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Decision day for voters in Sandwich Town Council by-election

By Eleanor Perkins

People in Sandwich will today head to the Phoenix Centre to have their say on who will replace the late Joe Trussler on the town council.

Candidates Wendy Scott of the Liberal Democrats and Conservative Dan Friend have been taking to the streets to canvass residents in the south ward.

Mrs Scott, 74, of Woodnesborough Road, is a retired teacher, whose last post was at St Edmund’s School in Canterbury from 1993 until 2004.

Wendy Scott

Wendy Scott

She says people are concerned about the closure of vital mental health services in the town.

Mrs Scott will fight for the reintroduction of these services, as well as for the development of more affordable housing.

Mr Friend, 30, is a manager at Topps Tiles in Folkestone and a dad of two to children William, two, and Violet, 11 weeks.

He is keen to become a voice for young families in Sandwich and to help improve the policing situation in the area.

Candidate Dan Friend with resident John Gisbey

Candidate Dan Friend with resident John Gisbey

Liberal Democrat candidate Wendy Scott:

“People have spoken to me about their concerns with the closure of the mental health services and sexual health clinic in the town. I would fight for the reintroduction of these services – so vital to many people today.“Also of concern, is the future of Wayfarers. I want to ensure there is a decent provision of care for the elderly.“I would encourage the development of affordable housing, especially for the younger generation, while maintaining the character of the town.“I am disquieted about the rise of racial abuse and hate crimes in the area, following the divisive Referendum campaigns. I would want to work closely with the Hope not Hate initiative on this.“Sandwich is a lovely town and there has always been a great community spirit, which is valued. I would want to help in nurturing a welcoming, open and tolerant atmosphere.”

Conservative Dan Friend:

“Myself and fellow volunteers have been out in Sandwich, talking to residents on their doorsteps about important issues they would like me to campaign for as their representative – things they feel strongly about.
“The response has been overwhelmingly positive. People seem genuinely excited at the prospect of someone running for town council who is bringing children up in Sandwich, a voice for younger families. A big talking point on the doorstep is about the Liberal Democrats and their stance against grammar schools and what this could mean for our town and Sir Roger Manwood’s, which is part of the fabric of Sandwich.
“Traffic and the danger posed from speeding, dangerous parking and more police on the streets are what people are most concerned about. There is a perception that policing in the town is reactive rather than proactive, a situation I want to help change.
“Money is a hot topic, and I’ll fight for our fair share from DDC and KCC in regard to services and funding.”

Voters are going to the poll today

Voters are going to the poll today

Sandwich Town Council has confirmed that polling cards have not been issued so as to keep the cost of the election down.

Cllr Joe Trussler died in June after a battle with prostate cancer. He lived in Dover Road with wife Sandy, and was first elected in 1997 – serving without a break until his death.

He was Sandwich mayor four times, serving in 2002-2003, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10.

Voting will take place at The Phoenix Centre, in Sandwich, between 7am and 10pm.

The result is expected tonight (Thursday). 

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