According to a retailer in Royal Tunbridge Wells the town is dying, its life blood cut off by increasing traffic congestion, made worse by the installation of traffic lights on Pembury Road. Retailers in the retail park are concerned that gridlock on the roads within the park is having a negative effect on customer numbers. How much easier to drive to Bluewater.
A contentious issue is that of parking charges. I note that Sevenoaks has decided to lift parking charges in the run up to Christmas.
Back in the town centre the old Odeon cinema is a bleak reminder of dither over the years and failure of Conservative administrations to move forward the development of the town. The 'policy' of the Council is that nothing can be done regarding the civic complex until the Odeon site issues have been resolved. Should the current owners fail to develop the site there has been talk of compulsory purchase.
At least Roy Bullock tried to break the log-jam and was thanked by being ousted as Leader of the Council and then deselected as a candidate. Neither his immediate successor, Bob Atwood, who lost his Council seat last May, nor the latest incumbent, David Jukes, seems to have any strategy worthy of the name. Meanwhile the town continues to die.
Not good enough.