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FRESH fears have been raised about West Malling losing its bus service to the new Pembury Hospital. LocalMPSir John Stanley has tackled Maidstone and Tun- bridge Wells NHS Trust chief executive Glenn Douglas on the issue. He claims residents of the Malling part of his constituency will be worst hit if the Trust is allowed


to replace


planning consent conditions, imposed in 2007, for a twice- hourly service to and from the hospital.


The MP said: “It appears the


Malling Edition October 2011 No.174


Fight is on over hospital bus link Summer date


bus services to and from Pem- bury Hospital calling atHadlow, West Malling and Borough Green will be axed.” The Trust says it has carried


out surveys over the past two years and does not consider enough people from these areas visit the hospital to support a bus service. TheMP added: “If the Trust is allowed to scrap the bus service conditions and replace them with a Section 106 agreement, it seems it will be able to make a cut of some 75%, from £8m to


Village’s own dog law?


and Malling to apply to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for an order which would allow it to issue penal- ties for dog fouling and failing to keep dogs under control. The byelaw would apply to children’s play


areas including the Bomb Hole, multi use games area and toddlers’ play area. Themove has the backing of the community warden and borough dog warden, and could lead to the parish appointing its own warden. If successful, the councilwill consider ask-


LEYBOURNE Parish Council is seeking pow- ers to fine nuisance dog owners in a series of measures to combat anti-social behaviour. The parish is one of the first in Tonbridge


Louise is No 1 in her


£2.1m, in its financial support for those services.” Also, Sir John believes a Sec-


tion 106 agreement would en- able the Trust to avoid any financial contribution beyond five years. Thatwould not be so if the existing planning condi- tions were maintained, he added. TheMPwas commenting on a


reply to his original letter to Mr Douglas. In it, the chief execu- tive said extensive research had shown that the bus routes and frequencies set out in the plan- ning conditions would


P6


for first triathlon A TRIATHLON will be held in Maidstone next summer and it is hoped it will become an an- nual event. The event, scheduled for June


24, is being organised with the backing of the borough council. Money raised will benefit a leukaemia research charity, said Cllr JohnWilson. There are several variations


of the triathlon but the most popular form involves swim- ming, cycling and running in immediate succession over var- ious distances. The River Med- way might host Maidstone's swimming section. Keen runner CllrWilson,who


ing for further byelaws dealing with other anti-social issues such as swearing and litter. The council has also begun installing a £25,000 CCTV system with five cameras sited at hotspots in Leybourne. The first cam- era is up and running at the Bomb Hole and the others will cover themain open spaces. Grant funding was obtained towards the cost of the scheme.


Town Talk Cafe’s life-saver


Town Talk


A CAFE owner saved the life of a Snodland man after notic- ing he had not called in for a few days. For full details, see Town


Talk in the central pages of this month’s Downs Mail. The bi-monthly eight-page inde- pendent magazine is written by and dedicated to Snod- land and Halling residents.


Fiesta AYLESFORD- based Louise Cook (24), has triumphed in her first attempt at the British Rally Ladies Championships. Read about


the amazing twists and turns of her route to success on page 6.


Costly museum delays


THE cost of Maidstone's trou- bled museum extension may rocket again after further delays to the contract. Maidstone Council leader


Chris Garland spoke of his frus- tration about the East Wing project that was originally sup- posed to finish in April. Com- pletion is now unlikely until later this month - a total of six months behind schedule. The Downs Mail understands the total additional cost of the


Hospital volunteer car service to go VULNERABLE patients are to lose the volunteer car service as a result of cuts being made by Maidstone and TunbridgeWells hospital trust. “Thiswill bedisastrous formanyold, infirm and poorpatients,” said


a driver for more than 10 years, KevinWalters, who has protested to trust chief executiveGlenn Douglas and severalKentMPs. “Formany, public transport is impossible and help from family and friendswill be very difficult.” Drivers are paid 41p a mile to help cover car and fuel costs–afigure unchanged for more than 10 years. But the trust says this


P16 BIG IN OAK


over-run could be a six-figure sum. Cllr Garland told the Downs


Mail: "It is very frustrating but we are determined to get the museum completed." He said the contractor had submitted a claim for a further extension. As the Downs Mail went to press, Cllr Garland said: "That time extension has not yet been approved by the contrac- tor administrator. It could result in an overspend and


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has just done the Great North Run again, said the triathlon is a "growing sport, bigger than the marathon".


Maidstone Business Forum - page 19


Hospice hopes for


Somerfield site THE Heart of Kent Hospice hopes to raise its town-centre profile with a retail operation in council-owned premises in King Street, Maidstone, occu- pied by Somerfield supermar- ket until its recent closure. Hospice chief executive Kate Bosley confirmed negotiations were taking place, but added: "Nothing is definite or signed."


Empty shops - page 19


Priory to have new peace garden


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Open Day celebrates ground landmark


It’s a boy! First baby at birthing unit


Gypsy drug dealing gang convicted


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