November Newsletter from our Borough Councillor.

Hollingbourne Parish Council has received the following newsletter from Patrik Garten, the Borough Councillor for the North Downs Ward which includes Hollingbourne.

Dear Residents

What a month this was !  I’ve been rushed off my feet and, unusually, my ward-work did not even concern Hollingbourne.

Arriva recently conducted risk assessments and immediately the whispers started about bus stop closures along the A249. The whispers were not without foundation as buses took it upon themselves not to stop, when requested.

My intervention with great help by the County Councillor Shellina Prendergast, site visit with Stockbury Parish Councillors and Arriva and the tireless work of some KCC officers bore some fruit: NO bus stop is to close imminently !

Next action point, mud on the lanes across the North Downs: I invited Lesley Jones, Maidstone’s new Cleaning Manager for a site visit. We observed many lanes, which are green and overgrown in the centre. KCC teams with JCB diggers will soon start sweeping the encrusted dirt that built up over the years and MBC will follow suit to brush the loose debris.  I hope that eventually all of the North Downs will be maintained this way.  In the meantime, I’d be grateful for reports of particular “green” lanes.

The Local Plan was finally passed and praised by MBC officers as it will give better certainty in making planning decisions. However developers are wasting no time to pursue their plans: another planning committee meeting will have to deal with Junction 8 (M20) / Woodcut Farm, on 30 November.

Besides planning meetings and discussions about parish council funding, I was left with very little breathing-space to defend the interests of the AONB Partnership which had their support withdrawn by MBC officers without members’ knowledge.

Finally however, I can report about something Hollingbourne related: I was invited by the Hollingbourne WI on an interesting excursion to the Maidstone Museum, where we were given a talk about the Anglo Saxon Hollingbourne Find , followed by a viewing of the grave goods. – and we went for lunch afterwards too .

Not wanting to diminish the great pleasure, which I derived from this event, I found it strange that the bespoke lecture was free and we were even told to take our coat off because the lecture room was heated too well.  As a councillor I am aware that every visitor to the museum is subsidised with £10 of your council tax. I am sure that some savings could justifiably be found at the museum. I would have happily kept my coat on and paid  £10 for this interesting 90 minutes lecture.

Patrik Garten

Maidstone Borough Councillor

Pictured below is Patrik Garten.

MBC Councillor Patrik Garten for North Downs Ward including Hollingbourne.