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Conservative Torch logoRochester South and Horsted Conservatives


In Touch


SUMMER 2003


"Caring for the Community"

"Helping you"


Edited by Cllr Nick Brice
146a Maidstone Road
Rochester,
Kent   ME1 3ED

Success!

Well, that was certainly some result! The outcome of the local election on 1st May was not only decisive for all of us in Rochester South & Horsted ward, it was also a firm mandate for Medway as a whole.

We Conservatives have at last secured overall control of Medway Council, and we hit the ground running on the day after Polling Day with a whole range of actions to address the widespread concerns of our residents, here and throughout Medway.

Many thanks go to all of you who voted on 1st May, and a special thank-you to all those who voted for us: your confidence in us to be your ward Councillors is much appreciated.

Even with no less than the U K Independence Party‘s vice-chairman standing in our ward, we achieved a very convincing result with our individual votes a good 600 higher than even the runners-up managed.

To those who are less than happy with the new ward boundaries, we do sympathise: our own proposals for new wards kept communities together far better, but we were overruled and the Electoral Commission‘s decision (based mostly on the Labour group‘s plan) was devised almost entirely on numbers. As far as we are concerned, though, you are all now members of our community of Rochester South & Horsted.

Rochester Airport

It was abundantly clear during the election campaign that the issue of Rochester Airport is still very much alive in our area and elsewhere in Medway.

Although there are still a few of our residents who would prefer the airport to close—and we really do understand their viewpoint—the only alternative now allowed (because the former Labour administration of Medway Council sneaked the airport site into the Medway Local Plan) is limited to built development and the loss of another tract of mainly green land. Surely no-one living here really wants that.

If those political groups had not slipped the airport into the Local Plan in the first place, we could have found other green-space uses for the site, but those are now very unlikely to be possible. Whatever your viewpoint, Labour and the LibDems have done you no favours!

The sheer myth of a so-called "Science & Technology Park" on the airport site has long been discredited, and just about everyone now recognises that the only feasible built development would be warehousing, with countless lorries clogging up our roads.

What employment would that bring? A handful of menial jobs only: in our hearts we all know this.

Surgeries

For some time we have wondered about how best to have ward surgeries, and feedback we have received has not been encouraging as far as the traditional "hire a room and wait" technique is concerned.

However there has been success elsewhere with more localised surgeries, conducted either on the street or by visiting anyone displaying a notice we‘d provide, and perhaps one or other of these methods might fit in better with people‘s lifestyles nowadays.

Especially now that there are three of us, we see great potential in these "mini-surgeries" and plan to start a series of them soon.

We also plan to devise a programme that will ensure we visit every household in the ward between now and the next local election˜ideally at least once a year. We‘re working on it, so let‘s see how it goes.

Cleanliness

The state of our streets and other areas has long been a topic of general concern. Although litter, fly-tipped waste and other such unwanted matter doesn‘t appear by itself, it is the Council that has to deal with it, and local residents who have to pay for it through Council Tax.

It costs Medway‘s residents no less than £2 Million a year to deal with litter and illegally dumped rubbish!

Thankfully Rochester South and Horsted suffers less from such problems than many other places, thanks in part to a more enlightened attitude here than some folk elsewhere seem to exhibit.

For the trouble zones and for rapid response to need in any part of Medway, a new cleaning scheme called Grimebusters has just been launched. This will tackle troublesome areas, and will respond when a problem comes to notice, anywhere in Medway. This way, the normal street cleaning service will not be interrupted.

More Successes

Since the last newsletter, your ward Councillors have already achieved further successes, including:
  • several alleys cleaned and/or gated as needed
  • both Horsted Schools receive a money ”bonus•
  • zigzag lines outside Balfour Infant School
  • schools Yellow Bus scheme to be piloted soon
Various other improvements are coming to fruition, such as alleygating, road sweeping, and dealing with pavement repair delays and related problems in the Balfour area. Potholes that have re-appeared will be dealt with more fundamentally (longer-lasting solutions!) and lots of other work is getting done. So do keep watching—changes are coming!

Our Website

Although technical difficulties have caused hiccups in updating the site on occasion recently, all is now back to normal and the site continues to be one of the best of its kind anywhere in the country.

All the recent changes of ward names/boundaries, the new Cabinet, elected members (with new photos) and various other updates have been included, and regular features such as news, planning applications and roadworks are now given for all of the new ward. New features are added from time to time.

We also provide, exclusively, a permanent home for the Deputy Leader of Medway Council—Cllr Alan Jarrett‘s—weekly column for the local press.

The website covers both our ward and Medway-wide political matters, and it is so well thought of that even Medway‘s other political parties and a fair number of the Council‘s own staff use it regularly. It‘s at:

www.horsted.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk
We are sure you‘ll find it well worth the visit!