And another thing… (19 October 2016)

Kent County Council Tax Rates-2017 2018

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Cinema: Let’s hope that the new boutique one doesn’t succumb to temptation of ‘blockbusters’
As one who is old enough to have enjoyed Saturday morning children’s shows at the old ABC Cinema (originally the Ritz), where I saw the first colour movies such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and The Wizard of Oz, my devotion to the cinema has been sorely tested in recent years.

Odeon’s policy of ignoring critically-acclaimed films in favour of those providing ‘action’, sci-fi, monsters, destruction, rom-coms, and anything lacking serious attention, means that I rarely go to the cinema nowadays, except in January/February, when the Oscar nominations result in a few films that are worth seeing.

But possibly I and others of my ilk are now to be rescued by the cavalry, by the inclusion of a ’boutique’ cinema in the proposed plans for the old cinema site. If it happens, I hope it will show the kind of movies that Odeon doesn’t offer, and doesn’t succumb to the temptation of ‘blockbusters’, as suggested last week by your Editorial Director.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Peter West

Cinema: Just walk across the road
With reference to the proposed ’boutique cinema’ planned for the old ABC site, anyone bemoaning the lack of a small accessible cinema in the centre of Tunbridge Wells only needs to cross the road to Trinity Theatre.

Plenty of choice: Blockbusters, children’s films, and interesting foreign films not usually shown on the main circuit. Take a look at the latest programme!

Cheryl Sinclair
Tunbridge Wells

Greg Clark: His ministerial career
Your correspondent [And another thing… October 5] writing about Gatwick night flights characterises our MP, Mr Clark, as a ‘notorious fence-sitter’. I think that is a bit harsh. He has, after all, his ministerial career and salary to consider.

John Telling
Tunbridge Wells

Trains: Change of ticket policy?
On arrival at Tunbridge Wells station this morning [October 12], I was informed of a sudden change of policy – if the ticket does not work through the barrier, I must queue for a replacement.

No warning was given in advance, and at the busiest time of the day the queues would have an impact on getting to work on time.

When boarding a train, I discovered from other passengers that the staff had not implemented the same policy at the Hoopers entrance!

On arrival at Cannon Street, I questioned the change of policy and was told it doesn’t exist. If I have a valid ticket, they must let me through the barrier. If Tunbridge Wells has a written policy, I would like to see it.

Commuters are having a torrid time with the changes to London Bridge, without experiencing station staff or managers making up the rules as they go along. I intend to question the rationale for their behaviour tomorrow morning before catching the 7:33 (change in timetable that wasn’t communicated either).

Barbara Hall
Via email

A21: Drone gives glimmer of hope
I enjoyed seeing the picture, taken by a drone, of the work being done on the beleaguered A21 in your paper [October 12]. What a clever way of taking a picture.

I have no idea how on earth that kind of technology works, but it was so useful to see a proper visual overview of what’s actually happening instead of sitting in endless traffic looking at works signs and wondering what on earth is going on.

I use that particular stretch of road on a daily basis in order to commute from Tunbridge Wells to Lamberhurst, and to say it’s been a frustrating few months of delays and jams is an understatement.

I understand the work that needs to be done in order to improve the infrastructure and size of this important link road, but the fact that it’s taken for what seems like forever makes me think ‘will it ever be done?’ as I crawl towards the roundabout near the hospital, or narrowly avoid being bumped into as my fellow drivers try to edge ahead of me into the reduced one-lane system.

But seeing that picture in the Times gave me a glimmer of hope that the improvements are actually happening, and us road users are finally getting somewhere!

Elaine Lee
Via email

Lottery: How can Lib Dems object?
I applaud the council’s decision to explore the option of a ‘local lottery’ [October 12] to help plug the funding gap for good causes, and particularly like the idea of allowing people to allocate where the majority of the proceeds go – although I admit I am worried some smaller charities may get overlooked.

I do not see, though, why the Liberal Democrats in the council are opposed to the lottery.

It seems to me that, with their usual left wing attitude, they do not believe those on low incomes are responsible enough to make their own decisions on what to do with their money.

Perhaps giving it to good causes, while having some hope of winning what for many is a substantial sum of money, should be the preserve of the rich?

And what is [Lib Dem] Cllr Peter Lidstone talking about when he says it could ‘confuse people’? How patronising.

Millions of people play the National Lottery, which gives a large share of its proceeds to good causes, and do not confuse it with the government’s arts, communities or aid budgets.

It is this sort of typical illiberal attitude of protecting people from themselves which makes one question why the party have the word ‘liberal’ in their name.

And what could be more ‘democratic’ than allowing people to direct the funding towards causes close to their hearts?

No wonder the party is in such bad shape. They don’t even do what they say on the tin.

John Sturgeon
Via email

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