Nick de Wiggondene is a previous Chairman of our Association and our Borough Cllr for Detling & Thurnham Ward.
By day, I work in the city of London but I’ve always had a passion for helping people and sorting problems. The last four years representing the residents of Detling and Thurnham I consider a thorough privilege and I’m grateful you have allowed me to do it.
Following our tremendous success on Election Day 2015, I will gratefully continue as Borough Councillor.
I passionately support the defence of green space, of quality play areas for children and leisure space for families, therefore I have always opposed proposals for schools to sell off playing fields for housing. When MBC announced they planned to close Peverel Drive play area I worked with local Bearsted Park residents and the parish and I’m glad we’ve now obtained the funding for a complete renewal of the site which will secure its future for decades to come.
Losing our beautiful and valuable green space is what worries many about the local plan. The last four years have seen controversial proposals for many thousands of new houses across the whole borough. These proposals for large swathes of countryside surrounding both the town and local villages threaten to destroy their character. Along with colleagues on all sides I have fought to prevent inappropriate developments.
Detling village continues to have problems from rat-running off the A249 and we need realistic solutions from KCC to deal with this. Now that Church Lane drainage has been sorted we do need the public consultation to start to resolve this problem.
The lack of a roundabout on the A249 means that the village is often cut off by diversions when the showground is busy. This damages local business, especially pub trade and we need to see a way to stop this happening. Country pubs are the hearts of our villages and they need to be protected.
Many people support the redevelopment of Detling Airfield as a way to solve a number of issues. Plans do come forward but we must ensure that anything accepted does not damage the Kent Downs AONB nor provide a precedent for expansion into the open countryside.
It is clear that proposals for junction 8 and for the old KIG site will keep coming back. I’m proud to have been at the forefront of opposition to these highly inappropriate plans which would, if ever approved, also lead to sprawling development right across the foot of the downs. I will always fight to prevent this happening.
School places are always a difficult issue and many families have had trouble with the lack of local places. The schools now cannot expand any more so I will continue to work with KCC to deal with this.
Some candidates will say that we always follow a party line but that just isn’t so. I’m happy to tell you that much work on this council is done in a spirit of cooperation across all political groupings. I will always defend the interests of residents, working with councillors from all political groups to get the best results for this community.
I thank you for the support of so many residents, and the excellent and dedicated parishes, over the past four years, I would very much like to thank you for your kind support on Election Day that returned me for a further 4 years.