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Public barred from Thanet council meeting

A meeting to announce a councillor vacancy for Margate Central ward will be closed to the public.

Thanet council disqualified Labour member Ian Venables after learning he had taken a secondment working with the district's rough sleepers.

The authority maintains the position is funded by them which is a conflict of interest.

Ian Venables
Ian Venables

Mr Venables is seeking legal advice after it was revealed he sought permission from TDC before taking up the post at RISE.

A meeting held last Friday to discuss the Margate Central vacancy was closed amid angry scenes from the specialist drug and addiction worker's supporters.

The council agenda states. "Mr Venables applied for and has taken up a secondment with the council as a specialist to assist within the council’s housing team in relation to rough sleeping. He took up this secondment position on August 1, 2018.

"This arrangement disqualified Cllr Venables from being a Thanet District Councillor.

"Under the Act a councillor is disqualified from holding office as councillor, if they hold 'paid office or employment or an appointment' which is made or confirmed by the council."

A meeting will now take place at the council chamber this evening at 7pm.

It will be open to the press.

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