Our Manifesto

Time for a change:  The Conservatives will run a new Council that respects residents, rather than ignores and bosses them around.

In the past two years, the lacklustre Liberal Democrat-run Council has imposed parking charges damaging our shops and cafes; hit residents and visitors with £1.5 million in traffic fines for confusing road schemes; put precious community assets up for sale; abandoned plans to require infrastructure and sports facilities before new development; and now they are proposing to stop you driving around your neighbourhood.

The Conservatives’ priorities will be to address the unfair fines imposed and prevent these being used for developing unworkable Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, freeze parking fees in our towns and remove them from Dunorlan and protect our beautiful towns and countryside – our mantra is infrastructure first as we create employment opportunities and more housing, especially for young people.  

Conservative Councillors will:

  • Provide excellent services for a reasonable council tax.

  • Bring customers – residents and visitors – to our towns and villages, rather than drive them away.

  • Take strong action to reverse the wave of anti-social behaviour that has swept our towns.


  • Pursue schooling difficulties in the High Weald where transporting pupils miles to school is not the solution to the closure of the High Weald Academy in Cranbrook.


  • Require infrastructure and facilities for sports to accompany all major new developments.


  • Address the climate emergency with continuing sensible progress to the net zero target.


  • Foster good working relationships with the Government, Kent County Council, neighbouring Boroughs, Town Councils and Parish Councils.

10 actions that Conservative Councillors will take:


  1. Stop the Liberal Democrat attempts to bring in so-called Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in the Borough and any other plans to increase traffic congestion, delays, pollution, fines and stress to motorists.


  1. Sort out the signage, road marking and traffic flows by the War Memorial. The Liberal Democrat-led coalition decided to enforce traffic restrictions in early 2023 with inadequate signage, issuing thousands of Penalty Charge Notices and collecting over £1.5 million in fines.  Residents and visitors say the fines are unfair and deter them from coming to town.


  1. Drop Parking Fees in Dunorlan Park. Residents opposed parking fees but the Liberal Democrat-led coalition ignored them and carried on regardless.  Dunorlan is a community asset to be enjoyed by all residents in the Borough, not just those living within walking distance. 


  1. Freeze Parking Fees in our towns.  The Liberal Democrats increased parking fees at a time when our town centre businesses urgently needed footfall.  Conservatives will freeze parking fees in Tunbridge Wells, Southborough and Paddock Wood.


  1. Manage the Council’s property assets effectively. Plans for the Town Hall to be shared with small businesses were agreed in 2021 but none have yet moved in. Conservatives will manage projects that are important for the finances of the Council and the wider local economy with far greater urgency. 


  1. Lead action on Anti-Social Behaviour.  Last year anti-social behaviour increased by a third – unacceptable for residents and visitors. Funding to help has been made available by the Police & Crime Commissioner but it is Greg Clark MP who has pressured Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to take action with that funding.  The Conservatives’ priority is for residents, especially women and girls, to feel safe.    


  1. Infrastructure before expansion. We live in a lovely area surrounded by beautiful countryside.  We need employment opportunities and more housing but this must come with the necessary infrastructure required before development takes place, and with our natural environment protected.  Our existing infrastructure – roads, schools, medical, recreational & care facilities, are overstretched. Yet the proposed local plan has cut back on infrastructure and opened up every town and village in the Borough for new development.     


  1. Improved Sports Facilities.  We need to improve the maintenance of the sporting facilities across our Borough. Conservatives would work with our local sports clubs replacing national contractors with local grounds staff, local contractors and with far more involvement from the clubs.


  1. Press for Council wards to reflect communities.  Smaller Council wards would improve local representation. This was supported by most Parish Councils, by the majority of Tunbridge Wells Borough Councillors (sadly not by the 2/3rds majority required) but opposed by the Liberal Democrats. Conservatives will press again for this change.


  1. Sound finances.  The finances of Local Authorities across the United Kingdom are stretched.  Tunbridge Wells after many years of good financial management is in a stronger position than most authorities but residents need responsible management keeping council tax and charges low – rather than finding new ways to charge residents (like £5 to listen to Jazz in the Pantiles).


Please support the Conservative candidates in the Local Elections on 2nd May. A vote for other candidates is likely to result in the continuation of the Liberal Democrat-led coalition.