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.


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