Published: 12:42, 10 March 2021
| Updated: 12:45, 10 March 2021
There will be elections in May for a third of the seats on Maidstone Borough Council, as well as all of the seats on Kent County Council.
Two existing Maidstone councillors - neither of whom are up for election themselves in May - have urged residents to put themselves forward as candidates.
Husband and wife team, Tom and Janetta Sams, sit as Independents representing Harrietsham and Lenham Ward for the borough council.
Cllr Janetta Sams said: “The terrible pandemic has affected all our people. Through this crisis we have found new communities evolving. Volunteers and workers showing compassion and caring for the most vulnerable around them.
"We feel that among these people there could be potential new community leaders. The vaccination process has shown us all what can be done in these very difficult and challenging times.
"We ask them to come forward and offer the skills they have to stand for election for Maidstone Borough Council, as independent-thinking candidates in May."
Cllr Mrs Sams is herself part of a covid support team in Harrietsham and Lenham. She said it was important that democracy wasn't hampered by the pandemic.
Cllr Tom Sams said: “We both feel that Maidstone Borough Council is run by the two main parties. There is a wafer thin line between them.
"It is time for change. We need candidates who will be accountable to the people and not to their party.
"In more than 20 years as a councillor, I cannot remember a time when there has been greater need for change.
"Please come forward.
"We need people who have skills and interests particularly in areas of the environment where this council must now push forward a progressive agenda on climate change for a sustainable future for our children."
Elections will take place in 19 borough council seats.
The notice of election will be displayed on March 19 and nominations need to be completed by April 8.
Nomination packs can be obtained from the electoral services team from Maidstone Borough Council, with information for prospective candidates and agents available on the MBC website.
No deposit is required to stand. Anyone can do it.
If you want to discuss what the role if a councillor involves, you can call the Sams on 01622 859412 or email them on email@example.com