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Maidstone & Malling’s No 1 - 88,000 copies - 4 editions Maidstone Town Edition November 2011 No.175 Get set for the internet fast lane

MAIDSTONE is about to get on the super- fast internet highway. But it is unclear exactly which homes and business will benefit - and many parts of the borough are likely to miss out. BT is to upgrade 13 Kent exchanges, in- cluding Maidstone, Loose and Snodland, with fibre-based infrastructure so that providers can deliver super-fast broadband. But Barming, Bearsted, Headcorn and Sta- plehurst exchanges are not on the new list. The latest work should be completed by autumn next year. BT's local network business, Openreach,

uses mainly fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) technology to provide faster speeds. FTTC,

Concrete plan crushed CAMPAIGNERS in Tovil have won the bat- tle to prevent a large concrete crushing plant from being established off Straw Mill Hill. Government inspector Terry Phillimore dismissed an appeal made by SBS Recycling to convert a disused paper recycling centre into a facility that would process 90,000 tonnes of building waste a year. KCC had refused the application in Janu-

ary. The inspector concluded: “The harm of the proposal is not justified by considera- tions of need”. He reported: “The addition of significant numbers of slowmoving HGVs exiting from Straw Mill Hill would have a material ad- verse effect on highway safety, notwith- standing that the constraints affect only part of the carriageway and the better views available to drivers of larger vehicles by comparison with cars. “Even with controls on the management

of vehicular movements to and from Town could have

100-bed Premier Inn A NEW 100-bedroom Whit- bread Premier Inn hotel is being planned for London Road, Maidstone. Applicant Reef Estates has applied to convert London House, an empty four-storey of- fice building on the one-way system, into the hotel, which would also have 92 parking spaces. The applicant’s design state-

ment claims the change to hotel use has “in principle”

P30 P14 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 likely this month - a total of six months behind schedule. It will open soon. The Downs Mail understands the total additional cost of the

Park scheme begins WORK has now begun on the £2.5m project to improve Mote Park. For more details, seeMaid- stone Council’s latest 12-page newsletter in the centre of this edition of DownsMail.

Volunteer appeal to save youth club


Statue unveiling for early November


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


delivered to street cabinets, currently offers download speeds of up to 40Mbps, but the upgrades will double that. Internet users with a fibre broadband con- nection can do muchmore online, all at the same time. Internet users would potentially be able to download a music track in two seconds, a whole album in 30 seconds and a feature- length HD movie in 10 minutes - while watching films, TV and playing games. Cllr Roger Gough, KCC cabinet member

for business strategy, said: "The arrival of super-fast is very important and is a signif- icant investment in Kent. "Faster broadband is a real benefit to

Louise is No 1 in her

householders and provides businesses with a competitive advantage. It will give a long- term boost to our local economy." ButAllington councillorMalcolm Robert-

son sounded a note of caution. "We don't know that they will necessarily install it in all areas covered by the Maidstone ex- change in King Street. They are currently unwilling to confirm what the coveragewill be."

He added: "Here in Allington, over two

miles from the exchange,we get pretty poor speeds. I hope Allingtonwill be included in the first tranche of installations." Plugging thewhole of Maidstone borough

into “super-fast” broadband might P14

Alarm over A&E By Dennis Fowle

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

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

ACCIDENT and emergency pa- tients expecting to go to Maid- stone Hospital are angry and mystified because ambulances are taking them instead to A&Es at Pembury and Medway hospi- tals they find seriously over- stretched. They tell stories of confused ambulance crews, long journeys and serious delays for treatments for minor injuries such as sprained ankles and broken fin- gers, which should be treated much more conveniently and quickly at an under-employed Maidstone A&E - as projected in original NHS proposals. The hospital trust, during the consultation period, said only ‘blue-light serious trauma cases requiring specialist surgery’ would be taken to Pembury – es- timating 30 or so a week. A trust spokesman categori-

cally denied claims that Maid- stone A&E is being run down, stating: “Maidstone A&E contin- ues to see the vast majority of pa- tients it did before.” Yet it


It’s a boy! First baby at birthing unit


Digital Solutions Ltd P22

Council may change recycling policy


The Big Yellow Building, St Peters St, Maidstone 0800 652 0102

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