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Recent News From your Maidstone Wards

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  • Article: Apr 24, 2017
    By Ian Chittenden

    County Councillor Ian Chittenden

    H: 01622 630867 M: 07880 798163 email: ian.gills@btinternet.com

    Dear Resident of North Ward,

    Springfield Development Update

    As things are getting even more complicated I thought it was time to bring you up to date.

    There are currently four unimplemented planning permissions and a live planning application on the derelict land comprising the formerly Kent County Council owned Springfield site:

  • Cllr. Clive English at Wat Tyler Way accident hotspot
    Article: Apr 18, 2017
    By Clive English

    We previously reported that following sustained pressure from Liberal Democrat Councillors the Borough Council finally set up a working group to bring forward measures to improve Maidstone's dire air quality. This group, under the Chairmanship of High Street Liberal Democrat Councillor Clive English ,will deliver its full report in June, but action based on the group's work has already begun to be taken.

  • Dan Daley and Rob Bird
    Article: Mar 28, 2017

    Local Liberal Democrats have welcomed the news that the Inspector has turned down the Appeal by Gleesons for up to 225 dwellings at Fant Farm.

    The Inspector dismissed the appeal largely due to the importance of the local landscape. She stated that "the harmful effect on the character and appearance of the area and in particular on the distinctive character of the Medway Valley and its relationship to Maidstone would be substantial. This would be a significant environmental harm contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework ….. I conclude this would amount to an adverse impact that would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the proposal when assessed against the policies of the Framework taken as a whole". County Councillors Rob Bird and Dan Daley have been active in campaigning against the proposal and both spoke at the Enquiry. Commenting on the Inspector's decision, Rob said "It is gratifying that the Inspector has rejected this appeal and recognised the importance of Fant Farm and the wider Medway Valley Area of Local Landscape Importance to the local community and indeed to Maidstone as a whole. Dan and I would both like to thank everyone, including in particular the Save Fant Farm group and all the local residents, who have helped protect this vital part of Maidstone from unwanted and unnecessary development."

  • KCC Logo
    Article: Mar 14, 2017

    Highway Improvements in Your Area Resurfacing A249 Sittingbourne Road,

    Maidstone When we plan to carry out the work and how long it will take: This is to let you know that, as part of the maintenance and improvement of the highway, Kent County Council will be resurfacing the northbound A249 Sittingbourne Road, Maidstone between the Kent County Showground and the northbound services.

  • Emily Fermor
    Article: Mar 2, 2017
    By Emily Fermor

    One in three West Kent GPs and nurses set to retire by 2020

    A report by Emily Fermor, Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Maidstone & The Weald

    The long-anticipated, and much-feared, winter crisis in our health service has dominated the headlines recently. Locally this is the tip of the iceberg. For residents in Maidstone, GP services are no longer fit for purpose.Increasing demand for primary care in our borough has caused an agonising and growing problem for years now. Many have relayed to me how they are unable to get appointments, and for people moving homes, joining a local practice has been near impossible. I found out more at a recent meeting of the West Kent Health and Wellbeing Board, where they discussed NHS, social care and public health where we live. I was taken aback by the severe shortage of GPs in West Kent. And from what I heard, the problem will only get worse.
    A local GP told me that the demand for GPs in West Kent is rising, but young doctors are not joining the profession to fill the vacancies - they're even training locally, but not staying here. More worrying is that a third of all current GPs and nurses will be retired by 2020. So Mrs May's latest demand that GP surgeries should be open for longer hours is frankly ridiculous.
    This all means that residents are missing out on a continuity of care which is a huge failing. The situation has been brushed under the carpet for too long. It needs immediate action, joined-up thinking, and planning for the long-term

  • Voting!
    Article: Mar 2, 2017
    By Fran Wilson & Clive English

    Last night at a Full Council meeting the Conservatives voted against budget proposals for 2017 / 18 , which included an agreed amendment to accept the Government' s offer to increase Planning charges, both of which earlier in the evening they had unanimously approved.

    They appeared to make this about turn in a fit of pique because their own budget amendment had been rejected. This had suggested setting up a fund for accelerated enforcement action by raiding the Council's modest savings and taking £50,000 away from the budget of the museum.

  • HGV stuck Yalding
    Article: Feb 5, 2017

    Local Government Association (LGA) has called local authorities to have powers to compel all lorry drivers who use satnavs to use commercial models following a fresh catalogue of chaos on the nation's roads. For the LGA statement click here.

    Kent residents are fed up with large lorries clogging up villages and town centres, getting stuck on tight medieval bridges or in residential streets, or thundering down narrow country lanes. All too often lorry drivers are relying on phones or basic satnavs, totally oblivious of weight limits or roads which are too narrow or otherwise unsuitable for large and heavy vehicles.

  • Air Quality Warning...
    Article: Dec 8, 2016
    By Clive English and Derek Mortimer

    Fighting for Breath- Maidstone Council finally begins to take our poor air quality seriously.

    Despite continually raising the issue of Maidstone's poor air quality and the health hazards it poses Maidstone Borough Council Liberal Democrats were unable to make much progress until recently as the Conservative Cabinet members at the Council refused to take the issue seriously, Indeed former Conservative Council Leader Chris Garland argued that Air quality is an issue "no one cares about and the Council should spend no money on"

  • Rob and Dan gyratory scheme
    Article: Oct 17, 2016
    By Rob Bird

    Gyratory construction works on schedule
    Maidstone residents will have seen plenty of work going on during the summer months at the Bridge Gyratory.

    The project is progressing well and it is currently expected that the substantial works will be completed on schedule in November.
    Lib Dem county councillors, Rob Bird and Dan Daley, together with local borough councillors continue to receive regular progress reports from Highways officers. Every effort is made to minimise traffic disruption during the peak periods and this will continue during the Autumn months. Up to now the additional congestion has not been as severe as many anticipated; let's hope this will continue.
    For further information on the project go to www.kent.gov.uk/maidstonebridges and for regular updates subscribe to the Twitter feed @maidstonebridge

  • rob and dan
    Article: Oct 17, 2016
    By KCC Cllr. Rob Bird

    Whilst agreeing that the new development of the BP Garage and M&S Foodstore at the corner of Conway Road and London Road appears to be more attractive commercially, all your local Lib Dem Councillors still have grave reservations about the safety of the access and exit arrangements.
    They made representations at the time of the Planning Committee decision but were overruled.
    Now that they see the actual 'on the ground' daily situation, they are completely convinced that they were right. The operators now agree that there are 'difficulties' and will be taking steps to rectify the situation. Dan Daley has already secured agreement from Kent Highways to double the 'no right turn'

  • Cllr Emily Fermor
    Article: Sep 29, 2016
    By Rob Bird

    Emily Fermor has been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate and parliamentary spokesperson for Maidstone and The Weald.

    Emily has lived in Maidstone all her life and attended local schools, Boughton Monchelsea Primary School and Invicta Grammar School. She takes over from Jasper Gerard, who stood in the 2015 general election and is now working full time at Liberal Democrat HQ. Jasper has expressed his strong support for Emily's appointment, having worked closely with her in last year's general election period.

  • broken car theft
    Article: Sep 11, 2016

    Police have issued a warning after a spate of thefts from parked cars.

    On Wednesday and Thursday officers received seven reports of vehicles being targeted, mostly from the Loose and Shepway areas.

    Items taken include satnavs, tools and an mp3 player.

    Enquiries into the incidents are ongoing.

    Kent Police is now issuing advice with steps owners can take to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of theft.

  • Fran WIlson
    Article: May 23, 2016
    By Clive English (MBC Lib Dem Group Press Officer)

    Following the success of Maidstone Liberal Democrats in the recent elections for the Borough Council Councillor Fran Wilson has been re-elected as Leader of Maidstone Borough Council. In a close vote at the Council's Annual Meeting on Saturday 21st May Fran defeated the Conservative Leader Annabelle Blackmore by 27 votes to 23.
    Independent Group Leader Fay Gooch was also re-elected as Deputy Leader of the Council.

    Speaking after the meeting Fran said " In the year since the Council scrapped the Cabinet System and switched to a more democratic system a lot of progress has been made, including the formal submission of the Local Plan to the Planning Inspectorate, but there remain many serious issues and challenges to address, not least the growing problems of homelessness which have been significantly worsened by government policies, and the need to improve Maidstone's economy."

  • Rural Broadband pic
    Article: May 12, 2016
    By Clive English (MBC Lib Dem Group Press Officer)

    Fury as Government abandons Rural Communities.

    Rural Communities across Britain are shocked at the Government's announcement that it will not extend basic broadband provision to those rural areas that still do not have it. Fran Wilson the Leader of Maidstone Borough Council's Liberal Democrat Group has condemned the Government's decision and pledged to support efforts by the Local Government Association to reverse the decision.

    Fran said " The Government have attempted to justify this decision by saying that some people in rural areas do not wish to have a broadband connection, ignoring the majority of businesses and residents who do. This will undermine rural communities and businesses which are often already badly lacking in basic infrastructure and public services. This is frankly just an ill- considered short term financial saving, which will eventually prove to be badly damaging to rural communities throughout Britain."

  • winning here
    Article: May 7, 2016
    By Jane Bird / Martin Cox

    We extend our thanks to everyone who voted for us and helped us to achieve these excellent results.

    Liberal Democrats pulled off two tremendous wins in the Maidstone Borough elections. Georgia Harvey won Bridge Ward beating the Conservative by 43 votes. Then after several nail biting recounts Emily Fermor won Coxheath by just 1 vote over her Tory rival.

  • action day
    Article: May 4, 2016

    Lib Dems Action Day success.

    Well done to all members from Maidstone and further afield who turned out in support of our Liberal Democrat candidates standing for the Maidstone Borough Council elections. This year Borough elections are being held only in Maidstone and Tunbridge wells.

    Michelle Hastie (Lib Dem Candidate for North ward) commented, "it was really pleasing that so many supporters joined us today. What was even more pleasing was the reception we were getting on the doorstep

  • ROAD WORKS
    Article: Apr 21, 2016

    A Message from the Allington Liberal Democrat Team - A20 London Road Roadworks

    There was never any doubt that this set of roadworks at this particularly difficult and narrow part of the London Road was going to present a real problem with traffic control, once works were needed to reconfigure the cross-roads necessary to service the new development at The Orchards and in Beaver Road. So it has proved, in spite of the detailed instructions issued by Kent Highways to the contractors.

  • Cllrs Brian Clark, Ian Chittenden, Derek Mortimer
    Article: Mar 11, 2016

    A planning appeal which would have led to 220 homes being built on the current playing field of New Line Learning Academy has been dismissed by the government inspector following a lengthy campaign by local Lib Dems and residents.

    Maidstone Borough Council chose not to fight the appeal for fear of costs, over-ruling the views of the Lib Dem chaired Planning Committee which wished to continue to Contest the appeal. However North Loose Resident's Association moved forward with the appeal with support from residents and local Lib Dem councillors Ian Chittenden, Brian Clark and Derek Mortimer (who each appeared as expert witnesses at the public hearing).

  • MBC logo
    Article: Mar 9, 2016
    By MBC

    Local Plan FAQ's

    1) What stage is the local plan at and what happens next?

    A) The local plan has been worked on for a considerable period of time. The stage of the process just completed relates to 'preparation' or getting the content drafted and, following public consultation, agreed by Councillors. This is also known as the Regulation 18 stage. The next stage for the local plan is called 'publication' (or Regulation 19[1]).

  • Cranbourne ave
    Article: Mar 9, 2016

    Cllr Brian Clark's call to drop controversial Cranborne Avenue closure plan leads to agreement at Town Hall (once again)

    A series of traffic improvements along the A229 Loose Road corridor were presented by Kent Highways to Maidstone' Joint Transport Board at the town hall on Monday evening. One element of this included a controversial plan to close the exit of Cranborne Avenue onto the A229 at the Wheatsheaf junction. This plan had been unanimously rejected by Maidstone Borough's Strategic Planning committee in December.