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Cash backing for YMCA

AN offer of £5,000 a year, for the first three years, has been made by the parish council towards the £1.4m plan for a community facil- ity at the YMCA. Councillors heard that while the project had missed out on a lottery grant, backing was still forthcom- ing. Councillors agreed itwould be of great benefit to the area if it does go ahead. An offer of further help with the building costs would be thrown open to debate. The parish councilwas to hold an

open meeting for residents, with representatives from the YMCA, to determine the strength of support for a capital payment of up to £50,000 towards the project. Dates were being discussed.

Road safety boost

THE parish council heard that yel- low lines were to be painted along Eccleston Road. Borough councillor Ian Chitten-

den said the project had been signed off byKCCand should start in April. County councillor Brian Clark

said four bollards were to be in- stalled at the junction of Straw Mill Hill and Tovil Hill to prevent on- verge parking and to improve sight lines and road safety.

Councillors demand rethink on local plan

TOVILhas added its voice to the call on MaidstoneCouncil to think again about the need for 19,600 new houses in the borough in its draft local plan. Councillors agreed to forward a

letter, signed by parish councils across south Maidstone, challeng- ing the housing figure and calling for the document to be withdrawn. The parish council’s newly ap- pointed chairman, Cllr Glyn Charl- ton (right), said there was real concern about the content of the local plan and theway itwas being presented. There was little done to address

the major concerns being expressed or to acknowledge the work al- ready done by parish councils in

preparing neighbourhood plans. He said: “I think there is little point parishes fighting among them- selves about where these houses should go, but I do think it is im- portant that the council looks again at

how, for some reason, it has come up with this huge housing figure,

TALKS were continuing about the ownership of the Bridge MillWay open space in Tovil. Cllr Derek Mortimer said it was the intention of Maidstone Council to hand responsibility formore of its play areas to parish councils. He said: “There is an option for the borough council to meet us halfway

when anything big needs doing, like maintenance or replacement work, but this is all still up for debate.” Cllr Barry Beardwell said: “I think it is un- acceptable for the borough council to try and bat back on us the burden of paying for this area.We already pay our council tax for this and if this happens, we will be paying for it twice over.”

Call to fill potholes before painting

THE issue of potholes and litter in Tovil was to be pursued by the parish council after comments from members and the public. Cllr Derek Mortimer said that

since the bad weather about nine potholes had appeared in the lower part of Courtenay Road to the junc- tion with Tovil Road. One pothole had been repaired near the Coombe Road junction, but Cllr Mortimer wanted KCC to know that all needed to be filled ahead of plannedwork to paint yellow lines. He said: “I do have some sympa- thy with the council, which is facing

a repair bill of around £2.5m, but they have been slow in getting the work off the ground.” He and borough Cllr Ian Chitten-

den urged the public to report pot- holes, either to them or the KCC pothole hotline on 03000 418181. The parish councilwas towrite to

KCC highlighting the need for the holes in Courtenay Road to be filled before road-markingwork begins. Borough councillor Ian Chitten-

den said he accepted comments that “only a broom would do” in some places, but due to cash constraints cleaning was now shared by the

county and borough councils on a rolling programme. However, he understood problem areas includ- ing Church Roadwere on the list to receive a proper clean. Concern about the height of hedges and kerb parking in Brench- ley Road, where rubbish accumu- lates, is the responsibility of High Street ward councillors, but Cllr Mortimer understood the issuewas in hand. He also agreed to follow up progress on replacing litter bins outside the betting office, the rail- ings by the bus stop at the bottom of Tovil Hill and at key locations.


CLERK: Alison Chew, Parish Office, Rear of Tovil Working Men's Club, Tovil Hill, Tovil, ME15 6QJ TEL/FAX: 01622 675628 EMAIL:

20 Maidstone Town April 2014

before the plan goes out to public consultation.” Cllr Derek Mortimer said: “I fear

it could be dangerous to delay the plan any further, but I agree it is important, in the longer term, to get the agreement of the parishes in- volved. “The development proposed in

Kent is 17% and in Maidstone 22%, which is a big difference.” Cllr Charlton added: “And this

22% growth is on top of what we have already had here, which is sig- nificant.”

Fair play wanted over open space future Appointments

GLYN Charlton was elected chair- man of Tovil Parish Council and Clive English the vice-chairman. Both were elected unopposed.

The appointments follow Cllr Chris Morgan-Jones’ retirement. One of the new post-holders’ first

jobs will be to sign the paperwork to complete the parish council’s purchase of Little Switzerland.

Polling cards

THE parish council has agreed to fund poll cards that will be distrib- uted by the borough council for the election to fill the parish council seat left vacant by the death of Cllr Sylvia Cuthbert. The election, if contested, will take place on Thursday, April 3.

Stables visit

PARISH councillors were to visit Teasaucer Stables in Bockingford Lane to assess levellingwork to the western paddock before making its recommendation to Maidstone Council’s planning committee.

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