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.