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Work on A249 A TEMPORARY 30mph speed limit will be in place on part of the A249 while South East Water installs a new water main. The speed restriction will be

in force from November 25 to January 31, 2014 between Bim- bury Lane and LongtonWood. In addition, Bimbury Lane

will be closed from the A249 to Bimbury Cottage between No- vember 13 and 27 and again be- tween January 27 and 31 next year. The alternative route is via

the A249 Sittingbourne Road, Chalky Road and South Street Road.

No concert hall MUSIC fans will not get a con- cert hall in Maidstone any time soon, the council’s ruling party has warned. Tory leader Chris Garland

was responding to an idea put forward by Lib Dem councillor David Pickett for a performance house at Lockmeadow. Cllr Garland said: “We would

be looking at a price tag of some £30million plus and the coun- cil simply hasn’t got that kind of money at this time and, even if it had, there are things far higher on the priority list.”

SeeMail Marks – page 52

Hornbeam ‘too big’ BARRY Smith has applied to remove a protected common hornbeam at the front of 19 Lombardy Drive, Vinters Park. He says the tree “has grown

too large, resulting in the roots potentially undermining the house foundations”. Maidstone Council will determine the planning application.

Conversion consent KEVIN Done has been given permission byMaidstone Coun- cil to build two homes partly through the conversion of court- yard buildings at Street Farm, The Street, Boxley.

MAIDSTONE and Tunbridge Wells NHS trust is to apologise to a womanwith terminal cancer for failing her in the care and treatment she received. The ruling of the health serv-

ice ombudsman ends a lengthy battle by the 46-year-old nurse, to highlight the problems she faced after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. DebbieWestwick said she suf-

fered incorrect and delayed treat- ment from Maidstone oncology unit and at East Kent Hospitals’ Kent and Canterbury Hospital. The nurse, from Canterbury, was treated by twoconsultantswork- ing for the two trusts. Martin Pike, deputy director of

health investigations, said de- layed and inappropriate treat- ment had led to “significant injustice” to Ms Westwick. But

30 East

Baba Oguntoye (16) from Ditton and Jordan Cochrane (17) from Grove Green with Jasper Gerard (left) and David Laws

MAIDSTONE Riding Club’s fifth annual ride for life event, has raised more then £6,000 for Cancer Research UK. More than 100 riders took

part, taking the total raised by all five events to £30,000. This year the ride was dedicated to riding club member Hilary Jewiss, who lost her battle with cancer this year. Hilary’s horse Cracker was ridden by his new “foster mum”, Ann Moon. All riders wore some pink clothing, from pink tops and

NHS apology for cancer patient

while lawyers had suggested her poor prognosis was a result of her incorrect treatment, Mr Pike said he could not say that had Ms Westwick been treated by other doctors, the outcome of her condition would have been any different. He recommended both trusts apologise and prepare ac- tion plans to address the failings. Maladministration was also

found in the way the trusts dealt withMsWestwick’s complaints. A spokesman for Maidstone

and TunbridgeWells NHS Trust said: “The trust will be writing to MissWestwick to apologise. “While the ombudsman’s re-

view has identified shortfalls in the service, it has also recognised there have since been develop- ments in the oncology service and we are preparing anupdate on these for MissWestwick.”

Villages face mail changes

THE increasing use of email means residents in several local villages could soon find their mail taking longer to arrive. Royal Mail has announced it is

to re-schedule its rounds in post- codes ME17 and ME18, which takes in Harrietsham, Holling- bourne, Lenham,Kingswood and Grafty Green. The organisation says it is necessary to make routes “as efficient as possible”. However, while the currentMon- day-Saturday delivery service aims to deliver by 2pm at the lat- est, the planned changes could see mail arriving as late as 4pm. RoyalMail has written to every

home and business in the areas affected and delivery sectorman- ager Dominic Best said: “We are introducing the changes to main- tain and protect services and to keep our prices as low as possi- ble. “These changes have already been made in many parts of the country and will be introduced in more areas over the coming months.” The changes mean mail could

be delivered by someone other than the regular postmen, as it could be sorted at different cen- tres, and delivery times could vary, depending where proper- ties are located on the new

routes. Although deliveries will start

in the morning as usual, the working day will be extended. News of the changes coincided with the Government’s an- nouncement that it is to privatise Royal Mail, which in turn led to threats of strike action by postal workers,who claim the flotation is flawed and will have a huge impact on consumers. While the volume of letters

being sent by Royal Mail has dra- matically reduced in recent years, the number of packets and parcels has increased due to the increase in online shopping.

Students quiz minister at Lib Dem dinner

SIXTH form politics students from Maid- stone grilled schools’ ministerDavid Laws at a fundraising dinner hosted by the town’s Liberal Democrats. Students fromOakwoodPark, StAugus-

tine’sAcademy andSt SimonStock joined guests at the dinner at theWeald of Kent Golf Club, Headcorn, where an auction raised almost £1,000 for party funds. Guest speaker Mr Laws, MP for Yeovil,

said the growth in the popularity of UKIP madeseats suchas Maidstonemuchmore “risky” than of old. Mr Laws is no stranger to Kent, having

fought the Folkestone and Hythe seat against long-standing Tory MP Michael Howard.

Ride for Life boosts cancer fund

pink bras to pyjamas and wigs. Sponsors were Protexin Probi- otics, Birchalls, The Emporium, Clip Clop, Lillicos and Gillett Cook, who provided vouchers for the pinkest riders. The pink- est group came from Uplands Riding School. Riding club members and a

team of managers from AXA PPPHealthcare spent the Friday before marking up the 10 miles as part of their AXA Hearts in Action volunteer programme.

CHARITIES are being urged to contact a company seeking a good cause to sponsor. Kent Commu-

nity Events Ltd. has been set up to offer an event management service to chari- ties, parish coun- cils and the non-profit making sector. But as well as supporting charity events, the company is seeking one charity to support for 2014.

Managing director Barbara Dunford said: “The aim is for this company to be a truly ‘com- munity’ company.” Barbara, from Cross Keys, Bearsted, has years of experi- ence in sales and marketing

More parking THE extension of a town centre car park has been given tempo- rary planning permission. Dashwood Estates’ scheme

for an extra 19 spaces behind 7 Ashford Road will make a total of 69 parking spaces. ButMaid- stone Council says the exten- sion can only remain until September 2018. Astatement says the proposal would provide an alternative to the closed King Street multi- storey car park.

Events firm aims to help charities

and, as a member of the parish council, organised the success- ful Jubilee on the Green and Music on the Green. She said: “I could see there

was a need for charities, clubs and associations who did not have the same expertise and contacts to use a company like mine to help them.” Barbara’s husband Tony Ryan

has 20 years’ experience in catering. She said: “I have a lot of experience of attracting spon- sorship so that groups get the maximum return from their event. In many cases, it won’t cost them a penny to use our services.” If you represent a local char-

ity and would like to be consid- ered as KCE’s charity of the year, email details to info@kent-

Have you got news for us? Phone our News Desk on 01622 734735

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