This just in from Thanet Labour leader Clive Hart:
I sent this communication to Cllr. Latchford this morning and he now (12.30pm) confirms that Cllr Broadhurst will be resigning but that the letter of resignation has to be signed by him in person so it may take a little while coming from Panama.
AN OPEN LETTER REGARDING CLLR STEPHEN BROADHURST CONSERVATIVE MEMBER FOR DANE VALLEY WARD
As Cllr. Ezekiel is on holiday I address this request to you as the Deputy Conservative Group Leader at Thanet District Council.
At a one-to-one meeting with Cllr. Ezekiel shortly before he left for his holidays I asked him exactly what he was going to do about Cllr. Broadhurst, his apparent lack of availability for the residents of Dane Valley Ward and the excessive time he spends on the other side of the world in Panama? Cllr. Ezekiel responded with the words 'if and when it should become a problem, I'll ask him for his resignation'.
I now write to formally ask that the situation regarding Cllr. Broadhurst and his excessive time spent in Panama be dealt with officially by your group.
For far too long Cllr. Broadhurst has been 'invisible' and 'virtually unobtainable' to the residents of Dane Valley Ward. Labour members from surrounding wards are consequently receiving many requests for help. Indeed, I myself have helped an elderly and distraught lady reporting anti-social behaviour and also dealt with serious issues concerning residents and allotments. Labour members at TDC are rooted in their communities and will not turn their backs on decent local residents with problems, but it is simply appalling that the Conservative councillor Stephen Broadhurst appears to be able to do just that!
Several leading articles exposing the amount of time Cllr. Broadhurst spends in Panama and his apparent lack of response to any type of communication have covered local newspapers and have been posted on the world wide web. These articles reflect poorly on TDC as an authority and also on other decent elected members across Thanet.
Worse still, leading Conservative members at TDC are now making cynical public comments about the situation. On his return from holiday the Conservative Chairman of Planning posted the comment 'Return from somewhere (not Panama)' on his internet blog site and the Conservative Cabinet Member for Customer Services & Business Transformation actually posted a comment on the internet jokingly referring to Cllr. Broadhurst as 'the member for Panama'. Such comments from leading members do absolutely nothing to help the situation and expose an underlying culture of blazon disregard for the feelings of local residents at top levels within the current Conservative administration.
I therefore ask that you take the action that Cllr. Ezekiel appeared extremely hesitant to take himself and call for the resignation of your Conservative colleague - Cllr. Stephen Broadhurst.
Cllr. Clive Hart - Labour Group Leader - Thanet District Council.