09 JUN 2009

Dover and Deal turns blue!

In Dover & Deal, the Conservative team did really well in the Kent County Council elections.   With five gains, we achieved a clean sweep of all six divisions fully in the constituency (Eastry and Sholden fall into the Conservative held Sandwich division). We went from just one seat to a "full house" of six. A strong team of excellent and hard working Conservative councillors have been sent to county hall. Congratulations to our new County Councillors! Joining incumbent Dover West County Cllr Bryan Cope (and Cllr Leyland Ridings who represents Sandwich), the new councillors are:

Deal - C Cllrs Julie Rook and Kit Smith

Dover Town - C Cllrs Nigel Collor and Roger Frayne

Dover North - C Cllr Steve Manion

The elections saw a well above trend swing from Labour to Conservative of nearly 14%.  This was not just a routine Labour collapse. The Conservative share of the vote also rose very strongly. All parties were surprised by the result in Dover Town where the swing was a hurricane level 18%, the Conservative vote share rising by 15%.

Thank you to everyone who voted Conservative. We want you to know that while we are all delighted and extremely grateful, we understand there is no room for complacency or triumphalism.  Each new county councillor knows that they have to fight for our community day and night.  That they are servants of the people. That they will not forget they hold the public trust and must bring us honour . . . as well as our fair share. They will work to improve healthcare, strengthen our local economy, improve policing, strengthen our borders at every turn and be there for people in need.

This is without doubt a very strong position for the Dover & Deal Conservatives heading into the General Election. Yet again there is no room for complacency, I and our team take nothing for granted and we know we will still have to work like Trojans for a General Election win! And we know that it is at the General Election that we can make the real change. For only a change of Government will really enable us to improve local healthcare, boost our economy (safeguarding the port and getting the A2 dualled for example) and to make sweeping changes that will make our borders secure, stamping out human trafficking and keeping drugs out of Britain.

For the six county divisions fully covering Dover & Deal the overall results were as follows:

                 Votes     % share         Change

Con          11,338        43.7            8.1

Lab            6,163         23.8           -18.5

LD              6,040         23.3           4.2

Other         2,405         9.3             7.4

Total          25,946

Note: Labour came within 123 votes of falling into third place. When the Eastry and Sholden villages of the Sandwich county division are taken into account, it is almost certain that Labour fell into third place across the constituency.


chas it now comes to light that a rather unpleasant leaflet was issued by your party during the campaign. were you aware iof this smear campaign? if so, did you condone it?
- howard mcsweeney

Howard, in the heat of the campaign, people were really upset by Gwyn Prosser's highly personal and dirty campaigning. I think in the cold light of day, things done in the heat of a campaign - any campaign - can go too far. I don't like "ad hominem" campaigning. You and I have seen it on the Chatmap with that Labour person pretending to be a bona fide resident - it's a bit dirty, obvious and depressing, isn't it? And the nasty, unwarranted and deeply personal attacks on me - the idea I go about telling lies, should be sent "back to London" etc etc - in a recent letter signed personally by the incumbent MP really upset my team beyond all reason. It really was beyond the pale. As were the attacks in the press on me for simply asking basic questions on expenses, which turned out to be pertinent. I could sit here and say the Labour Party are sitting in glass houses and all that, yet in truth, things like that should not happen - on any side. And in anticipation of your follow up, you are right that to take the bait is to sink to the same level. It must not happen again. It will not be allowed to happen again. What matters are the issues. My hope is that a compact - or at least an understanding - can be agreed between all the parties that we will play the ball and not the man. I am deeply concerned that if we go for the person, turnout will fall, the level of debate will crash and we will not be providing people with a considered choice on important issues. What is done cannot be undone on any side. The matter has been well discussed on the Forum and all that will now happen is a game of he said she said. What matters is how we move forward with a more positive engagement across the board, giving the voters the respect they need and deserve in the big decisions that lie ahead.
- Charlie Elphicke

Hello Howard, I am afraid it was not a smear campaign, it was all the truth about the appalling state of affairs at Deal Town Council. I was a Labour Councillor on their until I joined the Conservatives, so I know first hand what some Councillor's NOT ALL are like on Deal Town Council and how they abused their power to the detriment of the local people. I cannot go into detail but the Labour party are very good at intimidation tactics at all levels of the party, I've experienced this first hand myself. They have also had their own little smear campaign against me. Regards Tracy Kind Regards TRACY

chas i asked whether you approved of the leaflet. tracy this was nothing to do with deal town council, this was a vile campaign leaflet on a labour counry councillor from dover.
- howard mcsweeney

Howard, it was part of the county council / European campaign, not my campaign. As I said before, there was a lot of anger at the highly personal attacks from Labour, so there was a strong desire to hit back which sometimes happens in the heat of a campaign. Equally, I understand the shock from the Labour Party that they should get as good as they gave, as that's not usually our way. From now on it is, in effect, my campaign. While I expect more dirty attacks on me, I do not plan to rise to the bait (although I did enjoy the dialogue with that troll we had a few weeks ago!). As you know my way is to work for consensus, stick to the issues and focus on the things our community needs to achieve its full potential. Those are the things I plan to do.
- Charlie Elphicke

Basically the campaign was not vile. T
- tracy wilton

tracey the leaflet was, i have seen a copy. perhaps you politicos may have a think about why so few people vote?
- howard msweeney

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Charlie Elphicke

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