News

  • Quiz night
    Article: Sep 24, 2019
    By David Thornewell

    Tonbridge and Malling Lib Dems will be holding our annual quiz night on October 12th.

    The cost is £8 per person, and this includes food. Please bring your own drinks and glasses.

    Use the form below to join us.

  • Article: Sep 24, 2019
    By Frani Hoskins

    Since being elected to the council in May, Frani and Garry have received a number of complaints about speeding traffic on our roads. Most notably, along
    ● St Mary's Road;
    ● Quarry Hill;
    ● Priory Street and
    ● Pembury Road


    We are investigating the possibility of asking the police if we can set up a Speedwatch in our area. Currently there are none in Tonbridge, although some of our villages operate such a scheme very successfully.

  • Article: Sep 24, 2019
    By Anita Oakley

    Larkfield Leisure Centre is set to close for swimming in the main pool for about 36 weeks from October 2019 to May 2020. This will enable work to go ahead on replacing the boilers with more efficient ones (last done 1981) and the air handling system too (last looked at in 1991). At the same time replacement of the
    polycarbonate pool hall barrel vault roof will be undertaken.

  • Article: Sep 24, 2019
    By Anita Oakley

    Following extensive local consultation KCC are hoping to go ahead with alterations to the above section of the A20.

    Their aim is to increase the flow of traffic which may improve air quality. They will remove the dedicated right turn bus lane at the New Hythe Lane junction. There will be two forward lanes at both New Hythe Lane traffic lights and Ditton
    Crossroads going towards Maidstone with longer run outs. Move the bus stop to a wider pavement outside the Mini
    garage, remove the bus lay-by both there and at Bell Lane. There are plans to create a shared footway/cycle path.(Although following
    consultation this may be separated). Also, widening the keep left
    islands so that a bicycle could be accommodated. And finally, adding a keep left island outside the former Kia garage.

  • wates
    Article: Aug 11, 2019
    By Michelle Tatton

    So, who has received the Wates Newsletter about the proposed development in East Malling north of the A20 and west of Winterfield Lane? We have highlighted this in previous editions of our Hotline and while these details have now emerged the full planning application is awaited although we expected that to be submitted any time now.

  • Article: Aug 11, 2019
    By Nick Stapleton

    Last week there was an incident at the Farmhouse, resulting in 10 people being injured. As many will be aware, this is the second incident of its kind, after a ruckus at the Joiners Arms a few weeks ago. West Malling has always been viewed a safe place to go out for the evening, and thankfully there have only been two incidents of this kind for quite some time.

    One big concern is the amount of litter, vomit and broken glass that can be seen around the High Street on a Saturday and Sunday morning. It is great that West Malling is such a hotspot for an evening out, but it's important that it's done respectfully and with some control.

    Borough Councillor Nick Stapleton was recently interviewed by the Kent Messenger regarding the recent issues.

    Should you have any information on the incident that took place at the Farmhouse last week, contact Kent Police on 01622 604100 and quote reference 46/149022/19.

  • Article: Aug 8, 2019
    By Anita Oakley

    The managing agent for the Thornhill Medical Practice in Martin Square, Larkfield, has responded to Anita's plea!

    They persisted and found someone to mend the clock. Time had stood still for too long but now the clock is fixed and you will tell the correct time. Little successes like this make all the communications worthwhile!

  • Anita with totem pole
    Article: Jul 26, 2019
    By Anita Oakley

    Anita recently erected her Totem Pole in Brookfield School. She made it to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the school (1967-2017) and also 50 years since Anita and her husband, Keith, met! The school may have a celebration in September. More info to follow.

  • Article: Jul 26, 2019
    By Nick Stapleton

    West Malling Parish Council is crowdfunding to help challenge the Bellway Homes application to build up to 65 dwellings on the field between West Malling Railway Station and Lavenders Road. This will include a new access directly onto Swan Street, where a line of mature trees and much of the ancient embankment will be removed to clear sight lines for the new entrance.

  • Article: Jun 21, 2019
    By Trudy Dean

    I am often asked how all the new houses planned to be built locally will be supplied with water. Southern Water gave this reply to a recent meeting of Parish Councillors.

    "Our Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP) considers water supply needs to 2070 taking account of local council proposed housing growth numbers (from local plans) as well as other factors such as climate change. In Kent, the most significant new strategic water resources scheme we are proposing is a water re-use scheme at Aylesford to support our abstraction from the River Medway. This is needed by 2027-28. The updated 2019 WRMP went through a public consultation process in 2018 and should be published later this year once permission is granted by DEFRA.

    I understand the water re-use scheme they mention will be near the Medway riverside on the site of the former Aylesford Newsprint works at the north end of New Hythe Lane.

    Southern Water are holding a Kent Stakeholder Workshop on 28th June as the resilience of water supply will be a key topic for discussion.

  • Lillieburn fencing
    Article: Jun 21, 2019
    By Nick Stapleton


    The Borough Council has agreed to fund three quarters of the £13,000 cost of fencing the Lillieburn area invaded by travellers earlier this year. A green bow top fence will be installed as in other areas of the parish. The Leybourne Parish Council has agreed to fund the other quarter. Borough Councillor Nick Stapleton strongly supported the proposal from the Parish Council. He says "It makes sense for this area to be fenced off since the boulders have proved ineffective. The area is owned by the Borough Council and joint funding the work is a common sense way forward for local residents who are always on edge waiting for the next invasion."



  • Article: Jun 21, 2019
    By Anita Oakley

    Anita has been in touch with the managing agents for the Thornhills Health Centre. They have assured her that they will trim the hedge alongside the car park. They are also trying to get a specialist horologist (clock person) to assess the problem with the centre's clock.

    Anita has also pointed out that there are no dropped kerbs on to the footway from the surgery to the pharmacy which means going via the road.

    In Martin Square, only the grass in front of the Library has been cut. KCC and TMBC always seem to forget who owns what and so the job is only partially done. We understand the Fire Service are also having trouble with their grass mowing contractor and the grass around the Fire Station hasn't been cut either. Anita was told it may be done in a couple of weeks.

  • Article: Jun 21, 2019
    By Nick Stapleton

    Trudy Dean writes...

    Everyone will be shocked and disappointed at this statement issued yesterday, which contradicts assurances given last year that face to face appointments would remain in the West Malling surgery for 'many years'. It is a terrible blow to our community, especially if it causes closure of the pharmacy as well. The practice is preparing answers to several questions I and others have asked, and I will send these round when available. Then I think the CCG must be persuaded to stick to their promise last year and carry on providing healthcare in West Malling and Leybourne.

  • Article: Feb 13, 2019

    Urbaser, the new contractor, will start the new bin collection service on 30th September. They will also be responsible for clearing litter and emptying bins from streets and footways. Collections will continue on the normal days through Bank Holidays, including this Easter.

    From September, there will be separate weekly collections of food waste and fortnightly collections of mixed dry recycling, including for the first time plastics and glass. In addition, there will be new "Opt In" collection of garden waste for an annual fee of £40 per year with a discounted price of £35 for people who sign up between the 7th May and Friday 2nd August. Such garden waste will not be collected from householders who do not opt in, so people would either have to compost or take to Civic Amenity sites such as Tovil or Cuxton.

  • Bill Banks
    Article: Feb 13, 2019

    have lived in Leybourne with my family for 28 years. My first job after leaving school was to join the Merchant Navy as a Boy Rating.

    This gave me my first opportunity to go around the world and wet my appetite for future travels. I have been asked to give a presentation on our recent trip to Antarctica. So do come along and say "hello". I am anxious to hear about what issues are important to West Malling people.

  • Article: Feb 13, 2019

    Dr Reichelm has left the practice and will be succeeded by Dr Andrew Swindlehurst. Dr Louisa Gibson has returned to the practice. The Business and Finance Manager has left, and the practice is seeking to employ new GPs, a practice nurse and specialist diabetic nurse. The surgery has been sold and is being leased back for an undisclosed period of time.

  • Article: Feb 13, 2019

    Research into the Planning Application for a new 204 space car park opposite More Park RC Primary School, Lucks Hill, revealed a little known WWII plane crash. On 11th Sept in 1942, a Sterling Bomber on his return from a bombing raid on Dusseldorf was attempting to land at West Malling Airfield. He failed to make it, smashing into a part of the Lucks Hill wall which now surrounds the school, and ditching in the orchard
    beyond. All six crew members were killed.

  • Article: Feb 13, 2019

    The government has given KCC £28 million to prepare for Brexit. But for all other services , the Conservative Government has cut Conservative KCC grant for services in 2019/20 from £37m to £9m and service cuts are being made as a result.

    The Young Persons Travel Pass will soar from £290 to £350pa for travel to school for secondary pupils.

  • Estate
    Article: Feb 13, 2019

    Bellway have applied for planning consent for up to 90 homes with vehicle access off Swan St. on land opposite West Malling Station between the Station Approach road and Lavenders Road. West Malling Parish Council is working with local residents to oppose this application strongly.

    The application would