Dave Funnell, a former civil servant walks down Rusthall High Street. It’s a walk he’s done often being Rusthall born and bred. Dave grew up and has spent his whole life living in the village surrounded by an extended family.
"We are so lucky to have a vibrant high street with no empty shops. You have almost everything you need in Rusthall High Street. How many villages let alone places can boast a vibrant high street these days?"
He believes in shopping local and supports many of the village businesses groups and associations. "There really is no better place to live in Tunbridge Wells for a wonderful community spirit."
Dave intends to stand in Rusthall as the Liberal Democrat Candidate and for Rusthall Parish Council for the forthcoming elections in May and wants to be able to continue in a family tradition and try to serve the community as best he can. He, alongside his wife is currently a General Committee Member of the Bonfire and Fete Group (something his aunt and uncle helped to start over 40 years ago). Dave also volunteers with the elderly lunch club and the library plus is also involved with other community groups in the village.
"Having lived in Rusthall all my life, my neighbours and my community’s concerns are naturally my concerns. When I talk to people on their doorstops, they voice the very same concerns I and my family have had. Three things that come up constantly are: - speeding, parking and congestion."
Dave has volunteered for the speed watch campaign and does his training within the next two weeks. One issue he really wants to address is speeding in the village via the 20 is plenty campaign and other traffic calming measures working alongside the Parish Council.
"Speed kills it’s that simple. So, killing speed will save lives. People need to feel safe to walk out of their homes and cross a road. I would like to look into all forms of traffic calming measures when you enter the village and around the village forcing cars to slow down. I also fully support the Rusthall Community Speed Watch and look forward to working with the Parish Council, the PCSO and other agencies on this."
"Congestion in the High Street is a big problem. We have had two fatalities in the High Street and that’s two fatalities too many. Obviously, it can also act as a natural traffic calming measure and stop speeding through the High Street, but what if an emergency vehicle needed to get through the village high street? Due to the congestion and parking it wouldn’t be able to and in a life-threatening emergency situation those vital minutes could cost lives."
"It's about getting the balance right and working with residents, businesses, councillors to find a workable solution for effective traffic calming and congestion measures for Rusthall High Street which will make it safer for all and passable for all emergency vehicles yet will NOT have damaging effects on businesses or trade as we also don’t want to damage our vibrant high street."
"We need a balance and it’s time to starting working on how to get that balance right now."