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Recent News For Maidstone

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  • Paulina Watson listens to a concerned local resident
    Article: Jul 25, 2014

    Yesterday's hard-fought victory for Lib Dem Paulina Watson in the Staplehurst by-election may bring about changes to Maidstone's draft Local Plan that can save the beautiful Low Weald from the bulldozers. The balance of power on Maidstone Borough Council has now shifted decisively towards the Lib Dem conviction that Maidstone's countryside, and especially our urban-sprawl threatened Low Weald villages, must be protected. Further, the local Conservative's must now see that local residents will not allow our irreplaceable Kentish landscape to be concreted-over, while so many urban areas cry out for regeneration.

  • Cllrs. Brian Clark and Derek Mortimer
    Article: Jul 25, 2014

    In a packed Town Hall last night (Thursday 24th July) local Lib Dem Councillors defeated a destructive plan for a high density housing estate on school playing fields in Boughton Lane, Loose. The 220 unit estate if permitted would have led to fragmentation and direct destruction of part of ancient Five Acre Wood, contrary to national planning policy.

  • Jasper Gerard with executive head Lorna Priddle and pupils
    Article: Jul 21, 2014

    A campaign to allow one of Maidstone's most successful infant schools to expand has been launched by Lib Dem parliamentary campaigner Jasper Gerard.

    Jasper visited St Michael's Church of England Infant School earlier this week and was given a tour by Mrs Lorna Priddle, executive head teacher, and other senior staff. With a 27% increase in the birth rate in Maidstone and plans by the Conservative Borough Council to increase the number of houses by almost 20,000, the area faces a massive crisis over school spaces.

  • Paulina Watson listens to a concerned local resident
    Article: Jul 17, 2014

    Lib Dems are tackling dangerous speeding on the A229 on the outskirts of Staplehurst, as well as in Sissinghurst and Cranbrook.

    A local man reported to Jasper Gerard and Staplehurst campaigner Paulina Watson this week how he just managed to jump out of the way of a Range Rover speeding at "over 70 mph" out of Staplehurst on the straight road by The Quarter. A near neighbour reported another near miss when a speeding car mounted the pavement.

  • Jasper Gerard meets local apprentices
    Article: Jul 17, 2014

    The number of people in work in the UK has equalled a record high showing we are on the road to recovery, Jasper Gerard said today.

    The employment rate has never been higher as the number of people in work reached a record high of 73.1 per cent only hit once before in 2005.

    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said between March and May 30.64m people were in work, 254,000 more than between December and February and 929,000 more than a year earlier.

  • Cleggy
    Article: Jul 17, 2014

    Nick Clegg has singled out Maidstone Lib Dems for particular praise in a speech to activists.

    At a recent training weekend for parliamentary candidates and key volunteers, the deputy Prime Minister said that results in Maidstone and the Weald showed that where Liberal Democrats get out on the doorstep, they can persuade people of the good work the Lib Dems are doing in government.

  • House of Fraser on Fairmeadow in Maidstone, severely flooded
    Article: Jul 9, 2014

    As the Woodland Trust launches its new report 'Stemming the flow' here is a timely guest blog from one of their Councillor Tree Champions, Cllr Tony Harwood:

    "Almost 1000 properties were affected by flooding from rivers across Kent earlier this year.

    However, against this backdrop there were small glimmers of hope. A local success story involves the River Len, a small and heavily urbanised tributary of the River Medway in Maidstone. In autumn 2000, under similar rainfall conditions, the Len had flooded commercial and residential property in Maidstone town centre.

  • Cllr. David Pickett and Cllr. Tommy Long at Buckland Hill/London Road junction
    Article: Jul 8, 2014

    Local Lib Dems moved quickly to reduce the damage to residents' quality of life that will inevitably result from the Inspector's decision.

    Lib Dem planning spokesman Tony Harwood, Planning Committee Chairman Clive English and local ward councillor David Pickett have demanded an urgent meeting with Maidstone planners, KCC Highways and Transportation and the applicants, in order to agree a blueprint to avoid the need for the most environmentally destructive of the proposed off-site highways works, and reduce local traffic increases to a minimum (by encouraging pedestrian visits for example). Current plans include road widening at the junction of Buckland Hill with London Road and the removal of a cycle path and footway on the bridge gyratory system.

  • Map of planned development sites in Staplehurst
    Article: Jul 4, 2014

    At least another 450 houses could be built in Staplehurst with another 62 acres of countryside also under threat - all ON TOP of the 905 houses the Conservative-run Council have already earmarked for the village.

    This comes despite Conservative assurances that the 905 figure would come DOWN. Instead, Maidstone's Conservative-led Council launched yet another developers charter call for sites exercise.

  • Bluebell Wood
    Article: Jul 4, 2014

    The long-awaited decision on the Croudace / Barton Wilmore outline planning application for a 500 unit housing estate on a green field site near Allington was made by the Planning Committee last night at a packed Maidstone Town Hall.

    The formal motion to refuse planning permission was proposed by Allington Councillor Cynthia Robertson (Lib Dem) and seconded by North Ward Councillor Tony Harwood (Lib Dem).

  • Cllrs. Brian Clark and Derek Mortimer
    Article: Jul 3, 2014

    Plans to build on the former Oldborough Manor playing field threaten to ruin a protected ancient wood in Boughton Lane.

    Kent County Councillor Brian Clark (Lib Dem Maidstone South) and Maidstone Borough Councillor Derek Mortimer (Lib Dem South Ward) are urging planners to refuse a plan for 220 homes at the site, which includes a new roadway through the heart of Five Acre Wood.

  • Jasper Gerard and local Borough Councillors
    Article: Jun 30, 2014

    Pensioners would be guaranteed to earn at least an extra £790 per year by the end of the next parliament under Liberal Democrat manifesto plans, Pensions Minister Steve Webb announced today.

    These changes mean the state pension will be worth at least £131-a-week by 2020, up from just £97.65 four years ago - an important help to Kent's 262,000 pensioners.

  • Fixed Odds Betting Terminal
    Article: Jun 30, 2014

    Lack of police in Cranbrook is concerning local people after a bookmaker opening in the town has led to complaints about anti-social behaviour.

    Jasper Gerard, Lib Dem parliamentary campaigner, has been contacted by parents concerned about punters hanging around outside.

    "The police have now been moved to Tunbridge Wells and the response times are getting worse," said Jasper. "Local people tell me they haven't seen a policeman in Cranbrook for weeks and that the PCSO has not been seen in the Parish Office too often.

  • Pothole
    Article: Jun 23, 2014

    Local people have been asked to nominate their worst, most bone-crunching pothole in Maidstone and the Weald.

    Jasper Gerard, Lib Dem parliamentary campaigner, will compile a league table listing the ten potholes that residents most want fixed.

    As many as 118,000 potholes will be fixed in Kent in the next year on the insistence of Liberal Democrats in government - Jasper is determined that the worst offenders will be tackled by Kent County Council.

  • Gaffe-prone Helen Grant
    Article: Jun 20, 2014

    Tourism minister Helen Grant has angered Britons who might miss out on a foreign holiday this year due to the passport application chaos by telling them to have a "staycation" at home - while she is in Brazil enjoying the World Cup!

    The gaffe-prone MP for Maidstone and the Weald told worried families that if the backlog of 30,000 applications is not dealt with in time for their summer holiday, there was "a lot to be said for a 'staycation'." This, she explained, would entail staying at home and watching sport on TV.

  • Local Lib Dem Councillors
    Article: Jun 13, 2014

    Local Lib Dem Councillors have defeated developer plans for a massive, car-dependent out-of-town retail complex in the foreground of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at Newnham Court. The proposed mega-complex would have covered a whopping 28,102 square metres, and be twice the size of Fremlin Walk Shopping Centre! To provide some perspective the current uses on the site cover only 6,642 square metres.

  • Invicta Park Barracks
    Article: Jun 11, 2014

    At the inaugural meeting of Maidstone Council's Planning, Transportation and Development Scrutiny Committee Liberal Democrat Councillors raised a number of major planning concerns expressed by residents.

    As a result the Scrutiny Committee will be conducting a major review of public transport policy and congestion reduction and will be examing ways to give Local Plan countryside protection policies more teeth.

  • Our precious local countryside
    Article: Jun 9, 2014

    The votes of the so called Independent Councillors for Barming and Boughton Monchelsea have imposed a 100% Tory Cabinet on the Borough, despite the fact that Maidstone is a hung council with no single party enjoying an overall majority.

    The votes of the Barming and Boughton Monchelsea so called Independents will allow the Conservatives to implement the disastrous growth agenda which so threatens our countryside.

  • Jasper and Emilia
    Article: Jun 4, 2014

    A major tax-free childcare package will help 4,760 families in Maidstone. Liberal DemocratJasper Gerard said today (Wednesday, June 4).

    Working families will get up to £2,000 to ease the cost of childcare as part of a scheme to be rolled out in Autumn 2015.It means a family with two children under 12-years-old could benefit by up to £4,000 a year.

  • Jasper pulling pint
    Article: Jun 4, 2014

    New rules unveiled by the Liberal Democrats will help Maidstone pub tenants battling to pay rent or beer costs, Jasper Gerard said on Tuesday

    Landlords tied to large pub companies have said they are struggling to make a decent living with more than half claiming they earn less than the minimum wage.

    The Government will give landlords the right to request a rent review after five years, as well as set up an independent adjudicator with the power to resolve disputes.