to Cllr Keen

“Can you confirm how many full time parking enforcement officers are currently employed by the council?”


There are 11 full time equivalent Civil Enforcement Officer posts in the current establishment, with 3 posts currently filled, the council had four cv’s submitted for process in the coming weeks and an ongoing recruitment open with a local agency.

It is common knowledge that these roles are extremely difficult to recruit to and this is a problem faced by local authorities across the country with a number of Kent authorities currently running recruitment campaigns. 

We have an ongoing recruitment campaign and have included a market supplement to encourage applicants. 

We have recruited a number of officers over the last 6 months since my last update regarding this situation, however there remains a high level of staff turnover in this area.

Question from Cllr K. Bright to Cllr Everitt

“I welcome the forthcoming public consultation on the provision of a site and facilities for the Gypsy & Traveller community. This is the right thing to do for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

However – at January’s O&S Panel and subsequent cabinet meeting, the history of the decision making process for choosing this site was unclear. 

Can the leader confirm:

  • Whether any work was done to explore the suitability of land at Shottendane Road for use as a potential Gypsy and Traveller site between June 2021 and May 2023
  • Whether officers and cabinet members visited the site and if so – when
  • Whether the site was then discounted for such use or whether it was considered thereafter as a viable option.”


Work to find a suitable site began in 2019, when a cross-party sub-group of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel considered five possible site options.

In July 2020, Cabinet considered a list of 14 different sites in the district, each of which was scored by officers according to ten different criteria. Shottendane Road was rated the most suitable, against these criteria. This information is publicly available. 

It should be noted that the former Ramsgate Hoverport was included in this process and not deemed a viable location. It was ranked fifth out of five sites considered by a cross-party sub-group of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel  in November 2019 and, 14th out of 14 sites considered in the officer report to Cabinet in July 2020. It was therefore taken out of consideration.

This was on the basis of it being in an obvious flood risk, located next to a nationally protected area of high environmental sensitivity, and consists of hardstanding, unsuitable for children’s play. It also offers limited access to services. 

Following a further report to Cabinet in September 2020 it was decided to bring the matter forward as part of the planned review of the Thanet Local Plan, which has statutory consultation processes, is subject to government inspection, and has the advantage of considering future land use across the district in the round.

A subsequent public “call for sites” in 2021 as part of the Local Plan review process, produced no submissions from landowners for sites for the Gypsy and Traveller community. The Local Plan review has also been delayed, first by uncertainty around the future of Manston airport and then by government changes to national planning policy.

Work continued between 2021 and 2023, under the previous administration, and that the previous cabinet visited a number of sites on 23 May 2022, including both the land at Shottendane Road and a site off of Highfield Road. The previous Cabinet subsequently removed the land at Highfield Road from consideration, when it took a formal decision on 2 March 2023 to transfer this land into the council’s Housing Revenue Account for the delivery of new affordable homes.

Question from Cllr Packman to Cllr Everitt

“I welcome the change made earlier this month by the Cabinet to reallocate £4m to invest in the Winter Gardens and Labour’s commitment to reopening this iconic Margate venue, but I am concerned about a public comment on social media from a Conservative Councillor for Cliftonville that they think the Winter Gardens should be demolished. Would the Leader please reiterate to all members the importance of the Winter Gardens for Thanet and the folly of any calls to demolish it?”


First constructed in 1911, the Winter Gardens is a significant heritage asset and Grade II listed building. It is specifically referenced in a published statement from English Heritage about Margate’s Seaside Heritage.

With much of the original 1911 architecture still intact, the Margate Winter Gardens is one of the finest examples of a seaside concert hall in the UK. Owned by the Council, it has been a vital part of Margate’s year round offer, providing space for concerts, events and community gatherings. It is a valuable asset to the council and the community.

This Cabinet has confirmed its commitment to the project to restore and reopen this much loved venue, with the recent decision to allocate £4m of Town Deal funding to the Winter Gardens. 

Demolition was not an option.

Question from Cllr Davis to Cllr Everitt

“This year is the 75th Anniversary of the Danish government’s gift of the Viking ship Hugin to mark 1500 years following the arrival of Hengist and Horsa at Ebbsfleet. Is Thanet District Council planning to celebrate this in any way, and if not, will it give positive support to Cliffsend Parish Council’s plans to do so?”


Cliffsend Parish Council is being supported by the Technical Support Team in how to put their event on. The Parish Council is currently working on their event plans and the Safety Advisory Group will provide feedback when these are received.

Questions from Members of the Public

From Mr Fisher to Cllr Whitehead:

On March 23rd last year before the Thanet Council Elections, you actively posted on the Helen for Thanet Facebook site that you were against the development of agricultural Land and Farmland.

What has changed and why? You now single mindedly pursuing a farming site and closing off any suggestions from the public, it seems inconsistent do you not think?


The council is required to balance the competing demands of the need to provide homes for local people with the need to protect the natural environment, safeguard the landscape and land for agriculture and, more recently, plan for increases in biodiversity in the district.

These are difficult decisions, not made any easier by the fact that the National Planning Policy Framework fails to provide adequate protection to agricultural land. The NPPF also fails to properly enable effective regional planning that would enable decisions about the country’s housing and infrastructure needs to be made over larger geographical areas, beyond district boundaries. Thanet is a relatively small district, with limited brownfield land options for development to meet the needs of local people.

The leader of the council wrote to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up. Housing And Communities on 11 September 2023, setting out this administration’s position and urging the government to provide greater protection for agricultural land. A letter that I fully support.

In the meantime, the report approved by Cabinet on 25 January 2024, in relation to land at Shottendane Road, confirmed that any, 

‘proposals for the provision of housing on the wider Shottendane Road site could only be considered, following the assessment of all land submitted to the council as part of the ‘Call for Sites’ and the completion of the current review of the Thanet Local Plan.’

The decision to allocate any land for development as part of the Local Plan, is not a matter for me as Cabinet Member for Housing, nor a matter for the Cabinet, but would be determined by Full Council and subsequently by the Planning Inspectorate following public examination. This process ensures that suggestions from the public are comprehensively considered.

From Mr Lane to Cllr Whitehead:


We asked for feedback on the current status of all sites identified in all reviews conducted by all political parties from 2019 to2024. You have evaded this question. Why is that?

We asked for the contamination report for Port, you’d ideally not provide this. I believe there are potential sites at the Port, Highfield Rd the Conservative preferred option and also Dane Park Depot,  it seems like you have single mindedly decided upon Shottendane Rd site as its the “easy option” given its owned by TDC. Therefore you a pursuing a less than transparent agenda without full debate on all potential sites.

Will you now answer the question and confirm the status publically on all sites that have been discussed in previous reviews,& further detail all land that TDC owns that may be considered for a traveller site.


Mr Lane was responded to in writing as he was unable to attend the meeting:

Work to find a suitable site began in 2019, when a cross-party sub-group of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel considered five possible site options.

In July 2020, the Labour Cabinet considered a list of 14 different sites in the district, each of which was scored by officers according to ten different criteria. Shottendane Road was rated the most suitable, against these criteria.

The former Ramsgate Hoverport was included in this process and not deemed a viable location. It was ranked fifth out of five sites considered by a cross-party sub-group of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel  in November 2019 and, 14th out of 14 sites considered in the officer report to Cabinet in July 2020. It was therefore taken out of consideration. 

This was on the basis of it being in an obvious flood risk, located next to a nationally protected area of high environmental sensitivity, and consisting of hardstanding, unsuitable for children’s play. It also offers limited access to services. There have been no recent discussions about using it as a potential site because none of these things has changed since 2020. We have not declined any request for information about contamination issues, but the site was discounted on other grounds anyway. 

In respect of the land off Highfield Road, the Conservative cabinet removed this as a potential option when they took a decision at public cabinet in March 2023 to move the land into the Housing Revenue Account for development as affordable housing. This was a decision Labour supported but it was a strange thing to do if the Conservatives had indeed wanted to use it for gypsies and travellers. This idea wasn’t mentioned at the time, but in any event they took the site off the table.

We will publish a list of the sites considered by the council since 2019 and reasons they have not been pursued as part of the consultation exercise on the Shottendane Road land which will start in May, after the pre-election period.

In the meantime, the work done during the previous Labour administration is already available online in the agendas and minutes of the relevant council meetings.




  • You must give your name and address. Your address will only be used to identify that you are a Thanet resident entitled to ask a question at a council meeting.
  • Your question must not be more than one hundred and fifty words.
  • You must give the name of the Cabinet Member your question is for. To find out which Cabinet Member you should ask, please click on cabinet posts.
  • Please check the summary of questions asked at past meetings via the link below to make sure your question or a similar question has not been asked within the last 6 months.
  • Please view  Speaking at Council meetings – Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
Date of past ordinary meeting of council Questions asked at council meeting
Thursday, 10 December 2020
Thursday, 25 February 2021
Thursday, 25 March 2021
Thursday, 3 June 2021
Thursday, 15 July 2021
Thursday, 9 September 2021
Thursday, 14 October 2021
Wednesday, 12 January  2022
Thursday, 24 February 2022
Thursday, 31 March 2022
Thursday, 14 July 2022
Thursday, 8 September and Thursday 13 October 2022
Thursday, 8 December 2022
Thursday, 23 February 2023


Questions from earlier Council meetings can be found in our archive.



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