Candidates for Newington by-election


A by-election will take place for Newington ward on March 19.

The poll comes following the resignation of Labour’s Karen Constantine from the district authority in February.

Cllr Constantine stepped down over concerns at this year’s council budget set by her party.

Standing for election to the seat are Trevor Shonk (Conservative), Grahame Birchall (Independent), Katie Gerrard (Green) and Mary King (Labour).

Newington is also represented by council leader Rick Everitt.

Voting will be open between 7am and 10pm on March 19.


  1. Such a shame that we had to lose such a brilliant, dedicated and hard-working councillor as Karen Constantine – she will be a hard act to follow.

    • Well she could have faced the music re abuse of judicial review to make political propaganda.

      But hopefully she will now make a statement to KCC

      [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

      Dear Cllrs

      When I worked in medical physics in 1980s at a London teaching hospital a brilliant doctor wrote his own programme to interrogate historical news reports and patients records for 200 years. Marvellous stuff. What the computer came up with was that the main cause for improvements in public health was NOT medicine !! It was drainage and water supply engineers. London sewage systems etc etc

      Imagine the joy when enlightenment filtered through to parliament and a new approach to NHS planning was legislated. So that environmental hazards to health had to be reported, by local authorities, to NHS planners called Clinical Commissioning Groups. 2012 Health and Social Care Act

      Things seemed to be going well when DEFRA Drinking Water Inspectorate in 2007 issued warnings about a highly toxic chemical residue of firefighting foam called “PFOA”

      And in 2009 the new Public Health England issued a PFOA warning.

      Where in Kent was lots and lots and lots of firefighting foam used ? Yes !! Manston foam laying runway (specially widened to take lots of foam)) and MOD FireSchool

      And what is 150 feet below the main runway ? Yes!! An unprotected adit feeding the pubic water supply abstracted at “Lord of the Manor” water works.

      And who never tested for “PFOA” ?? Yes !! Southern Water.

      What happens to PFOA in the human body ?? It stays in the liver and it can be tested for in blood serum. It is nasty stuff and basically it stays in the body till it is a body and then happily moseys up the crematorium chimney to become once again an environmental hazard to health.

      Among PFOA risks to health are FOETAL MORBIDITY and PREECLAMPSIA.

      You need to be discussing this with the expert inquiry.

      Your member Cllr Karen CONSTANTINE should in honour make a statement to explain why, contrary to High Court Rules, the judicial review(s) of stroke unit decision failed to disclose environmental hazards to health.

      Kind Regards


      TDC has never complied with statutory reporting duties under Health and Social Care Act 2012. There is crime complaint in this regard against one former Labour Cllr. Undermining NHS planning process in Thanet by breaches of statutory duty.

      Meanwhile someone had to be the grown up and call in DEFRA Drinking Water Inspectorate ME !

      Of the candidates now the only one acknowledging the council duties in NHS planning is Graham Birchall.

  2. Trevor Shonk must have changed his party a few times in the last five years! Wonder why he’s Conservative now?

  3. Kathy, could you please remove Richard’s comments which make spurious and actionable accusations against the person he names? It is not appropriate on a local news site and should not be ignored.

      • Spurious and actionable ?

        And the catch all “Not appropriate”

        Without disputing Karen’s reasons, for jumping ship at TDC, it remains a fact of consequence that any member code of conduct action (Standards) ends upon member resignation.

        The facts as I see them are that the Stroke Unit decision was handed down in Feb 2019.

        Some time before that IIRC TDC made a submission to National Planning re Manston. TDC cited a number of environmental hazards at Manston. WW2 FIDO, Asbestos, Firefighting foam, radiological materials, solvents.

        TDC described the problem that 150 feet below runway was an unprotected Adit directly feeding the public water supply abstracted at Lord of the Manor

        It seems self evident that TDC should have mentioned this long before 2018.

        The question of law for judicial review of stroke unit decision resides on statutory duty on TDC to report environmental hazards to health to NHS CCG planning. Simply put since TDC admitted the history to National Planning why did they continue to conceal it from Clinical Commissioning Group ?

        Judicial Review is subject of High Court Rules of Procedure. To disclose facts adverse to cause and so on.

        Thanet has a lower life expectancy, a higher stroke rate, a higher COPD rate, high cancer rate and a tragic maternity wing history.

        There is no doubt that Thanet is a deprived area. And perhaps Karen and her fellow travellers SONIK were politically motivated to cite deprivation as the only risk factor for Thanet ill health.

        But that is a lie. Thanet has a number of toxic environmental hazards to health. Under the NHS planning objective to address health inequality ? The greatest health inequality in Thanet is surely the denial of rights to a safe water supply.

        But Karen and SONIK wanted to argue cuts, golden hour, distance to Ashford, deprivation.

        They did neither Thanet nor Thanet NHS any favours by their failure to report and address toxic environmental hazards to health. Shameful conduct.

        • Its all very well castigating people who were trying to make Thanet safer for stroke sufferers because they did not go into another realm of danger. Perhaps they were not aware of it. It seems this is a specialist area of which they may have not had sufficient knowledge

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