15 NOV 2018

Armistice 100th Anniversary

Every year, it seems, our County Town comes out in even greater numbers than the last. Old, young and in-between, regardless of the great British weather, we all come together to pay our respects. Walking down the High Street I feel a strength within the people lining, and then following our solem...


08 NOV 2018

Parliament Week

For our democracy to thrive, our Parliament must be relevant, open and accessible, and UK Parliament Week is aimed squarely at achieving those goals. Parliament Week is a series of events designed to inspire interest and engagement in parliament, politics and democracy, particularly within younger ...


01 NOV 2018

Budget 2018

Amidst the rowdy rhetoric and political posturing on Budget Day this week, the challenge was in unpicking how the measures will affect our everyday lives here in Kent. On health funding, I very much welcomed the news of radical investment to ensure both mental and physical conditions are treated wi...


25 OCT 2018

Press Freedom

President Trump's constant, hostile and irresponsible attacks on inconvenient 'Fake News' and attempts by Putin's Russia to disseminate misinformation through contrived social media accounts threaten the very existence of a free press. Furthermore, according to Reporters Sans Frontières, 72 j...


18 OCT 2018

Loneliness

I am sadly confident that the vast majority of people living in Maidstone and the Weald have experienced, at one time or another, the despair of loneliness. It is a deepening problem. Age UK are forecasting almost a 50% increase in loneliness amongst people over 50 in the coming decade. There is ...


11 OCT 2018

Confronting the Far Right

News that there is to be a 'far right' inspired march in London this weekend, conjured memories of similar extremists rearing their ugly heads on our doorstep here in Maidstone and the Weald. Thankfully, when the low-life bigots under the hate-filled 'Britain First' banner paid an unwelcome visit t...


04 OCT 2018

Conservative Party Conference 2018

The BBC's Assistant Political Editor Norman Smith was wearing a construction worker's hard hat as he delivered his morning bulletin from the Conservative conference on Monday this week. He explained it was to avoid flying rocks and mortars in a Tory Party war zone; and yet the calm and collegiate s...


27 SEP 2018

Salzburg rebuttal is no big deal

The Salzburg rebuttal of the PM's Brexit proposals last week certainly gave the media and politicos something to feed on, buoyed up by staged rhetoric at the Party conferences. For me, this was just one more step in a very tough process and I am not alone. At the launch of the fabulous Hush Heath...


20 SEP 2018

Agriculture Bill and the Rural Economy

  The rural economy is currently worth an estimated £50 billion to the UK, directly providing 475,000 jobs and, crucially, provides the backbone of our nation's food security. That is why it has my attention and why our famers are so important to this constituency. In July many of us...


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 neighbourhood communities. But bad things can still happen here, and there are threats from Londo...


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Helen's column

15 NOV 2018

Armistice 100th Anniversary

Every year, it seems, our County Town comes out in even greater numbers than the last. Old, young and in-between, regardless of the great British weather, we all come together to pay our...


08 NOV 2018

Parliament Week

For our democracy to thrive, our Parliament must be relevant, open and accessible, and UK Parliament Week is aimed squarely at achieving those goals. Parliament Week is a series of events designed to...


01 NOV 2018

Budget 2018

Amidst the rowdy rhetoric and political posturing on Budget Day this week, the challenge was in unpicking how the measures will affect our everyday lives here in Kent. On health funding, I very much...