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Abbey Ward - Election of a Town Councillor for the FTC

Updated: Apr 24, 2021

Jane Hawkins (Con)

I have lived in Faversham for over 50 years and have two adult daughters. I work in Sainsbury’s so by meeting many local people daily I get to know their concerns. I served as a Faversham town councillor from 2008 to 2015 and was deputy mayor during my final year, meeting with and learning about many local groups and organisations. I fully understand the commitment needed by your Councillors.

Current issues causing great concern, which I propose to address as a matter of urgency are:

  • Working to reopen the town centre as soon as Covid restrictions permit, to encourage daytime use of local retailers, services and hospitality venues.

  • Keep up pressure to ensure installation of the new Creek Bridge goes ahead for the Upper Basin to be used for recreation and associated employment opportunities.

  • Plans for new housing should not use good quality agricultural land and ensure that alternatives are considered as a matter of urgency.

  • Commitment to investing in a safer, cleaner environment such as dealing promptly with graffiti removal.

  • Working to reduce anti-social behaviour by supporting initiatives to provide more activities for young people and working together with police in the community.

  • Continue with the previous Conservative initiative to replace the Town Jetty.

Conservatives embrace the benefits change brings to the economy, particularly as we recover from the effects of Covid.

Finally, maintaining the charm of our unique market town must be at the forefront for Faversham, thereby encouraging tourism and bringing financial benefit to our economy.

Jenny Reeves (Lab)

I’m 44 and lived here for most of my life, met my husband here and brought my 3 children up here. This town is my home and I couldn’t imagine saying that about anywhere else. I’ve got a real passion for volunteering and became a member of the Royal Voluntary Service and a mutual aider during the pandemic.

I’m involved with charities that span from Unpaid Carers, The NHS, Homeless people to Supporting women entering Politics and love helping them all.

Faversham is a great town, it’s got a real sense of community and it should be a really wonderful place to live, but we can’t deny there are issues. Disabled and elderly people are feeling left out when decisions are made, I’m told time and time again they are feeling pushed out of our town especially the town centre. Businesses that have suffered during the pandemic because they had to close need real support to help stay open and support their futures. Young people need real facilities not piecemeal listening shops, there isn’t a one size fits all answer.

I really want to help Faversham and the people who live here, I will continue to do it regardless of what happens on the 6th May.

Josh Rowlands (Lib Dem)

My name is Josh Rowlands. I live in Abbey ward and work in the town centre in the hospitality industry.

I understand the issues that residents face on a daily basis, whether that be concerns about safety within the town, making sure we are support our amazing local business, how to pay the rent or bills in the ongoing uncertainty in this pandemic, or how we just keep going mentally with the strain the past year has taken on us all.

I am proud to be standing in this election as the Liberal Democrat candidate. It’s a team that cares about the whole community not just one section.

The new Lib Dem led Town council has undertaken ambitious projects to move our town forward. The new council has set up the first ever Climate & Biodiversity Committee for the town which has given away 1,000 trees for planting and is looking at eco-roofs for bus stops. In turn we have seen local groups join in most recently to clear all the rubbish from the Cooksditch Stream. New money has been allocated for youth work, the Rec is getting better, the Community Land Trust has been supported and during Covid the Town Council reallocated funds to help local charities support the community.

The Town Council is opposing the 10,000 extra homes the Conservative government is trying to impose on Swale.

My fight is not against people from other parties but for everyone who lives here. I am willing to work with people from all political backgrounds and none to make this town the home we all want to see.

A vote for me is a vote for pushing for better safety in the recreation ground, pushing to making sure our local business in the town centre are allowed to flourish in the new norm we live in, someone who speaks up on behalf of all Faversham residents when it comes it house building and arguing for the right houses in the right places, with more affordable housing for our town.

I’ve seen the best of this town over the past year. The support we offered each other has been amazing and I know as we leave lockdown we will see that support flourish in many new ways.

So, I ask all Abbey Ward residents to lend me your vote and help make Faversham better in ways we all want to see.


Faversham Eye’s Opinion

Jenny Reeves is well known in the town and might be seen as a bit like Marmite. You have to give her dues; she is a strong woman who speaks her mind and she stands up for the people who really need our support, whether she in office or not. She also stood in the last general election which would have given her some great experience. However some may frown about the fact that it is not always cricket to criticise your opponent’s campaigns as she has with the Lib Dems ‘hand written’ leaflets.

Please don’t get me started on Jane Hawkins… she seems a little out of touch with the new housing developments in the town and has no idea that the Town Jetty is in the process of being fully repaired, no thanks to previous Tory-led Faversham Town Council! Her statement basically follows the Tory line.

Her Twitter profile reads ‘Single. A Tory. 100% for Boris! .. Ex Tory Cllr/Deputy Mayor. Love funk & soul classics of the 70’s & 80’s. Dancing. Springer Spaniels. Jags & Land Rovers.’

Whatever floats your boat. Some of her posts also make interesting reading and may concern some voters:

Our newcomer to the world of local politics is Josh Rowlands. Son of the Reverend Simon Rowlands, Vicar of St Mary of Charity and nominated as a candidate by his parents. Sweet.

We hope his political inexperience does not prevent him doing more than just toeing the party line and that his environmental aspirations extend further than just putting a few sods of grass on bus stops.

Is it time for some fresh blood in our political fishbowl or should we support Jenny who will represent a wide proportion of our community? Our vote's with Jenny.

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