2nd Flood Forum for Maidstone and the Weald 

On Boxing Day and in the ensuing week last year I was working amidst a large number of people tackling the swollen waters of the Medway at Allington Lock, at Fairmeadow in Maidstone and in Yalding. A range of different measures were needed to deal with the challenges at different locations and it quickly became apparent that a plan had to be devised and implemented, one that joins together the actions of all stakeholders in a concerted effort to avoid future flood damage.

I convened my first Flood Forum back in February from which a nine point action plan was devised between 22 stakeholders. On October 10th we re-convened to review progress. Representatives attended from the Environment Agency, parish, borough and county councils, emergency services, key interest groups, residents and businesses; all presented a progress report and I was extremely encouraged.

Immediate measures now being taken to mitigate a repeat of last year's devastation include; new flood warning systems - going live at the end of the month; flood information packs and 13 new flood wardens in place; an extension for applications for the 'repair and renew' grant secured, and a new dredger set to be ordered.

We have an integrated plan that has been recognised by the Secretary of State, Liz Truss, as a model for others to follow in our country. She calls it Partnership Working and she re-confirmed to me the advice given by her predecessor Owen Paterson that DEFRA will only to agree to fund major works, such as increasing the capacity of the Leigh Barrier, if there is clear evidence of Partnership Working under a co-ordinated plan.

I was pleased to see the Secretary of State tweeting prior to our flood forum that she was "keen to hear outcome" and "looking forward to receiving an update". Let's hope our efforts will persuade her to approve the funding requests already submitted for the major works we need in our area.


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 15th October, 2014.  

Open for Applications!

I am delighted to announce that the Shadow Helen Competition 2014 is now open. Young people from Maidstone & the Weald will have the chance to 'Shadow' me through the remainder of this Parliamentary Term and into the General Election on May 7th 2015.

The competition winners will gain valuable work experience inside Parliament and have the chance to watch debates in the House of Commons, attend committee meetings and network with a wide variety of politicians and officials. They will also follow me throughout the General Election, seeing first-hand the excitement and complexity of a national campaign.

I am also thrilled that this year we will be offering all finalists a day of work experience in Westminster.

If you are aged between 16-18 in November of this year then please do fill out an application form, available to download below together with some guidance notes.

Please note the closing date for applications is Sunday 16th November 2014.

Best of luck!





Candidate Application Form

Guidance Notes  

Welcome and thank you for taking the time to visit my website. I hope you will find it informative and helpful.

If there is anything you feel I can do for you as your MP, send me a message.  If you would like to receive regular updates on my activities and forthcoming events please sign up for my e-communique newsletter.

With very best wishes


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