August 2019 Newsletter from our Borough Councillor.

Hollingbourne parish Council has received the following monthly newsletter from our Borough Councillor Patrik Garten. Please Read M<orte for furth information.

Dear Residents

While I prepare to have a few weeks of rest after another exciting year in Local Politics, I decided to give my community some homework over the summer. The English summer will, in all likelihood, provide you with ample opportunities of boredom….and we don’t want that …do we?

First and foremost, the Maidstone Borough Local Plan Review has been prepared for informal public consultation. The consultation document considers the themes and key issues that the Local Plan Review will need to address.

The Local Plan is the authority’s main instrument to shape the Borough for the decades to come. May I urge you to put all your opinions on paper (or computer screen). We need to hear all those grievances, which you always bend my ear over : the distribution of yet another rush of new housing developments, the lack of affordable housing, the lack of infrastructure, the stupidity of “modal change”……keep your opinions coming …. And if you have something nice to say we want to hear it too!

The Local Plan Review and supporting documents can be viewed and downloaded from the council’s website www.maidstone.gov.uk/localplanreview

Because people don’t fancy surveys during the summer, (I wonder why?) we have extended the deadline. I personally made sure that you have an extra rainy weekend of 28/29 September to complete your response.

But don’t take my word for it that it will rain at the end of September.

The deadline is 5pm on Monday 30th September. Use your first opportunity to respond, the future of the Borough is in your hands !!!!!!!

And if, after that, you developed a taste for surveys, here is another one: Matthew Scott, the Police and Crime Commissioner wants to set the priorities for the Chief Constable and hold the Force to account on issues relating to crime and antisocial behaviour. You can complete his survey at www.kent-pcc.gov.uk/haveyoursay.

What happened recently in Maidstone?

The Park & Ride Scheme has changed (again). You can read all about it at:
https://www.arrivabus.co.uk/maidstone-parkandride

Longton Woods: A planning application has been filed for the war-games activities on this site next to the A249. Although this site is just outside my ward, I would be keen to hear from you, if you are affected by this.

Upper Stone Street is probably the most polluted street in Maidstone, besides the M20. MBC commissioned a Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study. The findings are that pollution levels are on the decline because of improving car-technologies and all available additional options would only bring forward the natural decline of pollution by one year. This includes a road charging scheme in the region of £5 million pound investment. Rest assured, we decided not to toll Maidstone’s roads. There is however a very simple cost effective solution to improve the situation rather quickly: to make Upper Stone Street a no-stopping Red Route. – Three guesses whose idea that was? (Pat on my back). The Strategic Planning & Infrastructure Committee tasked MBC officers to enter conversations with KCC, the Highways Authority, to see if this can be pursued expeditiously.

#kentdownsaonb Check this out, it raises awareness of the AONB and contributors feel part of a community caring for the landscape which we all appreciate and call our home. As my response to the LOCAL PLAN REVIEW CONSULTATION I will make sure that Kent’s AONB principles will be translated into sound policies for MBC. And with that little reminder about this most important consultation, my summer newsletter has come full circle.

And finally, a refreshing story about Planning Enforcement – maybe our enforcement officers will take note:

A millionaire who felled 11 protected trees to boost the value of his £1.4m home has been fined £170,000. David Matthews chopped down the 100-year-old specimens to increase the size of his back garden and the amount of light it received, even though they were subject to a preservation order made by Poole BC. This increased the value of his property in Wimborne, Dorset, by an estimated £137,500. Andy Dearing, team enforcement manager at the council, said: “The Proceeds of Crime Order reflects the financial gain to Mr Matthews and the seriousness with which the court treats these offences.”

PATRIK GARTEN (Cons)
MBC Councillor for North Downs Ward

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

Pictured below is Councillor Garten.

Councillor Patrik Garten in March 2018.