Ashford and Folkestone and Hythe KYCC candidates

Voting is now closed. Election results will be available on Wednesday 5 December.

Read the Ashford and Folkestone and Hythe candidate manifestos.

I will tackle cyber bullying and violent crime to create a safer society, as well as getting Votes at 16 to make sure we are listened to.

Issue 1: shaping our future - Votes at 16

At 16, a person can leave school and enter work, be liable for tax, join the armed forces, become a company director, obtain welfare benefits in their own right, but cannot vote. This is simply ridiculous. 1.5 million 16 and 17 year olds are denied the right to vote on matters that will affect them and their future, and this archaic law must change. Youths are informed and should be able to have an influence in their own future.

Issue 2: getting tough online - tackling cyber bullying

Our laws are outdated and do not address the modern technological society we live in. 87% of youths say to have witnessed cyberbullying, a shockingly and unacceptably high figure that I aim to dramatically  reduce. Social media firms must mutually adopt consistent rules to tackle cyberbullying, with punishments in place to deter emotional abuse of teenagers online. Education on the dangers of cyberbullying, as well as support for victims, must be introduced to allow us all to feel safe online.

Issue 3: safety on our streets - tackling violent crime

Canterbury has been ranked as one of the top 10 most dangerous places in Kent, and the use of knives, guns and acid in violent crimes is becoming far too common. We must campaign for stricter laws on the possession of firearms and knives, as well as imposing tougher sentences on perpetrators of these crimes. We also need more police officers, bobbies on the beat and 'stop and search' checks to reduce the regularity of these heinous crimes. We cannot risk losing lawful control of our streets.

Alex's statement

I want to help others and give young people a voice. I want to stand up for others and raise awareness about anxiety and bullying.

Issue 1: supporting young people with anxiety

Make people aware of what a big problem anxiety is for young people. I want to raise awareness of how anxiety is affecting young people and how many young people it is affecting. I want schools to have more resources to support young people to help them cope.

Issue 2: bullying

I want to raise awareness of how bullying affects people. I want people to realise how much it affects a person's self-esteem. I want schools and youth clubs to create an atmosphere where young people stand up and support each other.

Issue 3: help to quit smoking

Young people start smoking at a young age through peer pressure. Once you have started it is hard to stop. I want there to be more support for young people to quit.

I aim to bring real change to Kent's young people with campaigns to ensure they are taught skills to prepare them for life outside school.

Issue 1: real life skills

This campaign will be aimed at getting schools to teach students skills that they need for life after school. Skills such as basic accounting, basic cooking, gaining an understanding of the political system, writing a CV, completing an interview, etc. All of these skills are vital to allowing a student to be successful in life after they leave school. These skills are often neglected in curriculums as there is no way of measuring them and comparing them to other schools; but they are vital.

Issue 2: schools improving their local community

I aim to encourage schools to set aside a small amount of time during a term to contribute to projects in the local communities. Whether this is helping at a local nursing home, doing a litter pick or painting fences, if the school can get involved it will drastically improve the local community and will also give students skills that they can transfer to their future careers.

Issue 3: parents and carers' understanding of mental health

Mental health is a prominent issue but not many people call for more conversations between young people and their parents/carers. If young people are able to get together with professionals in the field of mental health and teach parents what to look for in their children and how to help them, it could have a remarkable effect on young peoples lives. Parents would be able help and know who to turn to if they feel they can't. I want to improve the support parents can provide for their children.

Daniel's statement

I am experienced in both fields of campaigning and public speaking. I have been elected for my school council for 2 years running and have positively changed the perspectives of the local community.

Issue 1: access for all

To give people with physical disabilities access around their school or even local shops within the community with, for example, ramps and automatic doors.

Issue 2: smooth wheels

To improve pavement and road stability in order to allow people with wheelchairs to get around safer and smoother, and to reduce the risks of accidents for able bodied people.

Issue 3: to raise awareness of East Kent

To campaign to start providing equipment on behalf of Milbrook so there is less of a waiting list for people who require equipment immediately; for example, wheelchairs.

I believe in empowering the youth voice and ensuring their voices are heard. I want to strengthen relationships in the community for youth.

Issue 1: promoting mental health resilience and mindfulness

I will work with organisations to improve the wellbeing and resilience of children and young people. This could be through lobbying organisations, providing training in how to develop positive mental health, wellbeing and resilience to develop and deliver early prevention programmes, toolkits and resources. With over half of all mental health problems starting before the age of 14, there is an urgent need to provide support to children and young people at an earlier stage.

Issue 2: ensuring opportunities for young people who are not suited to employment

Some young people are not suited to employment but they should have the same opportunities as any other young person. Young offenders, for example, often show entrepreneurial methods that can be channelled into a legitimate business. I will work to promote young people to get involved in the local community. This brings everyone together, strengthens relationships throughout the community and allows young people to be more respected.

Issue 3: homelessness in Kent

I will campaign for an end to homelessness in Kent. I plan to campaign on a range of issues including benefits and employment, health and wellbeing, housing, law and rights, mental health and rough sleeping.

I vow to help make Ashford a better place for young people by cleaning up the area and helping disabled people live more independently.

Issue 1: more flexible bus passes

If elected I will fight to make payment of the Kent Freedom Pass more flexible (termly) to help ease the financial burden on families, especially if they are on lower incomes.

Issue 2: community volunteering

I walked through some of Ashford's parks recently and I was appalled by the amount of litter in the area. I want to work with schools to get them out cleaning up the local area.

Issue 3: widen mental health support

I want more teachers to be trained in counselling in order to combat mental health problems as well as wider issues in young people.

Toby's statement

I am a fellow student who understands the problems you are going through and your fears, from exams to homework to your friends.

Issue 1: mental health welfare

Mental health is something we're increasingly being told about and it is something that is affecting more of us than ever before. Due to this, it is needed for us to know more about the illnesses we may have or could have soon. Who we can go to for help, how we can get help and to learn how we will be able to cope in a society that currently does not accept the issues we face.

Issue 2: voter participation

Do you know who to vote for? Chances are, you do not; and for much of your youth you will not know who to vote for. You might simply not vote. The youth does not vote, and that needs to change. Without our vote nothing will change - in fact things will probably get worse as successive governments cut Child Benefits, Education and raise tuition fees. So, let's stop that together. Let us dictate policy to parliament, not the other way around!

Issue 3: public transportation

We've all used public transport once in our life, and most of us use it daily to get to school. Let's be frank here, some days we'd love if we didn't have to go to school; but we do. We go to school on a bus or a train. A bus or train that is unreliable and leaves us waiting for hours in the boiling sun that causes heat stroke or the freezing wind of winter. Why? Why do we wait in these conditions for a cramped seat (if we're lucky) on an overpriced metal box? We shouldn't.

I want people to vote for me because I believe I can help others with problems and make problems in Kent better to make people happy.

Issue 1: social housing

For this campaign I would like to find out why so many properties are left derelict when the government could set up a programme with councils and house builders to restore them for social housing.

Issue 2: funding cuts

For this campaign I would also like to find out how funding is allocated and who gets to decide where the money goes.

Issue 3: mental health

For my third and final campaign, I would like the council and government to make sure that young people with mental health issues should be able to be seen by professionals as soon as possible without having to wait for so long. If young children have to wait to be seen by someone their mental health could get worse.

Ellie's statement

I have a talent for debate. I am confident and determined. I’d like to see changes in people’s lives and know that they are happy.

Issue 1: mental health welfare

Make people more aware and informed about the issue. Show people how mental health impacts people and what we can do to help as a community

Issue 2: homelessness

Give people support. Show members of the public what they can do for homeless charities and (for younger children) show them how they can prevent this from becoming an issue in their lives

Issue 3: anti-bullying

Provide support for those who are being bullied and make people more aware on how to prevent this from happening to those around them and how they can deal with it.

Isobel's statement