Letter to the Kent Messenger:
I'm sure that others have noticed the hypocrisy of the Lib Dems spending £3.1m on paving in the town centre just a few years after their harsh criticism of the Tories for doing exactly the same when they ran the council.
Worse still, at the time the Lib Dems criticised the Tory plan as a lost opportunity to tackle key issues in the Borough including air pollution. Maidstone's Lib Dem run council is now making the same poor choice that their predecessors made.
They cite a potential for 1% more sales in the town centre as a reason for paving Week St and Gabriels Hill. Meanwhile 130 people are dying each year in Maidstone because of air pollution caused by traffic which will increase under Lib Dem housing and transport plans.
If they wanted an immediate benefit to the town they could have spent the money on building some truly affordable homes close to the town centre. Homelessness has risen ten fold in the past five years yet new house building is focused on large, unaffordable properties unsuitable for people in real need.
More shopping vs tackling some real problems: the Lib Dems have made a very poor decision.
There were 60 homelessness 'decisions' in 2010/11 http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/9518/Homelessness-Strategy-2014-2019-Sept-2014.pdf
From Q1 to Q3 2015/16 there were 455 homelessness 'decisions' https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-homelessness#detailed-local-authority-level-responses suggesting a full year forecast of 607, a ten fold increase in five years.