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£12,000 debt fails to end dining on river


FLOATING restaurant The Barge closed owing Maidstone Council more


than £12,000 – only to be reopened by the same directors under a new name. The River Medway landmark, which first began trading in central Maidstone in 2010, shut in 2013 but returned later that year with a simi- lar layout and offering under the new name Embankments. The council is now set to write off the previous company’s debts of £12,059.31, incurred during three fi- nancial years, because “the company has gone into liquidation. There are no funds to pay creditors”. A liquidator was appointed to vol- untary wind up The Barge Ltd in October 2013. Associated documents state that the company had debts of £455,313.


and Ms Voice.


The same three directors of The Barge Ltd – James Bailey, Keith War-


ren and Lisa Voice – are directors of Chasecroft Ltd, which trades as Em- bankments Restaurant. This company was set up in Octo- ber 2013 and received payments of £1,466 from Maidstone Council con- nected to the Kentish Deli Café, which is operated by Crofthold Ltd, whose directors include Mr Bailey


“Most of the payments are for the hire of the café at the museum and the purchase of food for externally hosted events. The council re- charges these costs to the event or- ganisers,” a council spokesman said. Mr Bailey correctly points out that he has acted lawfully regarding The Barge, which had a debt of £129,349 to Natwest. He told the Downs Mail: “The company had major problems and had to be wound up on the basis that we owed the bank a hell of a lot of money. “We have done everything prop- erly and within the law. We went through proper insolvency practitioners, who advised us


8 Beasts guests at family day £4m update


MINIBEASTS, bugs and a giant African snail attracted swarms of families to a fun-filled sustainable event at South Aylesford Retail Park. The Big Green Leaf event was also a big day for the Blackthorn Trust


which won £1,000 after shoppers voted for the community group they felt most deserved the funding award. The money will be used to buy items for the charity’s garden, greenhouse and kitchen in St Andrew’s Road, Maidstone. Medway Valley Fisheries came a close second. The day, organised by The


Crown Estate, owners of the QuarryWood shopping centre, included a giant inflatable leaf canopy and a visit from Slimon the African snail and other creepy crawlies in a bid to get children more involved in looking after and learning about insects. Tonbridge and Malling cabinet member for economic regeneration Cllr John Balcombe said: “It was a great event to help educate the children and adults about insects, plants and other wildlife and to highlight recycling in an interactive and family friendly way.”


Lily Chappel with Bugella Burrows


for The Mall A £4m REVAMP of The Mall will get underway in January as the first phase of a bid to bring Maidstone’s anchor shopping centre into the 21st century. While longer-term plans hinge


on the proposed Newnham Court development, The Mall’s new man- ager,Andy Davy, is aiming to bring the “tired-looking” retail centre up to date. Newflooring and ceilings will go


into The Mall early in theNew Year and, while short-term leases only are being granted to incoming traders, Mr Davy is confident most of the empty units will have been let by then. Mr Davy, who took over as Mall manager in May, said the site va- cated by T J Hughes was being left “strategically empty”. The 57,000sqft unit has been ear- marked in longer-term plans should Debenhams seek an alter- native site to Newnham Court, off M20 Junction 7,


26 OAK AND PINE The Big Yellow Building, St Peters St, Maidstone 01622 691 291 www.lincolnfurniture.co.uk September 2014 No. 209 News Town gets connected


SNODLAND is to be a new stop on the high speed rail link to Lon- don from January, it has been announced.


Threat to wardens


KCC has announced that com- munity wardens could be cut, which could leave some areas without one. 4


Students celebrate


MANY pupils across the borough have a bright future after receiv- ing their A-Level and GCSE results.


Obituaries 20-21 30 Crime Reports 34


A STAINED glass window was smashed at a church in Snodland Road, Birling.


Comment 34


THE idea that there should be fewer MPs who are paid more money is raised by one reader, while another calls for traffic lights at M20 Junction 6.


Parish Councils 42-43


KCC had replaced a village sign in Addington; East Peckham had requested new double yellow lines; efforts were being made to contact a dog owner after an in- cident in Leybourne; a dog show was being held in Snodland.


3


Inside this edition:


VOLUNTEERS are wanted by local groups. For details see the four- page supplement by Malling Ac- tion Partnership, which supports people, businesses and events in the 11 parishes in the Malling area.


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