East Kent councils

The district councils of Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Shepway and Thanet have been looking into the feasibility of establishing a new single council for east Kent.

Councillors from all five authorities agreed in July 2016 to explore the advantages and disadvantages of a merger and to examine how a new single council could operate.

The purpose of a potential merger was set out in a statement of intent agreed by all the councils.

As a result, work has been progressing on a business case which the councils commissioned the Local Government Association and Local Partnerships to prepare.

Work on the business case is now complete.

Five becomes four

On the basis of the findings from a five-way business case:

  • Ashford Borough Council has announced it no longer intends to be involved in the creation of a single council, but remains strongly committed to working closely with any future new council.
  • The councils of Canterbury, Dover, Shepway and Thanet are to consider a four-way business case.

If this is approved, it would see the abolition of the existing local government district areas and the creation of a new single east Kent council, which would be the largest of its kind in the country.

Read the full five-way business case

Read the full four-way business case

Next steps

Meetings will be held to formally consider the next steps within each council in February and March.

Thursday 9 February Ashford Cabinet
Thursday 16 February Thanet Cabinet
Thursday 16 February Ashford Full Council
Wednesday 1 March Dover Cabinet
Thursday 2 March Thanet Scrutiny
Tuesday 7 March Shepway Cabinet
Thursday 9 March Thanet Cabinet
Tuesday 14 March Dover Scrutiny
Monday 20 March Dover Cabinet
Wednesday 22 March Canterbury Policy and Resources Committee
Wednesday 22 March Canterbury, Dover, Shepway and Thanet Council meetings

If a decision is taken on 22 March to progress this further, the following programme of activity would take place:

Public engagement Spring 2017
Final decision Autumn 2017
Secretary of state approval Autumn 2017
New council legally takes effect April 2019
Elections to the new council May 2019

Further information

On Thursday 6 October 2016 a public information event was held at the Guildhall in Canterbury about the issue. You can watch a video of the meeting or listen to the audio below.

You can read our frequently asked questions (FAQs) which were published ahead of publication of the business case.

Please note that updated FAQs are currently being developed and will be available soon.

Listen to the meeting

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