Wednesday, 29 April 2015

More election literature.

So far twelve items put through our letter box.  The worst by far is the Liberal Democrats parliamentary candidate's leaflet.  The best is from the Green Party's general election candidate.  The Labour Party's leaflet is not a patch on the local elections leaflets.

I await the local elections leaflets from the Conservatives, Green Party and the Liberal Democrats.  Only one UKIP candidate has delivered a local election address.

Thursday, 23 April 2015


Election literature is pouring though our letter box. So far the Conservatives (two), Labour and Liberal Democrats have delivered their general election material (or to be precise, the Royal Mail has delivered it).

In keeping with previous elections the Labour document is the best in terms of layout and clarity. The Conservatives literature is fussy and not easy on the eye.

The worst communication by far is the Liberal Democrats  offering.  Why does the party keep publishing its naff bar charts?  What would possess a Labour supporter after the Coalition to vote Lib Dim to keep the Tories out?

UKIP has delivered an election address for the local elections.  It makes the point that the retiring UKIP councillor had an excellent attendance record at council meetings.  The other UKIP councillor who resigned after three years on the council had one of the worst attendance records.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Charmless letter from Richard Benoy

Last Friday the Courier published a letter from Richard Benoy in which he attacked former UKIP borough councillor for Rusthall, Piers Wauchope.  Fair comment much of it but Mr Benoy would do well to remember that Mr Wauchope replaced Bob Atwood at the behest of the electorate. You cannot blame Mr Wauchope: blame the electorate.

The final paragraph of Mr Benoy's letter:

I must congratulate you, Piers, for getting your photo in with your goodbye letter.  I think most of the people who voted for you  had forgotten what you look like.

Well, I have news for Mr Benoy.  I haven't a clue what you look like and I am a Rusthall voter.  Mr Benoy was co-opted onto Rusthall Parish Council in 2011 and has been returned in 2015 in an uncontested election.  At least Mr Wauchope ran the gauntlet of the electorate.

Mr Wauchope did not communicate well with the electorate.  However I doubt the parish councillors have much to communicate to the people of Rusthall, apart from a whopping 8% increase in the parish precept.

Exciting times on heritage railways (2)

My first post on this subject was posted on 9th April 2012.

A few snippets:

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Through services from Pickering to Whitby.  Network Rail track used from Goathland to Whitby.  New platform at Whitby for use by NYMR trains.

Swanage Railway

Now linked to Network Rail and through running possible.

Bluebell Railway

Has made it to East Grinstead and through running to Network Rail possible.

Rother Valley Railway

A great deal of development at Robertsbridge and rebuilding of bridges on the line striking out to Tenterden.  Short siding connection with Network Rail at Robertsbridge. However no link yet between the Rother Valley Railway and the Kent & East Sussex Railway.

Spa Valley Railway

Opened to Eridge.  No physical link to Network Rail

Great Central Railway

The two sections of the railway (Ruddington to Loughborough and Loughborough to Leicester) to be joined once the new bridge over the old Midland Railway at Loughborough is built.

Festiniog Railway and West Highland Railway

New platforms at Porthmadog to simplify through running.

New Rusthall Parish Councillors

Below is a list of the members of the  Rusthall Parish Council for the period 2015-2019.  Four new faces including Alex Britcher who chairs Rusthall Village Association and is one of the two Labour candidates in Rusthall for the Borough Council elections.

Also elected in June Moore who is standing as a UKIP candidate in  Frittenden & Sissinghurst at the Borough Council elections!



Date of Election: THURSDAY 7 MAY 2015


I declare the following to be elected as Parish Councillor without a contest -

Richard John BENOY

Woodpeckers, Rusthall Park, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. TN4 8NP

Jennifer Ann BLACKBURN

64 Parsonage Road, Rusthall, TN4 8TA   


1 Manor Road, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 8UD

Jonathan Daniel CLARK

Home Farm, 92, Lower Green Road, Rusthall, Kent, TN4 8TN

Barry John EDWARDS

8 Ashley Gardens, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 8TY  


4 Redland Avenue, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 8AJ  


50, Westwood Road, Rusthall, TN4 8TP   

Keith Charles PUNYER

75 Southwood Road, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. TN4 8SR

Maria Jane SIMMONS

Gingerbread Cottage, 23 Upper Street, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 8NX

Dated  10 April 2015                                                                              WILLIAM BENSON
                                                                                                            RETURNING OFFICER

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Tunbridge Wells Council has not published......

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has not published the names of people nominated to stand for parish council seats in parishes (or wards of parishes) where there is no need for an election as the number of candidates equals or is below the number of vacant seats.

Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council has published the information in respect of parishes within its boundary.

Two e-mails from me to TWBC have not been responded to.  Time for an official complaint or reference to the Electoral Commission?


Response from TWBC.  the information will be published later today on the Council's website.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Couldn't agree more.

Apathy reigns in Rusthall

There will not be an election for councillors to Rusthall Parish Council.  Apathy reigns, but then this comes as no surprise.Who would wish to be associated with an organisation that is unnecessary and does not provide value for money?   The Council suffers from committee-itis, a bureaucratic disease  Does it really need a planning committee, a finance committee and an allotments committee?

Friday, 10 April 2015

Southborough Town Council Elections

Two matters of note.

No Independent candidates contesting any of the seats on a 'Save the Royal Victoria Hall' platform.

An Independent contesting West Ward is Jacqui Jedrzjewski, a former Labour town councillor and the Labour candidate in the Tunbridge Wells constituency at the 2005 general election.

Rusthall Ward Election: UKIP contests seats from Hawkhurst


Candidates for two seats:

AUSTEN John Oast Cottage, Stream Lane, The Moor, Hawkhurst, Kent TN18 4RD UK Independence Party (UKIP) 

BISHOP Russ 2 Hope Villas Highgate Hill Hawkhurst Kent TN18 4LG UK Independence Party (UKIP) 

BREWER Clive Graham 69 Ramslye Road, Tunbridge Wells Kent TN4 8LT Labour Party

BRITCHER Alex 1 Manor Road, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells Kent TN4 8UD Labour Party 

HOLTON David Charles 88 Southwood Road, Rusthall, TN4 8SP Green Party

HUGGETT Thelma Rosemary Littledene, Liptraps Lane, Tunbridge Wells TN2 3AB The Conservative Party Candidate

LEWIS Peter 26 Simmonds Court, High Street Rusthall Tunbridge Wells TN4 8BQ Liberal Democrat 

MCLACHLAN Catherine Shaune 5 Erskine Park Rd. Rusthall Tunbridge Wells TN4 8UT Liberal Democrat 

PODBURY Joy Shawlands, Stockland Green Rd Tunbridge Wells, TN3 0TU The Conservative Party Candidate

The surprise is that the two UKIP candidates  defending the only UKIP seats on Tunbridge Wells Borough Council both live in Hawkhurst!  Surely they could have found candidates who live closer.  Indeed one UKIP candidate who lives in Rusthall is contesting a seat miles away - Frittenden & Sissinghurst.  A UKIP candidate who lives close to Rusthall is contesting Hawhurst  & Sandhurst.

Admittedly political parties contest seats with 'paper'' candidates but surely UKIP has serious candidates who live closer to Rusthall than the two individuals they have put forward to contest the two seats?

The Labour Party has been active in Rusthall.  Both Liberal Democrat candidates live in the ward, as does one of the Labour Party candidates.  The Green Party has a Rusthall resident as its sole candidate.  One of the Conservative candidates lives in Sherwood, the other close to Rusthall.  

Former Tunbridge Wells Tory councillors sign up for other parties

A general election candidate has to secure the signatures of a proposer, seconder and eight assentors.

Perusing the list of candidates in Tunbridge Wells I note one of the Liberal Democrat candidate's assentors is Adrian Ekins-Daukes a former Conservative councillor.

Terry Cload is an assentor for the UKIP candidate.  Mr Cload is a former officer of the local Conservative Association and councillor representing Pembury on the Borough Council.  He is standing for UKIP in Pembury, the ward he represented as a Conservative.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Sheffield-London by train

Once there was a variety of routes used by through trains from Sheffield to London.  The Great Central ran trains via Nottingham Victoria and Leicester Central to Marylebone.  The Great Northern ran services via Retford to Kings Cross and also via Nottingham Victoria and Grantham.

The Midland ran trains via Derby and Leicester, via the Erewash Valley line to Trent and thence to Leicester and  via Nottingham and Melton Mowbray to St Pancras.

Now the only though trains run via Derby and Leicester to St. Pancras.  The Great Central route closed in the 1960s and whilst there was a service via Retford to Kings Cross for a short time it too was withdrawn. British Rail ran a Sheffield-Nottingham-Leicester - St Pancras service for a number of years but now all London-Nottingham trains terminate at Nottingham. Most of the current London-Sheffield services terminate at Sheffield: at one time most were extended to Leeds, some continuing to Bradford or to Carlisle and thence to Glasgow (Thames Clyde Express) or Edinburgh  (The Waverley).

Under privatisation there is now no competition for London traffic to Nottingham, Sheffield and Leeds.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Rusthall Parish Council Election

In May nine seats are up for grabs on Rusthall Parish Council.

The Rusthall Parish Council Abolition Group is gearing up to contest seats. In its four years existence the council has very few achievements to its name.  The traffic calming measures in Lower Green Road have had no effect on traffic speed.   Apart from that.....  Can anyone provide a list of achievements which show the Council has provided value for money or been of any benefit to Rusthall's residents.

The Council employs a clerk whom I have no doubt is hard-working and justifies her remuneration.  But do we need a parish office?  Will the old fire station be a white elephant and a financial drain on Rusthall's taxpayers in years ahead?

The problems in and around Rusthall persist: potholes, uneven pavements, High Street parking congestion and the lack of a island on the A264 at the top of the Terry Path.  Of course these matters are the responsibility of other councils, but the Parish Council has failed to bring pressure to bear on the other councils.

Rusthall Primary School is to reduce its intake to a one form entry.  Many Rusthall parents send their children to other primary schools.  What has the Parish Council done to support the school to become the school of choice?

Here's wishing success to RPCAG.