Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Fantastic Response to Residents Survey

We would like to thank the thousands of people who completed the Chatham & Aylesford Residents Survey.

During January we distributed our annual questionnaire to 12,000 households of which just over 1,000 where delivered in Aylesford. We are delighted at the response rate which has reached 20% in some areas – a very high rate for a postal survey of this nature.

Included in the findings:

*The Health Service, Crime and Immigration are the top issues causing concern for local voters

*Only 37% of respondents support the introduction of ID Cards

*77% of respondents believe Inheritance Tax should either be significantly reformed or abolished completely.

*78% believe a future Conservative Government should continue to oppose the Euro Currency.

*92% of respondents did not believe that local A&E services were adequately funded by the Labour government.

Hundreds of local issues were also brought to our attention with graffiti, vandalism, fly tipping and litter at the top of the lists. Wherever specific problems have been reported we have done our best to get these dealt with.

John Balcombe and Dave Smith are busy phoning or visiting the many respondents who asked to speak to a local Conservative councillor or candidate. Many of these issues are personal or confidential so we cannot report them here – but everyone that has asked for a visit will be contacted as soon as possible.

We would also like to thank the dozens of people who have offered to help us by delivering leaflets or joining the Conservative Party.

Tracey Goes Blogging

Chatham & Aylesford Parliamentary Spokesman, Tracey Crouch, has launched her own Blog Site in which she will report on the ups and downs of life as a Parliamentary Candidate.

Apparently she also sympathises with a football team called "Tottenham" and she will also be blogging about their victories on the pitch. That won't take her very long. ;)

Visit her at

Friday, February 16, 2007

Woodlands Parade.

During our recent survey, many Aylesford residents, especially those living South of the A20 around Woodlands Road, raised the appalling condition of the Woodlands Parade shops and car park.

At our invitation, a team of Conservative Councillors visited the site last Saturday to see the problems first hand. They agreed that the site was an eyesore and something had to be done.

Cllr Allan Sullivan promised to raise the issue with Officers of the Council and request a progress report. He did this on Monday morning and we can now report back on the latest developments:
Statement from Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council:

“Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council have agreed a scheme to carry out environmental enhancements and improve off road parking facilities at Woodlands Parade in Ditton. This is namely the two areas to the sides of the parade and the area directly in front of the shops. The scheme has been the subject to extensive local consultation and has widespread support from the local community and is now funded within the Council’s plan.

The scheme requires the co-operation of the owner of the land of the two side areas. The land at the front is owned by Kent County Council Highways. It is proposed that the council take a lease on the land and carry out the improvements. The funding will be provided and the work undertaken by T&MBC.

Discussions with the landowner have been protracted and did not reach a satisfactory conclusion. As no voluntary arrangement has been reached with the owner the Council have now taken action to compulsory purchase the two areas of land at the sides.

The time scale for confirming the compulsory purchase will be dependent on if the owner challenges the decision. If he does, the Order will need to be heard by an Inspector and we will have to await his decision."

We understand the landowner is overseas which is the main reason for the delay. We must allow him time to respond to the Compulsory Purchase Order before moving to the next stage.

Please rest assured that there is a firm commitment from Officers and Members of T&MBC to acquire these areas and implement improvements to tidy the landscape and enhance the facilities for the benefit of local residents and customers.

Local Conservatives will continue to monitor this situation and will keep you up do date with any developments as and when they happen.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Aylesford Conservatives - Really Making a Difference

Just before Christmas, residents from the Royal British Legion Village contacted Aylesford Conservatives about graffiti, particularly on garage doors (above).

John Balcombe and Dave Smith immediately contacted Housing 21 and sought an assurance that the worst areas would be repainted, and we are pleased to report this has now been done (left).

Sadly, the fight against vandalism and graffiti is never won. Only last week residents from Woodlands Drive reported damage to the Cable TV box

Once again, John has reported the problem and will continue to press the authorities until the graffiti is removed.
If you know of any other “trouble spots” or are aware of dumped rubbish or any other local eyesores, please contact John Balcombe and he will do his best to help. Tel: 01622 718175.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Cost of Fly Tipping

A lorry load of house building waste dumped on the North Downs Way last Sunday - ruining one of the most beautiful walks in the county.

We reported this to T&MBC on Sunday last week.

The Good News:
This is the same site on Tuesday morning!
Well done to the T&MBC Officers and contractors who sorted this mess out. Hopefully the healing hand of nature will finish the job off and the North Downs Way will look stunning again in the not too distant future.

What it cost us:
This clean-up operation cost Council tax payers £200 - money that could be better used reducing your council tax bill or improving local services. Each year, in the T&MBC area alone, we pay £50,000 for clearing up others people's dumped rubbish.

How to Help:
Please help keep our Borough clean and tidy by reporting any dumped rubbish to the T&MBC helpline on 01732 844522. Alternatively, you can report via the internet by using the T&MBC on-line report form - click HERE. Thank you.

Friday, February 02, 2007

How Many More ?

Another planning application has just been lodged with T&MBC for a further 21 houses and 58 flats at the Pickfords depot site on Millhall.

For further details of the application: CLICK HERE

Aylesford Conservatives are investigating the plans and will contact all residents with further details as soon as possible.

please contact John Balcombe or Dave Smith if you have any views on the above planning application.
Printed and promoted by A Kennedy on behalf of Aylesford Conservatives all at 200 Canterbury Street, Gillingham, Kent.