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Fraud charges AN OTHAM man has appeared at a London court charged with fraud offences. Swedish national Ulf Magnus Michael Peterson (49) was re- manded in custody until Tues- day, April 2, by Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday, January 7. Criminal proceedings were brought by the Serious Fraud Office and Peterson was charged with two offences of false accounting, one offence of fraudulent trading, one offence of fraud by abuse of position and two offences of forgery. Peterson was the founder of

hedge fund firm Weavering Capital, which went into ad- ministration in 2009.

Cold call alert POLICE issued a warning after a group of salespeople from Zenith Windows were seen knocking on doors in Harriet- sham and touting for business. The salespeople had no for-

mal ID or uniform. Although the company was legitimate this sort of cold calling is usu- ally accompanied by some very hard sales techniques. If you require any goods or services, the advice from Kent Police and Trading Standards is to get personal recommendation or call the Trading Standards’ Buy With Confidence Scheme on 08454 04 05 06.

Charity concert THE Bearsted and District branch of the NSPCC is organ- ising a concert in Holy Cross Church, Bearsted, at 7.30pm on Saturday,March 16. Tickets are £10, and include refreshments. Call Tikki Gul- land on 01622 737471.

Council tax set to go up

COUNCIL tax payers in Maid- stone are set to face a 1.9% in- crease from April. For the first time in two years,

the cabinet has recommended the council agree to an 8p a week increase in order to pro- tect services in the next and fu- ture financial years. Members were due to vote on

the recommendation as the Downs Mail went to press, put- ting the council tax cost to a Band D taxpayer up by £4.23 a year. The borough council has frozen its council tax for each of the last two years, but the cabi- net decided not to recommend

accepting the government’s council tax freeze grant because it only equates to a 1%increase for two years, after which the council would have to make even bigger savings when the grant is withdrawn. Public consultation on the budget showed good levels of support for the cabinet’s pro- posals to provide more services through voluntary, business and charitable organisations (53% in favour), and to provide commercial profit-making serv- ices such as a new commercial waste collection for shops and offices (60% in favour). However, there was less sup-

MAIDSTONE has become the latest borough to wear its heart on its sleeve and sign up as a British Heart Foundation (BHF) Heart Town. Heart Towns is a new initiative which brings com- munities together through local fundraising and vol- unteering as well as raising awareness of heart disease. Maidstone will benefit from a range of re- sourcesandeducational programmesdesigned toen- courage everyone to take practical steps to improve their health. The councilwill incorporate these health messages alongside existing community days encouraging peo- ple to take care of their heart health, as well as or- ganising aHeartRun in the summer to raise funds for the charity’s Mending Broken Hearts Appeal. The 5km run in Mote Park will take place on Sun-

day June 2 at 11am, and participants can sign up at from April 1. Maidstone council’s cabinet member for commu-

nity and leisure services, Cllr John Wilson, said: “This new initiative will help local people become more aware of the simple steps they can take to maintain a healthy heart, aswell as raisemuch needed funds for the appeal.” Kim Brophy, BHF fundraising volunteer manager in Kent and East Sussex, said: “We are delighted that

port for the council’s proposals to borrow money to cover the start-up costs of commercial profit-making services (30% in favour), and the cabinet agreed to write to consultees and pub- licise the safeguards the coun- cil had put in place for borrowing. Almost 500 people were questioned by telephone on the council’s proposals. The budget also proposed support for parishes to the tune of £110,631 in 2013-14, to com- pensate them for the loss of in- come due to council tax benefit changes.

Pledge takes residents’ health to heart

Maidstone’s BHF volunteers with Kim Brophy

Maidstone Council signed the pledgemaking the bor- ough a Heart Town. There are many activities and events happening throughout the year that local peo- ple can get involved in.” Heart failure affects over three quarters of a million

people in the UK, causing frightening and prolonged suffering. TheMending BrokenHeartsAppealwillhelp fund groundbreaking researchintohowheartmuscles can be repaired following a heart attack.

Residents call for closure of ‘rat-run’ Village players’

DETLING Parish Council has formally requested the closure of the junction between Pil- grims Way and the A249, fol- lowing a meeting to discuss rat running in the village. Downs Mail reported in Janu-

ary that the majority of the 100- plus villagers who met at Detling Village Hall felt this measure would help reduce the 200 or more vehicles a day that are driven past their homes at peak times in order to avoid queues on the busy dual car- riageway.

Councillors made the request

in a letter to Kent Highway Services, police, local MP Hugh Robertson, local KCC member Cllr Jenny Whittle and local borough representative Cllr Nick deWiggondene. Should the scheme be ap- proved, the main access to the village from the A249 would be from Church Lane, which the parish council has requested should have an improved road surface and have work under- taken on verges. The other request is for the

Pancake race fun THE snow didn’t stop Hollingbourne schoolchildren taking part in theannual pancake race, organised by the ladies from the village’sWomen’s Institute. More than 150 pancakeswere made

in advance, and as well as children’s events, therewere races for the school staff, mums, dads, grandmothers and WImembers. Theeventwas roundedoff with hot cross bunsanddrinks,provided by the WI.

36 East

The mums’ race, and left, Jayden Lodge tucks in

entire village to be designated a 20mph zone. Parish council chairman Mark Housden said: “The letter we have sent out reflects the views of the public meeting. The ball is now in the court of KCC high- ways and the police. “The police representatives at

the building, as well as a parish councillor who is a retired po- lice officer, felt closing the en- trance to Pilgrims Way would not be a big issue. “Signs would also be needed at the top of Detling Hill.”

classic comedy THE Detling Players are busy rehearsing for their latest production, Tom Stoppard’s Travesties. The play deals with the memories of consular official Henry Carr’s life in Zurich in 1917 – a time when James Joyce was in town, writing his classic, Ulysses, as well as Lenin and the founder of Dada Tristan Tzara were in town.

When Joyce decides to put

on a performance of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Henry finds himself cast in a leading role. Fifty years later, Henry’s unreliable memory brings this unlikely cocktail of his- tory back to hilarious life in the production, which will be performed at Detling Vil- lage Hall on April 25-27. Tickets, which cost £12, or

£10 for concessions, are available from www.detling-

You can e-mail the Downs Mail —

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