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ANGER is mounting over plans to shut the youth club in Snod- land and build a new one 15 miles away, writes Peter Erlam. Local MP Tracey Crouch and Town Council chairman Anne Moloney are strongly opposed to the move. Kent County Council proposes to close the centre, based at HolmesdaleTechnologyCollege, as part of its review of youth serv- ices. A"YouthHub"would be built in Tonbridge to serve young peo-

Malling Edition September 2011 No.173

MP fury over youth club ‘transfer’ Very good draw!

High Street scheme begins

ple throughout the borough. But Cllr Moloney said: "It would be in- accessible from Snodland. There are no viable buses through here - it would take an hour-and-a-half and a lot of careful planning. I think someone does not know this area. If it was in the middle of the borough maybe you could understand it." She added: "The borough's two most deprived areas are East Malling and Snodland.Tonbridge does not qualify as 'deprived'. It does seem a little odd they are going to close a purpose-built youth centre and build a new one at the southern tip of Tonbridge. It's supposed to be a cost-cutting exercise!” Meanwhile, Tory MP Ms Crouch has written to KCC expressing

her shock at the threatened closure. "This would be a hugely dis- appointing decision for all associated with the club and indeed for the wider community [which] would be bereft without it." She said she "cannot grasp the logic or motivation" afterKCChad heavily invested in SAMAYS (Snodland and Malling Area Youth Service). Ms Crouch questioned whether KCC has a "real under- standing of the community need for a strong youth service in Snod- land". She added: "SAMAYS not only provides a venue for the youth to meet but also offers other vital outreach and educational services which are not easily accessible via other organisations." Referring to the recent riots in England, theMPsaid the proposal

is “short sighted” and could potentially cost KCC a lot more in the long term. KCC cabinet member for customer and

MAIDSTONE United FC have set a target of next summer for the opening of a new ground in James WhatmanWay. The Stones say that building work will begin by

the end of themonth and have targeted a pre-season friendly against former Maidstone manager Barry Fry’s Peterborough United in August 2012 to mark the club’s home- coming, having last played in the County Town in 2001.

Early this year,

The Stones began a campaign to raise £1.6m for thenew3,000-ca- pacity stadium, which will become one of the first to have a 3G syn- thetic surface. Club chairman Oliver Ash and his right handman


DIANA Porges is £11,000 better off than she expected after hearing she had won a prize in Kent Air Am- bulance’s superdraw. She thought she hadwon £50 but

in fact it was £11,050! Diana, of Hale Court, East Peckham,

P8 Stones target 2012 ground opening

Gallagher and the Football Foundation. Further funds are available from the FA’s Football Stadium Improvement Fund. Vice-chairman Mr Casey would not reveal where

Former Stone Chris Smalling (pic- tured), who now plays for Manchester United and England, said: “I have ful- filled many dreams by playing for one of the best teams in the world but will never forget where I started out and knowing that the club will soon have a venue where players of all ages can enjoy the sport they love is superb.”

the rest of the money will come from, but said: “We have got all of the money we need; we would not start the project unlesswewere sure thatwewould finish it. That would be foolhardy.We have a number of different fallback positions.” When the campaign

was launched in Janu- ary, the club hoped to raise a significant bulk of the required money through investors buy- ing separate stakes in

Terry Casey put £250,000 towards the project, with £150,000 each pledged by local businessman Pat

the ground. But this idea was shelved as it was a “legal minefield and incredibly complicated,” ac- cording toMr Casey. He added: “Now it becomes a race against time.We want the ground to be ready by the end of April, so the FAcan sign it off inMay.”

Toasting a new marriage at the beer festival A WEDDING party found a new way of toasting the happy couple - at a beer festival. The group headed straight from the ceremony to Camra's real ale

event at East Malling Research. Festival spokesman Colin Mann said: "People started arriving in very smart suits and frocks. They had come straight from Archbishops Palace in Maidstone. They were there for a few hours, it wasn't just a flying visit. They'd come to enjoy themselves and at the end of the day they went off for the rest of the reception." Sell-out festival - page eight

OAK AND PINE The Big Yellow Building, St Peters St, Maidstone 0800 652 0102

THE political arguments have been replaced by tem- porary traffic lights, road clo- sures and diversions Yes, the contractors have moved in to the High Street. The sound of pneumatic drills andmechanical diggers are heralding the long-antici- pated revamp of what used to be the vibrant heart of the town butisnowapoorrela- tion to the shopping axis of Fremlin Walk, Week Street and The Mall. Work on Phase 1 of the project – from Mill Street to The Mall – began on Mon- day, September 5, andwill be complete by next summer. Inevitably, some temporary traffic changes will be needed. From Monday, Sep- tember 19, access to Lower High Street will be


Waitrose arrival WAITROSE’s new Kings Hill convenience store is set to open by Christmas and will create up to 50 jobs. The 9,000sq ft foodstore has

been designed in art deco style to reflect the iconic architecture of the nearby former RAF con- trol tower. The shop will offer bread straight from the oven, meat and fish counters and a Tesco brand price match on 1,000 branded lines.

Young wardens keep Kings Hill clean

Vandals destroy show scarecrows

Pupils celebrate exam success

P6 P8 P30

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