Conservative Party candidate: Claudine Russell
Marden Planning Opposition Group (MPOG), have received a statement from the Conservative Party’s local election candidate for Marden and Yalding Ward, Claudine Russell, which with permission, we will relay. This is a statement for the Maidstone Borough Council election on Thursday 6th May 2021.
“Just over 2 years ago I found out about a proposal for a development that would change Marden village irrevocably. I was appalled at the scale of it. That started the journey to where I find myself today. I started the MPOG Facebook page and the SaveMarden campaign and through them have really seen what a village united can do. I have been totally in awe of, and inspired by, the people of Marden and surrounding areas that have worked with and supported the campaign throughout. The March for Marden brought me to tears and walking up to Number 10 Downing Street to deliver the petition on behalf of the village was a moment I will never forget. Tristan and I have involved our children too, and through the campaign have hopefully shown them that when things are wrong you should speak out and try your best to change them for the better.
That is really all I want to do as a borough councillor. I love where I live, I have lived in Marden for 18 years, my children have attended local schools and I feel a deep connection to the countryside around us. I both live and work in Marden, and Tristan’s family have a very long farming heritage in the village. Over the last 2 years I have attended Borough council meetings and spoken out on behalf of Marden on numerous occasions. I co-ordinated and contributed to the production of the SaveMarden technical document and distributed it by hand to all 55 Borough Councillors (along with other key stakeholders). Through the duration of the campaign, I have gained a lot of technical and local knowledge about all the villages that make up the ward. I have attended Parish council meetings for all parishes in the ward and am acutely aware that the ward also contains the wonderful villages of Yalding, Nettlestead, Collier Street, Laddingford, Chainhurst and Benover and I have been attending their meetings and speaking to residents to get a good idea of the wide range of issues that they face as well.
Yes, I am Conservative, but this is a local election to elect Councillors that can best represent local people’s views at a Borough Council level. I believe that Marden needs all three of its Marden and Yalding Ward councillors united against this proposal, along with the County councillor (also up for election) to provide a formidable force to be reckoned with to fight this development. I am proud to join a successful local Conservative team, I will always stand firm against this 2,000-house proposal in Marden and fight to retain the beautiful characteristics of all the ward villages and to safeguard our wildlife. Above all I can promise you that I will always try to do my best for the residents of Marden and Yalding Ward. Please vote for me on the 6th May Local Election.”