Tuesday, 4 January 2011

HAVE YOUR SAY - 4 items

A MUST read, please take part in the consultations or LIVE with the consequences below.

I've saved, till after Christmas, 3 items which might help you get your voice heard.  And the fourth item is what happens when we don't have our say!  Skim it and decide … will you be checking the Council's website daily?



-----Original Message-----
From: T
Sent: 21 December 2010 16:29

And even more ways to have your say! Why are all these press releases going out just before Christmas?


----- Forwarded Original Message -----

From: "Hannah Thorpe" <Hannah.Thorpe@thanet.gov.uk

Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 3:34 PM



Thanet residents can now go online to have their say and submit petitions about issues that concern them.


 Petitions can still be submitted by paper, but the new ePetition initiative allows people to visit the council's website at www.thanet.gov.uk and submit a petition electronically. To submit an ePetition, you will need to register, providing your name and e-mail address. If you have already signed up to the council's subscribe to

 updates feature, which allows you to receive e-mails on council committees, then you will be able to use your existing user name and password.


 All petitions need to include:

 - A clear and concise statement on the subject of the petition.

 - What action the petitioners want the council to take.

 - The name and signature of anyone supporting the petition.

 ePetitions are available for signing electronically.


 The council's response to a petition will depend on what it asks for and how many people sign it. There are a number of things the council can do in response, which include taking the action requested, considering the petition at a meeting, holding a meeting with the petitioners or holding an inquiry into the matter.


 Recent petitions submitted to the council covered a range of subjects, including town centre shopping, parks and CCTV.


 Leader of the Council, Cllr. Bob Bayford, said: "Signing a petition or an e-petition is one of the many ways that local people can make their views known to the council. With the introduction of our new e-petitions system, your petition can now be available to a potentially much wider audience, than the traditional paper based system."


 Paper petitions can be submitted to Democratic Services and Scrutiny Manager, Thanet District Council, PO Box 9, Cecil Street, Margate, CT9 1XZ. If you would like to speak to someone about submitting a petition, please contact the Democratic Services team on 01843 577500.


Hannah Thorpe, Corporate Communications and Marketing Officer, Thanet District Council

Direct Dial: 01843 577120


----- Original Message -----

From: "Hannah Thorpe" <Hannah.Thorpe@thanet.gov.uk

Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 2:54 PM

Subject: Budget consultation 2011-12: Make it count


 Now's the time to Make it Count and give your views on where the council's limited resources should be targeted in Thanet next year.


 Leader of the Council, Cllr. Bob Bayford, said: "It's important for us to know and understand residents' views on how we spend their money as we shape next year's budget.  We need to know which things really matter to you, which things could be delivered differently, which services offer value for money and which, if necessary you could do without.  It will help us to make the right decisions on your behalf if you would take part in our budget consultation.


 As a result of reductions to our government grant, Thanet council will need to spend up to 23% less over the next two years.  We will make every effort to protect those services which are most important to you. We look forward to hearing your thoughts."


 To get involved you can complete a survey online at www.thanet.gov.uk/budget or pick up a survey from local libraries and council offices. You can also request a copy of the survey by e-mailing consultation@thanet.gov.uk or calling 01843 577120.


----- Original Message -----

From: "Hannah Thorpe" <Hannah.Thorpe@thanet.gov.uk

Sent: Monday, December 20, 2010 3:56 PM

Subject: New consultations


Dear Residents' Panel member,


We have recently launched the council's budget consultation for 2011-12 'Make it count'.  If you would like to take part online please just go to: www.thanet.gov.uk/budget


To pick up a hard copy of the survey you can collect one from your local Thanet library (from Wednesday morning) or request a copy by return e-mail

or by calling 01843 577120.  The consultation is open until Friday 21 January 2011.


It's more important than ever for local people to get involved as the council faces significant cuts in funding from central government over the next year.  We need to know what matters most to local people to ensure that we are targeting the money we do have towards the things that are most important.


You are also invited to attend a focus group on Tuesday 18 January from 6.30p.m to 8.00pm at Thanet District Council Offices to discuss the budget consultation in more detail.  At this group we will be looking into your priorities for Thanet and also exploring possible ways that the council could make additional savings.  If you would like to attend then please could you confirm by return e-mail or by calling me on 01843 577120.


Please could I also draw your attention to our Thanet Matters consultation. As part of this survey we would like to know the ways that you would prefer the council to communicate with you and if you read the council's publication Thanet Matters what you think of it.  We also want to hear from you if you don't read it to let us know what you would like to see instead. To take part just go to: http://www.thanet.gov.uk/council__democracy/consultation/thanet_matters_2010_survey.aspx


If you have any questions or comments about either consultation please do not hesitate to get in touch.


From: N
Sent: 29 December 2010 13:14
Subject: democracy at work



Council ignores chance for an elected mayor - By andrew woodman andrew.woodman@krnmedia.co.uk

THANET councillors have voted to keep control of electing the leader of the district council after a "public consultation" which attracted fewer than 30 comments.

The council was required under the 2007 Local Government and Public Involvement Act to ask people if they wanted to elect their own mayor such as London's Boris Johnson as opposed to a leader elected by councillors.  Guidance from the secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles recommended that councils spend as little as possible on a consultation, suggesting "no more than newspaper articles or a press release." 

Thanet council, however, resolved to provide neither, relying solely on a page on its website to inform some 120,000 Thanet rate payers of the chance to choose the council's leader.

On Thursday, a meeting of the council heard just 26 people had voiced an opinion on the subject – all in favour of a directly elected mayor.  The number fell far short of the 5,000 residents needed for a referendum to have been held.  Councillors voted to keep control of selecting the leader of the council and to extend the term of office from one to four years.

Conservative leader of the council Bob Bayford, who is against an elected mayor system, defended not making the consultation widely available.  He said: "It was a low-key consultation. The advice we received was that it shouldn't be expensive. This particular piece of legislation was from the old Labour government and our advice was that the Localism Bill may makes changes.  "We did the consultation and we got 26 responses. The issue just didn't capture the public imagination. The interest in local politics isn't that great."

A report by the council's monitoring officer, Harvey Patterson, said the consultation had been budgeted for but if residents had called for a referendum, the council would have had to come up with around £100,000 to fund it.

Mr Bayford downplayed the significance of a new four year term, adding: "I don't think it will make a difference. The council leader could still be removed by the council. The benefit is minimal."

The new system will come into effect in May after the local elections.

Thanet Online blogger, Michael Childs wrote: "The indicators are pretty thin on the ground due to the mishandling of the consultation, but everything there points to the electorate wanting to vote for a leader and the council wanting to choose one.  "Once the council have started down the slippery slope of trying to bend democracy to do what they think is good for local people, instead of allowing local people to vote for what they want, in this case preventing a valid election, then they have passed a line beyond which there is no easy return."


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