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Maidstone & Malling’s No 1 - over 83,000 copies - 4 editions By Dennis Fowle

BIG plans to modernise Maid- stone’s 30-year-old hospital in Hermitage Lane with a £23m spend over the next six years will transform the way patients are seen and treated. The first phase–a£2.9m ur-

gent medical and walk-in unit in a rebuilt former Monckton’s children’s ward, closely linked to A&E – will be in use this month. This will reduce by about

25% the number of patients needing hospital admissions and as beds are vacated, the hospital trustwill, over the next six years, spend £15m mod-

ernising 10 wards into five large specialist medical and surgical wards. There will be more sin- gle rooms, and six-bedded bays will become four-bedded bays with their own bathrooms, en- hancing privacy and dignity. The changes have been driven

by clinicians atMaidstone Hos- pital, following the loss of sev- eral key services to the new TunbridgeWells Hospital – and they are delighted by trustman- agement and financial support. Lead physician, Dr Chris Thom, said: “At present, pa- tients can be transferred be- tween wards and teams in the middle of a hospital stay, de- tracting from good hospital care

New council boss named TONBRIDGE and Malling Council has appointed Julie Beilby as its new chief executive in a restructure of top jobs which will save £125,000 a year. Currently central services di-

rector, she will take up her new role from next February 1, replacing David Hughes who is moving to take charge of Gravesham Council. The two councils had agreed

to save money by sharing the services of Mr Hughes as chief executive for two years. But the scheme, set up in August

2011, was abandoned when Gravesham decided it wanted a full-time chief executive, and gave Mr Hughes the job. He is thought to have been offered around £150,000

for his new role, about £30,000 more than the £119,124 annual package for his shared role which was paid equally by the two councils. His salary at Tonbridge andMalling was £113,700. Council bosses at Tonbridge and Malling said they

had taken the opportunity to review their top man- agement structure to enable them to trim costs while maintaining high quality services. Chief solicitor Adrian Stanfield will take over as di-

rector of central services from February 1. A further re- structuring will take place inMayfollowing the planned retirement of one of the current directors. The chief so- licitor and chief leisure officer roles are then likely to be abolished, resulting in a team of four working closely with the chief executive, although this will not involve loss of staff or redundancies. The current chief leisure officer Robert Styles will take on the new post of director of street scene and leisure.

P4 Owzat! Don’s winning appeal

WHENgenerous punter DonNewick had a ‘bit of luck’ on the horses his thoughts turned immedi- ately to his local cricket club in its hour of need.

Don (80)won £24,000 after five horses ridden

by thesamejockey allwontheir races atarecent meeting.

He had heard that the Teston club, for which

he played from the age of 14,was desperate for funds to build a new pavilion so he decided to chip in with £2,500 – the firstmajor donation to a big appeal being launched on November 22.

The current pavilion, which consists of two

post-war portable classrooms bolted together, has reached the end of its life – and without a functioning pavilion, cricket at the BarhamCourt groundwould cease after 117 years.


Wateringbury charity wins £3K funding

01622 750733 10 St Faiths Street Maidstone

Town centre parking fees to increase

Christmas pause for gas main works


P18 P22

Inside this edition: THIS month’s four-page Malling Action Partnership supplement features the opening of a new commu- nity arts cafe in the St James Centre, East Malling. MAP supports peo- ple, businesses and events in Malling and the 10 parishes around it.

£23m for ‘future-fit hospital’

Malling Edition November 2012 No. 187 Charity stunt for

andaddingtolengthofstay. The changes mean our wards will be aligned to the needs of patientswith the speciality best able to care for them.” Four other projects planned to

start next year include redevel- oping the endoscopy and urol- ogy units and admissions and discharge lounges. Improve- ments will also include rede- velopment of the hospital’s two cancer wards and private pa- tient unit, and there are plans to increase hospital car parking by 160 spaces. The investment comes at a

time when the trust is offering voluntary redundancy to all staff as it seeks to make


Children in Need YOUNG people involved with a Wateringbury-based charity will be glued to the ‘box’ for this year’s Children in Need to see one of their number com- plete an exciting fundraising stunt being televised by the BBC.

James Trimming (18) was one

of only six young people from throughout the UK selected by Children in Need to take part in its ‘Rickshaw Challenge’ – ped- alling furiously from Cardiff to London to arrive in time for this Friday’s fundraiser. James, who lives in Lenham,

has had the support of Cross Roads Care,West Kent, since he was eight years old and attends their club nights in

P6 Advice bureau

may face crisis MAIDSTONE Citizens’ Advice Bureau could face a funding cri- sis when welfare benefit changes take effect next year. Salaried employees – as op-

posed to the dozens of volun- teers who help keep the service running – could find their jobs in jeopardy, as the Government tightens up on grants which have helped keep the charity afloat.

Grants from the Legal Service Commission fell from £266,534 in 2011 to £219,704 in 2012, and are set to be less than half of this in 2013. At the same time, cash from Maidstone Borough Council, which went down from £195,160 in 2011 to £185,000 in 2012, could face further cuts as the council tries to


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