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Conservative Manifesto  
Printed & Promoted by Lynne Conolly on behalf of South Thanet Conservative Association, 16a Grange Road, Ramsgate, Kent CT11 9LR
& Jennie Edwards of North Thanet Conservative Association, 215a Canterbury Road, Birchington CT7 9AH, on behalf of all Conservative
Candidates for Thanet District Council. Printed by Martell Press 205 Northdown Road, Cliftonville, Margate, Kent, CT9 2PQ.
5th MAY 2011
Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Page 2 of 36
4.1 Shaping Place
4.1.1 Waste and Recycling
4.1.2 Street Care and Cleaning
4.1.3 Environmental Action Programme
4.1.4 Street Lights
4.1.5 Planning Regulations that affect local neighbourhoods
4.1.6 Specific Shaping Place Policy Commitments Waste & Recycling Street Cleaning Beaches, parks and open spaces Appearance of the local environment Planning Policy Additional Key Projects
4.2 Supporting People
4.2.1 Decent Housing Housing Strategy Strategic Priorities Homelessness Council Housing Choice Based Lettings Empty Property Initiative Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) Enforcement action Shared Ownership Private Sector Housing Strategy Margate Taskforce Introduction West Cliftonville Renewal Area Selective Licensing Scheme Provision of Quality Homes Specific Decent Housing Policy Commitments Providing housing opportunities and choice for the residents of
Thanet Improving poor housing conditions Maintaining the standard of housing conditions
4.2.2 Care and housing for the elderly
Page 3 of 36 Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Keeping us active and young at heart Employment Mobility Housing Keeping Active Information Accessibility
4.2.3 Crime, anti-social behaviour and fear of crime Thanet Community Safety Partnership Anti-social behaviour Community Pastors and the SOS Trailer Domestic violence Vehicle crime
4.2.4 Facilities for Sport, Leisure and Culture Sports Development Council Swimming Pools Margate Football Club
4.2.5 Specific Supporting People Policy Commitments Reduce crime, anti-social behaviour and fear of crime in Thanet Keeping clean neighbourhoods through strong enforcement Improving the health of people in Thanet Facilities for the community Margate Task Force Specific Leisure, Culture and Sport Policy Commitments Additional key projects
4.3 Promoting Prosperity
4.3.1Inward investment Resources and partnership working Marketing Thanet
4.3.2 Skills Base
4.3.3 Business Friendly and Green Thanet
4.3.4 Using our cultural and maritime heritage, and environmental tourism
4.3.5 Pfizers site actions
4.3.6 Recognising small business and Fairtrade
4.3.7 Regeneration Westwood Cross and the effect on High Streets Regeneration of Margate Dreamland The Turner Contemporary, Margate Old Town and High Street
Shopping Continued Regeneration of Ramsgate Broadstairs Manston Airport Opportunities afforded by the High Speed Rail Link and Olympic Games
4.3.8 Specific Economic Prosperity Policy Commitments Transport Links and Infrastructure Employment and Employment Sites Attracting Investment Visitor Strategy Ramsgate Port and Marina Broadstairs and Margate Harbours
Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Page 4 of 36 Margate Regeneration
4.4 Good Performance
4.4.1 The Council’s Resource Position
4.4.2 Customer Service Standards
4.4.3 Public Consultation
4.4.4 Specific Policy Commitments for building a modern organisation Budget needs Saving money by sharing services Technology and information Achievement / performance Value for money Organisational structure change programme Additional key projects
Page 5 of 36 Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011
This briefing document outlines the policies of the Conservative Group at Thanet District Council for
the elections of May 2011.
As Conservatives, we know that the profligacy, wastefulness and irresponsibility of the previous
Labour government have severely affected the hopes, plans and expectations of many people in
our country.
But your Conservative Council has always understood that, like every sensible family or business,
we should only spend what we can afford and invest in schemes that can truly give opportunity to
create prosperity for the future. We have tried to achieve this in the past 4 years for the inhabitants
of the 3 towns and 6 villages whom we serve, and we have worked hard with partners to find
innovative ways to fund projects that enhance the quality of life of residents.
We predicted that the government would need to implement spending cuts and started to plan as
early as June last year, in order that harsh grant reductions would not impact on our front-line
services. We put in train a bold re-organisation of TDC's corporate management team to deliver
savings in excess of ?1 million per annum, which has helped us to deliver a balanced budget for
2011/12. We already have plans to deal with the further grant reductions that we know will hit us in
the following year.
Here in Thanet, where some areas have suffered from the twin handicaps of high unemployment
and severe deprivation for a generation, we are confident that we have completed a number of big
projects that will have positive benefits for our communities, and are in the advanced planning
stages of others that will be completed within the next 2 years.
This document sets out how we will achieve our goal of continuing to deliver excellent services
which are sustainable in the current economic climate and which represent good value for money
over the coming 4 years.
We have listened carefully to the views of many and recognise the often different needs of everyone
in Thanet. As a result, we have balanced the importance of delivering a strong and achievable
vision for the future with the underlying financial prudence which council tax payers demand of us.
We believe that Thanet is now ready to take its place in Kent as a location of real opportunity and
potential, where business can invest with confidence, and where visitors from both the UK and
abroad can enjoy our remarkable beaches and other attractions.
We hope that you will work with us to deliver our aspiration to improve the lives of everyone who
lives, works or visits our beautiful and unique coastline, towns or villages in the knowledge that as
the Conservative Party we are Steady Hands in Difficult Times.
Cllr. Bob Bayford
Leader of the Conservative Group at TDC
Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Page 6 of 36
Our key objectives include:
Shaping Place: Keeping Thanet Beautiful by making our streets and environment clean, green
and a healthy place to be.
Supporting People: Working together to make Thanet safe and to improve the quality of life for
Promoting Prosperity: Attracting sustainable employment, especially by supporting tourism
and the green economy.
Good Performance: Delivering services we are proud of that make a difference and provide
value for money.
Page 7 of 36 Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011
Listen to your concerns.
Consult with you to understand your priorities.
Improve the performance of each Council service.
Continually monitor our progress in line with your priorities.
Keep the cost of councillors and senior Council staff to a minimum, so that your money goes
on services, not management.
Combine services with other councils and authorities, where this is sensible, to make
Identify and realise surplus capital assets, to reinvest in the community.
Work with key partners to provide better facilities and services.
Secure the maximum benefits from opportunities created by the Turner Contemporary
project, the Fast Rail Link, Wind Farm operations and the 2012 London Olympics.
Focus on finding and securing the maximum available grants and funding.
Ensure the effective implementation of all the Council’s statutory responsibilities.
Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Page 8 of 36
4.2 Shaping Place
4.1.1 Waste and Recycling
We know that good waste collection services and the cleanliness of our streets are some of the
highest priorities for you. That is why the Conservative Council took back in-house the formerly
contracted Waste, Recycling and Street Cleansing services which were previously delivered by a
We have increased the number of homes in Thanet receiving a wheeled bin service from 25,000
four years ago to 50,000 homes today, and are introducing seagull-proof bags in areas where
wheelie bins are not an appropriate option.
Our future plans include measures to improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of waste collection
services, and as we promised we have reviewed the options for reintroducing a weekly collection for
food waste. We are committed to introducing this within a 2 year timescale. We will retain the 2-
weekly collection of recyclables, to which glass and metal will be added to the list of recyclable
material collected.
Your Conservative Council recognises that whilst waste cannot be eliminated, we can reduce the
environmental impact and make more use of the waste that is collected.
4.1.2 Street Care and Cleaning
Your Conservative Council insists that managers, supervisors and street cleaners work really hard
to keep the District as clean and litter free as possible. We are one of only 2 Councils in the country
to spend more on street cleaning than we do on waste collection and picking up litter and sweeping
town centre streets, roads and public open spaces regularly will remain a high priority. We are also
keen that the entrance and exit roads on major routes in and out of Thanet are kept litter-free on a
daily basis, and have created a small team to make this happen.
In the past year we have increased collection times of black bags in town centres and other
sensitive areas until 7.30 pm between April and October to reduce the risk of unsightly spilled waste
caused by seagulls, and have reinforced to all the Environment Services team the importance of
clean streets for the well-being of residents.
To this end, all operatives will carry a card stating the “Golden Rules” to be followed, and
supervisors must ensure all their staff understand and adhere to these.
We will support the introduction of legislation (in the Localism Bill) which will allow councils to take
action against the registered keeper of a vehicle from which rubbish is thrown if the offender can’t
be identified. This change would bring fines for littering from a vehicle in line with speeding and flytipping.
Your Conservative Council is supporting the Council’s Environmental Health Officers and
Community Safety Wardens to rigorously apply a zero tolerance policy and prosecute all litter and
fly-tipping offences, and will continue to measure their performance on a monthly basis.
Page 9 of 36 Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011
4.1.3 Environmental Action Programme
Your Conservative Council believes that improving the appearance of our towns and villages can
help to restore pride in our District and we have created a team whose sole purpose is to deliver
improvements that are visible to all who live here or visit.
Although financial circumstances are difficult at the present time your Conservative Council believes
that spending money on visual enhancements is an investment in our present and future, not a cost.
We are committed to placing more floral displays and public art in busy areas, and improving
the visual appeal of our streets and public areas. We will continue to add to the quality of public
spaces by increasing resources to the Environmental Action Programme by every available means.
We do this because we believe that flowers and features such as public art add colour and humour
to the townscape, and become a talking point that adds interest for residents and visitors. They
contribute to the setting in which they are placed, and contribute to a sense of place by reinforcing
existing themes and character. In essence, they add value by:
- Enhancing the physical environment.
- Creating a sense of place and distinctiveness.
- Contributing to community cohesion.
- Contributing to social health and wellbeing.
- Contributing to economic value through inward investment and tourism.
- Fostering civic pride and confidence.
- Reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.
- Raising quality of life.
4.1.4 Street Lights
Your Conservative Council gives high priority to street lighting and works with KCC to ensure the
required standards are met.
We understand that decorative lighting schemes add value to the night environment in appropriate
locations and will secure investment for these wherever possible.
4.1.5 Planning Regulations that affect local neighbourhoods
Through its ‘Localism’ Bill, the Coalition Government is passing more responsibility back to local
councils and local people for decisions that impact their lives. This gives renewed and welcome
opportunity for greater consultation and influence on matters surrounding neighbourhood planning
Through neighbourhood plans, everyone can have a say on how they want their local area to look
and grow. No longer will people be powerless in planning decisions. Through a Neighbourhood
Plan, communities can develop a strategy to shape the future of their local area. The vision can be
as specific or simple as desired. It might specify a need for more family homes; it might protect
residents’ favourite green spaces, or outline the need for new cycle paths.
Moving quickly to react to changes in the laws governing local developments and concerns over
housing types and density, your Conservative Council has introduced a new, Thanet-wide policy
Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Page 10 of 36
that favours the building of family homes over flats and seeks to resist the introduction of further
single-bed accommodation where local authority powers are available.
Your Conservative Council has this year introduced its first Selective Licensing policy in Cliftonville
West and parts of Margate Central, with the objective of reducing crime and anti-social behaviour
and improving the quality of life and accommodation for local people in privately rented properties in
this first target area of the island.
We recognise that local people want family homes with sufficient parking spaces and gardens for
children to play in, and while legislation from the previous Labour Government still exists, which
continues to make it difficult and expensive to challenge unsightly and unwanted planning
applications, we now look forward to having greater flexibility in seeking to protect gardens and
other pieces of private land from inappropriate local development.
Your Conservative Council will continue to support national campaigns to protect the character of
England’s neighbourhoods, to give you a greater say and to ensure we build the greener and more
energy-efficient homes that you want to live in.
4.1.6 Specific Shaping Place Policy Commitments
The specific policy commitments of your Conservative Council include: Waste & Recycling
- Delivering cost effective Works Services (includes Street Cleansing, Waste and Recycling and
Grounds Maintenance).
- Collecting household waste in the period between Xmas and New Year.
- Transfering grounds maintenance highways service to KCC.
- Rationalisation of working patterns to reduce costs.
- Developing a customer focussed improvement programme within the waste workforces.
- Development of plans for joint working with Canterbury City Council.
- Completing the wheelie bin project for households where these are practical (currently at 50,000
- Introducing sea-gull proof bags or other suitable waste collection system for households that are
not suitable for wheelie bins.
- Introducing a weekly food waste collection for all households.
- Adding glass and metal to the fortnightly collection of recyclables.
- Encouraging more residents to compost their green waste, or to send it for recycling if they
prefer. Street Cleaning
- Reducing further the level of litter on the streets.
- Reducing the level of graffiti.
- Reducing the level of fly-tipping.
- Developing a customer focussed improvement programme within the cleansing workforces.
- Improving public satisfaction with street cleaning.
- Improving public satisfaction with street scene.
- Targeting more budget into the three town centres and approach roads.
- Using Neighbourhood Wardens to report dumped rubbish and fly-tipping to the Hit Squad.
Page 11 of 36 Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Beaches, parks and open spaces
- Giving priority to the cleanliness of beaches, parks and open spaces during/after events and
busy holiday periods.
- Increasing resident participation in the maintenance of parks and open spaces, including
cemeteries and churchyards.
- Submitting a ‘Parks for People’ bid for ?5million (Heritage Lottery Fund). Appearance of the local environment
- Maintaining resources to the EAP.
- Increasing public satisfaction with the quality of flowers and public art. Planning Policy
- Supporting resident groups whenever building development threatens to change the nature of
local communities, wherever possible.
- Developing a new housing strategy for the district.
- Enabling the delivery of 65 affordable homes in the district.
- Completing the Local Development Framework Core Strategy.
- Providing public access to the local land charges register. Additional Key Projects
- Running a project to sample local oyster beds in conjunction with Cefas to help replenish
infected oyster stocks in Europe, by transfer and re-bedding.
Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Page 12 of 36
4.2 Supporting People
4.2.1 Decent Housing
The quality of our housing contributes to the quality of our lives. Your Conservative Council is
committed to delivering the best possible housing solutions that will improve the quality of life for all
those living in Thanet. Housing Strategy
After extensive consultation with tenants and leaseholders during summer 2010, and approval by
the Tenant Services Authority earlier this year, Thanet District Council has agreed to set up what’s
known as an “arms length management organisation” (ALMO) to administer its housing stock in
future years. The new organisation will be called East Kent Housing, and it will be managed jointly
with three other East Kent councils, Canterbury, Dover and Shepway.
Thanet District Council will remain the owner and legal landlord of the council housing stock in
Thanet and tenants and leaseholders’ rights and responsibilities will be unchanged. East Kent
Housing will manage and maintain council homes across the four council areas and will have to
achieve standards set by each council.
The creation of East Kent Housing is part of an ongoing project to share services in East Kent to
provide the best value for money to the taxpayer and make the best possible use of the councils’
resources and staff expertise. Strategic Priorities
The key priorities of the new strategy are to involve tenants and leaseholders in the planned
improvements for their housing service.
East Kent Housing will be run by a Board made up of four tenants or leaseholders, four councillors
who represent the four council areas and four local independent people. They will oversee the day
to day running and management of the organisation. The council’s current housing staff will transfer
to East Kent Housing and the usual contact details for them and repair contractors will remain the
same in the new organisation.
East Kent Housing will be responsible for:
- Looking after council estates, including managing grass cutting, gardening contracts,,
cleaning and maintenance of communal areas.
- Managing improvements to tenants’ homes.
- Collecting rent and helping tenants who are having difficulty in paying.
- Making sure that tenants stick to their tenancy agreements.
- Involving and communicating with tenants, including producing newsletters, leaflets and
supporting community groups and activities.
- Working with the police, the council and other agencies to reduce anti-social behaviour.
- Re-letting empty properties, approving mutual exchanges and changes to tenancies.
- Running sheltered housing schemes and organising adaptations to homes of tenants with
- Working with RSL’s in joint management of our mixed estates.
Page 13 of 36 Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Homelessness
The Homelessness Act 2002 placed a statutory duty on all local authorities to publish their first
homelessness strategy, based on a full review of homelessness in their area. The Act also requires
that, following a further review of homelessness, these strategies are regularly updated.
The four East Kent authorities of Canterbury, Dover, Shepway and Thanet have each published
individual homelessness strategies and have a strong track record in joint working with other
agencies and service users, to tackle homelessness across East Kent.
Although a considerable amount has been achieved, homelessness remains a significant problem
in East Kent. Increasing house prices and high rents exclude many households from the private
sector, and the supply of new affordable homes has so far been outstripped by sales of existing
Council accommodation under the Right to Buy.
Your Conservative Council will continue to work with neighbour authorities and partners to support
the homeless as a priority. Council Housing
Thanet council owns over 3100 properties for rent, and housing associations and others have
around 4100 more in Thanet.
Vacant properties are allocated to people on the TDC housing waiting list.
Anyone can apply for Council housing but only ‘qualifying persons’ are eligible to join the housing
list. A qualifying person is anybody aged over 16 years old, whose current home is their only home,
or sole residence, who does not have access to a home elsewhere and who is not already on the
housing list either on their own or with somebody else.
Under section 160A(1) and (3), and 185(2) of the Housing Act 1996 a person from abroad who is
subject to immigration control cannot be allocated social housing and is ineligible for housing
assistance, unless s/he falls within certain regulations made by the Secretary of State.
Your Conservative Council will investigate policy options to ensure that only long term residents of
Thanet will be allocated houses from TDC housing stock.
In making a decision about whether a person is unsuitable as a Council tenant, the Council will
consider all the circumstances but will particularly take the following into account:
- Rent arrears.
- Breach of tenancy agreement.
- Nuisance or annoyance to neighbours.
- Conviction of using for immoral or illegal purpose.
- Damage or neglect.
- Conviction for arrestable offence committed in the locality.
- Domestic violence causing other to leave.
- False statement to induce grant of tenancy.
- Premium paid for assignment.
- Tied accommodation when dismissed for misconduct.
Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Page 14 of 36 Choice Based Lettings
In July 2008, your Conservative Council adopted a choice based lettings scheme called Kent
Homechoice. This gives people on the housing waiting list greater choice over where they want to
Choice Based Lettings is a new approach to letting homes which will make lettings arrangements
more transparent and give prospective tenants more control over the lettings process.
Rather than homes being allocated by the council, choice based lettings allow tenants and
prospective tenants to bid for the available properties they are interested in. Available homes are
advertised every two weeks, which will allow applicants to see what Council or housing association
housing is available, and enable them to play a greater role in the process of selecting their home.
While creating greater choice for people seeking re-housing, choice based lettings encourages
people to take greater responsibility for their future housing. It helps people who are unlikely to get
into social housing to consider other options to meet their housing requirements. Empty Property Initiative
Empty properties have an effect on the community as a whole resulting in social, economic and
environmental costs to local neighbourhoods. The aims of the strategy are to:
- Return previously empty properties and derelict land back into productive use.
- Discourage crime and anti-social behaviour, vandalism and fly-tipping.
- Increase the available housing supply.
- Reduce the loss of housing and business space for the area.
- Enhance the whole community, making neighbourhoods safer.
There are currently over 3000 empty properties across Thanet. These include both residential and
commercial properties.
The Empty Property Strategy is a range of initiatives aimed at bringing empty property across the
district back into use. Owners of empty property can contact the Council for advice on the options
available to bring empty property back into use, and concerned neighbours can report empty
There are a number of ways that this initiative can help owners of empty properties. Advice and
Information will be given on a range of subjects with regard to letting a property such as:
- Tenancy agreements.
- Health and safety requirements in properties.
- How to find a tenant.
- Details of the local Landlords’ Forum.
- Conservation areas, listed status of buildings and planning applications.
Your Conservative Council will bring back into use 60 empty private sector homes a year. Registered Social Landlords (RSLs)
Registered Social Landlords (or housing associations) manage a number of properties in the
district. Some RSLs are able to carry out developmental work to refurbish existing properties, or
build new.
Page 15 of 36 Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011
Your Conservative Council will refer developers to RSLs and other major house builders, to enable
partnership working across the district, and will particularly encourage the construction of homes to
be sold as part of a shared equity scheme wherever this is appropriate. Enforcement action
Where negotiations with an owner have been exhausted, the Authority has powers to take
enforcement action against an owner to carry out repair works. As a last resort, a Compulsory
Purchase Order may be issued, particularly if the property has fallen into serious disrepair.
Your Conservative Council will vigorously pursue every opportunity to force the owners of empty
properties, particularly those which are an eye sore, and which have fallen into disrepair, to fulfil
their obligations to the local community by bringing their property back into use.
If the above does not take place within a suitable timescale, your Conservative Council will
investigate the use of a Compulsory Purchase Order to take control of the property, and then work
with developers to bring the property back into use. Shared Ownership
Open Market HomeBuy is a Government-backed scheme which helps people to buy a home on the
open market by allowing access to additional money in the form of equity loans to supplement a
The main groups of people to be helped by the scheme will be:
- Key public sector workers.
- Existing tenants of housing associations and local councils.
- Those on housing waiting lists for social rented housing who are nominated by the local
council as being in housing need.
- Some other priority first time buyers, including people serving the community or making a
direct contribution to the economy as determined by Regional Housing Boards. Private Sector Housing Strategy
Housing within the private sector in Thanet has acute problems in common with a number of
deprived coastal towns across the country. It has a large private rented sector and poor housing
conditions, which are closely linked to levels of deprivation.
Your Conservative Council will continue to make improving the quality of the District’s private sector
housing stock a priority so that our objective to deliver ‘decent quality housing’ for all of Thanet’s
residents becomes a reality.
The main driving forces behind our strategy are:
- Improving the quality of housing in the rented sector and assisting owner-occupiers in
releasing the potential within their own homes.
- Tackling fuel poverty linked to high levels of deprivation and low incomes in Thanet.
- Re-balancing the housing market within key areas such as the renewal area to create more
sustainable neighbourhoods and communities.
Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Page 16 of 36
It is now well documented that poor housing conditions can have an adverse effect on the health,
safety and welfare of the occupants. Therefore, this strategy reflects policies relating not only to
housing conditions but also health and welfare issues at a national, regional and local level, whilst
contributing to the Council’s wider Housing Strategy. Margate Taskforce Introduction
A new initiative, the Margate Taskforce, was introduced by TDC in 2010 to tackle the
longstanding difficulties faced by the communities of Central Margate and West Cliftonville.
The initiative supports the work already underway in the West Cliftonville Renewal Area with
the goal to develop a multi-agency action plan and a fully operational multi-agency Task
Force team. Key principles include an ‘invest to save’ approach focused on prevention,
better use of resources and customised multi-agency services.
The vision is to transform and regenerate Margate Central and Cliftonville West - an area of
high deprivation and dependency with totally disproportionate public costs on a small
number of people in disadvantaged communities - into a flourishing coastal town with a
strong identity, sense of community and independence. Statistics show that people living in
these deprived wards have a shorter life expectancy than those living in more prosperous
areas. We want to reverse that trend.
The proposition challenges public policy of both local and central government and
fundamentally alters the way in which public services will be targeted within the proposed
Special Intervention Area. It also creates a strategic housing vehicle to drive forward the
radical changes necessary. Community engagement is central to the vision and approach.
A key element of the housing regulation is the need to integrate this with other enforcement
and regulatory activities undertaken by the council including, Environmental Health,
Community Safety, and Planning.
The Margate Task Force initiative is without precedent in Kent and, possibly, nationally. Your
Conservative Council, with partners, is intent on turning around the fortunes of the areas
concerned and will, as a priority, continue to support with every means available the objectives of
the initiative.
Specific actions will include:
- Implementing a designated ‘Special Intervention Area’ (SIA).
- Reducing placements of vulnerable people by implementing a 20 mile rule, cost
transferal and Inspectorate mark-down system for serial placing authorities, whilst
ensuring we develop policy sensitive to issues of displacement.
- Regulating the Private Rented Sector by implementing a Landlord Accreditation Scheme,
funded through % of Housing Benefit, and penalty reduction in Housing Benefit to
landlords for low standards.
- Establishing fast-track Compulsory Purchase Order procedures.
- Establishing new method of intervention to take control of housing in the Selective
Intervention Area.
Page 17 of 36 Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011
- Pooling resources and responsibilities to achieve single access point, assessment,
transfer administration of Jobcentre Plus to TDC/Gateway through a devolved
governance structure.
- Simplifying the raising of extra Business Rates (NNDR)/Council Tax and enabling
KCC/TDC to retain more NNDR gained from SIA for re-circulation in SIA.
- Securing government endorsement for the unique info-sharing agreement.
- Empowering local government to monitor SIA and direct public sector expenditure as
appropriate. West Cliftonville Renewal Area
A Renewal Area is an area identified as having poor housing conditions, coupled with social
and environment needs. The Renewal Area process works as a partnership in which the
Council and partner agencies work with the local community, landlords and businesses to
support them in improving and maintaining their property, whilst working to improve the
infrastructure and environment of a local area.
The key objectives of the Cliftonville West Renewal Area are to:
- Work with property owners to encourage them to improve and maintain the standards of
their properties.
- Work with landlords and property owners to ensure that there is an improvement of
housing standards in the private rented sector.
- Get previously empty properties and derelict land back into use.
- Improve general amenities in the area, through social and environment improvements.
- Encourage all residents to participate and take pride in the area and towards their
- Encourage employment opportunities and economic prosperity. Selective Licensing Scheme
Your Conservative Council carried out a consultation in the latter part of 2010 to gather the
views of local people on a proposal to introduce a “selective” licensing scheme to parts of
Margate Central and Cliftonville West.
The scheme proposed that landlords would have to apply for a license for every privately
rented flat, house or room in order to continue to operate in the area. Landlords would also
then have to comply with various conditions on the license, relating to the management of
the property, fire safety and anti-social behaviour.
The scheme has been devised to deliver a number of long term and short term objectives
and when implemented in other areas there is evidence to indicate that there has been a
reduction in levels of anti- social behaviour, improved management and property condition,
an increase in market values for property, and a change to the tenure mix of the area.
All of the above are considered desirable for West Cliftonville and Central Margate and in
order to help achieve these aims your Conservative Council will introduce a tenant referral
scheme to assist landlords in finding appropriate tenants and to assist tenants in finding
suitable housing. We will also provide an advice service for landlords and tenants to prevent
the need for eviction, and there will be support for landlords in dealing with anti-social
Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Page 18 of 36
These will all be delivered in partnership across services such as Housing Options, Margate
Task Force and the council’s Community Safety and Enforcement Service. Once the
scheme becomes operative further work will be carried out to look at other services and
schemes that should be delivered to support selective licensing.
Given the importance of West Cliftonville renewal in the overall regeneration and future
prosperity of Margate, your Conservative Council will continue to form a high level committee
to ensure that the aims of the Renewal Area are being achieved. Provision of Quality Homes
Opportunities arising from reduced commuter times to London and Ashford, our attractive natural
environment and improving facilities mean that Thanet is likely to soon become a location of choice
for the upwardly mobile. Your Conservative Council recognises the need to provide this group with
quality homes, and will encourage developers who wish to build these homes. Specific Decent Housing Policy Commitments
The specific policy commitments of your Conservative Council include: Providing housing opportunities and choice for the residents of Thanet
- Making sufficient land available through the development and planning process to meet
the housing requirements for Thanet (6,000 homes between 2001-2016).
- Providing new affordable homes through partnership working with registered social
- Making best use of the Districts existing housing stock - bringing back into use 60 empty
private sector homes a year.
- Improving the opportunity for households on low incomes to enter the housing market -
developing through Registered Social Landlord partners shared ownership properties.
- Planning and making provisions for the housing needs of the growing older population -
developing with partners two new extra care sheltered housing schemes.
- Improving housing provision and support for vulnerable people - developing supported
accommodation schemes for people with mental health problems and learning
difficulties. Improving poor housing conditions
- Cliftonville Housing Market - acquiring at least 2 properties in partnership with either a
private sector partner or RSL, and finalise the housing intervention model.
- Starting the procurement process for getting a partner to deliver housing market
- Improving the mix of tenures in the housing renewal area - reducing the number of
tenants’ properties with shared facilities (Houses in Multiple Occupation).
- Taking strong enforcement action against poor landlords and extending the mandatory
license of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) within the renewal area.
- Reducing fuel poverty and improving the energy efficiency of homes occupied by
vulnerable people.
- Supporting, through loans and grants, the installation of efficient central heating to 50
homes every year.
Page 19 of 36 Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011
- Continuing to give priority to the aims of the West Cliftonville Renewal Area by
maintaining the high level committee which ensures the goals are being achieved. Maintaining the standard of housing conditions
- Monitoring the level of applications across Thanet for conversion of properties to 1
bedroom flats and bedsits, to identify where developers are seeking to benefit from low
cost housing (NB Specifically – transferring activity from the West Cliftonville Renewal
Area to other parts of West Cliftonville, Westgate, Birchington, Ramsgate, etc.).
4.2.2 Care and housing for the elderly
Your Conservative Council believes that people deserve dignity and respect in old age, and that
they should be provided with the support they need. We have forged strong partnership
arrangements with Kent County Council, the Police and the National Health Service hospitals,
healthcare trusts and local GP surgeries to deliver the services which are important for the older
generation. Keeping us active and young at heart
Thanet has a much higher percentage of residents aged over 55 than the rest of the County, and as
a Council we must harness their energy, experience and commitment to their communities. We
value our elderly population as one that can contribute much, with our support. Employment
Many people over 55 feel left out of the workforce and despite their experience are excluded from
job opportunities. Your Conservative Council supports government initiatives to safeguard key
benefits and pensions, and action to make it easier for older people to work or volunteer. We want
to work with local businesses to improve the working opportunities for our pensioners who wish to
continue working. Mobility
Your Conservative Council will continue working with the Government and County Council to
provide the National Concessionary Travel Scheme.
Many people wish to stay active but have barriers due to lack of mobility. Your Conservative Council
will work with charities and voluntary groups to improve mobility and access to work and services for
these people wherever possible. Housing
Your Conservative Council supports increased choice in terms of housing for those who need
support as they age. We will extend, through planning permissions, the quantity and diversity of
sheltered accommodation to offer those who still want to live in their own homes the support that
they need to stay as independent as possible, for as long as possible.
As a priority, we will continue to fund Disability Facilities Grants.
Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Page 20 of 36 Keeping Active
Your Conservative Council commits funds to a range of fitness activities focusing on the over 55’s
including grants to bowls and croquet clubs. We will maintain these and extend grants whenever
possible to support activities that keep people fit and active, in conjunction with the community and
voluntary sector. Information Accessibility
Your Conservative Council will extend our programme of making Council information accessible to
the elderly via Benefits Road Shows; more council literature produced in large type, and access to
information in Braille.
We will be seeking to further improve our ability to deliver a greater number of services more
efficiently over the internet and the mobile phone network for those customers who wish to transact
4.2.3 Crime, anti-social behaviour and fear of crime Thanet Community Safety Partnership
Your Conservative Council recognises that reducing crime and our residents perception of crime, is
a key issue locally as well as nationally.
In 1998, the Government introduced legislation to establish crime and disorder reduction
partnerships or community safety partnerships for local areas. The Act also gave local authorities a
specific responsibility for low level crime and disorder issues.
Effective crime prevention requires local partners to work together and requires close working
between a range of council services including street lighting and other environmental services,
education, housing and social services.
Key partners of Thanet District council include Kent County Council, East Kent Police, Kent Fire and
Rescue Service, Kent Probation Service and Eastern and Coastal Kent NHS.
Creating safer and stronger communities is one of the shared priorities agreed by central and local
government. The theme includes reducing crime and anti-social behaviour, strengthening
community cohesion and tackling drug abuse.
Your Conservative Council will work with Police to maintain an appropriate presence in our town
centres, suburbs and outlying areas. We accept that PCSO’s are suitable for certain roles, but
consider that they are not a substitute for a properly staffed local force. Anti-social behaviour
Our experience of resident complaints and evidence from opinion polls and surveys suggests that
the public continue to be concerned about anti-social behaviour and public disorder. This is
particularly true in the wards where deprivation is a debilitating factor.
Page 21 of 36 Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011
Legislation gives local authorities and their partners powers to tackle anti-social behaviour and
Thanet’s crime and disorder reduction partnership has a designated anti-social behaviour manager
to provide local support for communities.
Your Conservative Council is committed to tackling anti-social behaviour using all legislation at its
disposal and will work with residents and the police to improve the quality of life in areas affected. Community Pastors and the SOS Trailer
Your Conservative Council is proud to have set up the most successful street pastoring scheme in
the country to date, which not only highlights the generosity of the communities that we have here,
but also how some members of the community are willing to help make our streets safer.
The Safety on our Streets (SOS) trailer, a mobile unit with rooms for interviews, counselling and
treatment of minor injuries is being run by the Thanet Community Safety Partnership and goes out
on selected Friday and Saturday nights to areas where young people gather. The trailer provides a
base for police, medical staff and council staff people to work from for those in need after a night
out, to help reduce vulnerability and crime.
We will continue to support these initiatives. Domestic violence
Domestic violence and abuse creates many problems for victims and their families, not just the fear
of the violence itself. The impact of domestic violence can extend to housing, education and work
and crosses a range of services.
An online directory has been launched in Thanet to help tackle the problem of domestic abuse and
this pulls together in one place all the services available for both sufferers and perpetrators of
domestic violence. The Thanet Domestic Abuse Directory has been developed by the Thanet
Domestic Abuse Forum and aims to provide useful links to organisations that can help you.
Your Conservative Council is sensitive to the needs of those who are subject to domestic violence
and will support the police in their work to prevent incidents occurring, and help to provide shelter
for victims. Vehicle crime
Vehicle crime in Thanet accounts for more than 20 per cent of all recorded crime.
TDC have an important part to play in reducing vehicle crime in the local area through the local
crime and disorder reduction partnership.
Your Conservative Council recognises the immense distress and inconvenience to victims of vehicle
crime, and will work with the police to identify and prosecute those responsible.
4.2.4 Facilities for Sport, Leisure and Culture
Local authorities play a leading role in ensuring that sports, leisure and cultural facilities and policies
are effective in promoting a healthy and well balanced lifestyle. These are all important too for
aiding regeneration, which includes the promotion of tourism.
Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Page 22 of 36
Sport and culture services can also make a considerable contribution towards tackling social
exclusion and providing opportunities for voluntary and community activity. Sports Development
Your Conservative Council’s Sports Development team plays an important role in supporting sport
and physical activity in the District. They work with other key personnel from Health, Education,
Youth and National Governing Bodies to ensure activities are open to everyone.
The team offers support to local clubs, helps create links between the community and schools,,
promotes mass participation for local people, works to improve the sporting facilities available and
highlights the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
The eight lane running track at the Marlowe Academy provides a focus for athletics in Thanet and
your Conservative Council will continue to support the work that is already taking place to develop
participation at this venue, and will seek further funding for clubs and facilities that promote sport
(for all ages) as a means to a healthier lifestyle.
We recognise that cycling is a growing interest in East Kent and that this can have benefits for
fitness and health, as well as reduce harmful emissions from vehicles for the benefit of our
environment. Your Conservative Council will work with cycling organisations and Kent County
Council to promote cycling as a participation sport in our area, and to introduce dedicated cycle
lanes on/alongside more of our roads. Council Swimming Pools
Consultation with residents established that there was a preference for the continuation of a 2 pool
policy for the provision of swimming pools in the District.
Subsequently, the aging facility at Hartsdown was subject to a major ?1.6m refurbishment which
was completed in April 2010, and plans are now well in hand to build a new swimming pool adjacent
to the Ramsgate Sports Centre, along with improvements to the sports centre and a new spa
facility. This will be completed in 2012.
Your Conservative Council has worked with Alliance Leisure to provide capital funding for both
projects, repayment for which will come from income generated by the facilities themselves with little
additional cost to local taxpayers. Margate Football Club
Whilst acknowledging the importance of giving sports opportunities in every form to the young and
other people of Thanet, your Conservative Council will not approve any new plans for the Margate
Football Club ground at the Hartsdown site, or give a long lease to the football club, without full
public consultation first.
We consider that proper consultation on important issues affecting the local community is a major
consideration for every significant development such as that proposed by the football club.
Page 23 of 36 Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011
4.2.5 Specific Supporting People Policy Commitments
The specific policy commitments of your Conservative Council include: Reduce crime, anti-social behaviour and fear of crime in Thanet
- Maintaining support for Community Safety Partnerships.
- Introducing integrated offender management in Margate and Cliftonville West wards.
- Using all available legislation to tackle anti-social behaviour. Keeping clean neighbourhoods through strong enforcement
- Delivering 10 multi-agency ‘Operation Clean Sweeps’ each year.
- Working to reduce the incidents of fly-tipping.
- Continuing to take a tough line on dog fouling with the aim of reducing the percentage of
residents for whom dog fouling is a concern.
- Using Neighbourhood Wardens to report dumped rubbish and fly-tipping to the Hit Squad. Improving the health of people in Thanet
- Continuing to run the ‘Your Home, Your Health’ programme, inspecting properties in Cliftonville
to aid enforcement and help residents to access services that can help them.
- Supporting Oasis in establishing a one-stop-shop for victims of domestic abuse in Thanet.
- Investigating the feasibility for creating a community/social enterprise organisation to provide
support voluntary and community organisations.
- Continuing to work to improve opportunities for tenants to influence the standard and quality of
the service.
- Working with support and care groups in deprived neighbourhoods such as West Cliftonville to
improve the quality of life for those most vulnerable.
- Working more closely with neighbouring local authorities to identify areas for potential efficiency
savings through joint working.
- Supporting the Primary Care Trust project to revise the GP referral process in areas with high
levels of excess winter deaths. There will be a pilot programme in Bradstowe ward. Facilities for the community
- Commencing phase one of the redevelopment of The Centre (Newington).
- Negotiating funding for community facilities where developer projects adversely impact on
residents (i.e. social housing should not be the only consideration).
NOTE: The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 Section 106 Planning Agreements secure
community infrastructure to meet the needs of residents in new developments and/or to mitigate the
impact of new developments upon existing community facilities. Margate Task Force
- Developing a Thanet Work and Skills Hub to deliver a new Work Programme targeted at hard to
reach groups, particularly young people.
- Establishing of multi-agency referral and support processes for vulnerable people and families
identified through the ‘Your Home, Your Health’ scheme.
Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Page 24 of 36 Specific Leisure, Culture and Sport Policy Commitments
The specific policy commitments of your Conservative Council include:
- Sports – maintain the existing facilities and seek opportunities to develop new ones such as the
Beach Sports Court on Margate Main Sand (funding from TDC, KCC and Volleyball England).
- Youth and play – maintain and develop the SPORT 4 NRG programme which gives so much to
young people in our towns.
- Implement the "Footprints in the Sand" project to improve access to the coast for local families.
- Regional tourism – encourage and support the further development of hotel and good quality
bed and breakfast accommodation for visitors to our towns, working with Visit Kent to market the
Thanet offer.
- Leisure facilities – to work with partners to secure funding for a major refurbishment of the
Winter Gardens, to complete the first stage works to reopen Dreamland as a heritage theme
park, and to upgrade the changing facilities at Hartsdown swimming pool.
- Arts and creative industries – use the opening of the Turner Contemporary as a catalyst to draw
investment and employment into our district.
- Museums – work with partners to secure imaginative and viable means to reopen Ramsgate
and Margate museums.
- Tourism opportunities – we recognise the value of historic sites such a Margate Caves to our
tourism aspirations and will work with the community and partners to find ways to make use of
these in the future.
- Encouraging more non-summer events in our towns.
- Agreeing an improved contract for leisure services across Thanet to ensure a quality service for
all residents.
- Introducing new cultural activities by supporting existing operators and attracting new ones to
- Securing continuing external funding for the Thanet Coastal Project – Thanet coast and coastal
- Completing necessary regeneration work to our harbours and piers.
- Establishing exhibition space for local artists.
- Maintaining our existing beach based sporting events i.e. quad biking and volleyball.
- Supporting community theatre opportunities afforded by the Theatre Royal acquisition.
- Ensuring that disabled people can access sports facilities in Thanet.
- Reviewing the siting of visitor information centres in Ramsgate and Broadstairs to non-Council
commercial premises that have links to transport, accommodation or cultural uses.
- Increasing the provision of concession and beach hut availability to promote the vibrancy of our
- Initiate a public realm project for Margate seafront. Additional key projects
- Introducing options for customers to pay for parking by phone.
- Introducing a memorial stability programme and complete initial test of all memorials at the
crematorium and cemeteries.
Page 25 of 36 Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011
4.3 Promoting Prosperity
Much work has been done in past years to develop employment opportunities on business parks
and in other locations.
Economic prosperity must be at the heart of our strategy to build stronger communities, attract good
jobs and raise the living standards of all who live and work in Thanet.
But not only this, we want Thanet to become a unique place to live and work – a place that plays up
to its great environment, it’s beautiful architecture and greener living. We treasure our heritage and
our conservation areas, and we want to build an economy which supports green energy and green
We are unique and can become even more so – with a vision for a Green Grand Isle that places
quality of life and jobs of the future at the heart of our strategy.
There are four key policy areas that the Council needs to address:
 Attracting inward Investment.
 Improving the skill base in Thanet.
 Gaining the reputation as a “business friendly” and green district.
 Making use of our cultural heritage, and environmental tourism.
4.3.1 Inward investment Resources and partnership working
Thanet has much to offer companies interested in relocation.
We already offer:
 Excellent links to Europe.
 A competitive workforce.
 An increasing range of business facilities.
 Significantly improved transport links to London.
Your Conservative Council wants to work with a range of partners to secure effective inward
investment that will deliver better jobs, greater prosperity and a stronger economy to Thanet. Added
impetus for our aspirations is needed due to the recent announcement of closure of the Pfizers
complex at Sandwich. Partners must include the business community, our Thanet M.P.’s, the
Pfizers Taskforce, Kent County Council, Locate in Kent and the Local Enterprise Partnership as well
as private companies. We will also seek opportunities to work with local social enterprise
organisations wherever possible and appropriate. Marketing Thanet
Your Conservative Council wants to harness our assets and supporters to market Thanet as a
Business Friendly Council offering access to funding and professional support for companies
wishing to locate in Thanet. We will launch a marketing programme in partnership with KCC and
Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Page 26 of 36
the business community, focusing on key areas of economic development, establishing new areas
of expertise and building on existing business.
- Transport Thanet – Manston strategy / port development at Ramsgate – focusing on
- Thanet Green Technology - wind farms which are now a major player and opportunity.
- ThanIT – looking to attract ICT companies to the area.
- Thanet Delivers Service – building on our customer service skills as recognised by SAGA.
- Thanet Thrives – supporting the establishment of more small and medium sized businesses, by
making available the necessary land and facilitating the provision of modern efficient business
units at realistic and affordable prices.
4.3.2 Skills Base
Your Conservative Council works closely with Kent County Council, the business community, and
colleges and schools to deliver a wider range of skills to new businesses. There is still much to be
done to improve the skills base in Thanet, and our objectives for the next four years include:
 Working closely with schools and colleges to encourage workforce development through
appropriate education, training and professional development.
 Marketing our strengths in skills and addressing our weaknesses.
 Working with local businesses, colleges and social enterprises to focus on apprenticeships and
work based training.
We value our blue collar manual workforce and will work to give opportunities for this category of
worker, and also for part-time and temporary working.
We will work closely with Thanet College and Canterbury Christchurch University to take advantage
of opportunities afforded by the expanding green agenda.
4.3.3 Business Friendly and Green Thanet
Your Conservative Council wants Thanet to have a reputation for being business friendly.
Partnership arrangements will be important to achieve success and we will work with key groups to
market and promote Thanet to raise our profile in the UK, and internationally. We will give high
emphasis to securing funding and support for new businesses.
We believe especially that our economic circumstances give opportunity to take advantage of
funding opportunities from the governments planned green investment bank which aims to lever in
private sector investment. Your Conservative Council will work with our M.P.’s and KCC to achieve
economic growth from the green economy.
Your Conservative Council is determined to develop a vibrant economic environment for
businesses; a skilled and effective workforce and a confident and prominent marketing programme
to build greater economic prosperity.
4.3.4 Using our cultural and maritime heritage, and environmental tourism
Your Conservative Council will support heritage regeneration and other projects that seek to
increase visitor numbers to Thanet (e.g. Ramsgate’s Heritage sites and the Turner Contemporary,
Page 27 of 36 Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011
museums, Margate Caves and Ramsgate Tunnels), and will continue grant funding to organisers for
events however possible.
We will forge closer links with English Heritage and other conservation bodies such as resident’s
associations and the civic societies, to really understand their priorities before going ahead with
planning issues that affect them.
We will continue to promote a “caf? culture” as a major focus for our leisure and tourism strategy.
Your Conservative Council recognises the importance of technology as a marketing tool to attract
visitors, and will work with partners to develop the means to make use of this technology at an early
stage in the new administration.
4.3.5 Pfizers site actions
Your Conservative Council will play its part in raising Thanet’s profile with Government Ministers to
ensure that East Kent gets the attention it undoubtedly deserves.
Thanet has already attracted national attention and we are confident that Parliament is keen to find
a solution for the future of this state-of-the-art site, by encouraging new companies to come to
Sandwich and employ our world class expertise.
The Pfizers Taskforce is making headway with the appointment of national experts in the
Pharmaceutical sector working together with the best minds in regeneration.
We are mindful that the untimely demise of employment at Pfizers has come at a time when the
whole country is undergoing unprecedented difficulties as a result of previous government
overspending, but are convinced that we have in East Kent the will, skills and support to overcome
the challenges we face.
Your Conservative Council will do all it can to promote and support efforts to achieve Enterprise
Zone status for East Kent to bring benefits such as business rate exemptions, new superfast
broadband and the potential to use enhanced capital allowances.
4.3.6 Recognising small business and Fairtrade
Your Conservative Council supports the coalition government’s initiatives to help small firms get the
finance they need, and to reduce taxes which are a block to the creation of jobs and barrier to
growth. We recognise that priority will be given to improving the planning system to help businesses
and will work quickly to implement legislation as it is introduced.
We recognise also that small business people and independent retailers provide a wide choice of
goods and local produce which not only add variety and interest to our high streets, but also help to
sustain our local environment and communities. We have introduced a Shop Local Scheme to
support local retailers and will continue this initiative in partnership as is appropriate to their needs.
As concerned consumers, Conservatives are proud that our Council was one of the first in the UK to
achieve Fairtrade status. We believe that we should be concerned for the wider impact of our
choices when purchasing goods and that social and ethical issues should be among the criteria
considered when buying a product or service. Whilst always supporting local farmers and producers
Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Page 28 of 36
your Conservative Council believes that we also have a duty to support decent working conditions
and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world, and will insist that wherever
possible the Council purchases Fairtrade products where these are available as an alternative. Our
continuing support for Thanet’s Fairtrade Island status is guaranteed and we will work with the local
organisation to develop initiatives.
4.3.7 Regeneration Westwood Cross, and the effect on High Streets
Your Conservative Council supports the further development of Westwood Cross as the retail and
leisure hub of Thanet, combined with the ongoing renewal of existing town centres. We will work
with Kent County Council to improve traffic management at Westwood Cross and support initiatives
to link the Ramsgate Road to Haine Road.
We will work with existing retailers to model and redesign current facilities in our High Streets to
match existing and new needs. Regeneration of Margate Dreamland
- Your Conservative Council is taking forward a once in a decade opportunity to regenerate
the Dreamland site in Margate in partnership with the Dreamland Trust and land owners the
Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company. We intend to see Dreamland become the
world’s first amusement park of thrilling historic rides, thus creating a major new visitor
attraction. We believe that this development would attract over half a million visitors each
year, creating several hundred new jobs and helping to regenerate the town. The Turner Contemporary, Margate Old Town and High Street Shopping
- In order that the Turner Contemporary project and Margate Old Town regeneration have
every chance of success, it is vital that appropriate measures are taken to provide a clean,
safe, inviting and prosperous environment in central Margate, and particularly in the Old
- Your Conservative Council will encourage owners of all properties, including those requiring
refurbishment and/or redecoration, to become partners in the regeneration. If owners choose
not to cooperate, statutory powers or CPO procedures will continue to be used to deliver
- Your Conservative Council will take any action necessary action to resolve difficulties with
residents or visitors who cause problems through anti-social behaviour, and similarly in the
case of anti-social behaviour caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
- We will work with government agencies and KCC to deliver regeneration projects in Margate
High Street as a priority, to give life and prosperity back to this important part of our retail
Page 29 of 36 Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Continued Regeneration of Ramsgate
Your Conservative Council will work with Ramsgate Town Council to further the needs of this
important part of Thanet.
We will work closely with the Ramsgate Society to focus as much on Ramsgate’s Victorian and
Edwardian heritage as it has already achieved with its Regency heritage. We will take positive steps
to further enforce landlords to refurbish their properties, and also stop estate agents putting up signs
in conservation areas.
We will work with the developers of the Pleasurama project to alleviate the problems which may be
caused by the construction of this large new building, so that the inconvenience to residents and
visitors is kept to a minimum.
Developer contribution from the Ramsgate Pool site will be used to provide youth leisure and sports
facilities. Broadstairs
We recognise the cultural heritage and unique character of Broadstairs and will continue to preserve
this for future generations.
We will work in close partnership with Broadstairs Town Council and the Broadstairs Society to
ensure that future developments are in keeping with the character of the town.
Your Conservative Council recognises that objections have been raised to the Broadstairs Town
Council’s proposal to construct a new community centre in Pierremont Park. We note that the TDC
Planning Committee, made up of members of all political groups at the Council, has recently
approved the plans after due consideration of the objections made because they believe that the
community centre will be a valuable resource for Broadstairs residents and that the benefits would
outweigh the concerns.
Your Conservative Council will provide on-going support for Broadstairs Folk Week, an
internationally recognised week long festival. Manston Airport
Your Conservative Council supports the expansion of Manston Airport subject to suitable
environmental safeguards.
The TDC Scrutiny process will inform your Conservative Council’s Cabinet of areas to be included in
a Night Flying Policy.
Infratil will be invited to resubmit a modified Night Flying Policy provided this can be supported by a
robust economic justification for any change to current operating hours of 7am to 11pm. This will
then go out to consultation with the public. That consultation will inform the Council’s decision
regarding night flying.
The Conservative Group will propose a free (unwhipped) vote on the Policy, as we believe that
public opinion should be paramount in this important issue when voted on by Members of the
Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Page 30 of 36 Opportunities afforded by the High Speed Rail Link and Olympic Games
Your Conservative Council will take early action in the first year of the new administration to develop
ideas and plans that will secure opportunities arising from the HSRL to Ramsgate, and the 2012
London Olympic Games.
4.3.8 Specific Economic Prosperity Policy Commitments
The specific policy commitments of your Conservative Council include: Transport Links and Infrastructure
- Improving rail journey time to and from London, by lobbying for investment through the Pfizer
taskforce, and working with KCC through the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to pursue the
bid made for funding.
- Securing commitment of sufficient funding to enable by 2014 the construction of Thanet
Parkway Station and a minimum reduction in rail journey time of two minutes.
- Supporting commercial development of Manston Airport and working with the owner to secure
appropriate environmental controls.
- Producing a response to the proposed night flight flying policy and report to Cabinet and
- Completing the new link between the Ramsgate Road and New Haine Road to reduce traffic
congestion at Westwood Cross.
- Ensuring a new link road is built before the commencement of the main development of 1000
new homes at Westwood Cross.
- Investigating opportunities to introduce electric car charging points in our towns.
- Selling surplus TDC land to raise funds for future projects.
- Increasing income through investment in, and improvement to, Council owned property. Employment and Employment Sites
- Partnership working to:
reduce unemployment.
improve wage levels.
decrease benefit dependency.
- Achieve full occupancy (currently 72%) at Eurokent Business Park.
- Monitor and evaluate phase 3 of the Thanet Works programme.
- Urgently reviewing opportunities to form partnerships with social enterprise organisations.
- Supporting business start ups and young businesses through flexible accommodation and
business support at the Innovation Centre in Broadstairs. Attracting Investment
- Delivering fast processing of major planning applications, ensuring suitable consultation with
residents and other local interests.
- Partnership working with KCC, the educational sector, Business Link Kent and other social
enterprises to improve our skills base.
- Develop proposals for encouraging the development and implementation of fast broadband
services across Thanet.
- Work to achieve Enterprise Zone status for the Pfizers site.
Page 31 of 36 Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Visitor Strategy
- Working with Visit Kent, KCC and other partners to deliver significant national and international
visitor numbers to the Turner Contemporary and improve the infrastructure in the surrounding
- Encouraging the return of good quality boarding house and hotel accommodation for visitors to
- Implement a commercial development programme and improved services for key beaches and
- Continuing to promote a “caf? culture” as a major focus for our leisure and tourism strategy in all
our towns.
- Increasing the number of short-stay visitors to Thanet by 5% per annum.
- Using technology to promote awareness on Thanet as a destination. Ramsgate Port and Marina
- Identifying and implement a scenario for the future development and operation of the port, which
maintains a strong revenue stream for the Council.
- Producing a draft plan to develop the port for consideration by a working party;
- We will build on our successful business relationship with Vattenfall and London Array and
increase our involvement in the Environmental/Green technology industry.
- Continuing to invest in the Port and Marina facilities in support of commercial and leisure
- Work with the Royal Temple Yacht Club to attract new boat owners to the Marina.
- Supporting the expansion of windfarm operations at the Port of Ramsgate (Thanet Offshore
Wind - ongoing maintenance and operations, and London Array - new pontoon system).
- Install new breakwater pontoon in the Ramsgate Outer Harbour.
- Providing fish landing/market/restaurant facilities on the quay.
- Extending berthing, boatyard and amenity block facilities in accordance with demand. Broadstairs and Margate Harbours
- Investigating opportunities to develop marine based leisure facilities in the harbours.
- Repairing Margate Harbour Arm, to protect it from flooding and beach erosion.
- Completing the major investment in sea defences.
- Exploring options to open Margate Harbour as a marina.
- Co-operating with the RNLI to investigate opportunities to relocate the Margate Lifeboat Station
on Margate Main Sands. Margate Regeneration
- Supporting the Turner Contemporary and the Old Town, by securing developer partners for
Queens Arms Yard and developing a proposition for an asset based community development
- Continuing to develop plans to regenerate the Margate Dreamland site (serve Compulsory
Purchase Order (CPO) to owners of Dreamland, resolve the need for a public inquiry into the
CPO, secure second round of HLF funding).
- Commence work on the refurbishment of Arlington Tower.
- Support Kent County Council in the agreement of a public realm detailed plan for Margate
seafront and secure phase 1 funding.
Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Page 32 of 36
- Implementing traffic management, including the narrowing of the carriageway in Cecil Square to
upgrade public space, and reduce the speed of traffic in Marine View and Marine Terrace.
- Resolving remaining issues regarding Tivoli Brook.
- Redeveloping residential accommodation at Arlington, and the Arlington Estate.
Page 33 of 36 Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011
4.4 Good Performance
4.4.1 The Council’s Resource Position
Given the economic context in which the Council finds itself, it is clear that the pressures faced during
the current Conservative administration will continue, and even increase, in the next 3/4 years. The
overarching approach to developing the Council’s budget for 2011/12 and beyond has therefore been to
keep budgetary growth to a minimum and efficiency savings to a maximum.
We believe that the start point for an efficiently run organisation to control costs is for it to set
organisational structures that minimise management overheads through delivering complementary
services via a single management team. Your Conservative Council has taken this principle one step
further by extending the thinking to include a group of councils, where substantial savings are possible
through the establishment of shared services.
Thanet District Council has being extremely proactive in this area and has investigated options for
collaborative working with the other East Kent authorities of Canterbury and Dover. It has already
entered into a shared partnership arrangement for human resources and payroll and is progressing the
setting up of an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) for housing management (these
projects also include Shepway). Work is also in progress to extend this to the majority of other front-line
and back-office services. Customer Services, Revenues and Benefits and ICT have already been
transferred to EK Services (effective from 1 February 2011), with Building Control to follow in the
summer. These projects are expected to result in significant savings in the future, with savings of ?400k
being anticipated in 2011/12.
All our shared services will be subject to strict targets of achievement and performance, aiming to
improve on the highly satisfactory results achieved by different departments of the Council over the
last four years.
With staffing costs making up approximately 53% of the Council’s gross revenue budget (excluding
housing benefit payments and concessionary fares), this is obviously an area which must feature
strongly in any review of costs and budgetary provision. A new staffing structure has been developed in
order to be able to achieve the large-scale savings that need to be redirected to fund priority services
over the course of the medium term and to address the migration of substantial numbers of staff into
shared services. This will mainly affect management roles in the first phase, which will be implemented in
time to deliver base savings of ?1m during 2011/12.
With ever increasing demand for council services and the tight financial environment of recent
years, efficiency and value for money are fundamental to the decision making processes of the
Council, particularly where they relate to contracting and service provision. We have already
directed our officers to improve value for money for the Council, with budgets and procurement
options being continuously scrutinised in order to keep costs down, whilst at the same time
maintaining or improving service standards.
As the number of parliamentary constituencies is reduced from 650 to 600 in time for the 2015
General Election, the Boundary Commission will be required to redraw constituency boundaries. We
believe that it will be appropriate at this time to request a redrawing of ward boundaries in Thanet to
reduce the number of Council seats to be fought at the 2015 District Elections.
Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Page 34 of 36
Your Conservative Council will continue to monitor all activities of the Council to achieve best value
and performance for residents, and to provide high quality services that are in accordance with their
4.4.2 Customer Service Standards
Complaints about Council services are a regrettable, but all too common, everyday occurrence.
Your Conservative Council pays close attention to the causes of complaints and will continue to
work hard to improve performance in every area of every service within the Authority.
When residents contact the Council with a complaint, or for any other reason, every staff member is
expected to answer telephone calls within 4 rings. Voice mail enquiries must be responded to within
24 hours, and 80% of telephone enquiries must be answered at the first point of contact.
Your Conservative Council also expects that letters and E-mails are acknowledged within 3 working
days, and are responded to fully within 10 working days, except where legislative requirements are
Customer complaints referred to a Head of Service must be acknowledged within 3 working days. A
Senior Manager will investigate and respond within 10 working days.
4.4.3 Public Consultation
Your Conservative Council at TDC has directed officers to create a database of residents who want
to keep updated and involved on specific topics, and to capture key demographic data of the
residents in this list.
We have also created an experts panel with 150 members, who were members of the former
resident’s panel, and who wanted to continue being involved.
TDC also work closely with other members of the community with communications campaigns,
events and initiatives to inform residents.
These measures have boosted response rates to consultations and also attendance to Council
Your Conservative Council will honour our commitment to allow all residents of Thanet to have their
say on any night flying proposals brought forward by Infratil at Manston Airport.
We will always continue to work hard to listen to the views of local residents, business people, and
the variety of partners with whom we work to provide local services.
4.4.4 Specific Policy Commitments for building a modern organisation
The specific policy commitments of Your Conservative Council include: Budget needs
- Delivering balanced budgets in the context of reduced funding from central government by:
Carrying out a zero-based budgeting exercise across all service areas.
Page 35 of 36 Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011
Reviewing revenue streams to maximise income.
Identifying further service efficiencies. Saving money by sharing services
- Progressing the next phases of the EK services project and:
Completing phase 1 moving Building Control and Housing Options into the EK services.
Completing phase 2 moving Procurement, the Mail Centre and Printing into EK services. Technology and information
Your Conservative council will continue to invest, where possible, in cost-effective, new
technologies that both improve and accelerate customer-facing processes and the overall
experience of dealing with payments, enquires and applications and by:
- Continuing to reduce use of paper.
- Exploring the deployment of other useful technologies around social media, the mobile phone
and SMS messaging platform as an efficient and rapid means of informing the public.
- Focusing the majority of office staff in the main Council and Gateway buildings.
- Constantly improving and increasing the % level of Council services available online to meet
new Government guidelines.
- Ensuring people in every situation can access the Council in the manner that suits them best. Achievement / performance
- Developing a New Corporate Plan for 2012-16 in consultation with residents.
- Developing the Customer Response Management (CRM) standard to improve the response
times to resident query and complaint about Council services.
- Monitoring of complaints to receive high profile scrutiny.
- Increasing customer satisfaction with the Council.
- Introducing a Council-wide data protection strategy.
- Developing a strategy to introduce new ways of working and a culture change within the
organisation to support improved performance. Value for money
- Achieving 3% recurrent cash savings per annum from the 2010/11 baseline.
- Delivering the Improvement Forum programme of activity to identify improvements and
efficiency savings across the organisation. Organisational structure change programme
- Embedding the Council’s new corporate structure and reviewing corporate support processes
within the new Business Hub, identifying and implementing efficiencies.
- Find efficiencies and collaborate with other local authorities with regards to CCTV monitoring:
Service Level Agreement in place with another local authority to provide a monitoring
Works completed to link the system with another authority.
Conservative Group at TDC – Manifesto: District Council Elections 5th May 2011 Page 36 of 36 Additional key projects
- Leading on local government reorganisation in Kent to reduce costs, whilst ensuring structures
remain fit for purpose.
- Introducing role descriptions and a formalised learning and development programme for
- Undertaking a review of polling districts and places as required by statute.
- Providing the communications support for shared services.
- Assessing the feasibility for carrying out MOTs at the Manston Road Depot for council licensed
taxis to generate income.
- Implementing the Communications strategy to improve the Council's reputation.
- Working with partners to assess the implications of the Welfare Reform Bill making the
necessary arrangements to implement any required changes.
- Progressing and implementing the cremator furnace replacement project at the Crematorium.
- Refresh the procurement strategy to meet the changing needs of the organisation as its
commissioning role evolves.