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Home Maidstone News Article
Independent Mike Taylor was returned as the new representative for Borough Green and Long Mill Ward when voters went to the polls last Thursday. (9)
The seat became vacant after Conservative David Evans resigned due to ill health.
One resident described the ward as having been Conservative “since the Magna Carta” and Mr Evans himself had represented the village for almost 23 years.
Cllr Taylor is a well known figure locally. He has lived in the village since the 1960s. He built and ran the Drop-In Centre youth club; he was the project manager on the building of the new sports pavilion at Potters Mede and he led the campaign - albeit unsuccessfully - against the granting of planning permission for 171 homes on a landfill site at Isles Quarry in the village.
Cllr Taylor said it was probably the latter issue that brought him most support.
He said: “We have a problem in Tonbridge and Malling because the council is so wholly Conservative.
“The councillors tend to follow party policy instead of doing what the people want.
“The whole village has been absolutely and utterly opposed to the Isles Quarry development.”
Cllr Taylor, 68, is a retired haulage contractor and lives in Maidstone Road with his wife Jackie.
He has been chairman of Borough Green Parish Council for the last three years and is also known more widely throughout the area of Wrotham, Platt and Shipbourne, as a campaigner for the J5Slips campaign, which is seeking to pressure the Government into providing east-facing slip-roads at Junction 5 of the M25.
Cllr Taylor said: “It’s ridiculous. All the villages along the A25 and A227 suffer heavy traffic, but a mile away there’s a motorway that no-one can use.”
The election could also be regarded as a success for UKIP. Standing for the first time, their candidate gained 349 votes.
However, Cllr Taylor‘s election still leaves the Tories with 47 of the 53 seats on Tonbridge and Malling Council. The Lib Dems have four and Labour one.
Borough Green and Long Mill Ward election:
Mike Taylor (Independent) 692 (elected)
Stuart Murray (Conservative) 588
David Waller, (UKIP) 349
Victoria Hayman (Labour) 84
Howard Porter (Green) 68
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