Friday, 6 May 2011

PUZZLED in Thanet.

After the initial shock of defeat had sunk in, the next stage was a post mortem on the strategy employed and I have to say, I do not think I could have done anything differently which would have made the outcome any better for my chances, or stood in another Ward where my chances could have increased.. I chose Thanet Villages to contest because I sincerely believe the biggest future threat hangs over the rural / urban balance of Thanet.

Watching the ballot papers being counted this morning it became obvious that I was scoring well on many papers but nowhere near as highly as Bob Grove. There was a large block vote for all three Tory candidates which gave them a sound base and the protest vote was going to 1 Independent (Bob) and two Labour candidates. Labour is never strong in the villages but this combination of 3 votes deprived me of contesting even one Tory for fourth place.

Funnily enough the overall election result was close to what the Independents were hoping for, a hung council but not with as many Independents as would be desired.  It would appear in Thanet, as some incoming comments on this blog had suggested “no party = no vote”, this also seems the case in Central Harbour and Eastcliff Ramsgate where Independents lost all seats to Labour.   On the other hand, there was an overall vote of “no confidence” in the Conservatives previous record, without extending a majority to Labour, so Thanet voters are searching for a new way which neither party seems to offer, as yet the voters do not have confidence in Independents to provide that new direction.

Unfortunately, the train is leaving Thanet at high speed and the people are on the wrong platform.

It is now up to the three elected Independents to try and get the whole council working together, let’s hope they can achieve something. Good Luck to all three.


  1. Thanks Don, we gave it our best shot but it wasn't to be.

    Funnily enough some of what we were trying to achieve has come about by default, with the existing Independents.

  2. Frankly Ken when it comes to the town council results I am lost for words.

  3. Michael, It is either local issues like "night flights" or a political vote assisted by voters with strong political views on AV.

    As it was put to me, it is no use going out to vote "for or against" AV if you have no intention of voting in future elections.

  4. Ken I think the way I read the situation is many in Ramsgate saw the previous Conservative administration at TDC as being anti Ramsgate, the museum shut, Pleasurama making no sense, all the major events Margate centred and so on.

    Perhaps the very strong Labour vote was an anti TDC vote, one way or another I makes the town council a bit of a joke when it comes to debating issues.

  5. They should all be able to agree what is needed now and make it happen.

    Unfortunately RTC still has limited powers but with Localism, more may be possible

  6. The Ramsgate situation is reversed in Broadstairs where the council remains predominantly Conservative. Overall, however, and despite the narrow margin in seats on the TDC, the Conservatives took 47% of the popular vote to 38% for Labour. Perhaps they should have used the AV system to see who topped 50% on added second choices first.

    Whatever, the councillors have to work together or Thanet's governance will just stagnate for four years, with council officers simply maintaining the essential services and little input from the elected representatives of the people.

  7. Ken
    What I think has come through loud and clear is best summed up by the first two letters in this weeks IoTG. Whilst the Councillors have been swapping party political insults they have not been exercising the overview of the officers that they were elected to do. With no overall control it is even more important that they do this.
    What I think is needed is a sort of citizens overview committee, keeping tabs on how our elected representatives are behaving and making sure that any straying from the straight and narrow is widely publicised. I have no idea how to achieve this - a blog is too narrow a forum - but maybe some of the local regulars might have some ideas.

  8. Some interesting ideas FedUPWP but how do we determine the citizens' committee, have an election? Do we pay them at greater expense to the tax payer?

    An interesting point raised at "Thanetonline" is who decided which officers should stay and which officers should get the "golden boot"

  9. Ken
    Hell no, certainly don't want more expense.
    The "normal" route in a democracy is for the local press to provide an overview but I've long wondered about the IoTG loyalties. If they could be persuaded to up the tempo a bit with Smudger that might help. Otherwise it's down to letter writing, which is dependent on their editorial benificence.
    I'm still thinking.