Canterbury Council Elections 2019- Four Parties' Perspective

With 2019 already being a year memorable for political landmarks, many would be forgiven for forgetting the local council elections that occur tomorrow beneath talk of Brexit and President Trump.

However the 2019 elections could themselves prove to be a significant moment in this year's political calendar, with the forthcoming European Parliament elections, these elections could prove to be a prediction of things to come for both Brexit and measure of support in Theresa May's government.

In the 2015 elections, Conservative candidates largely swept aside their competition in Canterbury, winning 31 of the 39 seats available. Labour and the Liberal Democrats both won 3 each, whilst the only other party to win seats were UKIP, winning 2.

In run-up to the elections, InQuire asked three residents from the three main political parties their reasons as to why they you should vote for them, here's what they had to say:

Chair of Labour Students- Dimitri Andreou

"This Thursday voters will go to the polls in many regions around the country to vote in local council elections. These local councils, though rarely given the same attention as national political institutions, have significant power to enact change in local communities.

As students in a city with a sizeable student population, our voice will be heard. Voting in these elections will allow us to make the change that we wish to see in Canterbury and send a message to the heartless Tory government that they can’t keep ignoring local communities.

Labour is the only party that can deliver the radical change that so many across Canterbury need. In the recently published manifesto, local Labour candidates have pledged to create 2,000 new, affordable council homes across the region in a much needed attempt to address the rapidly increased housing inequality across Canterbury.

Moreover, a Labour council will support an all-year-round homeless hostel in Canterbury to help in the fight against the city’s homelessness crisis. As homelessness increases across Canterbury, a council that will tackle the crisis head on is desperately needed.

A Labour council will create jobs and wealth in Canterbury while ensuring that equality and social justice remain at the heart of policy. In such a divided atmosphere nationally, a local council that will seek to ensure economic and social justice for all is essential.

Finally, as the Conservatives fail miserably to tackle the climate emergency we currently face, local Labour councils around the country, and in Canterbury, have pledged to combat the crisis by investing in sustainable solutions and aiming to make the city carbon neutral by 2030.

On May 3rd, there is a choice between the same political soundbites of the Conservative party that we’ve been hearing for years, or a Labour party that will improve the lives of so many across Canterbury."

Conservative Candidate- Daniel Sydenham

"My name is Daniel Sydenham and I am a third year History and Politics student finishing my studies at the University of Kent.

These elections, which are set for 2nd May, are so important to ensuring your local area remains well run; and to ensure that Canterbury remains one of the best cities to live in.

Whether you are reading this as a student or long-time resident, I feel it is important to make the case for why a vote for the Conservatives in this election is the best thing you can do.

We all know that nationally, politics is in flux, and that is most certainly an understatement. It is true that the Government has, thus far failed to deliver on Brexit, whether you are for or against it is not the issue. The mere nature of the task has been so all-consuming that is has clearly eroded trust in politicians of all hues nationally.

However, this should not be reciprocated at the local level. your city councillors, and I know many of them, are hardworking residents who are in office to listen, and advocate on your behalf in the council chamber. The Conservatives have some great things planned for Canterbury. For example, our flagship policy is the construction of a new full service hospital for the city, which will be a great boost to the city’s health and local economy.

We want to work for you, we want to work with you. We want Canterbury to stay the great city that it is, and build upon that.

The best way to ensure this happens is to elect a Conservative City Council."

Liberal Democrat Candidate- Alex Lister

"Why should you vote for The Liberal Democrats on 2nd May? I can tell you why I vote Lib Dem, which might help you decide.

I’m relatively new to the area, and relatively new to the party. Despite being a Lib Dem voter for most of my life, I joined on 24th June 2016. I felt disconnected, and that it was time to take action.

In the years since, I’ve got to know my neighbours and the issues that they really care about. People haven’t mentioned Brexit much in this campaign, they’ve talked about bin collections, pollution, the homelessness and housing crisis, and above all a general feeling that their council is not looking after their best interests.

A Lib Dem council will immediately declare a climate emergency in the city, stop the building of the congestion-creating car park at Canterbury West, and start building 250 new council houses a year. The next day we will start on some serious long-term policies to bring this venerable city right into the 21st Century.

A shockingly small number of graduates from our thriving educational institutions choose to stay on after graduation, and it seems to me that we are failing to harness one of the greatest resources available to us. I have two Kent alumni friends who, despite having had a great time, both headed to London.

The Lib Dems will work to make sure that there are attractive jobs for locals and graduates alike, by helping local business thrive. We’ll also tap in to the incredible entrepreneurial potential of our students with access to mentors, funding and workspace.

Canterbury is a great place to live, spectacularly ill-served by its complacent Tory council. You can help us fix this and be part of our city’s future."

Green Party Manifesto