The weather was fine without a cloud in the sky for the Westenhanger Otterpool exhibition, but where were the masses of the Silent majority that support the building of a commuter, dormitory town as espoused… More
A great night for the ‘Ashford Independent’s’ who are now the official opposition to the Conservatives.
A special thanks goes out to Linda Harman who attended our Mass Rally in Hythe last Saturday, 27th April, supporting our campaign against Otterpool Park.
Linda, contesting the Saxon Shore ward, beat Jane Martin (Con. 410 votes) into second place with 528 votes as an ‘Ashford independent’.
Linda is also a member of Aldington Parish Council so look forward with sharing information across borders. Well done Linda.
Conservative: 26 Ashford Independent: 11 Labour: 7 Green: 2 Independent: 1
Lib Dems and UKIP have no seats.
The Official election results: Folkestone and Hythe District Election 2019:
Since the announcement of two senior council members having offshore bank accounts was posted, speculation has been rife. Many Residents have already pointed the finger as to who it could be. We are now naming them. According to ‘Shepwayvox’ they are:
Conservative Leader David Monk and Deputy Leader Jennifer Hollingsbee of Folkestone and Hythe District Council.
Mr. Monk, at present, is both a District and Kent County Councillor and is standing in the Folkestone Central ward hoping to be re-elected next Thursday 2nd May.
Mrs. Hollingsbee is Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities and, she too, is hoping to be re-elected in the North Downs West ward next Thursday.
Is it justified for Councillors holding public office to have such accounts and, is it right that such accounts do not appear in their ‘Register of Interests’? In the name of transparency, we only ask the question.
It is not against the law to hold offshore accounts, nor do we imply that both Councillors have done anything illegal.
No OTTERPOOL TOWN was the theme of the event with banners displayed, drums banged and whistles blown along Hythe High Street. Police were in attendance that helped the flow of the march through the town, holding up the traffic, putting safety first for all those attending. A big thank you goes out to Kent Police.
A rallying call went out to all candidates standing in next Thursdays election and, the candidates didn’t disappoint.
David Plumstead, co-organiser, was first up concentrating on environmental issues. With water a major concern, or lack of it in the region, it would be difficult to see how Affinity Water could supply the homes already agreed in the local plan. With the Housing infrastructure fund of £281,000,000 denied from central Government, FHDC are already kicking their heels probably relying on their offshore bedfellows Cozumel Estates to cough up the cash. Fat chance of that with a 50/50 collaboration agreement in place.
Labour, The Green Party, UKIP, The Foundation Party and one Independent candidate all hit the mark with comments about localism and representing the majority view within the District. They were all given a fair crack of the whip with each and every candidate receiving applause from supporters across the board. Tribalism was clearly consigned to the dustbin on the day creating an atmosphere of friendship and camaraderie.
Jim Martin, standing as Green Party candidate, clearly spoke out against the Conservative undemocratic regime saying “vote for anyone next Thursday, but don’t vote Conservative. Supported by Lesley Whybrow, also standing as a Green Party candidate in Hythe, the message was one of the same. News of Princes Parade can be viewed here: http://saveprincesparade.org/
Representing Labour, Christopher Deane made the point that exorbitant profits were being made by PLC builders of over £60,000 on a property worth £213,000. Michelle Dorrell (Labour) spoke passionately about inflated house prices leaving local residents, on a local salary, floundering when it came to stepping on to the property ladder. Council house building has been pitiful under this Conservative Council.
Bryan Rylands standing as an Independent pulled no punches when it came to exposing two very senior Councillors at FHDC with offshore bank accounts. He named and shamed them both leaving the crowd open mouthed and angry. We will leave it to you all to check out the publication on the Shepwayvox website over the coming days: https://shepwayvox.org/
Liz Phillips representing the UK Independence Party spoke passionately about representing the people of the North Downs West ward. Clearly up to speed with the environmental damage that a commuter town would bring, the message was more than clear. Speaking for the issues within the ward she said “It’s a NO to Otterpool and a NO to the Lorry Park.”
A new party on the block is The Foundation Party. Mary Lawes, is a tireless campaigner and a stalwart in supporting our campaigns. Mary (formerly UKIP and Independent) is already a District Councillor for the Folkestone Harbour ward so will be campaigning on her existing track record notably recognised by her loyal constituents.
Les Barratt, Co chairman of Sellindge & District Residents Association said “We set out to achieve the goal of bringing our campaign back into the media spotlight. With Meridian News in attendance alongside local press, the coverage was fantastic. If the Council think we’ve gone away or suffering from campaign fatigue they are very much mistaken. Support from political parties and independent groups is now more solid than ever. We are now stepping up our campaign to tackle the Otterpool application. Watch this space.”
To all those foot soldiers who distributed leaflets and displayed posters; a massive THANK YOU. We also had support from Carol and Peter, owners of Potten Farm, Sellindge – THANK YOU for displaying our posters so enthusiastically. A prime example of local business supporting local issues, for local people. Well done.
Last March a local Parish Councillor wrote to our Prime Minister, Theresa May, concerning the effect that a Commuter Town would have upon the District. He also cited reasons why certain Councillors are not fit for purpose with allegations of taking bribes against a number of them. The matter still has to be fully investigated. We stress that these are only allegations. However, Kent Police have issued a crime reference number. The letter was endorsed by local residents, Parish and District Councillors as well as a Kent County Councillor. Please click the link to view.
The response issued was the usual diatribe that we have come to expect. Did you spot the spelling mistake? Ms Price almost got it right.
Readers of our site will be aware of our views when it comes to voting for any candidate in a local election. There may be a Party policy that some candidates strictly adhere to, on the other hand, there may well be a renegade candidate acting as if they were ‘independent’. Either way, the advice is the same. Only vote for a candidate that represents your views.
Here we have a point in question that illustrates that the advice given is both sound and sensible. Looking at the North Downs West candidates in turn you may want to reconsider your voting pattern given that you weren’t fully aware of the candidates’ position on issues that affect you.
Hollingsbee and Carey (Conservative) Both intent on developing a new town over farmland even though over 14,500 homes are already scheduled to be built within the local plan. So if you’re in favour of 8,500 additional homes plus, you may want to vote Conservative. Their view on Otterpool Town has been consistent.
Neil Matthews (Lib Dem) “As you are probably aware, the current District Council has no functioning opposition. This has allowed plans to be made for building a very large Garden Town which should not impinge on the amenity of neighbouring villages and towns. Unfortunately the proposed scheme will certainly do just that. I don’t think this should happen. The Council needs a change of direction.”
This seems to be at odds with disinformation being put out by Val Loseby (Lib Dem, New Romney ward) who stated that the District Council already have Otterpool, a town of 10,000 houses which is going ahead, already approved.
Liz Phillips (UKIP) “I am a farmer’s daughter from Acrise now living in Stelling Minnis. There are two huge bones of contention in our ward: Otterpool and the lorry park at Stanford. My answer will be a very loud ‘NO’ to both. Once agricultural land has been built on, it has gone. Neither development is wanted or needed.”
Sophie Mort (Labour) “OTTERPOOL (bearing in mind the Council has already bought the site and received government funding for a garden town)
Reduce the number of houses to 6000.
30% of this housing to be affordable, with local people having first option. 70% of local
market rent is the current guideline for affordable. There are 1000 people on the housing
waiting list who need to have their housing needs met before incomers. First homes for
local families to purchase also to be available.”
Sophia Moffat-White (Labour) No comment
The official Labour Party position: “Labour are opposed to the plans for Princes Parade and Otterpool Park. A Labour Council will scrap the plans for both projects immediately.”
Susan Chivers (Green Party) “We are deeply against Princes Parade, and the Lorry Park (although that doesn’t seem to be a current issue from what I can see); however, we are not totally against Otterpool as we have accepted that more housing is needed – we DO need to fight to ensure it is to a reasonable scale, though, that all essential infrastructure (water, transport, doctors, schools etc) is included and held to!, and that the prescribed affordable housing percentage is adhered to.”
Susan’s position seems to be in line with the Shepway Green Party.
Your choice, your vote, choose wisely.
With just a few days to go before our MASS RALLY in Hythe this Saturday, 27th April, local support has been amazing. We feature the Flower Barn within the Potten Farm complex only too willing to come on board to show support. Many Hythe shops and traders are of the same mindset, displaying our posters as a rallying call for residents to attend.
The Rally is an event of two halves. Meeting in Douglas Avenue at 10.30am, the March through the town will be all about stopping the unwanted and unneeded Otterpool Town; the brainchild of Council Leader David Monk. Whistles, flutes and drums to be encouraged. Placards and banners are a must. BUT PLEASE, NO POLITICAL PARTY BANNERS during the march.
Terminating at the rear of Aldi, speakers square, candidates will have a platform to tell residents on why they should be voting for them. This will be the time to display political banners and hand out flyers.
T shirts will be on sale helping to boost Association coffers. Pre-ordering may be advisable, but not essential. Many sizes will be available on the day.
Spread the word, tell your friends and neighbours and let’s get the message out there.
See you all on Saturday.
BREAKING: JUST REVEALED: TWO VERY SENIOR FHDC MEMBERS HAVE OFFSHORE BANK ACCOUNTS – JERSEY AND ISLE OF MAN. More to follow on this story .
The Official list is now in the public domain of all candidates in the local elections being held on Thursday, 2nd May 2019.
Click here to view ‘Statement of Persons nominated’:
Please remember that you will not be voting on issues surrounding the NHS or Trident. This is purely about electing a handful of people that affect our lives at a local level.
Please, please, please forget tribalism and vote for the individual. Make a list of all the issues that are important to you and ask them for a position statement. If they fall short of coming up with the goods for you, don’t vote for them. Meet with them, check out their body language, make eye contact, do what you have to do to ensure that you don’t end up with some of the undesirable incumbent’s that we already have.
It’s your district, you make the choices.
Our Association now has the application for the proposed Otterpool Park Town. We will be commenting further in due course.
Here it be:
‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again’.
Referring to the three FHDC Otterpool Consultations, our beloved Council has never published the results as to whether local residents were for or against the urbanisation of our countryside with a 10,000 dwelling commuter town. Moreover, the fact that local Parish Councils told Leader Monk and his Cabinet that Otterpool wasn’t welcomed sent Mr. Monk into a near apoplectic rage.
We have recently learned that a Great Chart/Singleton (Ashford) Parish Councillor has been recruited by FHDC to engage with local Parish Councils to raise their concerns over the proposed Otterpool Park development. But why a Councillor based in Ashford?
Mr. McClintock states that he has had experience of dealing with issues surrounding the Chilmington Green development so thinks he can help us iron out any issues we may have with the proposed Otterpool Park development, or words to that effect.
Now, we know nothing about Mr. McClintock and feel sure that he is an upright, law abiding, honourable citizen with good intentions, which is more than could be said about certain Councillors here in Folkestone and Hythe.
Going on past performance of Leader Monk, one has to question the motivation of recruiting Mr. McClintock when we have already met with FHDC’s experts at previous consultations. Could it be that we have never engaged with them simply because we don’t need a commuter town, thereby not ticking the Otterpool Town engagement box to prove to any Planning Inspector that Residents are ‘on board’.
Forgive our cynicism, but could it be that Mr. McClintock is being used by our own Council to engage with a number of our own Parish Councils simply to state to a Planning Inspector that Parish Councillors are now engaging and shaping the proposed Otterpool Park Town, thereby being ‘Community led’ as per the criteria for a Garden town.
As Residents, we all have the right to know in which direction our elected leaders are taking us with regard to Otterpool. Please take the time to go along to your Parish meeting and make your views known.
Did we mention that Councillor McClintock was on the payroll of Folkestone & Hythe District Council.