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Battered gran’s six-hour wait to see doctor


A FORMAL complaint is being made about a 78-year-old woman's "disgraceful" treatment at a new hospital after being bat- tered at home by burglars. Jean Thomas suffered the fur-


ther distress of having to wait more than six hours before being seen by a doctor at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Pembury. Her son Howard said: "I told


them, 'you have a state-of-the-art hospital but your care is the most appalling we have ever seen'." At one point,Howard's brother


Clive, who is a critical care para- medic himself, had to clean the blood off his mum's two-inch head wound where she had been


Prison is a


top performer MAIDSTONE Prison has been rated among the best in Britain. Inspectors awarded it the top performance rating, level 4, achieved by just a quarter of prisons. Only four years ago, they criticised Maidstone for being overcrowded, dilapidated and unhygienic. Recognition by HMI of the


vast improvements was a great way for governor Andy Hud- son to sign off. He started a newjob at RochesterYoungOf- fenders Institution this week. AndyBell, from Dover's immi- gration removal centre, has succeeded him. The prisonwas already rated ‘successful’ when Mr Hudson arrived in September 2009, but he vowed to strive for excel- lence. “My aim was to achieve recognition for the staff as an exceptional prison. I am ex- tremely pleased that this has nowbeen achieved,” he added.


Christmas cheer STORE operators in Maid- stone’s FremlinWalk can look ahead to the busiest time of the year with optimism after it was announced that the shopping complex would be fully let by Christmas. Following the unveiling of fashion clothes store Superdry, at No 27, in July, other arrivals have added further cheer. Menkind recently


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hit with a chair. "Mybrother could not be- lieve what was going on. We are in the process of making a formal complaint," said Howard. The doctors’ rota in A&E has since


been revised to increase cover at busy times. The three suspected burglars - who Howard described as scumbags - left Mrs Thomas's bungalow empty-handed. Al- ready two rewards have been offered for the culprits’ arrest and conviction. Staplehurst Parish Council may install


CCTV in the village following the attack. Howard said: "There has been a lot of


A NEW police structure for the Maidstone area is now in opera- tion.


The Kent force has been split


into three divisions and Maid- stone is part of the newWest Di- vision, along with Tonbridge & Malling, Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks. It is under the overall command of Chief Supt Matthew Nix, with Chief Insp Adrian Futers covering the Maidstone area.


Maidstone & Malling’s No 1 - 88,000 copies - 4 editions Maidstone Town Edition Christmas 2011 No.177 Signs could


community love and support for whichwe are very grateful. It means an awful lot to mum. The police have been very good and


P27 Three police areas for Town Maidstone itself will also be di-


vided into three sectors: West under Insp Jerry Prodger East under Insp GeoffWyatt


Town (covering the High Street ward) under Insps Dave Coleman and Jody Gagan-Cook. Thenewset-upwas introduced


on November 16 following a countywide review, necessitated by Government spending cuts. 'Top notch' policing - page 16


FAY Gooch and Marlene Parks have been neigh- bours in Heath Road, Barming, for 30 years. They have both been represented by Maidstone's MP during that time - but not for much longer if the Boundary Commission gets it way. Mrs Gooch is furious that her end of Heath


Road will be in a new Tonbridge constituency while Mrs Parks - a few doors away - will still be in Maidstone for parliamentary elections. The irony is that Mrs Gooch represents the Barming ward on Maidstone Borough Council though the Tonbridge MP would represent her. "I've very miffed. It's nonsensical," she stormed. "I'm aMaidstone person and I identify with Maidstone." She said Heath Road is part of an integrated Barming Heath community and the Boundary Commission plan would split it down the mid- dle.


"I'll be objecting most strongly to the commis- sion's barmy proposal for Barming!" said Mrs


Duke of Edinburgh awards record


‘Stump’ gets tree protection order


Community centre precept option


P8 P14 P29 BIG IN OAK Digital Solutions Ltd


‘baffle’ drivers WORRIESabout potential con- fusion over who can drive where in Maidstone's re- designed High Street have been raised with a Govern- ment minister. The issue centres on signs that re- strict access or afford priority to certain vehi- cles. The prob- lem is compounded by the Department for Transport's perceived reluctance to allow exceptions to its signage rules. Cllr Malcolm Robertson (Maidstone Central), who is KCC's Lib Dem opposition highways spokesman, is con- cerned about the sign, pro- posed for both ends of the High Street, which is supposed to ban access to all vehicles other than buses and taxis. (see image, above). He fears the one at the bot-


tom end, for traffic coming off the gyratory system near Bar- clays Bank, will cause


P4 Parliamentary boundary changes are ‘barmy’ Miffed: Fay Gooch, left, and Marlene Parks


show their feelings near the boundary stone in Heath Road


Gooch. She added: "In trying to achieve a better bal-


ance between constituency sizes, the commis- sion has totally ignored natural boundaries.


"Mopping up discrete towns and villages to help even up the numbers is a way forward,


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