Conservatives: Campaign to win in Canterbury begins today

City council elections will take place on May 2

Canterbury district Conservatives have officially placed themselves on a war footing ahead of future elections.

Leader Simon Cook this morning announced a three-pronged strategy designed to retain control of Canterbury City Council and regain the constituency seat it lost to Labour’s Rosie Duffield – one of the shocks of last year’s general election.

He said fighting for a new district hospital with A&E and maternity services would be central to the campaign.

The Conservatives have also outlined three key objectives in their new manifesto. They are boosting the local economy with an emphasis on housing, improving the environment and balancing the city council’s books.

Writing on the Conservative Home website, Cllr Cook said: “Our pledge to campaign for a new hospital is firmly rooted, as local Conservatives played a vital role in defending the Kent and Canterbury Hospital in 2005 when the last Labour government wanted to close it down. Now we want to build on that – and build a new one!

Council leader Simon Cook: Manifesto pledges

“Over the coming months we will show how the other themes of our manifesto, such as boosting our local economy, will serve as a platform for detailed policies on issues like tackling homelessness and helping local people get the housing they need.”

Cllr Cook admitted that Ms Duffield’s victory over Conservative Sir Julian Brazier on June 8 last year had dented local party morale.

But he insisted that members had been lifted by results at the round of local elections which took place elsewhere in the country in May.

The next council election takes place on May 2, 2019 and the next general election before 2022.

Cllr Cook said community and grassroots activism would inform the campaign.

He went on: “We are building our local activist base, with record numbers turning up to help us on the doorstep. We hold big action days on the first Saturday of every month, so get in touch if you’d like to come along.

“Where we need to, we are also challenging some voters’ perception of the Conservative Party.

“For example, Canterbury Pride is the biggest Pride in Kent and local Conservatives have always played a vital role in organising and supporting it – but in the past, we have allowed Labour to hijack the event.

“This year, local Conservatives are a proud official sponsor of Canterbury Pride.”

Cllr Cook added that the Conservatives would also be working on their infrastructure and wanted “to put Labour on notice that we are up for a marathon effort”.

Labour and the Lib Dems have been asked for their thoughts on the Conservative manifesto.


  1. 1) Hospital pledge – laughable to look at 2005 which was 13, that’s right thirteen years ago and try to blame Labour. Tories have been in power since 2010 and have had plenty of time to turn it round. Shocking.

    2) Housing – yep that would be great. Except for a failed Local Plan resulting in applications being waved through. Plus councillors from coastal seats sitting on planning committee and affecting city centre decisions. Delusional.

    3) Environment – building a multi-story car park next to Canterbury with little support and virtually no infrastructure to support. Resulting in worse air quality for residents and no respite from Mountfield.

    We need brave, bold and ambitious plans. Not the same boring soundbites rehashed.

  2. Good to hear. Labour tried to create carnage in Canterbury last decade, so the Conservatives will need to work hard to keep clueless Rosie in check.

  3. I’ve lived in Canterbury 18 months. Duffield lost any ‘virtue’ over Pride and the LGBT community after being paid to appear on “Russia Today”, namely:
    1. Putin’s Russia and its LGBT stance….
    2. Snought in the trough on taking highly paid fee to appear on hard left media outlet….

    The sooner she goes the better.

  4. Copying the manifesto of other parties, making unkept promises, and being seen to be doing things… all for votes so power, as well as wealth for some, can be kept. Such is the Tory way. Environment talk on one hand, fracking and increasing traffic, pollution, propping up destructive business as usual on the other etc etc.

    Because economy Trumps all for the Cons while the planet and life go down the plughole. Not to be trusted, as nice and promising as some things may seem. There is no planet B. Let’s not forget that this one gives us everything including the breath and energy used in this discussion. .

    Having said all that I believe in working together, especially to resolve the planetary crisis. Yet the current mainstream style of politics is, with its kindergarten style abusiveness, is not conducive to this. Time for change. If we continue to stick to what seems safe we end up in more danger than ever. Nor is time on our side.

    On a positive note, there is much we all can do to create The Sustainable City of Canterbury and do our part in our corner of the planet, including utilising and rewarding the skills of local Permaculture designers. Permaculture is not just gardening but applies to creating sustainable habitats for humans which do not harm but works with and enhances the environment all life relies upon. If we are forced to build more, ceating permaculture villages would be our best bet. Plus green sustainable community energy….which Abbots Mill Project with the power generating water wheel they wish to instal are striving to achieve and need our support… as well as doing something about our need for stuff and our tendency to wastefulness.

    Discussion and plans need to reflect that planet and life trump all. The solution to much is right there under our feet, with much taken from it but not much given. Change that and there’s a chance, albeit pretty late in the day.


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