Paulwatkins Cllr Paul Watkins, the leader of Dover District Council, says the Conservatives will be fighting hard to keep control on May 5th

Dover is one of those barometer Districts & constituencies that tends to follow national trends in political popularity. Those trends are reflected in Council make up & parliamentary representation.

In 2007 a Conservative administration was elected for the first time since 1987. In the interim periods the Council was either controlled by Labour or hung. Labour is the main opposition.

There is no doubt that May’s elections will mean the usual “back to the wall” Campaign that manifests itself in marginal/volatile Districts & constituencies.

As a Conservative group we go into this election with a majority of eleven seats.

Currently Dover is a designated Growth Point with an agreed LDF housing allocation of 10,000-14,000 new housing units over 20 years.

There are housing development controversies in two wards which will make campaigning interesting because Labour are not blameless in associating themselves with housing policy and indeed were responsible up to 2007 for negotiating a deal with developers.

I believe we have a strong record to campaign on: 

  • Council Tax frozen 2011/2012
  • Achieved £2.4 million savings i.e. 14.8% reduction with NO FRONTLINE SERVICE REDUCTIONS
  • 10% reduction in Member’s Allowances
  • Reduction in Cabinet size
  • New waste contract between four East Kent Districts & KCC making significant savings , as well as offering a more comprehensive doorstep recycling offer whilst retaining a weekly food waste collection.
  • New housing management ALMO with all East Kent Districts joining together. A first.

All of the above is taken against an awaited DfT decision on the privatisation of the Port of Dover & the People’s Port debate.

The more disturbing local issue is the withdrawal Pfizer , the global pharmaceutical giant from its European HQ at Sandwich leaving 4,000 direct jobs at risk. An evaluation is being undertaken to assess the economic impact on the area & identify indirect job numbers affected.

It’s never dull in local government.