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Sadness as Music on the Green is called off

LOCALS have voiced their dismay at the cancellation of this year’s Music

on the Green event on Bearsted Green. The parish council voted to aban- don the 2014 show after its com- munity committee, chaired by Cllr Geoff Licence, failed to organise it in time for the expected event date of the late May bank holiday week- end.

By early March the committee

hadn’t booked any acts and only re- cently agreed to put out a tender for the show – having already agreed to do this two months ear- lier. The full council therefore de- cided to cancel the event and focus on hosting it next year.

Hundreds flocked to the village Bid to keep

festival afloat AT LEAST 150 sailors have vowed to hold their own unofficial river festival on the Medway in Maid- stone this July.

After the organisers pulled the plug on the annual boating jam- boree and firework spectacular in 2014 in the hope of reviving the age-old carnival format, boat own- ers have rallied to organise their own waterborne event.

Three local boat owners pooled their brains to set up a Facebook page in support of the impromptu river festival and a large turnout is expected for the one-day gathering of boats at the end of July. Mark Smurthwaite (55), from Boughton Monchelsea, who moors his 25ft cabin cruiser at Yalding, said: “I have 4

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green for last year’s event, which took place over two days. Parish councillor Graham Farrow, a member of the community com- mittee, has resigned over the deci- sion as well as other issues. He said: “These problems will not easily be solved. There is no way I can con- tinue on the council.” Residents vented their unhappi- ness on a dedicated Music on the Green Facebook page. Hilary Steel said: “This was such a brilliant event last year! Why would a local parish council cancel one of the best events they have EVER come up

with? Or am I missing something?” Bee Styche said: “If they can't get these things off the ground they shouldn't be representing the vil- lage.” In the past two years the council had run Music on the Green using the expertise of former Cllr Barbara Dunford, who re- signed at the end of 2013. Mrs Dunford, who now runs an

event organising company for char- ities and parish groups, had offered to help with organising the event this year free of charge, but her offer was not taken up. Bearsted resident Pat

3 Former mayors celebrate

IT’S party time in the Parvin household this year as two former mayors of Maidstone clock up not one, or two, but three celebratory milestones. Daphne and Peter Parvin have between them given half a century’s service to the borough. As the only husband and wife team to have both served as mayor – and each other’s consort – they each have a commemorative mayoral badge of office and a consort’s badge. Between them, they

have attended five royal garden parties at Buckingham Palace and had the pleasure of meeting royals and VIPs too numerous to mention. Daphne, who has represented the North Downs on the council for 30

years, celebrated her 80th birthday in March, while husband Peter, member for Leeds since 1995, will be 80 in June. In September the pair mark 60 years of marriage. Fortunately, the couple still enjoy good health and are looking 6

April 2014 No. 204 News Hospital opening

A MEMBER of the Royal family has unveiled KIMS. 3

Civic march in town

A MAYOR-making parade will be held in June. 16

Celebrate Maidstone VOLUNTEERS win awards.36

Obituaries 44

Comment 40-41 Crime Reports 47 Parish Councils


Downs Mail goes digital

DOWNS Mail’s unrivalled local cov- erage can now be found online – along with many more features. Now in our 18th year, and with a circulation of more than 88,000, Downs Mail is reaching out to yet more readers on our enhanced website - Users can go online to read our four editions, as well as our other publication Mid Kent Living, to- tally free of charge. There is also an archive section, enabling you to look back at all of our papers. Our website contains additional news and sections on community events and business. There is an interactive feature, where you can advertise your local community events.

Claire Procter, chairman of Mail Publications, said: “We are pleased to extend our offer to readers and advertisers through an enhanced free online service.”

Have your say

MAIDSTONE Council is invit- ing members of the public to give their feedback on the draft local plan. Full details are in the Maidstone Council-sponsored 12-page Borough Update in the centre pages.

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