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People often wonder what Thanet District Councillors actually do.  It's a demanding role for all councillors, even when their party is not the governing one.  We asked Councillor Iris Johnston what an average week could look like.

A Week in the Life of Cllr Iris Johnston

"Sunday 11th September

  • Supported heritage events in Margate and reported Nayland shelter for poor state.
  • Answered several emails and set up meetings for the coming week.

Monday 12th September

  • 9.30 follow up meeting with family who have a member sectioned. Numerous phone calls to Housing Association and The Beacon plus Community Safety. Visit planned to St Martins for case conference that I have insisted on.
  • 10.30 Travel Forum meeting TDC
  • Delivered newsletter to all homes in areas near TDC.
  • Picked up,ward work including reporting rubbish and 'smells ' in communal housing areas. Reported barrier that doesn't work at Union Row.
  • Dropped into Mosque.
  • 2pm meeting re Mayor's Parlour in Media Centre.
  • Dealt with abusive phone call from a lessee who leases a TDC property.
  • More emails and leafleting until home.


Tuesday 13th September

  • 9.30 meeting family at Gateway re one member's serious illness and their pending eviction .
  • 10.00 meeting with clergyman re homeless couple . He helping with storage of their belongings . She is pregnant and unlikely to get help from TDC until the baby is born.
  • 12pm coffee with man who wants to join the Labour Party having had my leaflet.
  • Picked up serious issue in cafe of drunken man harassing staff and customers. Moved him along and reported to TDC again.
  • 12.30 delivered newsletter with help from kind lady I had been helping. We had won a benefits case and she would be an ideal Labour member.
  • 5.30 Margate Town Team meeting
  • 7.00 Standards meeting.


Wednesday 14th September

  • Finished clear up of our garden for man taking green waste.
  • 12.40. Lunch and catch up with John Edwards.
  • 1.15 Meeting in their home with family who have paid £180 for taxi to London  hospital. Nearly an hour chasing reimbursement.
  • 2.10 Met a man in ward who needs disabled parking so picked up details.
  • 2.20. arrived late for public speaking training but got the gist of it!
  • 3.30 Meeting at TDC with man who has problems re 'right to remain' . Considerable follow up work with MP's office and also trying to get family housing and council tax benefit as running out of savings. Family here since 2005 . Children born in England. Are an asset to this country work wise.
  • 4.15 Very depressed person who is sofa surfing with her family. Hopefully, help from lettings agency re a property and helped with benefit forms.


Thursday 15th September

  • Follow up emails and telephone calls on existing cases
  • 11.00 meeting with a mum of five who will be evicted this month from TDC home.,
  • Council won't help re housing due to past problems. Now only hope private sector so made calls and got her interviews and HB form.
  • 1pm to Ramsgate and spoke to East Kent maritime volunteers . Following up on incorrect comments made at Cabinet by Tory  leader re opening times. Sent strong email to Council confirming all hard work .
  • 6.30 Anti social behaviour Randolph Square Margate. Strong tensions. Visited and hopefully calmed things down. Followed up later with emails .
  • 7.00 Labour Campaign Forum North Thanet office.


Friday 16th September

  • Foul weather . Tidied our home ....a bit!
  • Didn't go to WASPI event as no transport.

Saturday 17th September

  • Family visiting.

Sunday 18th September

  • Writing this  and leafleting later plus meeting at 2pm North Thanet office.
  • Answering emails and planning coming week.
  • Homeless and issues at Arlington House plus flooding in various areas also needing much attention.


Just a flavour of what a Councillor can be called upon to do and yes, it is worthwhile!"

What do councillors do? A week in the life of a Labour Councillor

People often wonder what Thanet District Councillors actually do.  It's a demanding role for all councillors, even when their party is not the governing one.  We asked Councillor Iris Johnston...

Cllr Karen Constantine's August Report.


"The homelessness and housing crisis continues with families and more usually, single men, contacting me on a weekly basis for help and support. Some of these individuals cases are taking a long time to resolve.

A small group of travellers were camped out near to the Tesco store on Manston road.  I went to talk to them, to see how they were. It was an interesting conversation. Some of the mums wanted to stay and get their small children into a local school. They were really surprised to hear that 'settled' people had housing issues! They offered to help. They have since moved on.

Unite the Union held a street stall in the middle of Ramsgate recently on homelessness and the housing crisis, I spend sometime there chatting people and did a short interview.

People are still approaching me with employment-related matters and I'm assisting as much as I can. Local residents are welcome to contact me. I will give good advice and moral support.

On a lighter note I popped into Newington Summer Fayre and started my Christmas shopping. Great to get a head start and support local businesses."

August update from Cllr Karen Constantine

Cllr Karen Constantine's August Report. "The homelessness and housing crisis continues with families and more usually, single men, contacting me on a weekly basis for help and support. Some of...

At last year's Labour Party Conference, Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith both spoke passionately to a packed room about Keir Hardie, one  of the founders of the Labour Party.  Both are contributors to the book 'What would Keir Hardie Say?' and the session was about exploring Hardie's vision and relevance to C21st century politics.

A lot has happened in the intervening year and this year's conference will begin with the result of the leadership contest that has been between Jeremy and Owen.  The majority of members hope to put the contest behind us and to turn our full attention to opposing the divisive and unnecessarily harsh policies and measures of this Conservative government.

Conference provides an opportunity for the Party to give full consideration to the whole policy spectrum.  Delegates from across the country will make decisions about the direction of the Party and the nature of Labour's policies going forward.  South Thanet Labour sends a delegate each year and a good number of other members and councillors will be going also.

Issues that are particularly important here in Thanet are our housing and homelessness crisis (see our blog post on the weekend's Sleep Out Saturday), our local health services and social care provision and the government's latest plans for grammar schools. These are all topics that will be under discussion at the conference.

Labour Party Conference is nearly upon us

At last year's Labour Party Conference, Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith both spoke passionately to a packed room about Keir Hardie, one  of the founders of the Labour Party.  Both...

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