13/09/18: Gang and Knife Crime Roundtable

According to many reports Maidstone & The Weald is a safe place to live. That is largely due our excellent police service, their partner agencies, our church leaders and to the watchfulness of our neighbourhood communities.

But bad things can still happen here, and there are threats from London where criminals are looking for new markets; we cannot be complacent and we must be proactive.

Knife crime has doubled across Kent in the last five years, mainly in the North of the County, but I know that it is a growing concern for the authorities in Maidstone.

Kent Police have developed an excellent education programme which aims to inform young people and (just as importantly) their teachers and parents about spotting the signals and understanding the realities.

Last week, therefore, I was pleased to join with Kent Police, youth group leaders and my neighbouring MP colleague Tracey Crouch, to discuss how we can help get these messages 'out there'.

Some schools seem to be averse to engagement with the subject, to avoid any negative association with their institution. Some parents also seem to be naïve as to the possibility of their children being involved in any way or vulnerable to victimisation.

I understand both standpoints but that doesn't protect our children and I speak as a mum and a former family lawyer with experience. We must put these stigmas behind us and face the realities. This is trouble waiting to happen and we can prevent it if we are forewarned and prepared.

A special information meeting is taking place at the Vine Church, Boughton Lane, Maidstone on 20th September at 19:00. I urge all schools to send a representative and any parents reading this should also try to go along to get a helpful steer. For information please contact Maidstone Police at csu.maidstone@kent.pnn.police.uk.

Gangs and knives don't need to be a problem in this constituency. Let's work together to prevent that happening.

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Helen's column is published weekly in the Kent Messenger. Please note the print version may differ from the content here.


MP Welcomes Broadband Boost for Business

Helen Grant, Member of Parliament for Maidstone and the Weald, has welcomed research showing that superfast broadband has boosted the turnover of local businesses across the UK by £9 billion.

This boost to the UK economy has created 49,000 local jobs, showing the clear benefits that superfast broadband provides.

Nationwide superfast broadband coverage has now reached 95.39%. Work is on-going to extend coverage, with more than 1 million extra UK homes and businesses estimated to gain access to superfast speeds over the next few years, taking superfast coverage to 98% of the nation. Furthermore, the Government has introduced a Universal Service Obligation meaning everyone will have access to fast and affordable broadband by 2020.

Welcoming the news Helen said: "This research backs up what we all know about the importance of superfast broadband. It is making a real difference to local businesses, boosting turnovers and reducing unemployment and we have seen its positive effect right here in Maidstone and the Weald.

That is why I have long championed the need to extend superfast broadband to our more rural communities and was reassured of the Government's commitment to do just that in a meeting with Margot James MP, the Minister for Digital, earlier this year.

Whilst the progress made so far should be commended, with coverage in the South East now at over 97%, there is still more to do to ensure all our communities can also reap the economic benefits of improved connectivity. With this in mind, I will be continuing to encourage my colleagues in Government to prioritise the roll out of superfast broadband and I am pleased that we expect 1 million more homes and businesses to gain access in the next few years.''


27 AUG 2018

Quintessentially Kentish Sissinghurst delivers classic village fete as Helen Grant MP judges hotly contested dog show

Jubilee Field, Sissinghurst became a splash of colour and commotion as hundreds of local people flocked to the annual village fete on Bank Holiday Monday. Dozens of stalls, a bar, BBQ and a bandstand encircled the competition dog showring where seven...


21 AUG 2018

MP Welcomes Broadband Boost for Business

Helen Grant, Member of Parliament for Maidstone and the Weald, has welcomed research showing that superfast broadband has boosted the turnover of local businesses across the UK by £9 billion. This boost to the UK economy has created 49,000 local jobs,...


03 AUG 2018

Citizens Rights for Older People seek trustees and volunteers as Helen Grant MP visits the CROP office

As people grow older, many find themselves more and more alone. Often there will be no one around to help with important decisions and major changes that could affect the remainder of their lives. Since 1994 CROP has been assisting older people with a...



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With very best wishes

HELEN GRANT MP

Helen's column

13 SEP 2018

Gang and Knife Crime Roundtable

According to many reports Maidstone & The Weald is a safe place to live. That is largely due our excellent police service, their partner agencies, our church leaders and to the watchfulness of our...


06 SEP 2018

Animal Welfare

On August Bank Holiday Monday I took great pleasure in judging the dog show at Sissinghurst's idyllic annual village fete. It was great to share the day with dog lovers from right across Kent, all of...


23 AUG 2018

GCSE Results

A couple of weeks ago I empathised with parents and students ahead of the A-level results, and I do so again today as the GCSE results are released. Right across Maidstone and the Weald, thousands of...