District and County election candidates for Thanet villages and Birchington and Rural


Polling stations open tomorrow (January 11) for by-elections of a new district councillor for the Thanet villages and a county councillor for Birchington and Rural.

The vacancies are due to the death of Conservative councillor Ken Gregory last October. The vacancy is one seat at district and one seat at county level.

Candidates include Reece Pugh, a House of Commons researcher. He contested the last by-election in Margate Central ward last August; that was a win for Labour’s Ian Venables. However Pugh is on his home turf this time.

The Independent candidate is St Nicholas-at-Wade and Sarre parish councillor Sonya Smyth.

Green Party candidate Natasha Ransom stood for the seat in 2015, Labour’s Pauline Farrance is a Specific Learning Difficulties Team Manager:at Canterbury University and the Lib Dems’ Angie Curwen has previously served on the leadership team of the Independent Thanet Tourism Association (ITTA), working with Visit Thanet and Visit Kent .

Conservative candidate Liz Hurst is a Birchington parish councillor who runs a pet shop.

Zita Wiltshire, a former Thanet councillor, served from 2003 to 2015, originally as a Conservative councillor for St Peters ward in Broadstairs. She lost re-election in 2015 as a UKIP candidate.

District candidates are:

Lib Dem Angie Curwen

Labour Pauline Farrance

Conservative Reece Pugh

Green Natasha Ransom

Independent Sonya Smyth

No UKIP candidate

County candidates are:

Lib Dem Angie Curwen

Labour Pauline Farrance

Conservative Liz Hurst

Green Natasha Ransom

UKIP Zita Wiltshire

Polls open at 7am and close at 10pm.

To find polling stations click here


  1. A chance for voters to voice their opinions about future cuts to doctors surgeries,, downgrading of local hospitals and axing of local bus services. A vote for a Tory candidate prolongs the agony of austerity

    • Although we were very surprised that two electors triggered the election immediately after Councillor Gregory’s funeral Labour members have been out Campaigning in a respectful manner once the election date was posted. Pauline Farrance lives in the County division and she and her family are well known and respected . As someone recently said “if you see the candidate out and about before and between elections there is every likelihood you will see them afterwards”.

  2. Postal voting slip received. Nothing from any candidate so how am I supposed to gain an informed opinion concerning a candidate. Yet again its whet finger stick it in the air to see which way the wind blows. And they say there is apathy amongst the general public. One can understand why. And yes I realise if we don’t vote we are responsible for what we end up with.

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