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A message from the Leader of Maidstone Liberal Democrats.

September 30, 2009 5:05 PM

When I became Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Spring 2007, I publicly pledged myself, and my councillor group, to maintaining a high level of integrity when fighting elections. Our residents should, and do, expect no less.

I find it despicable that the Conservatives, in the hopes of picking up votes in the Fant by-election, have, in the last twenty-four hours, started to distribute a leaflet maligning a councillor who is no longer in the country to defend himself. They do not name him but most people in the Ward know that they are talking about Nick Schnell.

Nick is a sad loss both to his Ward and to the local Liberal Democrat party and I would like to set the record straight on his behalf. Nick has a young family and to support them, he worked as a taxi driver at night while studying towards his teaching diploma by day. Sadly, his wife also experienced a severe bout of ill-health which put an additional strain upon his time for several months.

Despite all these commitments and responsibilities Nick was an exceptionally hard working ward councillor supporting his residents in Fant. His popularity confirms this. He worked closely with various groups of people in the ward, particularly the elderly, was a school governor and a very well liked teacher at St. Michaels School. As Fran Smith our Liberal Democrat candidate in the by-election says "He will be a hard act to follow".