This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Maidstone & Malling’s No 1 - 88,000 copies - 4 editions Maidstone East Edition May 2011 No.169 Alcohol stains Gurkhas’ image

DRUNKEN Gurkhas have caused early morn- ing disturbances in Maidstone - twice this year. Onthe first occasion, in January, soldiers be-

came "abusive and obstructive" when police tried to calm 100 partygoers who had had "far too much to drink" at Babylon Live Lounge in King Street (pictured). The second time, at the same venue, police arrived to find "tensions very high" after re- ports of a fight at 3.15am. Details of the two incidents emerged when Babylon owner Kirit Velani applied to the li- censing committee for a “Nepalese cultural evening" to go on until 10am the following morning, early next month. The application was later withdrawn by Mr Velani.

BEARSTED is the least de- prived ward in Kent, accord- ing to Government figures. The data is based on a series

of indicators, including em- ployment levels, income, edu- cation and crime rates as well as access to services and the living environment. Brian Clifford, ex-chairman

of 1,000-member Bearsted and Thurnham Society, said: "Bearsted is a remarkable vil- lage with an exceptional com- munity spirit, as evidenced by the number and variety of its clubs and societies. "It is blessed with the North Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty along its north boundary and its very special

The police

had objected: "We cannot have the situa- tion that a group of very drunk people are let loose in Maidstone at 10 on a Friday morning." A report due

to go before the committee said Mr Velani wanted to stay open till10amso he could keep "people on the premises until the trains are running as the event attracts a number of peo-

No deprivation here - official

BearstedWoodland Trust. "It has ready access to rail services and the M20. "The village is exceptionally

well served by its two infant and two junior schools.” Mr Clifford, one of the key figures in the StopKIG battle two years ago, added: "It is no wonder that Bearsted resi- dents take pride in their vil- lage and cherish what it has to offer." The “exceptional spirit of

the community” has been highlighted on a plaque com- memorating the KIG victory, which has been installed at Bearsted Green’s Queen Victo- ria golden jubilee structure next to the White Horse pub.

KCC fuels town economy

ATOTALof£610mof public-sectormoneyis spent in Maidstone - more than a third of it by Kent County Council, whoseHQis in the town. Atable of big spenders - the top three areKCC(£210m), theNHSPri-

mary CareTrust (£150m) and Maidstone Borough Council (£96m) - was revealed by a resource-mapping exercise done by the Local Strategic Partnership. The LSP is a representative group of public, private, vol- untary and community sector organisations chaired by borough coun- cil leader, Cllr Chris Garland. He told a council scrutiny committee: "It's quite clear that if you be-

lieve you can improve things where you have money to do so, then the partnersweneed to be working with are KCC,PCTand police,whoare the next largest spenders, £15m." But scrutiny committee chairman CllrTony Harwood warned this re-

vealed "some vulnerability". "A few public sector players are overwhelmingly the main

P4 Glebe


Fencing Thinking furniture?

ple from London and Folkestone". But the police said trains start to run from Maidstone to London at 0515 and Folkestone at 05.55, and that the customers should be en- couraged to leave the premises as soon as the ‘cool down period’ is over (5am) so as not to miss their train. The police said Babylon had already held

two Nepalese cultural evenings this year, both resulting in disorder. January 7/8 - Officers, who were called at

04:44 to help two distressed females, were ob- structed by a "large group of soldiers from the barracks. The problem was “Gurkha sol- diers who have drunk too much". Public order arrests could have been made,


Anger over bus service cuts ANGRY passengers have demanded that bus chiefs reconsider their

“appalling” decision to cut services at Grove Green. They have accused Arriva of acting “in a confusing and disgraceful

way” without public consultation, and complained thatnewtimetables giving details of the cuts were not available until Tuesday, April 12, - two days after the changes came in. Several services, including those going to SenacreWood, have been affected. Regular passengers were furious that

the first they knew of a cut was when their bus failed to turn up. Among those affected by the removal

of the 18 service between Grove Green and Maidstone is widow Mary Stone- ham, who now has to walk three miles home from work each day. ShielaWicks (pictured, with Boxley

Parish CllrWendy Hinder, left) said the cuts were going to make life even more difficult, particularly for the elderly and disabled. “People without their own transport are already finding it difficult to go out on a Sunday or any evening, but to cut it even more during the day is just an insult.” Mrs Stoneham (58),whohas recently undergone a knee replacement,

starts work in Maidstone at 6am and leaves at 2.30pm, but is forced to walk as there is no longer a 3pm number 18 bus. She said: “I

Council control in the melting pot P6

AWIN for Bearsted Independent candidate Pat Marshall in this week's borough council elections might have repercussions at Maidstone Town Hall. She lost her seat last May after

a 21-year stint. There are two va- cancies in the ward following the death of Heather Langley and the retirement of Allan Bradshaw, both Conservatives. If Mrs Marshall were to return

and Gordon Newton managed to retain, for the Independents, the Downswood/Otham seat that was vacated by Independent David Marchant, plus the Lib Dems were to hold all their seats,

Water sports coming to Mote Park


then the balance of power could swing away from theTories, who currently have an overall major- ity of just one. StopKIG campaigner Val Springett and Mike Cuming - already a parish councillor - hope to retain both seats for the Con- servatives but they will also be up against two Labour candi- dates, Jim Grogan and Gill Annan, and two Greens, Sarah Goodwin and Ciarin Oliver. Conservative John Horne is standing down in Detling/Thurn- ham after 29 years. Election preview - page 24/25 Heather Langley obit - page 36

Local coroner leaves after 25 years


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  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56