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.
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
· 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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All the information above is my own and does not represent the views of the Shepwayvox Team who have kindly allowed me to use their blogsite.