Kent Politics Podcast

EP4 : Failure to Innovate, MPs Leaving and 11-Plus Problems / Gordon Henderson MP


EPISODE 4 – Failure to Innovate, MPs Leaving and 11-Plus Problems / Gordon Henderson

On the latest episode of the Kent Politics Podcast, we delve into local government issues in Kent, including housing development pressures and financial challenges faced by councils. We also discuss national political trends and hear from Gordon Henderson MP.

Key Points Discussed:

Brownfield Development Incentives:

  • Michael Gove’s statement on incentivizing local authorities to utilize brownfield sites.
  • Efforts to balance housing needs with preventing overdevelopment.

Medway Council’s Innovation Park Pause:

  • £11 million spent without business sign-ups.
  • Labour administration reevaluating plans due to changing business office space needs post-COVID.

Local Council Debts Examined:

  • Medway has significant debt but lower per person compared to other councils.
  • Debt servicing costs are high but deemed manageable by council officials.

Village Green Status Battle at Bunyards Farm:

  • Maidstone locals fight for village green status against development plans.
  • Public inquiry scheduled to determine land use rights.

The Impact of Potential VAT Hike on Private Schools:

  • Labour’s proposed 20% VAT increase may lead wealthy parents toward grammar schools instead of private education.
  • Surge in demand for 11 plus tutors as a result of this policy change.

Controversial Solar Farm Near Roman Ruins:

  • Plans for solar farm near historically important Richborough site face opposition over potential damage to archaeological remains.

Gordon Henderson discusses his decision not to stand again after serving since 2010, citing personal reasons and desire for new adventures at age 76, speculation about whether Sittingbourne & Sheppey will remain Conservative or turn Labour in light of recent polls showing a shift towards the latter party nationally.

Thanks for listening to the Kent Politics Podcast – don’t forget to check out stories throughout the week on the politics pages of KentOnline, and you can watch the Kent Politics Show with Rob Bailey on KMTV every Friday at 5pm or on demand at

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