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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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