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The delay
The following Press Release was issued on the 28th February, 2008

Ramsgate Parish(Town) Council

I have had a number of discussions with Steve A’Court of the Department of Communities and Local Government to ascertain the precise position concerning Ramsgate’s Parish Council and when we can expect it to be set up and elections held. It appears that Thanet District Council has dragged their heels on this one. Mr A’Court is still awaiting a reply to his letter of two weeks ago to Richard Samuel, Chief Executive of TDC.
I asked Mr A’Court if elections for 2008 were still possible and he replied “definitely not.”
I emailed Mr Samuel stating “As we in Ramsgate and Ramsgate First have moral ownership of the Petition and Referendum it would be agreeable if you could keep us abreast of the Council's intentions and strategy.”
Mr Samuel’s reply was terse. He said that under the new Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007, the District Council can either refer the matter to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government or deal with it themselves.
Mr Samuel also went on to say, in full,
“My recomendation (sic) to members is likely to be to take back the decision. I have already indicated this to CLG in advance of a formal letter which require the support of the main groups.

I expect to place a report on the next agenda of the Council in May setting out the next steps and seeking formal approval to them.

The Council will be recommended to hold the elections to the new parish on the same date as the County Council elections in 2009.

However I cannot be definate (sic) until the Council has lent its support to my recommendation.”
And there we have it. The District Council will make the final decision on the composition of the new Ramsgate Parish (town) council and will run the elections with the County Elections on the same day.
Ramsgate First’s position is that we are glad that the matter is now close to settlement and that the people of Ramsgate will soon have their own administration.
However, the way in which Thanet District Council has dealt with our Petition, the Referendum and the subsequent process indicates an inherent institutional contempt for and arrogance towards the electorate of Ramsgate.
And that is precisely why we launched the campaign for a Ramsgate Town Council.
Gerry O'Donnell Chairman Ramsgate First
Email: ramsgatefirst@btconnect.com