Local News for Larkfield - No 78

Local News for Larkfield - No 78 from Trudy Dean, David Thornewell, Tim Bishop and Anita Oakley

Trudy DeanDear Neighbour,
The good news is that new case numbers are dropping in every Borough in Kent.   Local GPs advise that over 3,000 vaccinations have been done at Leybourne, saving an estimated  over 20 lives.  Thanks to all those who have volunteered hep at the centres, especially Rotary members. 

But vaccinations will not be completed till September, and schools remain closed until 8th March at the earliest. So we need to stick with the advice, and stay safe to keep the cases dropping around here. 

It is very worrying that the Government is issuing guidance that door to door deliveries of leaflets from councillors should stop.   So the Post Office, Free newspapers, pizza delivery and magazines, Fliers for local businesses and so on are all considered safe, but not Hotline? We worry that only wealthy political parties will be able to pay the Post Office to deliver their leaflets.  With County Council elections coming up, it means anyone not using internet will be unable to get local information, and that is surely not right? 

Trudy Dean
County Councillor for Larkfield, East and West Malling

LAST CHANCE : Larkfield 20mph Consultation closes at 12 noon on Monday


Please get your views in to KCC by 12 noon on Monday. Find the HOW TO RESPOND questionnaire by searching ‘Current Highway Consultations Kent County Council’. It’s on page 2 of the list. Highlight the red title and that gets you to all the information and the questionnaire.

Carroll Gardens has been missed off the map, but is included in the list of roads. Lunsford Lane north of Leybourne Way has been missed off both, so please do give your views on it.

Chaucer Way verge ‘churned up mud’


We have received several complaints regarding this verge near the path to Tesco car park.  It appears KCC returfed it, but heavy rain and shopper pavement parking reduced the area to a muddy bog.  This is a long standing problem, and despite yellow lines, people still park there for a quick shop.  What is the answer?  If the area is to be grass, it needs a kerb side barrier to prevent the same thing happening again.  Otherwise, should it just be tarmaced?  We would welcome your views.

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MUD, MUD, not so glorious MUD 

I’m quite partial to mud.  I’m famous in our family for finding countrywalks which always include a muddy bit!  But you don’t have to look far at the moment.  Lockdown and heavy rain are creating mud baths at the gateways to all popular walking paths.  So if you can use less popular routes and spread the wear a bit, that would be good.  We are asking KCC for extra money in the budget to reinstate the surfaces when better weather comes. 

Fast Trains from West Malling to London - More Years of Broken Promises 


KCC has caved in to Government and approved a Rail Strategy which does not include the promised fast trains from Maidstone and West Malling to the City and St Pancras, with connections to Crossrail at Farringdon.  Instead, KCC have accepted an 80 minute service which will use the Catford line and terminate at Blackfriars, for a connecting service to St Pancras.  This is slower than existing services. 

Trudy writes:  Transport  Ministers have been promising additional fast trains on this line, ever since the huge outcry when our services to Cannon Street were stopped in 2009.  This Rail Strategy will be the basis for consultation on the new Rail Franchise for Kent for at least the next ten years.  When that is launched, we must lobby Government yet again to deliver on its promise to many local commuters and businesses for fast direct rail links to the city, and beyond to Cambridge, Luton and Bedford. 


John Vennart, Headteacher at The Malling School, has advised us that TMS are now changing to vouchers for free school meals rather than food boxes. So if your children are entitled to receive Free school meals when they attend school, and have not received your vouchers, contact the school, ready for half term. 

New Waste water plant in Aylesford


Southern water are building a waste water treatment plant on the former Aylesford Newsprint site, New Hythe Lane. It will produce over 20 million litres of drinking water per day from March 2025.

They have also purchased the Ditton stream and former millpond through the grounds of the Cobdown Sports Ground. They are keen to hear from local residents about what they would like to see there.

‘Unviable’ Station Car Park into Care Home?


People in West and East Malling will soon be getting leaflets about a planning application for a proposed Care Home on Lucks Hill near West Malling Station, opposite More Park Roman Catholic Primary School. Planning permission for a 200 space car park was given to this site in 2018. But nearly 12 months of lockdown have meant empty car parks, and home working is expected to continue. The owners have therefore decided that a car park is ‘no longer viable’, and are applying for a 70 bed care home on the site instead. Single bed rooms with en-suite facilities will be offered to private and NHS patients with dementia, and needing end of life care.

In a pre-application meeting with parish councillors, I pointed out the need for better lighting and a pedestrian crossing from Station Road North for commuters and Care Home users if the application is successful.

Fish and Chip Shop, West Malling.

This Swan Street shop is under new management, and we wish it well.


Vaccinations for anyone over 70s, keyworkers or with medical problems making them vulnerable, are still being done by invitation only from all local GPs at Leybourne surgery. A new vaccination centre has also opened at the Beltring Hop Farm.

However, the West Malling practice is checking that they have contacted everybody and they ask you to contact the surgery

  • If you are over 80 years of age
  • And you have not yet been contacted by the practice regarding your first vaccination
  • And are not housebound,

If you meet all of these provisions, please contact the surgery on 01732 870212

If you are housebound, tell the surgery when you are contacted, and home vaccination or transport can be arranged.

Lots of slots for Covid-free tests

Half of the local booking slots for tests for people without Covid symptoms are still free. Tests are recommended every two weeks if you are travelling to work.

These tests have found over 1,500 people in Kent who were spreading the disease without knowing it.

I am pleased to confirm that the bookings can now be made for all testing sites at www.kent.gov.uk/symptomfreetest

Leaving the Country. You need to get a test

Anyone wanting to leave the country for business or emergency reasons will need to show evidence of a negative test taken within 72 hours of the date of travelling. This includes drivers taking goods for export. Foreign travel for holidays is now banned and cars are being turned back at the coast ports and Eurotunnel. The Government website says that if you need proof of a negative coronavirus test to enter another country, you must use a private test provider.

There are thieves about. Look out for your cars and bikes

The latest crime reports for our area show continued vandalism and theft on cars parked on the road. Use your garage if you have one.

Thefts from garden sheds continue in West Malling, Offham and Ryarsh, especially of cycles and high value garden equipment.


Snodland, A228 Holborough Road: Lane closure in place 18th January - 1st April on the Southbound carriageway only from Peter’s Bridge to Holborough Roundabout to allow for new development works. Please allow extra time for your journey: http://moorl.uk/?1uplhdw


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