And another thing… Letters to the Times of Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge (April 2018)

And another thing... Letters to the Times of Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge

And another thing…

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We do our best to publish letters in full. However, the Editor reserves the right to edit any letter. Please ensure that letters do not exceed 250 words

Restaurant owners must be brave
and put deposit idea on the table

Restaurateurs in Tunbridge Wells say they are hard done by with customers not honouring bookings [March 28]. The obvious solution would be to ask for a deposit on a table.

However, managers said they did not want to do this because it could destroy an important trust, and they feared being the only one to ask.

My solution would be for independent restaurants to form some kind of alliance and move forward as one.

If all of the indies were to unite in asking for a deposit, they would not have to fear losing a customer to a restaurant that didn’t ask.

It could be argued that this would put chains at an advantage and that independents have a hard enough time of it as it is.

But I feel there are so many great independent restaurants in the town that most customers would be happy to pay a deposit in support of them.

Whether or not they feel this is the best course of action to take, it is important to support the restaurants which help make our town what it is.

Neville Scott

Via email

New 277 service is miles better

Further to the letter with the caption ‘Disservice’ [March 21], I should be obliged to give a reply.

I have used this 277 service since its inception in 2009. I regularly use public transport and do run a car.

It was established because of need in our community. Jennifer Bays and our late Kent County Councillor, Kevin Lynes, established this route and it has grown ever since.

I was concerned, in January, to learn that there was to be a major revision to this 277 route which would have removed part of the route, via Friars Way, and this could have affected some 800 residents in Sherwood.

Arriva management met with me and our Kent County Councillor for Sherwood, Paul Barrington-King, and they were persuaded to re-establish the Friars Way link.

They introduced a service every 20 minutes from the town centre to Tunbridge Wells Hospital; 90 per cent of these buses run every 20 minutes from 6.43am until 2.51pm.

From the town centre, the 6 and 6A buses run until 10pm, every 30 minutes. There was never a 15-minute service to the hospital.

Our 277 service serves Sherwood up to 7.26pm on a Saturday and 6.32pm on a Sunday. These are improvements on the old service.

It is important when a disservice to the public record is corrected, as fiction can meld into facts.

In future years, when Knights Wood is established, there will be a longer and even better service for Sherwood.

Also, from the town centre, there are many options to get to the hospital by bus.

Cllr Bob Backhouse

Conservative Councillor for Sherwood ward

Station bike rack is fit to burst

My wife and I were travelling to Ashford from Tonbridge Station and we noticed on the platform there were lots of bicycles.

My wife counted 114 of all different types and sizes. It’s nice to see people riding to the station and also keeping themselves fit at the same time. Tonbridge has a great line into London and is a great place to live.

I am really enjoying the Times of Tonbridge on a Wednesday, and in fact I always pick up a copy for my son when we visit him in Ashford.

It just lets him know what’s going on in his home town.

Robert Reilly


Shining a light on the council

As a founding member of Tunbridge Wells Alliance [pressure group turned political party], I am bemused by Cllr Moore’s comment that we ‘will now have to come out of the shadows’ [March 21]. What shadows? Have our councillors been asleep?

We have used the democratic right to speak at council meetings since July last year, and sent letters and emails to councillors over the last
11 months.

When Tunbridge Wells Alliance was launched last October, we appeared on the front page of this newspaper – hardly hiding in the shadows!

Cllr Moore continues to say that we will now have to ‘abide by the same rules as other parties, especially in terms of openness and transparency’. Is it just me that finds the words ‘kettle’ and ‘black’ coming to mind?

If anyone has been hiding in shadowy places over the last 11 months, it is not members of the public, who have been treated with disdain, ignored and bombarded by a now failing propaganda campaign.

Residents of the borough of Tunbridge Wells want openness and transparency.

Nicholas Pope

Tunbridge Wells Alliance

It’s not the theatre, it’s the shows

Considering the current news of local councils going bankrupt, it would appear that Tunbridge Wells is obviously not in this category.

They are prepared to spend upwards of £93million when that money could do so much more for the town.

Council tax has risen, shops are standing empty, traffic congestion is horrific, etc, etc.

Many theatres in London are much older than the Assembly Hall; it’s not the building that people go to see, it’s the shows.

A new theatre and civic centre are not financially viable as the cost far outweighs the returns.

One wonders why this was not put to a vote of the borough’s population?

Maybe the councillors were scared it would be voted down by the far wiser populace!

Amanda Wood

Via email

Keeping control of our energy

Whatever the merits, or otherwise, of the arguments surrounding climate change, this country will continue to burn large amounts of gas in its mix of energy generation. So it’s a question of sources and the threats, and the challenges surrounding them.

What the Friends of the Earth letter [March 21] shows is a lack of context and perspective, addressing only their single-focused issue.

Much of the gas we use comes from Russia, and these are uncertain times in our relations with this regime; also, we have allowed our storage capacity to shrink to such dangerous levels that there is no redundancy remaining in the system: As we import it, we burn it.

As a matter of strategic necessity, we should start fracking immediately or we remain in thrall to unfriendly, if not hostile, states.

This gas needs to be available at the point of need, not the point of crisis. Gas is part of our energy use, so let it come from an assured source.

And whether Greg Clark [MP for Tunbridge Wells] agrees with the sentiments of the Friends, and whatever his private thoughts on climate change are, he will do his government’s bidding.

Edward Baker

Tunbridge Wells

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