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News Family tribute

to crash victim AYOUNGaccountant who took up a job in Maidstone last spring has been killed in a car crash on the M20.

His devas-

tated family this week paid tribute to 30- year-old David Fowler, who worked for Mackenzies Accountants, in Romney Place.

He was killed on the London-

bound carriageway of the motor- way near Hollingbourne at 9.20pm on February 15, when his green Ford Focus overturned and hit some trees. It is thought the accident hap-

pened after he steered to avoid a stationary red Ford Focus that had hit the barrier on the central reser- vation minutes earlier. Astatement from his family said:

“It is still so difficult to compre- hend the reality of what has hap- pened, butwe have been comforted so much by the wonderful tributes made by his many friends, and to know that he was so loved, and also the heartfelt messages of sym- pathy that we have received as a family.” They described him as “generous

and full of life”. His other great love was his

beloved Arsenal FC – as a season ticket holder, he regularly went to watch them play. Witnesses to the accident are

asked to call Kent Police on 01622 798538.

Chance to

hear choir THEvoices of Maidstone Choral Union can be heard at All Saints’ Church, Mill Street, Maidstone, on Saturday, March 29. In a concert starting at 7.30pm,

the group will be combining serenity with passion with the Faure Requiem and Easter Music from Handel’sMessiah. The programme has been de- signed to appeal to a broad range of tastes, to engage with those who love their choral music.

Maidstone Choral Union is a long-established


choral group, now in its 111th season. This concert is led by music director Martin Hindmarsh, a professional singer and conduc- tor. All seats are £10, from the MCU secretary 01622 726193 – – or on the door on the night.

28 Maidstone Town March 2014

Give your views on travel card for teens

MEMBERS of the public are to be invited to give their views on a new discount travel card for youngsters. County councillors approved

The Young Persons’ Travel Pass in principle at their budget meeting on February 13. Now, the scheme will go out to public consultation. The pass is seen by many as a compromise after parents’ railed against plans to replace the Kent Freedom Pass for 11 to 16-year-olds with a capped-value smart card. However, in spite of the need to

make £6m in savings, the council believes its new scheme still offers

youngsters and their parents one of the best travel subsidies around. The passwould allow youngsters

to travel by bus on weekdays from 6am to 7pm between September 1 and July 31. David Brazier, KCC cabinet member for transport, said: “To continue delivering the most val- ued element of the freedom pass we have focused on providing school-day travel. “To fund this we must increase

the cost of the new pass to £200 – still less than the extra cost parents were telling us they would have had to pay if we had gone for a capped-value smart card.” Under the proposal, “looked-

after” children and young carers will continue to get their passes free and those receiving free school meals will pay £100. You can leave your comments on the county council’s website at

Feeding help

for new mums A WEEKLY breastfeeding clinic at Maidstone Hospital’s birth centre is providing support and advice to more mums than ever before. The drop-in clinic, which is held

Voices raised to help hospice

MAIDSTONE Riverside Rotary’s 100 Voices choir concert raised more than £2,000 for the Demelza children’s hospice. Club members were given a tour of the hospice, in Sittingbourne, which supports more than 800 families and gives respite care to children with life-threatening illnesses. Club presidentMike Springett said “We are delighted to be able to help

provide funds to enable the hospice to continue the amazing work it does.” He is pictured presenting a cheque for £2,100 to Hannah Shotton.

AHEALTHworker saysKCCmust act now to fix a failed soakaway causing flooding on the A20 in Maidstone. The area beneath the railway

bridge near Haynes garage is regu- larly under water because of a failed soakaway – identified by KCC in November. Fed up with being soaked on his

way home to Huntsman Lane, Vin- ters Park, Les Roberts (57), called KCC but was told nothing will be done until the new financial year.

Stress help

YOUNGSTERS from Maidstone suffering from stress and depres- sion can now chat about their prob- lems with volunteers at the Switch Youth Café in the High Street. The drop-in centre is being run

by the Safe charity project on the first Friday of the month from 4pm. Volunteers will have information

about various mental health condi- tions and the support that is avail- able.

Flooding ‘risk to pedestrians’ THE NHS worker told Downs

Mail: “It’s unacceptable for the county council to say it will have to stay like this until April.” He said he was particularly con- cerned that walkers were crossing to the other side of the road, where there is no pavement, to avoid get- ting covered inwater. Behdad Haratbar, head of pro- grammed work, said KCC was aware of the problem, but nothing would be done until later in the year.

Plan downsized

WEALDEN Homes has downsized its proposal to build new housing in Valley Drive, Loose. The developer’s two previous re-

fusals, for eight and seven homes respectively, involved the demoli- tion of Nos 41 and 56. Maidstone Council and planning inspectors felt the proposals would visually harm the local area. The latest proposal is for six detached homes and the retention of No 41.

from 9.30am to 11.30am on Fridays, is run by Kerry Collins, a midwife and lactation consultant from NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). She is usually joined by volunteers who come along to support and advise the mums. Centre manager Cathy Marsh

said: “Mums can come along if they need to ask for help with breast- feeding their babies, if they have specific questions or need support, or want to share experiences. It’s a really positive, sociable group and we welcome new mums almost everyweek.” For more information on the

clinic call the birth centre on 01622 220161. There are information sessions

and tours of the birth centre every Wednesday evening for mums-to- be. To book, call the number above.

Baby unit cash

MORE than £8,000 from the De- partment of Health’s improving maternity care settings fund 2013/14 is being given to Tunbridge Wells Hospital’s maternity unit. The money will be used to buy reclining chairs and folding beds so that new dads can stay overnight more comfortably with their part- ners and babies. Head of midwifery, Gillian Duf-

fey, said: “While dads are already welcome to stay overnight with their partners, this new furniture will be a fantastic enhancement to our single rooms, so they are able to rest and sleep far more comfort- ably.”

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