Demand Better for Sandgate and West Folkestone

April 11, 2019 3:42 PM
By Tim Prater, Liberal Democrat Candidate in Sandgate and West Folkestone
Originally published by Tim Prater | Sandgate Parish Councillor

I love Sandgate. I hope you do too.

Demand Better for Sandgate and West FolkestoneI've lived in the centre of Sandgate for the last 15 years. I run my business from the village. I'm in and around Sandgate pretty much every day. I'm a trustee of the Chichester Hall in the middle of town, and have been honoured to have been a Sandgate Parish Councillor for the last eight years and the Vice Chairman of the Parish Council for the last two.

My friend and colleague Gary Fuller lived in Sandgate for 10 years. Although he has now moved a little way away, he still works in the village full time. He's also had eight years experience on the Parish Council, and years of campaigning on issues which matter to local people.

Only once every four years are there elections to our District Council. It's the only chance we have to set the agenda for Folkestone and Hythe Council. It's our chance to show them what we think of their record, and to elect local Councillors who will stand up for Sandgate and West Folkestone.

Together, Gary Fuller and I are delighted to be standing as the Liberal Democrat team for Sandgate and West Folkestone in the District Council elections.

Because as much as we love Sandgate, it feels like our District Council are fighting AGAINST us.

  • We try to support local businesses. They slap on parking charges in our car parks.
  • We try to protect our open spaces. They give permission to build on our escarpment.
  • We value our visitors and seafront. They threaten parking charges on Sandgate Esplanade.

It's not right. It's time for a change.

The Conservatives have had control of our District Council for 15 years, often with little effective opposition. A good Council needs a strong opposition, or it stops listening, becomes complacent and ignores the people they are there to represent.

In 2019, the choice is between the "same old, same old" Conservative candidates, and the Lib Dem team of Gary Fuller and Tim Prater.

The Lib Dem team CAN win in Sandgate and West Folkestone. Trust me - I spent 4 years with the honour of being the County Councillor for the area. I beat the Conservative candidate on that occasion by just 12 votes (much to his surprise!). It CAN be done.

Everyone knows Labour will not win in Sandgate and West Folkestone. It's never going to happen. UKIP are not standing in Sandgate and West Folkestone this year. The Green Party have stood aside here to give the Liberal Democrat team the best chance to beat the Conservatives.

And it's important we do.

  • A vote for the Conservative candidates will be taken as a vote of confidence in David Monk's local Conservative Council, and Theresa May's Government.
  • A vote of confidence in a Council that doesn't listen, is spending millions to destroy Princes' Parade with housing, and has plans to introduce yet more paid parking in our area - this time down Sandgate Esplanade.
  • A vote of confidence in Theresa May and her Government's record, and their handling of Brexit.

Every Conservative councillor elected on 2nd May will be taken as evidence that you have confidence in David Monk's local Conservatives, and Theresa May's Government.

Every Conservative vote is a vote that sends a message that all is well in our area and Government.

But if you DON'T want to give them a vote of confidence, you can send a DIFFERENT message. A message that things MUST change. But only using your votes for the Lib Dem team of Gary Fuller and Tim Prater can make that happen.

Send a REALLY clear message with your votes in the District Council elections. A message that you want Councillors that will listen. That will work hard. And that our District Council should, even now, scrap their plans for Princes' Parade and introducing parking charges on Sandgate Esplanade.

The election here in Sandgate and West Folkestone will be really close between myself, Gary Fuller and the Conservatives. Votes for Labour might just let the Conservatives win.

To send the Conservatives a STRONG message that they should not take our area for granted, please vote for the Liberal Democrat team of Gary Fuller and Tim Prater for Folkestone and Hythe District Council. Thank you.