Friday, 27 March 2009


Thanet district Council press release

Thanet has been recognised as one of the best in local government at a set of coveted national awards.

The council was a finalist in the efficiency and modernisation category of the Local Government Chronicle awards, which aim to reward excellent service by councils to their residents. Thanet was competing against Westminster City Council, who won the award, the Somerset Waste Partnership, Manchester City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council. The council was one of just eight District Councils in the UK to make it to the finals.

The council was shortlisted for the achievements of Thanet's Gateway Plus, a partnership between Thanet District Council and Kent County Council, which opened in Margate library in January 2008.

Since then, waiting times for council services have reduced dramatically, with the library seeing an increase in the number of new borrowers and the number of items issued. Surveys have shown the vast majority of people using the Gateway are satisfied with the service they receive.

The opening of Thanet's Gateway Plus, is also part of the council's accommodation strategy, which will save the council around £170,000 each year.

Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr. Sandy Ezekiel, said: "To be shortlisted for these awards, which are essentially the Oscars of the local government world was a great honour and shows just how far Thanet has come in improving the services it offers. When you look at the councils that we were up against, it's amazing to see Thanet's name up there, competing with some huge county councils and London authorities. Everyone involved in Thanet's Gateway Plus can feel extremely proud of our achievements in making it through to the finals. It's excellent recognition for their hard work, dedication and the results they've achieved for our residents."


  1. This is a joke, surely??? Its taken them 4 years to sort out my housing benefit claim and i hate the margate service which is slow annoying and extremely useless.

  2. Sadly I agree. Thanet Council's press release as seen through Cheryl Pendry's rose tinted spectacles !

    I had to go there once last year, TDC had made a mistake, it could easily be rectified but insisted I take documentation, with ID in person,to the Gateway building.

    On arrival I asked to speak to the person I had been dealing with but was told this was not possible as they didn't talk to the public in person and to 'take a ticket'. I was told the current waiting time was one and a half hours !!

    Standing in the foyer I used my mobile to telephone the person who had made the mistake and told him in no uncertain terms that I was not waiting 90mins to see someone who knew nothing about it, and that if he didn't get his backside down to the foyer sharpish I'd come up the stairs and find him wherever he was hiding in the building.

    30 seconds later he appeared, running down the stairs, accepted the papers, and the matter was concluded. Easy really.

  3. They are pulling our plonkers, aren't they?

    I can imagine Sandy's 'Oscar' speech if TDC had won, given his past performance at black tie dos:

    Yer f*ckin t*ssers. Yer f*ckin t*ssers. C'mon, in my face. IN MY F*CKIN FACE!

  4. so tdc have reduced waiting times down from truly horrific, but it still seems long enough to prompt people to borrow a book to read whilst waiting to be seen.

  5. Its actually very easy to get one of these awards, all you have to do is to have a policy for everything, the fact that a Council doesn't have anyone to actually do anything is conveniently ignored or when anything is done it is done 'within the rules/policy' and makes not one jot or iota of difference. There are some very good Officers working at TDC but by the same token there are still some who are time servers who do the very minimum and still stay within the 'Policy'
    I am not even sure that there was ever a visit to Thanet by the people who judge these awards, anyone can write a good review of some thing and submit it but very often a visit reveals a different story.

  6. My own opinion on this one is that a library is a wholly inappropriate place to double as a council office, a libraries primary functions are to be a repository for books and to produce an atmosphere suitable for reading.

    None of the council officers or librarians I know are happy with the Thanet Gateway as are none of the ordinary readers I talk to about it, and as a bookseller I talk to a lot of people that read.

    Efficiency and modernisation only seems to me to be one step away form building more tractors, I suspect there is a considerable increase in borrowing of both “Brave New World” and “1984”.

    The proper way to run this sort of council office would to be to have an appointments system, both to ensure that people saw an appropriate officer and to save them waiting around while other people are being seen.

    Considerable pressure could be taken off the council if the councils website had more information on it and if the search facility on worked properly.

    What I find most worrying though is that members of the council perceive something that is so very obviously bad as being good, it doesn’t bode well for making Thanet a better place if people running the show genuinely can’t tell good from bad.

  7. It's unbelievable. I wade through the rubbish, strewn down my street, tripping over broken paving slabs in the semi-darkness because so many street-lights are out.

    The failure to recycle, the failure to provide wheelie-bins, the failure to clean up the town-centre when the market has been there.

    I could go on about the total abject failure of planning policy, with fewer green spaces than the most densely populated parts of London, inadequate water and electricity supplies, grid-locked roads, the dire shortage of leisure facilities and the demonstrable lack of investment in leisure.

    But what would be the point?

    Some complete kn*b who has probably never even been here, has told them that they are great and they are all busy slapping themselves on the backs and swilling champagne at our expense. it makes me so F*cK**g angry. How on earth do we get rid of these self-congratualtory wasters?

  8. The only way as far as i can see is either to collect signatures for a vote of no confidence now, or to march through their wards to persuade all those who never vote to just vote for once and put us out of our misery - but of course we can't do this for another two years


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