06 DEC 2018

Business Brexit Pragmatism

Building upon my support for our High Street businesses in my previous column, I continue the theme following 'Small Business Saturday' last weekend. The initiative is a great platform for public recognition of the contribution small businesses make to our economy, employment and society. We have ...


29 NOV 2018

Christmas on the High Street

Ever since I was a little girl growing up in Carlisle I remember the magic of Christmas emerging from its annual hibernation. Always starting in the town centre, shop windows came alive like West End theatre proscenia, and grey wintry walkways were suddenly festooned with lights and bunting. And s...


22 NOV 2018

EU Withdrawal Agreement

One thing I have learnt from the hundreds of negotiations I have conducted in my life, be they as a lawyer, a business woman or as a politician, is that the pressure always increases as the deadline approaches. So this week's political events have not come as an enormous surprise. We should be in n...


15 NOV 2018

Armistice 100th Anniversary

Every year, it seems, our County Town comes out in even greater numbers than the last. Old, young and in-between, regardless of the great British weather, we all come together to pay our respects. Walking down the High Street I feel a strength within the people lining, and then following our solem...


08 NOV 2018

Parliament Week

For our democracy to thrive, our Parliament must be relevant, open and accessible, and UK Parliament Week is aimed squarely at achieving those goals. Parliament Week is a series of events designed to inspire interest and engagement in parliament, politics and democracy, particularly within younger ...


01 NOV 2018

Budget 2018

Amidst the rowdy rhetoric and political posturing on Budget Day this week, the challenge was in unpicking how the measures will affect our everyday lives here in Kent. On health funding, I very much welcomed the news of radical investment to ensure both mental and physical conditions are treated wi...


25 OCT 2018

Press Freedom

President Trump's constant, hostile and irresponsible attacks on inconvenient 'Fake News' and attempts by Putin's Russia to disseminate misinformation through contrived social media accounts threaten the very existence of a free press. Furthermore, according to Reporters Sans Frontières, 72 j...


18 OCT 2018

Loneliness

I am sadly confident that the vast majority of people living in Maidstone and the Weald have experienced, at one time or another, the despair of loneliness. It is a deepening problem. Age UK are forecasting almost a 50% increase in loneliness amongst people over 50 in the coming decade. There is ...


11 OCT 2018

Confronting the Far Right

News that there is to be a 'far right' inspired march in London this weekend, conjured memories of similar extremists rearing their ugly heads on our doorstep here in Maidstone and the Weald. Thankfully, when the low-life bigots under the hate-filled 'Britain First' banner paid an unwelcome visit t...


04 OCT 2018

Conservative Party Conference 2018

The BBC's Assistant Political Editor Norman Smith was wearing a construction worker's hard hat as he delivered his morning bulletin from the Conservative conference on Monday this week. He explained it was to avoid flying rocks and mortars in a Tory Party war zone; and yet the calm and collegiate s...


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Helen's column

06 DEC 2018

Business Brexit Pragmatism

Building upon my support for our High Street businesses in my previous column, I continue the theme following 'Small Business Saturday' last weekend. The initiative is a great platform for public...


29 NOV 2018

Christmas on the High Street

Ever since I was a little girl growing up in Carlisle I remember the magic of Christmas emerging from its annual hibernation. Always starting in the town centre, shop windows came alive like West End...


22 NOV 2018

EU Withdrawal Agreement

One thing I have learnt from the hundreds of negotiations I have conducted in my life, be they as a lawyer, a business woman or as a politician, is that the pressure always increases as the deadline...