This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

Now let’s make Brexit work MailMarks

WE in Maidstone (59%) and Malling

(56%) voted decisively in support of the UK (52%) leaving the EU. I declared in this column early on for

Brexit and firmly believe it is the right decision for the future of our country, specifically for our county of Kent, next generations and long-term relations with other European countries Wewerewarned of early concerns, setbacks and losses and in these early days of uncertainty some have arisen, partly driven by the damaging Project Fear during campaigning. But aswe all start to sele to our independence from the EU, green shoots are quickly emerging both in UK and, very significantly, from major trading countries across the world including Canada, China,Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand…. Oncewe accept the challenges of leaving and turn our minds to opportunities, I believe there will be few long-term losers and many winners. I expected my own modest investment portfolio to suffer: in parts it has, but the FTSE 100 boomed in the weeks following the vote and some shares have really taken off. I do not panic! Our government appears now to have

recovered from the shock of a powerful democratic vote and ministers rightly turn their minds to maximising potential. So do many businesses. I expect a lot of good news ahead. I hear from friends in Europe. Many

Put our countryside first

THE draft document, TheWay Forward, which Tonbridge and Malling Council intends to consult on in September sets out a strategy for the review of the current Local Plan and especially the need to find land for about another 6,000 homes. The borough is proposing to allow Kings

Hill to spread northwards on part of Broadwater Farm fields and orchards, plus a big new area off Hermitage Lane, including part of the eastern end of the East Malling Research Station. It also suggests the existing Green Belt be extended eastwards to theWest Malling bypass, whichwas not there to provide a firm boundary when the linewas originally drawn some years ago. As a parish,we support some houses at

Aylesford Newsprint, with the rest of the site kept for employment.We think there are still some small brown sites which should be developed first, even in the Green Belt. When Kings Hillwas agreed, itwas said it

would be kept within the boundaries of the old airfield and I feel that should broadly be honoured. I think the countryside that

Contact our team ...

Got something to say? Write to The Editor, 2 Forge House, Bearsted Green Business Park, Maidstone ME14 4DT or email

32 Malling August 2016 Simon Finlay

Editor 01622 734735 ext 231

Diane Nicholls

Assistant editor 01622 734735 ext 232

Dawn Kingsford Journalist 01622 734735 ext 233


were surprised but they agree the UK has not fallen out with their country or residents – just with the EU. I liked one message: “The Entente Cordiale is as strong as ever.” I amdelighted Britain is to regain complete sovereignty. This will bring many changes to benefit our country and I think will be evident in business confidence (with much-reduced bureaucracy) to lift employment and wealth opportunities. Most of all Iwelcome controlled immigration.We suffer in so manyways from population growth in Mid Kent – massive new housing; overcrowded roads; not enough school places close to our homes; our GPs, social services, hospitals under immense pressures… Nothing swung the Brexit vote more. There are big challenges ahead – but we shall be in control. I do not buy an accusation from some

young people that we have ruined their future – and nor do many in their 20s that I speak to. Theywant close relations with countries and people of Europe, to have easy travel and to work in these countries if they wish. I do not expect forthcoming

separates Kings Hill from both East and West Malling should be kept. I can see the planners’ argument for a new

area off Hermitage Lane, as it would be near Barming Station and it might be possible to improve the roads by a link down to the A20 and M20.Abig area could raise the money to pay for a road link at a time when KCC has no money for new roads. It does, though, breach the policy of keeping a "greenwedge" between us and Maidstone. It will be interesting to see what people

say and I amsad that government policy no longer values the ordinary countryside.At the end of the day it could be a government inspector who decides, ifwe are not careful. David Thornewell, chairman, East Malling and Larkfield Parish Council

Toughen up on inmates

REGARDING your article about the prevalence of drugs in Maidstone Prison, the means of smuggling illicit goods into modern prisons are sophisticated these days, with the use of drones a particular favourite. To be honest, with their colour TVs and

negotiations to impact significantly on any of these desires – it is in no one’s interest that they should. I see us co- operating with our friends in Europe in so manyways – but we will not be controlled by the EU. I expect the British decision and the wishes of people of other European countries to lead to major changes in the EU itself in the next few years. I think more willwant to restore total national sovereignty while retaining much of the common marketwe voted for so many years ago. The massivewaves of the past few

weeks have been surprising, but fascinating.A new prime minister and cabinet are now in post. I wish themwell on difficult tasks ahead. I amvery optimistic. But I have friends

angry and worried about the Leave vote. Once the dust has seled I believe it will work outwell for most. All of us drink to that.

This is a golden chance for Britain. We must all aim now to make Brexit work.

Final Brexit letter Dear Sir – Downs Mail inspired our

family talks on Brexit (leers, May) and, three weeks after the vote, all 10 of us across three generations are confident about our vote to Leave. We have agreed to meet every June 23

to review our decisions –we call it Independence Day. P.D., Bearsted

mod cons to keep them occupied, it is a wonder Her Majesty’s guests require further stimulation. Perhaps if prison regimeswere harsher –

ie no privileges – and sentences adhered to in full, there might be a deterrent factor. Modern prisons are holiday camps, often

run by profit-driven companies who cut corners to make a beer boom line. There is nothing wrong with running businesseswell, but there is something wrong with businesses running prisons. B McGann, via email

Castle’s support is vital

I READ with interest the piece about Sir David Steel’s assertion that ticket dodgers may prevent good causes being supported by Leeds Castle. I hope it never happens. The castle has always been reasonably

visible in community life. Most of us love the castle, don’t mind its 600,000 visitors or the enormous annual events it stages but it might be perceived as a public relations blooper to pull out of local good causes. GEdwards, by email


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48