THE leader of Thanet Council has announced his immediate resignation, just one day before a vote called by local Tories to oust him was due to take place.
The motion against Council leader Rick Everitt was lodged by Thanet Conservative Party leader Cllr Ash Ashbee, who said: “In my opinion the Leader has failed to address the major governance issues that have been apparent within Thanet District Council for a considerable amount of time. As a result, I propose the Council removes the Leader of the Council from office.”
Councillors were due to vote tomorrow, but will no longer have the opportunity, leaving deputy leader Helen Whitehead to take up the leadership position temporarily until the vote can be rescheduled – likely after the upcoming elections.
Responding to Cllr Everitt’s decision, Thanet’s Conservative Party issued the following statement: “We are incredibly disappointed that Cllr Everitt has taken the decision to stand down as leader of the council ahead of an extraordinary council meeting, one which could have resulted in a new leader being elected by members.
“Cllr Everitt has shown the residents of Thanet the little regard he and the Labour Party have for the democratic process at council.
“This lacklustre Labour administration has failed to address the serious issues of governance that have been apparent within Thanet District Council for a considerable amount of time, even before the Covid-19 pandemic which Cllr Everitt called a ‘golden opportunity’.
“Far from respecting the democratic process, Cllr Everitt has sought to undermine the very fabric of our council by threatening the leaders of other political parties and his bullying will not be tolerated.
“Residents deserve better and they can anticipate a Conservative administration that will put them first when a vote of the leadership of this council takes place.”