On 6 May you get to choose who represents you on Kent County Council and Canterbury City Council. Here are the candidates:
- Canterbury South (Mike Sole)
- Canterbury City South (Ida Linfield)
- Canterbury North (Alex Ricketts)
- Canterbury City North (Alex Lister)
- Whitstable West (Yvonne Hawkins)
- Herne Village & Sturry (Gwilym Maltby)
- Herne Bay East (John Bowley)
- Whitstable East & Herne Bay West (James Flanagan)
Mike Sole, 53, who is contesting the KCC division of Canterbury South, is the Canterbury City Councillor for Nailbourne Ward.
Mike has lived in this electoral division for nearly thirty years, initially in Thanington, where he was previously a city councillor, then Bridge and Kingston.
Married to Helen, with two grown up children, Mike is a partner in a local firm of accountants where he works part-time to enable him to devote time to his duties as a councillor.
As a member of the Barham Downs Action Group, Mike was a key figure in successful opposing the large scale developments at Highland Court, in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. He has campaigned on environmental issues and was the first councillor to raise the climate emergency on the City Council.
With the experience of being a parish councillor, Mike works closely with the five parish councillors in the Nailbourne Ward and looks forward to extending that relationship to the other eleven parishes in Canterbury South and the Wincheap Society. He has fought against City Council cuts to Parish Council funding and responsibilities.
In his spare time Mike enjoys cycling and walking (although never without his phone to report potholes and fly-tipping!). A regular Parkrunner, Mike has taken part in many races including the London Marathon.
Barham residents have been used to see Mike perform annually with The Kingsbourne Players, where his performances as the villain and pantomime dame have entertained for over twenty years.
Ida comes from Canterbury and has lived and worked nearly all her life in the city. She first became interested in politics at the Simon Langton girls school joining the Young Liberals at an early age.
Ida worked for several years as a Canterbury city guide (so she knows every brick, paving stone and footpath!) and then for over 17 years worked for the national charity Help the Aged. She was a Canterbury city councillor for eight years, using her local knowledge to great effect when representing local residents at planning and licensing hearings. Also a member of the Open Spaces Society and the Green Lib Dems Ida was one of the city councillors who stopped the commercial takeover of the “Victoria Rec” and also worked closely on the campaign to save Kingsmead Field.
As a County Councillor Ida has campaigned for our hospital in Canterbury and spoke out long and hard for the retention of a local stroke unit. Over the last four years she has been the opposition spokesman on Adult Social Care standing up for Canterbury’s Age UK, supporting the Homeless in the city and the Canterbury Foodbank. As a member of the Childrens’ Committee Ida was integral in saving the Childrens’ Centre at Kingsmead when it was threatened with closure nearly 4 years and has since campaigned to stop period Poverty. On Canterbury’s roads Ida’s work means that we are just months away from a new safe crossing on the Littlebourne Road, a cycle path through Canterbury, more 20 mph zones and other local road safety measures throughout the district.
Alex is 45 (although according to him he looks much younger) and has had a long career in public policy, finance and marketing. He lives in Rough Common and has been a frequent bleary-eyed presence on the Canterbury West platform at 6.30 am, until recent months.
Though not a Canterbury native, Alex chose to move to the area to raise his young family and can’t see himself living anywhere else in the world.
He was elected to Canterbury City Council in 2019, defeating the current Tory leader Ben Fitter-Harding in Blean Forest and sits on the Policy and Regeneration committees, as well as helping out with other groups such as the Fairtrade Forum.
He was recently elected as a public governor of East Kent Hospitals University Trust, is an RSPB member and can often be found in Blean Woods armed with binoculars, a litter collecting bag and a noisy toddler.
Alex (39) grew up in Canterbury and his family originally hail from Chartham, where his great-grandfather used to be the stationmaster. As a youngster, Alex sang in the cathedral choir and continues to sing in local choirs to this day.
After leaving university, Alex worked in Spain and Gibraltar, before moving back to Canterbury in 2010.
Alex has always been a campaigner for local issues, embarking on his first campaign to save a local village pub shortly after his return from the continent. Since then he has worked in local government and the charity sector, before eventually working for the European Parliament prior to the UK’s exit from the European Union.
Alex is the lead governor of the East Kent Hospitals Trust, and vice chair of CHEK, the campaign group set up over 20 years ago to fight for Canterbury’s hospital.
Yvonne has lived in this part of Kent since 1983. She moved here to begin her nurse training and worked for the NHS for 30 years. You won’t be surprised to hear that one of her main interests is health, closely followed by the environment and equality for all. Yvonne is a passionate believer that everyone should have easy access to the basics of life, a safe stable home, good healthcare, good education.
Born in Canterbury, brought up and educated locally. After a difficult start to life Gwilym had to overcome adversity and was proud to graduate from the University of Kent. A High Street sales assistant who has feet firmly on the ground, Gwilym supports a local church, community groups and has worked for Age UK Canterbury and Canterbury Food Bank.
Gwilym says: “I owe my life to the skills and care of the NHS and feel passionately about supporting medical science.
“A personal rather than a political choice, I stand for the Liberal Democrats to put the local community first. Why am I standing for Sturry and Herne Village? Because I have always been close to the district and will do my best for local people.”