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downsmail.co.uk


Initially, I heard nothing back in writing, but had not wanted to go into the meeting to endorse/refuse the new proposals (those referred to in the Downs Mail article) without their feedback. I spoke with a representative from


Weavering Warriors on the day of the council meeting. Without wanting to put words into anyone’s mouth, he conrmed that, whilst there would be a need for a bar facility on top of the proposals, they otherwise sounded like they would work. Some councillors had reservations about the extra cost of the additional facilities being proposed to accommodate the sports clubs. This lead to a debate in which I made the case that this was not, as it may have seemed to those councillors, a “take- over” of the project by the clubs. Rather, this was an expansion of the already agreed earlier proposals to build a new community centre, with the inclusion of facilities that would enable the clubs to continue operating here. All the way along, these proposals have received unanimous support from councillors across all party lines and there was no exception for the revised proposals with the additional facilities.


When it became apparent that the earlier proposal did not meet the needs of sports clubs and their members operating out of the pavilion, we revised the plans, in consultation with them. These revised plans have been endorsed at this stage and now we need to close a fairly sizeable gap in funding to meet the needs of users. As with everything I do, I am accountable to the people of Park Wood and would welcome any further contributions to these proposals. It’s worth noting that whilst the revised proposals have been endorsed by councillors, there is no immediate start date for the physical work to begin, nor has any nal decision yet been taken to go ahead.


Anyone can contact me on this, or any issue: mattburton@maidstone.gov.uk. If I have misrepresented or misunderstood the views of residents in this process up to now, I will of course do what I can to address that as the project moves forward, but have acted honestly and with good intention at every stage of this process. Cllr Matt Burton, Maidstone Borough Council


Relief road now vital


AS EVERY month passes, more planning is approved but, at the same time, there are no infrastructure plans to alleviate the additional traffic.


Has not the time come to make a concerted joint approach to get the Leeds- Langley relief road into the plan? Very soon we will have the same gridlock along Langley/Leeds as we have on Sutton Road and Willington Street. Let’s face it, we have a ready-made junction 8 for the traffic, so it cannot be beyond the wit of man.


Downs Mail could become the driver of 46


this campaign – let’s not sit idly by. Robert Beney, Bearsted


Why is force so inept?


IT HAS become apparent that your newspaper has become (rightly) rather critical of Kent Police, not only in your articles but in your comment pieces, too. Evidently, your readers do not feel as if the force takes their concerns about burglaries, criminal damage etc at all seriously. No one shares those frustrations as much as I.


But as your recent editorial stated – don’t blame the frontline officers, they only go where they are sent. The senior management of Kent Police and the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner are responsible. And the commissioner does crow quite a lot about there never having been as many police in Kent as today. If so, why is the service so inept at protecting and serving us? M Gibson, via email


Pro-life care for homeless


I REALISE that the Downs Mail regularly supports the hospice movement. It is my hope that this letter is printed thereby fullling a democratic voice. My concern is the article “Palliative care for the sick”, within the context of Maidstone’s homeless problems (Downs Mail 288).


On end of life “pathways”, the patient will die unless relatives ght otherwise. I’m disturbed that the homeless are offered this, proving this approach to be an unnatural death. It concerns me the vulnerable don’t have authorities to protect them, made worse now from the Coronavirus Act prohibiting relatives access to patients.


I’m part of a network set up by a retired Kent doctor which opposes end of life pathways, dehydrationlifeline.org. I’ve personally seen the homeless only asking for food, drink, warmth and shelter. Of course, they’ll be in a bad state when brought indoors. Perhaps a more pro-life approach should be taken before offering them an unnatural end of life? Catherine Ashenfelter, Langley


Vaccinations so efficient


I WAS impressed with the co-operative effort at Headcorn GP surgery to ensure we are vaccinated quickly and safely. It was so busy, but the ow from parking, vaccination and resting was so smooth, thanks to the cheerful professionals and volunteers. Another big tick for our NHS.


Jenny Lawrence, Maidstone


Cycle lane money wasted I HAVE never considered King Street, Maidstone, a serious problem in traffic terms. So why has so much money been


wasted in making all the unconsulted changes for a pop-up cycle lane, seemingly little required by cyclists? Now there is the immense cost of removing these crass, chaotic changes. KCC and Maidstone council officers


were not removing problems – they were creating them. I believe it has little or nothing to do with protecting us from COVID-19. It has the feeling of the anti-car lobby seizing a Government-nanced opportunity to grab their chance in King Street and Earl Street without consulting us. There are many road improvements needed around Maidstone. King Street is not one of them.


Michael Davis, Maidstone


Driven away from BBC SHOULD we expect a senior presenter on our local BBC TV news to rant and shout at an MP invited to the programme? I have tried to be faithful to the BBC, but arrogance, political bias and more have nally driven me away. There are now good alternatives. Mary Love, via email


Brexit effect still to be felt


ALTHOUGH an ardent remain voter, I would never for one moment suggest that I am in any way intellectually superior to those who voted to leave.


Unfortunately, the remain side did not make the case for why we, as a leading European power with a history tied into the fortunes of our European neighbours, should continue to play a role in setting the agenda and furthering our common interests and goals. It was after all, the UK that created the single market which the government has now taken us out of. I do though query some of Brian Gough’s points (Letters, January 14). As a sovereign nation, we already had control of our own destiny – that we were able to call a referendum on our EU membership proves the point. Secondly, Mr Gough cites control of our borders as reason to leave the EU. This is a reasonable point. However, according to the latest data, in 2019, the last full year of our EU membership, 1,844 migrants crossed the channel illegally. In 2020, at least 8,400 made the some journey. Some control of our borders.


It is in all our interests (including the 48% of us who voted to remain – not exactly a decisive vote) to make Brexit work. My children will have to live with the consequences if we do not. But at a time when the future of the UK itself is in doubt, given strong Scottish feelings about Brexit and the Westminster government, forgive me but I won’t be gently smiling if we as a nation break up. The consequences of our departure are


yet to be fully appreciated and felt. Mr Gough might want to think about that. Chris Cassley, Boughton Monchelsea


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