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Record number of Green candidates to stand next month as group calls for end of KCC and launch of a Kent Assembly

PUBLISHED: 09:46 07 April 2017 | UPDATED: 09:46 07 April 2017

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Some 64 candidates will fight for a share of the council’s 81 posts up for grabs this year

A record number of Green candidates will contest seats on Kent County Council next month, the group has confirmed.

Some 64 candidates will fight for a share of the council’s 81 posts up for grabs this year - 20 more than the number that stood in the last election in 2013.

It means that nationally, the Greens have more candidates than Ukip.

In Martin Whybrow, the Greens currently have one councillor with a seat at County Hall, and this week launched its manifesto, which includes proposing scrapping KCC and launching a new Kent Assembly with devolved powers.

At the heart of its campaign is also a call for significant reductions in air polution, replacing grammar and high schools with comprehensive education, and ending controversial KCC investments.

Cllr Whybrow, who represents the Hythe West ward, said: “Air pollution is killing up to 1600 people each year in the county yet KCC is failing to take a lead here, nor is it allowing air pollution to in anyway influence its ‘business at all costs’ decision-making.

“We need to drastically re-prioritise including improving public transport, encouraging cycling and walking, and protecting open spaces.”

Henry Stanton, Green candidate for Canterbury City North said: “Kent’s education system is stuck in the 1950s and is failing young people.

“Comprehensive education has been proven to improve overall education. We want our children to have 21st century education, not one from the last century.”

Mandy Rossi, co-chair of Kent Greens said: “KCC invests heavily in fossil fuels, arms companies and tobacco industries.

“This is immoral and must be stopped – as other councils have done.

“We need to be investing in our future. We want investments in renewable energy, public transport and social housing.”

Stuart Jeffery, co-chair of Kent Greens and candidate for Maidstone Central, added: “The Greens promise real change with our radical manifesto for Kent.

“We want to see the end of KCC and for unitary authorities to replace it bringing democracy closer to local people.

“We also want a devolved assembly for Kent, taking powers from central government.”

Voters will take to the polls on May 4.

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