This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Four editions delivered to over 88,000 homes every month MalMalling Editionling Edition

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1

FREE newspaper Delivered by Royal Mail

Maidstone Town | Maidstone East | Maidstone South | Malling

Hospital transport firm warned aer inspection

COMPLAINTS from patients waiting for a lift to NHS appointments from a private transport firm have prompted changes after an inspection.

NSL Kent, which has the NHS contract to pick up non-emergency patients, was visited by the Care Quality Commission in November after a string of complaints. The private ambulance service in SheldonWay, Larkfield,was found to be failing four out of five na- tional standards of quality and safety and has been warned it will face further action if things don’t improve.

Inspectors found some patients experienced longwaits and in some cases drivers didn’t turn up at all. People were not always cared for

by staff who had been properly vet- ted, and the firm had no effective system to regularly assess and monitor the quality of service that people received. It also found that while com- plaints from patients were investi- gated, they were not responded to or resolved in a timely manner. The Quality Care Commission

said it was due to make another unannouced visit shortly. Adrian Hughes, local regional di-

rector for CQC, said: “Individuals may already be anxious about their appointment, so when transport is

late, or does not arrive at all, this can add to the stress and lead to missed appointments. The impact of this on the individual is poten- tially serious, and it also has a detri- mental impact on the other health services involved. “We have told NSL Kent that it

needs to make immediate improve- ments, and we will return to check whether the changes have been made. If we find there are still problems, we will take further ac- tion.” NSLsaid statutory vetting

of all NSL staff in Kent has 9

Memorial to be extended

APLANto transform the memorial garden at the Royal British Legion Village into a more fitting place of tribute to fallen service people has been unveiled. The site off Bentley Close,Ayles-

Three-year-old Jamie Austen enjoys meeting the donkeys Donkey ‘killed by kindess’

FAMILIES have been warned not to feed donkeys in a village field after fears that one of the animals may have been killed with kindness. The sight of donkeys and ponies grazing near their shelter in Castle

Way has been a feature of Leybourne for more than 30 years. But after the death of one of the much-loved animals, owners John Betts and his wife Brenda have appealed to people not to give them food, especially bread, which could be fatal. His plea has been taken up by the parish council, which has posted a message on its website saying: “To keep our much-loved ponies and donkeys safe as they graze in the donkey field, would you kindly refrain from feeding them. We would really appreciate your support as the animals are a key feature of Leybourne and our community.” St Peter and St Paul Primary School has sent a similar appeal to


Mr Betts said families love to visit the site, which is close to a toddlers’ play area and is home to three donkeys and two


ford, would be extended with an amphitheatre seating area, flagpole and bandstand, hard and soft land- scaping and the relocation of the memorial and urn, if Tonbridge and Malling Council grant permis- sion.

Planning consultant Anna Bloomfield says that the garden is severely limited in size and the scale of services it can offer, with no permanent seating or band accom- modation. The memorial is set against one

of the grade II listed walls serving the Preston Hall estate. Itwould be dismantled, relocated and restored and thewallwould be carefully re- stored. The new layout would include permanent seating for 50 people, covered standing room for 20 band members and a green alley of pleached trees. The application says:


Constantly checking UK prices to get you the lowest price

The Big Ye llow Building, St Peters St, Maidstone 01622 691 291 www.lincolnfur February 2014 No. 202 News Eatery to reopen

THE Hengist restaurant in Ayles- ford High Street is set to re-open in April after a refurbish- ment by its owners.

3 Homes on flood plain

CONCERNS were raised over a plan for nearly 100 new homes on a Medway floodplain in Aylesford.

4 Barracks may leave

THE Invicta Barracks in Maid- stone may be closed and replaced with housing, according to a new planning document.

9 Parking charges rise

CAR parks in Snodland and Ayles- ford will remain free but parking charges are to increase elsewhere in the borough.31

Comment Obituaries

22 20

A WAY to reduce the height of the River Medway is suggested, and users are urged to return life-sav- ing NHS testing kit.

Crime Reports 23 Parish Councils 32-33

Aylesford thanks the Environment Agency for helping to prevent floods; a new sign deterring HGVs is ordered for Birling; The cost of war memorial renovations is within budget in East Peckham; A playground is being resur- faced in Kings Hill; blocked culverts lead to water spilling out into the school entrance in Leybourne; A vehicle-activated sign is approved in Oam.

Town Talkown T

MAJOR gas works are to cause disruption for six months. For more details see Town Talk in the centre of this month’s Downs Mail. The bi-monthly in- dependent magazine is written by and dedicated to Snodland and Halling residents.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40