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Sandwich North by-election: Who will be most popular at the polls?

By Eleanor Perkins

Three candidates are vying for a place on Sandwich Town Council in a by-election today.

The Sandwich North Ward poll is to replace Christopher Trim, a former solicitor who was described as a “tireless supporter of Sandwich”, who died in May this year.

The race is between Anne Fox for the Liberal Democrats, Clare Felton, Conservatives, and Labour’s Sara Trillo, who stood for election last year but was defeated by Cllr Jeff Sneller.

Liberal Democrat Anne Fox is standing
Liberal Democrat Anne Fox is standing

Formerly a local council officer but now retired, Anne Fox of Sandown Road, says she is extremely keen to put her knowledge, experience and time to good use for the benefit of the people of Sandwich.

Describing herself as “open-minded but pragmatic,” she vows to become an “active and effective member” of the council.

A resident of Sandwich for almost 30 years, she has the advantage of hands-on experience of local government.

During her career, she also gained valuable experience of delivering large-scale programmes.

She said: “I therefore have the skills, knowledge and enthusiasm to make a real contribution to realise the vision for Sandwich and other future projects.”

If elected she would like to focus on issues such as policing, traffic, parking and litter.

Clare Felton, of Upper Strand Street, has lived in Sandwich for three-and-a-half years, although her family has lived in the town for four generations.

New Sandwich town councillor Clare Felton
New Sandwich town councillor Clare Felton

She runs a small wine importing business, working from home, and has two children.

She said: “Sandwich is a very special place, and if elected I relish the opportunity of joining a Conservative-led council to help continue work on improved traffic and regeneration projects already in progress, as well as working with Dover District Council to make parking easier for residents.

“Also, I will work hard to ensure the town benefits from the 2020 Open so that this global sporting event has a positive and lasting effect on the whole community. I believe in protecting Sandwich’s heritage and traditions, including the continuation of St Peter’s chimes.”

Sara Trillo, of St Peter’s Street, is a married mother of 16-year old twins who attend Sir Roger Manwood’s School.

Labour activist Sara Trillo
Labour activist Sara Trillo

She has been a self-employed artist for 25 years but much of her recent work has been made in collaboration with members of the community, including those experiencing homelessness, adults with mental health issues, and care home residents.

She also teaches at University for the Creative Arts in Canterbury.

She said: “Some of the key local issues which inspired me to campaign in 2016 have now become even more of a concern and this has led to my decision to stand again.

“For example, in the past year Wayfarers has been sold, School House nursery has closed, and there are very concerning issues around the development of the medieval boatyard.

“I want to see change.”

Mrs Trillo has also started a petition to save the Sandwich Advice Centre and is inviting people to sign it at the Labour Party stand at the Guildhall tomorrow (Thursday) and Saturday from 10am until noon.

In regards to the St Peter’s chimes issue, she is keen for discussions to be “in a neighbourly manner so that a satisfactory solution can be reached”.

Voting is in the Sandwich Guildhall Meeting Room from 7am until 10pm. No voting cards will be sent out to residents.

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