This week the Prime Minister delivered a reshuffle of her government team, and I was extremely honoured to have been asked to join her team as a Government Whip. After discussions with colleagues and residents it is clear I am unable to carry on with my role as a local authority councillor without conflict. This has meant that, with the heaviest of hearts, I am having to resign as a councillor for Rochester West.
I first stood as a councillor in 2011, to represent the ward where I lived and to make a difference to my community. Since then I have been elected as the Member of Parliament and have managed to carry out both roles without complications, representing the constituency in Parliament and Rochester West at Council.
Cllrs Steve Iles (Strood North), Cllr Josie Iles (Strood South) and Cllr Chitty (Strood North) with Nina of Network Rail and staff of WPB Contractors.
Councillors Steve Iles and Jane Chitty of Strood North, and Councillor Josie Iles of Strood South, were delighted with the progress being made by regeneration works taking place at Strood Station.
The Conservatives’ longstanding commitment to regeneration across Medway saw the Council successfully launch a bid and secure funding from the Local Government Fund to partner Network Rail in this development.
The £2.8 million improvement project will bring numerous benefits to commuters; including a new waiting room, bigger booking hall, improved toilet facilities and additional ticket gates. The new and improved station is expected to reopen to the public before the end of the year.
Rupert and Sylvia with Kent Wildlife Trust team at Tyland Barn
The Rochester South and Horsted ward councillors met up with representatives from Kent Wildlife Trust at Tyland Barn to talk about opportunities to improve the green spaces in the ward.
The meeting followed an introduction from The Horsted Valley summit which we featured earlier on this site at which a ward resident who volunteers for Kent Wildlife Trust was present. Kent Wildlife Trust were founded in 1958, are a registered charity (number 239992) and the leading conservation organisation covering the whole of Kent and Medway, dedicated to protecting wildlife and wild habitats for everyone to enjoy with a vision to ensure that 30% of Kent and Medway – land and sea – is managed to create a healthy place for wildlife to flourish. Their mission is to work with people to restore, save, and enhance our natural heritage.
Woodies Youth Club
We have in the Rochester South and Horsted ward, Woodies Youth Centre in Arethusa Road, which provides a place for 10 to 19-year-olds to have fun, socialise and learn new skills.
Professional, experienced youth workers from a range of different backgrounds offer information, support and advice on a range of issues. The centre offers an assorted programme of activities, including general arts and crafts; sports; music, and games. Please see the link above for opening times and more details of the activities offered.
Mayfair Street Party with local residents Cllr Hall and Community Wardens
Over the past few months the Mayfair area of Strood North has been transformed from an eyesore estate with frequent reports of anti-social behaviour to a warm, welcoming and friendly place where children play safely and parents behave responsibly.
A range of plants and colourful pots have been utilised to make the area look more attractive and public areas such as railings and steps have been painted by local residents.
A community shed has been provided for children to leave their bikes and scooters rather than being strewn across the street and this has also been tastefully decorated by local residents, including children.
Complaints about anti-social behaviour in the area have reduced substantially.
The latest edition of Rochester South and Horsted’s Ward Newsletter is available to download.
Royal London’s Exhibition Invite
The ward councillors have been advised of a potential planning application by Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited for new retail facilities on the northern end of the Horsted Retail Park, Maidstone Road.
There is to be a public exhibition of the proposals on Thursday 20 July from 3 – 7 pm at The Maidstone Suite, Bridgewood Manor Hotel, Walderslade Woods, Chatham, ME5 9AX. Outline details of their proposals are on the attached letter. This community consultation will, they tell us, feed into the final proposals which will form the planning application. Members of the project team will be on hand to answer resident questions.
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