Medway Council officially announce candidates for Rochester West by-election

The candidates running for the Rochester West by-election have now been confirmed by the Medway Council.

Local residents are due to vote for a new ward councillor when polls open from 7am until 10pm on March 8.

The by-election was called for after former councillor Kelly Tolhurst stepped down from her position back in January this year to take on her new role as the government whip.

It is estimated that around eight thousand residents will be eligible to vote in the by-election, and with votes being counted using the first past the post system, candidates will probably need between one and two thousand votes to be elected.

Conservative, Labour, Green, UKIP and Liberal Democrats party had already revealed their candidates earlier this month and started their campaigns respectively.

Here’s an overview of the candidates standing in the by-election, and Kent Echo managed to speak with two candidates ahead of the by-election.

Labour – Alex Paterson

The party announced its pick for school campaigner, local governor and former national journalist, Alex Paterson as their candidate back in January 29. Speaking with Kent Echo, Mr Paterson stated he is keen to see the community strive despite the challenges the council is currently facing. He raised concerns on issues that he believed Medway council did not address well enough, including the treatment of green spaces, closure of Sure Start children centres and the council’s failure to see things from a resident’s perspective.

Green Party – Sonia Lesley Hyner

The Green Party revealed its representative Sonia Lesley Hyner, who is an active peace and climate change campaigner, on January 25. During her interview with Kent Echo, Ms Hyner addressed many environmental and welfare issues in Medway including recycling efforts, social housing and homelessness. She claimed that residents are showing a growing interest in environmental change and a vote for the Greens would allow vital developments in a sector that Medway Council has failed to focus on in recent years.

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Conservatives – Alan Geoffrey Kew

The Conservative party announced Alan Geoffrey Kew as their candidate selection on January 23. Mr Kew was described as a “keen cyclist and sailor” who “has worked as a civil engineer on regeneration and highway projects for 35 years”.

Source: Medway Conservative Group 

Liberal Democrats – Martin Jacob Rose

Martin Jacob Rose was officially selected as Liberal Democrats’ candidate for the by-election back in January 29. Despite being a relative newcomer to politics after joining the party in early 2017, Mr Rose was said to have been active on a number of issues including participating in the Liberal Democrats’ campaign to improve the quality of local mental health care.

Source: Medway Lib Dems

UKIP – Rob McCulloch Martin

No information

Eligible voters will need to register themselves by Tuesday, February 20 to vote in the by-election. For more information, visit the Medway Council website.