Written by Heather Keen, Cliftonville West Councillor, and deputy Mayor.

Unlike other towns in Thanet, Margate does not have a Town Council but instead the councillors elected to the seven wards (Margate Central, Cliftonville East and West, Dane Valley, Salmestone, Westbrook and Garlinge) automatically become Charter Trustees. Charter Trustees have very limited powers to act for the benefit of the areas they represent, whereas a Town Council could do so much more. Examples would be improving street cleaning, providing better equipped play areas, supporting local events, and working with local businesses.

This is why we are launching a bid for a Margate Town Council. To make this happen we first need to collect 3100 signatures from the people registered to vote in the seven wards. Once enough people have signed up, then Thanet District Council can hold a Community Governance review and residents will be asked to vote for or against a Town Council. The decision rests purely on how the majority vote at this stage.

We know people will have many questions about becoming a Town Council, so we are arranging a series of meetings in each ward to give people more information and answer questions. Everyone is welcome to attend, and no booking is necessary.

We have also launched our website www.margatetowncouncil.co.uk where people can find out more information and add their signature to the proposal.

As a councillor in Cliftonville West I fully support our bid to become a Town Council because I am convinced that it would benefit our area.