And another thing… Letters page


This is the page where you, the reader, have your chance to express your views or comments on what’s going on in our part of the world. We like to hear from you. You can email us at or or write to the Editor at 16 Lonsdale Gardens, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1NU


Investors are prepared to design
and fund any new rail link…
We were interested to read [February 15] ‘New rail link would be a boon’.
Tunbridge Wells lost its once-important [other] ma to London, as well as services to Brighton, in the 1960s. Consequently it suffers from insufficient rail connections, which the Brighton Main Line 2 Project (BML2) will rectify.
BML2’s strategic Kent Phase will reconnect the former Central and West stations, whilst there are no engineering obstacles to returning Tunbridge Wells West to its ma status.
Fast, direct services could operate to Canary Wharf, Crossrail and Stratford, thus obviating travelling into congested Central London and making commuting much easier.
New direct services to Brighton, Lewes, the AMEX stadium and University of Sussex are
also planned.
International investors are now prepared to design, build and entirely fund the multi-£bn project and have put their proposals to the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling.
As well as expediting The Pantiles area regeneration, Tunbridge Wells will benefit enormously from BML2 as trade and prosperity will flow into the town. Sainsbury’s will also profit as part of this prodigious development.
Because the Tonbridge ma suffers identical problems to the congested Brighton line, hopefully the borough will endorse Greg Clark’s keen support for BML2.
Brian Hart
Project Manager BML2, Uckfield

FULL STEAM AHEAD? The possible revival of Tunbridge Wells West ma station





How did they lose definite articles?
Cllr Barrington-King’s picture [February 15] suggests that he is a man of a certain age, one not given easily to the latest faddish expression in clothes or food, so why does putting together a [council] budget involve ‘going on a journey’?
Why does he talk about ‘income going forward’? when he means future revenues. How does a ‘growing pressure accelerate’? How did the Cabinet and the council both lose their definite articles – are they sentient beings in their own right?
As for the budget itself, I note that his ‘journey’ ended up in my back pocket, and the council did not have to dip into its reserves. Well thank goodness for that, it means that I’ll have to dip into mine – again. ‘Pulling the rabbit out of the hat’, he says – well it’s my b****y hat and it’s my b****y rabbit. Sorry about those expletives.
Sam Goodenough
Tunbridge Wells

Lib Dems still want to exit Brexit
In his article [February 15] about MPs and Brexit, Ben Chapelard [the Lib Dem cllr] ignores the fact that, while they are representatives of their constituents, the Westminster Parliament to which we send people is the forum where matters of national importance are discussed and action determined.
As such, given the fact that the British people have decided that we should leave the EU, it should be incumbent upon MPs to support that decision, not, as the Liberal Democrats so desperately want, obstruct it.
Mr Chapelard carefully avoids admitting that nine of those who voted against triggering article 50 themselves represented constituencies where the people voted to leave.
The only reason Mr Chapelard and his fellow Liberal Democrats want another vote is that they still hope to reverse the decision, and leave our country subject to the dysfunctional and corrupt organisation which they so worship.
Colin Bullen
Via email

Hopefully council has the bottle
What good news it was to read in your paper last week [February 15] that we’ll finally be able to have our glassware taken away for recycling.
OK, so the news was slightly shattered by the fact it could take up to two years to be put into place, but at least we are coming up to speed with pretty much every other borough in the country. What’s the point of asking us to be more focused on ensuring we recycle if one huge tranche of it – ie glass bottles and jars – aren’t included in the twice-monthly pick up?
The fact that this doesn’t currently happen has only been exacerbated by the fact the Tunbridge Wells tip has been shut for the past few weeks, and as I don’t have any bottle banks near to where I live I’ve had to drive across town down to Sainsbury’s to get rid of my glass. This has meant that I’ve had extra petrol consumption and contributed to more pollution – not very green, eh?
The new recycling system can’t come quick enough in my opinion!
Jess Bates
Via email
Dormitory town fear reinforced
I was disappointed to read [February 22] that yet another commercial property, Westcombe House in Tunbridge Wells, is potentially going to be turned into flats. It would seem that just about everywhere you look in the town there is yet another block of apartments going up.
I understand that there must be a need for all this additional accommodation, but my worry is how absorbing all these extra people is going to impact on our town’s (already horrendous) traffic problems, as well as other issues such as competition for school places and general wellbeing.
Given the amount of people moving here surely we’ll soon be known as Tunbridge Swells!
Tamsyn Myers
Via email

Why whistleblowers need protecting
In sharp contrast to the UK Government’s new approach to whistleblowing, the European Parliament has voted in favour of whistleblower protections. The vote builds on a draft law created by Green MEPs.
In the UK, we have a government looking at handing down chilling and draconian punishments for those who would seek to expose wrongdoing, while in the European Parliament there is cross-party support for enshrining whistleblower protections in law. The disparity is striking.
Whistleblowing is essential to ensuring the accountability and integrity of the public and private sectors. It’s the only way in which otherwise secret information can be brought to light, and it is often the best way, at least for now, to uncover wrongdoing, corruption and downright immoral behaviour. Recent scandals uncovered by whistleblowers include illegal mass surveillance, industrial scale tax avoidance and the sexual abuse of children by peacekeepers.
The biggest leak in history to date, revealed by the Panama Papers, reinforces just how important whistleblowers are for facilitating in-depth journalistic investigations in the public interest. We need to ensure there are safe ways for people to provide information, and they should be protected when doing so, not vilified and victimised.
Another fundamental point brought sharply into focus by the UK Government’s proposals is that we must reverse the current trend of clamping down on freedom of information and freedom of expression, and granting ever greater rights to government and corporations to silence dissent.
Far from being unnecessary ‘red tape’, EU-wide legislation supporting whistleblowers is long overdue and essential for protecting the genuine public interest.
This remains just as relevant for the UK, even as it edges towards Brexit.
Keith Taylor
Green Party MEP for the South East



Observations on life and more important things

SCHOOL runs are stressful times for mums and dads. (Himself is very PC). The kids are arguing, and they should have been at
school five minutes ago.
All of which means Calverley fully understands the state of mind of the school-run-mum (he’s seen her several times) who pulled into the Shell Garage in St Johns’ last week after dropping off the youngsters.
She filled up the 4×4, paid inside then came out and climbed into the back seats. The look of horror on her face when she realised there was no steering wheel in front of her was something to behold.

TO Marks & Spencer’s for a new jumper (where else?) On leaving, Himself sees a lady [sic!] approaching the double doors on the way out. Ever the gentleman, he holds open one of the doors for said female. Well, the words that flowed from her lips about being perfectly capable of leaving a store on her own brought blushes to his cheeks.

EVER conscious of cutting company costs, Himself found himsef booked on to a Rynair flight out of Gatwick to Dublin.
Being a bit of a BA man, he had been assured that these days you can book a
seat on the budget airline. He’d done that,
so no problem.
That was until an announcement came over the tannoy: “We can only guarantee the first 90 bags will be loaded on to the flight.” Well, you have never seen such a rush for the check-in desk.

RESTAURANTS are judged, quite rightly, by their food rather then the written English on their menus. Ideally, both would be perfect, but hey-ho. Even so, Himself had to hide a smile on a visit to his favourite Indian establishment. One of the dishes on offer was the traditional lamb tikka. At least it should have read ‘lamb tikka’. Unfortunately, it actually read ‘limb tikka’.

Chin, chin readers

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