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KCC members call for plaque to recognise role in regenerating Margate

PUBLISHED: 15:07 11 September 2017

Turner Contemporary. Photo: Visit Kent

Turner Contemporary. Photo: Visit Kent

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The council provided significant financial backing for the Turner Contemporary gallery

The role Kent County Council has played in regenerating Margate should be recognised with a commemorative plaque, members claim.

Conservative councillor, and Dartford Borough Council leader Jeremy Kite, made the suggestion during a meeting of KCC’s growth, economic development and communities cabinet committee at County Hall.

Thanet has recently emerged as the fastest growing tourism economy in the country, with its success largely attributed to the Turner Contemporary art gallery, which received significant financial backing from KCC.

Cllr Kite said: “When I visit Margate, I am astounded by the transformational effect of the investment that has gone on.

“But when you go round, there is really no recognition of the role that KCC has played.

“If we are not going to get our logo on the side of the Turner Contemporary - which by the sounds of it, we’re not - can we not advertise and promote the fact that we are backing Margate to this extent and have been part of that transformation?

“I think it is important that people recognise - in a time when councils get a bad about rap sometimes - that goodwill, good decisions and good money can have a transformational effect on a good town.”

Broadstairs councillor Rosalind Binks added: “I do think we ought to have something and frankly every other council has a plaque or something saying who paid the money.

“KCC should have some sort of plaque arrangement, particularly when we fund a building or a project which is visible.”

The council’s cabinet member for communities, Mike Hill, responded to the comments by saying “the idea of some kind of physical example of what we do is worth thinking about”.

However Ukip leader of Thanet District Council, Chris Wells, didn’t approve of the proposal.

“I am disappointed to see that Kent county councillors have nothing better to do than debate how to pat themselves on the back,” he told us.

“If they are short of things to do, I have quite a long list of things they could do in Thanet, starting, but certainly not finishing, with the maintenance of the roads and the state of the weeds growing through them.”

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