From the Paddock Wood Courier
PEOPLE living on the outskirts of Paddock Wood who are refusing to pay council tax in protest over illegal Travellers' sites have won the backing of an MP.
Conservative Helen Grant, who represents the Maidstone area, said she "fully understood" the concerns of the rebel residents, who are withholding payments following claims communities were being overrun by camps.
Mrs Grant said: "Having met many residents on site, I fully understand their frustrations.
"If loopholes in legislation are being used to the detriment of honest, law-abiding residents, then the law must be changed and loopholes closed."
The Courier revealed last month at least 20 residents in Fowle Hall, Queen Street and Willow Lane had signed a declaration to withhold council tax payments, amid concerns that Travellers' sites were being built on nearby green belt land without planning permission.
One campaigner, Dr Chris Hinde, said: "The feeling is that nothing actually gets done with regard to finding the travellers somewhere to live or to prevent retrospective planning applications."
Mrs Grant has discussed the illegal sites during talks with Maidstone Borough Council.
She expressed hopes that the new Localism Act, which gives greater powers to councils, would "greatly assist" changes to planning legislation.