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Conservative Torch logoRochester South and Horsted Conservatives

In Touch

WINTER 2002/2003

"Caring for the Community"

"Helping you"

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

Your Problem-Solving Team at work

Many residents are probably unaware of just how much has been done by your Conservative ward Councillors, quietly and without fuss...

Just a few of those already solved:

Problem:Potholes in various roads
Solution:Dealt with throughout HorstedYes!
Problem:Hooligans spilling sand bins
Solution:Bolt the bins to the ground!Yes!

Problem:Gates outside school broken
Solution:Gates fixedYes!
Problem:Planned footpath creates problems
Solution:Negotiated to scrap footpathYes!
Problem:Trees lost at College island
Solution:Trees replacedYes!
Problem:General lack of trees and plants
Solution:New ones in various placesYes!

We‘re working on these right now:

Problem:Graffiti on wall in Holland Road
Solution:School mural with protective coat
Problem:Youngsters playing ball in road
Solution:Play Area on corner of Hook Close
Problem:Big lorries intruding on rear access
Solution:Height barrier to be installed

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It seems such a long time since we last produced our own ward-wide newsletter, though we have been involved with a number of other leaflets and flyers.

There has been so much going on that we have had little time to spare for writing, which is probably a healthy sign. In some ways life has been like the ancient Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times", but it has been very satisfying as we have achieved so much.

Small plane

We now have not just one but two major local issues involving airports, and we have enclosed with this In Touch a separate paper on both Cliffe and Rochester Airports. One side of this is a poster that you might like to display in a prominent position.

Even more local (and mentioned above) is the long-standing problem of graffiti on the end wall of the parade of shops in Holland Road.

What we didn‘t want is a repeating situation, so we have found a permanent solution. This is an artistic mural created by children at Horsted School, to be applied after the graffiti has been removed and some slight damage mended.

After the mural has dried, a translucent protective coat will be painted over it, so that any future graffiti can simply be washed off. Coming soon!

NoticeboardOur website has created quite a stir, as it is so informative about what is going on right here in Horsted, as well as in Medway as a whole. There are few, if any, comparable "non-official" Council activity websites anywhere in the country.

Planning applications, road works, meetings, agendas, ward boundaries, our letters to the local press, and much more can be found at:

We have recently been conducting surveys of residents, and have had a good response˜much higher than usual for this kind of activity.

John has been collating the responses and has concluded that most people feel it is worthwhile talking to the Conservatives: we genuinely listen to residents and respond to their wishes.

For one thing, we‘re already tackling one of the biggest issues raised by residents—disruptive behaviour—with the help of both the police and our Neighbourhood Warden, Colin, who is often to be seen around our area.

By being easily recognisable and approachable, Colin has been able to quickly establish himself as a real asset to all parts of our community.

The drug culture and related criminal activities have been targeted by the police, and a recent big operation dealt the local drug industry a severe blow. There‘s still much to be done, but at least we‘re now really on the way to making a lasting difference. The whole community can now feel safer, and it will get better still.

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Airport Special: Rochester and Cliffe

These two big airport issues are of great importance to residents of Horsted and well beyond. Indeed all of North Kent is involved.

In both cases, it is first and foremost the Labour party, both locally and nationally, who are set on transforming the Garden of England into a concrete patio. Here in Medway their LibDem lackeys have joined with Labour members in voting to develop on the Rochester Airport site, against nearly all residents‘ wishes. Their aim is to close the airport by stealth: encroachment on the airport site could force the airport to shut.

The sheer fiction that any useful employment opportunities will arise from this has been pointed out time and again by the two Horsted Councillors and their Conservative colleagues on Medway Council, yet this hasn‘t stopped the Lab/Lib pact ensuring a combined vote for the proposed development on the airport site. And for what?

Almost everyone now realises that the only business opportunity that has any real chance of coming to Rochester Airfield is distribution centres˜all we‘d get is hundreds of lorries on our roads every day, and a handful of menial-level jobs to run the automated warehouses.

Overall even those people living in and near City Way would no doubt prefer light aircraft passing overhead during limited hours of the day to full jet airliners at similar altitudes at the rate of one per minute until late evening, with cargo planes all night long, as is intended at Cliffe.

Even today‘s situation could be better, as a paved runway at Rochester Airport would reduce present noise levels hugely: the planes could take off sooner and be much higher by the time they pass near houses. We calculate (using John‘s decades of experience in acoustic physics) that this could reduce noise levels to around a tenth of what they are now.

This seems to be the very best possible result for all local residents: keep Rochester Airport as it is, but with a long lease so that they can sensibly invest in paving the main runway. That way, everybody wins.

Aeroplanes Meanwhile, the Cliffe airport threat has well and truly come upon us, and this very real threat to the quality of all Medway residents‘ lives cannot be overstated.

After all, without belittling in any way the trauma and blight affecting those who live on the peninsula, if this scheme goes ahead at least they will move away from this area. It is those who are left behind who will suffer the most, possibly for the rest of their lives˜that means us on this side of the river, along with our children and their children, and beyond.

Fortunately your Council, led by the Conservative administration, has throughout listened to your wishes and supported Medway people‘s views, taking appropriate action at whatever level that requires. Our recent success in the High Court shows that we are fully prepared and willing to take on even the Government as and when necessary, in order to protect both the interests and quality of life of Medway people.

Now Gatwick is back on the SERAS agenda, and the next thing to tackle is the mis-scoring of Cliffe that put it in the short-list when it should never have been there. Indeed, John said exactly this at the Council meeting on 27th November.

We have supplied a poster (overleaf) about both airports, and you are invited to display it somewhere prominent. You can certainly spread the word if you agree with us that either or both of these threats need to be fought. Let everyone know just what is going on and what is being done about it.

Remember that it is only local Conservatives who stand behind you fully on both issues, opposing the concreting-over of our green spaces and the imposition of noise and chemical pollution, road congestion and other truly nasty consequences of what some would try to inflict on us all.

John and Ron stand with Horsted residents on both airports.

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Airports Poster

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