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Pubs ‘profit by selling cheap drinks to young’

MAIDSTONE’s top police officer has slammed licensed premises for prof- iteering from selling alcohol to vulnerable young drinkers.

Steve Corbishley, Chief Superin- tendent of West Kent Division, told the Maidstone and District Neigh- bourhood Watch AGM: “It’s ab- solutely scandalous that businesses are making money out of people who fall into a gutter and we, to- gether with the ambulance, have to pick up the pieces. “You get clubs offering deals for people to spend £15-£20 to drink as much as they want. Many of the people who take advantage of these offers are vulnerable; some are women who face the risk of sexual assault. Someone has put up a

video on You Tube that shows a lady intoxicated and seven differ- ent men, who are all highly suspi- cious, are offering to take her home. “Yet all of these businesses still make money out of selling cheap alcohol.”

Ch Supt Corbishley, who joined Kent Police in 1993 and took up his first command role in 2003, in Maidstone, believes 24-hour drink- ing is a big problem. He said: “You can go to have a drink in Maidstone and never have to stop. When I first started every- one was out of the town by 1am,

Carers’ project ‘gave us back our lives’

A WEST Malling woman, who endured a “nightmare” after her husband had a stroke while they were living in Cyprus, says a carers’ project has helped her reclaim her life. Rosemary Broad (59), a former pupil at Holmesdale School in Snodland, moved to the island in 2002 with her husband John (65), who worked as a machine operator for Kimberly Clark, Larkfield.

But the dream move lasted just seven

years as John suffered two strokes that left him paralysed down the right hand side, unable to speak and needing constant care. After returning to Kent in 2009, living in St Mary Abbey, Rosemary said she spent three and a half years as a virtual recluse. “We sat in that bungalow waiting to die,” she said. “We

then it was 2am. Now some people actually arrive at 2am to go out having already been drinking at home.

“They might go somewhere such as Lashings, finish and then go to a pub that opens at 7am.

“It is not like the European ap- proach to alcohol; here they are just drinking and drinking.”

After hearing a NHW member complaining about discount drinks offers from supermarkets, Ch Supt Corbishley replied: “The responsi- ble retailer is a debate that needs to be heard.” 15

River festival

to go it alone MAIDSTONE’S popular river festi- val will return in summer 2015 – but without formal borough coun- cil backing. Medway River Boaters organised their own informal “boat gather- ing” last summer after the town’s official river festival folded through lack of funding. More than 100 boats sailed into town on the last weekend of July in 2014, with some staying up to 10 days. Mark Smurthwaite has enthusi- astic support from councillors Dave Naghi and Gordon Newton, who are going to help him organise the event on the weekend of July 25-26, 2015.

26 Rosemary Broad


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Mr Smurthwaite says a small or- ganising committee has been formed and more details will be an- nounced in the spring but said: “The River Festival will go on, but it will be run totally independently without any involvement of MBC.” At its peak, the festival pulled in up to 10,000 visitors but the eco- nomic climate, together with health and safety issues, mean costs have been rising and4

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Christmas 2014 No. 213 News

Drinks chain to arrive

COSTA Coffee is hoping to open a new branch at the entrance of Maidstone Hospital by the spring of 2015.

Rough sleepers

TOWN centre traders are calling for new public toilets to prevent homeless people from uri- nating in shop doorways. 6

Police line slammed

KENT Police’s non-emergency 101 telephone service has been criticised by the local di- visional commander.

Working campaign

THIS month we focus on job op- portunities in the care sector.

Elderly parking calls

MP wants introduction of dedicated spaces. 23

Comment 32-3346-47

ARE local objections to new hous- ing indicative of mean-spirited- ness in our community? Should the sacrifices during World War One inspire us to allow our treas- ured open countryside to be lost for a greater good? See what a reader and the Downs Mail edi- tor think about these notions.

Obituaries 34 Crime Reports 47

ITEMS stolen included brass plaques, extendable ladders, car fog lights, a chrome bumper, power tools and a wheelie bin.

Parish Councils 47

MORE asbestos was found at the pavilion in Barming, though it could not be removed so was to be left undisturbed; a mysterious white-coloured substance ap- peared outside the post office in Loose and was dealt with by Maidstone Council.

18 15 4

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