Gerrymandering in Folkestone & Hythe District Elections?


It would appear from evidence that is publicly available Gerrymandering could be happening in the Folkestone & Hythe District elections which are to be held on the 2nd May 2019.

Gerrymandering for those of you not aware of such a phrase is a practice intended to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries.

Russell Douglas Tillson (Conservative) is a candidate in the forthcoming elections. He was NEVER investigated over his expenses claims when he lost his district seat in 2015 elections and regained it in a by election in 2017.

He is standing in the following seat at Parish/Town level.

  • Dymchurch Parish Council

  • St Mary’s in the Marsh where he has already been elected in an uncontested election.

  • East Folkestone parish for Folkestone Town Council

  • New Romney Town Council

Plus he is standing at District Level for the New Romney Ward. The Elections Team at FHDC, headed up by the Returning Officer – Dr Susan Priest have examined and decided (8(3))he is a validly nominated candidate for all the parishes and ward set out above.

Russell Douglas Tillson gives as his address 3A Dunes Road, Greatstone, New Romney, Kent, TN28 8SS.  Now according to the Council’s interactive map, using the parish boundary, it runs straight through Russell Douglas Tillson property and puts him in the parish of Lydd, not New Romney.

When one clicks on the ward boundary of the Council’s interactive map, Russell’s home address suddenly falls in the Ward of New Romney, as opposed to Walland & Dengemarsh. Now our public face viewed the electoral register on the 7th Dec 2018 a few days after it was updated. Russell Douglas Tillson according to the register lived in the New Romney Ward and Parish.

However, both ward and parish boundaries are the same according to the Ordnance Survey elections map used by the Boundary Commission and the Electoral Commission and both boundaries place Russell Douglas Tillson’s address in the parish of Lydd and the Ward of Walland and Dengemarsh. Hence the boundary has been moved and what would appear as potential Gerrymandering is occuring from the evidence available.

Having undertaken a significant number of checks across other Parish/Town boundaries and Ward Boundaries, houses which ought to be in one parish/town and ward are in another when the Council’s map is compared to the Ordnance Survey map, (the one we trust). This would mean the electoral register is wrong as houses and individuals may have been assigned to the wrong parish, town or ward. This could mean that a vote would be potentially invalid as it would be cast in the wrong parish, town or ward. And just think if this is an issue here in Folkestone & Hythe District where else might it be a problem?

Dr Susan Priest (pictured) is the Returning Officer for the Folkestone & Hythe District and she has been made aware of the issues discussed above, as have the electoral commission.

It is also know that a complaint of electoral fraud has been made against Russell Douglas Tillson and a crime reference number 05-0676 has been issued. It is in the hands of Kent Police to deal with. However, we don’t not hold out much hope as the case reference number ZY/035502/14 which was reported to Kent Police regarding gifts to District Councillors over Lydd Airport remains open and unanswered.

It is clear that until all persons/households who appear to be in the wrong parish, town, ward be placed in the correct one, as it is NOT just Russell Douglas Tillson. We are of the opinion that the elections on May 2nd 2019 ought to be suspended.

If you’d like to add your complaint to crime reference 05-676 regarding Russell Douglas Tillson then do contact the Chief Constable of Kent – Alan Pughsley at

(Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission)

and of course Dr Susan Priest Head of Paid Services @ FHDC

The Shepwayvox Team

Dissent is NOT a Crime.


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4 Comments on Gerrymandering in Folkestone & Hythe District Elections?

  1. Neither boundary is correct on the FHDC map – the LGBCE final plans show both cutting around the front of the property in question. Ward/parish boundaries should not cut through the middle of properties. This is probably a GIS plotting error, but should have been picked up and hopefully will be corrected or tendered ballot papers issued for any residents of the property included on the incorrect section of the register of electors.

    In any event, the candidate would be entitled to stand in the parish ward either side of the boundary line as long as they had lived within 3 miles of the parish for 12 months prior to their nomination ( and would be entitled to stand in either district Ward as long as they had lived in the Folkestone and Hythe/Shepway district for 12 months prior to their nomination (

    • shepwayvox // April 9, 2019 at 11:03 // Reply

      M S the LGBCE map is unequivocal Tillson’s address is IN Walland & Dengemarsh and the Parish of Lydd. Everything else you say is perfectly correct and indisputable.

  2. Are you sure about R T standing for Folkestone Town Council ?

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