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said he had spoken to the own- ersofthe pond at Monks Meadow andtheywerenot willing to enter into a long-term lease for this. It was therefore agreed not to take the matter any further. Cllr Evernden said the litter

bin at the View Point was now being emptied.

New councillor

Hollingbourne Council

PETERWaite was welcomed as a co-opted member and was wished a continued recovery from his injuries which had prevented him from previous attendance. The clerk issued paperwork which was signed and returned, although Cllr Waite was advised to abstain from voting during the meeting. Cllr Alan Bennett reported on

his meeting with Cllr Jenny Whittle and Richard Emmett from Kent Highways. It was agreed that some of the pave- ments and kerbsides were in a poor state of repair and had been listed as a priority for re- medial work. The clerk men- tioned the old block paving which runs from Foxgrove House to Cotuams, which was very uneven, and if repaired, was likely to be replaced with Tarmac. Members agreed the priority was safety, but histori- cal features should be retained where possible. Cllr Mike Bedwell reported

that a teenage girl who had sought shelter in the doorway of the Cardwell Pavilion during a rain storm had been told to go away by a pavilion user. The mother had since complained

to the council, who thought that the issue should be be- tween the pavilion hirer and the girl and her mother. It was pointed out that the pavilion and grounds are there for all and hirers had no right to bar anyone else from the grounds. Cllr Bedwell thanked Cllr

John Cobbett for getting Maid- stone Council to agree to allo- cate funds for street lighting in light of the cessation of concur- rent function grants. It was re- solved that the clerk should ask Maidstone Council for the amount of their reserves under the Freedom of Information Act.

Cllr Bedwell reported pro-

posed that Hollingbourne should formally twin with Templeuve. Very little financial support would be needed, and eventually the two communi- ties would arrange activities themselves. European funding support was being looked into. An advertisement for a sub- group could be put into the parish magazine and on the website. Formal signing had been arranged for March 11 and March 18. Cllr Bedwell pro- posed the twinning and this was seconded by Cllr Bennett. PCSO Siobhan de Burca said

there was little change in the rate of crime generally. There had been five crimes in Hollingbourne in December, in- cluding two fuel thefts, a theft from property, assault and arson. It was agreed that the clerk should invite the police com- missioner to the annual meet- ing.

The clerk had received an email about parked cars at the

Help an elderly person rediscover love of arts

ENTHUSIASTIC volunteers with a few hours to spare are being sought to chat with and read to elderly people in the Maidstone area. Community Service Volun-

teers (CSV), the UK volunteer- ing and learning charity, is looking for men and women to visit older and vulnerable peo- ple in care homes, hospices and sheltered housing. The volunteers will be re- quired to encourage the elderly to engage in conversation and to participate in reading sessions and reminiscing. Alberta Atkinson, CSV project manager said: “We’re looking for volunteers of all ages to help older people with their memory, health and wellbeing. “Sharing a memory with a

friend or settling down to a good book is one of life’s pleas- ures and as a volunteer you’ll be making a profound difference to

some of the most vulnerable people in Kent.” The CSV Red Reading and Reminiscence Box project is a three-year project funded by Big Lottery. It offers flexible volun- teering opportunities to suit busy lifestyles, to include students, full-time parents and workers or senior and retired people. Alberta said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and make a difference to vul- nerable people, as well as a chance to learn new skills. “Interest in books, poetry, music, film and drama does not stop when older people are less independent and our volun- teers will give residents the en- thusiasm to rediscover their love of literature and the arts.” If you’re over 16 and inter-

ested in volunteering for the project, please call Alberta Atkinson on 01622 230 722 or email

junction of Musket Lane and Eyhorne Street, which had pre- vented milk being collected from the farm. A letter had been received

again asking for the council’s input regarding a housing scheme on land opposite God- frey House. The clerk was to re- spond, saying the council would support affordable de- velopments, rather than exclu- sive homes. A request had been received

for a donation to a relatively new charity called ‘Help a Maidstone Child’. The clerk said she was a panel member for this charity. Cllr Cobbett proposed a donation of £50, which was agreed. An application for an envi- ronmental impact assessment was brought to the council’s at- tention for a development known as Waterside Park.The application had not yet been re- ceived by the council. The ap- plication is for warehousing on the land between the Great Danes Hotel and the Biffa site. There was consternation that the proposal had come so soon after the use of public money to fight the KIG development. Dr Bauer reported an increase

in rat infestation in the village. It was agreed to put an article in the parish magazine alerting residents. Cllr Adam Ward said moss

had been cleared from the back roof of the pavilion, which re- vealed defects in the roof val- leys. The kitchen taps were to be repaired and a boiler service had been arranged. Shrinkage of soft surface in the play area was noted.

Ulcombe Council No crimes

THE PCSO advised that no crimes had been reported in the parish. The concurrent functions pe-

tition, signed by residents of member parishes of the Maid- stone area committee of Kent Association of Parish Councils, had been presented to the full meeting of Maidstone Council. The council voted to uphold its previous decision that the new parish services scheme should go ahead. The Maidstone area committee agreed to continue to press for a fair review and would pursue a referendum if necessary. The chairman of the parish council hadwritten to Maidstone MPs Hugh Robertson and Helen Grant to note opposition to the government’s revised housing targets for Maidstone (increased from 10,080 to 15,000). Cllr Jenny Whittle would

again discuss with KHS the funding for improved signage to deter HGVs from using Cheg- worth Road, traffic calming signs at Chegworth Road and the boundary with Headcorn parish. A draft report about the vol-

ume and speed of traffic pass- ing through the village,road safety and quality of life issues was agreed by the parish coun- cil. The report would be given to Cllr Whittle, inviting her comments, prior to sending it to Kent Highways and Kent Police. Information about the Lorry

Watch scheme would be placed in the village newsletter, advis- ing residents how they could participate.

Golding’s care award

MAIDSTONE’s largest social housing provider, Golding Homes, has cored top marks in a recent audit of its customer service standards. Theaudit showed the com-

pany was fully compliant in all 57 elements of the stan- dard, reaching 100 per cent compliance. It also achieved “Compli-

ance Plus” level in two ele- ments relating


“supporting the wider com- munity”and“supplying co-or- dinated services”. Both projects were deliv-

ered by Golding Vision, the communitydevelopmentarm of Golding Homes. The assessor praised the organisation for showing “a willing and enthusiastic determination to go above and beyond expecta- tions of customers”. He also commented on “a real interest in meeting their customers’ needs first time where possible, and a desire to deliver what they promise to their customers”. Peter Stringer, chief executive of Golding Homes said: “The Customer

Chief executive Peter Stringer and head of customer services, Sarah Dey with the award and certificate.

Service Excellence Standard demonstrates our commitment to putting our customers at the heart of our plans and service priorities.” Golding Homes provides over 6,100 homes in the borough, which in-

clude general needs accommodation, sheltered schemes for the elderly and a management service to over 450 leaseholders.

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