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Wednesday, 24 May 2017


Dear 8th June Voters,

The Labour candidate in the forthcoming General Election for the Folkestone and Hythe seat is Laura Davison.

Laura has lived in Folkestone for a number of years and having worked in radio journalism now works full time for the Journalists Union, the NUJ.

Unfortunately, Laura has a long standing commitment to speak at a rally regarding the GP crisis in Folkestone and will therefore not be able to attend a local Hustings at Lympne Village Hall this Thursday, 25th May. She is however, holding a surgery/meeting at Lyminge Village Hall on Tuesday 30th May at 7pm.

Labour will be represented on the night by the Local Party Chair, Chris Deane.

Sunday, 21 May 2017


Dear 8th June Voters,

The Sunday Politics show link is here:  Local news begins just after 36 minutes.

Please click to get the views of Conservative, UKIP and Labour Candidates from across the South East on the issues surrounding Health and Education.


Friday, 19 May 2017


Dear 8th June Voters,

Following the election material of David Plumstead and Martin Whybrow, our third candidate up with his election flyer (click to enlarge) is Stephen Priestley. Stephen is standing under the banner of UKIP with a strong message, not only on national policy, but local too. Stephen is his own man with a passion for the preserving and improving the NHS at every level.

As always, our message to our electorate is look to the individual candidate, if they speak your language, place your cross in the appropriate place on June 8th.


Dear Residents,

A new website has been added to our website, under the heading Useful websites:



Dear Residents,

You may have seen the front page of the Folkestone Herald this week headlining the closure of a Folkestone Surgery. It has been brought to our notice that Damian Collins would reassess the closure AFTER the election. In an email to the Folkestone Herald, Stephen Priestley has set out his views with a highlighted paragraph on Damian Collins' position.
Irrespective of any political allegiance, this pragmatic approach to a worsening situation across Shepway should be applauded, and one which, we believe, other election candidates would also support.

Dear Amy,

Many thanks for your email.

Our local UKIP group have convened an emergency meeting to take place this Saturday afternoon, so that a forensic approach can be taken to this problem, and how best it should be tackled going forward. I will be delighted to provide you with a further very detailed response, once this meeting has taken place, however, in the interim, as the problems are so urgent, I will reply more briefly, ahead of Saturday'smeeting, so that you are able to take this matter forward according to your own time frames. 

The first thing I would like to say is that my professional background of working in secondary mental health services within the NHS for over 20 years gives me a unique vantage point from which to respond. 

GPs across Folkestone and Hythe are under colossal stress and they receive less funding than in Ashford and other areas, even though their patients frequently face greater social deprivation and co-morbid conditions such as drug and alcohol problems, so their needs are often more complex and require robust and timely responses.

There is a great deal of concern about the GP surgery provision in the constituency and that services are at crisis point. I know that many patients will present at A+E departments if they can't see their GP. The same applies to those with physical problems. The delay in seeing your GP in primary care can lead to serious illnesses being diagnosed very late, when conditions have already progressed to serious acute crisis. This then creates increased pressures and a domino effect - I have seen many mental health patients being admitted to psychiatric hospital, and in some cases the outcomes are far worse than if a timely intervention had been available in the first place. The same applies to those with physical health problems: acute admissions occur as the health of patients have deteriorated to a point where treatment in the community is no longer a viable option. So from the perspective of patients, the closure of a GP surgery is a very serious blow. Often GPs have built up relationships with patients over a long period of time, and no longer seeing that dedicated health professional will be a major loss!

Primary care are the gate-keepers to secondary care services and inpatient care for patients, and they play such a crucial healthcare role. GP practices in Folkestone and Hythe need to be given the financial resources to function effectively, and GPs should not have to carry out their vital gatekeeping role in an environment of inadequate resources. The current funding formula which calculates the money GP surgeries receive is inherently unfair, and if elected, I would be campaigning fiercely to see that this is immediately reviewed for all GP surgeries across the constituency, and that greater funding is released as quickly as possible.

In some GP surgeries, there are insufficient GPs and there is a large dependence on Locum GPs, who charge higher rates of pay. The above problems require urgent attention at the highest levels of government, so that adequate funding levels are in place, that GPs are properly supported, that there are adequate numbers of GPs wishing to enter into primary care, and that their jobs are attractive enough for them to wish to remain in the profession, rather than seek to leave for better working conditions elsewhere! 

GPs are the bedrock of the NHS, and it is disingenuous and meretricious of MP Damian Collins to suggest that if reelected the position of Folkestone East Surgery will be 'reassessed and investment will follow.' This does not inspire confidence, given the current situation. MP Damian Collins should in my view have taken robust action at a far earlier stage. Perhaps then Folkestone East Surgery would not have reached the point where closing is the only viable option. Furthermore, why has nothing been done to seek improved GP funding for Folkestone and Hythe's patients, knowing that many face greater social deprivation than in other parts of Kent? 

Urgent action is required to address the capacity of GP surgeries to adequately cater for ALL its residents across Folkestone and Hythe, and I would respectfully suggest that Shepway District Council should fulfil its duty of care to its existing citizens, prior to going forward with the Otterpool project that would boost the Shepway population by 41 per cent!

In summary, my priorities if elected would be to garner at the earliest opportunity increased funding for GP surgeries across the constituency via consultation with all key stakeholders. I would also seek to meet regularly with GP practices across Folkestone and Hythe, to discuss key issues such as GP training and retention, and work towards the longer term objective of making the prospect of working as a GP in our constituency an attractive prospect, so that primary care physicians feel committed and supported to working with our residents for long periods of time, and to end the dependence on Locum GPs as quickly as possible.

Stephen Priestley
UKIP Parliamentary Candidate
Folkestone and Hythe Constituency

Thursday, 18 May 2017


Dear 8th June Voters,

Our Green Party candidate in the general election is Martin Whybrow. Known to many for his pro-active role in the community and recently elected County Councillor, Martin has always been a great supporter of residents, championing their views over local issues; namely, Lorry Park, New Town and Princes Parade.

Here's Martins' election literature:

Tuesday, 16 May 2017


Dear 8th June, General Election Voters,

The table below (click to enlarge) sets out the Candidate for the Conservative party, Damian Collins. Taken from the SDC website, the list of signatories may be familiar to you, notably David Monk, Susan Carey, Jenny Hollingsbee, Peter Gane, Clive Goddard, Dick Pascoe, Roger Wilkins, Robert Bliss, David Owen, Ann Berry, Alan Ewart-James, Russell Tillson, Roger West, Hugh Barker etc, etc. All Shepway District Councillors; some past but most present.

Many of the Councillors, if not all of them are supporters of the Otterpool New Town which David Monk and his cohorts are steam rollering through with absolutely no consultation with the Shepway electorate. Damian Collins is the biggest supporter of the proposed New Town as well as the Lorry Park.

The point is; Would you vote for someone who is instrumental in the wholesale destruction of our communities and countryside with no regard whatsoever of the Parishioners views. 

We would never tell you which way to vote in any election, but if you value your countryside and communities should you be voting COLLINS ?



Dear Residents,

The general election is on. Candidates are contacting us to get their message across to the electorate. First up is David Plumstead. A real local, well known to many for his environmental work and his straight talking, especially when it involves our District Council. Here be the message from David:



Dear Resident,

I am standing for election as your Member of Parliament because there is something rotten in the state of Denmark, namely the District of Shepway and the constituency of Folkestone and Hythe. Democracy here has become a dead letter and that cannot be allowed to continue.

I am angry, very angry at this state of affairs and that has motivated me to contest this election - to speak my mind and confront the business-as-usual naysayers at the Civic Centre. The gloves are off and the time for plain speaking has come.


I have been a conservationist all my life and, as an environmental and community campaigner for over thirty years, I have played a major role in stopping some of the most damaging, quality-of-life-threatening developments in Kent. My record as a campaigner is known to many of you and will appear with my professional history in my manifesto when my main election leaflets are delivered.

I will continue to lobby and campaign to halt housing development, not least Otterpool Newtown affordable only by people who do not live here, to give time, however long it takes, to bring about the necessary changes to our corrupted planning system which forms a large part of our housing problem.

If elected, I will act to deal with local concerns rather than advancing my climb up the greasy Westminster Pole. Unlike our present Member of Parliament, my actions and record over the last thirty years show that to be true.

Any community however small, any individual threatened with unwanted development will have my committed and active support. I would, as now, spend most of my time here rather than braying with the sheep in Westminster.

This will be a tough contest with other candidates vying for your vote. You have to decide which of us has shown they will go the extra mile to serve your quality of life and protect our part of Kent from bulldozers and concrete.

Yes, we know 'It's the economy stupid' but together we can protect our way of life.

Main items on my 'to do' Hit List:

Cancellation of Otterpool Newtown

Preservation of Lympne Airfield

Cancellation of the M20 Lorry Park  

Effectively dealing with road traffic parking

Holding a meaningful constituency-wide referendum on what we really think

Conserving Romney Marsh  

Closing the Gipsy Caravan Park at Wingmore  

Keeping the Royal Victoria Hospital open and re-opening the parts now closed

Helping the Nepalese community etc etc…

I think you get the picture. There's much to do!

Yours sincerely

David Plumstead

Saturday, 13 May 2017


Dear Residents,

Do you think your council tax is being spent on worthwhile and essential services: Ones' that you feel you've have had a say in. Ones' that have followed the path of democracy?

Think again. Our friends at Shepwayvox have highlighted 4 payments to the proposed New Town Master planner's, Arcadis.


Wednesday, 10 May 2017


Dear 8th June Voters,

Are we to assume that the majority of voters residing around Stanford et environs are anti Conservative. We don't think so. Cast your minds back to a life, pre Damian Collins when we were all very well represented by a very good local MP; Michael Howard. Michael, a former Conservative Home Secretary was an excellent local MP who would readily engage with our Association on various local issues. 

The image below shows the sentiment of local constituents towards the individual calling himself Damian Collins. Whether he be a Conservative or a member of any other political party, Mr. Collins is not wanted or required in the constituency of Folkestone and Hythe. 

The message to our Conservative voters is to look to the individual. Read the election material that drops through your door; note the local issues and the candidates position towards them. 

If you are opposed to the major developments: New Town, Lorry Park and Princes Parade, ask Mr. Collins what his position is on these 3 major issues. Ask him why he has continually supported the idea of building the worlds biggest Lorry Park between our Kentish villages when KCC are now supporting smaller Lorry Parks spread along our motorway networks.

So are we anti Conservative? - NO.  Are we anti Damian Collins? You bet we are, with a whopping YES. 



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