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Recent News From your Maidstone Wards

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  • Outside schools
    Article: Oct 14, 2017
    By Cllr Ian Chittenden

    PCSO's Powers to be Increased

    Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are to be to be given additional powers to help crack down on antisocial behaviour and to deal with restricted area parking around schools.

    Additional powers will enable officers to close licensed premises which consistently sell alcohol to children, move people under dispersal orders and confiscate any items that could be used to commit any antisocial behaviour, crime or disorder.

  • South Ward and Loose Ward Councillors
    Article: Oct 14, 2017
    By Cllr Brian Clark (South Ward)

    Maidstone Local Plan

    (framework for development to 2031)

    Town Hall Vote 25th October 2017

    Dear Fellow Residents

    You may be aware that there has been much debate in the local press recently about the Local Plan and the level of housing proposed. Unfortunately, a process imposed by Whitehall determines this level and, going forward, councils without an adopted Local Plan will likely see significantly increased housing numbers (based on a government housing consultation announced in September). In light of this, we did not agree with the recent attempt to "call-in" our Local Plan to the secretary of state for reconsideration, and are pleased that the home secretary has decided not to intervene.

  • Cllr Tony Harwood and memorial
    Article: Sep 10, 2017

    Maidstone's Forgotten War Dead Remembered At Last

    A memorial was unveiled in Brenchley Gardens on 1st June, 369 years to the day and on the precise spot of the last action of the Battle of Maidstone.

    This pivotal English Civil War battle saw its opening Parliamentarian probing attacks fought on the fringes of Maidstone at East Farleigh Bridge and then Penenden Heath, followed by brutal urban warfare fought street to street and house to house through the town centre, towards Gabriel's Hill, before a desperate Royalist last stand and break-out from St Faith's Churchyard (now part of Brenchley Gardens).

  • North Ward Litter Pick
    Article: Sep 10, 2017
    By Ian Chittenden

    Tackling the Fly Tipping Epidemic.

    Local people are reaching the end of their tether with the growing tide of fly tipping blighting North Maidstone, according to North Ward local Councillors Michelle Hastie, Tony Harwood and Ian Chittenden. They are calling for a reintroduction of the tough intelligence-led enforcement that used to exist, but which lapsed during the recent period of Conservative Control of the Council.

  • Waitrose Sign
    Article: Sep 10, 2017
    By Ian Chittenden

    Waitrose pulls out of new development in Maidstone

    Waitrose have withdrawn their proposal to build a new store on the Eclipse Park site in Maidstone at J7 of the M20 which had already been given planning permission.

    The company have advised that in the present financial climate they will be concentrating on improving existing stores, which could be good news for their current store at Allington.

  • Cllr Derek Mortimer
    Article: Aug 20, 2017
    By Cllr Clive English (Group Press Officer)

    Proposed Public Spaces Protection Order

    Following a number of reports of anti-social behaviour Councillor Derek Mortimer Vice Chairman of the Communities Housing and Environment Committee investigated why the Proposed Public Spaces Protection Order, which would give the council greater powers to control anti-social behaviour in the town centre, had not yet been introduced .

  • A-Board
    Article: Aug 15, 2017
    By Cllr. Clive English

    Not "All Aboard" for the A-Boards...

    Over the last few years many residents have complained about the rising number of A Frames advertising boards in the town centre. Whilst most businesses behave responsibly some do not, with some premises having 7 boards, often located a long way from the business in question. These can be a hazard to blind or partially sighted residents or for those using wheelchairs or mobility scooters, and parents with prams, especially as they often move around entirely unpredictably from day to day.

  • Cllr. Rob Bird
    Article: Jul 18, 2017
    By Martin Cox

    At July's County Council meeting Kent's Conservatives voted to increase councillor allowances by 15%, a staggering ten times the mount recommended by the independent Panel. The vote came just two months after the County Council elections in May.

    The Liberal Democrat and other opposition councillors voted against the proposal as did one Conservative. Nine Conservative councillors also abstained.

  • KCC Cllr Rob Bird ( Leader )and Cllr Trudy Dean
    Article: May 19, 2017

    Rob Bird elected as new Leader of KCC Lib Dem Group

    At today's meeting of the Kent County Council Liberal Democrat group, Trudy Dean announced that she was stepping down from her position as Group Leader.

    Trudy said "All leaders want to step down in favour of the safe hands of a talented successor. I have worked very hard to lead and support the Lib Dem Group as a well informed and constructive group at KCC.

  • Emily Fermor
    Article: May 18, 2017
    In From the Liberal Democrat website

    This election is your choice over your future.

    A vote for the Liberal Democrats can change Britain's future.

    And this, is how we'll do that:

    1. Standing up for Britain's place in Europe

    The choices Theresa May is making will affect your life - your job, your weekly shop, your environment, your safety - for decades. That's why we think you should have the final say, via a referendum, on any Brexit deal.

  • 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'