Thanet district election: Birchington candidates

Local elections Photo John Finnegan

Candidates Birchington south

Suzanne Brimm, Independent

I have been your Thanet District Councillor for the last four years and have lived in Birchington for 23 years. I am an electrician, a mother, a grandmother and Vice Chairman of Campaign to Protect Rural England in Thanet.

I have been involved with the campaign against the overdevelopment of Thanet and the Local Plan for several years. Following several road traffic accidents involving pupils outside King Ethelbert secondary school, I led a campaign calling for a safer crossing which resulted in the installation of two sets of puffin crossings on the dual carriageway in 2017.

During my time as a councillor I have managed to secure funding and installed new play equipment into several of our local parks, this all-inclusive equipment has been enjoyed and appreciated by many children and adults of all abilities. Currently I am involved with the Voicing Child Sexual Abuse (VCSA) campaign and am raising awareness of child protection and the safeguarding of vulnerable victims in Thanet including families affected by domestic abuse.

I have dedicated spending a large amount of my time representing local residents on a wide range of issues that affect their daily lives and look forward to the prospect of working on behalf of the village of Birchington once again.

Phil Fellows Conservative

I live in Birchington and I am a Birchington Parish Councillor, chairman of the PTA at the village school and involved with many other local groups and organisations. I have supported many projects including the Shelters group and the transfer of assets back to the parish including Dog Acre and the Memorial Ground. I hope we will have sports back in Birchington soon.

I have organised many free events for the village and will continue to do so. I love our village and it would be an honour to represent residents at Thanet council. As your councillor I would be able to help the parish council achieve its ambitions and bring many benefits to the residents.

George Kup Conservative

I have lived in Birchington all my life, and am a Governor for a local school. I work in politics and co-host a political and current affairs radio show, helping encourage young people’s interest in politics. If you elect me as your councillor, I will fight to see Manston Airport re-opened, bringing jobs and increasing tourism in Thanet. I will work hard to ensure that any houses that are proposed in Birchington are suitable for the area, with the right mix of affordable and social housing. We have some fantastic businesses locally and I will work to support them and make sure our High Street can thrive. I think it is time for a councillor who can be a voice for senior residents but will also be able to represent the youth of Birchington and Thanet on Thanet District Council.

Richard Lockwood Labour

I believe if we invest in our community, we will make a difference. There are so many great people and places here. I feel that I’d like to help make a difference here too.

Having served for 30 years as a Fire Officer in the London Fire Brigade, now that I’m retired, I have time and the skills to make a contribution.

From Care in the community in the 80s to austerity since 2010, I’ve seen the direct consequences of these attacks on how we treat people, their safety and their well-being. I can’t let these attacks continue.

I joined the Labour party in 2015 to ensure a democratic member led party could support Jeremy Corbyn’s vision for the many. I was rewarded with the transformative 2017 election manifesto. I’d like to support that manifesto now
I’m looking forward to working for and regularly meeting the people of Birchington.

Linda Wright Conservative

I have lived in Birchington for 20 years and l am passionate about our village, our community, and all that it offers. I am honoured to serve you as a Parish Councillor and District Councillor, and with your support I would like to continue, working with residents and speaking up for Birchington. This is a crucial time for Thanet District Council and we need experienced councillors to put residents first and fight for the things that are important to you, from bringing planes back to Manston, looking after our beaches or keeping parking charges fair. The local plan is a challenge for Thanet and we need to get it right to preserve the balance of coastal, urban, and village life.

Robert Wright Liberal Democrats

I was born in Brussels just after WW2, but have lived in Thanet, on and off, since the age of three. I spent some time in France, while my father worked for UNESCO in Paris.

In the District Council Elections I am standing as a Liberal Democrat. I have been a Parish Councillor for the last four years, as an Independent as I strongly believe that politics should not feature in Parish matters, we are all there , as councillors, to support the local community and we should all work together for the good of the parish without bringing politics into the mix. At TDC level politics cannot be ignored . In standing for TDC I hope to help bring some semblance of order to an organisation that has at times seemed to be quite disfunctional.

Prior to becoming a parish councillor, I worked in the field of interior design / restoration, Listed buildings and was also involved in shopfitting in both design and implementation.

Candidates Birchington north

Jill Britcher Labour

Keith Coleman-Cooke Conservative

I have been a councillor for Birchington North since 2011 and in that time I have been involved in many local issues such as new bins on the seafront, objecting to or supporting planning applications and more recently I have spoken out and supported the protest about parking charges on The Parade and the latest good thing to have happened is that we are having signs put up forbidding motor homes from parking on the sea front overnight from 6pm to 6am.

I believe that there are still many issues which require the local Councillor to help, advise and support the residents in my ward which I would like to continue to do for the next 4 years, I would like to see the parking charges in the car park behind The Minnis cut in half to encourage more visitors because at the present time it is not used enough as many visitors cannot afford the charges so they park on the parade or on local streets causing problems for local residents.

I will continue to be happy for residents to contact me by phone, e-mail or post and I will reply as soon as possible.

Simon Day Conservative

As your Conservative councillor it’s been a privilege to serve Birchington where I was born, went to school and have spent most of my working life.

I live in the ward I represent as do two of my children and grand children.

I am very proud of our village and hope with your support to continue promoting the standards our residents deserve.

Clean beaches,

Safe and clean streets,

A sensitive approach to any new developments

An intelligent approach to future spending cuts and investments.

This can be achieved with a strong Conservative Group leading from the front.

Karen Roper Green Party

I’ve lived in Thanet since 1993 and retired a few years ago from teaching and managing languages in schools. I raised my children to be bilingual, international citizens. They now work in multi-national settings, but love returning to Thanet and introducing new friends to this beautiful area.

As your councillor I would work towards:

–          protecting Thanet’s beautiful coastline, countryside and heritage

–          defending health, education and other local public services from threats

–          fostering employment and economic growth by encouraging small businesses and supporting tourism

–          ensuring that TDC operates intelligently, responsibly, transparently, and on behalf of Thanet residents

To achieve this, I would strongly oppose a DCO for the Manston site: it would damage our thriving tourist industry and threaten the health of residents who, according to Kent’s Director of Public Health, already have lower life-expectancy than the rest of the County. I would champion our greenfield sites: Birchington should not lose its open space to housing when Manston offers the ideal location for a mixed-use development, and would thus avoid further strain on our struggling public services. In further defence of local health care services, I would also strongly resist the downgrading of the QEQM Hospital.

Further details will be added when/if candidates send them

10 Comments

  1. Thanks for this piece Kathy! It is very useful to at least know about some of the candidates and their policies as this information has been conspicuous by its absence in paper form in all recent past elections at either local or national level!

  2. I would be interested to know 1) the prospective candidates views on the RSP DCO and 2) the draft local plan for housing. There is the prospect of huge impact on Birchington in regards to the latter because of the former. Manston is a brownfield and the houses should be going there, not Birchington.

    Great to see a summary of each candidate. I hope this is followed in all the wards to be shared here? Hope so.

    • I so agree with you,Emmeline. Our house is literally next door to one of the areas chosen as a site for the Local Plan housing; it’s agricultural land used to grow crops, therefore it’s preservation as such is important. Obviously if the new build goes ahead we will have to put up with noise,dust and dirt and all of the inconvenience that goes along with it. We originally moved here in 1966, to come to a peaceful,friendly and quiet areach to work locally and be happy to retire and stay here. The way things are going it looks as if we may be forced to move again, not a prospect to look forward to in our advancing years, nor do we want to move away from Birchington, but the quiet village life we love, will probably be destroyed too.

  3. Not sure if I will vote anymore in UK as my vote doesn’t matter to polititions so why should I bother. I shal encourage friends and family to boycott voting as well.

  4. Hi I’m Karen Roper and I am standing for the Green Party.
    I strongly agree that the Manston site should be used for mixed development, including houses, and therefore am against RSPs DCO application.
    It would be a crime to build houses on green field sites which would not be supported with corresponding infrastructure.

    • Hi Karen, Great to see you standing for the Green Party. I agree with you about the use of Manston, but it must be thoroughly thought through and include appropriate infrastructure. I will be voting for you and hope you get in. What we don’t want is the same old same old councillors providing the same old poor service.

  5. Thank you Karen, I hope everyone in Birchington votes for you and that any existing councillors who voted down the old local plan are now accountable for being part of the problem with so many thousands of houses now proposed to blight Birchington due to a misplaced devotion to a 24 hour a day cargo hub.

  6. Lets be honest, no matter who you vote for, they will not listen to you. The current crop of MPs today has shown how they regard themselves more important than those who voted for them. In the above words, they may say “we are for/against more housing” or ” Manston will reopen/close” but lets be honest they will do what they are told or paid todo. Spoil the ballot paper and make the protest heard! Void this election. Lets be honest, what has improved/changed in Birchington? Roads are still terrible, services are shrinking, shops are closing… Manston is still a building site with no clear plan and the doctors surgery is out of appointments. No matter who you vote for, it actually makes NO difference.

  7. I so agree with you,Emmeline. Our house is literally next door to one of the areas chosen as a site for the Local Plan housing; it’s agricultural land used to grow crops, therefore it’s preservation as such is important. Obviously if the new build goes ahead we will have to put up with noise,dust and dirt and all of the inconvenience that goes along with it. We originally moved here in 1966, to come to a peaceful,friendly and quiet area in which to work locally,and be happy to retire and stay here. The way things are going it looks as if we may be forced to move again, not a prospect to look forward to in our advancing years, nor do we want to move away from Birchington, but the quiet village life we love, will probably be destroyed too.

  8. Good to see details of local candidates. It does seem unlikely tgst Manston airport will ‘take off’ again and better use this this area for development than build on argicultural land.

    Did anybody notice that Birchington Parish Council maazine was significantly biased by only providimg information relating to Conservative prospective cllrs…it would have been correct and fair to include all running. Maybe the use if such media by the council providing a significant boost to profile through a magazine delivered to all local households in the run up to an election needs further investigation?

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