Friday, April 27, 2007


One hundred years of service to youth and the community. That is exactly what the Scout movement has achieved. 2007 sees the "first" one hundred years since Robert Baden Powell founded the Scout movement.

Throughout the world millions of young people and leaders are celebrating this milestone in their history.

Nearer to home, the four Scout Groups in Walderslade, Princes Park and Lordswood are coming together on SATURDAY 28th APRIL 2007 for a CENTENARY FAIR. The event runs from between 1pm & 4pm and will be held at the ST SIMON STOCK CHURCH FIELD, BLEAKWOOD ROAD, WALDERSLADE.

Don't talk about the RUBBISH!

This basically is the advice being given by the Labour Government to their followers in Local Government.

Where and when will it end? The second part of the question is probably easier to answer and we all know that once the Labour Government is out and common sense and normality with a Conservative Government returns, is when it all ends! Until then, we are stuck with the usual ploy of burying bad news, or at least trying to.

Labour Town Halls throughout the country are now telling their followers to talk about AWC; or to give the full title "ALTERNATIVE WEEKLY COLLECTION". We all know it today as "FORTNIGHTLY RUBBISH COLLECTION". This is the latest thinking in cost savings. The fact that there will added costs in areas such as pest control and health and hygiene are lost and hidden away never to see the light of day.

Central Government insist on waste disposal targets etc., being set by each and every local council and the proposal has been for fortnightly collections - THE CONSERVATIVE CONTROLLED MEDWAY COUNCIL HAS NO INTENTION OF FOLLOWING THIS STRATEGY.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Over the years much has been written about the Patron Saint of England, St George. The most highly claimed story is that he was born in modern day Turkey and lived in the third century. He became a Roman soldier and followed his parents into the Christian faith.

Stories of St George slaying the dragon and saving the king's daughter are all part of the make up of a popular Saint. He stood up for what was right and defended against wrong doers. He stood head and shoulders above so many of his time.

Officially recognised as the Patron Saint of England on 23rd April 1222, St George is also Patron Saint to other countries around the world. Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scout Movement adopted St George as the Patron Saint of Scouts throughout the world.

Each year (usually the nearest Sunday to 23rd April) members of the Scout Movement throughout the United Kingdom renew their promise, usually at a special service of dedication.

Fly the flag and be proud of St George's Day - 23rd April.


Back in the early 1980's I recall an occasion when the Medway Carnival was a display of all that was good in our community. We all came together representing so many charities, clubs, industry and commerce. The local haulage companies would turn out helping these groups and traffic in Strood, Rochester and Chatham would grind to a halt.

No doubt, there are those amongst you who will say we don't need a carnival now to make traffic come to a halt - it is a regular occurrence.

The point of this article is not to talk about our traffic system which has had a rough ride of late, thanks to traders local to Chatham. Having read about the Medway Queen and their search for original brasses and fitments, I recalled those days of the Medway Carnival. It was on one such occasion that I recall seeing this slight lady at the very back of the procession. She was pushing a pram and with a big picture cut-out of the Medway Queen, the lady was calling for support to save the Medway Queen.

That lady was non other than Noreen Chambers who is still one of the front runners in the campaign to save the famous paddle steamer. The very vessel that saved so many lives at Dunkirk in the Second World War and the same vessel that gave so many people of the Medway Towns so much pleasure as she pulled away from Strood Pier, on to Chatham and Gillingham before arriving in Sheerness.

Noreen Chambers continues to fight - Well done and keep up the good work with that wonderful team dedicated to saving our heritage.

If ever there is a deserving cause, the Medway Towns should be supporting this project.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007



As the local elections approach, the questions that are raised by so many of the community of WALDERSLADE increase by the bucket load. Some of the questions include:

What is happening to our community?
Where are we going in Walderslade?
What happened to our quality of life?
When will someone do something about the mess down..........Road?
Have you seen the state of the grassed area - Do you know it is so bad now, I cannot take the dog walking because of the ruts left by cars?
Can we not improve the parking?
What about the young people - Are we going to do anything for them?
Where are the community police officers?
Have you seen the damage to the church?

The list is almost endless. But by far the most popular of all questions is:

When will someone listen to us?

Well, David Brake and Kathy Doody ARE listening to your concerns. We have raised issues involving health and safety direct to our CONSERVATIVE COUNCILLOR colleagues on the CONSERVATIVE CONTROLLED MEDWAY COUNCIL for action. We are listening to you and will do our best to continue to support the community.

Capstone Valley Campaign

The response by the Community Of Walderslade continues to be ever present. People are appalled that yet again this issue has raised its head. Quite rightly communities are asking why?

Why do we need more than 9000 new houses to be built on this beautiful piece of countryside?

I am sure many of you out there will have your own thoughts on this subject but in the meantime WE must continue with the pressure and request as many members of the community as possible sign our petitions to STOP this proposal NOW.

Quite rightly, the CONSERVATIVE MEDWAY COUNCIL has PLEDGED NOT TO SELL any land that it owns in the valley for housing purposes. Kathy Doody and David Brake support this view and encourage everyone to sign up to SAVE THE CAPSTONE VALLEY.

Blank petitions are available for members of the community to take and to be filled in. Ask family and friends to help - remember, the more signatures we have the better chance we have of ensuring we save Capstone Valley for the generations to come.

The opposition by the MEDWAY CONSERVATIVE COUNCIL and in particular WALDERSLADE CONSERVATIVES to Medway Magna's proposals to build in Capstone Valley is well established. For those wishing to, they can link to visit a dedicated "Save Capstone Valley" website.
The site features a very simple message about our opposition to any development proposals. There is also a link where readers can sign our petition "online".

To visit the Save Capstone Valley website click here:

Meday Council is accused of flyover U-turn

The debate over the Chatham road scheme and in particular the Sir John Hawkins Flyover continues to be a major talking point.

Having read the article "Council is accused of flyover U-turn" (The News - Friday 6th April 2007), it seems to me that sadly Diane Turner has lost sight of what she and her group initially set out to do and has found herself caught in the middle of the Chatham regeneration debate. If as she states CRAG is not a political group, she is clearly being sucked in and used as a pawn in a game of local politics and issues.

Mrs Turner, concerned
over the downturn in business has campaigned for the flyover to be reopened and her concerns have been heard. The Conservative controlled Medway Council has, in my view, always been a listening Council and I believe has had a difficult job in considering all the issues before making the decision to reopen the flyover. Mrs Turner is now seemingly upset by the move to open the flyover by claiming that this positive action by the Medway Council is a blatant attempt to stop the CRAG campaign.

Labour, Lib Dems and Independent Councillors who between them could not come up with an original idea even if it was handed to them on a plate have taken advantage of Mrs Turner and turned her concerns and efforts into a circus.

The other key performer in the circus ring is of course Mr Lazenby, head of Kent Reliance, who, (according to your article) threatened to pull the company out of Chatham over the two-way system and the proposed demolition of the Sir John Hawkins flyover. All Mr Lazenby is looking for is an excuse to move out of Chatham. Come clean Mr Lazenby and together with your new found friends from Labour, Lib Dems and Independents, don't hide behind Mrs Turner and CRAG.

David Brake

Thursday, April 05, 2007


One of the biggest issues raised in our recent Constituency-wide survey was the problem of litter.

Not only does litter create an eyesore, but it also attracts rats and other vermin.

On Saturday 10th March, as part of a nationwide initiative by the Conservatives, local Conservative Councillors joined Tracey Crouch and an army of Conservative volunteers on a huge, Constituency-wide litter pick.

We all accept, however, that our litter pick is not the long-term solution. People need to take personal responsibility for their own litter - and not expect the Council, or taxpayers, to clean up the mess and pick up the bill. But we hope we made your area a bit cleaner and healthier.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


In response to over 400 letters signed by Walderslade residents and traders, David Brake and Kathy Doody have received news from Medway Council that they are canvassing young people in the area to seek their views on what they want by way of facilities and activities in Walderslade.

Once this exercise has been carried out, a decision will be made on how best to allocate money for youth services and facilities.

This is another example of local Conservatives working to make Walderslade better.


Medway Council has allocated yet more money to improve pavements in the area.

This follows the recent investment for improvements in the Hook Meadow area. (See previous blog about improvements for the Hook Meadow area).

Additional money has also been promised to spend on the book stock in Medway libraries.


Following concerns raised by local people about the Hook Meadow area, David Brake and Kathy Doody have been working, with their Conservative colleagues on Medway Council, to secure funds for much-needed improvements. New facilities are planned, whilst money has also been allocated to provide a youth outreach team for the area.

Monday, April 02, 2007


Following an article in the Medway News (23 March 2007) where details of the Conservative controlled council budget to reduce child fares to school, the following letter was sent to the newspaper by David Brake:

Dear Sirs

How refreshing it was to hear the news that Medway Coucil has allocated money in its budget to provide half price bus travel to school. This is as reported in the Medway News - 23 March 2007.

Clearly this is a serious attempt by the Conservative controlled Medway Council to reduce traffic on the roads, a serious attempt to reduce congestion and dangerous vehicle parking outside schools at start and finish times and a serious attempt to help improve the environment.

Well done Mrs Archer. You had an issue that needed to be raised. You decided to do something about it. In your own way you became a voice for the community and it worked.

The council listened to what you had to say and now we will all see the benefits.

How disappointing it must seem to Mrs Archer that the very people who presented her petition (Councillor Paul Godwin and the Labour Group) voted against the scheme.

Yours faithfully

David F Brake
Robin Hood Lane, Walderslade

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Olympics 2012

Always good reading is the Medway Messenger “Between the Lines.”

A recent edition reported that London 2012 Olympic organisers said “that in view of the spiralling multi-billion costs of the London Games, Medway just 30 minutes from London when the new rail services are up and running, seemed a much better bet.”

In reading the article there is an amusing irony with a sense of sadness, mainly because the final parody is so true. It was reported that a spokesman for Medway’s Liberal Democrats, who have yet to demonstrate they are in favour of anything, said: "Olympics - the whole thing is humbug. We blame the Greeks."

It is easy to imagine them saying that especially as they have done nothing but complain about the money being invested in the Olympic bid by Medway Council.

As someone who has worked closely with young people and been interested in the development of budding young sportsmen and women for many years, it was marvellous to see the likes of Sir Steve Redgrave, Steve Cram and Steve Backley here in Medway promoting the 2012 launch.

The Conservative Leader, Rodney Chambers, wants this to be the start of creating a sporting legacy for Medway. His plan to bring in investment to turn the Black Lion into a sporting complex to rival Gateshead and other centres is like a breath of fresh air. I know that there are many people like me who look forward to the day when visits to Medway from the Redgraves of this world will become the norm rather than the exception.

David Brake
Printed & promoted by A Kennedy on behalf of Walderslade Conservatives all at 200 Canterbury Street, Gillingham, Kent.