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Firm offers to ‘extinguish’ rights of way

Continued from page one “The maintenance of public rights of way should be encouraged, both at national and local levels and we hope that landowners would not want to take public rights of way away from communities.” Former Maidstone borough councillor

Mike FitzGerald said: “I believe public rights of way are sacrosanct – although on occasions diversions may be of public ben- efit. In most cases, the footpath was there before housing and diversions or extin- guishments should not be entertained. “Public rights of way are mainly paths for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. They allow people to explore and enjoy the coun- tryside at a leisurely pace. If we allow ex- tinguishments, public rights of way will cease.” Mr Garvey spent three years with KCC, which is responsible for the protection, maintenance and enhancement of Kent's public rights of way network. He stressed:

Lights cash cut MAIDSTONE council is to stop funding street lighting in Hollingbourne. However, the parish council is “determined” the lights will remain on, even though the cost will amount to one tenth of the parish’s budget. Maidstone council’s head of housing and community serv- ices, John Littlemore, told the parish council in February the borough council would no longer provide funds for the 21 streetlights in the village when the concurrent functions grant, is replaced in April by the parish services scheme. The parish council believes Hollingbourne residents are now the only people in Maidstone, and possibly Kent, expected to pay extra for street lighting. A parish council spokesman

wrote on its website: “If the parish council elects to charge residents for lighting, it will be as a 10% increase in the parish precept or about £5 a year per household. Other options in- clude paying the cost out of re- serves, in the hope that KCC adopts the lighting. This matter is under discussion with Maid- stone council and KCC.”

“There are very few cases of extinguish- ment. Generally, they are only extinguished if they are useless – that is, they don’t go anywhere. Generally, a public right of way will only be extinguished if a new one is created nearby.” Mr Garvey’s work involves him working

in tandem with his former colleagues at KCC as the local planning authority. He added: “Obviously,working with peo-

ple that you know and the system is an ad- vantage.” Born and brought up in Medway and Maidstone and with a degree in Geography from Canterbury Christ Church University, 27-year old Mr Garvey is already familiar with the county’s definitive map of public rights of way, having worked as part of the team keeping it up to date. DHA Planning managing director David Hicken said: “Matt was looking for a career change.We generally recruit planning grad- uates and train them to become town plan-

ners. Matt was potentially a good graduate but needed specialist planning training. “Clearly he brings an extra skill and knows the process,which is helpful, but we have not brought him in purely to work on public rights of way. As a company, we are very aware of environmental issues and have a team dedicated to planning and en- vironmental impact, which includes com- pliance with strict EU regulations.” DHA has represented some of the area’s

most significant landowners and develop- ers, including Gallagher Properties, Golding Homes, Taylor Wimpey, KCC and Kent Po- lice.

KCC recently announced it hadmade sig- nificant changes to the way it managed the county’s public rights of way. The number of area officers has been re-

duced from 12 to 10, while the number of staff dealing with maintenance and im- provements has been extended from two to four.

Engineers win top trade award AMAIDSTONE structural engineering company is celebrating afterwin- ning an international trade award. Considine Consult-

ing picked up The Award For SmallPrac- tices at The Structural Awards 2012, for their work on Chenil House, Kings Road, London. Organised by the Institution of Structural Engineers, the awards recognise structural design ex- cellence from an in- ternational field of consulting engineers. Considine Consult-

Glass recycling NEWglass recycling containers have been installed at the Who’d A Thought It pub in Headcorn Road, Grafty Green. Glass bottles and jars need to

Stuart Ede, Colin Toms and Paul Considine receiving the award

ing Limited was formed in 2009 by Paul Considine of Bearsted, and now serves the Kent and London area. Paul Considine said: “I hope the award will demonstrate that al- though we are a small practice, we can achieve big things.”

Food bank set up at church THE parochial church council has agreed to set up a food bank col- lection point in All Saints' Church, Hollingbourne. Worshippers are invited to bring donations of packaged food, in- cluding milk, to Sunday services where the gifts will be forwarded to the Christian Care Food Bank at the Baptist Church in Knightrider Street, Maidstone. The food bank is supported by all churches, including the Sal- vation Army. For details call 01622 880243 or email Frances Cross- ley at

A THURNHAM singer-song- writer made it to the final of a national song-writing competi- tion. Twenty-four-year-old Kirsty Macleod’s song Circles got her to the finals of the UK Song- writing Contest,which has been associated with big names in the music industry and attracts thousands of entrants. Kirsty, who is an instructor at

Leeds Castle’s treetop activity centre GoApe, did not win, but hoped being a finalist would boost her profile locally and na- tionally. She said: “You never know who’swatching. I’m going to keep going with what I’m doing. I already have plenty of

8 East

new tracks for this year.” Kirsty (pictured) said she was surprised but pleased Circles made it to the final and de- scribed the song as containing a lot of imagery but no strong sto- ryline – the opposite of most of the other tracks she’s penned. The former Invicta Girls’ Grammar School pupil, who at- tended Madginford Park infant and junior schools, has per- formed at the town’s Hazlitt Theatre, Corn Exchange and Pizza Express as well as many pubs. She recorded an album, Win-

ter Sun and Summer Rain, in 2011, and plans to enter the contest again this year.

Last year she took part in BBC

Radio Kent's Kent Gig Live fundraiser for Children inNeed. A contest spokesman said:

“The directors and judges in- clude some of the world’s top Grammy, Emmy and BRIT award-winning producers, who have worked closely with such artists as Sting, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Rob- bie Williams, Britney Spears and many others. “There were more than 6,000 entries this year and we are pleased Kirsty achieved such impressive results.We wish her every success as a songwriter.” for more information.

To contact Downs Mail just phone 01622 630330

be colour sorted into the correct container. Cabinet member for the envi- ronment, CllrMarion Ring said: “This will save valuable re- sources, and increase the amount of waste recycled.” Formore information on your recycling services and a full list of all recycling sites across the borough, go to www.maid-, email custom- or call 01622 602600.

Lenham meeting RESIDENTS in Lenham are in- vited to the parish council’s an- nual meeting on April 4. The meeting in the commu-

nity centre starts at 7.30pm. Members of local clubs, soci- eties, associations and commu- nity groups are welcome to attend and report on their ac- tivities during the year and fu- ture plans. A buffet and drinks will be provided. For details, call Margo on 01622 859682.

Songwriter reaches finals of national competition

Picture: Jer Fisher

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