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Lib Dems and Greens agree election pact for Folkestone and Hythe District elections

April 2, 2019 10:47 AM
Originally published by Folkestone and Hythe Liberal Democrats

Green Council candidates 2019 John Wing, Doug Wade, Georgina Treloar and Lesley Whybrow and Lib dem candidates Tim Prater and Gary FullerThe Folkestone and Hythe Liberal Democrat Party and Shepway Green Party have agreed a cooperation deal for the May 2019 elections for Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC).

This form of progressive alliance has been successfully adopted elsewhere in the country at previous elections by the two national parties and improves the chances of challenging the long-standing overwhelming Conservative majority on FHDC.

Across the district, the parties plan to stand "complementary" candidate lists of 15 candidates each for the 30 seats up for election.

Green Party County Councillor Martin Whybrow said:

"In my time on Kent County Council, I've worked well with the Liberal Democrat group. We agree on many national and local issues and share a belief that councils should be far more open and should listen to residents. We're separate parties, and will remain so, but respect each other and will work together in the best interests of local people."

Liberal Democrat Campaigner and former County and District Councillor Tim Prater said:

"Folkestone and Hythe needs a change. It needs not just a few new councillors, but a new politics. The Liberal Democrats and Green Party locally are determined to offer the change that local people deserve and a common-sense approach to delivering it: working together with others where we agree, respectfully debating where we don't. After the last elections, people challenged us to work with others in the common good. We've risen to that challenge."

The unhealthy Conservative majority has seen a more or less one-party council that has been able to ignore residents' views and has made many poor decisions.

Tim Prater said:

"The Conservatives have pushed through parking schemes that local people don't want. They are forcing through housing developments that most oppose, such as Prince's Parade. With every change, Otterpool Park looks ever more like a London commuter town that will not do anything to help local first-time buyers. They are even involved again in a crackpot scheme for a nuclear dump on Romney Marsh."

Martin Whybrow added:

"This alliance for these elections makes a lot of sense. We are saying to the electorate, there is a more grown-up, sensible way to do politics that provides the best chance to gain a council that has a vision for the area, will protect the open spaces within and between our communities, will be transparent and will put local residents first. This sort of culture change is long-overdue."