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Concern over plan to scrap local wardens

OPPONENTS have hit out at KCC’s proposal to get rid of dedicated local

communitywardens. The county council says ithopes to

save £1.28m by almost halving the number ofwardens in Kent and cen- tralising the service. Tonbridge and Malling currently

has five areawardens across the bor- ough – dedicated to Ditton, East Malling and East Peckham – aswell as a district supportwarden and su- pervisor. Local posts would be lost and all staff risk losing their jobs completely because the number of wardens in the countywould be cut from 79 to 40. KCCis also consulting on halving

the number of supervisors from 12 to six, reducing the area manager posts from three to two and cutting administration staff from four to


East Malling and Larkfield Parish Council chairman DavidThornewell said the parish council was very worried about the proposed reduc- tion in the number of wardens across Kent and if itwould affect the parish. He said: "A community warden

was originally appointed to cover East Malling and she has provided a wonderful community service. Re- cently her area has been extended to cover Larkfield and adjoining parishes, so it is a big area for one person to cover. "As a parish we want her to re-

main in post and if the positionwas axed thiswould be a real loss to the

Bloom award for Kings Hill

KINGS Hill has won a silver gilt award in the South and South East in Bloom competition, inspiring the organisers to consider a category for new communities. This was the first time developer Liberty Property Trust had entered the contest, and it was the only company to do so, the rest of the entrants being councils and community groups. It entered the village/town centre category, focusing on

Susan Davies of Liberty Property Trust, Blue Peter  gardener Chris Collins and ecologist Susan Deakin


local area. She acts as a link to the police and to council officials such as the dog and litter wardens. She draws local problems to other bod- ies responsible and knows the patch. "We fall into an area which is nei-

ther a town nor a completely rural parish andwe will be seeking to per- suade KCCwe need ourwarden." Community wardens were intro-

duced byKCC12 years ago and usu- ally operate in specific parish districts. Described by the county council as “the eyes and ears” of local residents, they tackle issues in- cluding fly-tipping, graffiti, vandal- ism, domestic and neighbour disputes and traffic manage- ment in the community.

4 Fraud inquiry

boosts revenue FRAUD investigations by Ton- bridge and Malling Council during the last five months have identified overpayments of £114,601 in hous- ing and council tax benefits. Since April, the council’s fraud

team has completed 109 out of 187 referrals, concluding with six where fraudwas proved and a total of 95 where benefits, discounts or exemptionswere incorrect. As a result, housing benefit enti- tlement has been reduced by £50,000 a year, with council tax re- duction entitlement being cut by £10,583 a year. Cases involving other council tax discounts and re- ductions have identified additional revenue of £19,937. Borough finance officials said the

high volume of referralswas due to the national fraud initiative (NFI) – a data-matching exercise, which compares computer records held by the council and other bodies. The bi-annual scheme matches information on

6 THE BIG DEAL Free delivery and collection. Subject to terms and conditions.

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 Show must go on

THE Hop Farm is confident its summer music festival will go ahead next year despite the promoter pulling out.

Solar law pressure

A CAMPAIGN demands local authorities benefit from the sale of electricity produced on community buildings. 10

Skeleton discovery

THE archaeological find of ancient human remains has put a mixed use development on hold.

13 Commonwealth bond

MORE South Africans live in the borough than any other non- British nationality, according to statistics.

24 Obituaries 26

A TRIBUTE is paid to Victor Di Cara, who owned the Il Forno restaurant in East Peckham.

Crime Reports 30

A CARAVAN window was damaged in Teapot Lane, Aylesford, and eggs were thrown at a car in Leybourne, causing damage to the paintwork.

Parish Councils38-39

THE parish council objected to the reinstatement of bridleways in Aylesford; next year’s summer fete in Kings Hillwas postponed due to staff shortages; residents in Offhamwere asked to leave bins out of sight of the village green; Ryarsh agreed to sell its roller to a cricket club; vegetables were stolen from Trottiscliffe allotments.

Town Talk alk

A NEW Co-op could open in a former pub in Snodland. For de- tails see Town Talk in this month’s Downs Mail. The bi- monthly independent magazine is written by and dedicated to Snodland and Halling residents.


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