03 FEB 2017

Greg visits Temple Grove Academy School

Greg ran a mock Parliamentary debate with Year 5 and 6 pupils when he visited Temple Grove Academy School in Sherwood.


03 FEB 2017

Greg visits local charity that supports victims of domestic abuse

Greg visited the office of Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services (DAVSS) to hear more about the work of the charity.

After the visit, Greg commented:

"Many victims of domestic abuse feel they cannot turn to friends and family for support so it is very important that they have somewhere they can get practical help and advice. That's why the work that DAVSS does in our local area is so valuable. DAVSS is a charity that depends on volunteers and I know from my visit today that they would be delighted to hear from anyone that might be interested in offering some of their time."

DAVSS provides practical to victims of domestic abuse help including: a helpline giving immediate safety advice; face-to-face support for those at high risk of serious harm; providing Support to Court; and raising public awareness.

The helpline number is: 01892 570538.

To find out more about volunteering, call 01892 502074 or email: office@davss.org.uk


03 FEB 2017

Greg opens new affordable housing development in Tunbridge Wells

Greg officially opened 163 new affordable properties in Knights Wood. Developed by Moat, in partnership with Dandara, the development will provide 81 shared ownership homes and 82 affordable rented apartments and houses.

Greg said:

"It was an honour to open these 163 new affordable homes. Finding a home in Tunbridge Wells as a first-time buyer or a renter has become very expensive so these new homes are a real boost to local people. With a brand new primary school, sports facilities and wonderful views over both Tunbridge Wells and our surrounding countryside, no wonder Knights Wood is proving so popular."


28 JAN 2017

Greg supports Love Your Neighbour

Greg joined representatives from many different backgrounds across the Tunbridge Wells community to help promote the "Love Your Neighbour" initiative which encourages people to actively get to know their neighbours.

Greg commented:

"People in Tunbridge Wells love where we live.  This is not only becuase of the beauty of our town - the greenery, historic buildings and cultural attractions. People love living here because we are a strong and welcoming community.  It is great to celebrate that and to commit to continuing it."


14 DEC 2016

Greg presses for further improvements in local mental health service for young people

In his Times of Tunbridge Wells column published today, Greg has highlighted the need for further improvement in the local Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

To read the full story, click here.


09 DEC 2016

Greg visits Rusthall St Paul's Primary School

Greg met the Year 6 class at St Paul's CE Primary School in Rusthall on their non-uniform day!


03 DEC 2016

Greg supports Small Business Saturday

Commenting on Small Business Saturday, Greg said:

"Small businesses in Tunbridge Wells are at the heart of our local economy. I was glad to support Small Business Saturday – a nationwide initiative to recognise the contribution small firms make and to encourage people to shop locally.

"It was great to meet some of the businesses located along Camden Road and also to pop into the event in Ely Court organised by Royal Tunbridge Wells Together to promote start-ups. Our town has a thriving, entrepreneurial spirit and it's important that we support and encourage small businesses."


25 NOV 2016

Greg welcomes decision to fund new cycle link between Tonbridge & Pembury

Greg visited the construction site of the A21 dualling to mark the decision by Highways England to fund a new cycle path that will link the centre of Tonbridge to Pembury. The route will also be able to be used by pedestrians and horseriders.

The dualling of the A21 between Tonbridge and Pembury always incorporated an off-road cycle path but it did not include links at either end to Tonbridge station and Pembury hospital. These links are crucial for it to be a successful commuting route for cyclists.

Greg commented:

"I was always concerned that the proposed cycle path along part of the A21 that is currently being dualled should link to key locations at either end so I pressed Highways England to fund this. It's great news that they have agreed to do so otherwise a real opportunity would have been missed.

"Linking the centre of Tonbridge to the Pembury Hospital with a 4 mile offroad cycle path will provide an opportunity for people to use the path for getting to work or for leisure."

"Along with the current proposal to improve cycling along the A26, we now have real momentum to create a fantastic local cycle network."

In 2013, Greg held a public meeting to try to make progress on improving cycling in Tunbridge Wells. Since then, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has published its first ever Cycling Strategy.


25 NOV 2016

Greg meets Balfour Beatty apprentices working on A21 dualling project

Greg met a group of Balfour Beatty apprentices when he visited the construction site of the A21 dualling between Tonbridge and Pembury.

Greg said:

"It was great to have a chat with the apprentices – they are clearly enjoying their work on the A21 dualling project and gaining some excellent experience and skills."


25 NOV 2016

Greg visits Oakley School

Greg was delighted to attend an assembly at Oakley School. Some of the pupils had visited the Houses of Parliament recently and they had lots of questions to ask him.


11 NOV 2016

Greg marks Armistice Day at The Wells Free School

Greg commemorated Armistice Day with pupils from The Wells Free School. After a short service which included one of the classes singing "Keep the Home Fires Burning", Greg helped the children plant the poppies they had made.


11 NOV 2016

Greg Visits Bishops Down Primary School

On a visit to Bishops Down Primary School, Greg took questions from the school council over lunch, then held a mock House of Commons debate for the Key Stage 2 classes during their assembly.

Greg said: "We had a great conversation, on everything from major national policy issues to making our local roads safer and how we can make trains run on time.

And I was delighted how many students took part in the mock debate – clearly there are more than a few budding Parliamentarians at Bishops Down!"


11 NOV 2016

Greg meets local businesses at West Kent Chamber of Commerce event

Greg spoke to representatives of over 30 local companies at a West Kent Chamber of Commerce event about his Ministerial role as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and also his local constituency priorities including improved broadband services.


31 OCT 2016

Greg asks for views on local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

Greg would like to hear from anyone that has recently used the local Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

This is the repeat of a survey he carried out back in 2010 when he was alerted to the difficulties that many families were experiencing trying to get their children the help that they needed.

Greg was able to use the feedback from his original survey to argue the case for additional funding and for an urgent overhaul of the service.

Greg said:

"What I uncovered in my 2010 investigation was nothing less than scandalous. Some families were waiting up to a year and a half to get an initial appointment with CAMHS. This was completely unacceptable and I urged everyone from the Secretary of State for Health down to ensure urgent improvements were made. I have been keeping a close eye on things and I am glad to say that there has been good progress on reducing waiting times but there are still problems in some particular areas, such as specialist Autism Spectrum Disorder assessments.

"I want to get the very best service for local families which is why I am repeating this survey."

You can write to Greg either at the House of Commons, Westminster, London SW1A 0AA or by email: greg.clark.mp@parliament.uk, ideally by Friday 11th November.


29 SEP 2016

Greg Welcomes Waitrose to Hawkhurst

This morning Greg opened the new Waitrose in Hawkhurst, replacing the earlier Budgens.

Greg said:

"I was delighted to open the Hawkhurst Waitrose. Hawkhurst is fortunate in having a wide range of shops and cafes and it is good to see Waitrose expand into the village by taking over this important site.

"Waitrose has a good reputation for customer service and as an employer, and I wish the business every success in Hawkhurst."


24 SEP 2016

Greg Opens New Skinners' Kent Primary

Yesterday Greg formally opened Skinners' Kent Primary School in a ceremony attended by members of the Skinners' Company, local councillors, parents and other guests.

Greg said:

"I have no doubt that Skinners' Kent Primary will be highly successful under the leadership of the Skinners' Kent Academy Trust, very ably led by Sian Carr and the school's Headteacher, Gemma Faircloth. The Trust also runs Skinners' Kent Academy where strong management, committed staff and dedication from pupils have created a school recently rated by Ofsted as Outstanding on all counts."


24 SEP 2016

Greg sends congratulations to local Paralympic medallist using golden post box

Greg sent a message of congratulations to local Paralympian Will Bayley on winning a gold medal for table tennis at the Rio Games.

The message was posted into a specially made golden post box which was at Tunbridge Wells Farmer's Market where Greg was holding one of his regular drop-in advice surgeries.


12 SEP 2016

Train Chaos: Greg Urges Focus on Southeastern Failings

Greg has called for immediate improvements in the performance of rail operator Southeastern, with the franchising process for the troubled network now only a couple of months away. Greg formed a Rail Action Group of concerned rail users to feed into the franchising process, and has now asked for a meeting with the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, to discuss Southeastern's performance.

Greg said:

"This is an important time for rail services in the Tunbridge Wells area – the most important opportunity for a decade to say what sort of service we want and what improvements need to be made. I therefore intend to press a broad range of requirements on Chris Grayling: from punctuality and communications failings, to the high fares we pay for what is an underperforming service.

"With the public consultation likely to start by the end of the year I would encourage all rail users to make sure their voices are heard. I am also very pleased that the Rail Minister, Paul Maynard, has already said he will welcome my Rail Action Group's contribution to the consultation process."


09 SEP 2016

Greg visits Claremont Primary School

During a visit to Claremont Primary School, Greg talked to the pupils about how Parliament works and life as an MP.

Greg also met with the Headteacher and Chair of Governors to hear about new developments at the school including a new kitchen which is providing better quality school lunches for the children.


09 SEP 2016

Greg celebrates AXA-PPP's Queen's Award

Greg joined the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells and others to celebrate the presentation of the Queen's Award for Enterprise in International Trade to AXA-PPP International.

Greg said:

"I am absolutely delighted that AXA-PPP International has been given the Queen's Award for International Trade – it is extremely well deserved. The international arm of AXA-PPP was only established in 2009 but is already operating in 140 countries worldwide. It is an outstanding example of how to successfully penetrate the overseas market and we are extremely lucky to have such a fantastic international business located in our town."


05 SEP 2016

Greg Opens Langton Green Sports Pavilion

On Saturday morning Greg was joined by former England World Cup winner George Cohen MBE when he formally opened the new Langton Green Sports Pavilion.

Greg said:

"This new sports pavilion will be a wonderful asset for the whole community and shows what can be achieved when it works together. Langton Green Community Sports Association has worked incredibly hard to get the pavilion built and with strong support from the Premier League and Football Association, and the local Parish Council, its ambition has become reality. I am a strong supporter of community sports and I hope that this new facility will encourage even more people – both young and old – to take part."


04 SEP 2016

Greg Receives Ashurst Broadband Petition

Yesterday Greg received a petition from Ashurst residents calling for an improvement in broadband speeds.

Greg said:

"It is very important that rural villages are connected and this campaign has my full support. I will be joining forces with Ashurst to press Kent County Council on better broadband services."


08 JUL 2016

Flushed with Success: Greg has Tunbridge Wells Drainage Plan Brought Forward

Greg has persuaded Southern Water to bring forward the date of a crucial drainage plan which will help tackle flooding in the town in the future.

Following a number of meetings to discuss last August's flooding of the Pantiles and surrounding area, Southern Water – the local drainage authority – stated their intention to compile a Drainage Area Plan for Tunbridge Wells South, with work commencing in either 2017 or 2018.

Greg thought this was too long to wait and pressed Southern Water to start the work earlier. In a letter last month to their Chief Executive, Martin Wright, he wrote, "The case for doing so is reinforced by the experience of residents this past week who have witnessed drain covers lifting and emitting raw effluent, a situation which I understand Warwick Park Residents' Association first raised with Southern Water three years ago. I very much hope you will agree that such a situation is completely unacceptable."

Greg said:

"I am delighted that Southern Water have agreed to bring forward the creation of a drainage plan. The sooner the report is compiled, the sooner works to improve the town's drains can take place. I will be continuing to take a keen interest in this matter to ensure Southern Water do not break their promise."


01 JUL 2016

Greg meets Kent's new Police & Crime Commissioner

Greg met with Kent's new Police & Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott, during a visit to Hawkhurst.

Greg said:

"It was great to have the opportunity to talk to Matthew about his priorities for local policing and I look forward to working closely with him in the future."


01 JUL 2016

Greg calls for Speedwatch data to be used to help determine location of fixed speed cameras

Greg invited Kent's new Police & Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott, along with local County, Borough and Parish Councillors, to meet with members of Hawkhurst Speedwatch to press the case for changing the policy on the installation of fixed speed cameras.

Hawkhurst Speedwatch has observed the highest proportion of speeders compared to any other Speedwatch scheme in the whole of Kent - they would like fixed speed cameras to be installed to deter drivers from breaking the speed limit.

 

Greg commented: "Speeding traffic has a significant impact on the life of a community and I think it is time to look again at whether we are using the right methodology to determine where fixed speed cameras are installed.

"At the moment, the criteria for installing speed cameras is based on the number of fatal or serious accidents along a particular stretch of road. Speedwatch provides accurate information on where people are regularly breaking the speed limit and I think this also needs to be taken into account.

"Matthew Scott and all the local councillors agree that it is time to make a case for change and we will work together to try and make this happen."

Kent's Police & Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott said: "I don't think it is unreasonable for the concerns of local residents, when those concerns are backed up by reliable data, to be used in deciding where fixed speed cameras are placed. So, while of course we can't make any promises at this stage, I will be discussing the existing policy with chief officers at Kent Police and the Kent and Medway Safety Camera Partnership to see whether there is scope for it to be modified."

Hawkhurst has the highest combined score (47/60) of any Speedwatch scheme in Kent (the next highest is 37/60). This score is based on the number of speeders observed per active session day, the proportion of excessive speeders and the proportion of advice letters generated.

During 2014 and 2015, Hawkhurst Speedwatch recorded the highest number of speeders in Kent (8,453 compared with 7,349 for the next highest scheme).

Six of the eight highest speeders recorded throughout Kent in 40mph zones were in Hawkhurst.


26 JUN 2016

Greg joins the Iftar at Tunbridge Wells mosque

Greg joined members of the Tunbridge Wells mosque for Iftar – the evening meal which ends the daily Ramadan fast at sunset.


03 JUN 2016

Greg celebrates Volunteer's Week

Greg visited the Volunteer Street Fair in Tunbridge Wells – an event organised by the West Kent Volunteer Centre to mark Volunteers Week.

Local charities used the Street Fair to promote the work that they do in the local community as well as celebrating the fantastic role that volunteers play.


28 MAY 2016

Greg supports "Love Your Local Market" Fortnight

Greg visited Tunbridge Wells Farmers' Market to help promote "Love Your Local Market" fortnight.

Greg said:

"Markets can play a vital role in breathing new life into our town centres and high streets, so I'm delighted that this year's Love Your Local Markets fortnight has been such a success.

"Some of this country's leading entrepreneurs have started their careers on market stalls – the next Michael Marks or Alan Sugar could have just started trading in the last 14 days.

"I would urge councils across the country to continue supporting the endeavours of these budding business owners, and communities to love their local markets so they can keep trading."

Many leading retailers started their businesses in local markets including:

 

  • Poundland founder Steve Smith, who worked on his dad's market stall in Bilston in Wolverhampton, selling everything from batteries to household products
  • Richard Reed, Adam Ballon and Jon Wright, who first sold their Innocent smoothies on a stall at a music festival in 1999
  • Tesco founder Jack Cohen, who began trading in Hackney Market in 1919
  • Michael Marks, who started trading on a penny bazaar stall at Kirkgate market in Leeds – he went on to co-found Marks and Spencer


20 MAY 2016

Greg meets Bidborough's School Parliament

Greg was quizzed by members of Bidborough Church of England Primary School's School Parliament during a visit to the school.

He also held a mock debate for the rest of the school during their assembly.


11 APR 2016

Sherwood Shed & Playground

Friday saw Greg open the new Sherwood playground before visiting the Sherwood Men's Shed where he also formally marked its launch by trying his hand at some DIY.

Greg said:

"It was fantastic to see residents and councillors out in force at two new locations which will provide hours of enjoyment and somewhere for the community to come together."

Greg also held a number of meetings in Tunbridge Wells that day, including an advice surgery in Showfields.


01 APR 2016

Greg Responds to Proposed Gatwick Action Plan

Greg and MPs representing neighbouring communities disturbed by aircraft landing at Gatwick Airport have issued a joint statement in response to Gatwick's Proposed Action Plan, which follows the conclusion of the recent Independent Review of Arrivals.

Gatwick have stated that they accept all twenty-three recommendations in the Independent Review which, if fully implemented, could see a significant reduction in the disturbance experienced by residents of Tunbridge Wells and the neighbouring villages.

Greg has been joined by the MPs for Sevenoaks, Tonbridge & Malling and Wealden in saying:

"There is no doubt this is another significant step in the right direction and we are pleased that all the recommendations in the Independent Arrivals Review have been accepted by Gatwick.

"However, the fight is far from over and none of us will rest until these changes are made.

"In particular, terms such as 'minded to' and 'subject to further discussions' must not be get-outs from the clear recommendations.

"The four of us are united in our determination to see these proposals implemented without delay and we have asked to meet Gatwick Airport Limited, the CAA and NATS as soon as possible to press this case."

A copy of the Gatwick Arrivals Review, Overview and Proposed Action Plan may be found at http://tinyurl.com/GatwickIndRevActionPlan.

A further opportunity to influence the proposals has been provided with residents encouraged to email ArrivalsReview@gatwickairport.com before 16 May.


31 MAR 2016

Greg Launches Rail Action Group

Greg is asking rail users to come forward to join an Action Group to help drive improvements in rail services. The introduction of the Group was announced at his recent rail performance public meeting at which commuters were given the opportunity to question senior management of Southeastern and Network Rail.

Greg said:

"There was a tremendous appetite to pull together the voice and expertise of Tunbridge Wells commuters to drive improvements to services. Plans for a new franchise kick off later this year and I want passengers to influence the choice of operator and the requirements on them.

"I asked people at the meeting to say if they would join a Rail Action Group and there has been a good response since the meeting."

If you would like to join the Action Group then please email gregclarkmp@parliament.uk.


21 MAR 2016

Greg Grilled by Pembury Post

On Friday Greg was interviewed by Pembury Primary School's Journalist Group, which publishes the termly Pembury Post.

Greg said:

"The budding journalists at Pembury Primary School were kind enough to give me lunch before interviewing me on a wide-range of local, national and international issues. It's a delight to see young people so engaged in current affairs whilst developing what I hope will be a lifelong passion for journalism."

Earlier in the day Greg visited Bethany School to speak to sixth formers about life as an MP and answer their questions before meeting with a local business in Tunbridge Wells to see how he could help them and neighbouring employers.


18 MAR 2016

Greg Makes the Case for Dualling Kippings Cross to Lamberhurst

Greg and Roads Minister, Andrew Jones MP, drove along the A21 between Kippings Cross and Lamberhurst to demonstrate the need for dualling the road from the Blue Boys roundabout. He was joined by Hastings & Rye MP, The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP.

Greg said:

"We spent this morning showing the Roads Minister the Kippings Cross to Lamberhurst stretch of the A21 so that he could see for himself the need for its dualling. Now armed with first-hand experience, we have asked him to dust off the plans for dualling this stretch so the economic potential of this road can be fully unlocked.

"This follows a meeting last month with the Secretary of State for Transport, The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, at which Amber and I set out our ambition to see a modern dual carriageway which befits the main link between the M25 and south coast.

"With the Tonbridge to Pembury stretch in the bag, this marks the beginning of a new chapter in the A21 campaign."


29 FEB 2016

Greg Calls Rail Performance Public Meeting

Greg will be chairing a meeting on the evening of Thursday 17 March at which members of the public may quiz senior management from Southeastern and Network Rail.

Greg said:

"We should be able to expect a premium service in return for the premium fares charged. Sadly the performance in recent weeks and months has been woeful - we all deserve an explanation and urgent action to put it right.  I've called this public meeting as it's important that everyone is given an opportunity to meet face to face with those in charge of running our trains."

The meeting will be held in Tunbridge Wells Town Hall at 20.00 on Thursday 17 March. To register for a free place, please email gregclarkmp@parliament.uk.


25 FEB 2016

Greg's view on the EU referendum

In the General Election campaign last year I stood on a manifesto that promised that everyone in Britain should have the chance to decide whether we should remain part of the European Union in a clear in/out referendum.

At the time, many people didn't believe that was a promise that would be kept. So I am proud that, less than a year after winning a majority in Parliament, we are delivering on that promise - with the referendum taking place on June 23rd.

My vote in the referendum counts the same as everyone else's in Tunbridge Wells - no more, no less. And that's how it should be. In our area there will be people who want to remain in the EU, people who will campaign to leave and others who will - perfectly reasonably – prefer to keep their decision to themselves.

I will be casting my vote in favour of Britain remaining part of the European Union. I believe that we have a brighter future as a leading part of Europe than out of it. For me it comes down to our national interest. We are a trading nation. Nearly half of all our exports go to countries in the European Union - the biggest free-trade zone in the world. Our jobs and our livelihoods depend on businesses large and small selling their wares to other countries.

If we left the EU, we would be left outside the European single market. We would have to try to negotiate a way for our businesses to access their customers across Europe. With no say in setting them, the rules of the market would be used to favour EU members at the expense of British firms and British jobs. I think it's far better for Britain to help make the rules rather than have to follow the rules set by others – our competitors.

For us here in Tunbridge Wells I believe we have benefited particularly from this engagement with Europe. Many of our local employers operate across Europe. The head of Axa – the biggest private sector employer in Tunbridge Wells – said that Britain leaving the EU would "deter investment, threaten jobs and put the economy at risk". And many of my constituents earn their living in London - the most successful city in Europe whose strength depends on it being the commercial capital of Europe.

Some readers of this column - including many good friends - will take a different view. That is a healthy reflection of our freedom and democracy and I have respect for those who come to a different conclusion. That is why it was right for the Government to give everyone a direct say, not just MPs.

I hope the debate over the next few months will be spirited, serious and respectful - recognising the fact that each person's vote counts equally.

Whatever we decide on June 23rd, our future ultimately depends on the strength of our democracy, the soundness of our economy and the unity of our nation.


12 FEB 2016

Greg holds mock debate at St James' Primary School

During a visit to St James' Junior School, Greg got Year 6 pupils involved in a mock parliamentary debate. The children have been finding out how parliament works this term so it was a great opportunity to put what they've learnt into practice.

You can see feedback from one of the pupil's here


12 FEB 2016

Greg looks forward to new Tonbridge to Tunbridge Wells cycle path

Greg met with representatives from Highways England, Kent County Council, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council and Tunbridge Wells Cycle Forum to discuss plans for the new cycle path that is being built along the route of the A21 dualling between Tonbridge & Pembury.

Greg commented:

"This is going to be an exciting addition to our local cycle network – a dedicated cycle route linking Tonbridge to Tunbridge Wells. I am sure that it will encourage many more people to cycle – whether it be to work or for leisure. I can't wait to try it out myself when it opens."


12 FEB 2016

Greg inspects re-painted railway bridge

Greg, along with representatives from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, inspected the re-painted railway bridge on Mount Pleasant Road.

Greg said:

"The town centre railway bridge is the gateway to Tunbridge Wells but for many years it had been looking grotty – it was going rusty and paint was peeling off. I worked together with the Borough Council and Civic Society to put pressure on Network Rail to re-paint it and it is certainly looking a lot better."


01 FEB 2016

Greg Supports the Mayor's Quiz

On Saturday, Greg took part in the Mayor’s Quiz with his constituency team.  Profits from this annual fundraising event went to ellenor, a charity providing personalised care and support for families in Kent facing terminal illness.

Greg said:

“The Mayor’s Quiz is always a thoroughly enjoyable event and raises important funds for their chosen charity.  The work of ellenor is inspiring and my thanks go to the many volunteers who gave their time to make the evening a success.  Congratulations to the winning team, Monkey Jigsaw.”


29 JAN 2016

Greg welcomes publication of Gatwick's Independent Review

Commenting on the publication of Gatwick's Independent Review, Greg said:

"Ever since the flightpaths changed in 2013, we have really suffered from aircraft noise so I am cautiously optimistic about the publication of Gatwick's Independent Review. If the recommendations are implemented, then we should be able to look forward to a major improvement in aircraft noise in our local area. I will be writing to the Chairman of Gatwick, Sir Roy McNulty – who commissioned the Review – to urge him and his Board to approve the recommendations and to work urgently with all the relevant authorities to ensure the changes take place as quickly as possible."

The Chairman of Gatwick commissioned the Independent Review last year in response to increased complaints about aircraft noise. Last November, Greg chaired a public meeting with Gatwick's Independent Review Team to give local residents the opportunity to speak to them directly. Written feedback forms from the meeting were given to the Review Team to consider as part of their evidence gathering.

Recommendations from the Review's final report include:

  • Widening the flightpath swathe from 10-12nm to 8-14nm which almost reverses it back to pre-2013 situation
  • Introducing new protocols to keep planes flying higher for longer
  • Establishing a Noise Management Board

The authors of the review – Bo Redeborn and Graham Lake – believe that the majority of the recommendations could be implemented within 12 months.

Click here to see the full report.


04 DEC 2015

Christmas Card Competition

Greg visited Broomhill Bank School today to offer his congratulations and present a prize to Jessica Walker in recognition of her outstanding Christmas card design.

Greg said:

"Every year budding artists at local schools send me their designs for my Christmas card and every year I am always greatly impressed by the wealth of artistic talent shown. It's always a tricky decision to single one out but it was Jessica's lovely snowy scene which caught my eye this time."


27 NOV 2015

Greg visits Tunbridge Wells based charity Build Africa

Greg met Linda Edwards, the new Chief Executive of a national charity – Build Africa – which is located in Tunbridge Wells.

Build Africa is a development charity working in rural Africa which helps communities find long-term solutions to poverty through innovative education and livelihoods projects.

Greg is a Patron of Build Africa.


09 NOV 2015

Greg to chair public meeting on aircraft noise with Gatwick's independent review team

Greg will be chairing a public meeting with the team leading Gatwick's independent review on Saturday 28 November at 10am in the Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells.

Greg said:

"Aircraft noise is of great concern to many local residents so I wanted to give them the chance to speak directly to Bo Redeborn who is leading Gatwick's Independent Review. I am delighted that he has agreed to come and listen to people's views."

Booking for this event is essential as seats are limited.

Anyone interested in attending should email: greg.clark.mp@parliament.uk

Gatwick has outlined the aims of its independent review as being to ensure that:

  • Everything that can reasonably be done to alleviate the problems identified is being done, whether this involves action by the airport or by the other parties most closely involved – National Air Traffic Service (NATS), Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the Department for Transport or the airlines
  • The approaches which Gatwick has adopted for providing information to the local community and for handling complaints are fully adequate for the task


30 OCT 2015

Greg meets local stroke survivors on World Stroke Day

Greg joined local members of the Stroke Association when they met to mark World Stroke Day at The Robin Hood Pub in Sherwood.


30 OCT 2015

Greg officially opens North Farm Industrial Estate road improvements

Greg, along with local councillors and business representatives, officially marked the opening of the multi-million pound congestion-busting Longfield Road Improvement Scheme on the North Farm Industrial Estate.

Greg said:

"This is certainly a day for celebration - sorting out the traffic nightmare of North Farm is a massive step forward. This project is a great example of team work between the Government, Kent County Council, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and local landowners, and I'm grateful to all of them for their efforts. It shows what can be achieved when everyone pulls together."

£3.5million funding, of the total £7.35m, came from the Department for Transport. The additional funding came from developer funding and a contribution from the County Council.

The upgrade involved dualling one kilometre of the carriageway between Dowding Way roundabout and the A21, and replacing existing traffic signals with roundabouts. There is also a shared footway and cycleway along the improved road.


21 OCT 2015

Greg presses owner of the old ABC cinema site to hurry up and sell the site

With no obvious progress on developing the old ABC cinema site in Tunbridge Wells, Greg has written to the Global Managing Director of the Carlyle Group to ask him to push forward the sale of the land.

Greg said:

"When the old ABC cinema was finally demolished last summer, everyone breathed a sigh of relief. But this optimism was short lived – we're now a year on and although Carlyle has put the site up for sale, there is still no sign of progress and the empty site continues to be a blight on the town.

"I told the Global Managing Director of Carlyle Group, based in the US, that the reputation of his company is being seriously damaged and asked for his personal intervention to ensure that the sale of this land takes place as quickly as possible."


16 OCT 2015

Greg plants tree to mark life of celebrated Tunbridge Wells' Victorian engineer

Greg joined the Friends of Tunbridge Wells Cemetery to celebrate the repair of a memorial to celebrated local Victorian engineer, William Brentnall.

Amongst his achievements, William Brentnall modernised the water supplies and sewerage in Tunbridge Wells as well as installing the town's famous brick pavements.


16 OCT 2015

Greg opens new classroom at Broadwater Down Primary School

Greg was delighted to open a new classroom at Broadwater Down Primary School. Just before cutting the ribbon, Greg spoke to the pupils in a school assembly about the work of an MP and also ran a mock parliamentary debate.


10 OCT 2015

Greg and Nus Ghani MP open the new Ashurst Sports pavilion

Greg and neighbouring MP, Nus Ghani, officially opened a new sports pavilion at the Ashurst and Blackham Sports Ground.

The old pavilion was badly damaged by floods in 2013, when the River Medway burst its banks.

Since then the local community has been raising funds, including a grant from Sport England, to repair the building which will be used to run regular youth clubs and provide changing facilities for the local sports teams.


01 OCT 2015

Greg supports National Older People¬’s Day

Greg visited a special event to mark National Older People's day held at the Baptist Church in Tunbridge Wells.

A number of different organisations were at the event to provide information and advice on a large range of services aimed at helping older people.

Greg said:

"It is very important that people are supported as much as possible and this event helped raise awareness of many local organisations that are helping to do this. It was great to bring them all together under one roof so that people can easily see what's available."


25 SEP 2015

Greg visits the Tunbridge Wells YMCA

Greg visited the local YMCA to find out more about their new Horizon project which helps young people to develop their vocational and personal skills in order to get them back into education, further training or work.

Greg said:

"This is a fantastic project – many young people need a bit of extra support to get them back into education or work. Some will be offered traineeships in the furniture warehouse to give them some retail trainee and it was great to meet the manager of the store."

During his visit, Greg also met with some of the young residents and staff to find out more about the work of the YMCA.


30 AUG 2015

Greg opens new athletics track in Paddock Wood

Greg, along with Olympic medallist Dame Kelly Holmes, opened a new all weather running track in Paddock Wood.

Greg commented:

"It was great to see the new athletics track up and running. Paddock Wood Athletics Club has worked extremely hard for many years to get the track funded and built – overcoming many adversities on the way. This new sporting venue is going to be a fantastic asset for the local community."


05 AUG 2015

Greg meets National Citizenship Service volunteers

Greg met with a group of National Citizen Service (NCS) volunteers when he visited Pepenbury - a local charity which supports adults with learning disabilities.  The NCS volunteers were helping to renovate a sensory garden.


03 AUG 2015

Greg welcomes return of sailing to Bewl Water

Greg welcomed the return of sailing on Bewl Water on Monday 3 August. Sailing at the Watersports Site had stopped following last month's move into administration by Bewl Valley Sailing Club.

Greg, and neighbouring MP Nus Ghani, met with Bewl Water Boating a few days ago - who operate a lease from Southern Water - as the MPs were concerned that this important community facility should continue to offer recreational activities.

At that meeting, Bewl Water Boating confirmed that it would get sailing re-started as soon as possible, and that the rowing and canoe clubs would continue to be based at the site.

Greg commented:

"Bewl Water is an important local recreational centre and it was regrettable that the Sailing Club went into administration. I am pleased that Bewl Water Boating has acted to get sailing back up and running again during this summer - for many local people boating at Bewl is an important pastime."

Details of the new arrangements regarding sailing can be found on Bewl Water's website: www.bewlwater.co.uk


03 AUG 2015

Greg opens new Alzheimer's Society Office in Paddock Wood

Greg formally opened the new West Kent Office of the Alzheimer's Society on Friday at an event attended by service users, supporters and staff, including the Society's Chief Executive, Jeremy Hughes.

Greg said:

"Dementia is a topic close to my heart and the work of the Alzheimer's Society – both locally and nationally – is truly outstanding. I have enjoyed working closely with them over the years so I was pleased to accept their kind invitation to open their new West Kent Office in Paddock Wood. I wish them the very best in helping people with dementia and supporting their families and friends."


31 JUL 2015

Goudhurst & District U3A hear about A Week in the Life of an MP

Goudhurst & District U3A were given a talk by Greg about the many and varied aspects of being a Member of Parliament.

Greg said:

"It is a great honour to represent my constituents in Parliament. I am their representative, working for the whole community, regardless of politics. I am always keen to share with my constituents my experience of working in Parliament and in the Government for them, and so I was delighted to share with the Goudhurst & District U3A a week in the life of an MP!"



27 JUL 2015

New pedestrian crossings move one step closer

A local campaign to build two new pedestrian crossings in Tunbridge Wells – one near the car-park on Major York's Road and the other on the A264 Langton Road, close to St Paul's Church - has moved one step closer with funding secured for their design.

The decision to allocate funding was taken by the Joint Transportation Board (JTB) which decides what local highways projects will go ahead.

Greg said:

"I have been delighted to have supported the Friends of the Commons' campaign, led by John Barber, over the last year and what a fantastic outcome – funding is now secured for the design of the crossings. Both Major Yorks Road and Langton Road are extremely busy so it will make a real difference to pedestrians. The crossing in Major Yorks Road is also at the end of a cycle route and, therefore, an important link in the town's cycle network."


17 JUL 2015

Greg helps open new electric bike shop in Tunbridge Wells

Greg helped to open a new electric bike shop – Cycling Made Easy - in St John's Road, along with the Mayor & Mayoress of Tunbridge Wells.

Greg said:

"Tunbridge Wells is a great place to cycle and we are very lucky to have some fantastic cycle shops in our town. Electric bikes are becoming much more popular so I'm sure that this new shop will generate a lot of interest."


16 JUL 2015

Greg gets commitment from the Chief Executive of easyJet to reduce aircraft noise by next year

Following a meeting with Greg, easyJet has agreed to cut the noise from their aircraft operating out of Gatwick.

At this meeting which took place in London on Tuesday 14 July, Greg got a commitment from the Chief Executive of easyJet, Carolyn McCall, to complete the modification of their older Airbus A320 planes based at Gatwick by June 2016 – two years faster than originally announced.

The older Airbus A320 planes produce a particularly disturbing high-pitched whining noise which is caused by the Fuel Over Pressure Protector (FOPP) cavities. This problem can be easily fixed by retrofitting the planes with a simple piece of kit called a flow deflector.

Greg commented:

"When I met the Chief Executive of easyJet, Carolyn McCall, I told her about the concerns of my constituents living under the Gatwick flightpath and I am pleased to say that she committed to doing everything that she can to help ease this situation, including bringing forward the modification of their older A320 planes based at Gatwick. When easyJet first announced that they were going to modify their fleet after some months of pressing them on this issue, the completion date given was March 2018 – her agreement to bring this work forward by two years is a very significant step and I told her that this action would be warmly welcomed by local people.

"I also took the opportunity to tell Carolyn McCall about the impact that the movement of the Gatwick flightpath has had on our local area resulting in planes flying in a narrower path over more populated areas. Whilst this is not within the gift of easyJet to change, she did agree to raise this matter with the National Air Traffic Service (NATS). I have also requested a meeting with the Chief Executive of NATS specifically on this issue as I think more can be done to disperse flights over a wider area."






26 JUN 2015

Greg welcomes funding success for new sports clubhouse in Langton Green

Greg welcomed the decision by the Premier League & FA Facilities Fund to award a grant of £384,000 to Langton Green Community Sports Association which will enable a new state-of-the-art clubhouse to be built on Langton Green Recreation Ground.

The new clubhouse will provide a home for a thriving football club, as well as Langton Green Netball Club and other community sports.

Greg commented:

"This is brilliant news. I am a great supporter of community sports and this new building will really boost all the local clubs in Langton Green. Guy Lambert and his team have worked really hard to make this happen and I have been delighted to have been involved. I can't wait to see the clubhouse up and running."

Building work is due to start this Autumn and the aim is to complete the work by Spring 2016.


26 JUN 2015

Greg waves the flag for Lamberhurst St Mary¬’s CofE Primary School

 

Greg presented a ceremonial flag to the pupils of Lamberhurst St Mary's CofE Primary School which they had designed to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

The school's design was picked from over 500 flags to represent Kent at national two occasions; the national commemoration of the 800th anniversary of The Great Charter on Runnymede meadow on 15 June, in the presence of HM The Queen, and in Parliament Square between 18-22 May to mark the recalling of Parliament after the election.

Greg said:

"I was really proud that of all the schools in Kent, it was one from my constituency that was chosen to represent our County at these two nationally historic events. The design – a hop flower – is a simple and clear emblem of our area and it was great to see it flying in Parliament Square."

The 2015 Flag Project was organised by the Houses of Parliament.


24 JUN 2015

More success for Greg as easyJet agrees to take action to reduce aircraft noise

Greg has achieved another campaign success in his fight against aircraft noise with easyJet agreeing to modify their older Airbus A320 planes, which produce a particularly disturbing high-pitched whining noise. This follows a decision by British Airways earlier this week to do the same thing.

The whining noise on older Airbus A320 planes is caused by the Fuel Over Pressure Protector (FOPP) cavities which can be easily fixed by retrofitting the planes with a simple piece of kit called a flow deflector.

Greg commented:

"It is great news that easyJet has finally agreed to modify the engines on their A320 planes to ensure that all 58 of their aircraft based out of Gatwick have the problem solved. People living under the Gatwick flightpath have been suffering from noise disturbance from these aircraft for far too long.

"When I meet the Chief Executive of easyJet, Carolyn McCall, next month I will certainly commend her for taking this action but also press her on completing the retrofit earlier than the given end date which is currently Spring 2018."

British Airways has agreed to modify its 130 older Airbus A320 planes from October 2015.


23 JUN 2015

Campaign success for Greg as British Airways agrees to modify their A320 planes

After pressing the Chief Executive of British Airways, Keith Williams, to modify their older Airbus A320 planes which produce a particularly disturbing high-pitched whining noise, the company has been in touch with Greg to say that they will all be upgraded within 2 years.

Greg said:

"Aircraft noise is of great concern to many local residents that live beneath the Gatwick flightpath so this is a really big step forward. Older Airbus A320 planes make a particular high pitched whining noise and the problem can easily be sorted out by retrofitting the planes with a simple piece of kit. Unfortunately up until now all British airline operators have refused to do so.

"I must commend British Airways for taking action on this and I hope that other operators such as easyJet will now follow suit. I will be meeting with the Chief Executive of easyJet soon to press her to do so.

"Airline operators have a responsibility to local communities to do everything that they can to reduce noise levels and they need to start taking this responsibility more seriously. British Airways have set an example – there is no longer any excuse for other airlines like EasyJet to make people suffer unnecessarily."

The whining noise on the older Airbus A320 planes is caused by the Fuel Over Pressure Protector (FOPP) cavities which can be fixed by retrofitting the planes with flow deflectors.

British Airways have 130 older Airbus A320 planes which will start to be modified from October 2015.

Two operators from other countries - Lufthansa and Air France – are already underway with retrofitting their fleet.


01 JUN 2015

Greg's tribute to Mike Rusbridge

Mike Rusbridge was a wonderful man, an outstanding community leader and a good friend who will be sorely missed.

Mike devoted himself to serving the community in so many aspects of his life. The Rusbridge Family Bakery is a Southborough institution. Mike's dedication over many years to serving the community as councillor, his enthusiastic support for the clubs, societies, associations and residents that form our community, and his warm, engaging personality and sense of fun made Mike himself no less of an institution.

Mike served with distinction and flair as Mayor of Southborough and Mayor of the Borough of Tunbridge Wells, and most recently as Cabinet Member for Finance – applying a lifetime's business experience and keen intelligence to keeping Tunbridge Wells' finances run soundly.

Mike and his wife Chris had a vintage year as Mayor and Mayoress of Tunbridge Wells which they ended by throwing a big party for 100 citizens aged from one to one hundred – one from each year. It brilliantly reflected Mike's generosity of spirit, originality and pride in representing the whole of our community.

Mike was a great ambassador for the Conservative Party in Southborough and Tunbridge Wells – a personal example of what a difference public service can make to our community.

Mike's devotion to the community was returned in the admiration and respect that he was held in across the town. My thoughts are with Chris and the rest of the family at such a sad time.


30 MAY 2015

Greg opens new Community Woodland at Pepenbury

Greg was delighted to officially open Pepenbury's Woodland Community Project at the Pepenbury Fun Day.

Pepenbury is a charity which supports adults with a learning disability who may also have complex needs, a physical disability, autism or behaviour which challenges.

Greg said:

"The woodland project makes it possible for residents and visitors to come and enjoy with each other this spectacular place in Kent, to get to know each other and to break down the barriers that sometimes exist if you don't get a chance to have a chat and to meet each other.

"It's also wonderful that people in wheelchairs can get right into the heart of the woodland."

The charity's main site is based on an idyllic 100 acres of land in Cornford Lane, Pembury, but until now the woods and fields were inaccessible to wheelchairs and children's buggies. As a result of a £60,000 grant from SITA Trust, the existing path has been upgraded so that people in wheelchairs can use it. There is also a fantastic new woodland trail in the woods with sensory musical instruments, new picnic facilities and illustrated signs depicting the local animals, birds and plants.


27 MAY 2015

Greg¬’s campaign to improve mental health services for children & young people backed up by new CQC report

A report published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on community mental health services for children and young people in Kent gave the service an overall rating of "Requires Improvement".

The CQC has told Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, who currently run the service, to take urgent action in a number of key areas including reducing waiting times for assessment & treatment, increasing staffing levels and monitoring the physical health of young people on psychotropic drugs.

Greg, who has been campaigning to improve the local Children and Adolescent Mental Health Health Service (CAMHS), commented:

"This CQC report has highlighted a number of very serious deficiencies with the Kent CAMHS service - many of which I have been pursuing directly with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust since they took over the contract in 2012.

"I very much hope that we shall now see a significant improvement in things like waiting times now that the CQC is legally requiring the NHS Trust to take action.

"It is just not acceptable that families across Kent continue to suffer from this sub-standard service. It is vitally important that young people receive timely and appropriate treatment on the same basis as a physical ailment and I will not rest until I am absolutely assured that this is the case."

To see a copy of the CQC report, please click here.


22 MAY 2015

Greg celebrates re-opening of Sherwood Lake

Greg joined representatives from Town & Country Housing Group, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Kent High Weald Partnership and Friends of Sherwood Lake to celebrate the reopening of the Sherwood Lake.

The long neglected lake just behind the TN2 Community Centre in Sherwood has been given a £100k makeover – turning it into a community beauty spot and wildlife haven.

Greg said:

"I would like to congratulate everyone that has worked so hard on this project. The lake has been transformed – it looks wonderful already and will get even better over the years as plants and wildlife become more established. It willcertainly be a great asset for the community." 



22 MAY 2015

Greg opens new Metrobank in Tunbridge Wells

Greg was delighted to join the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells in officially opening Metrobank's newest branch in Tunbridge Wells. 


13 MAR 2015

Greg presses Southeastern on decision to shorten Cannon Street train

Greg met with the MD of Southeastern, David Statham, to discuss the shortening of the 18:28 Cannon Street to Ore service.

Greg said:

"David Statham listened carefully to what I told him in terms of the impact of shortening this train on passengers and he agreed to review their decision."


13 MAR 2015

Greg launches British Science Week at The Skinners¬’ School

Greg visited Skinners' School in Tunbridge Wells to launch British Science Week. The School had arranged for a number of exciting workshops, led by representatives from industry, to try and inspire its students into studying science and technology subjects.

Greg said:

"I was delighted to be at Skinners' School to launch British Science Week. UK science is world beating and is going from strength to strength creating opportunities for a new generation of young scientists to enjoy fulfilling and brilliant careers. That means it's more important than ever that young people should have opportunities at school to be inspired and to develop a lifelong enthusiasm for science."

The event was coordinated by the education charity, STEMNET, which aims to encourage and inspire an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and careers.


13 MAR 2015

Greg opens new passenger lifts at Paddock Wood station

Greg was delighted to open new passenger lifts at Paddock Wood station, along with the Managing Director of Southeastern, David Statham.

A £1million investment in two new lifts makes the station step-free from the station entrance to both platforms. It means the station is fully accessible for the first time in its 170-year history.

Greg said:

"These new lifts are a significant improvement to the station facilities, which will make train travel accessible and more convenient for many local residents, especially people with disabilities, parents with buggies and passengers carrying heavy luggage."


09 MAR 2015

Greg campaigns against shortening of Cannon Street train

Greg and the MP for Hastings, Amber Rudd, teamed up to campaign against the decision by Southeastern to shorten by a third a popular commuter train – the 18:28 Cannon Street to Ore service.Greg and Amber visited Cannon Street so that they could see for themselves what the impact of this decision has had on rail travellers.

Greg said:

"I was very concerned to hear that Southeastern was cutting by a third the capacity of the 18:28 train from Cannon Street which is an extremely popular service for many Tunbridge Wells commuters. The first stop after London is High Brooms so if the train is crowded, passengers are having to stand for 45 minutes. Given the price of season tickets, I think commuters should expect to travel in comfort and I will be asking David Statham to urgently review his decision when I meet him at the end of this week."

 


11 FEB 2015

One Step Closer to Free Wi-Fi on Trains

The Rail Minister, Claire Perry, announced today that rail passengers will benefit from free wi-fi across England and Wales from 2017.

Train operators, including Southeasterm, are being asked to develop proposals to identify which routes in their area will benefit from this initiative.

Greg commented:

"I am very pleased to see that following my meeting with the Rail Minister in Tunbridge Wells at the end of last month, she has agreed to include Southeastern in her announcement about free wi-fi.

"Many train lines in the UK already have free wi-fi and even some of the buses in Tunbridge Wells have it, so it does seem crazy that it's not already available for rail passengers on our busy routes.

"Southeastern will be deciding which specific routes they will be installing wi-fi services on – I have been pressing them on this issue for some time and will continue to do so until I am certain that we are going to benefit from this investment."


06 FEB 2015

Greg visits Hawkhurst Post Office

Greg visited the Post Office in Budgens, Hawkhurst, which has just been refurbished and will now be open for longer.


30 JAN 2015

Greg presses Rail Minister on better value-for-money rail fares

Greg invited the Rail Minister, Claire Perry, to visit Tunbridge Wells and took the opportunity to ask her about providing better value-for-money services for local commuters.

Greg said:

"I wanted to ensure that the Rail Minister fully understood why passengers from Tunbridge Wells feel so strongly about the level of rail fares. The legacy of annual fare increases over 10% in the past – partly to pay for HS1 trains elsewhere in Kent – in an unjust situation which has led to season ticket holders from Tunbridge Wells paying around £1500 more than travellers from Eridge. I want to see this discrepancy corrected.

"Another issue that I raised with her was flexible ticketing for part-time commuters. The technology is easily available. I think it is unfair that the only choice for people working part-time is to either pay for a full time season ticket or suffer the high cost and inconvenience of buying daily tickets.

"The current works at London Bridge are also of great concern to many rail passengers and when asked about possible compensation for the disruption, the Minister told me that she is considering this.

"Furthermore, I thanked her for responding to my calls for the introduction of free Wi-Fi and asked her to ensure local commuters benefit from the promised £48m funding without delay.

"The Minister left Tunbridge Wells in no doubt that rail passengers from our area want to see better value for money and I urged her to do everything that she can to rectify this situation."


30 JAN 2015

Greg visits Paddock Wood Primary School

Greg talked about his life as an MP to pupils at Paddock Wood Primary School at their weekly assembly. Afterwards, members of the School Council took him on a tour of the school.


09 JAN 2015

Greg driving ahead with next stage of A21 campaign

Greg and the Editor of The Courier, Roger Kasper, launched the next stage of the A21 dualling campaign.

Greg commented:

"My campaign to dual the A21 always had two parts: the Tonbridge to Pembury section, and Kippings Cross to Lamberhurst. At long last we got the Tonbridge to Pembury section through and work is now proceeding at a thrilling pace. Now that is underway, we can confidently turn our attention on to the Kippings Cross to Lamberhurst section.

"The A21 in Kent has been a dangerous, winding country lane – I would like it to be a modern dual carriageway as befits the main link between the M25 and the South Coast.

"The Courier paid a crucial part in the Tonbridge to Pembury dualling campaign so I'm absolutely delighted that it's continuing to show its support – it's amazing what can be achieved when the whole community works together.

"Setting up the A21 Reference Group has been fundamental to the success of the A21 campaign – working together with all the MPs and councils along the route has been incredibly effective. By speaking with one voice, we have clearly demonstrated how important this issue is to local people and, as a result, have been able to influence Government decisions."


06 DEC 2014

Greg backs Small Business Saturday

 

 

Along with representatives from the Federation of Small Businesses, Greg visited a number of local businesses in The Pantiles to help promote Small Business Saturday.

Greg commented: "Small businesses in Tunbridge Wells are at the heart of our local economy. I was glad to support Small Business Saturday – a nationwide initiative to recognise the contribution small firms make."


05 DEC 2014

Greg meets winner of his 2014 Christmas Card Competition

Greg visited Rose Hill School in Tunbridge Wells to meet the winner of his Christmas Card competition, Isabel Braidwood.

Greg commented: "I had an amazing response from primary schools right across my constituency which made it a hard choice to pick the winner. In the end, the serene snowman won the day – it looks like he is dreaming of a white Christmas! It was great to meet Isabel in person and I very much enjoyed visiting her school."

The runners-up in the competition came from St Barnabas' CofE Primary School, Broomhill Bank School, Lamberhurst St Mary's CofE Primary School and Rose Hill School.


05 DEC 2014

Greg opens new premises for local business in Paddock Wood

Greg was delighted to officially open the new warehouse for Afia Ltd, a local company supplying specialist equipment for the elderly and disabled that has recently been awarded funding from the Government-funded Kent-wide business loan scheme Escalate. The additional funding has enabled the company to take on four new employees.


05 DEC 2014

Greg visits Chilstone Stone

Greg enjoyed a tour of Chilstone Stone, a local stonework company which was recently featured on national BBC news as an example of a successful growing business.


21 NOV 2014

Greg secures second ticket machine at High Brooms Station

At a recent meeting, Greg asked the new Managing Director of Southeastern to install a second ticket vending machine at High Brooms Station after complaints from passengers about long queues.

Greg said:

"High Brooms is a really busy station, especially during peak hours, and there is nothing worse than having to queue for ages to buy a ticket. When I met the new Managing Director of Southeastern, David Statham, last month I pressed him on this and he has just confirmed that an additional machine will be installed at High Brooms Station by next Spring. This is great news for local rail passengers."


28 OCT 2014

Campaign success on cross-ticketing for rail commuters

The Transport Minister has agreed with Greg's request to allow commuters affected by the forthcoming London Bridge closure to use their season tickets on both the buses and underground.

Greg said:

"I am delighted that the Rail Minister listened to my request to allow for cross-ticketing during this extensive period of disruption. I told her that it would be grossly unfair for commuters to have to buy tickets for the bus or tube to get back to where they wanted to go in the first place. The disruption will be very inconvenient but at least this will decision will help."

Trains on the Hastings, Uckfield and Paddock Wood lines will all be affected. Charing Cross trains will not be stopping at London Bridge from January 2015 to August 2016.


17 OCT 2014

Greg calls on Southeastern to reduce fares and provide more flexible ticketing for part-time workers

Greg called on the new MD of Southeastern, David Statham, to reduce rail fares and prioritise the introduction of flexible ticketing for part-time workers when they met.

Greg said:

"In the past, travellers on the Hastings line have suffered double-digit increases which has resulted in a huge discrepancy in the price of an annual season ticket from Tunbridge Wells and Eridge – around £1,500 difference. I strongly believe this injustice should be corrected and asked David Statham, during his time in the post, to work towards correcting this disparity.

"I also pointed out that Southeastern is in the dark ages when it comes to ticketing. In London, flexible ticketing has been around for over 10 years. The technology is easily available so why hasn't it reached Tunbridge Wells yet? Lots of people work part-time now and it is unfair that their choice is to either pay over the odds for a season ticket or suffer the high cost and inconvenience of buying daily tickets.

"The recent extension of the franchise was disappointing in terms of improvements for travellers from Tunbridge Wells. If they don't start providing better value for money, then it is my strong view that the franchise should be withdrawn when it comes up for renewal."


10 OCT 2014

Greg meets the Politics Society at Skinner¬’s School

Greg met with the Politics Society at Skinner's School after a question and answer session with the School's Sixth Form.


10 OCT 2014

A21 dualling making good progress

Greg met the site manager for contractors - Balfour Beatty - who are constructing the A21 dualling between Tonbridge and Pembury when he visited an exhibition on the project.

Greg commented:

"This exhibition demonstrates that good progress is being made on the A21 dualling. Preparatory works have already started and the main construction should begin on the ground early next year.

"As with any major road scheme, it is inevitable that there will be some disruption when the main work starts but the Highways Agency and Balfour Beatty have made a commitment to minimise this by, for example, only fully closing the carriageway at night.

"This notorious stretch of road has, for too long, blighted the lives of people in West Kent and East Sussex so it is fantastic to know that by the end of 2016 it will be transformed into a modern, safer dual carriageway."


10 OCT 2014

Greg welcomes some improvements to local childrens' mental health services

Greg has welcomed a report that shows some improvements to the local Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

The report, submitted to Kent County Council's Health & Overview Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) by West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group, shows that waiting times have reduced and are now 4-6 weeks from an initial referral to assessment and 8-10 weeks from assessment to treatment. Back in January 2014, vulnerable young people in Tunbridge Wells were waiting nearly 4 months for an initial assessment.

The report also outlines plans to integrate the different areas of the service into one which will make it much easier for families to access CAMHS and to improve the transition arrangements between children's and adult's services which many families have complained about.

Greg commented:

"In January this year, I addressed KCC's Health & Overview Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) to present evidence, drawn from constituents, on how families in my constituency were being let down by CAMHS.

"The KCC Committee unanimously backed my call for urgent action to improve the situation and I am very pleased that this has had some effect.

"This is a positive development for young people and their families, however I shall continue to keep a close eye on CAMHS to see that it does not slip back but continues to make further improvements."


03 OCT 2014

Greg announces new School Council at St Peter's Primary School

Greg announced the newly elected members of the School Council at St Peter's CofE Primary School in Tunbridge Wells during a visit to the school. The School Council elections had taken place the previous day and pupils were eager to find out who had won the vote.


01 OCT 2014

Breakthrough on Gatwick consultation

Gatwick Airport and National Air Traffic Services (NATS) have agreed with Greg's request to shelve the proposed changes to the flight paths across West Kent.

Greg met with Gatwick in July and September and in his formal response to the consultation said that it should be scrapped as it was not fit for purpose.

Greg said:

"I am very pleased that both Gatwick and NATS have agreed with my call to go back to the drawing board with these proposals as they have caused immense worry to my constituents in the west of Tunbridge Wells. Both organisations have confirmed that there will be no change to the flight path until further work, including adequate consultation with the community, has taken place. This is a good outcome and I am grateful to Gatwick and NATS for responding to my request and that of the community."


25 SEP 2014

Greg opens new classroom block at St James' Junior School

Greg was delighted to open a new classroom block at St James' CE Junior School in Tunbridge Wells. The four news classrooms have enabled the school to expand from a two to a three form entry. The new building is named The Chandler Building after Paul Chandler who was headteacher at the school for 15 years.


25 SEP 2014

Greg visits new-look Post Office at Five Ways

Greg visited the new-look Five Ways Post Office in Tunbridge Wells which has had new counters installed and two new self-service kiosks. The branch also now has a private consultation room where customers can speak to specialist advisors about the Post Office's range of financial services, including a new current account package.

Greg commented:

"The modernisation of this town centre branch is a great investment in the community. The brighter, more welcoming layout and new self-service options are a great improvement which, I am sure, customers will appreciate."


17 SEP 2014

Another successful Jobs Fair

Over 600 people attended Tunbridge Wells Jobs Fair at the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells.

Greg commented:

"Employers at the successful jobs fair we organised in Sherwood in March were keen to repeat it and so the Borough Council, Jobcentre and I put on today's fair. It went very well - the Assembly Hall Theatre had a real buzz to it. There are currently just over 500 people claiming Job Seekers Allowance in my constituency and with well over 400 jobs on offer, this event was both a great opportunity for employers to fill vacancies and for people looking for work to be given the chance to meet potential employers face-to-face. This personal approach really does seem to work well.

"The Jobs Fair also had organisations offering training, apprenticeships and voluntary opportunities, which can provide valuable experience for people seeking employment.

"After today's success, I am planning for Jobs Fairs to become a regular event in the Tunbridge Wells area."


11 SEP 2014

Greg expresses concerns over new Southeastern contract

Greg has written to the new Managing Director of Southeastern to ask why a number of fundamental improvements to the local rail service were not included in the new Direct Award agreement.

Greg said:

"It is extremely disappointing that the Direct Award agreement does not address some of the fundamental concerns of local rail passengers such as the significant difference in the cost of rail fares between Southeastern and Southern. An annual season ticket from Eridge to London is around £1,500 cheaper than that from Tunbridge Wells which I think is far too big a difference. I
would also have liked to have seen the introduction of more flexible ticketing using smart card technology, especially for part-time workers. This Direct Award agreement is a missed opportunity and I believe rail passengers deserve much better.

"I've written today to Southeastern's new Managing Director and the Rail Minister to ask why these commitments have not been made and how this can be corrected in the future."

The Direct Award agreement allows Southeastern to operate train services until June 2018, at which point a comprehensive re-franchising exercise will take place.


05 SEP 2014

Greg supports campaign for two new pedestrian crossings in Tunbridge Wells

Greg is supporting a local campaign to build two new pedestrian crossings in Tunbridge Wells – one near the car-park on Major York's Road and the other on the A264 Langton Road, close to St Paul's Church.

A petition with over 1,000 signatures was submitted to the Joint Transportation Board (JTB) in July which decides what highways  projects will be submitted to Kent County Council (KCC) for funding. Greg wrote to the Chairman of the JTB in support of this petition.

The JTB agreed to put the two schemes forward to KCC and Greg has written to its Cabinet Member for Highways, David Brazier, to emphasise the strength of community support for them.

Greg said:

"Both Major York's Road and Langton Road are extremely busy so safe pedestrian crossings would be a real boon. I very much hope that Kent County Council decides to agree to the funding which will enable the designs for the crossings to be undertaken in the next financial year – it would be a major step forward." 


14 JUL 2014

Work begins on North Farm road improvement scheme

Greg met with representatives from Kent County Council, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, and construction firm Lafarge Tarmac to mark the start of work on the much-anticipated congestion-busting Longfield Road scheme.

Greg commented:

"This is an important day for Tunbridge Wells with work actually starting on the ground to try and sort out the traffic nightmare of North Farm. It's also great news that Kent Highways is planning to keep disruption to a minimum by limiting road closures to the night so that businesses on North Farm can continue to operate as normal. The combination of this project with the A21 dualling and the plan to reduce congestion along the A26, means that we can all look forward to happier days on our local roads."

The £5m scheme aims to improve existing highway capacity by:

  • widening Longfield Road between Dowding Way Roundabout and the A21 Roundabout
  • introducing a new roundabout at Kingstanding Way/Longfield Road junction
  • introducing a new roundabout to replace T-junction at Knights Park /Longfield Road junction
  • providing a gyratory style junction at Great Lodge/Longfield Road junction

The funding is being provided under the Department for Transport's Local Pinch Point Fund Scheme. The overall scheme will cost £5m, with Kent Council Council will be contributing £1.5m towards the project.


11 JUL 2014

Greg presents awards to Challenger Troop

Greg attended an award and graduation ceremony for the Tunbridge Wells Challenger Troop which uses a military approach to try and engage young people who may be struggling in school.

Greg commented:

"Hearing the stories of the young people and how they have turned their lives around was absolutely inspirational. It just goes to show what can be achieved – everybody should be given a chance to do well and Challenger Troop provide exactly the right sort of programme to enable these young people have a bright future."


11 JUL 2014

No legal challenges made to A21 dualling scheme

The six week period during which any legal objections to the A21 dualling scheme can be made has ended and the Highways Agency has appointed the main contractor for the construction work, Balfour Beatty.

Greg Clark commented:

"This is another big milestone for the A21 dualling. Although the Secretary of State for Transport gave the go-ahead in May, there was always the chance that someone might decide to mount a legal challenge, which would have halted progress. The fact that no challenge has been made is a huge relief, and reflects the overwhelming case for the dualling that we have made. We can now look forward to seeing work beginning on site from this Autumn."


11 JUL 2014

Greg meets with local businesses

Greg attended a Business Breakfast, organised by West Kent Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Greg commented:

"It is always really useful to hear what's on people's minds – how businesses think the Government is doing in terms of supporting them and ideas on what might help them even more. It's great to get this feedback which I can then share with my Ministerial colleagues. With unemployment down to 1.1% in Tunbridge Wells one of the key issues raised was how to get enough suitably trained staff to meet demand."


11 JUL 2014

Greg re-opens the Moor Post Office in Hawkhurst

Greg re-opened the Moor Post Office in a new location after its closure earlier this year. The new premises – in the Sports Hall of the King George V Playing Field – was found with the help of Hawkhurst Parish Council.

Greg commented:

"A Post Office is a big asset for any village so I am delighted that the future of the Moor Post Office has been secured."


04 JUL 2014

Greg helps avert Rusthall highways danger

Chairman of Rusthall Parish Council, Jenny Blackburn, asked for Greg's help to get an underground spring at the junction of Lower Green Road and Rusthall Road sorted out. The water seeps up continually in the middle of the road and she was concerned that it might turn into black ice during a cold winter which would be extremely dangerous.

Greg asked Kent Highways to do something about it and they agreed to carry out improvement works in the Autumn.

Greg commented:

"After the period of extremely high rainfall earlier this year which caused flooding in many areas of Kent, I wrote to all the Parish Councils in my constituency to ask whether they had experienced any problems with localised flooding due to blockages in the highways drains.

"Jenny Blackburn, Chairman of Rusthall Parish Council, came back to me to say that she was very concerned about this underground spring which seeps up in the middle of the road – it could turn into black ice if next winter is very cold. This could obviously be very dangerous so I immediately contacted Kent Highways to see what could be done about this and I am delighted that they have agreed to carry out works this Autumn to ensure the water from the spring is piped away from the road."


27 JUN 2014

Greg calls for cross-ticketing during London Bridge disruption

Greg has asked the Transport Minister to allow commuters affected by the forthcoming London Bridge closure to use their season tickets on the buses and underground.

Trains on the Hastings, Uckfield and Paddock Wood lines will all be affected. Charing Cross trains will not be stopping at London Bridge from January 2015 to August 2016.

Greg said:

"I am very concerned about the disruption that the rebuilding of London Bridge is going to have on rail travellers - for quite a long period of time no trains on the Hastings line will be stopping at London Bridge. I think it would be extremely unfair if, in these circumstances, rail passengers are expected to buy additional tickets for buses or the underground, especially when the cost of our rail fares is already so high. I have pressed the Transport Minister on this point and asked him to allow cross-ticketing."


27 JUN 2014

Local residents' to be consulted on improving stroke services

As a result of Greg raising concerns about poor local stroke services, Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust has agreed to ask local residents about their views on making improvements.

Greg said:

"I think that most people living in West Kent will be extremely concerned to hear that local stroke services are so poor, compared to other parts of the country. Given that, I think it is very important that we are all given a say in how the service should be improved so I am very pleased that Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust has acknowledged this and will be taking steps to improve the quality of stroke service, including consulting the public. I have written to the NHS Trust's Chief Executive, Glenn Douglas, to stress the urgency of the matter to ensure things progress as quickly as possible."


20 JUN 2014

Greg helps launch new Build Africa campaign

Greg visited Blott in Tunbridge Wells to meet young supporters of the charity Build Africa to help launch a campaign to boost early learning in Uganda.

The money raised will be used to train teachers, provide reading and numeracy materials, develop buddy clubs and establish and equip parents' clubs. Around 6,000 young children will benefit.

Greg said:

"I am an Ambassador for Build Africa, which is based in Tunbridge Wells, so I was delighted to be asked to help launch this new campaign. Uganda has the second highest primary school drop-out rate in the world so it is extremely important that charities such as Build Africa are working to change this."


18 JUN 2014

Work on North Farm road improvement scheme moves one step closer

A £5m scheme to improve the road system on the North Farm Industrial Estate has moved one step closer with the announcement of the main contractor.

Kent Highways has appointed the main contract to Lafarge Tarmac and work is due to start in the middle of next month. Preliminary site and vegetation clearance was completed in May.

Greg commented:

"Sorting out the traffic nightmare of North Farm is a massive step forward. Everyone who lives or works in West Kent knows how notorious the North Farm issue is. This project is a great example of team work between the Government, Kent County Council, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and local landowners, and I'm grateful to all of them for their efforts. With the A21 dualling now approved, at long last Tunbridge Wells can begin to stop its reputation for gridlock."

The proposed scheme aims to improve existing highway capacity by:

widening Longfield Road between Dowding Way Roundabout and the A21 Roundaboutintroducing a new roundabout at Kingstanding Way/Longfield Road junctionintroducing a new roundabout to replace T-junction at Knights Park /Longfield Road junctionproviding a gyratory style junction at Great Lodge/Longfield Road junction

The funding is being provided under the Department for Transport's Local Pinch Point Fund Scheme. The overall scheme will cost £5m, with Kent Council Council will be contributing £1.5m towards the project.


09 JUN 2014

Greg Welcomes Repair of Station Clock

The restoration of the clock at Tunbridge Wells station was one of Greg Clark's first successes following his election in 2005. Unfortunately the clock recently stopped again so Greg met with the Managing Director of Southeastern, Charles Horton. Mr Horton committed to repairing the clock, which has now been done.

Greg said:

"I am delighted that Southeastern has responded to my call to restore the station clock to full working order. It sent a very bad signal about the town and the railway when the four faces of the clock had stopped at different times. Charles Horton, the Managing Director, promised to get a specialist clockmaker to restore it and I am grateful that he has delivered on his promise."


07 JUN 2014

Greg helps launch new campaign to restore Hawkenbury Cemetery

Greg attended the launch of a new action group, The Friends of Tunbridge Wells Cemetery, who are aiming to try and return the site back to its former glory, as well as recording the gravestones and researching the lives of those buried there.

During the event, Greg laid a posy of flowers on the grave of Victorian surveyor and engineer, William Brentnall, who was in charge of installing Tunbridge Wells' water and drainage system.

Greg said:

"Hawkenbury Cemetery is full of fascinating history and beautiful sculptures. Some of the town's best known luminaries are buried here and it's also home to many plants and other wildlife. Along with Woodbury Park Cemetery, it is an important part of our heritage and I am delighted that a new Friends Group has been set up to help conserve and enhance it so that many more people can enjoy this charming site."

To find out more about the Friends Group, please click on the following:

Website: http://foftwc.wix.com/foftwc

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TunbridgeWellsCemetery

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FoHCTW


06 JUN 2014

Cycle Friday gets off to a flying start

Greg supported the launch of Tunbridge Wells' Cycle Friday by spending the day on two wheels.

Greg said:

"Cycle Friday is a great way to try and encourage people onto their bikes. It's simply about encouraging people to use their bikes to get to as many daily activities as they can. There are no forms to fill in, no formalities to overcome and you don't have to have a badge or wear a special t-shirt.

 "I know from the meeting I convened last year that there is an enormous enthusiasm for cycling in Tunbridge Wells and it would be great to see more people out and about on two wheels. With the formation of the Cycle Forum which is pushing for improvements on things like cycle routes and safety, plus the new cycle café on St John's Road and the Great Tunbridge Wells Bike Ride in September, there is a real momentum to make Tunbridge Wells a great place to cycle."

More information about Cycle Friday can be found at www.cyclefriday.co.uk. The website also has some great information for both new and regular cyclists including a helpful map showing where you can park your bike in town if you're not taking it to work.


30 MAY 2014

Greg calls for urgent improvements in local stroke services

Greg has called for urgent improvements in local stroke services after a new report highlighted poor standards at Tunbridge Wells Hospital.

The report "Assessment of stroke and cardiovascular quality indicators" shows that the hospital was given the lowest grade for five indicators. It also found that for Tunbridge Wells Hospital:

Only around 20% of patients are scanned within 1 hour of arrival – compared to nearly 80% at Kent & Canterbury Hospital.

Only 20% of stroke patients are admitted within 4 hours - compared to 70% at Kent & Canterbury Hospital and William Harvey Hospital.

Less than 70% of eligible stroke patients are given thrombolysis – in two hospitals in Kent this is 100%.

Greg said:

"These figures are of the utmost concern. The UK is already one of the poorer international performers on stroke and for Tunbridge Wells to be at the bottom of that list is unacceptable. I have asked West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group to take urgent action to improve the situation."


23 MAY 2014

Greg gets into the swing to mark Dementia Awareness Week

Greg enjoyed a swing party in the Assembly Hall Theatre, organised by the the local branch of the Alzheimer's Society, to mark Dementia Awareness Week.


12 MAY 2014

Greg officially opens new-look Ramslye Post Office

During the demolition of Ropers Gate, Ramslye Post Office was temporarily housed in a portacabin for just over a year but has now moved back to its former location in a brand new building. The Post Office will open for significantly longer opening hours, 7 days a week.

Greg said:

"I was delighted to formally declare the new Ramslye Post Office open – it looks great! The Post Office provides an extremely important service to the local community and it's fantastic that it will have longer opening hours.

"The Subpostmistress, Mrs Oormilla Poliah, and her team have worked very hard to get it up and running, and I'm sure the new improved post office will be well used by everyone in Ramslye."


01 MAY 2014

Victory for A21 campaign as dualling scheme given final go-ahead

The Secretary of State for Transport has today given the go-ahead for the dualling of the A21 between Tonbridge and Pembury. The Public Inquiry for the road scheme took place in Summer 2013 and the Secretary of State for Transport has now considered the Inquiry's report and published his decision.

The decision says that work could start as early as the autumn of this year, with main construction from Spring 2015 – up to a year earlier than previously thought possible.

Greg said:

"This is the news that everyone has been waiting for – Victory in our campaign to get the dualling of the A21 approved. May Day 2014 is a day for celebration for the whole community.

"Since the building of the new Pembury Hospital dualling the A21 has been my number one campaign, and I cannot begin to express my relief and delight at this news. From the outset it has been a total community effort – uniting residents, businesses, visitors and local councils.

"The A21 Reference Group we formed brought together every MP and every council on the A21 from Sevenoaks down to Hastings, as well as the local NHS Trust, to emphasise that this scheme is desperately needed for the whole of the region. The Group has worked tirelessly to campaign for the dualling over a number of years and I firmly believe that we would not have got to where we are without working together in this way.

"This stretch of road is notorious across the South East for its tailbacks, as well as being one of the worst accident blackspots in the country. There is not a single driver in Tunbridge Wells who has not been stuck in traffic on the A21 at Castle Hill.

"It has been a real battle to get to this momentous decision today. The campaign's first success was the highly unusual step of getting the public inquiry authorised even before funding was agreed found. Next we succeeded in landing the £92m of funding from the Treasury last year – a huge feat given the financial cutbacks. Then we gave robust evidence to the Public Inquiry last year.

"It's a huge bonus that work may begin later this year, and full construction next year. 2016 was previously considered the earliest starting date. But as with the Pembury Hospital, I will take nothing for granted until I see the bulldozers begin their work.

"We can now look forward with confidence to an end to constant traffic jams, appalling accidents and the pollution caused by idling engines.

"For my constituents, one of the big advantages will be a reduction in congestion on the A26 through Southborough and Tunbridge Wells as north-south traffic can reliably avoid the centre of town.

"It has been years of hard campaigning but we got there in the end!"


21 MAR 2014

Sherwood Jobs Fair

Over 400 people looking for work or apprenticeships attended the Sherwood Jobs Fair in the TN2 Community Centre.

Greg said:

"The atmosphere at the Jobs Fair was really buzzing – it was great to be able to bring together people looking for work with local employers who had jobs on offer. One employer had 30 jobs available and some people were offered work there and then.

"It was also great to have Dandara at the Jobs Fair. The company is building the new housing development at Knight's Park and, following an intervention by me before planning permission was granted, has committed to providing jobs and apprenticeships to local people. They have already recruited10 people from the local area and, in total, the site will offer around 190 new jobs and apprenticeships once construction begins.

"I would like to thank everyone who helped organise the event including the teams from Jobcentre Plus and the TN2 Community Centre, plus Town & Country Housing Group and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

"As it went so well, I'll certainly be looking to have more of these events in the future."


21 MAR 2014

Campaign success as post-mortem service returns to Tunbridge Wells

In 2012, Greg learnt that although post-mortem facilities were installed in the new Tunbridge Wells Hospital, the NHS Trust had decided not to re-apply for a licence to enable them to be used. This meant that bereaved families had to cope with the additional worry and financial burden of transporting their loved ones' bodies from Greenwich.

Greg has been pressing both the hospital and the Coroner's Office to get the service returned to Tunbridge Wells and this has now been agreed. The new 5-year contract will begin on 1 April 2014.

Greg commented:

"When I heard that bereaved families had to go through the stress and expense of collecting the bodies of their loved ones from Greenwich after a post-mortem, I was absolutely determined to try and find a way of bringing the service back to Tunbridge Wells.

"It was a difficult campaign with many complex contractual and licensing issues to be resolved but I managed to persuade Kent Coroners Service and Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust to work together to reach an agreement. I am absolutely delighted that the new service will be up and running in Tunbridge Wells Hospital in a few weeks time."


18 MAR 2014

Greg meets Roads Minister for dual push on A21

Greg met with Roads Minister, Robert Goodwill, and Department for Transport officials today to reinforce the case for dualling the A21 both between Tonbridge and Pembury and, as the next step, between Kippings Cross and Lamberhurst. The result of the Public Inquiry is expected imminently on the Tonbridge to Pembury dualling.

Following a sustained campaign, last year's budget granted £92million of Government funding for the project which depends on the approval of the Public Inquiry to proceed.

Speaking after the meeting, Greg said:

"I wanted the Minister to be in no doubt of the important of the A21 dualling for our area. I underscored how crucial it is not just for the local economy but also to improve the appalling accident record and the environmental damage caused by stationary traffic at Castle Hill.

"The next few weeks are make or break time and I will leave no stone unturned to ensure the right decision is made."

Greg also pressed the Minister to advance plans to dual the next section of the A21 – between the Blue Boys roundabout and Lamberhurst by-pass.

Greg said:

"I will take nothing for granted until I see bulldozers begin work on the Castle Hill section but now is the time to begin our next campaign – to ensure that we have a dual carriageway all the way from the M25 to Lamberhurst. I called on the Roads Minister to recognise the Kippings Cross to Lamberhurst section as needing dualling and to begin planning for this work to happen."

Strict rules meant that the Minister was unable to comment on the dualling scheme until the Public Inquiry result is announced but he and his officials listened to what Greg said, as well as the Bexhill & Battle MP, Greg Barker, and Hastings MP, Amber Rudd.

Greg invited the Minister to travel the A21 with him to see the need for both upgrades.


11 MAR 2014

Greg's tribute to the late John Spare OBE

It is a great shock to lose John Spare, one of Tunbridge Wells' most influential and respected citizens and, at the time, the youngest ever Mayor of our Borough.

John's vision and talent helped made Tunbridge Wells the thriving place it is today. As longstanding Leader of the Borough Council, John oversaw the creation of Royal Victoria Place, made Tunbridge Wells a by-word for financial soundness and encouraged the vibrant tapestry of voluntary organisations in the Borough, including creating what is now Voluntary Action Within Kent (VAWK).

Highly intelligent and shrewd, John made up his own mind rather than simply going with the herd. It made him a valuable source of wise counsel to his successors, Leaders of the Council, Members of Parliament and to the many people who came to him for advice.

John will be greatly missed not only for his warmth and stimulating company but as one of the people who made Tunbridge Wells a place that is loved by so many.

Our sympathy goes to his wife, Pam, and his son, Simon.


28 FEB 2014

Tunbridge Wells mourns death of Deputy Mayor Councillor Colin Bothwell

Colin Bothwell was a local hero and will be dearly missed by his legion of friends and constituents across Southborough and Tunbridge Wells.

Colin fizzed with life. He threw all his energy, organisational talents, good humour and hard work into helping the community, whether as a town and borough councillor, in his involvement in countless local charities and good causes, as a friend to so many people, or as a devoted family man. In fact, it sometimes seemed to me that he considered everyone in Southborough to be family.

Colin was a popular and successful Mayor of Southborough and, even though his year as Deputy Mayor of Tunbridge Wells was interrupted by his illness, he would never be held back and was out and about attending civic events during the month before he died.

Colin was a staunch Conservative, and he was a great campaigner for our party. Politics was never divisive with Colin – after all, wasn't everyone working for the same community? It's a mark of the man that the people who were his political opponents were also among his closest friends.

Colin was warm, generous, funny and kind – he loved people, he loved company and he loved a party. He also loved to roll his sleeves up to get things done – in his element when up a ladder putting up the Southborough Christmas lights or with his team at the crack of dawn setting out the stalls for the Southborough Family Fun Day.

As all friends of Colin know, he would have loved to have become Mayor of Tunbridge Wells in May: it would have been a dream come true. But Colin's illness took from him – and from us – what a wonderful year that would have been. Yet the truth is, he didn't need the badge. Colin Bothwell more than earned the right to be regarded with the admiration and affection of the whole community as one of the people Tunbridge Wells can be most proud of, and he will be long remembered.


31 JAN 2014

Greg challenges poor performance of mental health services for young people in West Kent

Greg described how families in West Kent are being let down by the local Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) to an influential health committee today.

Greg addressed a meeting of Kent County Council's Health & Overview Scrutiny Committee to present evidence, drawn from constituents, on long waiting times, poor communication and other problems with the service that is causing great distress to many families.

Greg called upon the Committee to use its powers to ask the Secretary of State for Health to investigate the adequacy of the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service in Kent and to invite a team from an excellent mental health trust to review the service locally.

Greg commented:

"If a child or a teenager experiences mental illness, they should be able to count on the same standard of care they would be given if they had a physical condition. It is a bitter disappointment to me and many young people and their families that the local mental health service is not working as was promised.

"This situation cannot continue. Vulnerable young people in Tunbridge Wells are waiting nearly 4 months for an initial specialist assessment.

"And on average 10 children in every Kent secondary school are waiting for treatment having been assessed as needing it.

"I am grateful that the KCC Committee backed unanimously my call for urgent action to sort out this situation".

Click here to watch Greg give evidence to the Committee.

 


10 JAN 2014

Greg congratulates Grosvenor & Hilbert Park on successful £2.5m lottery fund bid

The Friends of Grosvenor & Hilbert Park and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council have been awarded nearly £2.5m to improve the facilities in the park including restoring the lake and building new play areas.

Greg is a Patron of the Friends group and supported their bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

He commented:

"Opening in 1889, Grosvenor & Hilbert Park was Tunbridge Wells' first public park and is much loved by local residents. This funding will help further improve the park to the benefit of many future generations. Congratulations to both the Borough Council and the Friends of Grosvenor & Hilbert Park for all their hard work in securing this award."


20 DEC 2013

Greg visits Town & Country Housing Group¬’s Customer Contact Centre

Greg visited Town & Country Housing Group's Contact Centre to hear how effectively customers are helped when they phone in.

Greg said:

"It was great to see the Town & Country Customer Service team in action. I know a lot of my constituents rely on the professionalism and efficiency of this team. It was helpful to see the number of calls coming in and the action taken in response to tenants' queries."


17 DEC 2013

Jobs Boost for Sherwood

Greg has secured a commitment from developers Dandara that the company will provide jobs and apprenticeships to local people – specifically from the Sherwood community, which is adjacent to the new development.

In advance of the consideration of planning permission for the development, Greg met with the owners of the site to press them to make sure that the local people will be the first to benefit from the hundreds of jobs and training posts available.

Greg said:

"This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for people in Sherwood and elsewhere in Tunbridge Wells who want to learn a trade or get a good job in construction. It is vital that local people can benefit from their jobs."

In his reply to Greg, Managing Director of Dandara, Andrew Wagstaff, wrote:

"This will be a big chance for local people who work, or who would like to work, for one of the best firms in the construction industry. In practice most of the 190 or so new jobs and apprenticeships created during construction will be available to local residents. We are looking forward to working with the community in Tunbridge Wells – and Sherwood in particular – to help many local people into jobs and apprenticeships, and to give them an opportunity which will benefit them for a lifetime."

Greg said:

"The whole community will be pleased that Dandara has responded to my request and committed to seek out local people for these jobs and apprenticeships. This is a big chance for people in our community to get into a job in construction that will launch them into a lifetime successful career."

"I will be organising with Dandara, and other local employers, a Jobs Fair in Sherwood in the Spring where these opportunities will be available. I urge anyone who wants a new job or apprenticeship to come along and meet the employers."

Apprenticeships will be available with Dandara in the following trades:

- Bricklaying

- Carpentry

- Painting

- Plastering

- Tiling


06 DEC 2013

Greg speaks at Tunbridge Wells' apprenticeship event

Greg met celebrity chef Rosemary Shrager, Joseph Buels from Skills for Employment Ltd and two young apprentices when he went to speak at an event promoting apprenticeships to local businesses, organised by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Kent County Council.

Anyone interested in taking on an apprentice, should contact Kent County Council Tel: 0800-1018224 or email: kentjobs4kyp@kent.gov.uk

 


06 DEC 2013

Greg calls meeting to solve pigeon problem at Sandhurst Road Railway Bridge

Four years ago, Greg contacted Network Rail about the problem of roosting pigeons under Sandhurst Railway Bridge near High Brooms Station in Tunbridge Wells.

For two years, Network Rail and Scotia Gas Networks (SGN) argued about who was legally responsible for this bridge and the matter was not settled. After pressure from Greg, Network Rail agreed to install netting in 2011 as a one-off gesture of goodwill but the long-term responsibility for the bridge remains unresolved.

To try and sort out this problem once and for all, Greg called a meeting with Network Rail, SGN and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

Greg commented:

"I wanted to get all the interested parties around the table to try and resolve this problem once and for all without having to resort to further lengthy legal battles. If this matter ends up going to court, it will be a scandalous waste of money. National Rail and Scotia Gas Networks have agreed to start negotiations and I have asked for these to be concluded as quickly as possible."

The ongoing legal dispute regarding the maintenance of Sandhurst Railway Bridge dates back to a piece of 19th century legislation. When the Tunbridge Wells Gas Works was built, the Tunbridge Wells Gas Act of 1876 stated that the then gas company was responsible for the maintenance of the railway bridge.

 


06 DEC 2013

Greg calls on Network Rail to improve railway bridge

Greg Clark called a meeting with Network Rail, on behalf of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society, to discuss how the railway bridge parapet on Mount Pleasant Road in Tunbridge Wells could be improved.

Greg Clark commented:

"The railway bridge on Mount Pleasant Road is in a prime location – anyone visiting the town will walk past it on their way to the High Street and The Pantiles. Unfortunately it's beginning to look a bit grotty – some of its mouldings are missing, it's going rusty and paint is peeling off. It would be great if it could be restored so that it becomes a handsome architectural feature instead of an eyesore.

"I think this is an excellent initiative by the Borough Council and Civic Society so I'm delighted to be able to support it by inviting representatives from Network Rail to Tunbridge Wells to see the bridge for themselves and what impact it has on our town.

"The meeting went extremely well - Network Rail has promised to spruce it up next summer when the weather is better for painting which is great news."

 


06 DEC 2013

Greg helps launch new business loan fund in West Kent

Greg helped launch a new £5.5million fund called Escalate to support new investment and new jobs along the A21 corridor.

Greg commented:

"This is a great boost for business in West Kent which will bring new jobs and new private investment to the area.

"Business finance is still a big issue for many companies that want to expand and the £5m Escalate loan fund provides a new source of funding for ambitious firms in West Kent that really want to grow and take more people on.

"I am delighted that the Government's Regional Growth Fund has been able to support the Escalate scheme and help kick-start new business growth in Tunbridge Wells and beyond."

For more details of how businesses can apply for this funding, visit Kent County Council's website:

http://www.kent.gov.uk/business/growing_your_business/grants_and_funding/escalate.aspx

 


21 NOV 2013

Get Tunbridge Wells Cycling campaign off to a great start

Well over 100 people attended Greg's public meeting on cycling at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys.

Greg commented:

"It was fantastic to be able to bring so many people together who share an enthusiasm for cycling. At the meeting were people who cycle every day, those who take out their bikes occasionally and others who would cycle if they felt safer.

"The next step is to harness all that expertise and energy and make some real progress on the things that were suggested at the meeting to improve cycling in Tunbridge Wells. These include measures on safety, cycle routes, storage, training and support. I am determined to push forwards for action to help make Tunbridge Wells a great place to cycle."


15 NOV 2013

Greg Clark MP calls on Southeastern to improve cycling facilities at Tunbridge Wells station

As part of his campaign to make cycling easier and safer in Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clark MP has called on the Managing Director of Southeastern, Charles Horton, to improve cycle facilities at the town's train station.

Greg commented:

"I arranged to meet Charles Horton today to discuss the recent disruption to rail services and also the ten priorities that I asked Southeastern to incorporate into their Direct Award agreement which covers their next four years of operation. Top of this list was reducing rail fares, introducing smart card technology and reducing congestion on trains.

"Also on the list was providing more cycle storage at train stations so I took the opportunity to show Charles Horton the current facilities at Tunbridge Wells station which I think could be much better. More people will be encouraged to cycle to the station if they are guaranteed secure and easy cycle parking."

Greg is launching a campaign to make cycling safer and easier in Tunbridge Wells at a public meeting on cycling on Thursday 21 November 2013 at 7.30pm in Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys.

Greg's list of improvements he has asked Southeastern to incorporate into their Direct Award agreement which covers the next four years of operation is as follows:

  • Reduce fares from Tunbridge Wells, High Brooms & Paddock Wood to bring into line with Southern's (Annual season ticket from Eridge to London is £1464 cheaper than that from Tunbridge Wells to London).
  • Introduce season tickets for part-time workers using smart card technology
  • Introduce reduced priced tickets for very early morning commuter services and later evening peak trains to ease crowding at peak times, along with off-peak season tickets.
  • Ensure 12 carriage trains on all peak services
  • Provide late night trains on Friday and Saturday evenings.
  • Provide more secure cycle storage at all stations and introduce bicycle booking system
  • Reduce cost of station car-parking.
  • Introduce wi-fi on trains.
  • Provide through Gatwick-Tonbridge-Ashford hourly all day service in partnership with Gatwick Airport.
  • Supply performance information on a line-by-line basis

This list was formulated in consultation with Tunbridge Wells & District Rail Travellers' Association.


13 NOV 2013

Greg Clark MP welcomes big fall in unemployment for Tunbridge Wells

MP for Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clark, welcomed new figures published today showing that unemployment has significantly fallen in his constituency.

According to the Office of National Statistics, the total number of unemployed claimants in the Tunbridge Wells constituency in October 2013 was 667, which is 318 lower than in October 2012 – just over 30% reduction. This represents a rate of 1.2% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64 (compared to 2.4% in the South-East and 4% in the UK).

Youth unemployment has also fallen. In October 2013, there were 140 unemployment claimants aged 18-24 in the Tunbridge Wells constituency, which is 75 lower than in October 2012 – nearly 35% reduction.

Greg commented:

"These new figures are encouraging news for our local economy. The last few years have been very difficult for many people – both those in work and those who have lost their jobs - but these new statistics show that more jobs are being created. We must do everything that we can to help people who are still struggling to obtain work and to help them find the opportunities that are becoming increasingly available."

Unemployment is measured by the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA).


04 NOV 2013

Get Tunbridge Wells Cycling - public meeting

Public meeting about cycling on Thursday 21 November 2013 at 7.30pm at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys.

Everybody welcome.


18 OCT 2013

Greg welcomes Asda's change of heart over North Farm

Asda has agreed to participate in the North Farm Road Scheme, ahead of Greg's meeting with the supermarket's Chief Executive.

Greg commented:

"I welcome this change of heart from Asda in advance of my meeting with the supermarket's Chief Executive next week. It will be a big relief to everyone who has been caught up in the nightmare traffic of North Farm. It means that the planned road improvements to North Farm can now go ahead in their entirety, including widening the road and providing a cycle path through the estate. Work should now be underway within months."

Greg had secured a meeting with the Chief Executive of Asda, Andy Clarke, to ask them to relent on their refusal to release a small amount of land and so cause the loss of a new cycleway through North Farm. Asda was the only company that has not yet agreed to provide land - essential for the road widening – which would have compromised the scheme.

In March this year, the Department for Transport announced that it would provide £3.5m funding towards a £5m scheme to improve the road system on the North Farm Industrial Estate. Kent County Council (KCC) agreed to contribute £1.5m towards the project.

In order to qualify for the funding, the scheme must be completed by March 2015 and relies on landowners agreeing to release a few metres of land. Every landowner has now agreed to participate in the project.

The proposed scheme aims to improve existing highway capacity by:

  • widening Longfield Road between Dowding Way Roundabout and the A21 Roundabout
  • introducing a new roundabout at Kingstanding Way/Longfield Road junction
  • introducing a new roundabout to replace T-junction at Knights Park /Longfield Road junction
  • providing a gyratory style junction at Great Lodge/Longfield Road junction


04 OCT 2013

Greg visits new Free School in Tunbridge Wells

Greg was given a tour of the new Wells Free School by its Headteacher, Anita Lawrence. The School only opened last month.

Greg commented:

"I was really impressed by what I saw. Anita and her team have done a fantastic job in getting the new school up and running. All the children seem very happy and I wish them well in their very first new academic year. "


25 SEP 2013

Greg Clark secures meeting with Asda's Chief Executive to broker deal on North Farm road scheme

Greg has secured a meeting with the Chief Executive of Asda, Andy Clarke, next month to ask them to relent on their refusal to release a small amount of land and so cause the loss of a new cycleway through North Farm. Asda is the only company that has not yet agreed to provide land - essential for the road widening – which will compromise the scheme.

Greg commented:

"The traffic congestion around North Farm Industrial Estate is notorious so we were all delighted when, earlier this year, the Department for Transport and Kent County Council agreed to fund a major road improvement scheme. It was one of only 10 schemes in the country to win this funding. However, there is now a major spanner in the works as Asda is refusing to participate in the project, even though it will be of major benefit to all the businesses based on North Farm. Although the scheme can go ahead without Asda, it certainly won't be as good. The carriageways will have to be narrower and the planned cycleway will be lost. Asda prides itself on being community minded so I am extremely disappointed with its intransigent position. This is why I have asked the Chief Executive to meet with me so that he fully understands the impact of Asda's actions."

In March this year, the Department for Transport announced that it would provide £3.5m funding towards a £5m scheme to improve the road system on the North Farm Industrial Estate. Kent County Council (KCC) agreed to contribute £1.5m towards the project.

In order to qualify for the funding, the scheme must be completed by March 2015 and relies on landowners agreeing to release a few metres of land. Every landowner, apart from Asda, has agreed to participate in the project.

The proposed scheme aims to improve existing highway capacity by:

  • widening Longfield Road between Dowding Way Roundabout and the A21 Roundabout
  • introducing a new roundabout at Kingstanding Way/Longfield Road junction
  • introducing a new roundabout to replace T-junction at Knights Park /Longfield Road junction
  • providing a gyratory style junction at Great Lodge/Longfield Road junction


16 SEP 2013

Greg joins Pickering Centre's Double Celebration

Greg joined Polly Taylor, who runs the Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre in Tunbridge Wells, at the presentation of her British Empire Medal by the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount Lord de L'Isle.

The Pickering Centre was also awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, one of only 3 charities in Kent to do so this year.

Greg commented:

"Polly Taylor is a truly remarkable lady who has made an indelible mark on the community by her dedication, hard-work and warmth. She is one of those exceptional people who always thinks of others before themselves. I cannot think of a more deserving person to be awarded the British Empire Medal.

"Polly set up the Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre which provides support for cancer sufferers, their families and carers. As soon as you walk through its doors, you are you immediately struck by the warmth and the laughter. I am absolutely delighted that Polly and her dedicated team of volunteers have been chosen for the Queen's Award for Volunteering – it is extremely well deserved."


10 SEP 2013

Blooming success for Tunbridge Wells

Tunbridge Wells has achieved fantastic success in the South & South East in Bloom competition this year winning Best in Kent award for a second year and a gold award for Best Large Town. Dunorlan Park also won a gold medal in the best parks category for the second year running.

Greg Clark commented:

"This is great news and extremely well deserved. Many congratulations go to the Borough Council and all the volunteers who have worked so hard - it's a fantastic achievement for our town."


26 JUL 2013

Greg tries out ¬“speaking¬” cash machines for visually impaired customers at local branch of Barclays bank

Greg had a go using a cash machine which speaks to visually impaired customers during a visit to the recently revamped Tunbridge Wells branch of Barclays in Calverley Road.

Blind or partially sighted people can plug their earphones into the ATMs to listen to the different options available. The "speaking" cash machines are useful for people with a wide range of disabilities including dyslexia.


26 JUL 2013

Greg unveils Southborough Society Commemorative Plaque to honour local historical figure

Greg unveiled the second of six commemorative green plaques being erected by the Southborough Society this year to honour local historical figures.

This particular plaque commemorates Roger Webster who lived at "The Oast", Pennington Road, Southborough. He is remembered for successfully campaigning to abolish the Closed Shop which made it compulsory for workers to join a trade union.


26 JUL 2013

Greg launches Open Day at Tunbridge Wells Mosque

Tunbridge Wells Mosque invited Greg to launch its Open Day which will take place on Sunday 18 August.

Greg commented:

"The Muslim community plays a valued part in the life of Tunbridge Wells and so I was delighted to visit our local mosque during the month of Ramadan.

"The open day on 18 August is an excellent idea, and a great chance for adults and children to find out more about the mosque – everyone will be given the warmest of welcomes."


19 JUL 2013

Greg tours local business and hospital on visit to Hawkhurst and Sandhurst

As well as running two advice surgeries in Hawkhurst & Sandhurst, Greg visited Hawkhurst Community Hospital and The Walled Nursery.

Commenting on his visits, Greg said:

"I greatly enjoyed meeting patients and staff at Hawkhurst Community Hospital – it is an important local asset for local people.

"The glasshouses at The Walled Nursery are a hidden Victorian masterpiece in the grounds of the former Tongswood Estate, now home to the nursery and St Ronan's School. Thanks to a recent campaign, brown visitor signs will soon be installed to help more people discover this site."


18 JUL 2013

Greg holds public meeting to discuss noise from overflying aircraft

Over 50 people attended a public meeting in Langton Green Village Hall, chaired by Greg, to discuss concerns about aircraft noise.

Greg commented:

"An increasing number of local residents have contacted me about aircraft noise so I wanted to give them the opportunity to put their concerns to Kent County Council's new representative on the Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee (GATCOM), County Councillor Matthew Balfour, ahead of its next meeting."


27 JUN 2013

Campaign Victory to Get A21 Dualling Funded

The local campaign to secure funding for the A21 dualling between Tonbridge and Pembury can claim victory today (Thursday 27 June 2013) with the announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that £92 million of funding will be available from 2015.

Greg commented:

"This is absolutely brilliant news. I have been campaigning hard over eight years to get the funding for this vital project. With the money in place, work on dualling the A21 can start as soon as possible after the Public Inquiry is completed.

"The fact that the Chancellor has confirmed the funding will definitely be available for 2015 is the breakthrough we've all been working towards. It is a victory for everyone who has campaigned long and hard to get this nightmare stretch of road sorted out once and for all.

"The A21 dualling scheme has had a number of set-backs over the last decade. If the Public Inquiry gives the road scheme the final go ahead, we can, at last, all look forward with confidence that it will actually be built. This is a fantastic day for residents, businesses and visitors throughout West Kent and East Sussex."


14 JUN 2013

Greg opens new offices for Tunbridge Wells Citizens Advice Bureau

Greg opened Tunbridge Wells Citizens Advice Bureau's new office in Vale House, Clarence Road.

Greg commented:

"Many people from outside Tunbridge Wells think that our area is such an affluent place that residents do not get into difficulties, but this is just not the case. Tunbridge Wells Citizens Advice Bureau helps thousands of people every year, and its staff and volunteers do a fantastic job providing advice on all sorts of different problems. It's great that they've found a new home in which to carry out their important work."


14 JUN 2013

Better bus services for Tunbridge Wells

Bus passengers in Tunbridge Wells are going to enjoy on-board wi-fi, better bus stops and new vehicles thanks to an agreement between Kent County Council, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Arriva.

The 281 service is the first route to trail the new wi-fi service.

Greg commented:

"Better bus services has been one of my major ongoing campaigns. Two early successes were the No 281 loop linking High Brooms, Tunbridge Wells town centre and Rusthall, and the Sherwood Shuttle – both introducing regular, frequent, accessible and modern buses. It's great that the Borough and County Councils are working together with Arriva to improve bus services even more. Wi-fi is a very welcome innovation - I would like Southeastern to follow suit with the trains."


23 MAY 2013

Greg gives strong support for A21 dualling at Public Inquiry

Greg, along with his colleagues Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings, and Sir John Stanley, MP for Tonbridge & Malling, gave evidence in support of the A21 dualling scheme between Tonbridge & Pembury at the Public Inquiry.

Greg said:

"During all of my 8 years as MP for Tunbridge Wells, the need to upgrade the A21 has been a constant plea from my consitituents. Following the building of the Pembury Hospital it is the most important infrastructure need of our area. The strength of support from the local councils, local business and civic groups, the local press and thousands of members of the public is unprecendented in the breadth and unity of suppport for a road scheme."

 


20 MAY 2013

Greg visits site of new athletics track in Paddock Wood

Mike Ridger from Paddock Wood Athletics Club and Sarah Hamilton, Chairman of Paddock Wood Town Council, showed Greg the site of the new athletics track in Paddock Wood. Work should be completed by the end of the summer.

Greg said:

"The new athletics track at Paddock Wood is going to be a fantastic resource for the local area. I really look forward to seeing the track up and running!"


17 MAY 2013

Greg visits art show to raise awareness of dementia

Greg visited an exhibition at the Trinity Theatre, organised by the Alzheimer's Society and Town & Country Housing Group, to raise awareness of dementia.

Greg commented:

"Dementia affects so many families - raising awareness of Alzheimer's is, therefore, incredibly important. I was really impressed by this thought-provoking exhibition. The Alzheimer's Society is running a project with Town & Country Housing Group to try and raise awareness of dementia in shops and other local businesses in Tunbridge Wells which is a great initiative."


10 MAY 2013

Greg visits Circatron in Paddock Wood

Greg enjoyed an interesting visit to Circatron, an electronics manufacturer, in Paddock Wood.

Greg said:

"We have a number of specialised engineering companies in the local area. They provide local jobs and export their products worldwide. I was really impressed by what I saw at Circatron."


10 MAY 2013

Greg meets with Paddock Wood Business Association

Greg enjoyed meeting members of Paddock Wood Business Association at 3663, a foodservice wholesaler based in the town.

Greg said:

"3663 is an extremely successful business so it was great to have a tour round the site with members of Paddock Wood Business Association. After the tour, we had a good discussion about some of the issues affecting local businesses."


10 MAY 2013

Greg visits Horsmonden Farmers' Market

Greg held a drop-in advice surgery at Horsmonden Farmers' Market and had time afterwards to visit some of the stalls.


03 MAY 2013

Good Luck Tunbridge Wells Football Club

Ten thousand people – one person in every five men, women and children who live in Tunbridge Wells – will be travelling to Wembley tomorrow to see our town's football team play in a national cup final.

What a treat this magnificent team have given our town. Through the long, dark days of one of the most miserable winters on record they have kept a swelling crowd entertained, excited and exhausted by tension. It came partly from a weekly agony about whether the matches would be played at all. The crucial home tie against defending FA Vase holders Dunston UTS had to be postponed three times because of abysmal weather, before finally being played at the fourth attempt in early February. It was worth the wait – and being frozen in the arctic Culverden – with a sensational win that gave a glimpse of the glories within reach.

Martin Larkin's boys have put the fans through the wringer. No less than three of the six rounds were won only after extra time being needed. At Larkhall, Jack Harris scored the winner in the very last minute of the 120 minutes played. And none of us who travelled to Shildon will ever recover from the nerve-shredding tension that saw a solid 2-0 first leg lead quickly shatter into a 3-2 advantage for the Co Durham side. But Wells are a team that never gives up, and they give their best when fighting back. To take the game to, naturally, extra time and then coolly win it with five minutes to go is Tunbridge Wells through and through.

The whole team at Tunbridge Wells FC deserve a huge thank you from our town. Martin Larkin and his players and coaching staff, and the ice-cool Chairman Joe Croker and his dedicated team of volunteers who work tirelessly week after week to run the club, and Larrytech who have loyally sponsored the team for years. Together, they've given the town a day that will become part of the history of Tunbridge Wells.

There are many wonderful things about living in Tunbridge Wells. But the chance of seeing your home team play football at Wembley was something we could never offer. Not any more! Best of luck, The Wells – it's been a thrilling journey and tomorrow will be an unforgettable day.


26 APR 2013

Greg becomes Friend of West Kent YMCA

West Kent YMCA launched its Friends scheme and invited Greg to be one of its very first members, along with the Bishop of Rochester, The Rt Revd James Langstaff.

Speaking at the launch of the scheme, Greg said:

"West Kent YMCA does extraodinary work helping vulnerable young people to find jobs and a place of their own to live so I was absolutely delighted to become one of its first official Friends. They have also launched a new campaign this year called "Say Yes 2Youth" which aims to bring even more opportunities to homeless and unemployed young people in the local area which I urgen everyone to support."

To find out more, visit West Kent YMCA's website:

www.westkentymca.org.uk

 


25 APR 2013

Greg hosts Exporting for Growth event in Pembury

Local businesses came to find out more about the opportunities for exporting their products at an event – Exporting for Growth - hosted by Greg with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) in Pembury.

Commenting on the event, Greg said:

"There has never been a better time to export and I would encourage any business that thinks that they could sell their product overseas to go for it. There is some fantastic help and advice on offer from UK Trade & Investment, who organised this event. In West Kent, we have some incredibly successful exporting businesses and it was great to hear their stories at today's event."

For further information on how to start exporting, UK Trade & Investment can offer lots of advice and help: www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk


25 APR 2013

Greg visits Skinners' Kent Academy new building

Greg was shown around Skinners' Kent Academy's new building by its Principal, Sian Carr.

Greg commented:

"Skinners' Kent Academy has come a tremendous way since it was founded.  It was great to see the new building completed.  I hope it will be a great resource for the community as well as helping many generations of students at the Academy fulfil their ambitions."

 


19 APR 2013

Launch of Tunbridge Wells in Bloom 2013

Greg met with some of the organisers and sponsors of Tunbridge Wells in Bloom as they launched this year's scheme to local residents.

Greg said:

"Tunbridge Wells in Bloom gets better and better every year. If you would like to get involved, the Borough Council would be delighted to hear from you. Individuals, schools, and local community groups can all enter so let's get planting! "

Details on how to enter are available on the Tunbridge Wells in Bloom 2013 website: www.royaltunbridgewellsinbloom.org.uk

 


08 APR 2013

Margaret Thatcher Tribute

Speaking following the announcement of the death of Lady Thatcher, Tunbridge Wells MP and Financial Secretary to the Treasury Greg Clark said:

"Margaret Thatcher rescued Britain from economic decline and restored confidence in British enterprise. By standing resolute she helped defeat communism in Europe, leading to the fall of the Berlin Wall and freedom for millions of people from the tyranny of the Soviet Union. Mrs Thatcher was staunch in her defence of the people of the Falklands and bravely defied the attempt of IRA terrorists to murder her. She was Britain's first woman Prime Minister and our greatest leader since the war.

"Tunbridge Wells has a long, and special, connection with Margaret Thatcher. Before she became Prime Minister Mr and Mrs Thatcher lived partly in a flat at Scotney Castle near Lamberhurst, within the constituency boundary of Tunbridge Wells, and the Tunbridge Wells Conservative Association was immensely proud that Margaret Thatcher was our Patron. Her memory is especially honoured in our part of Kent and she is greatly missed."


22 MAR 2013

£5m boost to solve traffic problems at North Farm Industrial Estate

Commenting on today's announcement from the Department for Transport that it will be providing £3.5m towards a £5m scheme to improve the road system on the North Farm Industrial Estate, Greg said:

"One of my top campaigns has been to get the roads around North Farm improved so I am absolutely delighted with this news. The traffic congestion around North Farm Industrial Estate is notorious. Everyone's fed up with the gridlock and it blights the local economy. It is great to be one of only 10 schemes in the country to win this funding – a bid I strongly backed as the constituency MP. In this month we've had the announcement that the A21 dualling public inquiry will begin, and now this major investment in North Farm – there is real momentum behind sorting the traffic chaos in Tunbridge Wells."

Construction is expected to begin in April 2014 and the project is expected to be completed by March 2015.

The funding is being provided under the Department for Transport's Local Pinch Point Fund Scheme. The overall scheme will cost £5m, with Kent Council Council will be contributing £1.5m towards the project.

The proposed scheme aims to improve existing highway capacity by:

  • widening Longfield Road between Dowding Way Roundabout and the A21 Roundabout
  • introducing a new roundabout at Kingstanding Way/Longfield Road junction
  • introducing a new roundabout to replace T-junction at Knights Park /Longfield Road junction
  • providing a gyratory style junction at Great Lodge/Longfield Road junction


01 MAR 2013

Start of A21 Public Inquiry set for 14 May 2013

Greg said:

"The Highways Agency has confirmed to me that the Public Inquiry for the A21 Tonbridge-Pembury dualling scheme is due to start on 14 May 2013. We have all been fighting so hard to get the A21 dualled – it has been a long, hard slog over many years. The Public Inquiry marks a big advance for our campaign – getting this terrible accident hot-spot sorted out once and for all is now firmly within our grasp.

"Last year, the Roads Minister confirmed that the A21 scheme would be one of the six "pipeline" priority road projects which could start in 2015-16. I was absolutely determined to get the Public Inquiry underway so that the scheme would be ready to go as soon as money is available. The 14 May will be a big day for drivers in West Kent."

The following steps will be taking place over the next few months:

  • The Outline Statement of Case for the A21 dualling scheme has been published and can be found on the Highways Agency website: http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/A21-Tonbridge-to-Pembury-Dualling
  • The Environmental Statement has also been published and is available in local libraries, the Tunbridge Wells Gateway and on the Highways Agency website.
  • On 25 March 2013, the Highways Agency will be holding a Pre-Inquiry Meeting, at which the Inspector will explain how the Inquiry will be run, how people can let it be known they want to speak at the Inquiry and the procedure for submitting evidence.
  • The Public Inquiry, which is due to start on 14 May 2013, is expected to last 2 - 3 weeks.


25 JAN 2013

Greg visits YMCA in Tunbridge Wells

Greg met staff and residents at YMCA Ryder House in Tunbridge Wells, before visiting their Furniture Warehouse on Goods Station Road.

Greg commented:

"It was really inspiring to hear residents' stories of how West Kent YMCA is helping them to turn their prospects around. I was really impressed by the support and opportunities the YMCA provides young people in helping them find work and a place of their own."


14 DEC 2012

Greg meets winner of his 2012 Christmas Card competition

Greg visited Lamberhurst St Mary's CofE Primary School to meet the winner of his Christmas Card competition, Jenny Clark.

Greg commented: "Choosing a winner from this year's entries was very difficult as there were so many lovely designs but in the end I couldn't resist this very cheerful looking turkey. It was great to meet Jenny in person and I very much enjoyed visiting the school again."


14 DEC 2012

Greg meets Head of new CAMHS Service

Greg met with the Head of the new CAMHS Service, Simone Button, to find out what progress is being made on reducing waiting times and making the service more accessible to families.

In September, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust took over the CAHMS Service in Kent & Medway, promising to take a 'community model' approach. Children suffering from mental and emotional health problems will be provided with earlier intervention and reduced waiting times for support, as well as benefitting from treatment provided closer to home.

Greg commented:

"I have been campaigning to improve mental health services for children and young people over the last two years so I was very keen to find out how the new CAMHS service is doing.

"Simone Button told me that waiting times for a first appointment were, on average, 30+ weeks when they started. This has now been reduced to 24-26 weeks and their aim is to reach 4-6 weeks by April next year. This is a very welcome and ambitious target, and I have asked to be kept updated on progress with this.

"She also told me that they are hoping to deliver at least 80% of services locally – in community centres such as GP surgeries and schools. I also understand that families will be offered a much greater choice of appointment times i.e. at weekends and in the evenings, and that out-of-hours crisis teams will provide much-needed support for families.

"It's early days but this seems to me to indicate the right approach, especially on reducing waiting times. But I won't take anything for granted and I will be keeping a close eye on how things progress."


28 NOV 2012

Better news on local rail fare increases

MP for Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clark, welcomed the announcement by Southeastern that rail fare increases on the Tunbridge Wells and Paddock Wood lines will not be higher than around 4% next year.

Although the Government capped the annual rail fare increase to inflation plus 1% for the next two years, under its current franchise agreement Southeastern is legally entitled to increase the fare from any particular station by up to 5% more than this, as long as the average increase across its network is at the national cap.

Greg Clark said:

"Last month, I met with the Managing Director of Southeastern and urged him not to increase rail fares from our local stations by more than the national average, especially at a time when many people are struggling financially.

"I am very pleased that he listened to the concerns that I raised - this announcement will be a huge relief to rail passengers."

In the past, local rail passengers have been hit by double-figure rail fare increases. As a result of a campaign by Kent MPs and the local press, Southeastern reduced rail fare increases to around 6% last year.

Rail fares are based on the Retail Price Index (RPI) in July 2012, which was 3.2%, plus 3%. The Government announced the average rise for the next two years would be capped at RPI plus 1%.


01 NOV 2012

Launch of Tunbridge Wells Extra Bus Ticket

Matthew Arnold, Commercial Manager for Arriva, June Crowhurst, Chairman of Pembury Parish Council, and Greg.

A new Tunbridge Wells Extra Ticket, which includes Pembury, was launched by Arriva today.

Commenting on the new bus ticket, Greg said:

"When local residents in Pembury approached me to say how frustrating it was that the village was just outside the zone for the Tunbridge Wells saver ticket, I thought they had a very strong case. So I asked Arriva whether they would consider extending the area and I am delighted that they have decided to introduce this new saver ticket which as well as including Pembury, extends right out to Tonbridge and Crowborough. It's a very welcome addition to the local bus network."


30 OCT 2012

A21 dualling moves one step closer

The Transport Minister, Stephen Hammond, has announced today that the statutory process regarding the A21 dualling is to be re-started.

Greg commented:

"This is the announcement that we have all been waiting for - at last we have a firm commitment for the Public Inquiry on the A21 dualling to go ahead. I, and my colleagues, have been campaigning hard to ensure that the Public Inquiry takes place as soon as possible so that if funding does become available to start work in 2015, the project is ready to start without further delay. It's great news!"


24 OCT 2012

Good news for Camden Road Guild

Greg welcomed the announcement by the Department for Communities and Local Government that Camden Road Guild's application to become a Town Team has been successful.

Greg Clark commented:

"I was delighted to support Camden Road Guild's application and even more delighted that it has been successful! Camden Road is well-known for its unique character and independent shops and restaurants, and the extra funding and support the Guild will receive will give the area a real boost."

As well as advice and support from leading retail experts, Camden Road Guild will also receive £10,000 to help put their plans into action.

 


22 OCT 2012

Greg presses MD of Southeastern on possible rail fare increases

Greg Clark met with the Managing Director of Southeastern, Charles Horton, at the House of Commons today to press him on possible rail fare increases.

Speaking after the meeting Greg Clark said:

"The Government has promised to cap the annual rail fare increase to inflation plus 1% for the next two years, which is welcome news for commuters. However, under its current franchise agreement, Southeastern is legally entitled to increase the fare from any particular station by up to 5% more than this, as long as the average increase across its network is at the national cap.

"In the past commuters from Tunbridge Wells and Paddock Wood have been hit by this extra charge. Last year we managed to persuade Southeastern not to apply any increase above the national average to our stations.

"I asked to meet Southestern's Managing Director in person to urge him not to increase rail fares from our local stations by more than the national average.

"At a time when many rail passengers are struggling financially, a big increase would be very hard to bear.

"Charles Horton listened carefully to my argument and said that he will take it into account when making a final decision in a few weeks time."


12 OCT 2012

Greg opens new nature hide at Oakley School

Greg was delighted to officially open a new woodland nature hide at Oakley School in Tunbridge Wells which is the latest addition to the school's extensive outdoor activities.

Greg said:

"It's wonderful to see how Oakley School is using its natural surroundings to help engage and teach its students. This Hide will make a welcome addition to its outdoor learning area which already includes a woodland trail, pond, horticulture area and woodland learning lodge."


12 OCT 2012

Greg meets GCSE students from Mascalls School

Greg dropped in to meet some GCSE citizenship students at Mascalls School in Paddock Wood to discuss their views on the big issues of the moment.


12 OCT 2012

Visit to Fir Tree Care Home

Greg joined staff and residents for a celebration of the refurbished care facilities at Firtree House Care Home which provides nursing care for up to 42 elderly residents in Tunbridge Wells.


07 OCT 2012

Welcome news on rail fare increases

The Government has promised to cap rail fares to the Retail Price Index +1% for the next two years.

Greg commented:

"Before this commitment, fare increases have been at RPI +3% so this is extremely welcome news.

"Southeastern still has the right to vary the fare from any particular station by up to 5% on top as long as the average increase is at the national cap. I am meeting with Southeastern's Managing Director very shortly and I will be looking to persuade him not to increase the fares from our local stations by more than the national average."


03 OCT 2012

Greg Clark MP gets better patient appointment reminder system at Tunbridge Wells Hospital

In July this year, MP for Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clark, asked the Chief Executive of Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, Glenn Douglas, to review the appointment reminder system at Tunbridge Wells Hospital after constituents had raised concerns about it.

As a result, Tunbridge Wells Hospital introduced a new telephone reminder system on 1 October 2012. The system will automatically call patients to remind them about their appointments.

Greg Clark said:

"Some hospital patients had been in contact with me to say that the hospital reminder appointment system was not working very well and that, as a result, they had missed crucial consultations and check-ups. Missed appointments can obviously be very serious in the case of life-threatening illnesses.

"In this day and age, it seemed strange to me that Tunbridge Wells Hospital only used a paper-based system as many other hospitals around the country have a more high-tech approach using, for example, text messaging. I put this to the Chief Executive of the NHS Trust and I am delighted that he has acted so quickly to make the improvements.

"With ever growing pressures on the NHS, it is extremely important that hospitals operate as efficiently as possible. If patients do not attend appointments, this costs the NHS a lot of money and increases waiting lists. Hopefully, this new system will help ensure that fewer appointment slots are wasted and that more patients can be seen."

The new appointment reminder system will, for example, automatically call patients to remind them that they have an outpatient appointment. It asks the person to respond so the hospital knows whether they will definitely be coming. If they respond with a "no", the patient will then be asked if they would like to reschedule and will be transferred to the relevant department to re-book.


21 SEP 2012

Greg welcomes start of Sherwood's transformation

Hundreds of local residents came to watch the first block of flats in Sherwood being demolished marking the start of the regeneration of the area.

Greg thanked everyone, on behalf of the whole community, that has helped make this project happen, in particular Town & Country Housing Group. He also paid a special tribute to former County Councillor Kevin Lynes for everything that he did for Sherwood.

 

 

Greg said:

"Sherwood has always been a strong community – this regeneration project will, hopefully, make it even better."

£35million is being invested into Sherwood creating around 250 new homes.


26 JUL 2012

Live A&E waiting times at Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells hospitals now online after Greg's intervention

Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone hospitals now provide live online waiting A&E times as part of a package of changes that Greg demanded from Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) issued a formal warning to the NHS Trust.

In February 2012, the CQC told the NHS Trust that it must make immediate improvements to patient care and waiting times in its A&E Department in Tunbridge Wells Hospital. Greg called for an urgent meeting with its Chief Executive, Glenn Douglas, and asked him to take a number of actions, including making live waiting times at both Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells hospitals available so that people could chose where to go.

This information is now available online at: http://www.mtw.nhs.uk/

Greg commented:

"One of the problems that Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust told me was contributing to the longer waiting times at the A&E department of the Tunbridge Wells Hospital is that demand has been much higher than expected. If I knew that there were long waiting times at Tunbridge Wells, I would definitely consider going to Maidstone instead. Having live information available on waiting times, helps people make this choice so I am delighted that the NHS Trust has agreed to do this. I think other hospitals around the country should follow their example.

"I have also asked the NHS Trust to put weekly figures showing how many people have waited more than 4 hours to be seen in A&E on their website. I think it is important that people can see how well their local A&E department is performing. They haven't done this yet so I will continue to press them on this."

Other changes that Greg asked the NHS Trust to make were:

To invite a team from another A&E department which has an excellent reputation, such as Newcastle, to carry out an independent review of A&E services at Tunbridge Wells Hospital.  Greg said: "Having an external team come in to advise would, I though, be extremely valuable and give everyone more confidence that the NHS Trust is doing everything that it possibly can to improve the situation. I am pleased to say that the NHS Trust invited the National Intervention Team from the Department of Health to come in and carry out a review."

To work with social services to reduce bedblocking.  Greg said: "Although Kent social services work effectively there remain improvements that can be made to ensure that enough beds are available for those who need them."

To improve patient care and welfare.Greg commented: "When people go into A&E it is often under very difficult and stressful circumstances it is even more important that they and their families are made as welcome and comfortable as possible. I was shocked, for example, to hear that people, who had often been waiting hours in the A&E Department, weren't able to get any food or drink after the hospital cafes shut in the evening. People in police custody get treated better than that. The Hospital has now put a vending machine into A&E and patients and their families will be offered food at mealtimes which is a very positive step."


26 JUL 2012

Two-year campaign brings about major improvements to mental health services for young people in West Kent

After a two-year campaign to improve mental health services for young people, Greg welcomed the decision by NHS Kent and Medway, Kent County Council and Medway Council to commission Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to provide a new Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) using a 'community model' approach. Children who suffer from mental and emotional health problems will be provided with earlier intervention and reduced waiting times for support, as well as benefitting from treatment provided closer to home.

Greg commented:

"I have been campaigning to improve mental health services for children and young people over the last two years. Some children in West Kent have been having to wait up to 16 months to receive treatment for mental health conditions which I thought was completely unacceptable, so I am absolutely delighted that at last the service is going to be completely overhauled.

"The new service should mean people get the right treatment faster. I understand that Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation has a good track record in providing mental health services in the community which is just what we need. At long-last it looks like the 16 month waiting times will be a thing of the past."

Summary of Greg's campaign:

Over the last 2-3 years, Greg has become increasingly concerned about the number of parents and carers contacting him regarding the delays and difficulties they have experienced trying to access the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) for their children.

Greg wanted to find out if this experience was widespread so in July 2010, he wrote to all GP practices and headteachers in his constituency to ask their views about the CAMHS service. He also wanted to get feedback from parents so he asked GPs to put posters up in their waiting rooms and schools to put details in their newsletters asking people to send him their feedback on CAMHS.

The response was considerable, with many desperate stories of how parents had tried to seek help for their children, but had to wait up to 16 months to receive treatment. Greg also met with professionals working within CAMHS and their views concurred with the experience of GPs, teachers and parents.

The three key issues that emerged from his research were:

The transition from CAMHS to adult services, in particular concerns about continuity of care and the gap in service for 16-18 year olds.Waiting times from first referral to start of treatment and the impact of this on family life and the patient's condition.The complexity and lack of co-ordination between the different CAHMS services which often meant that patients were referred inappropriately.

In October 2010, Greg called a meeting with Chief Executive of NHS West Kent, Marion Dinwoodie, to feed back the results of my research. He told her that the "CAMHS service at Tiers 2 & 3 needs to be radically transformed to provide a level of service that some other parts of the country appear to already enjoy" and she agreed to produce an action plan to address these concerns.

Greg met with NHS West Kent again in December 2010 and February 2011 to drive progress.

In May 2011, NHS West Kent agreed to invest an additional £750,000 a year to make some badly needed improvements to the CAMHS service, which was targeted at:

Closing the gap between the age of 17 and 18 where currently adolescent care ends but adult care doesn't begin.Providing out-of-hours assessments for under-18s, 365-days a year in A&E, Medical wards and Paediatric wards at Darent Valley Hospital, Maidstone Hospital and Pembury Hospital.Providing support for young people with ADHD. The service will include an experienced nurse prescriber who will run clinics in GP surgeries and visit families at home.On 12 July 2012, West Kent Primary Care Trust announced that it has commissioned Sussex partnership NHS Foundation Trust to provide the new CAMHS service which will start on 1 September 2012

On 20 July 2011, the Board of NHS Kent & Medway agreed to re-commission current NHS primary and specialist CAMHS services into a Community CAMHS model.


20 JUL 2012

Greg presents awards to School Council at Broomhill Bank School

Greg was invited to join Broomhill Bank School in Rusthall for its Annual Prizegiving Ceremony. He presented special awards to members of its school Council.


17 JUL 2012

Local sports clubs benefit from Olympic legacy

On the day the Olympic torch came to Tunbridge Wells, Greg presented cheques to four sports clubs in the Tunbridge Wells constituency on behalf of Sport England as part of the Olympic legacy fund.

Greg said: "It's great that so many local projects are going to benefit from this funding and I'm doubly pleased that four are within my own constituency. To have such fantastic sporting facilities in the local area is going to be a real boon. And there is another £10million available which is going to provide a great Olympic legacy for local sports clubs so I would encourage everyone to apply."

Mascalls School secured £87,500 of National Lottery funding to upgrade its dilapidated tennis courts so netball, tennis and basketball will be on offer to the local community

Horsmonden Sports Club was awarded £44,610 of National Lottery funding to renovate the existing changing facilities for the football and cricket clubs that use the club.

Cricketers at Matfield are to benefit from a National Lottery award of £50,000 to Brenchley Parish Council. The award will contribute to a total project cost of £203,000 to replace the club's pavilion that was destroyed by fire in 2011.

Paddock Wood Athletics Club has been awarded £50,000 through Inspired Facilities to be used to build a 2/4/6 lane training track on land.


29 JUN 2012

Greg opens two new units at Hawkhurst Station Business Park

Greg opened two new units at Hawkhurst Station Business Park which is built on the site of a former railway station and one of the largest centres of employment in the local area.

The new units are being occupied by two companies already operating from the site. Family-owned importer and distributor Maws Fine Foods needed larger premises to expand. The Weatherly family moved Maws on to the site in 2005, growing their operations to serve hotels, restaurants and caterers throughout the South East. Premium desserts manufacturer Rhokett is a multi-million-pound business founded in 2002 by leading patissier Martin Dockett with support from celebrity chef Gary Rhodes. A skilled team of pastry chefs specialises in the manufacture of premium-quality desserts, sorbets, ice cream and iced specialities which are supplied to blue chip customers across the UK.


29 JUN 2012

Greg visits Horsmonden Farmers' Market

Greg held a drop-in advice surgery with local Borough Councillor and Parish Council Chairman Jane March at Horsmonden Farmers' Market. Afterwards he enjoyed visiting some of the stalls selling local produce.


25 MAY 2012

Paddock Wood Rail Station upgrade

Greg met with representatives from Network Rail and Southeastern to discuss their £500k upgrade of Paddock Wood station which includes refurbishment of the station ticket hall, additional cycle parking, improvements to the passenger drop-off zone and pedestrian crossing, provision of a disabled toilet and upgrades to CCTV.

Greg commented:

"With the cost of rail tickets having increased so much in recent years, it's right that conditions should improve. So I welcome this refurbishment and hope that it makes passengers' journeys that bit easier."


25 MAY 2012

Greg formally opens new Alzheimer's Day Care Centre in Tunbridge Wells

Greg formally opened the Alzheimer's Society's new day care centre and office in Tunbridge Wells.

After the opening, Greg commented:

"The Alzheimer's Society in Kent does a fantastic job supporting people with dementia. I've previously attended some of their events and seen at first hand what an important service they provide. The new day centre will be open 5 days a week offering lots of different types of activities which helps both people with dementia, and their carers and friends alike."


25 MAY 2012

Greg re-opens Cafe Refresh in Showfields

Greg re-opened the newly refurbished Cafe Refresh, which is part of the No1 Community Centre, in Showfields.

Greg commented:

"It's great that this cafe has re-opened and under Paul Draper's management, I'm sure it will thrive. Not only will it provide cafe facilities to local residents or visitors to Showfields, but it also provides a venue for groups – both young and old - to meet."


08 MAY 2012

A21 BREAKTHROUGH

At a meeting with Tunbridge Wells MP, Greg Clark, this morning, Roads Minister Mike Penning placed the A21 Tonbridge to Pembury dualling scheme on a list of six projects nationwide being readied for construction from 2015 when the next round of funds is expected to become available.

The Minister also gave the go ahead to the Public Inquiry on the dualling scheme which local campaigners have been calling for. The A21 scheme is the only one of the six for which the Public Inquiry has been given permission to begin, putting this crucial scheme at the head of the list.

Speaking after the meeting in Westminster this morning, which was also attended by Kent County Council Leader Paul Carter, Greg Clark said:

"This is superb news. Not only has the Minister said that the A21 dualling is one of six schemes in the country to be prepared for investment from 2015, but he also confirmed to me that the Public Inquiry can go ahead without further delay.

"The whole community has been fighting so hard to get the A21 dualled and I am delighted that the Minister has listened to our arguments.

"I hope we can get through the Public Inquiry quickly so that it will be all systems go when the next round of money is released in 2015.

"As with the campaign for the new Pembury Hospital, I will take nothing for granted until I see construction start at long last, but this is a massive boost to our cause."


23 APR 2012

Greg says "Disappearance of grot spot should kick-start town centre renaissance"

As one of Tunbridge Wells' worst grot spots disappears for good with the re-opening of the new Morrisons store, MP for Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clark, called for the rest of the town centre to be put under the spotlight.

 

 

 

 

Following the official opening of the Morrisons store, MP for Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clark, said:

"I firstly want to congratulate all the staff at Morrisons who have transformed this grot spot into an attractive building and worked so hard to get it ready for opening day.

"I also want to thank the whole community for campaigning so hard to get the store re-opened. Particular credit must go to the local Tunbridge Wells Twitter and Facebook users, and to councillors who gathered signatures from over 4,000 households in central Tunbridge Wells. It just goes to show how much can be achieved when a community works together.

"It is important that Morrisons recognises that it is part of the town centre community and that a successful town centre is in everyone's interests. We have some superb independent traders in the town centre like Sankeys fishmongers, Rooks and Speaights butchers. I hope that more people shopping in the town centre will provide more customers for them.

"Finally, word should go out to the owners of the cinema site as to how forceful people power in Tunbridge Wells can be. We are all fed up with years of dereliction on this site – it is a real eye-sore - and the time has come for the new owners to make progress and to work with the public rather than behind closed doors."

Photo showing before and after development of new Morrisons store

 

 

Commenting on the local campaign to remove this grot spot, Greg Clark said:

"People in Tunbridge Wells were outraged that Morrisons had kept this prime site boarded-up over the last 5 years, blighting the town. Its boarded up doors and windows directly opposite the railway station has been a bleak and depressing sight for visitors arriving at our beautiful town as well as an eyesore for any resident using the station. The building had become a grot spot – regularly attracting graffiti and the car park has been periodically a focus for criminality.

"Enough was enough last year when a competitor supermarket asked the Borough Council if they could bring the vacant site into use but Morrisons refused to surrender its lease. I called for a face-to-face meeting with Morrison's Chief Executive in August which resulted in him re-thinking his position, and a local petition got over 4,000 signatures which added weight to the campaign. The local on-line Twitter and Facebook community also played an invaluable role putting pressure on Morrisons to change its mind and in September, the company finally relented and announced that it would re-open a store by Easter 2012.

"By working together, the local community has been able to transform one of the grottiest parts of town into a very attractive area and just shows what people power can achieve."


16 MAR 2012

Greg calls meeting to discuss services for homeless people

Greg called a meeting to discuss services for homeless people in Tunbridge Wells.

Greg said:

"Many people are concerned about the closure of the premises currently used by The Soup Bowl. This combined with the success of the Tunbridge Wells Churches' Winter Shelter has provided a good opportunity to review services for homeless people in the town.

"I called a meeting with representatives from the Borough Council, churches of all denominations in Tunbridge Wells and one of the key charities working with homeless people in Kent, Porchlight, to look at the different options. The Bishop of Rochester, who has a particular interest in homelessness, also attended.

"It is not an easy issue to resolve but through our discussions it is very clear to me that there is the experience, goodwill and enthusiasm to work together to find a solution.

"A Steering Group is going to be set up to look at the possibility of appointing a small team to provide continuing support for homeless people in Tunbridge Wells. Rough sleepers often have complex problems which only persistent and continuous professional support can help resolve. I think this would be a great way forward."


10 FEB 2012

Greg opens new activity centre for elderly in Hawkhurst

Greg opened a new activity centre for elderly people at Grove Mills in Hawkhurst.  The Weald Rural Activities Partnership (WRAP) has been set up by four charities: the Hawkhurst Community Hospital League of Friends, the WRVS, Alzheimer's Society and Sound Architect.  The centre will provide lots of different activities for local people including computer courses.


27 JAN 2012

Greg visits new Make Ready Ambulance Station in Paddock Wood

Greg visited the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust's new Make Ready Centre in Paddock Wood.

All ambulances from the area now start and end their shifts at the centre where they are cleaned, restocked and maintained by specialist staff. This enables ambulance crews to spend more time looking after patients.

Greg said: "It was fascinating to see the way each ambulance is kept in a constantly–ready condition, with disinfected and restocked at the end of each shift. I know that the centralisation of the service in Paddock Wood caused concern, for some, but now that it is operational I hope that it will improve availability and improve times."


15 DEC 2011

Urgent transport review to look at A21

The Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening, has announced that, as part of the £1.5 billion programme of investment in major transport schemes, the Department for Transport will be looking at the A21 in relation to the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road scheme.

The Secretary of State for Transport said:

"We recognise the critically important role that transport improvements could play in the regeneration of the Bexhill-Hastings area and the economic case underpinning the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road, though we are also aware of concerns regarding the proposed scheme, including its environmental impact.

"Before we take a final decision on the scheme we want to be sure that it offers the best approach for regenerating the area and also to consider other transport options to achieve this, including local trunk roads such as the A21, A259 and local rail. We also want to consider whether further environmental mitigation measures could be deployed to address the impacts of the proposed Bexhill-Hastings scheme.

"Over the next three months the Department will work alongside the scheme's promoters and other local and regional partners to gather further evidence on the optimal solution for the area. We would intend to make a decision swiftly thereafter."


02 DEC 2011

Greg meets winner of his Christmas Card competition

Greg visited Pembury Primary School to meet the winner of his Christmas Card competition, Ally Taylor.

Greg commented: "I thought it would be lovely to ask children from local primary schools to design my Christmas card this year. I had a great response which made choosing the winning design very difficult, but in the end I couldn't resist the imaginative Three Kings which Ally Taylor painted as it brought a smile to my face. It was great to be able to meet Ally in person."


02 DEC 2011

Greg presents award to Calverley Hill Hostel

Greg visited Calverley Hill Hostel in Tunbridge Wells, which provides supported housing for vulnerable young women, to present them with a Community in Focus Award on behalf of Faith Action. Community in Focus Awards recognise organisations that provide examples of excellent, innovative and inspirational services which make a real difference to people's lives.

Commenting on his visit, Greg said: "I am really impressed by the work that Calverley Hill Hostel does in turning around the lives of young women – they certainly deserve this award."


25 NOV 2011

Innovative offer to get A21 dualling scheme underway

MPs and local authorities representing the whole length of the A21 corridor have written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, with an innovative offer to get the A21 Tonbridge to Pembury dualling scheme underway again.

Kent County Council, East Sussex County Council and other local authorities have offered to:

  • Fully underwrite the costs of the currently stalled public inquiry, enabling it to recommence quickly without using central government funds. This will ensure that the project is ready to go once funding is available. 
  •  Guarantee the local delivery of the project for £70m. The cost of the scheme has been estimated by the Highways Agency to be £120m. Kent County Council has re-assessed the costs and says that the project can be completed for less than £70m. This represents a saving of over £50m.

Greg Clark commented:

"There are lots of very good reasons why the dualling of the A21 needs to get underway. First and foremost of these has to be road safety - there have been a number of fatal accidents along this stretch of road recently so the sooner it is dualled, the better.

"However, the economic benefits are also considerable. This construction project would be an important boost to the local economy at a much needed time. Getting on with the A21 dualling scheme, rather than keeping it on hold, would have significant growth prospects all along the route of the A21."

"This offer means that when the funding does become available, the A21 dualling scheme should be very well placed to start without any further delay."

See today's report in The Kent & Sussex Courier:

http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/Councils-offer-fund-inquiry-A21-dualling/story-13952712-detail/story.html


04 NOV 2011

North Farm to get some traffic improvements before Christmas

The working group, set up to consider traffic issues at the North Farm Industrial Estate, met at the Town Hall. Chaired by Greg, the meeting was attended by representatives from the business community, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Kent County Council.

Kent Highways confirmed that short term measures (as identified in the North Farm traffic study) that could help relieve the traffic problems at North Farm are being implemented and it was anticipated that they would be in place before Christmas. These include:

  • capacity improvements at the Great Lodge/Longfield Road junction
  • carrying out changes to traffic signal phases
  • install CCTV cameras at the Great Lodge/Longfield Road and Kingstanding Way/Longfield Road junctions
  • implement 'Keep Clear' markings at the Knights Park/Longfield Road junction (west bound carriageway)
  • implement 'Keep Clear' markings at the Dowding Way/Longfield Road roundabout adjacent to Dowding Way entry

Commenting on the meeting, Greg said:

"The congestion at North Farm gets worse. The transformation of North Farm will come with the dualling of the A21, but I believe it is right to take action now rather than wait for the main show. Everything that can be done to improve the situation must be done. That's why I convened this group of Tunbridge Wells and Kent Councillors and officers and businesses in North Farm and I'm pleased that some improvements will be made in time for what will no doubt be a busy Christmas."

 Borough Councillor Brian Ransley, Planning and Transportation Portfolio Holder said:

"This was a constructive meeting and it was very apparent that we all share the desire to work together to find solutions for North Farm.

"The cost of the short term measures will be met from section106 funding from development in Longfield Road, while consideration is still being given to the medium and long-term solutions.

"I was able to emphasise how seriously the borough council views the traffic issues at North Farm. The council's Cabinet is determined that a more radical solution to the traffic problem at North Farm should be sought as soon as possible, and will campaign vigorously to ensure that this problem get priority attention from Kent County Council and other involved agencies."

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is going to be inviting all the businesses at North Farm to an information session at the end of the month where they can hear about the work the Council and KCC are undertaking and how they can assist in addressing the current congestion issues.


04 NOV 2011

Opening of Hope Butler Suite at new hospital

Greg opened a bereavement suite for the parents of stillborn children and those who die shortly after birth at the new Tunbridge Wells hospital.

The suite, which has a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen, is in memory of Hope Butler, who died 16 years ago at the former Pembury Hospital.  Hope's mother, Emily, also spoke at the opening and is pictured here with Greg.

The hospital has worked closely with Tunbridge Wells Sands (Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Charity) Group to develop this new facility which is the first bereavement suite in the country to be included in a new hospital from the planning stage.

 


01 NOV 2011

MPs raise concerns about rail fares with Southeastern

MPs representing constituencies along the Hastings Line, including Greg, wrote the following letter to the Managing Director of Southeastern to raise concerns about rail fare increases:

 

01 November 2011

Charles Horton

Managing Director

Southeastern

Friars Bridge Court

41-45 Blackfriars Road

London

SE1 8PG

Dear Charles

We are writing on behalf of the A21 Reference Group to raise concerns about fare increases for rail passengers using the Hastings to London line. The A21 Reference Group comprises all the Kent and East Sussex MPs covering the A21 between the M25 and Hastings, Council Leaders and Chief Executives.

Rail passengers in our area have suffered substantial increases in their rail fares over the last few years, the cumulative effect of which has been crippling.

We are sure you will have seen the petition and campaign that the local newspaper, The Kent & Sussex Courier, has been running demonstrating just how important this issue is to local people.

Our constituents have told us that after this year's double digit fare increases for many, a further round next year, at a time when many commuters have their pay frozen or reduced, brings them to breaking point.

We are aware that your franchise agreement allows you to increase any particular fare by an extra 5% above the average, but we ask you to exercise your discretion not to penalise in such an excessive way commuters at this difficult time.

Yours sincerely

Rt Hon Greg Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells

Gregory Barker, MP for Bexhill and Battle

Michael Fallon, MP for Sevenoaks

Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings & Rye

Rt Hon Sir John Stanley, MP for Tonbridge & Malling

 

The A21 Reference Group also comprises representatives from:

East Sussex County Council

Kent County Council

Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council

Rother District Council

Hastings Borough Council

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

Sevenoaks District Council

Wealden District Council

Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust


21 OCT 2011

Ground breaking celebration at Skinners' Kent Academy

Greg was presented with an apple tree by Skinners' Kent Acdemy when he attended their ground breaking event marking the start of work on their new state-of-the-art school building.

 Greg said:

 "This is a ground breaking academy, transforming the educational landscape of Tunbridge Wells.  I'm really impressed by how much has already been achieved over the last couple of years and, when the new school building opens its doors in 2013, it will allow the Academy to achieve even more."


07 OCT 2011

Visit to Little Court Nursing Home

Greg visited Little Court Nursing Home in Speldhurst to see their new nine bed extension.


26 SEP 2011

Morrisons to re-open its store by next Easter

A great local campaign victory - thank you to everyone that took part.


23 SEP 2011

Greg visits Ashurst's new Sports Ground

Greg was given a tour of the new Sports Ground in Ashurst by members of the Ashurst and Blackham Sports Association.  The Ground is already being used by football and stoolball teams, and it is hoped that it will eventually provide a wide range of sporting activities.

 


16 SEP 2011

Greg presented with speed limit petition in Capel

During a visit to Capel Primary School, Greg was presented with a petition from local residents which calls for a speed limit reduction along the B2017 road, outside the School.  Earlier this year, one of the pupils was hit by a car walking to school.

Greg will send this petition to Kent County Council on behalf of all the 674 signatories.

 


24 AUG 2011

A joint statement issued by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Morrisons plc and Greg Clark MP

The Leader of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and officers met with property executives at Morrisons on Tuesday (Aug 23rd) to discuss the unoccupied Morrisons site in the town.

Following the meeting, which took place in the Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Councillor Bob Atwood said:

"I am very pleased that following our intervention Morrisons asked to have a meeting with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and that Greg Clark could join us.

"In my view the meeting was constructive and we were able to find a sensible way forward.

"I am happy to accept Morrisons' assurances that they will hold discussions on the possible future use of the site. At this juncture the expectation is that these discussions will be concluded by late September and a further announcement will follow.

"Personally I will be delighted if our meeting sees the beginning of the end of the saga of the empty store."

Terry Hartwell, Property Director for Morrisons, said:

"We have met with the Leader and officers of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Greg Clark MP and we all have been listening to the strong views of the people of Tunbridge Wells about this store. We had a constructive meeting and we pledged to work together to determine a future for this store.

"It has taken longer than we would have liked but we are committed to finding a swift resolution that is also in the best interests of Tunbridge Wells. We expect to provide a further update by late September."

Greg Clark, who last week, met Morrisons' Chief Executive Dalton Philips at the company's Bradford HQ said:

"I am grateful to Morrisons for having come to Tunbridge Wells so soon after my meeting in Bradford with them last week.

"The meeting gave me hope that the years of blight at the site will come to an end. Bob Atwood and I were very clear that the people of Tunbridge Wells have run out of patience with this grot spot.

"Morrisons recognised this and will now engage in intensive work during the next few weeks to make a full proposal to bring the site back into use quickly and to improve the car park.

"I look forward to this being published, and, in the meantime, Bob Atwood and I will keep the pressure on Morrisons to, at last, redeem their reputation in Tunbridge Wells."


19 AUG 2011

Greg meets with Morrisons' Chief Executive

Commenting on his meeting with Morrisons' Chief Executive Dalton Philips at the company's Bradford Headquarters on Thursday 18 August, MP for Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clark, said:

"It was a frank and forthright meeting. I told Dalton Philips that people in Tunbridge Wells are outraged that Morrisons have kept this prime site boarded-up over the last 5 years, blighting the town, rather than allow a competitor to revive it.

"As a company, Morrisons makes much of its commitment to "being a good neighbour and an active part of the community". But the acid test of whether these values are more than warm just words is when the clear interest of the community does not coincide with the narrow commercial advantage to the company. By keeping its competitors out and the store abandoned, Morrisons revealed that it would put its own commercial tactics ahead of the wellbeing of a community.

"If they are to salvage their reputation locally and convince people that they are a 'good neighbour' and 'an active part of the community', I believe that there are two responsible courses open to Morrisons:

1. To give a binding commitment to re-open an attractive store themselves within months.

2. To allow Waitrose to move in and re-open the store.

"Patience has run out with the company and there is a great suspicion of being strung along, so a decision needs to be made quickly.

"I felt that Mr Philips and his colleagues listened carefully to all the points that I made and I offered to facilitate any meeting they needed with the Borough Council, but they now need to put the community first."


17 AUG 2011

Reply from Morrisons

Disappointing reply from Morrisons, so Greg has asked for a face-to-face meeting with its Chief Executive, Dalton Philips.

Click here to see Morrisons' letter

 


11 AUG 2011

My letter to Morrisons' Chief Executive calling on him to unblock the reopening of their disused Tunbridge Wells store

"I'm writing to express my deep concern about what I understand to be the position that Morrisons have taken regarding the vacant Tunbridge Wells store. In doing so I should make clear that I am writing as the constituency MP for Tunbridge Wells rather than in my ministerial capacity.

Since Morrisons closed its Tunbridge Wells store in 2006 the empty site has been a blight on our town. Not only have residents been deprived of a building that was designed to meet their needs, but its boarded up doors and windows directly opposite the railway station has been a bleak and depressing sight for visitors arriving at our beautiful town as well as an eyesore for any resident using the station.

The building has become a grot spot – regularly attracting graffiti and the car park has been periodically a focus for criminality.

I understand from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council that one of your competitor supermarkets, Waitrose, has agreed to bring the vacant site back into use and, with the freeholder, to invest in improving its appearance. Everyone in Tunbridge Wells considers this to be wonderful news.

And yet, I am told, Morrisons have now decided not to surrender its lease but instead to keep the store closed in the state that it is in.

If this is true, it would be an appalling blow to the town. It is one thing for the company to abandon the town, it's quite another to stand in the way of others to clear up the mess left behind.

It would reflect very badly on Morrisons' reputation locally and it would also be a warning to other communities across the country of the values of the firm.

I will be grateful for your urgent assurance that these suggestions are not the case, and I would ask you and your Board to do whatever is necessary to ensure that the supermarket is reopened without delay."


21 JUL 2011

Success for campaign to improve mental health services for young people in west Kent

Greg has welcomed a breakthrough in mental health services for children and young people in West Kent, after health chiefs agreed to completely overhaul the existing service. The new service will provide a single contact point which will be much simpler for people to use and should drastically reduce waiting times as well as helping them to get the right treatment.

Greg commented:

"Compared to other areas of health, mental health services don't get the attention they deserve. I was very saddened by the stories that parents and carers were telling me about the problems they had experienced trying to get the help they so desperately need. I have been actively campaigning to improve the situation here in West Kent.

"In May, local health chiefs agreed to address some of the problems within the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) with a £750,000 investment targeted at some specific problems such as providing out-of-hours assessments for under-18s in the local hospitals.

"This was a step in the right direction but I have always said that there needed to be some fundamental changes to the CAMHS service and I am delighted that this is now going ahead. By next September, the CAMHS service is going to be completely redesigned so that the primary and specialist medical health services are integrated with a single contact point. This should result in people getting faster and more appropriate treatment."

Summary of Greg's campaign:

Over the last 2-3 years, Greg has become increasingly concerned about the number of parents and carers contacting him regarding the delays and difficulties they have experienced trying to access the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) for their children.

Greg wanted to find out if this experience was widespread so in July 2010, he wrote to all GP practices and headteachers in his constituency to ask their views about the CAMHS service. He also wanted to get feedback from parents so he asked GPs to put posters up in their waiting rooms and schools to put details in their newsletters asking people to send him their feedback on CAMHS.

The response was considerable, with many desperate stories of how parents had tried to seek help for their children, but had to wait up to 16 months to receive treatment. Greg also met with professionals working within CAMHS and their views concurred with the experience of GPs, teachers and parents.

The three key issues that emerged from his research were:

  1. The transition from CAMHS to adult services, in particular concerns about continuity of care and the gap in service for 16-18 year olds.
  2. Waiting times from first referral to start of treatment and the impact of this on family life and the patient's condition.
  3. The complexity and lack of co-ordination between the different CAHMS services which often meant that patients were referred inappropriately.

In October 2010, Greg called a meeting with Chief Executive of NHS West Kent, Marion Dinwoodie, to feed back the results of my research. He told her that the "CAMHS service at Tiers 2 & 3 needs to be radically transformed to provide a level of service that some other parts of the country appear to already enjoy" and she agreed to produce an action plan to address these concerns.

Greg met with NHS West Kent again in December 2010 and February 2011 to drive progress.

In May 2011, NHS West Kent agreed to invest an additional £750,000 a year to make some badly needed improvements to the CAMHS service, which was targeted at:

  1. Closing the gap between the age of 17 and 18 where currently adolescent care ends but adult care doesn't begin.
  2. Providing out-of-hours assessments for under-18s, 365-days a year in A&E, Medical wards and Paediatric wards at Darent Valley Hospital, Maidstone Hospital and Pembury Hospital.
  3. Providing support for young people with ADHD. The service will include an experienced nurse prescriber who will run clinics in GP surgeries and visit families at home.

On 20 July 2011, the Board of NHS Kent & Medway agreed tore-commission current NHS primary and specialist CAMHS services into a Community CAMHS model.


08 JUL 2011

Traffic problems at North Farm Industrial Estate

A new working group, chaired by Greg, and comprising representatives from the business community, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Kent Highways, met to agree on a number of options that could help relieve the traffic problems at the North Farm Industrial Estate.

The options have been developed as part of a recent study, commissioned by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Kent County Council, and range from short-term actions that could be completed within this financial year through to medium and longer-term schemes which might require greater funding or more investigation.

Greg commented:

"Bringing together representatives from councils, Kent Highways and other local organisations is a new model of working we tried when we were looking at the road safety problems along the A228 at Colt's Hill. It proved to be a very successful approach as local knowledge is crucial in helping to decide what might or might not work. The key difference between Colts Hill and North Farm is the amount of businesses that are directly affected by the traffic problems so it was important to actively involve representatives from the local business community.

"The problems at North Farm are never going to be resolved with a quick fix solution. The congestion is causing so much misery for both local residents and businesses alike, it's in everyone's interests to work together to try and get the traffic moving again."

The final report is expected to be published by early August.

 


08 JUL 2011

Alzheimer's Awareness Week

Greg met local members of The Alzheimer's Society at a special tea to celebrate Alzheimer's Awareness Week.


24 JUN 2011

Visit to Muffett Gears

Greg visited Muffett Gears, a highly successful engineering company based in Tunbridge Wells.  He was particularly impressed by the number of apprenticeships that Muffett Gears offer young people. 


24 JUN 2011

1st July: Red letter day for rail passengers

The introduction of a new "delay-repay" compensation system for rail passengers which starts on Friday 1 July 2011 will be a "red letter day for rail passengers".

Greg Clark said:

"I am absolutely delighted that Southeastern has agreed to go ahead with this new compensation system. Rail passengers from Tunbridge Wells and High Brooms understandably feel they have had a very raw deal over the past few years so this will provide some very welcome relief.

"After the terrible problems experienced by rail passengers on the Tunbridge Wells line over the last winter, I met with the Managing Director of Southeastern, Charles Horton, in January to discuss concerns raised by constituents. The thing that most people complained about was the unfair compensation system for season ticket holders whereby they only received a 5% discount on renewal if performance targets were met.

"As these performance targets were based on the average performance across all of Southeastern's rail services, it meant that although the Tunbridge Wells lines experienced terrible delays, the better performing lines like High Speed 1 brought the average up above the trigger point for compensation.

"Passengers were understandably furious about this so I asked Southeastern's Managing Director whether he would consider changing the system to one used by many other UK rail companies called "Delay-Repay which provides immediate and automatic compensation. It's great news that they are going ahead with this on 1st July – it will be a red letter day for rail passengers."

Under the new Delay-Repay compensation system, season ticket holders will be entitled to a refund of 50% of the proportion of the fare for the journey if their overall journey is delayed by 30 minutes or more, and 100% of the single fare for delays of an hour or longer.

The new "Delay-repay" system will cover season ticket holders. Holders of daily and weekly tickets are already covered by the scheme. Compensation will be in the form of rail travel vouchers which can be offset against the cost of future season tickets.


11 JUN 2011

Re-opening of Sandhurst Village Stores

Greg celebrates the opening of the newly refurbished Village Stores in Sandhurst with its owners Ann & David Johnson and Baroness Stedman-Scott. 


10 JUN 2011

Visit to Mount Ephraim Care Home

Residents at Mount Ephraim Care Home were given the opportunity to ask Greg questions about topical issues during a visit to the home. 


13 MAY 2011

Improving mental health services for young people

Greg welcomed a breakthrough in mental health services for children and young people, with £750,000 funding agreed to treat 1,000 more young people a year in West Kent.

He commented:

"Compared to other areas of health, mental health services are, all too often, neglected and this was certainly the case in West Kent. I was very saddened by the stories that parents and carers were telling me about the problems they were experiencing trying to get the help they so desperately needed, and I have been actively campaigning to improve the situation.

"I am delighted, therefore, that local health chiefs have finally agreed to address some of the problems within the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). These improvements, which they hope will be in place by the Summer, should benefit up to 1,000 children and young people a year, and, of course, many other family members who also often indirectly affected.

"The money will do 3 things:

  • Close the gap between the age of 17 and 18 where currently adolescent care ends but adult care doesn't begin.
  • Provide out-of-hours assessments for under-18s, 365-days a year in A&E, Medical wards and Paediatric wards at Darent Valley Hospital, Maidstone Hospital and Pembury Hospital.
  • Provide support for young people with ADHD. The service will include an experienced nurse prescriber who will run clinics in GP surgeries and visit families at home.

"There's still a lot more to be done, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. I understand that there are plans to make fundamental changes to CAMHS in the long-term and will be keeping a very close eye on how these plans progress."

Summarising his campaign, Greg said:

"Over the last 2-3 years, I have become increasingly concerned about the number of parents and carers contacting me regarding the delays and difficulties they have experienced trying to access the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) for their children.

"I wanted to find out if this experience was widespread so in July 2010, I wrote to all GP practices and headteachers in my constituency to ask their views about the CAMHS service. I also wanted to get feedback from parents so I asked GPs to put posters up in their waiting rooms and schools to put details in their newsletters asking people to send me their feedback on CAMHS.

"The response was considerable, with many desperate stories of how parents had tried to seek help for their children and waiting up to 16 months to receive treatment.

"I also met with professionals working within CAMHS and their views concurred with the experience of GPs, teachers and parents.

"The three key issues that emerged from my research were:

  • The transition from CAMHS to adult services, in particular concerns about continuity of care and the gap in service for 16-18 year olds.
  • Waiting times from first referral to start of treatment and the impact of this on family life and the patient's condition.
  • The complexity and lack of co-ordination between the different CAHMS services which often meant that patients were referred inappropriately.

"In October 2010, I called a meeting with Chief Executive of NHS West Kent, Marion Dinwoodie, to feed back the results of my research. I told her that the "CAMHS service at Tiers 2 & 3 needs to be radically transformed to provide a level of service that some other parts of the country appear to already enjoy" and she agreed to produce an action plan to address these concerns.

"I met with NHS West Kent again in December 2010 and February 2011 to drive progress and I am delighted that they have agreed to make this immediate investment which will, at last, start to address the deficiencies in this desperately important area. I understand that they are also looking to make longer-term changes to CAMHS and I will be keeping a very close eye on these plans progress."

CAMHS provides four levels of service:

Tier 1 – Services provided by GPs, teachers and social workers

Tier 2 – Services provided by mental health professionals for young people with less severe mental health difficulties

Tier 3 – Specialised services for more severe, complex or persistent disorders

Tier 4 – In-patient specialist services


08 APR 2011

Greg calls meeting on local bus services

Greg met with representatives from Arriva Southern Counties, Kent County Council and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to discuss local bus services, in particular services to the new hospital in Pembury and the withdrawal of the 285 service from Southborough to Sainsburys in Tunbridge Wells.


08 APR 2011

Greg meets with Tunbridge Wells Access Group

Greg met with members of Tunbridge Wells Access Group to talk about issues of concern to them such as reform of the Disability Living Allowance.


08 APR 2011

Victory over extra parking at new hospital

Greg is delighted to hear that planning permission has been given for an extra 100 visitor parking spaces at the new hospital in Pembury.

Back in 2009, Greg called a public meeting to discuss transport issues relating to the new hospital and visitor parking was one of the key concerns to be raised by local residents. The NHS Trust agreed with this view and asked Tunbridge Wells Borough Council for permission to increase the number of parking spaces for visitors from 250 to 350.

Related article

 

 


01 APR 2011

Visit to Matfield & Brenchley

Greg spent the day in Matfield & Brenchley including an informal drop-in surgery at The Star Inn in Matfield and a visit to Brenchley & Matfield Primary School where he was quizzed by Year 6 pupils about his work as an MP.  Greg also had an advice surgery at Brenchley Memorial Hall.


01 APR 2011

Greg visits Paddock Wood Primary School

On a visit to Paddock Wood Primary School, Greg met its School Council to discuss their recent visit to Parliament.

Greg said:

"I really enjoyed meeting all the members of the School Council. They were clearly inspired by their recent visit to Parliament and had prepared some great questions for me."


28 MAR 2011

Greg meets young designers celebrating Fairtrade fortnight

Greg met some of the schoolchildren who designed brightly-coloured bunting to mark Fairtrade fortnight in Tunbridge Wells. 

Twenty local schools were involved in creating the bunting depicting Fairtrade products.

 


25 MAR 2011

Cost cutting KCC report re-starts stalled A21 improvements

New figures, demonstrating that the long-awaited A21dualling between Tonbridge and Pembury could be delivered at less than half the current £120m cost, were presented to Roads Minister Mike Penning at a meeting on 22 March 2011.

Following the meeting, Greg said:

"This is tremendous news and shows just what can be done with greater local control. KCC's figures would cut the cost by half and give new hope that the long awaited dualling of the A21 between Tonbridge and Pembury can now be completed - and at much less cost to the public purse.

"The Minister has promised full access to Highways Agency figures and to release all the information KCC needs to complete its re-costing of this vital scheme. We will be meeting the Minister again in 6-7 weeks with a fully worked up proposal.

"I also stressed how critical it was that the Public Inquiry was re-started. The Minister understood fully that a re-costed road scheme given the go-ahead could then be delayed - and increase in price - if the Inquiry hadn't been completed. He promised to make a decision on the Inquiry as soon as possible.

"KCC is to be congratulated for its innovative approach to getting the job done."

KCC Leader Paul Carter commented:

"Working with leading construction companies, we've proved it may be possible to cut the £120m cost of the A21 improvements by half. This is a major breakthrough and I believe this scheme could forge a new model for lower cost, local delivery of vital construction schemes.

"The Minister has today given us a unique opportunity to prove our case. Over the next 6 weeks we will have full access to Highways Agency figures and officials to develop a fully-costed proposal that could at last offer hope to local businesses and local people gridlocked on the A21.

"I've long believed that new roads and public buildings could be built at much less cost if we had greater local control. I now aim to prove it!"

 


21 MAR 2011

New compensation system for rail passengers

Commenting on the announcement that Southeastern is introducing a new compensation system for passengers and that its franchise is to be continued to 2014, Greg said: 

"The good news is that Southeastern is going to scrap the current useless compensation system and replace it with a system that gives refunds for actual delays and cancellations suffered each day. This so-called Delay Repay system will be in place by the summer. I put this idea to the Managing Director of Southeastern, Charles Horton, when I met him in January so I am absolutely delighted that they are going ahead with it. It is a much fairer system and makes Southeastern much more accountable. The old compensation system, which was based on the average performance across all of Southeastern's rail services, was, I believe, fundamentally flawed and completely frustrating for passengers. If someone has experienced a bad service they should be able to get immediate and automatic compensation.

"Given the problems that rail passengers have had to face over the last few years, I can certainly understand people's concerns about giving Southeastern a two-year extension to their current franchise. However, there is going to be a much longer-term franchise let from 2014. I can understand that to get a different company in to cover an interim period of just 24 months would be very difficult. The rail minister, Theresa Villiers, has assured me that the new contract will put customer service at the forefront and performance targets will be much tougher."

 


19 MAR 2011

Greg visits Tunbridge Wells' Missions Fayre

Greg visited the Tunbridge Wells' Mission Fayre where over 30 different organisations, including Street Pastors, Tunbridge Wells Community Centre for Debt Advice and the Number One Community Trust, came to talk to people about their work.

 

 

 

 


11 MAR 2011

Visit to Gallard's Almshouses

As part of Greg's visit to Southborough, he was given a tour of Gallard's Almshouses where he met many of the residents.  He was also shown plans for a major redevelopment of the homes by the Trustees. 

The existing homes are very small and outdated.  They are also not well suited for disabled access.  The project, which is due to start later this month, will provide much improved accomodation.

 


11 MAR 2011

Southborough drop-in surgery

The manager of Cafe Bliss, Elaine Lawrence, welcomes Greg before he starts his drop-in advice surgery at the cafe.

Cafe Bliss is a thriving community cafe which opened for business in April 2010 by the Better Living In Southborough Society (BLISS).

 

 


11 MAR 2011

Greg visits St James' Junior School

A group of Year 5 pupils at St James' Junior School in Tunbridge Wells practised their debating skills for a project on global warming during Greg's visit to their school. 


23 FEB 2011

Southeastern confirms no discounts for season ticket holders

The University of Sheffield has just published its independent audit of Southeastern's performance data which showed that 82.04% of trains ran on time – just 0.04% above the threshold that would have triggered a 5% reduction in season ticket prices.

The University's report confirms that Southeastern's figures are accurate which means that rail passengers will not be entitled to any discount.

Greg commented:

"I think the current compensation system – which is based on the average punctuality of all mainline services provided by Southeastern across Kent and Sussex - is fundamentally flawed. It is ridiculous to base performance on the basis of how well all lines are doing as the High Speed One services are much more reliable. If you just took the results from the Hastings line, the trigger for compensation would certainly have been met.

"The whole system needs to be changed. The fact that the High Speed rail service is used to calculate whether compensation is paid is particularly galling for residents in West Kent as we are not only having to pay extra for a service we don't use, but including High Speed One is also preventing us from being compensated for the poor performance we have experienced."


18 FEB 2011

Visit to Capel & Five Oak Green

Greg spent a day in Capel and Five Oak Green, including a drop-in surgery at Five Oak Green Post Office and a visit to Capel Primary School.


08 FEB 2011

Improving winter rail services

Greg, and fellow Kent MPs, met with Network Rail's Kent Route Director, Dave Ward, at the House of Commons to discuss the problems caused by severe winter weather on Kent's rail services.

Mr Ward outlined the reasons for the poor performance and then explained how changed software systems, the use of anti-icing trains, selective conductor rail heating and other changes would lead to an improved winter performance in the future.

Mr Ward also explained the weaknesses in the existing communications systems that led to such poor information being provided to passengers throughout the period of snow and ice. Network Rail hopes that the introduction of a "Passenger Information During Disruption" system may allow for an improved service in the future although concerns were expressed about the existing computer programme which is not able to react quickly enough to developing weather or other critical conditions.

Greg commented:

"It is clear that Network Rail is taking action to ensure that the chaotic scenes from last winter are not repeated. However, there are some fundamental issues such as the computerised passenger information system which still needs to be fully addressed."


04 FEB 2011

Voluntary Action Within Kent (VAWK) Conference

Speaking at VAWK's annual conference at the newly-opened auditorium at K College (formerly West Kent College) in Tonbridge, Greg talked about the new rights for voluntary groups which will be established by the Localism Bill, which Greg is currently taking through parliament. 


04 FEB 2011

Traffic congestion at the North Farm Industrial Estate

Greg met with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's new Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation, Brian Ransley, plus representatives from Kent County Council and the Highways Agency, to discuss the worsening problem of traffic congestion in and around the North Farm Industrial Estate.

Greg said:

"Local residents are completely fed-up with being stuck in traffic jams around North Farm and I wanted to take the opportunity to discuss ways to help relieve the problem with the new Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Planning and Highways, and other key organisations.

"We all agreed that action shouldn't wait for dualling of the A21 to begin. We agree that a comprehensive list of potential improvements should be prepared which can happen in the short and medium, term. Both Cllr Ransley and I agreed that this work needs to be carried out as a matter of urgency and we will meet again, along with representatives from the business community, in a few months time to look at the results of the study and decide next steps."

 

 

 


28 JAN 2011

Greg discusses flood prevention measures in Lamberhurst

Greg met with representatives from the Environment Agency and Lamberhurst Parish Council to discuss progress on a flood protection initiative for local residents.

Greg said:

"Lamberhurst has suffered a number of serious floods in recent years so it was important to try and find ways of protecting people's houses. By working closely together, the Environment Agency and the local community have come up with a scheme which everyone is happy with.

Rather than building enormous concrete flood walls along the river which would ruin the look of the village, the community decided that they would prefer to install flood protection measures like pump and flood resistant gates in each home at risk ."


28 JAN 2011

Greg visits Goudhurst & Kilndown Primary School

During a visit to Goudhurst & Kilndown Primary School, Greg was quizzed by Year 6 pupils about what it's like being an MP, Greg's Ministerial duties and some current political issues like University tuition fees.


28 JAN 2011

Greg holds inaugural surgery in Kilndown's new Village Hall

Greg joined the Vice-Chairman of Goudhurst Parish Council, Peter Rolington, the Chairman of the Village Hall Committee, Ray Lovell and architect, Julian Mamlock, to look round Kilndown's brand new Village Hall before he held his advice surgery there.

Greg said:

"I must congratulate everyone who worked so hard on getting the new Village Hall built. It's amazing what the community has achieved – the Hall is a fantastic resource which I'm sure will be well used. I'll certainly be back to hold another advice surgery here."


13 JAN 2011

New Tunbridge Wells Hospital

Greg visited the new £225m hospital in Pembury for a sneak preview just before it opened its doors to its very first patients.

Greg said:

"The new hospital is stunning – with state-of-the-art medical facilities and 100% single rooms it is going to be one of the best hospitals in Britain. The community fought hard to get this new hospital built and it just goes to show what can be achieved when everyone pulls together."


07 JAN 2011

Dire winter rail services

Greg met the Managing Director of Southeastern, Charles Horton, to discuss the severe weather last month which caused terrible disruption to rail services, and the recent outrageous increase in fares.

Commenting on the increase in rail fares, Greg said:

"The fare increase of 11.8% suffered by my constituents is appalling. It is grossly unfair to expect people here to pay such a swingeing increase – Southeastern should have allocated the increase fairly across all areas."


29 NOV 2010

Christmas Card Competition 2010

Greg visited Broomhill Bank School whose pupils were invited to design his Christmas Card this year.

Greg said:

"I decided to ask one of my local schools, Broomhill Bank School, to design my Christmas Card this year. It's a school for children with special educational needs which has just been officially rated as "outstanding".

"It was enormously difficult to choose a winner as all the entries were so brilliant. We had everything from galloping reindeer and smiley snowmen through to crackling log fires and snowy wintry scenes. But a fantastic Christmassy picture of the House of Commons, including stockings hanging from the bottom of Westminster Bridge, was a real Christmas cracker and won first prize!"



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26 JUN 2015

Greg waves the flag for Lamberhurst St Mary¬’s CofE Primary School

Greg presented a ceremonial flag to the pupils of Lamberhurst St Mary's CofE Primary School...


24 JUN 2015

More success for Greg as easyJet agrees to take action to reduce aircraft noise

Greg has achieved another campaign success in his fight against aircraft noise with easyJet agreeing...


23 JUN 2015

Campaign success for Greg as British Airways agrees to modify their A320 planes

After pressing the Chief Executive of British Airways, Keith Williams, to modify their older Airbus...


01 JUN 2015

Greg's tribute to Mike Rusbridge

Mike Rusbridge was a wonderful man, an outstanding community leader and a good friend who will be...


30 MAY 2015

Greg opens new Community Woodland at Pepenbury

Greg was delighted to officially open Pepenbury's Woodland Community Project at the Pepenbury Fun...


27 MAY 2015

Greg¬’s campaign to improve mental health services for children & young people backed up by new CQC report

A report published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on community mental health services for...


22 MAY 2015

Greg celebrates re-opening of Sherwood Lake

Greg joined representatives from Town & Country Housing Group, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council,...


22 MAY 2015

Greg opens new Metrobank in Tunbridge Wells

Greg was delighted to join the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells in officially opening Metrobank's newest...


13 MAR 2015

Greg presses Southeastern on decision to shorten Cannon Street train

Greg met with the MD of Southeastern, David Statham, to discuss the shortening of the 18:28 Cannon...


13 MAR 2015

Greg launches British Science Week at The Skinners¬’ School

Greg visited Skinners' School in Tunbridge Wells to launch British Science Week. The School had...


13 MAR 2015

Greg opens new passenger lifts at Paddock Wood station

Greg was delighted to open new passenger lifts at Paddock Wood station, along with the Managing...


09 MAR 2015

Greg campaigns against shortening of Cannon Street train

Greg and the MP for Hastings, Amber Rudd, teamed up to campaign against the decision by...


11 FEB 2015

One Step Closer to Free Wi-Fi on Trains

The Rail Minister, Claire Perry, announced today that rail passengers will benefit from free wi-fi...


06 FEB 2015

Greg visits Hawkhurst Post Office

Greg visited the Post Office in Budgens, Hawkhurst, which has just been refurbished and will now...


30 JAN 2015

Greg presses Rail Minister on better value-for-money rail fares

Greg invited the Rail Minister, Claire Perry, to visit Tunbridge Wells and took the opportunity to...


30 JAN 2015

Greg visits Paddock Wood Primary School

Greg talked about his life as an MP to pupils at Paddock Wood Primary School at their weekly...


09 JAN 2015

Greg driving ahead with next stage of A21 campaign

Greg and the Editor of The Courier, Roger Kasper, launched the next stage of the A21 dualling...


06 DEC 2014

Greg backs Small Business Saturday

Along with representatives from the Federation of Small Businesses, Greg visited a number of...


05 DEC 2014

Greg meets winner of his 2014 Christmas Card Competition

Greg visited Rose Hill School in Tunbridge Wells to meet the winner of his Christmas Card...


05 DEC 2014

Greg opens new premises for local business in Paddock Wood

Greg was delighted to officially open the new warehouse for Afia Ltd, a local company supplying...


05 DEC 2014

Greg visits Chilstone Stone

Greg enjoyed a tour of Chilstone Stone, a local stonework company which was recently featured on...


21 NOV 2014

Greg secures second ticket machine at High Brooms Station

At a recent meeting, Greg asked the new Managing Director of Southeastern to install a second ticket...


28 OCT 2014

Campaign success on cross-ticketing for rail commuters

The Transport Minister has agreed with Greg's request to allow commuters affected by the forthcoming...


17 OCT 2014

Greg calls on Southeastern to reduce fares and provide more flexible ticketing for part-time workers

Greg called on the new MD of Southeastern, David Statham, to reduce rail fares and prioritise the...


10 OCT 2014

Greg meets the Politics Society at Skinner¬’s School

Greg met with the Politics Society at Skinner's School after a question and answer session with the...


10 OCT 2014

A21 dualling making good progress

Greg met the site manager for contractors - Balfour Beatty - who are constructing the A21 dualling...


10 OCT 2014

Greg welcomes some improvements to local childrens' mental health services

Greg has welcomed a report that shows some improvements to the local Child & Adolescent Mental...


03 OCT 2014

Greg announces new School Council at St Peter's Primary School

Greg announced the newly elected members of the School Council at St Peter's CofE Primary School in...


01 OCT 2014

Breakthrough on Gatwick consultation

Gatwick Airport and National Air Traffic Services (NATS) have agreed with Greg's request to shelve...


25 SEP 2014

Greg opens new classroom block at St James' Junior School

Greg was delighted to open a new classroom block at St James' CE Junior School in Tunbridge Wells....


25 SEP 2014

Greg visits new-look Post Office at Five Ways

Greg visited the new-look Five Ways Post Office in Tunbridge Wells which has had new counters...


17 SEP 2014

Another successful Jobs Fair

Over 600 people attended Tunbridge Wells Jobs Fair at the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge...


11 SEP 2014

Greg expresses concerns over new Southeastern contract

Greg has written to the new Managing Director of Southeastern to ask why a number of fundamental...


05 SEP 2014

Greg supports campaign for two new pedestrian crossings in Tunbridge Wells

Greg is supporting a local campaign to build two new pedestrian crossings in Tunbridge Wells ‚Äď one...


14 JUL 2014

Work begins on North Farm road improvement scheme

Greg met with representatives from Kent County Council, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, and...


11 JUL 2014

Greg presents awards to Challenger Troop

Greg attended an award and graduation ceremony for the Tunbridge Wells Challenger Troop which uses a...


11 JUL 2014

No legal challenges made to A21 dualling scheme

The six week period during which any legal objections to the A21 dualling scheme can be made has...


11 JUL 2014

Greg meets with local businesses

Greg attended a Business Breakfast, organised by West Kent Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Greg...


11 JUL 2014

Greg re-opens the Moor Post Office in Hawkhurst

Greg re-opened the Moor Post Office in a new location after its closure earlier this year. The new...


04 JUL 2014

Greg helps avert Rusthall highways danger

Chairman of Rusthall Parish Council, Jenny Blackburn, asked for Greg's help to get an underground...


27 JUN 2014

Greg calls for cross-ticketing during London Bridge disruption

Greg has asked the Transport Minister to allow commuters affected by the forthcoming London Bridge...


27 JUN 2014

Local residents' to be consulted on improving stroke services

As a result of Greg raising concerns about poor local stroke services, Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells...


20 JUN 2014

Greg helps launch new Build Africa campaign

Greg visited Blott in Tunbridge Wells to meet young supporters of the charity Build Africa to help...


18 JUN 2014

Work on North Farm road improvement scheme moves one step closer

A £5m scheme to improve the road system on the North Farm Industrial Estate has moved one step...


09 JUN 2014

Greg Welcomes Repair of Station Clock

The restoration of the clock at Tunbridge Wells station was one of Greg Clark's first successes...


07 JUN 2014

Greg helps launch new campaign to restore Hawkenbury Cemetery

Greg attended the launch of a new action group, The Friends of Tunbridge Wells Cemetery, who are...


06 JUN 2014

Cycle Friday gets off to a flying start

Greg supported the launch of Tunbridge Wells' Cycle Friday by spending the day on two wheels. Greg...


30 MAY 2014

Greg calls for urgent improvements in local stroke services

Greg has called for urgent improvements in local stroke services after a new report highlighted poor...


23 MAY 2014

Greg gets into the swing to mark Dementia Awareness Week

Greg enjoyed a swing party in the Assembly Hall Theatre, organised by the the local branch of the...


12 MAY 2014

Greg officially opens new-look Ramslye Post Office

During the demolition of Ropers Gate, Ramslye Post Office was temporarily housed in a portacabin for...


01 MAY 2014

Victory for A21 campaign as dualling scheme given final go-ahead

The Secretary of State for Transport has today given the go-ahead for the dualling of the A21...


21 MAR 2014

Sherwood Jobs Fair

Over 400 people looking for work or apprenticeships attended the Sherwood Jobs Fair in the TN2...


21 MAR 2014

Campaign success as post-mortem service returns to Tunbridge Wells

In 2012, Greg learnt that although post-mortem facilities were installed in the new Tunbridge Wells...


18 MAR 2014

Greg meets Roads Minister for dual push on A21

Greg met with Roads Minister, Robert Goodwill, and Department for Transport officials today to...


11 MAR 2014

Greg's tribute to the late John Spare OBE

It is a great shock to lose John Spare, one of Tunbridge Wells' most influential and respected...


28 FEB 2014

Tunbridge Wells mourns death of Deputy Mayor Councillor Colin Bothwell

Colin Bothwell was a local hero and will be dearly missed by his legion of friends and constituents...


31 JAN 2014

Greg challenges poor performance of mental health services for young people in West Kent

Greg described how families in West Kent are being let down by the local Child & Adolescent Mental...


10 JAN 2014

Greg congratulates Grosvenor & Hilbert Park on successful £2.5m lottery fund bid

The Friends of Grosvenor & Hilbert Park and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council have been awarded nearly...


20 DEC 2013

Greg visits Town & Country Housing Group¬’s Customer Contact Centre

Greg visited Town & Country Housing Group's Contact Centre to hear how effectively customers are...


17 DEC 2013

Jobs Boost for Sherwood

Greg has secured a commitment from developers Dandara that the company will provide jobs and...


06 DEC 2013

Greg speaks at Tunbridge Wells' apprenticeship event

Greg met celebrity chef Rosemary Shrager, Joseph Buels from Skills for Employment Ltd and two young...


06 DEC 2013

Greg calls meeting to solve pigeon problem at Sandhurst Road Railway Bridge

Four years ago, Greg contacted Network Rail about the problem of roosting pigeons under Sandhurst...


06 DEC 2013

Greg calls on Network Rail to improve railway bridge

Greg Clark called a meeting with Network Rail, on behalf of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and...


06 DEC 2013

Greg helps launch new business loan fund in West Kent

Greg helped launch a new £5.5million fund called Escalate to support new investment and new jobs...


21 NOV 2013

Get Tunbridge Wells Cycling campaign off to a great start

Well over 100 people attended Greg's public meeting on cycling at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for...


15 NOV 2013

Greg Clark MP calls on Southeastern to improve cycling facilities at Tunbridge Wells station

As part of his campaign to make cycling easier and safer in Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clark MP has...


13 NOV 2013

Greg Clark MP welcomes big fall in unemployment for Tunbridge Wells

MP for Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clark, welcomed new figures published today showing that unemployment...


04 NOV 2013

Get Tunbridge Wells Cycling - public meeting

Public meeting about cycling on Thursday 21 November 2013 at 7.30pm at Tunbridge Wells Grammar...


18 OCT 2013

Greg welcomes Asda's change of heart over North Farm

Asda has agreed to participate in the North Farm Road Scheme, ahead of Greg's meeting with the...


04 OCT 2013

Greg visits new Free School in Tunbridge Wells

Greg was given a tour of the new Wells Free School by its Headteacher, Anita Lawrence. The School...


25 SEP 2013

Greg Clark secures meeting with Asda's Chief Executive to broker deal on North Farm road scheme

Greg has secured a meeting with the Chief Executive of Asda, Andy Clarke, next month to ask them to...


16 SEP 2013

Greg joins Pickering Centre's Double Celebration

Greg joined Polly Taylor, who runs the Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre in Tunbridge Wells, at the...


10 SEP 2013

Blooming success for Tunbridge Wells

Tunbridge Wells has achieved fantastic success in the South & South East in Bloom competition this...


26 JUL 2013

Greg tries out ¬“speaking¬” cash machines for visually impaired customers at local branch of Barclays bank

Greg had a go using a cash machine which speaks to visually impaired customers during a visit to the...


26 JUL 2013

Greg unveils Southborough Society Commemorative Plaque to honour local historical figure

Greg unveiled the second of six commemorative green plaques being erected by the Southborough...


26 JUL 2013

Greg launches Open Day at Tunbridge Wells Mosque

Tunbridge Wells Mosque invited Greg to launch its Open Day which will take place on Sunday 18...


19 JUL 2013

Greg tours local business and hospital on visit to Hawkhurst and Sandhurst

As well as running two advice surgeries in Hawkhurst & Sandhurst, Greg visited Hawkhurst Community...


18 JUL 2013

Greg holds public meeting to discuss noise from overflying aircraft

Over 50 people attended a public meeting in Langton Green Village Hall, chaired by Greg, to discuss...


27 JUN 2013

Campaign Victory to Get A21 Dualling Funded

The local campaign to secure funding for the A21 dualling between Tonbridge and Pembury can claim...


14 JUN 2013

Greg opens new offices for Tunbridge Wells Citizens Advice Bureau

Greg opened Tunbridge Wells Citizens Advice Bureau's new office in Vale House, Clarence Road. Greg...


14 JUN 2013

Better bus services for Tunbridge Wells

Bus passengers in Tunbridge Wells are going to enjoy on-board wi-fi, better bus stops and new...


23 MAY 2013

Greg gives strong support for A21 dualling at Public Inquiry

Greg, along with his colleagues Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings, and Sir John Stanley, MP for Tonbridge...


20 MAY 2013

Greg visits site of new athletics track in Paddock Wood

Mike Ridger from Paddock Wood Athletics Club and Sarah Hamilton, Chairman of Paddock Wood Town...


17 MAY 2013

Greg visits art show to raise awareness of dementia

Greg visited an exhibition at the Trinity Theatre, organised by the Alzheimer's Society and Town &...


10 MAY 2013

Greg visits Circatron in Paddock Wood

Greg enjoyed an interesting visit to Circatron, an electronics manufacturer, in Paddock Wood. Greg...


10 MAY 2013

Greg meets with Paddock Wood Business Association

Greg enjoyed meeting members of Paddock Wood Business Association at 3663, a foodservice wholesaler...


10 MAY 2013

Greg visits Horsmonden Farmers' Market

Greg held a drop-in advice surgery at Horsmonden Farmers' Market and had time afterwards to visit...


03 MAY 2013

Good Luck Tunbridge Wells Football Club

Ten thousand people ‚Äď one person in every five men, women and children who live in Tunbridge Wells...


26 APR 2013

Greg becomes Friend of West Kent YMCA

West Kent YMCA launched its Friends scheme and invited Greg to be one of its very first members,...


25 APR 2013

Greg hosts Exporting for Growth event in Pembury

Local businesses came to find out more about the opportunities for exporting their products at an...


25 APR 2013

Greg visits Skinners' Kent Academy new building

Greg was shown around Skinners' Kent Academy's new building by its Principal, Sian Carr. Greg...


19 APR 2013

Launch of Tunbridge Wells in Bloom 2013

Greg met with some of the organisers and sponsors of Tunbridge Wells in Bloom as they launched this...


08 APR 2013

Margaret Thatcher Tribute

Speaking following the announcement of the death of Lady Thatcher, Tunbridge Wells MP and Financial...


22 MAR 2013

£5m boost to solve traffic problems at North Farm Industrial Estate

Commenting on today's announcement from the Department for Transport that it will be providing...


01 MAR 2013

Start of A21 Public Inquiry set for 14 May 2013

Greg said: "The Highways Agency has confirmed to me that the Public Inquiry for the A21...


25 JAN 2013

Greg visits YMCA in Tunbridge Wells

Greg met staff and residents at YMCA Ryder House in Tunbridge Wells, before visiting their Furniture...


14 DEC 2012

Greg meets winner of his 2012 Christmas Card competition

Greg visited Lamberhurst St Mary's CofE Primary School to meet the winner of his Christmas Card...


14 DEC 2012

Greg meets Head of new CAMHS Service

Greg met with the Head of the new CAMHS Service, Simone Button, to find out what progress is being...


28 NOV 2012

Better news on local rail fare increases

MP for Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clark, welcomed the announcement by Southeastern that rail fare...


01 NOV 2012

Launch of Tunbridge Wells Extra Bus Ticket

Matthew Arnold, Commercial Manager for Arriva, June Crowhurst, Chairman of Pembury Parish Council,...


30 OCT 2012

A21 dualling moves one step closer

The Transport Minister, Stephen Hammond, has announced today that the statutory process regarding...


24 OCT 2012

Good news for Camden Road Guild

Greg welcomed the announcement by the Department for Communities and Local Government that Camden...


22 OCT 2012

Greg presses MD of Southeastern on possible rail fare increases

Greg Clark met with the Managing Director of Southeastern, Charles Horton, at the House of Commons...


18 OCT 2012

Restoring the Bonds of Trust: A speech to the British Bankers' Association

I'm grateful for the opportunity to speak to you today about how banking and financial services can...


12 OCT 2012

Greg opens new nature hide at Oakley School

Greg was delighted to officially open a new woodland nature hide at Oakley School in Tunbridge Wells...


12 OCT 2012

Greg meets GCSE students from Mascalls School

Greg dropped in to meet some GCSE citizenship students at Mascalls School in Paddock Wood to...


12 OCT 2012

Visit to Fir Tree Care Home

Greg joined staff and residents for a celebration of the refurbished care facilities at Firtree...


07 OCT 2012

Welcome news on rail fare increases

The Government has promised to cap rail fares to the Retail Price Index +1% for the next two...


03 OCT 2012

Greg Clark MP gets better patient appointment reminder system at Tunbridge Wells Hospital

In July this year, MP for Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clark, asked the Chief Executive of Maidstone &...


21 SEP 2012

Greg welcomes start of Sherwood's transformation

Hundreds of local residents came to watch the first block of flats in Sherwood being demolished...


26 JUL 2012

Live A&E waiting times at Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells hospitals now online after Greg's intervention

Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone hospitals now provide live online waiting A&E times as part of a...


26 JUL 2012

Two-year campaign brings about major improvements to mental health services for young people in West Kent

After a two-year campaign to improve mental health services for young people, Greg welcomed the...


20 JUL 2012

Greg presents awards to School Council at Broomhill Bank School

Greg was invited to join Broomhill Bank School in Rusthall for its Annual Prizegiving Ceremony. He...


17 JUL 2012

Local sports clubs benefit from Olympic legacy

On the day the Olympic torch came to Tunbridge Wells, Greg presented cheques to four sports clubs in...


29 JUN 2012

Greg opens two new units at Hawkhurst Station Business Park

Greg opened two new units at Hawkhurst Station Business Park which is built on the site of a former...


29 JUN 2012

Greg visits Horsmonden Farmers' Market

Greg held a drop-in advice surgery with local Borough Councillor and Parish Council Chairman Jane...


25 MAY 2012

Paddock Wood Rail Station upgrade

Greg met with representatives from Network Rail and Southeastern to discuss their £500k upgrade of...


25 MAY 2012

Greg formally opens new Alzheimer's Day Care Centre in Tunbridge Wells

Greg formally opened the Alzheimer's Society's new day care centre and office in Tunbridge...


25 MAY 2012

Greg re-opens Cafe Refresh in Showfields

Greg re-opened the newly refurbished Cafe Refresh, which is part of the No1 Community Centre, in...


08 MAY 2012

A21 BREAKTHROUGH

At a meeting with Tunbridge Wells MP, Greg Clark, this morning, Roads Minister Mike Penning placed...


23 APR 2012

Greg says "Disappearance of grot spot should kick-start town centre renaissance"

As one of Tunbridge Wells' worst grot spots disappears for good with the re-opening of the new...


27 MAR 2012

Ministerial statement to the House of Commons on the National Planning Policy Framework

Mr Speaker I would like to make a statement about planning policy. I am delighted today to be...


16 MAR 2012

Greg calls meeting to discuss services for homeless people

Greg called a meeting to discuss services for homeless people in Tunbridge Wells. Greg...


10 FEB 2012

Greg opens new activity centre for elderly in Hawkhurst

Greg opened a new activity centre for elderly people at Grove Mills in Hawkhurst.  The Weald Rural...


27 JAN 2012

Greg visits new Make Ready Ambulance Station in Paddock Wood

Greg visited the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust's new Make Ready Centre in...


25 JAN 2012

Civic leadership for strong cities: Speech at debate on elected mayors hosted by Birmingham Chamber of Commerce

I'm delighted to have this opportunity to speak alongside Lord Adonis and Lord Heseltine, who have...


23 JAN 2012

The power to prosper: A speech at the launch of Cities Outlook 2012

In 2005, humanity became a mostly urban species. For the first time in the history of the world,...


15 DEC 2011

Urgent transport review to look at A21

The Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening, has announced that, as part of the £1.5...


02 DEC 2011

Greg meets winner of his Christmas Card competition

Greg visited Pembury Primary School to meet the winner of his Christmas Card competition, Ally...


02 DEC 2011

Greg presents award to Calverley Hill Hostel

Greg visited Calverley Hill Hostel in Tunbridge Wells, which provides supported housing for...


25 NOV 2011

Innovative offer to get A21 dualling scheme underway

MPs and local authorities representing the whole length of the A21 corridor have written to the...


04 NOV 2011

North Farm to get some traffic improvements before Christmas

The working group, set up to consider traffic issues at the North Farm Industrial Estate, met at the...


04 NOV 2011

Opening of Hope Butler Suite at new hospital

Greg opened a bereavement suite for the parents of stillborn children and those who die shortly...


01 NOV 2011

MPs raise concerns about rail fares with Southeastern

MPs representing constituencies along the Hastings Line, including Greg, wrote the following letter...


21 OCT 2011

Ground breaking celebration at Skinners' Kent Academy

Greg was presented with an apple tree by Skinners' Kent Acdemy when he attended their ground...


07 OCT 2011

Visit to Little Court Nursing Home

Greg visited Little Court Nursing Home in Speldhurst to see their new nine bed extension.


26 SEP 2011

Morrisons to re-open its store by next Easter

A great local campaign victory - thank you to everyone that took part.

23 SEP 2011

Greg visits Ashurst's new Sports Ground

Greg was given a tour of the new Sports Ground in Ashurst by members of the Ashurst and Blackham...


16 SEP 2011

Greg presented with speed limit petition in Capel

During a visit to Capel Primary School, Greg was presented with a petition from local residents...


24 AUG 2011

A joint statement issued by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Morrisons plc and Greg Clark MP

The Leader of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and officers met with property executives at Morrisons...


19 AUG 2011

Greg meets with Morrisons' Chief Executive

Commenting on his meeting with Morrisons' Chief Executive Dalton Philips at the company's Bradford...


17 AUG 2011

Reply from Morrisons

Disappointing reply from Morrisons, so Greg has asked for a face-to-face meeting with its Chief...


11 AUG 2011

My letter to Morrisons' Chief Executive calling on him to unblock the reopening of their disused Tunbridge Wells store

"I'm writing to express my deep concern about what I understand to be the position that Morrisons...


06 AUG 2011

Reforming planning for future generations

The French have an admirable phrase - "why make it complicated when you can make it simple?" That...


25 JUL 2011

Greg Clark's Foreword to National Planning Policy Framework

The purpose of planning is to help achieve sustainable development. Sustainable means ensuring that...


21 JUL 2011

Success for campaign to improve mental health services for young people in west Kent

Greg has welcomed a breakthrough in mental health services for children and young people in West...


08 JUL 2011

Traffic problems at North Farm Industrial Estate

A new working group, chaired by Greg, and comprising representatives from the business community,...


08 JUL 2011

Alzheimer's Awareness Week

Greg met local members of The Alzheimer's Society at a special tea to celebrate Alzheimer's...


24 JUN 2011

Visit to Muffett Gears

Greg visited Muffett Gears, a highly successful engineering company based in Tunbridge Wells.  He...


24 JUN 2011

1st July: Red letter day for rail passengers

The introduction of a new "delay-repay" compensation system for rail passengers which starts on...


14 JUN 2011

A new settlement for planning: A speech to the Royal Town Planning Institute

It's a striking fact that the people gathered together in this room will, collectively, have a...


11 JUN 2011

Re-opening of Sandhurst Village Stores

Greg celebrates the opening of the newly refurbished Village Stores in Sandhurst with its owners Ann...


10 JUN 2011

Visit to Mount Ephraim Care Home

Residents at Mount Ephraim Care Home were given the opportunity to ask Greg questions about topical...


13 MAY 2011

Improving mental health services for young people

Greg welcomed a breakthrough in mental health services for children and young people, with £750,000...


08 APR 2011

Greg calls meeting on local bus services

Greg met with representatives from Arriva Southern Counties, Kent County Council and Tunbridge Wells...


08 APR 2011

Greg meets with Tunbridge Wells Access Group

Greg met with members of Tunbridge Wells Access Group to talk about issues of concern to them such...


08 APR 2011

Victory over extra parking at new hospital

Greg is delighted to hear that planning permission has been given for an extra 100 visitor parking...


01 APR 2011

Visit to Matfield & Brenchley

Greg spent the day in Matfield & Brenchley including an informal drop-in surgery at The Star Inn in...


01 APR 2011

Greg visits Paddock Wood Primary School

On a visit to Paddock Wood Primary School, Greg met its School Council to discuss their recent visit...


28 MAR 2011

Greg meets young designers celebrating Fairtrade fortnight

Greg met some of the schoolchildren who designed brightly-coloured bunting to mark Fairtrade...


25 MAR 2011

Cost cutting KCC report re-starts stalled A21 improvements

New figures, demonstrating that the long-awaited A21dualling between Tonbridge and Pembury could be...


21 MAR 2011

New compensation system for rail passengers

Commenting on the announcement that Southeastern is introducing a new compensation system for...


19 MAR 2011

Greg visits Tunbridge Wells' Missions Fayre

Greg visited the Tunbridge Wells' Mission Fayre where over 30 different organisations, including...


11 MAR 2011

Visit to Gallard's Almshouses

As part of Greg's visit to Southborough, he was given a tour of Gallard's Almshouses where he met...


11 MAR 2011

Southborough drop-in surgery

The manager of Cafe Bliss, Elaine Lawrence, welcomes Greg before he starts his drop-in advice...


11 MAR 2011

Greg visits St James' Junior School

A group of Year 5 pupils at St James' Junior School in Tunbridge Wells practised their debating...


23 FEB 2011

Southeastern confirms no discounts for season ticket holders

The University of Sheffield has just published its independent audit of Southeastern's performance...


18 FEB 2011

Visit to Capel & Five Oak Green

Greg spent a day in Capel and Five Oak Green, including a drop-in surgery at Five Oak Green Post...


10 FEB 2011

Sustainable development through local empowerment: The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Annual Lecture

It's a privilege to be here today and to follow in the illustrious footsteps of those who have given...


08 FEB 2011

Improving winter rail services

Greg, and fellow Kent MPs, met with Network Rail's Kent Route Director, Dave Ward, at the House of...


04 FEB 2011

Voluntary Action Within Kent (VAWK) Conference

Speaking at VAWK's annual conference at the newly-opened auditorium at K College (formerly West...


04 FEB 2011

Traffic congestion at the North Farm Industrial Estate

Greg met with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's new Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation,...


02 FEB 2011

Pro-localism and pro-development: A speech to the Adam Smith Institute

All nations are shaped by geography and history. America is founded on an idea of limitless freedom...


28 JAN 2011

Greg discusses flood prevention measures in Lamberhurst

Greg met with representatives from the Environment Agency and Lamberhurst Parish Council to discuss...


28 JAN 2011

Greg visits Goudhurst & Kilndown Primary School

During a visit to Goudhurst & Kilndown Primary School, Greg was quizzed by Year 6 pupils about what...


28 JAN 2011

Greg holds inaugural surgery in Kilndown's new Village Hall

Greg joined the Vice-Chairman of Goudhurst Parish Council, Peter Rolington, the Chairman of the...


24 JAN 2011

The opportunity of neighbourhood planning: A speech to the Planning Officers Society

Planning is more than a job: it is a vocation. It helps people articulate their aspirations and...


13 JAN 2011

New Tunbridge Wells Hospital

Greg visited the new £225m hospital in Pembury for a sneak preview just before it opened its doors...


07 JAN 2011

Dire winter rail services

Greg met the Managing Director of Southeastern, Charles Horton, to discuss the severe weather last...


30 NOV 2010

Community engagement and the planning system: A speech to the Town and Country Planning Association

I'm pleased to be here today to set out some of the next steps in Government's proposals for putting...


29 NOV 2010

Christmas Card Competition 2010

Greg visited Broomhill Bank School whose pupils were invited to design his Christmas Card this...


18 NOV 2010

Open source planning in action: A speech to Localis

Many thanks to Localis for hosting us today. Localis are a think-tank on local matters who have made...


28 OCT 2010

Partnerships for prosperity: A speech to Local Enterprise Partnerships Conference hosted by the Local Government Association

It's a pleasure to be here today to confirm and celebrate the first new local enterprise...


27 JUL 2010

Turning the tide of centralisation: A speech to Policy Exchange

The Big Society is a big idea, but what it comes down to is this: Our answer to collectivism isn't...


08 JUL 2010

The central importance of localism: A speech to the Local Government Association Conference 2010

Parliament is literally and metaphorically a place of divisions. Left versus right. Front bench...


29 JUN 2010

Community-led development: A speech to the Royal Town Planning Institute Annual Planning Convention

"By moving from conflict to collaboration, we can be both pro-development and pro-localist." I'm...



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