This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Maidstone & Malling’s No 1 - 88,000 copies - 4 editions Maidstone East Edition March 2011 No.167 New £78m hospital open by 2013

A £78m PRIVATE hospital at Newnham Court, near Grove Green, is expected to admit its first patient in summer 2013. This was confirmed by James Dickmann, development director of the Kent Institute of Medicine & Surgery (KIMS). He said: "It will be a tertiary hospital pro- viding advanced and highly specialised procedures and care in areas such as cardi- ology and neurology for both privately in- sured and NHS patients. “There is no other specialist provider of

A sign announces the new hospital devel- opment at the junction of Bearsted Road and New Cut Road.

such services locally, either within the pri- vate healthcare sector or the NHS." KIMS will be able to offer services for which patients would otherwise have to travel to London.

IMPROVEMENTS to Maidstone High Street are to go ahead – but only in part, leading to accusations that the decision is a “fudge”. The controversial multi-million pound project

is now being planned in separate stages by the Conservative-controlled borough council, rather than as a single job. The first phase, from the Mall Chequers to the end of Bank Street (phases 1a and 1b) will cost £2.2m, followed by phase 2 from the Mill Street junction to the dual carriageway, cost- ing £1.2m. But opposition Lib Dem leader Fran Wilson

fears the town will end up with "half a High Street". "My gut reaction is that we either do the whole scheme or not at all – and we find a better way of funding it," said CllrWilson. She added: "We believe it's a fudge. They have

Village safeguards

5 acres by buying it DETLING Parish Council has spent £14,000 on land along Hockers Lane to safeguard it from future development. The 4.8-acre plot was bought from the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and sits alongside 14 acres of Horish Wood, which has been opened up to walkers since the council bought it two years ago for about £40,000. The money came from a reserve fund set

aside for the purpose of acquiring open spaces and woodland for the parish. John Clayton, vice-chairman of the parish council, said: “We’d had the money for a long time to put towards a village green, but we are pushed for open space in the middle of the village. “Our hope is for the land to be used by younger people such as Scouts, Guides and Brownies.” The land may need improvement work as

it is quite uneven. It was previously used to dump soil from the high speed rail link.  Boughton Monchelsea Parish Council

has also been buying up land to prevent fu- ture development, while Bearsted Parish Council has set up a fund to do the same.

"It is a really exciting and much-need ad-

dition to the Kent healthcare market," said Mr Dickmann. With finance currently being finalised, groundworks are scheduled to start this summer. Construction and commissioning should take two years. Other clinical services will include ear,

nose and throat, gastroenterology, general surgery, gynaecology, orthopaedic surgery, pain management, rheumatology, thoracic surgery, urology surgery and vascular sur- gery. Mr Dickmann added: "These services will

be delivered by eminent clinicians who cur- rently work in Kent as well as the major London hospitals."

Two-phase High Street project under fire

not got the courage to say it can't be afforded in its entirety and they know they can't put the budget in hock, so it's a fudge." But council leader Chris Garland said that

doing the project in phases would enable the council to go ahead without facing a potentially big borrowing bill – as much as £1.6m if it had gone ahead with the whole scheme immediately. With “ambitious yet prudent” budgeting meas-

ures it would be possible to make a start later this year on the first phase, lasting 18 months, and only incur borrowing of £350,000 by 2014-15 - a “manageable sum”. Cllr Garland said phase 2 - the bottom end of

the High Street - is an "aspiration". He added: "The focus of the High Street has al-

ways been around the Town Hall and the Victoria monument and the links with Gabriels Hill


A larger roundabout at the junction of Bearsted Road and New Cut Road will be created, allowing an access road onto the seven-acre site. Maidstone Council's eco- nomic development manager John Foster said the scheme would bring "huge investment and high-quality jobs with the potential for other businesses to cluster round it". KIMS promises a "one-stop"

shop approach, whereby a con- sultant can book a complete treatment pathway, from outpa- tient consultations, pathology, diagnostic testing and minor treatments to complex day case and inpatient procedures to af- tercare in both the hospital and the home.

Maternity plan

judicial review? THERE is a case for Health Sec- retary Andrew Lansley to an- swer over his decision to allow Maidstone Hospital maternity services to transfer to Pembury. That is the thrust of a new re-

port of KCC’s legal experts who have considered the three grounds of: illegality, irrational- ity and procedural impropriety. But the cost of taking this to

the High Court could be £30,000–andmorethandou- ble if the case were lost. “We desperately need to see

Mayor brightens up their day

THE Mayor brought some sunshine on an otherwise drab day for the opening of new facilities at Linden Lea Day Nursery in Weavering Street. Cllr Eric Hotson goofed around during the official ribbon-cutting, to the delight of the youngsters, in- cluding Melissa Tree and Sienna Patrick, pictured here. Full story: page 6

Thinking furniture? should be

this funded,” saidMASHchair- man Dennis Fowle. “So many say his decision was perverse.” Other hospital news: page 25

Parents win school transport fight P3

Defaced memorial upsets villagers P4

‘thinking Lincoln’ The Big Yellow Building, St Peters St, Maidstone 0800 652 0102

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48