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Recent News For Maidstone

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  • Cllr. Tony Harwood with Cllr. Ian Chittenden on Royal Engineers Road
    Article: Apr 20, 2014

    Councillors in North Maidstone are calling for action to improve safety on the pedestrian crossing on Royal Engineers Road near the entrance to Invicta Barracks. This crossing is used by many parents and children walking to and from school at St. Paul's and Northborough.

    There has long been a problem with motorists failing to notice or not stopping when the traffic lights turn red. Drivers are often more focused upon the roundabout ahead when travelling towards Maidstone, drivers leaving the roundabout to head north towards Bluebell Hill are often caught out by the crossing.

  • Leafy Calder Road
    Article: Apr 20, 2014

    Pictured is leafy Calder Road triangle at Ringlestone, a high profile site that, as a result of significant investment through Councillors' devolved local budgets, has been transformed from unofficial parking area and magnet for anti-social behaviour into a high quality open space.

    Borough Councillor Tony Harwood and County Councillor Ian Chittenden funded the ambitious tree planting programme which has so improved the local environment. The 'extra heavy standard' small-leaved lime tree which forms the focal point for the planting scheme delivers welcome shelter and shade, purifies the air, provides a habitat for wildlife and fills the estate with perfume when it flowers. The surrounding wild cherry trees are a beautiful site in the spring and benefit bees when they blossom and birds when they fruit.

  • Article: Apr 19, 2014

    Plans for tougher penalties against reckless directors have been unveiled by Business Secretary Vince Cable today.

    While the UK already has one of the strongest disqualification regimes in the world - with disqualification periods ranging from two years up to fifteen years for the worst offenders - the new measures will mean the rogue minority face stronger deterrents to break the law and more robust sanctions if they do.

  • Abandoned litter and tackle
    Article: Apr 17, 2014

    Local Lib Dems acted quickly to report illegal Close Season angling activity on the River Len at the junction of Palace Avenue and Mill Street to the Environment Agency last night. This follows a call by Maidstone Liberal Democrats for the Agency to act decisively on the epidemic of Close Season poaching on Maidstone's rivers and streams.

  • Tony Harwood
    Article: Apr 16, 2014

    Maidstone Council Lib Dem Planning Spokesman Tony Harwood is urging residents to formally object to Conservative-led Maidstone Council's plans to tarmac 17 acres of countryside on Maidstone's irreplaceable Greensand Ridge to create a poorly located park and ride. Local Liberal Democrats believe that a park and ride in such a remote location will lead to increased rat-running through country roads and further congest busy Linton Crossroads.

    Local Ward Cllr Brian Mortimer has attended 2 meetings in Linton and has seen the anger and upset that this proposal has caused. Brian stated this is the biggest issue he can remember in Linton and we must do all we can to stop this unjustified development in what is a very sensitive location. Brian and Tony have also signed the "No Park and Ride at Linton" petition on the 38 Degrees website and are urging others to do so.

    It is vital that concerned residents ensure that their voice is heard by responding to the ongoing Maidstone Local Plan consultation via LDF@maidstone.gov.uk by 7th May, citing "Objection DM 15 Park and Ride and PKR1(1) Linton Crossroads.

    Tony's personal response to the Local Plan Consultation addressing the park and ride is set out below for information:

    Objection DM15 Park and Ride

    Park and ride is not a sustainable transport panacea, and if poorly located can increase local traffic congestion and pollution and damage the landscape. Park and ride works best where it is well-related to existing communities, and not located within more remote stand-alone locations. The Old Sittingbourne Road, London Road and Willington Street sites succeed in this context because they also serve the local community as a bus service. The Langley Park park and ride, which was cancelled by Maidstone Council, would have brought optimal benefits because it would have complemented the originally proposed mixed-use development of the site and reduced the generation of local car journeys.

  • Littering
    Article: Apr 16, 2014

    A few days of warm sunshine has swelled visitor numbers to Maidstone's popular open spaces. Unfortunately, as the crowds return home their lasting legacy is a sea of litter. Mote Park, South Park, Penenden Heath, Cornwallis Park, the River Len Nature Reserve and Cobtree Park were all left heavily litter-strewn following the weekend's fine weather. Parking areas and those around benches were particular grot spots. Your local Liberal Democrat Councillors and civic-minded local residents have cleared up much of the mess, but the professionals of the MBC Cleansing Team needed to be called out at Penenden Heath. Our sincere thanks go out to Maidstone's hard-working staff who are fighting to keep the ever-growing tide of litter at bay.

  • Article: Apr 16, 2014

    New figures show the rate of unemployment has fallen below 7% for the first time since the recession. The number of people out of work dropped by 77,000 in the last three months, while total employment has seen the biggest annual jump in a generation.

    There are now more people in work than ever before, with nearly 0.7 million more people in employment since this time last year, showing that the Lib Dem plan to create a million jobs is working.

  • An Episode on the Field of Battle
    Article: Apr 16, 2014

    Cllr. Tony Harwood provides an update on progress towards the realisation of his vision to install a lasting memorial to all those who died during the Battle of Maidstone:

    "The final hurdle in the long campaign to deliver a fitting memorial to all those who lost their lives in this pivotal Civil War battle has now been cleared. The Maidstone Council grant-funded installation will be built on the site of the original St. Faith's churchyard - now part of Brenchley Gardens - in early summer 2014.

    The planned Civil War memorial, and new Captain Louis Nolan statue in Church Street, mean that the County Town is at last acknowledging its long and rich history.

    The inscription on the new Civil War memorial will read:

    This stone marks the last stand of the Royalist defenders of Maidstone on the storm-lashed night of the 1st June 1648, and serves as a memorial to all those who lost their lives on that long and blood-soaked day.

    Battle of Maidstone 1st June 1648
    The Great Rebellion - Second English Civil War (1648 - 1652)

    Thus richer than untempted kings are we, That, asking nothing, nothing need:
    Though lords of all what seas embrace, yet he That wants himself is poor indeed.

    excerpt from 'The Grasshopper' by Kentish cavalier poet Richard Lovelace (1618 - c.1658), who tore-up the petition in favour of Parliament at Maidstone in 1641."

  • Article: Apr 15, 2014

    The European Parliament has approved new rules to make big lorries safer for other road users and more fuel-efficient.

    Under changes pushed by Liberal Democrat MEPs, the design of lorry cabs are set to be changed to reduce the number of blind spots under the front widescreen and the side of the vehicle. The new designs would also include safer cab fronts to reduce damage caused by impacts with cyclists and pedestrians. It is thought the proposal could help prevent dozens of fatal accidents each year.

  • Article: Apr 15, 2014

    Nick Clegg has called for the publication of the Chilcot report into the Iraq war, which identifies exactly what happened in the run-up to the conflict in Iraq.

    The Chilcot report includes about 200 cabinet-level discussions, 25 notes from Tony Blair to George W Bush and more than 130 records of conversations between the former US president and Tony Blair.

  • Article: Apr 15, 2014

    The former Speech Writer to Tony Blair said that he believes Nick Clegg is making a difference: "By stopping the Tory Right, the Deputy Prime Minister should be applauded by all liberal voters."

    Philip Collins worked as Tony Blair's Chief Speech Writer, responsible for Blair's very last speech as Leader of the Labour Party. In his article published today, he said that without the Lib Dems in Government, tax cuts for the wealthy would have been more generous. He points out that green taxes would be slashed harder, welfare cuts would be more severe, and there would be greater progress towards abolishing human rights legislation.

  • Article: Apr 14, 2014

    Communities with ideas for a new generation of garden cities will receive support from the government to turn their ambitions into reality, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced today.

    A prospectus published today will help communities work up proposals for ambitious new developments, which are locally-led, include at least 15,000 homes and have the backing of existing residents.

  • The Fuzzies
    Article: Apr 14, 2014

    The tragedy that has befallen The Fuzzies at Penenden Heath is particularly sad and ironic given that the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded a unique partnership of conservation organisations £3 million to save the UK's remaining fragments of meadow. This is to be led by Plantlife.

    As the Plantlife website explains "Nearly 7.5 million acres of wildflower meadow has been lost so far and they are still being destroyed."

  • Monckton's Lane Spring Clean
    Article: Apr 14, 2014

    Local residents joined with North Ward Councillors Jenni Paterson and Tony Harwood bright and early on Sunday morning to give leafy Monckton's Lane and the adjacent River Medway tow-path a Spring Clean. Rubbish collected included lots of bottles and cans and garden-refuse.

    The clean-up moved on to Ringlestone where two mattresses were amongst the haul removed from around Dickens Road open space and Pepper Alley.

  • The Fuzzies
    Article: Apr 14, 2014

    These graphic photographs portray the fate that befell Penenden Heath's last remaining area of open countryside within days of its appearing within Conservative-led Maidstone Council's draft Local Plan earmarked as a housing allocation. Gone are the orchids, rare heathland wildflowers and reptiles to be replaced by bare earth and fragments of machinery-mangled rubbish.

  • The Fuzzies
    Article: Apr 14, 2014

    The following is a letter recently sent out to residents of East Ward by local campaigner Nicola Fissenden:

    Development threat to Penenden Heath - Your chance to have your say.

    I am writing to inform you of the development threat to one of the last open areas of countryside in East Ward. The field between Heath Wood and Old Sittingbourne Road (behind the Chiltern Hundreds / Shaw Close) is singled-out in Conservative-led Maidstone Council's draft Local Plan for a new 35 unit housing development. This will generate on average 210 extra car journeys every single day!

  • Article: Apr 14, 2014

    It has been announced today that extended opening hours and enhanced local care for the elderly will soon be available at doctors' surgeries across many parts of the country, thanks to a new drive to improve local GP services.

    Millions of people will now be able to see their family doctor outside of working hours, including late night and weekend appointments, while the elderly and those with more serious health complaints will get tailored care, coordinated by just one local GP.

  • Article: Apr 13, 2014

    The UN's Intergovernmental panel con Climate Change (IPCC) has warned the world must rapidly move away from carbon-intensive fuels.

    In a significant report published today on how to curb climate change, the IPCC warns that global temperatures be between 3.7C and 4.8C higher in 2100 if no action is taken. This is significantly higher than the 2C level, regarded by experts as the point at which the impacts of climate change become dangerous.

  • Flytipping on Fairbourne Lane
    Article: Apr 11, 2014

    Pictured is the scene that greets the wayfarer on picturesque and historic Fairbourne Lane. It is far from a fair one.

    The extent of fly-tipping and littering along our rural highways and by-ways has now reached epidemic proportions.

    Leader of Maidstone Council Lib Dem Group Fran Wilson comments: "Common decency clearly doesn't apply to these inconsiderate people, so the gloves must now come off and Maidstone Council must once again prosecute zero tolerance enforcement."

  • Article: Apr 11, 2014

    The Liberal Democrats have released a new factsheet which sets out the truth about the impact of Tuition Fees.

    As a party, we acknowledge that we couldn't deliver our policy on tuition fees - and we've apologised for this. But we did make sure the system was as fair as possible. To read the factsheet in full, click here.

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