orderForm.noItems MY home in East Farleigh is about

twomiles fromMaidstone town centre and I amastoundedwith the proposal that our parliamentary constituency should be changed fromMaidstone and TheWeald to KentMid and Ticehurst. Has theworld really gone thatmad? The residents of the existingMaidstone

Electoral world gonemad MailMarks


and TheWeald havemuch in common and this benefits us and ourMPwhenwe need help or ba�les are to be fought. Butwhat havewe in commonwith

Ticehurst, Etchingham, Tenterden, Biddenden, Benenden, Cranbrook, Brenchley, Horsmonden, Fri�enden, Sissinghurst, Hawkhurst, Sandhurst and PaddockWood? They all look in different directions.What a nightmare for us and anyMP. I support a reduction in the number of

MPs from650 to 600 and a�empts to equalise the number of voters to around 75,000. For the record, I support even more strongly amassive reduction both in the number of peers in and powers of the House of Lords – say to amaximumof 200with fewpowers beyond acting as a safeguarding longstopmaking recommendations to the House of Commons. But the proposed KentMid and

Ticehurst (what a strange title) has the feel of a fewtired civil servants tossing some left-overs into a hat before catching a late train home. It includes rural areas fromthe council districts of Rother, TunbridgeWells,,Ashford andMaidstone and even crosses the Kent boundary into East Sussex.

We’re grinding to a halt

IAMwriting tomake a plea on behalf of the residents of Boxley Parish to request that the local authorities immediately start a serious dialogue aimed at bringing inmajor improvements to the road infrastructure. Many le�ers have been published over a

long period about the current poor road infrastructure in the south of the borough. Iwould like to bring to the authority’s

a�ention thatwe,who happen to live in the north of the borough, experience virtually every day, huge traffic problems that regularly bring thewhole area around J3 of theM2 to a complete standstill. KCC have openly admi�ed that this

junction is nowat a critical level butwe await any signs of plans or proposals to do anything about it. The problemwill only getworse once approved housing development just over the border in Medway is built. This trafficwill inevitably a�empt to join the already existing rat-run through rural roads leading down to Boxley village and on to PenendenHeath. I agreewith the urgent need for new

dwellings to assist young couples to buy their first home but no authority seems prepared to come outwith firmproposals to improve the road infrastructure. Could local and national authorities

please listen to the voice of the public and address this increasingly terrible problem before the South East grinds to a halt? It would appear that’ localism’means very

46 Maidstone Weald December 2017 We have amuch greater allegiancewith

theMalling areawhich could nowbe hived off fromTonbridge but included in Chathamconstituency. Malling – from WestMalling eastwards – looks somuch toMaidstone. Howridiculous that if you look across

the RiverMedway atAllington you view Aylesford – and that falls in Tonbridge andMalling district. The Coldharbour roundabout andwest of Hermitage Lane are in that same district – andmany of Maidstone’s serious problems stemfrom this. Tonbridge council is pilingmuch of its required house building programme and other development right on our doorstep. That’s a boundary changewe in Maidstone should all be pressing for – both froma parliamentary and district viewpoint. Amuchmore sensible parliamentary

set upwould be to create the seats of Maidstone East andMaidstoneWest (whichwould includemuch ofMalling). I shall be passing onmy comments to the Boundaries Commission. Otherswill be helpful.

Townmarket I AM pleased the council has agreed

Jubilee Square in front of the Town Hall is to feature amarket, perhaps a couple of

li�le to politicianswhomake these decisions that affect people’s quality of life. Bob Hinder, Chairman, Boxley Parish Council

The circle of congestion I READwith interest the article regarding the newhousing development atMaidstone TV Studios and agreewholeheartedly that this developmentwill undoubtedly cause additionalmisery for local residents. Unsupported newhousing

developments, particularly in terms of road infrastructure, have been the normnowin Maidstone for several years and I have watched in dismay and sadness as our county town has been slowly thro�led by reckless developers having li�le or no consideration for the needs orwishes of its residents. For too long these builders have been allowed to construct housing developmentswithoutmaking the necessary financial investment in essential infrastructure - despite the patently obvious need. The circle of congestion and a�endant traffic gridlock in and aroundMaidstone is nowalmost complete; the development at theMaidstone Studioswill finish the job. Well done CountyHall and thank you – I don’t think! Martin R JonesMBE JP, Lt Col (Retd), Whatman Close, Maidstone

times aweek. It should be a great success. I hope it a�racts the type of stalls so

popular inmost French and other European towns. They bring atmosphere and character to town centres and are so popularwith residents and visitors. They largely concentrate on fresh and

colourful food – fish,meat, cheeses, breads, vegetables and fruit aswell as ready-to-eat hot and cold snacks and drinks. It is a pleasure to visit them. If thisMaidstonemarket becomeswell

established itwill a�ractmore visitors to the town centre, hopefully adding to trade for shops, stores and restaurants. Themarkets need to be launchedwith

something of a bang – perhaps a li�le family entertainment andmaybe some jazz sessions.

River walk THE riverwalk along the new

footpath fromBarming toAylesford is a delight.We took advantage of the free parking at East Farleigh rail station for the two-milewalk to town.Much has happened in recent years along this stretch on our beautiful river –wellworth catching up.

Hospice support ENCOURAGING to see such a big

and enthusiasticMote Hall audience supporting the Heart of Kent Hospice at the excellent charity performance of The Mikado. In such difficult financial times the hospice needsMaidstone’s support – asmuch aswe need our hospice.

Confidence could soon falter

I HAVE never been an uncritical admirer of the European Union – far fromit – and your columnist Dennis Fowlemay have a pointwhen he says that the views of favouring a speedy exit have hardened in the past 18months. But he fails to acknowledge that since the

referendumthere has been a 15%fall in the value of sterling, evidence that hard-nosed financialmarkets do not share his confidence about the future. True, devaluation does offer some respite for hard-pressed exporters, yet it has also meant higher prices in the shops,more expensive foreign travel and added costs formanufacturers using imported raw materials and parts, so that their extra competitivenessmay be short-lived. Your columnist adds that should the

whole process of leaving the EU become a lengthy, drawn-out, patience-sapping affair – as seems quite likely –wemight expect to see the re-emergence on the national stage ofNigel Faragewho, let us remember, said that if the resultwas a close run thing, therewould have to be a re-run of the referendum. Since then, he has kept an

uncharacteristic Trappist silence.As for the maligned European Court of Justice, it is hard to see a British court having the clout to impose a £90mfine on Google for tax evasion. K G Banks,Maidstone


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