Ask yourself, how can every other council in Kent provide the same facilities and do it cheaper than the incumbent Tory led administration in Folkestone & Hythe District?
The Electoral Reform Society in their Mounting Risks report made it clear that a one-party dominated council have a 51% higher corruption risk than non-one-party councils. Our Council has been one party dominated for sixteen years.
They make it clear that price savings differ markedly between councils which are one party dominated and non-one party dominated. One-party dominated councils such as Folkestone & Hythe District Council typically achieve lower price savings: 2.1% compared to 6.2% achieved by non-one party dominated councils. By electing a Conservative council ends up costing us all more money in real terms, as they are not able to achieve real costs savings. This goes part of the way to explaining why we have the highest Council tax in Kent, and why we need change.
Another part of the equation is that voters are almost wholly unresponsive to the attributes or performance of individual candidates, casting votes on a partisan basis – voting tribally ie: Conservative, Labour, Lid Dem, Green etc. This can and does lead to one party dominated councils such as ours. This needs to change if you want to change the amount of Council tax you pay. Such conventional behaviour by the electorate – you the voters – at local level does not serve democracy, your wallet/purse, or the amount you pay in council tax.
Such behaviour by the electorate creates a significant impact of weak electoral accountability, which impacts on corruption in public procurement, according to the Electoral Reform Society. Weak electoral accountability at local elections is understood as a council being overwhelmingly controlled by the same party for 10 years or more (i.e. same party controlling more than 2/3rd of seats without interruption).
This is the case for Tory led Folkestone & Hythe District Council. We can see abuse of office in areas such as planning where F&HDC have fought their own planning officers decisions over Little Densole Farm, not once but twice. Evidence exist of undue influence. Also evidence in the awarding of contracts for Princes Parade where it might appear that contracts awarded were steered towards a favoured bidder Tibbalds – for example.
The arrogance and contempt with which they – the local Tories – treat us the people of the district know no bounds. Meetings behind closed doors, getting into bed with offshore companies, building a property empire which has and will not make any money for at least another six years demonstrates an all time high of arrogance and contempt. Also planning concerns instances where F&HDC are in the position of judging planning permission applications regarding their own assets, Princes Parade – Otterpool Park leaves them open to potential allegations of corruption. In such cases, there is a risk that they may act in their interests as a property owner rather than as a granting entity, further demonstrate how out of touch the local Tories really are.
Also I can inform you that two senior Cabinet members have offshore bank accounts, one is the Isle of Man and the other in Jersey. Though not illegal such accounts could facilitate all manner of things and I for one believe Cllrs who have accounts in offshore jurisdictions should be made to disclose them.
The current system as it stands and its partisanship and allegiance to a party is causing us to pay more in Council tax than is necessary. I would ask to you consider the candidates for what they wish to achieve for our district as a whole. If you the voter continue to vote tribally, you’ll end up paying more Council tax for another four years. Familiarity breeds contempt so they say and the contempt the local Conservative party have shown towards you the voter by hoisting upon you the highest council tax in Kent proves this beyond all reasonable doubt.
I have placed some policies/ideas about what I would do and how I would do it. I do not see any of the parties have done so, except broad bland sweeping generalisations. I will not treat you with contempt and the most sensible thing you could do on the 2nd May if you live in the Folkestone Central ward is vote for Bryan Rylands, an independent candidate who would use his abilities to initially freeze your Council Tax for the first two years and then reduce it.
Vote Bryan Rylands – Vote Independent
May 2nd – Folkestone Central Ward
(I accept postal votes too)
Published by Bryan Rylands Flat D Avenay Court 217 Sandgate Rd Folkestone CT20 2LN