Tunbridge Wells Conservatives are a modern, progressive and inclusive organisation, run by volunteers who care passionately about the town and its surrounding villages and parishes. Unlike Labour, who still receive most of their funding from the Trades Unions, Conservatives rely locally on the voluntary contributions of our supporters. We rely on volunteers to help us win elections, deliver our newsletters, raise funds by attending a wide variety of fundraising and social events and help develop policy at our monthly discussion groups. If you would like to get involved, please tick the relevant boxes below and return this section to us at: TW Conservatives, West Kent Campaign HQ, 91 High Street ME19 6NA.

Following complaints about speeding on several roads within Culverden, including Molyneux Park Road and Connaught Way, councillor Nicholas Rogers arranged for enforcement action to be taken by Kent Police. Officers spent time on all of the roads concerned and spoke to numerous drivers about their speed. Residents were pleased to see them and raised hopes that their presence would act as a deterrent to would-be speeders. Nicholas said: ‘I’m grateful to Kent Police for their help with speeding, but more needs to be done. I want to investigate setting up a voluntary SpeedWatch scheme with local residents. Please get in touch if you are interested in helping out.’

Following extensive public consultation, the Borough Council has listened to concerns expressed by local residents regarding the proposed development plans for John Street Car Park, and has altered the proposals in line with the feedback received.


News from your local Conservatives in Culverden


Left: Conservatives work all year round, not just at election time!

The new plans will remove the four townhouses originally proposed along John Street. This leaves between 50 and 60 public parking spaces – in a properly surfaced car park – and keeps the shops filling in the gap along St. John’s Road. Local Conservative Councillor Nicholas Rogers said, 'Clearly local residents and shop keepers were concerned about the original plans. Along with my ward colleagues, Ronen Basu and Len Price, we were pleased to hear responses and make strong representations on behalf of the community. As a result, the plans were changed.” A formal planning application will be submitted in the near future, so please keep an eye on www.tunbridgewells.gov.uk for details. There will be opportunities for residents to make their views known through the planning process. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Each Saturday, local Conservative councillors and volunteers join Greg Clark MP on the doorsteps of Tunbridge Wells, seeking residents’ views and dealing with their local problems.
Above, clockwise from left: Greg Clark MP with the Conservative Management Team, Stanley Johnson (father of Boris!) who was a recent guest speaker and actors from the Upfront Theatre company who starred in our recent Murder Mystery Night.


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I would like information on social events I would like to attend policy discussions I would like information on Conservative Future I would like information on the Ladies’ Group I would like information on the Commuters’ Group Campaigning and Winning Elections I am willing to deliver newsletters locally I would like to join Greg’s doorstep campaign team I can assist in the office with clerical / IT work Supporting us financially Please send me an information pack on joining I enclose a donation to your campaign fund of £
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NICHOLAS ROGERS 07843 225805

RONEN BASU 01892 512129

LEN PRICE 01892 531447

JOHN DAVIES 01892 527360
Culverden councillor Nicholas Rogers and cabinet member Cllr Paul Barrington-King have joined forces with the Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society to demand action from Network Rail on Mount Pleasant rail bridge. The bridge, owned by Network Rail, is tired and tatty and in dire need of renovation. It is missing most of the decorative iron mouldings that make it architecturally significant. The effect is to detract from the appearance of an important part of Tunbridge Wells. Nicholas Rogers said: ‘This bridge could be magnificent. We envisage a freshly-painted, spic-and-span bridge restored to its former glory, lit up at night and sporting its decorative mouldings. All this can be done at reasonable cost, and the borough council is willing to share this with Network Rail.’ Paul Barrington-King continued: ‘We hope that, considering Network Rail’s record of partnership working with other councils, such as Hastings on the Queen’s Road bridge, we can come to an agreement for the benefit of Tunbridge Wells residents’.
Promoted by Andrew Kennedy on behalf of the Conservative Party, both at West Kent Campaign HQ, 91 High Street ME19 6NA Printed by DA Printers Ltd, 6 Lankester Park Road, Rochester ME1 3QU

Your Member of Parliament, Greg Clark, holds regular advice surgeries. If you would like to make an appointment, or would like him to hold an advice surgery near you, please call 01892 519854. He also runs informal drop-in advice surgeries in supermarkets and farmers’ markets around the constituency. A list of forthcoming surgery dates can be found on Greg’s website: www.gregclark.org. “If you have a problem I can help with or there is an issue you think I should take up, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I would be delighted to meet you at one of my advice surgeries.” Greg Clark MP




Leader of Tunbridge Wells Council, explains the work he is doing to resolve the Cinema Site development.

Will any new shops damage the present shops, particularly Royal Victoria Place? Younger residents need somewhere to meet other than bus shelters, could this not be developed into an ice rink?

People Power encouraged Morrison’s to redevelop their site by the railway station, let’s see if we can do it again.


The cinema site has festered for too long — a blight on our beautiful town. If Tunbridge Wells Borough Council owned the site we would now have a building we could be proud of. Unfortunately, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council do not own the cinema site. It is owned by a private property developer Bellhouse Joseph Ltd in association with the Caryle Group. They bought it two years ago from previous commercial owners. Because it is privately owned the Council has no more power to confiscate it and redevelop it than they do over anyone else’s home or property. Only a Court can require that. The Council recently took expert legal advice to see if we could force the developer to sell it to us through a Compulsory Purchase Order. We were told that the chances were slim, and that in the unlikely event that it was granted that we would have to fully compensate the developer and, of course, pay the costs of the development. We estimate that could be over £40,000,000. This is equivalent to £800 on every Council Tax Bill in the Borough. We are not sitting back. As Council Leader I am in contact with the developers weekly. They are in negotiation with a major, wellregarded supermarket, but cannot agree terms. Some people say the developers paid too much for the site. Recently the Council has:
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Why can the old hospital be demolished and redeveloped in two years, but it has taken twelve years to deal with this?

“We the undersigned, being residents of the Borough of Tunbridge Wells, call upon the Directors of Bellhouse Joseph Ltd and the Carlyle Group, who jointly own the freehold of the Cinema Site, to show greater consideration for residents of the town whose lives are blighted by this eyesore. We call on the freeholders to demolish the site pending development, for the benefit of the town, its residents, visitors and the local economy.”
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David Jukes (DJ): The sites are not comparable. The hospital site was owned by the NHS who had a legal obligation to sell it. The cinema site is owned privately and the owners have no such obligation.

DJ: the proposal I have seen is not for a new shopping mall, but for a major high-end food retailer with on-site car parking and a hotel above. I do not think it would impact on existing shops in the town, and may even bring more visitors and business to Tunbridge Wells.

DJ: the Council’s Christmas Ice Rink in Calverley Grounds has been a big success. But as the cinema site is purely commercially owned, the Council has no power to instruct them to build a rink.

it: Photo cred x Courier se Kent & Sus

Why can’t the Council simply Compulsorily Purchase the land?

What benefits does the Council gain from keeping the site in its present condition?
DJ: none whatsoever! In fact if the site is developed the owners will have to pay Business Rates and under the legislation the Council will retain 20% of this, helping to keep your Council Tax one of the lowest in the UK. Another reason why I want the owner to get on with it.

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Made the owners remove the asbestos contaminating the site Granted planning permission for demolition Met with potential occupiers to encourage them to come to Tunbridge Wells Started court proceedings to force the owners to pay business rates

DJ: The Council has no power to confiscate land from its owner. A court would need to sanction it and it would be very unlikely to, as explained in my article to the left. But we can put maximum pressure on the owners to get on with developing the site, that’s why I hope thousands of residents will sign our petition.

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Why can’t the Council turn this site into a temporary car park or communal space whilst awaiting development?


We will leave no stone unturned in pressing the owner to get on with the job. You can help. I want to be able to demonstrate that it’s not just the Council, but the whole of Tunbridge Wells that demands that they sort out this eyesore once and for all. Please sign the petition so that we can make public pressure overwhelming. DJ: The owners have no obligation to sell. Even if they agreed, the cost of buying and redeveloping the site would be the equivalent of £800 on everyone’s Council Tax. That is totally unaffordable.

Can the Council simply buy the cinema site off the owners?

DJ: The Council do not own the cinema site. It is private property. We have no power to take private property and turn it into a car park or green space, however welcome many residents would find this!

Why can’t the Council relax planning consent to allow a more profitable development?

Once you have signed the petition, please detach this section and return it to Tunbridge Wells Conservatives, Freepost MA 487, 91 High Street, ME19 6BR

Further copies of this petition may be obtained from twconservatives@gmail.com

Has consideration been given to any additional parking that might be required?
DJ: the planning consent is not the problem. It is the owner finding a tenant for the development. DATA PROTECTION
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Promoted by Andrew Kennedy on behalf of the Conservative Party, both at 91 High Street ME19 6NA Printed by DA Printers, 6 Lankester Park Road, Rochester ME1 3QU

DJ: The developer has in the plans I have seen made provision for up to 200 car parking spaces on-site.