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Maidstone & Malling’s No 1 - 88,000 copies - 4 editions Maidstone Town Edition August 2011 No.172

Mote turns down cricket legends No to crushing plan!

MAIDSTONE's Mote Cricket Club has been criticised for turning down the chance of hosting a star-studded match. It means that the town misses out on seeing top internationals

who have played for Pakistan, India andWest Indies as well as Eng- land. The game between the Lashings World XI and a House of Com-

mons and Lords team will instead be played at Sutton Valence School on Sunday, September 4. Lashings chairman David Folb said he had originally wanted to

stage the match at The Mote but had been turned down as there is a colts' family day on the same date. Mr Folb said: "We were very disappointed. Iwould have thought

it would be a much bigger advantage for the colts to have had in- ternational cricketers, MPs and celebrities there, but The Mote thought better of it. "It was a very surprising decision but one that I'm used to The

Mote making over the years." But Mote Colts manager Iain Hume said Mr Folb was entitled to

his opinion but the family day is an annual fixture that the dads and their sons really look forward to. “If it had been any other day I’m sure the club would have gladly welcomed him,” he added. The Lashings squad includes such greats as Pakistan's Inzamam- ul-Haq andWest Indies' Richie Richardson. The final line-up will be announced nearer the time but Test Match Special legend Henry Blofeld will be commentating. Maidstone Town Centre Management aims to sell tickets for 30 marquee tables, seating 10 people, at £500 a table. Proceeds will go to the 36 Engineers Statue Appeal. For ticket details and how to be a sponsor at the game, call 01622 678777 or email info@maid- Statue tribute - page three Work begins on iconic Mote Tabernacle - page 14

Nuisance concerns over threat to youth centre

THE closure of Shepway Youth Centre would lead to an in- crease in vandalism and anti- social behaviourwith teenagers having nowhere else to go. That was the view of Maid-

stone cabinet member and ward Cllr Marion Ring who has pledged to fight to keep the cen- tre open. Cllr Ring said: “The centre provides a very big service. We have terrible problems in the evenings outside the shops and have been working hard to con- trol anti-social behaviour on the estate. I think we are starting to make a difference but losing the youth centrewould put us right back to square one. “I am very concerned and will

be fighting this all the way.” The centre, in Cumberland

Avenue, faces an uncertain fu- ture under KCC proposals for a massive shake-up of youth serv- ices,which involves the closure of a number of youth clubs and

River Festival hosts its first art fair P12

street-based projects. The county council would no longer run youth services “in- house”, but would commission local groups and charities to run them. In Maidstone, the Info Zone

in Palace Avenue has been ear- marked as a “hub” for running services in the area. The reorganisation would

save £1 million but could result in 64 redundancies county- wide.

Along with one other site in

the borough - Lenham Youth Centre, based at Swadelands School - Shepway would first be offered to other providers, before being closed if no-one comes forward to run it. Cllr Ring said the Shepway

centre had grown over the years and was now open every day. “These children have nothing else – the nearest place is at Loose.We have gone out in the evenings with the youth


Blaze is the fourth river tragedy P28

Thinking furniture? should be ‘thinking Lincoln’ The Big Yellow Building, St Peters St, Maidstone 0800 652 0102

Opponents to the proposal. Front: Roger Bister and fellow members of Tovil Action Group, Bryn Cornwell from Valley Conservation Society. Back: Borough Cllr Ian Chittenden, parish Cllr Clive English and ex ward councillor JohnWilson

School’s academy first

RESIDENTS have begun a renewed fight to prevent a large con- crete crushing plant being established in StrawMill Hill, Tovil. Full story - Tovil Parish Council’s sponsored page on page 18.

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, itwould 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 P15

Is your child the most photogenic? DOWNS Mail, in conjunction with Maidstone Photo Factory, is searching for Maidstone and Mallings’ most photogenic child. Free competition, Pretty as a Picture, is open to children aged three months to three years and all entrants will receive a free photo sitting at the Headcorn studios of Maidstone Photo Factory. All entry photographs will be available to view online at, where Downs Mail readers can vote for their favourite picture. The winner will receive a profes- sional portrait sitting and a gift package to include either a canvas or acrylic wall art image up to the value of £500, as well as being published in the paper. Every entrant will receive a complemen- tary 6x4 photograph to keep. To enter, call 01622 730730 to book your sitting, mentioning the Pretty as a Picture competition. Appointments must be booked by September 12.

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