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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. 


Monday, 8 May 2017


Dear Residents,


Well, she pulled it off. Going on the old adage that you can fool some of the people, some of the time has most definitely worked for KCC Councillor, Susan Carey. She convinced one in five of the Elham Valley electorate to go along to the polling station and place a cross next to her name. But were they aware that Ms Carey was not, shall we say, putting the electorate totally in the picture. Did they vote for the smiling Susan that you see pictured below, stating that she would safeguard the environment, give young people the best possible start in life, campaigning for better broadband and mobile phone signals. Of course they did. They were also probably of the mindset that they had always voted Conservative so why would they want to change a habit of a lifetime when all appears so hunky dory. 

But hang on a minute; did they realise that there was another side to Ms Carey: one that she is actually ashamed of. Yes, ashamed of. If she wasn't ashamed of her involvement in the urbanisation of our countryside or the fact that she voted to support the building of a lorry park, why didn't she shout it from on high. Quite simply because it would probably have altered the voting pattern of the election and ensured that her KCC salary and expenses would be extinguished in one foul swoop. 

Pictured below is (also) the smiling Susan Carey that we have used on our spoof election material to keep the electorate completely in the picture. Obviously it didn't reach 1 in 5 of the electorate that actually voted for Ms Carey, but it better reflects what Ms Carey is all about.

My name is Susan Carey. I support the urbanisation of our countryside in and around Lympne, Sellindge, Newingreen, Westenhanger and Court at Street.
I voted for the concreting over of 250 acres of good arable farmland to build a Lorry Park that would never actually solve the problems that Operation Stack brings to this part of Kent.
I voted for and support the building of 150 homes and a leisure centre at Princes Parade, Hythe.
I fiercely rebuffed any suggestion from Councillor Mary Lawes that existing homes should be upgraded before building a New town that would bring 30% open space (as opposed to 100%) to rural communities.
I, along with deputy Leader Hollingsbee, have always maintained my position (since the Lorry park and New Town announcements) regarding meeting the Shepway electorate: NO PUBLIC MEETINGS WHATSOEVER. If you would like to talk with me and Jenny Hollingsbee, please contact me to arrange a meeting. I will only speak to individuals.

There we have it. Susan Carey didn't actually write any of that, but it more accurately reflects her position as a Councillor. So, was she dishonest or economical with the truth on her election material? Was she too ashamed to mention all of the facts above? Is she fit to hold public office? We'll leave you to decide all of those things. So, if you happen to meet a Carey voter, ask them if they actually know what they've voted for. Chances are, you'll be met with a vacant gaze and the old adage: "They're all the same, whoever you vote for".

God help us.


Saturday, 29 April 2017


Dear 4th May Voters,

Our Co Chairman, Les Barratt, has issued the following statement. 
We will now cease posting on our website until after the County Election on the 4th May. 
Please take the time to read the statement below:


Dear Residents,

With less than 5 days to go to the County Election on the 4th May, I can only wonder whether we are all drinking in the Last Chance Saloon.
The opportunity to begin the unravelling of the Cabal that has taken hold of our District Council has never been greater. I speak of the County and District Councillor Susan Carey who is standing as the Conservative candidate in the Elham Valley Division of Shepway. This election is not only about who represents us at County level, but a message to Ms Carey, as well as Shepway District Council, telling her that we don't want her or her type any longer. 
We want to be represented, and we want to be represented now. Her actions of disregarding the views of the electorate, leads me to believe that Ms Carey is not fit to hold public office.

Ms Carey is the incumbent Councillor who strongly supports the building of the Lorry Park, the New Town and Princes Parade. Readers of our website will be more than familiar with our recent posting of our 'alternative' flyer for Ms Carey with a slightly more honest approach to her position.

Over the past few months we have been asked whether we are anti Conservative. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our Association is made up of people of various political persuasions; people with a vision for our area, people who believe in the democratic process.
Our position is clear: We are opposed to the Civic Centre Conservatives who believe they can ride roughshod over any democratic process, thereby foisting upon us unwanted and unneeded developments in and around our communities.

We have also been asked if we are anti development. Once again, of course not. it was our Association that took the lead in the Sellindge development where 250 homes are to be built. Originally, 1100 homes were planned, but through our negotiations with land owners and statutory bodies, a plan took preference to build homes around a village green. In the general scheme of developments, our position is aligned with CPRE.

On the election front, our true conservative friends now have a dilemma. Will they vote for the party or will they look to the individual candidates in this County election that best represent their views, locally.
I have had numerous conversations with conservative friends and the general consensus of opinion is that they feel embarrassed to say that they have voted Conservative in the past, but more importantly, they feel betrayed. They voted in good faith and have now been let down. Their votes will now be going elsewhere.
Conversely, I have engaged in conversation with, shall we say, non thinking Conservative voters who would vote for their party irrespective of the harm that it would bring to themselves or their communities. Turkeys voting for Christmas or Lemmings? It must be said that this type of neanderthal disposition can be seen across the political spectrum; it is not purely the domain of some Conservatives voters.
I often wonder how a manifesto pledge would be welcomed if it read: "Vote for me, I will reinstate execution for ALL of my local electorate". I'm sure we would still here the same retort from ill informed voters: "Ah well, they're all the same whoever you vote for" or "Makes no difference, they'll still get in".
Of course it's funny, but also tragic. Tragic in the sense that residents who really care about their communities may have to suffer for the sake of the cave man or woman mindset electorate. Is this the group of the electorate that our Councils or Governments rely upon to keep them in power?

Voting is an opportunity for us all to have our say, so please take the time to vote. Some will vote with hearts, some with heads, and some tactically. Whoever you vote for, make sure that the candidate that best reflects your views or passion is the one that you put your cross next to on May 4th.

As I have already stated, this is an opportunity to send a message to Shepway District and Kent County Councils that we have had enough of the pretence and deception from Ms. Carey and her other party candidates standing in this election. Take a look at their campaign literature. It is filled with superficial promises and peripheral issues that should be playing second fiddle to the proposed New Town and Lorry Park. No mention whatsoever.

These are proposals that we all have demonstrated about on five separate occasions. It's not as if they haven't heard us. They turn away, just as they're turning away now at this election.

In early December, we had a New Town Community engagement. We still have had no feedback from Shepway District Council on the outcome of it. Conveniently mislaid, forgotten or other.
I predicted that we wouldn't hear about it until after the election on the 4th May simply because, if the truth was told, it would be damning and could well affect the voting pattern of the election. In our own exit poll we found support running for the building of a New Town totalled 1.5%. We have the contact details of all residents that were surveyed.

So if you still wonder whether Ms. Carey deserves your vote, consider this:

At a recent Council meeting when Cllr. Mary Lawes commented against the proposed New Town but preferred to direct investment towards other parts of Folkestone and brownfield sites, Ms Carey, retorted: "You're speaking out the back of your head". Ms. Carey was then applauded by her cabinet friends.

Ms. Carey has stated on numerous occasions that she will never attend a public meeting to debate major issues.

At a recent Hustings at the Civic Centre where a Conservative representative was scheduled to attend, the seat reserved for the Conservative member remained empty. Representatives from all other parties taking part in the County election were in attendance.

Is it any wonder that our conservative voters feel embarrassed and betrayed.

To conclude, we are closing down our website until after the County election. By the time we open our site, we will know whether the opportunity has been taken by the electorate to send the message to our councils that we require honesty, integrity and representation from our elected Councillors. I truly hope that this will be the case. Please consider very carefully where you place your cross on the 4th May.

Les Barratt. Co Chairman, Sellindge & District Residents Association.

Lib Dem Video.

Dear 4th May Voters,

A latecomer to our site, Ross Clark has requested that we post his election video on behalf of the Lib Dems.
So here it be:


Dear 4th May Voters,

We have an apology to make to Mr. Lofting. He has taken the time and trouble to write to us but his attachment slipped through our net. However, the sentiment in his message is so strong on the subject of free speech that we have decided to publish it today. Please forgive us, we're only human. 

Better late than never:

Heavy Handed Bully Boy Tactics


I thought that the end of the cold war, when the wall in Berlin came down we had seen the end of the Stazi. It appears that it has resurfaced at Shepway District Council.


Not withstanding the regulations on fly posting, I can understand SDC's frustrations with a rally organised against their pet project (garden town), but we live in a democratic country, remember last June?, I cannot see how a council have the powers to censor a website just because they do not like it, I don't like my hard earn't council tax being used for building land investment. Had the contents been offensive then perhaps, but as the information is to inform people to an event, then I would say this is a gross interference in our lives.


What are we to do?

What the SDC seems to have forgotten in their airs of superiority, is the fact we are not mindless minions. First of all tell everyone and anyone that you know, about the rally and get them to attend on 22nd April and then take a leaf out of the new generations book and take to social media in all its forms and broadcast far and wide!


I expect true to Stazi form, there will be a presents undercover from SDC, to see who is opposing them, but as far as I am aware, providing the march is peaceful they cannot oppose or stop it, lets be loud proud and let our feelings be felt all the way to Castle Avenue. Do not let the bullies win.


Richard Lofting

Wednesday, 26 April 2017


Dear 4th May Voters,

We are being contacted by residents who are still unfamiliar with the election process at County level. 

So, to be absolutely clear, this is our message to those Residents.

The Shepway area is divided up into six areas known as divisions.

Each area will have a number of candidates who will be seeking your vote. For example; if you are in the Elham Valley Division (look on your voting card) you will see that Susan Carey, Conservative (the incumbent Councillor) is standing for reelection.
Standing against her are other candidates representing UKIP, Labour, Lib Dems and The Green Party.

They are all seeking your vote to represent you at County Hall: They will be your voice at Kent County Council. 

Your vote will ONLY count in the Elham Valley Division. 

The other five areas' vote totals will have no effect whatsoever on the Elham Valley Division. Similarly, the Elham Valley vote totals will not affect the outcome of any other of the five Divisions.

When the results are known, the Shepway area will have six County Councillors representing us all at County Hall in Maidstone. 

Set out below is the outcome of the Elham Valley Division 2013 (taken from the KCC website).

Election results for Elham Valley

County Council - Thursday, 2nd May, 2013

Elham Valley - results
Election CandidatePartyVotes%
 Susan CareyConservative239344%Elected
 Nick JackUK Independence Party186134%Not elected
 Claire JeffreyLabour79915%Not elected
 Tom McNieceLiberal Democrat3987%Not elected
Voting Summary
Total votes5451
Number of ballot papers issued5477
Number of ballot papers rejected26
Share of the votes (%)
Susan Carey 44%Elected
Nick Jack 34%Not elected
Claire Jeffrey 15%Not elected
Tom McNiece 7%Not elected
Results graph
Rejected ballot papers
Voting for more candidates than entitled7
Unmarked or void for uncertainty17
Voter could be identified2
Total rejected26


Dear 4th May Voters,

On the 21st March, we invited candidates, via our website, to send us a position statement and/or video to post on our site. Posting one division at a time, we are profiling the Folkestone East division where 5 candidates are standing. Set out below is the 2013 election result for your information. 
None of the 5 candidates standing has offered a position statement or video to post on our website.  Please click on the link below to view:
As the divisional boundaries have now changed, we are posting the following 2 divisions:

Folkestone North East
UKIPFrank McKenna91029+12
IndependentBrian William Copping84627+2
ConservativeAnn Elizabeth Berry66421-6
Liberal DemocratLynne Beaumont40413-9
LabourPaul Richard Bingham32410+3
UKIP gain from ConservativeSwing

Folkestone South
UKIPBob Neaves1,00633+10
ConservativeRory Cassian Love98933-10
LabourBen Hart63921+11
Liberal DemocratGary Fuller35312-12
BNPHarry Williams411N/A
UKIP gain from ConservativeSwing

Please note that Cllr. Dick Pascoe is a member of the Conservative group of Shepway District Council that supports the building of the lorry park, Princes Parade and Otterpool New Town. Our Association is strongly opposed to Cllr Pascoe standing in this election given his unrepresentative stance of supporting Shepway Residents. We would openly discourage Folkestone East Residents from voting for Councillor Pascoe.



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