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New era beckons as Kent’s political landscape changes

After a historic day of local elections in Kent, there have been many changes which have shaken the county.

Medway experienced a big change, with a Labour council voted in, for the first time in 20 years and local councillors lost seats across the county.

Medway had 33 Labour councillors elected as well as, 22 Conservative, and four from the Independent party

Vince Maple, new leader of the council, told Kent Online: “The current plan is 20 years old next week. The public expect more and are talking about it more than ever before.

“We need to get all parties in the same room, Medway Council, Peel L&P (the landowners) and the Save the Docks people.

“This stand-off can’t continue and we must find a way forward. It’s no good just sitting in offices and not answering letters.”



Elsewhere in Kent, Canterbury saw Ben Fitter-Harding who was the conservative leader in Canterbury lose his seat.

Canterbury City Council had 18 Labour seats, 9 Liberal Democrats, 8 Conservatives and 4 from the Green Party.

Mr Fitter-Harding responded to suggestions that the possibility of Canterbury becoming a ’15-minute city’ had cost him his seat.

He tweeted: “To those tweeting me in response to national press on the election result: “15 minute cities” has nothing to do with Canterbury, zoning or me.

“The only thing I’ve ‘done’ is consult on an idea to build a Canterbury bypass and then, 15+ years from now, reconfigure internal streets (zones).

“I haven’t tried to force anything on anyone. You can’t get much more transparent than asking people for their thoughts so far in advance and before an election.

“All I’m trying to do is avoid an economically disastrous Canterbury congestion charge (the left favours), get a desperately needed road built and improve walking/cycling/public transport whilst keeping the city free to access by car.

“I’ve since said several times in the press that zoning, which is not my idea, is clearly not popular and shouldn’t be needed if we get the bypass and new junctions we want. I know it’s not popular because we did the right thing and consulted.

“So… what gives? If you punish those who are honest, transparent and who listen all you’ll end up with is representatives who will lie to you.”



Thanet District Council have also seen changes to their councillors with 20 Labour members elected, Conservative 4, Green 4 and Green 1, as well as Folkestone & Hythe District Council which saw Green and Labour take seats.


On a memorable day for local politics, leader of the council for Folkestone and Hythe, David Monk also lost his seat.


Feature Image: Photo by Cyrus Crossan on Unsplash