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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 anewname. 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”. Aliquidatorwas appointed to vol-

untary wind up The Barge Ltd in October 2013. Associated documents state that the company had debts of £455,313. The same three directors of The Barge Ltd – James Bailey, KeithWar-

ren and Lisa Voice – are directors of Chasecroft Ltd, which trades as Em- bankments Restaurant. This companywas set up in Octo-

ber 2013 and received payments of £1,466 from Maidstone Council con- nected to the Kentish Deli Café at Maidstone Museum, which is oper- ated by Crofthold Ltd, whose direc-

tors includeMrBailey andMsVoice. “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. MrBailey correctly points out that

he has acted lawfully regarding The Barge, which had a debt of £129,349 toNatwest.Hetold theDownsMail: “The company had major problems and had to bewoundupon the basis thatwe 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 told us 33

Mela fun winds round town Town top of

THE 12th Maidstone Mela burst onto the streets of Maidstone to drum up support for the Sunday fes- tival in Mote Park. About 400 children from seven schools joined a Friday parade through the town centre, from County Hall to Brenchley Gardens. It showcased arts and music

from a range of bands, including the Four by Four Dhol Drummers and Bloco Fogo samba band. Two days later, the bands

emerged again as part of a colourful song and dance extravaganza, which attracted record numbers to what is

KCC chairman Peter Homewood with his escort Sue Baldock,  stiltwalkers and drummers



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accident list DRIVERS in Maidstone are being pulled up sharp by figures that show the town is the most danger- ous place in Kent for road users. The figures show 470 road acci- dents were reported in the borough last year – 68 more than its nearest rival of Dartford – with 643 people injured as a result, seven fatally. The data has been released to co- incide with a Kent-wide Urban Speed campaign, launched by the county council and backed by the police, to make motorists think twice about their speed. Steve Horton, KCC road safety team leader, said: “Maidstone is one of the heaviest populated dis- tricts and has one of the largest throughputs of vehicles. This cam- paign seeks to highlight that crashes happen where most people and vehicles are: in urban/residen- tial areas. “We are saying to drivers ‘don’t take the roads for granted, antici- pate hazards and be in a


Part exchange your old furniture for new!

The Big Yellow Building, St Peters St, Maidstone 01622 691 291 www.lincolnfur October 2014 No. 210 News Housing figure drops

MAIDSTONE Council has reduced its local plan target by 1,000 to 18,600 homes, but ur- banisation fears remain.

East and west divide

LIB Dem Cllr Fran Wilson has likened the River Medway to the Berlin Wall, and wants to bridge the town divide. 11

‘Quarter are obese’

A NEW report suggests that as many as 26% of adults living in the Maidstone borough are obese.

Working for future

THE Downs Mail has teamed up with Maidstone Council to pro- mote work options for young people.

Deportation fear

BARMAN from New Zealand given reprieve. 32

Life expectancy HEATH ward has lowest. 45

Comment 40-4146-47

THE idea that there should be fewer MPs who are paid more money is raised by one reader, and the immigration debate rages on.

Obituaries 42

MARK Geadah, the former head of Allington Primary School, is re- membered in an online tribute page with more than 400 mem- bers. Local Cllr Dan Daley says Mark was “an inspirational head teacher”.

Crime Reports 55

A TENT, camping burner and clothing were stolen from a small piece of land between playing fields and allotments in Chilling- ton Street, Maidstone.

24-25 19 10

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