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National News

  • 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.

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