East Hythe ward by election – 24th May.

Tomorrow there will be a by election in East Hythe. On the 24th May 2018 for only the second time in electoral history in our district, three women are vying to be elected to the Hythe East Ward. (The first all female ballot paper was in Lydd, we believe).

Anyway, who are the Candidates?  Well according to the

Statement_of_Persons_Nominated -_Hythe_East_By-election

they are, in order on the paper:

Ellie Cumming –  Green (pictured below – left)

Helen Julia Molyneux – Conservative (there are no links available to this candidate’s campaign) Centre

Penny Snow –  Labour – (Right)

Screenshot from 2018-05-21 16-16-45  Screenshot from 2018-05-21 16-13-20  Screenshot from 2018-05-21 16-15-25

Cllrs regardless of their Colours or affiliation Councillors come in for a lot of stick. Just recently Cllr Roger Wilkins of Dymchurch Parish Council and Folkestone & Hythe District Council stood down citing abuse he has received for two years – according to “The Looker”

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According to the Committee on Standards In Public Life who in December 2017 released a report into Intimidation in Public Life. One of things the Review raised was  “that candidates standing for election as local councillors must publish their home address on the ballot paper has enabled intimidatory behaviour.” Now MP’s do not have to give there home address, so why should local councillors?

Now for those of you who have forgotten Cllr Michael Lyons, a former Mayor of Hythe  “found a dead bird dumped on the doorstep of his home, with a scrawled note saying ‘we know who you are’.” Other Cllrs within our district have received abuse via social media, email and snail mail as well. Allegations of brown envelopes abound, yet not even we have discovered out and out corruption. But then how would one know if a Cllr has an offshore bank account, in say the Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey? Anyway we digress.

In 2016 an IPSO Mori poll showed that just just 21% of Britons trust elected politicians to tell the truth. In their long-running survey they provide proof – if proof be needed that public trust has been an issue for politicians for at least the past 33 years. We trust our doctors and teachers more than our elected politicians. Is that because locally both GP’s and Teachers are telling us that there are serious issues and elected officials are burying their heads in the sand?

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In 2017, just 17% of Britons trusted elected politicians to tell the truth, according to the latest IPSO Mori.

So why would you want to stand for election when people know where you live, leave parcels on doorsteps, receive intimidatory notes and being abused on Facebook and other forms of social media is now commonplace. Oh yes and that 80% of the public don’t trust you. Masochists perhaps!

Cllrs make unpopular decision; which means we the people of Folkestone & Hythe District raise our voices and dissent to decisions made by them from Parish to County. Just think, Redlynch House, Otterpool Park, Princes Parade, Folkestone Seafront and the local GP Crisis demonstrates this truly and effectively; but to alter Lincoln’s phrase

  • You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all the people all of the time”

At the Committee on Standards in Public Life Review of Local Government Ethical Standards Roundtable Mark Norris, Local Government Association, reported the

  • level in terms of perceptions when you are knocking on the door as a councillor, that is what people say to you. This includes comments about, ‘Well, you are all con artists, why are you taking money?’, in terms of councillors’ allowances and stuff like that. You get all of that to the councillor when you are knocking on doors and that perception is reinforced by some of the stories you will see in the local press, which people pick up on and that gets fed back to you.”

Is it any wander when all we have is a light touch approach to local government standards reliant on local codes, which have no real teeth and little if any sanction. Just think back to the Councillors Expenses Investigation in Jan 2015, when “the system of checking Councillors claims had been relaxed” and “spot checks did not detect the issue.” Cllrs Simmons was allowed to quietly slip away with no sanction. And just ask yourself why Private Eye’s Rotten Borough pages are always full.

In part the reason for the abuse is because Candidates are selected by parties, not by the people. Secondly many candidates will tout transparency & openness as a campaign issue, but all to few follow it through when elected. Mr Norris of the Local Government Association really shouldn’t be surprised when so much factual evidence is in the public domain. However we DO believe dead crows, threatening letters, and social media abuse is NOT necessary. No Cllr need suffer that, regardless of which party they belong to.

We realise of course, candidates standing in East Hythe Ward will not receive any allowances. We wish them well and hope whoever is elected enjoys an abuse free term of office and fulfils the mandate of the people, not their party, as one size does not fit all.

The Shepwayvox Team – Dissent is NOT a Crime.

About shepwayvox (653 Articles)
Our sole motive is to inform the residents of Shepway - and beyond -as to that which is done in their name. email: shepwayvox@riseup.net

1 Comment on East Hythe ward by election – 24th May.

  1. While I agree with the content of this article – I must say that in the Wilkins’ case a lot of that was bought upon himself by himself and other councillors.

    At a KCC committee held on the 23rd May 2018 in regards to the Dymchurch Recreation Ground Village Green Application – the committee chairman mnade the following comments directed at Wilkins and other councillors

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7v4QCyL8hAY

    I’d add that the comment should be listened to and understood by other local councillors…

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