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Maidstone & Malling’s No 1 - 88,000 copies - 4 editions Maidstone Town Edition February 2012 No.178 Allington could get £2.3m waste tip

THE borough could soon have a large new house- hold waste recycling facility after KCC pledged to fund the scheme. The county council’s project advisory group has earmarked £2.3m for the capital programme budget to create a new facility in the Maidstone and Mallings area. A feasibility study into a favoured new site is to be undertaken from next month, with the aim of having a final recommen- dation by the end of the next financial year. KCC Cllr Malcolm Robertson, who covers Maid-

stone Central, says one of the leading candidates is to site it within Maidstone borough, next to the Allington Quarry Waste Management Facility – known as the Allington incinerator – on the 20/20 Industrial Estate off M20 J5. But he believes the best option would be to site

it in Tonbridge & Malling – the only borough in Kent not to have such a facility – at the former SCA Recycling site at the bottom of New Hythe Lane near Aylesford Newsprint.

Self starters key

to jobless figures? THEnumber of people turning to self-employment in a bid to beat the recession could havemade a marked impact on unemploy- ment in Maidstone. WhileBritain has just recorded

its worst unemployment figures for 17 years, job prospects in Maidstone appearmuchbrighter. In the annualHalifax Quality of

Life Survey, the borough scored highest in the UK for employ- ment, with a rate of 84%. The employment data was

taken from the Labour Force Sur- vey of the total population of 16 to 64-year olds in the local au- thority during the 12 months ending March 2011. The LFS also produces a “con- fidence interval” – ie: how confi- dent it is that the figure is accurate and, for Maidstone, it is confident the figure is indeed ac- curate. While the statistic came as something of a surprise to anum- ber of the town’s employment agencies, Kent’s largest chamber of commerce said the figure could be indicative of a surge in self-employment and new busi- ness start-ups. Tudor Price from Kent Invicta Chamber of

P43 He said: “If themain aim is to resolve the prob-

lem in Tonbridge & Malling, it makes most sense to put it there.” Cllr Robertson says the land next to the incin-

erator, which is managed by Kent Enviropower, is impractical due to traffic congestion that was em- phasised in the days leading up to Christmas. Lorries are allowed to enter the facility from

7am, but several arrived early andwere unable to dump their material as a weighbridge was locked. The ensuing queue of HGVs along St Leonards Road and St Lawrence Road caused delays and safety risks for the estate’s other tenants, includ- ing Golding Homes, who is thought to have com- plained about the situation. Michael Robinson, financial officer of fellow

20/20 tenant DHA Planning, said: “It was forcing ordinary vehicles entering the estate onto the wrong side of the road, which puts you in conflict with vehicles that may be exiting. It is particu- larly scary in the winter months when it is


Permits could add to Tovil pressure

DOWNSMail has teamed up with Jubilee Church and Training Centre to rewardMaidstone’s unsung heroes – and we need your help to make it happen. CelebrateMaid-

stone asks local people to nomi- nate a number of worthy ‘star’ re- cipients in several categories, such as lollypop person, driver and volun- teer. Other awards will be handed out for great contribu- tions in areas such as business, arts and the next gen- eration. Each category winner will be presented with a Stars of Maidstone award at a glittering event at the Mercure Hotel (formerly Ramada Jarvis) on the A20, near Hollingbourne, on Friday May 11. Celebrate Maidstone chairman Neil Pattison said: “We are very

happy to beworking in association with the Downs Mail because the paper covers good new stories and is genuinely interested in, and actively seeks to support, the local community.”

For more details on the categories and how to vote, see page 8.

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.

AHEALTHY, happy and fun-lov- ing seven year old died when his heart suddenly stopped beating. Benjamin Robert Percival – known to family and friends as Benji – collapsed in the play- ground at Loose Junior School, in December 2010.

The first Star of Maidstone is Dave King, who was given a life- time achievement award for his vol- untary and com- munity work, particularly in the Shepway area.

THE proposed introduction of a permit scheme for household waste recycling centres in some Kent boroughs could exert more pressure on the Tovil tip, it is feared. KCC is considering imple- menting a scheme along the west Kent boundary to prevent non-Kent residents from using the facilities. East Malling & Larkfield Parish Council chairman Cllr David Thornewell recalls Med- way Council commissioning a survey four years ago with a view to doing the same. He be- lieves that should KCC start making restrictions in other boroughs, it would tempt Med- way Council, as a unitary au- thority, to exclude Kent residents from using its facili- ties. He said: “The knock-on effect would be people going to the tip in Tovil, which is much more inconvenient and already overcrowded.” “Many people in my area

find itmore convenient to go to Cuxton in Medway and such a KCC charge could disadvantage Larkfield and Snodland resi- dents. We could do without a "refuse site war" with people being asked which side of the border they come from.”

Tesco bids for East rail station site P3


Stones clinch ground naming deal

Fears over language funding changes


Fremlin upgrade scheme unveiledP12


Demolition for Park Wood homes P17

Sudden death of seven-year-old at school Coroner Patricia Harding ruled

that Benji, of Copper Tree Court, Loose, died of a condition called Sudden Adult Death, which an- nually affects less than 800 peo- ple - usuallymenbetween 18 and 25. Benji was “fun, loving and carefree,” according to his family.

SALE ENDS! SUNDAY 5th FEB The Big Yellow Building, St Peters St, Maidstone 0800 652 0102 www.lincolnfur

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