24-05-18 – Royal Wedding

Royal weddings are good for us – official. The whole country generates its own special lift, with street parties and bunting, and together Britain shows-off to the world all that it stands for as a modern Constitutional monarchy. Flocks of inbound tourists share their delight in our history and the global media feast on the spectacle, streaming the images to every corner of the planet.

But the wedding of Harry and Meghan was bigger than that. It was a watershed moment. It said so much more than feel-good factors and economic boosts. It brought our monarchy into the 21st Century and our society clearly applauds their boldness and relevance. A beautiful American woman has married an immensely popular Prince, 6th in line to the throne, in a ceremony that was a masterclass in multinational celebrations. The event consigned race and discrimination to a closed box and recognised the love of two very giving human beings at face value.

For me, the weekend was a double celebration as it was also my 27th wedding anniversary. It was moving to re-live the memories of my own special day, with many of my close family around me, whilst we shared the worldwide joy of Meghan and Harry on the TV.

I give due deference to the setting of Windsor Castle and an audience of 2 billion people, compared with our fondly remembered St Leonard's Church in Streatham and a guest list of 100 back in 1991. There were some similarities though; it was FA cup final day, the weather was pretty awesome, and we were also a couple fusing together the genes of different nations in matrimony, setting out on our path into the unknown.

Simon and I graciously send the royal couple our prayers and warm wishes for their journey to come, and we hope that a visit to Maidstone and The Weald will soon be on the schedule!

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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.


Launch of flood management 'wetlands' project in Marden


Louise Smith from KCC, Farmer Peter Hall, Helen Grant MP, KCC Councillor Mike Hill and Julie Foley of the Environment Agency

A great step forward was taken for Medway River flood management at the launch of the Little Mill Farm wetlands project in Marden last weekend.

It is the fruit of an idea hatched by local farmer and land owner Peter Hall to harness natural processes to reduce flood risk further downstream. Measures include the use of 'intentionally leaky' small wooden dams to hold back water and slow the flow, the creation of temporary flood water storage areas and restoring river channels and natural meanders.

The project was supported and delivered by a wide range of stakeholders including the Environment Agency, Kent County Council, and Maidstone Borough Council.

Local MP Helen Grant has followed the progress of the project from its inception in November 2016 to the official launch this weekend. She said 'This is 'partnership working' at its best, with stakeholders all contributing resources and expertise to deliver a meaningful benefit for the community. I thank Peter Hall in particular for offering the use of four acres of his land for the 13,000 cubic metre Wetlands project and coming up with the vision. It is a great bonus for birds and other wildlife in the locality too'.

The launch event was designed to promote the idea to other local landowners and organisations who may take up grants for the idea with suitable land of their own. Over 50 people attended.


18 MAY 2018

Triumph of Partnership Working says MP Helen Grant

Flood management 'wetlands' project is launched in Marden Louise Smith from KCC, Farmer Peter Hall, Helen Grant MP, KCC Councillor Mike Hill and Julie Foley of the Environment Agency A great step forward was taken for Medway River flood management at the...


15 MAY 2018

Showing Support for The Royal British Legion

Helen Grant, Member of Parliament for Maidstone and the Weald recently met with The Royal British Legion in Parliament to discuss support for the Armed Forces community in Maidstone and The Weald and to show her support for the outstanding work which the...


15 MAY 2018

Maidstone's MPs bring KCC and MBC together on Relief Road

The Leaders of Kent County Council and Maidstone Borough Council met on Friday 27 April to discuss the proposed relief road to the South of Maidstone (the "Leeds Langley Relief Road") in a second meeting chaired by Maidstone MPs Helen Grant and Helen...



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HELEN GRANT MP

Helen's column

24 MAY 2018

Royal Wedding

Kent Messenger Column - 24-05-18  Royal weddings are good for us – official. The whole country generates its own special lift, with street parties and bunting, and together Britain shows-off to...


17 MAY 2018

A Tribute to Tessa Jowell

Kent Messenger Column – 17-05-18 When I was first thinking of becoming involved in politics, I was lucky enough to spend some time with Dame Tessa Jowell. She was warm, funny and hugely engaging;...


10 MAY 2018

Breast Cancer Screening

Kent Messenger Column- 10-05-18  I was extremely concerned to learn last week about the failure, dating back to 2009, to invite 450,000 women to their final breast cancer screening. Firstly, I know...