Watling Ward - Election of a Town Councillor for the FTC

Updated: Apr 27


Christopher Cavanagh (Lib Dem)

Hi, I’m Chris Cavanagh. I moved to Faversham last year but have been visiting the town regularly over the last ten years, this means that there are now three generation of my family living close to the town center.


I have worked in many countries across the world, and luckily, I’ve also lived abroad, but this is now my home and to me it’s a special place.


Having had the opportunity to see how things are done elsewhere I would like to use my experience, energy and commercial knowledge to support the people of Faversham – specifically the residents of Watling Ward. I see it as a chance to give something back.

Watling Ward with its location relative to the A2 needs us to ensure that road safety is paramount, and that air quality is the best we can achieve. Antony Hook and Eddie Thomas have already secured two new crossings and we are constantly exploring new ways to minimize the impact of traffic. One of which is the possible extension of the 20 mile and hour limit to cover Ospringe.


During recent litter picks we have spoken to residents and heard firsthand the negative impact inconsiderate drivers have on their lives, we are determined to help mitigate that impact as far as we can. The litter camera pilot in Maidstone is being closely followed by us and if there’s a possibility to employ it in other locations, we’ll be pushing hard for Faversham to be part of the program.


The Liberal Democrats already have a highly active local team, and we all want to make Faversham a great place to live, work and visit. I believe that there’s tremendous local potential, and with a strong and dynamic Town Council there is a promising future ahead.

Along with the opportunities come some considerable challenges, local housing, resources, climate change and quality of life. If we all work together and pull in the same direction, we can make a difference for our children and our children’s children. It’s about the future, it’s about Faversham being a great place to live, for everyone.


Sean Dunn (Con)

If anyone has more information on Sean then please let us know!














Paul Durkin (Lab)

Pre-2000 Paul has represented St Ann’s and Priory Wards on Faversham Town Council (FTC). On the FTC Paul was instrumental in setting up as Chairman their one and only, Environment sub-committee.


Since then, Paul has continued to speak out on behalf of the people of Faversham on health and travel issues ranging respectively, from maintaining an urgent treatment centre (UTC) to correcting our inadequate road signage.


He is also a founder member of the West Faversham Community Centre and their Short-Mat Bowls Club. He has been a Faversham School (25 years) and Hospital public (EKHUFT) governor for over 10 years.

Paul for many years was Chairman of the Faversham Hop Festival Committee and was responsible for saving it when threatened with closure caused by a noise complaint. His action was to correct this by effectively monitoring the actual sound at the Festival’s Preston Street stage. Paul is also a member of the Faversham Society, Friends of the Faversham Cottage Hospital and the GMB union. He is also a fellow of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health and a retired registered Occupational Hygienist. He has recently volunteered to help with the COVID vaccine rollout.


He also sends out a weekly C19 blog.


In Watling ward, Paul has supported the Neighbourhood Watch scheme.



David Walton (Green)


David's Priorities:

  • Reduce the air pollution and disturbance from HGVs on the A2;

  • Build back Greener to ensure the town’s recovery from the COVID lockdown restrictions;

  • Ensure the town centre remains vibrant and retains its unique character;

  • Minimise adverse impacts on the town from new housing;

  • Listen to your views;

  • Hold Faversham Town Council to account.


David grew up in East Kent and lives in Ospringe. He is a recently retired History and Politics teacher and has a keen interest in sport. He has coached Rugby and Cricket for many years. He is a volunteer with Swale Litter Squad and has worked hard to do something positive about the terrible problem of litter on our roads. David is passionate about the environment. He has campaigned on air pollution from traffic, and is working to promote nature-friendly farming to give the recovery of nature a helping hand. The Green Party does not tell councillors how to vote, so David will be free to act for your best interests.


David Walton has already been working hard for Watling Ward by:

  • Speaking out against the air pollution, traffic congestion; noise and vibration from HGVs and other traffic on the A2;

  • Taking action to get fly-tipping & litter cleared up as part of the Swale Litter Squad;

  • Working with local farmers to encourage use of nature-friendly farming methods to tackle the ecological and biodiversity crisis;

  • Listening to the views of residents and local businesses on the issues that matter to you.

Working with local people to get things done, David says:

"Town councils have limited powers, but as your Green councillor, I will engage with Swale Borough Council, Kent County Council and others to make sure the views of local people and Faversham businesses are heard. For example, I was surprised to learn that Swale planners have not spoken to the managers of the transport depots near the Western link about the problems of traffic congestion on the A2 and the anticipated increase in traffic from building thousands of houses in Faversham. I will lobby to keep further development in Faversham to a minimum, work to improve the infrastructure to make walking and cycling more appealing, and to make development as energy-efficient as possible".


Conclusion

I am certain that the people of Watling Ward have already had enough of the traffic, speed, congestion and pollution along the A2. The road is already at capacity. It has double the number of HGVs (1,000) than any other section of the A2. These travel through the pinch point at Ospringe, where the issue is magnified. Yet, KCC, Swale BC and Faversham Town Council seem intent to ignore the most immediate; the most urgent issue facing the town. This is why I am standing for the Green Party. It is time the people of Faversham are freed form the consequences of years of indecision and they require a Town Council that seeks to find solutions, not just accept the status quo. I am free to act in the best interests of the local population and our environment, unlike those connected to mainstream parties.


The new housing plan is wrong, but is a response to Government diktat. The Tory Government, including Helen Whately, and their developer friends seem intent on ignoring the terrible environmental consequences. It is time for a change.


Faversham Eye’s Opinion


We don’t know much about Chris Cavanagh but he seems like a decent candidate from his statement. However, in our humble opinion there is one obvious choice for your best candidate for Watling Ward - David Walton from the Green Party. His concerns about the increasing traffic congestion on the A2 is of the upmost importance for everyone in the Town. We need someone on FTC who can focus on the impact of all our new and proposed housing and the implications on our roads and on our environment. It would also be great to have a Green councillor on FTC to give a new perspective on our town's future.