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Monday, 24 April 2017


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 West division where 7 candidates are standing. Set out below is the 2013 election result for your information. 
Only Bryan Ryands, standing as an Independent, has submitted a position statement / Manifesto set out below. Please click on the links to view:

Folkestone West - results
Election CandidatePartyVotes%
 Hod BirkbyUK Independence Party115533%Elected
 Tim PraterLiberal Democrat90326%Not elected
 Robert BlissConservative76322%Not elected
 Peter WallaceLabour35410%Not elected
 Derek John MoranGreen Party2387%Not elected
 Seth CruseTrade Unionist and Socialists against Cuts862%Not elected

Bryan Rylands Manifesto: KCC Election 2017.

_61050014_5a530fb9-c2c9-4934-9c38-8773b7f31bc8My Background 

I'm a single man, who for many years worked overseas, in Europe, Africa & Central Asia. Since my return I have done a stint a Silver Spring before moving on to become a Welfare Rights & Responsibilities Officer. I am currently studying the law. I enjoy spending my time with my family and friends, cycling acting and writing plays. I act rather badly and play the piano quite well.


My Politics

I'm a the public face of this blog and I'm well-known and respected across Shepway for speaking my mind and fighting against cover-ups, secrecy and incompetence at Shepway District Council. I believe that public money should remain in the UK and not go overseas to known tax havens. I have undertaken research for the blog and helped on some of the following blog posts.

·       80 Sidney Street & the Panama Papers

·       The continuing story of Otterpool Park

·       KCC's missing £142 million

·       Environmental issues including pollution and land purchases in Folkestone & Shepway

·       KCC's investments into fossil fuels, alcohol, tobacco and arms manufacturers

I'm a realist and optimist. I am a passionate environmentalist and a campaigner. I'm also a board member of a Kent based charity fighting to improve the rights of those with Learning Disabilities, Autism and Mental Health conditions.


Why Independent?

I have been a member of the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party, but have become very disillusioned with party politics. No matter how well intentioned, political parties always end up putting their own interests before the interests of the public they are supposed to serve. They silence dissent amongst their members by using the party whip, loyalty clauses, threats and arm twisting. Political parties, in my experience, are also dishonest and deceitful.  This is why politicians and political parties are no longer respected by most people and this is why I am standing as an independent candidate. So that the people of Folkestone West Division can be properly represented without interference by party bosses. As an independent I will also be able to work across old fashioned tribalistic party divides and collaborate with politicians from all parties to get things done for the people of Folkestone West Division



I am a passionate environmentalist who is determined to protect Folkestone West and elsewhere against the massive and unsustainable overdevelopment proposed in by Shepway District Council's local plan. Agricultural land and open spaces must not be used for developments such as Otterpool Park, Princes Parade and the proposed Stanford lorry park. Brownfield land must always be used first. I also oppose the wide spread use, by KCC and SDC,  of potentially dangerous glyphosate weed-killers on our streets, open spaces and school grounds. I am opposed to SDCs plans to increase the population of Shepway by 41% and the serious air pollution and water risks that this will bring.

New Homes


Although I oppose overdevelopment and the use of PFI's in housing, there is a desperate need in Folkestone and Shepway for affordable, rented, social housing for the thousands of residents who cannot afford to buy a home. I support the building of many more council and housing association homes, on brownfield sites, to meet this growing and urgent need. 


Social Care

The social care system is in crisis. Older people needing care at home or in residential units are being badly let down by third rate services which often deny basic human rights and dignity. Disabled people are also suffering in similar ways. As medical science advances and life expectancy increases, we must find sustainable tax-based ways to fund social care services fit for a modern 21st century democracy. Being board member of a Kent based charity helping those with Learning Disabilities, Autism & Mental Health conditions this is something I am passionate about. 


Poverty and Regeneration

Folkestone is in the top 20% of the most deprived areas in England with benefit dependency, low wages, zero hours contracts,  and child poverty being almost endemic across parts of the Folkestone West Divsion. I will fight tirelessly for the creation of new, well paid, jobs, training  and business opportunities for Folkestone West residents and businesses. 


Fair Education

Grammar schools are massively unfair.  Study after study has shown that selective education discriminates against children from less-well off backgrounds and prevents them achieving their full potential. I will oppose the further extension of grammar schools in Kent and campaign to have the existing grammars turned into non-selective schools. 


Save the NHS

Shepway and Folkestone West are growing. We need a health service which will  serve a  larger community of people who are living much longer. I support a non-privatised, modern NHS which will provide the highest standards of care and which is properly funded by taxation. I support the Royal Victoria hospital and will oppose any efforts to downgrade or relocate its services elsewhere.  

Abolition of KCC.  Kent County Council is too big, too distant and too out of touch with the needs of Folkestone West people. I believe that Kent County Council should be abolished and its powers, services  and budget devolved to smaller unitary councils comprising of no more than  2 to 3 district councils. Devolving power and decision making closer to the people makes for better, more effective, democracy. The new unitary council's must also be elected on the basis of proportional representation and voting at 16.



Many of our district and county councillors are lazy do-nothings. Once elected they sit back, don't keep in touch with their constituents and fail to account  for their actions, or in many cases, lack of actions. If elected I will be accountable. I will publish regular reports and videos via the Shepwayvox team blogsite  and Facebook about my activities. I will publish my contact details so that it's easy to get in touch with me to raise your problems and concerns. I will also attend meetings of community groups, town and parish councils and organise walkabouts and public meetings and hold monthly surgeries where you can meet me and raise your concerns on an one to one basis.  I will also publish details of all of my expenses and allowances and any other benefits I may receive as a KCC councillor.

Vote Independent, Vote Bryan Rylands, May 4th 2017.


Please note that David Monk, Leader of Shepway District Council is standing in this division. Our Association is strongly opposed to Cllr Monk standing in any election given the track record of his insouciant stance on representing Shepway Residents. We would openly discourage Folkestone West Residents from voting for Councillor Monk.



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 Romney Marsh division where 6 candidates are standing. Set out below is the last election result for this division. We have received no videos or position statements from the candidates. Please click on the link below to view the candidates standing.

Romney Marsh - results
Election CandidatePartyVotes%
 Carole WatersConservative491344%Elected
 Susie GovettUK Independence Party390335%Not elected
 Arran HarveyLabour134212%Not elected
 Val LosebyLiberal Democrat6266%Not elected
 Andrew John SouthGreen Party4354%Not elected

 Please consider where to place your cross on the 4th May. You will notice that Tony Hills (Conservative) is standing in this election. Mr. Hills is a member of the Conservative group that is endorsing the development of Princes Parade, The Stanford West Lorry Park and the Otterpool New Town development of 12,000 overspill dwellings.


Sunday, 23 April 2017


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 Hythe West division where 5 candidates are standing including the incumbent Green Party County Councillor, Martin Whybrow. We will also be posting past, 2013 election results for your information. Only Martin Whybrow has sent us a video link set out below. Please click on the links to view:

Hythe - results
Election CandidatePartyVotes%
 Martin Edward WhybrowGreen Party165935%Elected
 David Drury MonkConservative134628%Not elected
 Georgina BakerUK Independence Party110023%Not elected
 Paul Anthony BrownscombeLabour4189%Not elected
 Neil MatthewsLiberal Democrat2485%Not elected

Please consider where to place your cross on the 4th May. You will notice that David Owen (Conservative) is standing in this election. Mr. Owen is a member of the Conservative group that is endorsing the development of Princes Parade, The Stanford West Lorry Park and the Otterpool New Town development of 12,000 overspill dwellings.

Saturday, 22 April 2017


Dear 4th May Voters,

A massive thank you to all who turned out to show their disgust and anger at the way Shepway District Council treats us all. Their lack of transparency and devious dealings over unneeded developments across our District has led to this backlash by Shepway Residents, calling for resignations and justified claims of dodgy dealers and worse.




Friday, 21 April 2017


Dear 4th May Voters,

Linked to the previous post of the 5 Elham Valley Candidates, we are now publishing position statements from Aaron Roche and Stephen Priestley; Labour and UKIP candidates respectively.


Position Statement: Aaron Roche Labour Candidate.

My name is Aaron Roche and I am standing as the Labour Party candidate for Elham Valley in the KCC elections on May 4th. 

I moved to Shepway in 2008 whilst serving as a Watch Manager in the London Fire Brigade after buying The Pilot Inn in Dungeness and I now own a company which refurbishes local properties. 

My three sons attend local schools, and I am also keen cyclist. I am Vice Chair of Membership in the local Labour Party and have always enjoyed public service and I have been involved in a number of youth engagement projects and charities. I have always challenged inequality and injustice when I've seen it and for all of these reasons, I have decided to stand to represent the people of Elham Valley on Kent County Council and give them the voice that they desperately need and rightly deserve. 

The current administration is not serving the interests of its electorate. We are seeing: 

• cuts to Social Care and the NHS and an appetite to commission out and privatise services which lead to bargain basement delivery to maximise profit such as we have seen in patient transport. 

• cuts to pupil funding and unthinkable school closures. 

• planned developments that are completely incongruent with the needs of local people or the betterment of our communities and certainly not in sympathy with our beautiful countryside. 

• The list goes on... It is not just the Conservatives at fault. UKIP offer little or no opposition to these plans often supporting them, and even voting against their own Party motions with a lack of coordination since many of them were elected for reasons that have little to do with KCC.

I would like to address some of my points in turn: 

On Social Care and the NHS. The Tory KCC members have just voted through the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), otherwise known as Slash Trash and Privatise. 

• I will work to stop the farming out of vital services for profit without investment. 

• I will campaign for true parity of esteem of mental health services especially for our young people.
• I will also work to restore funding for high quality care for our elderly, sure start for children and support for those with disabilities. On education. 

• New and existing schools provision should be based on community need. Young people should not be arriving at school tired from early starts and long journeys because of a lack of choice in local schooling. 

• Schools should not be run for profit. Benefit to investors comes from the quality of workforce we produce through a properly resourced system with equal opportunities for all. On developments. 

• Of course, we want to attract business and investment to Kent but the balance needs to be redressed with fair wages for all; creation of high quality meaningful apprenticeships, and fair distribution of wealth creation for local communities. 

• We are not NIMBY's and we do recognise the need for local housing, but it needs to be planned to address specific needs, not to maximise profits for tax haven developers and overseas investors. Young people need housing that they can afford and our communities need young families with disposable income too, to keep the vibrant towns that we live in alive. 

• The sheer arrogance of the local administrations dismissal of legitimate concerns regarding the Otterpool housing development and lack of transparency is a grave cause for concern. Whilst housing provision is a district issue, Otterpool will see provision of County resources and infrastructure outstripped at a time when they are already at breaking point. Houses will be bought to let and young people will not be able to afford to buy in their own communities. The development is not in keeping with the natural environment of Kent. The air we breathe affects our health and the growth and educational attainment of our children. I say NO to Otterpool Garden Town and NO to Princes Parade. 

• Stanford Lorry Park is a white elephant that leaves the door open for a future housing development. Lorry congestion is a National problem that requires a National solution. Numerous lorry parking facilities are required spread around the County but also up country. For these reasons, I say NO to a giant Stanford Lorry Park. Please give me the opportunity to represent you, by voting for me on May 4th and together we will work to tip the scales in the right direction and get Kent County Council working for the people of Kent again.

Position Statement: Stephen Priestley UKIP Candidate

  • Two myths about UKIP:

  • I thought it would be helpful to address potential voters directly about two issues for which UKIP frequently gets an unfair press, so that it these issues will not sway your voting intentions.

  • The first is the idea that UKIP intends to privatise the NHS: it certainly does not. UKIP remains committed to the principle of all NHS care remaining free at the point of delivery, and always based upon clinical need.

  • Secondly, voters might ask why I should be standing for a party that could be seen as 'racist.' I emphatically repudiate the misrepresentation propagated by the mainstream media that UKIP is a racist party. It is not. UKIP recognises the plurality and ethnic diversity of this country, but does believe we need a sensible approach and control over our own immigration and borders: this stance is not racist. It is a pragmatic recognition of UK services and infrastructure to be able to cope with the levels of demand placed on them. This is especially so in the current climate of increasing financial austerity and further cuts, and also vital as a means of safeguarding against the threat of terrorism.

  • Other mainstream political parties have been afraid of confronting the very real issues that UKIP has had the courage to address.

  • Why should you vote for me?

  • I was born in Hong Kong, a multicultural environment where every nationality and religion lived cheek by jowl without any problems; British father, German mother, Russian wife; lived in various countries, and have friends all over the world.

  • I am the antithesis of the 'career politician' and have come into politics after over 20 years experience working in the NHS within mental health services, as an Approved Mental Health Professional. I have been dedicated throughout my professional life to helping people who are frequently at the margins of our society.

  • It is my firm belief that as a prospective Kent County Councillor I should be advocating for your needs at all times, and that the constituents should be involved, consulted and participating in all decisions affecting the community, especially those with potentially long-lasting and far reaching consequences.

  • I am dedicated to transparency, integrity and honesty at all times and believe this should be fundamental at all times, in ensuring that the needs of constituents are always at the centre of decision-making. All decisions must always be reached with the above in mind.

  • I do not believe that the Lorry Park will ever solve operation stack; in fact, Highways England admitted that it wouldn't. Central Government insistence on this 250 acre white elephant is a national scandal. Moreover, the fact that Shepway District Council is supporting it is shameful.

  • The proposed Otterpool New Town is an exercise in venture capitalism, conceived by SDC for the purposes of building up their business interests and is entirely cash driven. If built, the 12,000 houses in addition to the already agreed total of 8000 would increase the Shepway population by 41%. 

  • Given that there is no hospital envisaged in SDC planning, coupled with the local crisis in recruiting qualified doctors and nurses, the infrastructure for the proposed new town would be totally lacking. SDC's failure to consider these factors is scandalous.

  • Another development which flies in the face of common sense and does nothing to accommodate affordable housing is Princes Parade. The 150 properties affording sea views will be way beyond the reach of what local people can purchase, and is yet another example of SDC's rapacious money-driven policy making approach.

  • I will be totally dedicated to serving you and representing your needs to the best of my ability and would regard this as a real honour and privilege.

I hope that you will place your trust in me and that you will vote for me at the ballot box on May 4th, 2017.


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