Home ... Herne Bay ... Labour’s red letter day at expense of Tories

Thanet Conservative party took a pounding in Thursday's district elections, leaving three independent councillors with the power to decide who will lead the council. The Tories were ousted from six seats in Thursday's poll – losing five to Labour and one to a new independent – meaning they forfeit overall control of Thanet council. One of the greatest shocks was the loss of Ramsgate's Nethercourt ward by Tories Jill Kirby and Brenda Rogers to Labour rookies Kim Gibson and Steve Alexandrou.

Labour’s red letter day at expense of Tories

Thanet Conservative party took a pounding in Thursday’s district elections, leaving three independent councillors with the power to decide who will lead the council. The Tories were ousted from six seats in Thursday’s poll – losing five to Labour and one to a new independent – meaning they forfeit overall control of Thanet council.

One of the greatest shocks was the loss of Ramsgate’s Nethercourt ward by Tories Jill Kirby and Brenda Rogers to Labour rookies Kim Gibson and Steve Alexandrou. Mrs Gibson and Mr Alexandrou, who both live on the flight path to Manston Airport, took a tough stance against night flights during their election campaign. Both Labour candidates were also elected to the town council. Mrs Gibson said:

“I think the swinger was the night flights. When I was campaigning, residents also told me that they felt let down by them and that they didn’t live on the ward. What you see is what you get and we will not put up with the nonsense that goes on at full council.”

Conservative leader Bob Bayford took a positive stance on his party’s performance. He said:

“I am satisfied at how well the Conservative share of the vote has held in this election. Far more people in Thanet voted for the Conservatives than for Labour. A marginal increase in the Labour vote of 5 per cent has given them a disproportionate increase in seats.”

Labour’s leader Clive Hart said:

“We have made huge gains and for that I am very happy. We were just two votes apart on one councillor in Beacon Road Ward. It was extremely close, just two votes out.”

The picture was equally bad for the Tories on Ramsgate town council where they were all but wiped out – only Pat Doyle retained a seat for the Conservatives. Labour increased its seats on Ramsgate town council to 15 out of 16 places. Conservatives held on to control of Broadstairs Town Council. A spokesman at Thanet council stressed that Conservative, Labour and the independents must reach a deal by the council’s annual meeting, saying:

“Decisions about which party will be running the council will be made at the annual council meeting that is due to take place on Thursday, May 19. At this meeting, the chairman and leader of the council will be elected. In the meantime, the council will continue to run its day-to-day business with the responsibility falling to the chief executive. He will consult with the main group leaders on any significant issues that need to be decided on.”

IoT Gazette 13th May 2011

 

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