Listen to Mayor’s interview on the Hub

Below you will find the full transcript of our 20 minute interview with the Mayor of Southborough, Glenn Lester.

Has he reassured you that the new buildings will not look ugly, the library will have as many books and staff as now, and that the windfall cash from selling part of the Ridgewaye fields is being well spent?  Do you agree that people voted for the demolition of the Royal Victoria Hall in last May’s election? Are you overjoyed that action to smarten up Southborough is at last in hand after 20 years of stalemate?  Will we end up with a new and vibrant “heart” to our community?

I have finally found a way of uploading all the sound, if you prefer to listen:

Even after 20 minutes, lots of areas were left uncovered in our interview.  Indeed we need to wait until the Planning Application to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is published in late May 2016, to know what is really set to be built.  We intend to post a range of reactions to those detailed plans when we have them.

In the meantime, if you want to contribute any feedback on the interview to us, just email:

You can also make your feelings known by attending:

Tuesday 19th April 2016 7.00pm Southborough Town Meeting in the Community Centre Crundwell Road

Thursday 19th May 2016 8.00pm Southborough Society AGM at Christ Church Hall

Martin Webber & Anya Heilpern

One thought on “Listen to Mayor’s interview on the Hub

  1. Margaret Barnes

    I am not convinced by the interview with our Town Mayor. I have always agreed that the town centre should be developed. It has been neglected for well over a decade. The cheapest option would have been to sell the old allotment site owned by Southborough Council in Speldhurst Road – worth a £million surely – and use the money to have completely modernised and refurbished the Royal Victoria Hall. That way we would have had the best of all worlds. We would have a new theatre and community building and retained our heritage and our playing fields.

    The new £30 million plan will land us with an ugly modern building, take away a large part of our green space that we have been trying to preserve for years, and fill Yew Tree Road with even more congestion and pollution. Can you imagine what the top of Yew Tree Road will be like when scores of cars are trying to enter or leave the Ridgewaye to and from matinee function in the Hub on a busy Saturday afternoon?

    Who would want to live in the centre of Southborough with the additional poison of even more car fumes. People living in the town may not have noticed but the Times of Tunbridge Wells informed us in their edition dated April 6 that Southborough and High Brooms ward has one of the worst life expectancies across twenty wards in the Borough
    Is the increase in car traffic likely to improve or reduce our position in the league table?

    The council has failed to keep us properly informed or engaged in the project. They have been arrogant and secretive, ignored the thousands of people who loved and fought to keep the RVH. The building will either remain empty and decaying, or be a demolished eyesore, for the next 18 months, whilst housing units are crammed tightly onto the playing fields. In a few years all the councillors, officials and planners will be gone leaving residents in the town to deal with the consequences for decades to come.


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