April 2019 Newsletter from our Maidstone Borough Councillor.

Hollingbourne Parish Council has received the following newsletter from Councillor Patrik Garten.

Welcome to another monthly rant from your local councillor. I actually managed to offend some readers last month. It is still a bit short of my stated aim to receive death threats, but I certainly had my pet-theory tested and it opened the discussion. If I don’t receive your feed-back, I must assume that you all agree with my rant. Surely that can’t be true? Please feed me back now, rather than surprising me next year at the ballot box.

I still have one more year to go, representing you at MBC, but, like almost every year, there will be 1/3rd of councillor’s seats up for election soon. And like every May, there will be some disruption to the Council’s political operation, at an extra cost of £80,000 each year or £240,000 over a four-year election cycle. Needless to state, that the current opposition (we) prefers to save this waste and move to all-borough four-yearly elections.

The MBC Waste Crime Team does NOT pursue financial waste, but fly-tipping: The team has been in operation since last summer and 10 fly-tippers’ vehicles have been impounded since. Three of which have been crushed and one is currently up for sale.

Recently, I arranged a meeting with the MBC Waste Crime Team’s manager and a group of North Downs Parish Councillors. I think, it is fair to say that the Councillors, who are usually a very critical bunch, were suitably impressed with the team’s activities. We’ve made some plans to work closely together and to set a public signal that fly-tipping won’t be tolerated in the North Downs. – Watch this space.

Regular readers may remember that I offered some cash to community projects. This financial year’s money was split between a security casing for a defibrillator, a contribution to the Hollingbourne Meadows Trust and improvements to Wormshill Village Hall, where I also volunteered my handy-man skills for an afternoon. Next financial year will be another Member’s Grant available – watch this space !

Finally, the dreaded, Brexit: Firstly let me thank our MP Helen Whately. Looking at her voting record in the Commons, I think that, so far, she took the right and pragmatic decisions and represented sensibly and skilfully the wishes of the majority in our community.

Maidstone Borough Council, in coordination with our neighbouring councils, the emergency services (Kent Police, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, South East Coast Ambulance Service, Maritime and Coastguard) and KCC is preparing to activate the official apparatus to deal with planning for emergencies and disasters

Services that are considered to be critical within MBC have been identified and staff will be moved across from other areas, as necessary, to deliver these services.
If travel is disrupted, we envisage that staff, who are not in customer-facing roles, will work from home. A day of tests was carried out this month to check the ICT systems’ capability when a large number of staff need to work from home at the same time.

A web- page with information about Brexit on the Council’s website can be found at: https://www.maidstone.gov.uk/home/brexit-advice (social media u #BrexitKent ) * please see below.

The most likely affected MBC service has been identified as waste collection. This will be due to traffic disruption. Contingency plans for the collection of household waste have been put in place. Without wanting to worry you, and in the very worst case only, large ‘RoRo’ bins for the collection of household waste can be distributed around the Borough to allow residents to drop their own waste. Garden waste collections are also considered to be optional in the worst case.
I may be leaning wide out of the window and may be forced to eat my words before next year’s MBC elections, but “worst case” will not happen – in my humble and very personal view…….. fingers crossed! …….. I hope !………

I was once told the story of a NATO exercise. All week the Germans were very organised and therefore the obvious expected winners of the manoeuvres. The frustration of the German General was understandable when at the end of the week the British won: “Se British ……. “ — long thoughtful puff on his pipe: “Se British, …. sey strive in Kaos…..War is organised Kaos.. … No vonder se British won se excercise ! “

MBC Councillor for North Downs Ward

Email: patrikgarten@maidstone.gov.uk
Phone: 01622-807907

Pictured below is Councillor Garten.

MBC Councillor Patrik Garten for North Downs Ward including Hollingbourne.