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Maidstone & Malling’s No 1 - 88,000 copies - 4 editions Maidstone East Edition July 2011 No.171 Dog waste bin scheme in a mess

COUNCIL plans to stop emptying dog waste bins throughout the borough have been put on hold – until next year at least. Mounting discontent among residents –

and confusion among dog owners – has forced the ruling Tories to back off until the issue has been examined in more detail. Several parish councils, including Boxley

and Bredhurst, and groups such as North Loose Residents association, had kicked up a stink about the proposal to remove bins. The idea first appeared in a budget cuts re- port in January. But Maidstone Council cabinet’s new en-

vironment member, Cllr Marion Ring (Shep- way North), has insisted on a rethink. However, the council had already told

the company that emptied dog bins its con- tract would be terminated on June 20.

Now a council spokesman has assured the public “no decision has been made to re- move the bins or stop collecting the waste”. Following the U-turn, the council will still

have to find the £30,000 savings it had origi- nally planned to make from scrapping the service. But Cllr Ring said: “I think there are ways

of doing it without upsetting the public.” She added: “I would like more investiga-

tion done before we change things – that’s what I have told my officers. I can’t see any- thing changing with the dog bins this year. “I did not feel there was enough informa-

tion to go out to the public.With all the con- fusion we need a longer time to look into it.” The council’s website still tells the pub- lic: “Dog owners don’t have to look for spe- cial dog bins. They can take their dog’s mess

Fresh hope for

20mph zones ROADS near schools in Lenham and Leeds may be tri- alled as 20mph zones. Kent Police were heavily crit-

Black belt ‘student’, 74

A MAN who has suffered numerous health problems has become a karate black belt - at the tender age of 74. Don Parvin has just been

voted 'student of the year' by his fellow shukokai enthusi- asts. "It's all in the mind," joked Don, who trains at Downswood Community Centre, and is now offering to give fellow pensioners fit- ness and exercise tips. His coach Archie Grassom

said: "Don's been through a lot of hard times but P6

‘Skate stop’ U-turn for war memorial P4

River deaths prompt safety campaign P9

Music on the Green letters special P30

icised in January when coun- cillors heard they would not support 20mph limits unless they were “self-enforcing”. But the police have since agreed to a pilot scheme of up to six schools in Maidstone bor- ough. It follows a meeting with Cllr Gary Cooke, who chaired the Joint Transportation Board at the time. He has suggested Leeds primary on Lower Street. Lenham’s Ham Lane, which accesses Swadelands second- ary school as well as the vil- lage primary, is understood to have a good chance of being in- cluded. Cllr Jenny Whittle is championing its case after a strong campaign by the com- munity.

Another prime contender is Hunton primary, whose case has been put forward “vigor- ously” by the JTB chairman and ward councillor, JohnWilson. Ward councillor Paulina Stockell believes Sutton Va- lence primary, on the busy A274 used by more than 12,000 vehicles a day, has a good case to be included in the pilot scheme. Likewise, the nursery/infant school at Lang- ley on the A274. “I support 20mph outside

schools in vulnerable areas like those adjacent to main A-class or other very busy roads,” said Cllr Stockell. The issue is due to be debated by the board on July 27.

home to put it in with their rubbish or drop it into any litter bin. It doesn’t have to be a special dog bin.” The Lib Dem spokesman for community

services, Cllr Derek Mortimer, said: “We are totally opposed to the removal of all dog bins. It was the Conservative group who proposed this ridiculous idea and was duly voted through by them when they set the budget. “The budget saving would equate to ap- proximately £36k over the year, I hate to think what the potential costs to health and cleaning would be.” He added: “The majority of dog owners

are responsible people who care for their local environment. Being a dog owner my- self, I know that they appreciate the bins and the service these provide.”

School’s academy first

EAST Borough Primary School is set to become the first in Maid- stone to apply for academy status. At the same time, the governors have taken significant steps to-

wards “federating” with two local secondaries - Invicta Gram- mar and Valley Park Community schools, which are already academies. Chairman Mike Palmby said: “We have reaffirmed our enthusi-

asm for going for academy status and federating with those two schools. There are definite benefits - we are in no doubt about that.” If the 430-pupil primary applied successfully, it would be funded directly from the Department for Education, through a trust, rather than through Kent County Council. Mr Palmby said the school would immediately receive more

than £100,000, to reflect the cost saved from no longer being part of KCC. It would also receive a £25,000 ‘start-up’ grant to cover P24

Oblivious to disaster: This family from Boughton Monchelsea was pictured just moments before being thrown at speed from a horse-drawn carriage in Romania. Full story on page 21.

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