Your Conservative Party Candidate for the
Marden and Yalding Ward
Hi, thank you for visiting my page. I hope this website can tell you a bit more about me and why I am standing for election to become a Maidstone Borough Councillor in the up coming election on Thursday 6th May 2021.
Why vote for Claudine Russell?
Why Vote for Me ?
I stand against the 2,000 houses in Marden and the terrible effect that it would have on all surrounding villages and road networks.
As part of the Save Marden campaign I have spoken and asked questions at many Maidstone Borough Council committee meetings speaking on behalf of residents of Marden Village and voicing local issues.
I have also attended Marden, Yalding, Collier Street and Nettlestead Parish Council meetings to enable me to have a better understanding of the issues and views of residents across the whole of the ward.
I am passionate about all our villages ONLY having suitable sustainable growth of an appropriate scale. This needs to be located in the right areas making full use of brownfield sites providing local jobs and homes so that villages can grow organically whilst retaining their identity, village character and community spirit. I truly believe that this shouldn’t come at the expense of our wonderful local wildlife and valued local landscapes and farmland. We should strive to retain village characteristics and the beautiful landscape of the Low Weald.
Whilst many of our villages have experienced growth in recent years, the developer contributions that are meant to mitigate the effects of development and be spent improving various infrastructure items for existing and future residents such as healthcare, schools, roads and open spaces have not all been spent. Some villages have now amassed a great deal of what is called Section 106 or CIL money. I am passionate that as villagers old and new we should never stop asking “where is our money and why has it not been spent?” and as a borough Councillor I will continually ask to ensure that no money is ever “returned to developers” without being spent where it is needed.
There are obviously many other local issues and I look forward to contacting the Parish Councils in the ward during my campaign to explore these issues further and to represent the views of all ward residents. Above all, I will try to do my absolute best to represent Marden and Yalding Ward and to ensure that the views of Marden, Yalding, Collier Street, Chainhurst, Nettlestead, Benover and Laddingford residents are heard at Borough level.
Thank you for reading and I hope you feel that you can vote for me on Thursday 6th May 2021.
Why the Conservatives?
The Conservatives have been the group that have offered the most support throughout the Save Marden campaign and who I have got to know most throughout the process. I have spent 2 years watching all sides within the Borough Council and it is their side that I felt throughout this process have consistently given views that I have agreed with. Our MP Helen Grant has been supportive throughout the campaign and it will be good to have the support of the party as I embark on this new challenge to be a Borough Councillor. They have a large presence on many of the borough committees and offer a powerful voice at borough level.
What now for the Save Marden Campaign?
The campaign will continue! It was necessary that I step-aside as Chair whilst I campaign to become elected as a Borough Councillor. Tristan Russell has stepped forward to be the Chair and along with the wonderful committee will continue to steer the campaign forward. I will always be in support wherever I can and will always stand against the 2,000 house development in Marden.
Why is it important to vote in this particular local election?
On Thurday 6th May 2021
Maidstone Borough Council are our local planning authority and therefore have control over all planning decisions in our borough. The MBC employed officers along with elected Councillors, through various committees, decide how and where developments for housing and business are given permission in our borough. I feel it is vitally important that the views of residents are heard, listened to and acted upon by those who make these important decisions about the future of our borough.
Of course Maidstone Borough Council also have many many other vital responsibilities such as but not exclusively; benefits, bins and burials to name but a few!