Sunday, 16 December 2012

Kent Police must back 20mph limits

17th December 2012
After a new report that there was a 50% rise in people 'Killed or Seriously Injured' in Maidstone[1] in 2011, local Greens have challenged the new Police and Crime Commissioner to make good on her promise to back 20mph limits where there is public support.

In a letter to Ms Barnes, the Greens spell out the case for making Maidstone a 20mph limit town. The letter follows a long campaign by Kent Greens for 20mph limits where people live, a campaign that has so far been blocked by Kent Police and Kent County Council.

Stuart Jeffery, Kent Green Party: "With a 50% increase in people killed or seriously injured on Maidstone's roads last year, it is time for Ann Barnes to make good on her promise to back 20mph limits where people live.

"Default 20mph limits are the norm in Western Europe, and in the UK 8 million people live in areas that are committed to them. 20mph limits reduce accidents, reduce pollution and reduce congestion, and they have overwhelming public support.

"The case has been made for 20mph limits. There is no reason for Kent Police to not back them."



1. - see page 22
Speed kills,Stuart. Yes, support 20 limit if it is what locals want @AnnBarnesPCC- 28th October on Twitter
3. Text of letter:

Dear Ann,

Congratulations on your election. During your election you tweeted your support for 20mph limits where there is public support. This is a welcome shift for Kent Police who have previously blocked 20mph limits. I am therefore seeking your support to help make Maidstone a 20mph town.

In Maidstone there was a 10% increase in accidents 2011 involving cars compared to 2010. This was 412 accidents too many. There were 24 accidents where people were killed or seriously injured, up 50% on the year below – 24 too many. Across Kent there was no improvement in the KSI numbers. This is unacceptable and represents an appalling public health disaster.

20mph towns are normal in much of Western Europe and increasingly in the UK. Over 8 million people live in places committed to 20mph limits including York, Liverpool, Islington, Bath, Newcastle, Oxford and Lancashire.

The benefits of 20mph limits include fewer crashes and severe injuries. On average 20% fewer casualties. Slower speeds are the basis for active travel. Bristol found walking and cycling increased by 20% and that for every pound spent, the health benefit from more walking was £24. Exercise lowers obesity, heart disease and stress. 20mph limits save 12% of fuel lessening climate change emissions. They smooth traffic and cut urban congestion making roads more efficient. Journey trip times unaffected. Noise is 40% less. It’s hard to find anyone living in a 20mph street who wants it back at 30. Light touch policing can enforce limits.

Our surveys and petitions show massive public support for 20mph limits. Our survey a couple of years ago put support at 80%. Nationally, 73% favoured 20mph residential limits in the British Social Attitudes Survey 2011, only 11% were against.

You can have a policy that has overwhelming support, saves lives, reduces congestion and reduced emissions. Please work with me to convince councillors on Kent County Council to make Maidstone’s streets 20mph where people live.

Yours sincerely

Stuart Jeffery Maidstone Green Party

cc. Cllr Chris Garland, Leader Maidstone Borough Council
Cllr Bryan Sweetland,Cabinet Member for Transport, Kent County Council
Meradin Peachey, Director of Public Health, Kent County Council

Monday, 3 December 2012

Where have all the recycling bins gone?

4th December 2012
A recent survey by local Green, Matt White, revealed that recycling bins have now been completely removed from Maidstone's town centre. The move has been criticised by Matt for discouraging recycling, especially at Christmas time. With around half of the existing bins having two compartments, the Greens have called for their quick return and for steps to be taken to ensure that people know that they are for recycling rather than waste.

Matt White, Maidstone Green Party: "I surveyed the town centre last week as I had noticed a fewer recycling bins through the year and  I was shocked to find that all the recycling bins in the town centre have now gone.

"All rubbish thrown away in the town centre now goes straight into the incinerator rather than being recycled. This is an appalling waste of resource and sends a poor message to the people of Maidstone, especially at this time of year.

"Converting bins back to recycling bins would be quick and easy but the council should make it clear that they are for recycling not general waste. The council need to get on with."

Survey of Litter Bins in Maidstone Town Centre

Snapshot taken Sunday 25th November 2012, 3-4pm

For the purposes of this survey the town centre was taken to be:

-       High Street
-       Bank Street
-       Jubilee Square
-       Gabriel’s Hill
-       King Street (to the junction with Wyke Manor Rd)
-       Week Street (to McDonalds Restaurant)
-       Earl Street (to the junction of Pudding Lane)
-       Pudding Lane
-       Market Buildings
-       Rose Yard

The Mall, Royal Star Arcade and Fremlins Walk were not included for the purposes of the survey as the provision of litter bins in these locations do not fall within the remit of the Council, however, it should be noted that there are none at all in The Mall and that none of the 10 bins in Fremlins Walk have provision for recycling nor could currently be adapted to do so.

The bins in the town centre are of two separate designs of similar appearance incorporating an ashtray. One is split into two compartments (D for double) the other is not divided (S for single)

The provision and current location of litter bins:

High Street
-       Maidstone Grill (D)
-       Former Post Office building (D)
-       El comellor (D)
-       Frame & Print (S)
-       Coyotes (D)  
-       Cheltenham & Gloucester (D)
-       Town Hall  (D)
-       Muggletons (D)

Bank Street
-       Town Hall (D)
-       The Sun (D)

Jubilee Square
-       Former Kentish Bank (D)
-       RBS (S)
-       Corals (S)
-       HSBC (D)
-       Seating Area S x 3

Gabriel’s Hill
-       The Roast House (D)
-       The entrance to The Mall (D)
- (D)

King Street
-       Britannia Building Society (S)
-       Costa Coffee (D)
-       The entrance to The Mall (D)

Week Street
-       Mothercare (S)
-       Lloyds TSB (S)
-       Accesorize (S)
-       Phones 4 u (S)
-       Marks & Spencers (D)
-       Poundland (D)
-       Primark (D)
-       Savers (S)
-       Tesco’s Express (S)

Earl Street
-       Seating area (S)
-       Hazlitt Theatre (D)

Pudding Lane
-       None

Market Buildings
-       None

Rose Yard
-       None

Therefore there are 41 litter bins in the town centre of which 20 (48.8%) could easily be adapted for recycling with signage to indicate which compartment to use for recycling and which to use for landfill with minimal impact upon current budgetary limitations