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Sandwich: Meet the candidates for next month's Sandwich Town Councillor by-election

A former mayor of Sandwich, the chairman of the Friends of Wayfarers and a mum of two who is new to politics, will go up against each other to gain a seat on Sandwich Town Council.

A by-election to replace Cllr Charles Miller, who sensationally resigned from the council in March following a disagreement over proposed new traffic measures, will take place on May 5.

Jeffery Sneller (Cons), Dick Perry (Lib Dem) and Sara Trillo (Lab) are the three candidates nominated.

Jeffery Sneller has been elected
Jeffery Sneller has been elected

Mr Sneller, of Whitefriars Way, was Sandwich’s longest serving councillor of 32 years before he was unsuccessful in the last election, when he stood in the south ward. As twice mayor of the town and three times a deputy mayor, he is now looking to represent the north ward, where he feels he is probably slightly better known.

He said: “I went to Manwoods back in the 50s and I’ve practiced as a chartered building surveyor for the last 30 odd years, therefore my interests are very much regarding planning matters and I could bring in some expertise there.”

Mr Sneller is the vice-chairman of the trustees at Sandwich’s Age Concern. He is also a member of Rotary, responsible for the start of the Sandwich Festival and the founder member of the Sandwich Sonsbeck Twinning Association.

He added: “I was also the instigator of the Mayor’s Civic Award whilst I was mayor.”

Former councillor Dick Perry says "one cannot be pleased by the news"
Former councillor Dick Perry says "one cannot be pleased by the news"

Mr Perry, of Knightrider Street, also missed out in the Dover District Council elections, last May.

He said: “I’ve decided to stand because I thoroughly enjoyed my career as a Sandwich town councillor. I did 16 years and then had to withdraw because my wife was seriously ill.

“I think there are a number of important issues that we all are aware of in Sandwich. I have been campaigning on behalf of Wayfarers home. Kent County Council have decided to sell it off and we in Sandwich are very worried about this as it’s very important to us.

“I’ve also been campaigning on behalf of the library fearing that it might be closed.”

Mr Perry, who helped form the Library Guild, says he is also interested in the future of Manston and would like to see it survive.

Labour activist Sara Trillo
Labour activist Sara Trillo

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

She said: “I am new to politics, and one of the reasons I finally joined the Labour Party, having been a life long voter, was because of the unfairness I see in society and the ever widening gulf between rich and poor, along with my anxiety that valued institutions such as the National Health Centre and BBC are being dismantled before our eyes.”

The self-employed artist for 25 years, added: “Locally there are issues which worry me; the future of Wayfarers – my grandfather was a resident there when he died – and making good provision for the elderly in the town.

“I want to support plans for Sandwich Sport and Leisure Centre. As a mother of teenagers I would love to see swimming and enhanced sports facilities.”

Having recently worked on a homelessness project, Mrs Trillo said she would also like to help argue for a Family Crisis Fund for families suffering hardship in the town and genuinely affordable housing in the town.

The poll for the town council election will be combined with the poll for the Police and Crime Commissioner election for the Kent Police area.

It will be from 7am until 10pm in the Meeting Room inside the Guildhall.

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