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APROPOSED shake-up of kerb- side recycling services, which would have seen residents using six waste bins and boxes, has been rejected by Tonbridge andMalling Council. The scheme, which was due


to launch in April, included scrapping plastic bottle banks and providing households with recycling boxes and a weekly food waste collection. However, the idea was scrapped after officials said the £500,000 cost of setting it up made it unviable. Their detailed review found reduced waste disposal costs would not cover the additional expense of the new system. Another key factor was the


risk of falling income from re- cycling after a drastic drop in the prices of paper and card by as much as 50% from February to September, 2012. There will now be no change


until 2019, when the council’s waste services contract with Ve- olia is next up for tender. The current system involves alternate weekly collections, with two wheelie bins for domestic and green waste and a box for paper. The proposals were based on


the Kent preferred collection model (PCM), which has been running in Dover for 18 months. A joint report by health and housing director John Batty and Cllr Owen Baldock, cabinet member for environmental serv-


Leisure centre’s gym


shapes up for new year LARKFIELD Leisure Centre is shaping up for a healthy future in 2013, following a major investment in its lifestyle, health and fitness suite. Tonbridgeand Malling Councilhas spentmore than £500,000 upgrading facilities at Larkfield and its sis- ter centre in Tonbridge, bringing the council-run gym into line – if not better – withmany private clubs. Cllr Maria Heslop, cabinet member for leisure, who


is a runner withPaddockWoodAthletics Club, turned out to launch the new-look gym. Shesaid: “Thecouncilhas always investedheavily in


its leisure facilities and aimed to provide equipment at the top end of the market, in line with the private sector.” The gym nowincludes a freeweights section and a functional training area which houses kettlebells, training ropesandsuspension rings, designed for free- form dynamic exercising of muscle groups. Thegymalso hasanenhanced fitness studio–more than twice the size of the previous facility – created


THE killer C-diff infection, which tore the local hospital trust board to pieces seven years ago with around 100 deaths, is causing serious new concerns. Areport before Maidstone and


Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust board says nine new cases inOc- tobermean there can only be 10 more by the end of the financial year (March 31) before it incurs heavy NHS fines. It was 10 above trajectory by the start of November and has been above the target of four for every month of the year except September. The trust says it has had 40


cases this year (18 at Maidstone and 22 at Pembury) but no direct deaths. This is less than last


by converting two former squash courts, lowering the ceilings and installing subtle, changeable lighting ef- fects, which canwork in time to the music. This will be used for a wide range of classes, in- cluding Zumba, Pilates, body pump and circuits. Thenewrecumbent cross-trainer is particularly pop-


ular, especiallywith oldermembers. Cllr Heslop is pic- tured putting themachine through its paces with


year – but does not meet the 20% target reduction. The fine is tough – £500,000


for every patient above trajectory – for a trust under serious finan- cial pressures due to heavy costs of financing the new PFI hospi- tal in Pembury. Following the high-profile outbreak which led to the sudden departure of the former chief executive Rose Gibb and a complete change in board members. The new board appointed full time infection specialist Dr SarahMumford. The trust’s quality and safety committee was told “nursing cleaning is not acceptable”. It is asking questions if antibi- otics are being used appropri-


P4 Feared C-diff bug back on the wards


ately (they are seen as both a cure and a cause) and also if in- fections are being acquired in the hospital or imported by pa- tients, visitors etc. The trust has decided medical staff are to be “re-engaged” with further edu- cation. Dr Mumford called on the


trust to change theways it treats some patients, especially those with chest and urinary tract in- fections as antibiotics can lead to a C-diff infection. A spokesman said: “The trust ex- pects to have fewer cases of Clostridium difficile again this year, but may not fully achieve the 20%-plus reduction that was set for 2012-13.


OUR BIG SALEIS NOW ON


Inside this edition: THIS month’s four-page Malling Action Partnership supplement features a pull- out and keep guide to regu- lar meetings of clubs and societies in the local area. MAP supports people, busi- nesses and events in Malling and the 10 parishes around it.


Baroness backs anti alcohol crusade


P3


Ex England cricketer joins campaign


P12 P12


Anxious wait for woodland ruling P16


Malling Edition January 2013 No. 189 Food waste scheme binned Jobless figures


ices, said: “We provide an ex- cellent service, with a recycling composting rate of 45% and is well liked and supported by the vast majority of our residents. “Seeing an opportunity to do


even better, we looked at the possibility of moving to the PCM. However, the financial evaluation shows the cost of providing additional kerbside services to deliver the PCM are not offset by waste disposal or other savings/income.” Recent figures show Tonbridge & Malling is Kent’s second best recycling performer, with a rate of 45% of household waste recy- cled bettered only by Tunbridge Wells (46.7%). The national av- erage is 43%.


up in borough UNEMPLOYMENT has risen in Tonbridge and Malling, bucking the trend across most of Kent. The number of people claim-


ing Jobseekers’ Allowance in the district stood at 1,514 on November 8, according to offi- cial statistics. This showed a surprise increase of 25, com- pared to an overall drop of 308 in Kent andMedway, where the total number of claimants was 34,726. Tonbridge and Malling was among the four of Kent’s 12 districts to post a higher figure than the previous month. The others were Shepway, Swale and Thanet. However, the county’s total


fell by nearly 1,000 over the pre- vious year.


Council tax debate FREEZING council tax in Ton- bridge and Malling for 2013/14 would result in a projected funding gap of £3.1 million, councillors have been told. But increasing the rate by 2%


– the maximum before a local referendum would have to be called – would reduce this sav- ings target by £300,000. The fig- ures were reported in the initial stages of the budget process leading to the final figure being approved on February 14. Full story – page 6


The Big Yellow Building, St Peters St, Maidstone 0800 652 0102 www.lincolnfur niture.co.uk


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