This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Maidstone & Malling’s No 1 - 88,000 copies - 4 editions Maidstone South Edition January 2012 No.177 Finally, a bridge too far for HGVs

YEARS of campaigning against the wide- spread use of HGVs on unsuitable rural roads south of Maidstone finally appear to be pay- ing off. KCCsays itwants to put a weight restriction

on the B2015 between Nettlestead and Yald- ing, stretching along the B2162 to Benover Road, which will effectively prevent HGVs passing through the centre of the village and going over Yalding Bridge. The move,which would see the erection of several new signs, aims to reduce the impact of dozens of container lorries and articulated trucks that plough through the rural lanes each week, making their way from PaddockWood and the south to Maidstone, the M20 and all places north of the Medway. Residents inYalding have long campaigned for a ban andweight restriction on the village’s

CALLSfor a weight restriction on the historic East Farleigh Bridge have intensified after a vehicle caused damage to its entrance. Residents woke up on New Year’s Day to discover part of the Grade II listed structure had been wrecked the evening before. Neither East Farleigh nor Teston bridges

haveweight restrictions, though both are nar- rower thanYalding, which deters wide-bear- ing loads from using them. Cllr JohnWilson is in talks with Kent High-

historic medieval bridge, which already suf- fers from congestion at peak times, with only a single track road and passing placemid-way. There will be an ‘access only’ condition to

allow legitimate local traffic to pass through, including farm vehicles and trucks from local haulage firms. The weight limit is yet to be determined, as

is the exact length of the carriageway, which will be affected, but it could go as far asGreen Lane, Collier Street. A similar restriction already exists between Nettlestead andWateringbury, forcing drivers to use Seven Mile Lane to gain access to the A26 and A20. Experience hasproved that hauliers will po-

lice the scheme themselves. Anyone found in breach of the order could be reported to the police and face prosecution.

Cllr Paulina Stockell, KCC member for Maidstone Rural West, said: “The problems caused by heavy lorries inYalding and the sur- rounding villages go back well over 10 years. Proposals have been put forward and thrown out – for practical and financial reasons – but hopefully the end is now in sight.” Cllr Stockell part-funded an ‘origin and des- tination’ traffic survey from a members’ high- way fund, along with the now-defunct rural transport groupTRAMP, the findings of which have just been published. Shehasnowoffered to finance the obligatory public consultation process prior to the implementation of the scheme. Despite years of campaigning by local resi-

dents, including a high-profile placard-wav- ing protest on The Lees, KCC said it did not have the money available to finance a


A MAIDSTONE councillor has called for a “Robin Hood” solution to funding parishes, by taking from the rich to help the poor. The suggestion was made

Funding parishes the ‘Robin Hood’ way He knew of parishes that

have “hundreds of thousands” of pounds in reserves, while others have just hundreds. “If parishes have hundreds

after claims that some parish councilshold “hefty” amounts of money in bank accounts. It happened during a debate

about a proposed new way for Maidstone Council to finance certain services in parishes. The Parish Services Scheme (PSS) would replace anannual grant system that has existed for 20 years. But Cllr Stephen Beerling

said: “I’m a little concerned that reserves have not been taken into consideration.”

of thousands in the bank what are they doing with it? Why can’t the funds be redistrib- uted to help the poorer parishes?” Boxley and Bearsted are the borough’s two biggest parishes by population. Boxley’s gen- eral fund balance as of March 31 was £123,000 with ear- marked reserves of £236,000. Bearsted’s balanceswere about £84,000.

Geraldine Brown, who

chairs theMaidstone branch of the Kent Association of Local

...but calls for action on Farleigh crossing Shop on the Green to stay RESIDENTS in Chart Sutton have suc- cessfully managed to keep the Shop on the Green. As reported in Downs Mail, the com- munity shop was told to leave its site within the boundary of Leech Motors - with access to the village green - after the garage changed hands. Maidstone Council has now granted planning permission for the shop associ- ation to place the cabin, which has been staffed by volunteers since opening two years ago, a fewmetres away onto the vil- lage green itself for the next three years. The council has imposed a July 31 deadline for the shop to move to its new site. As DownsMail went to press, ward Cllr Mike FitzGerald had arranged a meeting to organise the changeover.

way Services to see what measures can be taken. “This damage demonstrates how vul- nerable the ancient bridge is,” he said.

Councils, said there might be a reason for having reserves, such as to buy something. But she added: “If we [Yald- ing] have too muchmoney we canhave our wrists slapped by the Audit Commission. You have to substantiate every penny you spend, every penny you take in income and every penny you have in the bank account. I can only assume that parishes with lots of money have good reason for having it.” Zena Cooke, Maidstone’s di-

rector of finance, said that when they had asked parish councils for information about how they spent their concur- rent functions grant it

A new deal on CCTV MAIDSTONE Council insists its new CCTV contract with Med- way will help catch criminals and look after visitors. For more details, see the council-spon- sored 12-page Borough Update in the central pages.

   

Relief over church hall FEARS that the church hall in East Far- leigh would no longer be available to local organisations have subsided now Gary Hindley and Mandy Howard have made their plans clear after purchasing it from the church. In fact the couple are fast building up bookings as they develop a new lettings and activities business in the hall.

The successful pre-school and P6

Firm’s expansion cheer New path is opened

P15 Volunteers in Town Hall P4

P18 P22

HAVE YOU GOT A SLOW OR BROKEN LAPTOP? Screens replaced Software re-installed Viruses removed Power jack replacement

You need digital solutions - Kent’s leading laptop repair centre

DS To bring your laptop back to life Digital Solutions Ltd Call now on 01622 756 500 or pop in! (above )

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48