This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book. RESULTS in the May 22 Maidstone

Are we in for a dirty election? MailMarks

Council elections are unpredictable. This inspires hope for all candidates (Conservatives, Lib Dems, Labour, UKIP, Greens, Independents etc) and an understandable determination to succeed. It also brings a great danger that truth

will be the loser and there are real concerns this could become Maidstone’s dirtiest ever election. Voters need to be very aware – and question everything that comes through leerboxes. Opponents believe there is a chance of

taking three or fourwards off the Conservatives, whichwould deprive them of an overall majority. Thatwould lead to hurried deals to control the council. I believe the leaders of the two main Maidstone parties – Cllr Chris Garland (Conservative) and Cllr FranWilson (Lib Dems) –want the election fought honestly on important local issues. The Downs Mail keeps advocating this –

but the dirty tricks brigades will be difficult to control in the next fewweeks. I give one example from a Lib Dem publication delivered to my East Farleigh home. It accused Cllr Garland of telling a council meeting that traffic jams proved Maidstone’s success and if you did not like it you should move out. That seemed odd –

Fair play on Mote plan

Dear Sir – They say there are two sides to every story. To date within the pages of Downs Mail, only one side of the conflict at The Mote has been highlighted. Well-meaning members of the public have

at various times expressed their disappointment that Maidstone has lost its cricket festival and have been encouraged to believe that there is still a real chance of it returning.

Maidstone Council has been challenged to get behind the proposed Mote development. The response by the Mail’s editor quotes Mote Cricket Club stating that Maidstone Council supports its redevelopment plan.

There is no evidence of such support, as Maidstone Council has excluded any residential development within the boundary of The Mote from its dra local plans. The Mote tenant, Maidstone Rugby Club, has proposed a number of alternative options to improve facilities, all of which increase the chances of acceptability to statutory consultees Sport England as well as the National Planning Policy Framework. Mote Cricket Club is not considering these alternatives. Finally, any realistic assessment of the likelihood of Kent County Cricket reinstating Maidstone Cricket Week, as the festival was correctly known, will show it is unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future, on purely practical grounds, given Kent County Cricket’s

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Maidstone Town April 2014 41


so I checked. Cllr Garland says thewebcast shows he said to one councillor “if he wanted to live in a dead town he should move elsewhere”. Too oen the Lib Dems are accused of

being Fib Dems. This will bring revenge aacks, oen personalised. It is a very sad way to run an election campaign. As voters we need to be suspicious.

It looks like 19,600 It seems evidence for 19,600 new houses

for Maidstone up to 2031 is stacking up. KCC leader Paul Carter challenges the figure and the Lib Dems dislike it even more than the Conservatives. But their challenges look futile atworst and marginal at best. Their best hope seems toworkwell in

unison to try to prove to a Government local inquiry such a target is not achievable. The council is now floating a figure of 17,100.

Maidstone is not alone in facing this

commitments at Beckenham (see Kent Cricket website News section on November 25, 2013 and January 29, 2014). Jim Tinsley, president of Maidstone Rugby Club

Kent County Cricket Club continues to support a return of first-class cricket to Maidstone, evidenced at the recent annual meeting. Maidstone Council strongly supports the Mote development proposal and has made a grant of £15,000 to the club to help submit a powerful planning application for an enabling development that will be considered separately from the emerging Maidstone local plan. Part of this planning exercise will be consultation with statutory consultees such as Sport England. More sports now show keen interest in being part of a regenerated Mote and helping to secure this precious but endangered site for generations to come.

Response by Dennis Fowle, chairman of The Mote CC Development Commiee

Leer – England flag blues

Dear Sir - I have thought for some time that the Maidstone town centre manager, Bill Moss, is completely out of touch with what shoppers really want, but now he has apparently proved that he is totally out of touch with England. In your article about the town marking St George’s Day, he states: “Let’s wave the red, white and blue flag”. It is totally

challenge. Tonbridge and Malling has announced an evidence-based target of 13,000. The national political drive for extra housing is really on – and there will be few King Canutes successful in holding back Government policy. The big question for Maidstone is:

where? The dra local plan has been published andwe are now in the period of public consultation (closing May 7). Aer a council scrutiny meeting some proposed sites have been dropped, most notably Fant Farm with its high-grade agricultural land. I cannot believe the Lib Dems played politics and did not contribute to this key meeting. Three or more significant urban sites

came forward, at the 11th hour, including part of The Mall/Chequers proposed redevelopment and the Haynes site. These could take 1,000 or more houses and relieve pressure on greenfield land. Hopefully urban Maidstone can take more. I hope much development can be concentrated close to the M20. This will relieve pressure on our other stretched highways. The council presses for more land to become available in Lenham, a village with many good services that, perhaps, could one day have a direct link with the M20. Overall that makes sense.

unbelievable that a man in his job does not appear to realise that St George is the patron Saint of ENGLAND, that the flag of ENGLAND, represented by the cross of St George is ONLY red and white. I sincerely hope that Mr Moss is not

involved in any way at all with the preparations of making April 26 a “traditional English day”, and that someone on the council does indeed know what the ENGLISH flag looks like.

If there are any red, white and blue flags around for the celebrations, then I for one won’t be aending. It’s about time we English stood up for ourselves, and started being proud to be English – I am. Judith Pennington, Whitchurch Close, Maidstone

St George confusion

Dear Sir – Regarding your story on St George’s Day in the March Downs Mail, could you please tell Bill Moss that the English flag has not got any blue in it...thanks.

David Brooks, by email

It is safe to assume that Mr Moss got a lile confused between the Union Flag and the St George’s Cross. Given the current debate over independence, it is just as well he was not in Scotland and made a similar mistake regarding the St Andrew’s Cross.

Response by Stephen


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