Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Fantastic Response to Residents Survey

We would like to thank the thousands of people who completed the Chatham & Aylesford Residents Survey.

During January we distributed our questionnaire to 12,000 households of which just over 1,500 where delivered in Ditton. We are delighted at the response rate which has reached 20% in some wards – a very high rate for a postal survey of this nature.

Included in the findings:

*The Health Service, Crime and Immigration are the top issues causing concern for local voters

*Only 37% of respondents support the introduction of ID Cards

*77% of respondents believe Inheritance Tax should either be significantly reformed or abolished completely.

*78% believe a future Conservative Government should continue to oppose the Euro Currency.

*92% of respondents did not believe that local A&E services were adequately funded by the Labour government.

Hundreds of local issues were also brought to our attention with graffiti, vandalism, fly tipping and litter at the top of the lists. Wherever specific problems have been reported we have done our best to get these dealt with.

Richard Allen and Carol Grant are busy phoning or visiting the many respondents who asked to speak to a local Conservative councillor or candidate. Many of these issues are personal or confidential so we cannot report them here – but everyone that has asked for a visit will be contacted as soon as possible.

We would also like to thank the dozens of people who have offered to help us by delivering leaflets or joining the Conservative Party.

Tracey Goes Blogging !

Chatham & Aylesford Parliamentary Spokesman, Tracey Crouch, has launched her own Blog Site in which she will report on the ups and downs of life as a Parliamentary Candidate.

Visit her at

Friday, February 16, 2007

Woodlands Parade - Progress Report.

During our recent resident's Survey, the ongoing saga of Woodlands Parade was raised more than any other local issue.

At our invitation, a team of Conservative Councillors visited the site last Saturday to see the problems first hand. They agreed that the site was an eyesore and something had to be done.
Cllr Allan Sullivan promised to raise the issue with Officers of the Council and request a progress report. He did this on Monday morning and we can now report back on the latest developments:
Statement from Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council:

“Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council have agreed a scheme to carry out environmental enhancements and improve off road parking facilities at Woodlands Parade in Ditton. This is namely the two areas to the sides of the parade and the area directly in front of the shops. The scheme has been the subject to extensive local consultation and has widespread support from the local community and is now funded within the Council’s plan.

The scheme requires the co-operation of the owner of the land of the two side areas. The land at the front is owned by Kent County Council Highways. It is proposed that the council take a lease on the land and carry out the improvements. The funding will be provided and the work undertaken by T&MBC.

Discussions with the landowner have been protracted and did not reach a satisfactory conclusion. As no voluntary arrangement has been reached with the owner the Council have now taken action to compulsory purchase the two areas of land at the sides.

The time scale for confirming the compulsory purchase will be dependent on if the owner challenges the decision. If he does, the Order will need to be heard by an Inspector and we will have to await his decision.”
We understand the landowner is overseas which is the main reason for the delay. We must allow him time to respond to the Compulsory Purchase Order before moving to the next stage.

Please rest assured that there is a firm commitment from Officers and Members of T&MBC to acquire these areas and implement improvements to tidy the landscape and enhance the facilities for the benefit of local residents and customers.

Ditton Conservatives will continue to monitor this situation and will keep you up do date with any developments as and when they happen.

If you would like to discuss this, or any other issue, please do not hesitate to contact Richard Allen (Chairman of the Ditton Conservative Action Team) on 07753 570390 or email him at

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Meet Tracey Crouch

Tracey Crouch has been chosen as the Conservative Candidate for Chatham and Aylesford Constitiency.

At a packed meeting of members supporters and the public, Tracey Crouch was chosen as the new Parliamentary Candidate for the Conservatives. She beat off 26 other hopefuls to win the nomination.

Tracey, who works in the insurance industry, is a qualified football coach and a member of Kent Cricket Club. She is the lead manager in an independent charity which aims to reduce crime and build safer communities through various projects and activities. She also works with the Citizenship Foundation, an education based charity which runs the National Youth Parliament Competition is schools.

Tracey has extensive experience in campaigning in Local, General and European Elections and is delighted to have the opportunity to fight the next election for the Conservatives in Chatham and Aylesford.


Meet Carol Grant

Carol Grant
Leader of the Ditton Action Team
Tel: 01732 871517
Biographical details:

Meet Richard Allen

Richard Allen
Chairman of Ditton Conservatives
Tel: 07753 570390
Biograpical details:

Barratt's Building Plans - Station Road Somerfield Depot Site

The plans put forward by Barratt Kent are totally inappropriate for our local community.

Click HERE to sign the petition.

Like the majority of local residents who have contacted us, Ditton Conservatives support the principle of new housing on the Somerfield Depot site on Station Road.

People need houses to live in, and young families in particular deserve an opportunity to have a home of their own. Low cost starter homes, shared ownership schemes and social housing are often the only way onto the housing ladder for many local people - and few would deny them that opportunity.

It is also true that it is far better to build new homes on disused industrial / brown-field sites than concreting over more of our precious green-belt for housing developments.

However, the proposals for 458 properties are far too dense. Low quality four storey housing is totally out of character with our community; there is insufficient provision for car parking; no detailed proposals to improve road safety or traffic management; no suggestions to enhance the local community or improve infrastructure.

There are also no proposals about how local schools, medical facilities and services will cope with perhaps a thousand additional residents.

Ditton Conservatives would happily support the building of a mixture of good quality new houses that would enhance our community and provide comfortable homes for the new families that move here.

Regrettably, much of the discretion once enjoyed by local councils to enforce changes to planning applications to protect local communities has been abolished by John Prescott and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Local Conservatives have launched a petition appealing to Barrett Kent to listen to local concerns and consider the needs of the existing community before proceeding with their present plans.

If you would like to sign the petition, please click HERE.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

the Cost of Fly Tipping

A lorry load of house building waste dumped on the North Downs Way last Sunday - ruining one of the most beautiful walks in the county.

A local Conservative Councillor reported this to T&MBC on Sunday last week.
The Good News:
This is the same site on Tuesday morning!
Well done to the T&MBC Officers and contractors who sorted this mess out. Hopefully the healing hand of nature will finish the job off and the North Downs Way will look stunning again in the not too distant future.
What it cost us:
This clean-up operation cost Council tax payers £200 - money that could be better used reducing your council tax bill or improving local services. Each year, in the T&MBC area alone, we pay £50,000 for clearing up others people's dumped rubbish.

How to Help:
Please help keep our Borough clean and tidy by reporting any dumped rubbish to the T&MBC helpline on 01732 844522. Alternatively, you can report via the internet by using the T&MBC on-line report form - click HERE. Thank you.
Printed and promoted by A Kennedy on behalf of Ditton Conservatives all at 200 Canterbury Street, Gillingham, Kent.