And another thing… (21 September 2016)

Hospice in the Weald 10k Run

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Equality: New women’s party represents another fragmentation of the left wing of politics
I read with interest [September 14] about the establishment of the Women’s Equality Party and how it has taken hold in Tunbridge Wells.

We should all welcome a party that seeks to address the current imbalance between men and women at the upper echelons of British society.

Our institutions are dominated by the male, pale and stale, and do not reflect modern Britain at all, and the gender imbalance is just one of several problems regarding equal representation in our institutions and businesses.

My only issue is while I endorse wholeheartedly the socially progressive agenda of this party, it represents yet another fragmentation on the left of the political spectrum.

If they skim off just a few votes from Labour’s candidates, then it could make the 2020 election even more of a bloodbath for the Labour Party than they already face.

The Tories have never been the party of equality, and despite them having two female leaders they have constantly sought to thwart progressive measures such as enforced quotas on company boards and all-women shortlists at elections.

The Women’s Equality Party, led by Sophie Walker, should affiliate with Labour, where it will find a lot of common ground with our fantastic leader Jeremy Corbyn, and together the parties can take the fight to the Tories.

Joanne Lloyd
Via email

Refugees: Nationwide dispersal needed
I found it really saddening to read [September 14] about the impact of the refugee crisis in Kent, where services are stretched to breaking point. The current situation is good for no-one.

Firstly, the refugee children all being placed in one area means it is likely to build up more resentment from people in the local area since they feel overburdened.

This will undoubtedly cause friction, and such hostilities will only perpetuate as these children feel isolated and will keep amongst themselves, missing out on the crucial initial integration period.

I echo the views of Councillor Peter Oakford [Kent County Council] that there needs to be a nationwide dispersal programme so every region can take a manageable amount of children.

My heart goes out to these poor children, who have come from unspeakable circumstances. This is not a case of ‘But not in my town!’ I know that Tunbridge Wells is an affluent place that can afford to help a large number of people, but that does not mean our resources are unlimited.

I would urge those who take the decisions in the Government to recognise that burdening one region is going to lead to disaster.

Adam Oldman
Via email

St John’s: Splurge of taxpayers’ money
The extent of the planned ‘go-slow’ zone surrounding the St John’s area seems somewhat excessive. A hundred slower roads costing £40,000 of both the county council and borough council’s money seems wasteful, not to mention wholly detrimental to the rest of the flow of traffic in Tunbridge Wells.

It seems an extensive splurge of the taxpayer’s money on ‘traffic calming measures’ when the cash could instead be targeted more specifically to the exact roads on which the schools are situated. Despite the apparent desire for the initiative to ‘spread further in the future’, I suggest that we focus on reducing traffic and congestion in Tunbridge Wells as a priority.

For the majority, there seems nothing calming about an increase in traffic build-up around the St John’s area.

Beryl Clifton
Via email

Brexit: It really offers us an opportunity
I was intrigued to read about the ‘Digital Envoy‘ [September 14] describing Brexit as an opportunity for Tunbridge Wells businesses.

I’m not trying to take credit or anything like that, but as someone who voted Leave this is exactly what I wanted to see happen.

For far too long in this country we have let so many of the important areas of British life – our economy, our borders and our culture – be determined by out of touch, metropolitan elites, either in London or in Brussels.

It’s only via a direct route of people power, namely the referendum, that we have been able to shake up the London-centric establishment. The fallout from Brexit will show that there are fantastic places outside the capital, where great work can be produced without the London premium added on top.

And Tunbridge Wells has to be at the top of that list of places.

Rory McClaggen
Via email

Southern: Stop blaming your staff
I was disappointed to read [September 14] that train operator Southern is yet again offering an apology for appalling services while still blaming their staff. The blame on staff for their unprecedented levels of crew sickness doesn’t restore faith within the system for the average commuter – and instead suggests Southern is still trying to avoid blame for their own mistakes.

The rail union is right to highlight the way Southern is still blaming staff for their own systematic failures, and thus encouraging the conflict within the rail operator.

The proposal of more services to be back up and running seems redundant if Southern can’t organise their staff to run them. Surely this just heralds a poorer service to come?

Jeremy Houlton
Via email

Visitor: Ladies quite made my week
My daughter and I were in Tunbridge Wells last Wednesday [September 14], holidaying in the area, and with tickets to see Carmen in the evening. I, aged 81, am recovering from a knee replacement and using sticks/wheelchair.

I still aim to look good, and with a brightly patterned pink dress, pink hair and shoes I obviously made quite a statement.

I received lovely comments from at least four different ladies as we walked round the town – even one from a lady in a car.

She wound down her window at a junction to comment favourably on my pink hair. Ladies of TW – you made my week. Many thanks.

Audrey Winkler
Via email

Mr Corbyn: Why no words of support?
Most politicians are only too eager to air their views on most matters. Strange, then, that we have not heard from Tunbridge Wells Labour Party about where it stands on the issue of Mr Corbyn – to be or not to be its leader?

The silence is because the local party members cannot, I understand, decide, and are taking a neutral stance.

They are ‘not taking a position’.

Vincent Levy
Via email

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