Thursday, November 02, 2006

Ramsgate Result In

Postal ballot papers, sent to nearly 29,000 homes in the unparished area of Ramsgate, asking if ‘they want a Parish Council for Ramsgate’ have been counted.

The referendum, which asked the question “Do you want a Parish Council for Ramsgate”, had been organised in response to a petition presented to Thanet District Council, calling for the creation of a Parish Council for the non-parish areas of Ramsgate.

Nearly 12,000 ballot papers were returned to Thanet District Council, which amounted to a turnout of 41.06%. The count, which took place over two days, revealed 58.47% in favour of a Parish council and 40.8% against.

Those who were eligible to take part in the referendum were those who were registered to vote on 1 September in the following wards:
• Central Harbour
• Cliffsend and Pegwell (excluding the existing Cliffsend Parish Council area)
• Eastcliff
• Nethercourt
• Newington
• Northwood
• Sir Moses Montefiore

The next steps of the referendum will be the presentation of report to a meeting of Full Council later this month (Thursday 23 November) with a recommendation that a report setting out Thanet District Council’s position on the creation of a Parish Council for Ramsgate be submitted to the Secretary of State.


Mr Friday said...

I wonder if Ramsgate residents will be as enthusiastic when they start paying their extra Council Tax each year and then realise that parish councils, in the big scheme of things, have hardly any authority or power at all ?

Mr Friday said...

Me again ! Just looking at those figures it seems that the biggest winner yet again in local democracy was apathy.

So, overall, less than 25% of Ramsgate residents positively voted for a parish council ?

James Maskell said...

Well, the Ramsgate people have spoken (41.8% have, that is) and they want a Parish Council. I agree with Mr Friday though about how those who voted in favour probably wont feel so happy to have voted in favour once their Council Tax dues come in. Their bill is likely to increase a fair bit.

I feel that Ramsgate should have put more pressure on their KCC and TDC Councillors to represent them better so that there would be less need for a Parish Council. A Parish Council isnt really necessary in Ramsgate when it has TDC and KCC representation. Oh well...

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many people who voted thought it sounded like a good idea since it's been offered on a plate so why not? How many actually thought it through, a tier of local government with no bite like most Parish Councils. Am I wrong or not?

Mr Friday said...

I think James and anon both have fair points.

I live in Broadstairs and contribute to Broadstairs Town Council as part of my Council Tax. It should be noted that their individual charge increased by 6.1% last year - more then the respective increases from TDC/KCC etc.

I often asked myself whether or not I was getting value for money so I took the opportunity to go through the minutes of the town council's meetings. Now, I was looking for some real issues to be addressed - things like the traffic congestion in St Peters, anti-social behaviour on the seafront. What did I find ? Some excerpts are below:

1. The District Council’s Environmental Action Program team are to replace the chestnut fencing around Nuckles Gardens. The Town Clerk has requested that railings be re-instated instead of chestnut fencing.

2. The Chairman requested that the poor specimen of a Rubber Plant be removed from the alcove in the Council Chamber

So, if anyone has any doubts that parish / town councils do not tackle the things that really matter to local residents be reassured by the above. They are on the case.

Good luck Ramsgate !!

Old Git said...

It's like the questionaires people answer in the street. It depends how they are worded:
"Madam/Sir, if you was offered better representation at local level would you vote in favour of such a move?" Yes/No. £50 says most people would say "Yes".
Now the caveat. "If you was offered better representation at local level would you vote in favour of such a move....not withstanding the extra £60 per year on your council tax for some non-entity nimby to talk about rubber plants on the plinth in the Parish Hut." Consider too that a lot of people sitting on Parish councils are people with time on their hands, make that retired, with inflexible stuck in the mud attitudes who want a quiet life along with a certain degree of pomposity. For PCs to be taken seriously they need to show they are effective, are represented by young, old, men, women...not just old people and usually male, and that they will cater for the elderly's requirements as well as the young's impartially not to their own sneaky agenda. These PCs come over as Darby & Jones clubs half the time.