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Recent News From your Maidstone Wards

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  • Tree Planting
    Article: Feb 10, 2019
    By Brian Clark
    South ward councillors complete tree planting scheme at Mangravet Recreation Field with Oaks Academy School
    Maidstone Bough Councillors Brian Clark, Derek Mortimer and Paul Wilby have worked with the Maidstone Borough Council Parks team and a charity in Kent to deliver a large tree planting scheme at Mangravet Playing Field to further enhance the site, valued locally as an important "Green Wedge" and wildlife corridor. Cllr Clark had initiated the scheme after contacting Alun Griffiths, chairman of the charity "Kent Men of the Trees", which provides trees for the community, asking for help in providing several large native Oak, Hornbeam and Rowan "feature" trees. The request was rewarded with a contribution of twelve double standard sized trees (four of each species).
  • Dan H and S
    Article: Feb 8, 2019

    After several years of sustained pressure from the Liberal Democrat opposition, Kent County Council has finally agreed to accept monthly payments for the Young Persons Travel Pass (YPTP) in the coming year. This will come a massive relief for parents faced with an inflation-busting £60 increase in the cost of the pass to £350 next year.

  • Coldharbour Roundabout
    Article: Jan 22, 2019

    Liberal Democrat Councillors, Dan Daley and Rob Bird, have expressed huge disappointment and frustration at the latest Kent Highways proposals for North-west Maidstone. These proposals were unveiled at the January meeting of the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board.

    The Lib Dems have welcomed the proposal to increase the capacity of the Coldharbour Roundabout connecting the A20 to Junction 5 on the M20. The roundabout will be doubled in size and A20 traffic from the West will be able to use a new slip road to access the M20.

  • George Koowaree
    Article: Dec 21, 2018

    The movement of livestock and access to Ashford Market is vital for many of Kent's farmers and smallholders. No-one wants to see animals stressed and their welfare threatened because roads around Ashford become gridlocked following Brexit

    Ashford East county councillor, George Koowaree, has asked what provisions are proposed to ensure that livestock can be transported to and from Ashford Market. George put his question to MIke Whiting, the Kent County Council Cabinet Member responsible for Transport, at last week's council meeting.

  • Article: Dec 21, 2018

    At last week's County Council meeting Lib Dems Trudy Dean and Ida Linfield gained the unanimous support of councillors for a motion calling for better support for prison leavers, many of whom are left desperate for food, warmth and a roof over their head.

    Many ex-offeners leave prison with a discharge grant of just £46, a derisory sum which has not changed for over 20 years. Unless they have support from friends and family or they are able to return to paid employment, this is all they have to live on until they receive their first Universal Credit payment, which could take 5 weeks!

  • New Lower Thames Crossing (Highways England)
    Article: Dec 16, 2018
    • Tens of thousands of foreign-registered lorries fail to pay the Dart Charge for the existing Dartford crossing
    • Failure to improve link roads will cause chaos in long term warn Kent Lib Dems as Highways England consults on Second Thames Crossing

    More than 150,000 foreign-registered lorries failed to pay the Dart Charge in the past year according to a Freedom of Information request by Kent Liberal Democrats, who are calling for a new system to be introduced as soon as possible.

  • Ollie Grender
    Article: Dec 13, 2018
    By Baroness Olly Grender

    For too long, tenants have been made to pay additional, unnecessary fees when renting a place to live.

    After years of putting pressure on the Government, on Tuesday they agreed major concessions on the Tenant Fees Bill.

    Liberal Democrats campaigned to:

    • significantly limit the fees that could be charged to a tenant by their landlord or lettings agent,
    • require a greater amount of transparency when deciding not to refund a holding deposit, and
    • limit the maximum security deposit a landlord can require to five weeks rent.
  • Ida Linfield
    Article: Dec 13, 2018
    By Ida Linfield

    Period poverty is finally getting the publicity it deserves with several councils over the country offering free sanitary products to their local residents.

    Kent County Council has a statutory duty to look after young women as they leave care and move into adulthood and has ultimate responsibility for the wellbeing of all residents.

    Periods on average cost these young women £10 a month and many in Canterbury are having to resort to using toilet paper or newspaper, or take sick leave. And this is in the 21st century! In Canterbury you can access products from our excellent Food Bank, a service I'm pleased to support in a small way via my members grant.

    So this week I asked Graham Gibbens, the County Council Cabinet Member who would take the relevant decision, what steps he is taking to sort out period poverty for women aged from 14-21. I'm delighted to report that Kent CC is working with schools, but not everyone is at school and everyone else's needs were completely ignored in his answer - unless you live in Thanet where providing protection will be part of a "trial". One trial for the whole of Kent!!!

    I don't believe this is good enough - to end period poverty KCC should stand up to the mark and provide products without delay in libraries and community centres for local residents throughout the County and not rely on local charities doing the job for them.

  • Rob at CH
    Article: Dec 6, 2018
    • Food supplies disrupted as safety testing becomes impossible
    • Schools, social care, transport and business will face severe disruption
    • County Council forced to spend over £20 million on reinforcing Kent's roads and hundreds of thousands of pounds to employ more staff to cope with chaos

    The true impact of a catastrophic no deal Brexit has been laid bare in a report published on Wednesday detailing Kent County Council's emergency plans.

  • Compaid Bus Service
    Article: Nov 23, 2018

    The Detling bus service is operated on behalf of Kent County Council by Compaid and provides a Monday-Friday service between Detling village and Maidstone via Vintners Park.

    The bus stops at the Crematorium and the Chiltern Hundreds pub on the way to its final destination in King Street in Maidstone. The service consists of four journeys per day starting from 09.45AM after having dropped school pupils off at Five Acre Wood School in Maidstone and finishing at 2.30PM in time for the bus to collect the pupils from the school and take them home again.

  • Wera Hobhouse
    Article: Nov 21, 2018

    Wera Hobhouse's speech to the County Councils' Network on Tuesday 20th November

    Wera Hobhouse is the Liberal Democrat MP for Bath and Spokesperson for Communities and Local Government.

    Good afternoon everybody. It is a pleasure to be here with you all at the County Councils' Network Conference.

    The 12 months since you last came together in Marlow, have been a mixed bag for local government as a whole. One can argue it has been harsher on the counties than other local authorities. The events in Northamptonshire have been a stark warning to all.

  • Green Sand ridge - Bought0n Monchelsea
    Article: Nov 14, 2018
    By Brian Clark

    Lib Dems seek National Protection for Greensand Ridge and Maidstone borough's "Landscapes of Local Value" sites

    Lib Dem Maidstone Borough Councillor Brian Clark has successfully gained cross party support for a proposal to strengthen the "Landscape of Local Value" sites identified in Maidstone's Local Plan, and progress a Lib Dem initiative spearheaded by Cllr Tony Harwood to gain "Area of National Beauty" (ANOB) designation for the wildlife rich Greensand Ridge. At November's Strategic Planning and Sustainable Transport (SPST) committee meeting, Maidstone Council officers recommended that the committee consider AONB 'sub-tier' protection for the Greensand Ridge but Cllr Clark, in seeking to progress his group's determination to gain greater countryside protection, proposed that the borough instead seek full ANOB status for site.

  • Trudy
    Article: Nov 2, 2018

    On Monday the Chancellor announced that he was providing £420m extra to councils for pothole and other urgent highways repairs. Kent can expect to receive about £10 million. Kent Liberal Democrat Group are calling for at least half of this extra money to be spent on long overdue pavement repairs.

    The backlog for pavement repairs in Kent has hit £84 million, leaving more than a third of paths and pavements across the county in a poor and potentially dangerous condition.

  • Article: Oct 31, 2018
    By Ian Chittenden

    Parents buying Young Person's Travel Passes still have no choice but to pay upfront, or in two large payments following further delays to a direct debit system proposed back in February.

    Dan H and SLiberal Democrat Cllr Dan Daley has called for clarification over when the scheme to allow parents to pay the £290 cost in monthly instalments would be introduced, but Mike Whiting, the Conservative Cabinet Member, has given no firm timescale.

  • Article: Oct 31, 2018
    By Cllr. Ian Chittenden

    Highways England officials have been accused of ignoring the people of Kent after refusing to face councillors to account for the traffic chaos caused by multiple roadworks on the M20 and M26.

    Highways England chiefs were invited to come to the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board (JTB) to explain to councillors how they are managing the various works on the M20 and how they will operate the controversial Operation Brock post Brexit.

  • Air Quality Warning...
    Article: Aug 10, 2018
    By Clive English

    Tories Only Party to oppose funding for work on preserving our Countryside and improving our town.

    Over the last year the Liberal Democrat led council has sought to reduce the cost of council services where practicable and at the Policy and Resources Committee on the 24th July sought to use a small amount of the money saved from this year's budget to begin the work needed to bid for a new Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the Greensand Ridge, covering villages such as Ulcombe Sutton Valence and Boughton Monchelsea, and to create more nature reserves in the Borough.

  • KCC Logo
    Article: May 29, 2018
    By KCC High Ways

    The nature of the carriageway failure and reasons for road closure at A26 Tonbridge Road, Maidstone

    Following reports of a collapse and depression in the carriageway on the afternoon of the 28th May 2018, the A26 Tonbridge Road was attended by our local out of hours Highways teams to investigate the incident reported. While on site, a section of the carriageway surface collapsed to expose a deep void under the road, in addition the collapse continued to develop on site during our attendance. Due to the nature of the collapse and the infill within, we could not determine the full extents, or causes of, the void while on site. The road has been closed for the safety of local residents and all road users.

  • A249 Bearsted Road Maidstone Major Infrastructure Improvement
    Article: May 14, 2018
    By Ian Chittenden

    A249 Bearsted Road Maidstone Major Infrastructure Improvement

    Following the successful National Productivity Investment Fund bid, Kent County Council has been awarded £9.399m of Government allocation. This combines with £1.5m in developer contributions and £500k investment from Maidstone Borough Council to deliver a congestion busting improvement on the A249 Bearsted Road. This involves the widening of the carriageway between Bearsted Road and New Cut Road roundabouts, the connection onto the M20 and other works necessary to join other connecting local roads.

  • Article: May 2, 2018

    We do not normally respond to Conservative negative literature, but always keep you advised on what has been achieved and what campaigns are ongoing. However, in this case the information given in their recent leaflet is so misleading we really have no choice.

    The problem of congestion in South Maidstone has been an ongoing problem for many years and while progress has been made in relation to design proposals along the A229 from Cripple Street down to Armstrong Road, including the bottleneck at the Wheatsheaf Junction, and also the Willington Street Junction on the A274, nothing has been finalised by KCC who have the overall responsibility for highways in Kent. The Conservatives recently voted to delay the proposals for Willington Street junction and then cancelled the next joint Transport Board where the changes were supposed to be discussed again.

  • Fran WIlson
    Article: Mar 15, 2018

    Following the Annual Budget Meeting on March 7th Maidstone Borough Council has agreed to increase the Council Tax by 2.99 per cent.

    Fran Wilson Liberal Democrat Leader of the Council said: " Over recent years Government cuts to Local Authority Funding have been very deep and there is no longer any fat to trim. We like the majority of Councils of various political colours have had to weigh an increases in Council Tax against the loss of major public services and like the majority of Councils including Conservative controlled Kent County Council we have reluctantly had to increase Council Tax by more than we would have in other circumstances.