People across Folkestone & Hythe district ‘will get the change they demanded’ from a new council ready to listen, involve and act in their best interests.

That’s the promise from Shepway Green Party after a dramatic set of election results saw the party become the biggest group on the council, with eleven councillors, and left the Conservatives, who have run the district for 16 years, with just five.

Shepway Green Party:

  • Again elected three councillors in Hythe and two in Hythe Rural, with even bigger numbers of votes than four years ago
  • Enjoyed a clean sweep in Cheriton, where their existing councillor was re-elected and joined by two more
  • Won for the first time in North Downs East (two councillors) and North Downs West (one councillor)
  • Became the majority group on Hythe Town Council, while continuing its alliance with independents and LibDems, and with no Conservatives were elected.

Councillor Jim Martin, Leader of the Green group on the district council, said: “We’re delighted with the results and grateful to all those who turned out to vote and put their trust in us, as well as to all the volunteers and candidates who took nothing for granted and worked hard for every vote. Of course, the real work begins now but we’re all looking forward to getting started.

“It’s really satisfying to see even bigger votes this time in the two Hythe wards than we did when our first Green councillors were elected four years ago, to go from one to three councillors in Cheriton and to see Greens representing many more local communities, including at Hawkinge, Elham, Sellindge, Lyminge  and Stelling Minnis.”

Scrapping development on Princes Parade

While the Green Party is now the biggest group on the district council, it does not have a majority of the 30 councillors and is discussing a possible alliance to establish a stable, secure and productive administration that will deliver the things the Greens promised voters at this election, including scrapping development on Princes Parade and transforming the council into one that listens to, involves and acts in the best interests of local people.    

The party’s manifesto also set out priorities including doing as much as possible to provide green jobs and support for high streets and other local businesses, to work in partnership with community groups to support vulnerable people and those hit by the cost-of-living crisis and publishing an action plan to help homeless people all year round.  

The manifesto also included doing everything possible to provide affordable homes that are cheaper to heat and to insulate all council housing to reduce energy bills and to secure more biodiversity on council land and net carbon zero council buildings. The party also said it wants to improve recycling rates, reduce waste and encourage reuse, as well as seeking active travel schemes that make walking, cycling and wheelchair or rollator use safer and more enjoyable.

Record number of councillors

Shepway Green Party now has a record number of councillors – 12 at Hythe Town Council, 11 at Folkestone & Hythe District Council and, following its substantial victory in March’s Kent County Council by-election, one county councillor.

By Ed

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