This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Four editions delivered to over 88,000 homes every month Maidstone South Edition Maidstone South Edition

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

FREE Maidstone Town | Maidstone East | Maidstone South | Malling

Benefit laws blamed for rise in homelessness

A PROMINENT local church leader believes changes in benefit laws are

causing a disturbing increase in homelessness in Maidstone. Rev Canon Stephen Taylor, the Archdeacon of Maidstone (below), who was previously a church leader in County Durham for 25 years, says he was shocked to dis- cover that people were sleeping in doorways in Kent's county town when he took up his cur- rent role in 2011.

He claims a reason for the number of homeless people in Maidstone ris- ing further since then is that claimants now have to wait 34 days before receiving benefit payments.

Speaking at an event to mark the 10th anniversary of Homeless Care's Food For Thought campaign, he said: “When people fall on hard times it is unfair they have to wait 34 days. There are a number of injus- tices in society and I hope that soci- ety is compassionate enough not only to give generously to initiatives such as Homeless Care and Food For Thought, but also to challenge those who decide things and ask ‘can they do better?’ “We are coming up to an election and I hope people will bear in mind those who have less of a voice and try to get a more equitable society.

PARKING charges could be introduced at Maidstone’s Mote Park to fund im- provements to facilities. Maidstone Council is considering bringing in a charge of £1 for up to six hours’ parking, with the first hour free, after a survey of residents.

Just under three quarters (73%) of residents who travel to the park by car, who responded to a council- commissioned survey, said they would pay a £1 charge. In some of the outlying

rural areas support was greater, with Staplehurst residents quizzed being 91% in support, in Marden and Yalding it was 81%, in Coxheath 82% and in Allington 79%. Slightly more than 75% of visitors overall said they would be prepared to pay £1. The majority of visitors interviewed by Lake Market Research at the park said they normally travel to Mote Park by car (85%). The primary reasons for visiting among those surveyed were to take

children to the play area (50%), to go for a walk (47%), with relaxation (23%) and dog walking (22%) also figuring.


“I began my ministry in North East England and saw the effects of the miners' strikes, closures of the steelworks and shipyards. This was a dire time.

“I could not conceive back in 1985 that all these years on we would suf- fer so many of the same problems of homelessness. My hope was that we would become a more equitable and caring society.

“The North East got itself out of a lot of the problems and when I left it had improved – there was economic growth. I imagined Maidstone would not have the same problems they used to have

12 Parking fee plan at Mote Park Village sewers

‘badly flawed’ AN INDEPENDENT engineers’ re- port into Headcorn’s ailing sewers has found the system to be seriously flawed.

Sanderson Consulting Engineers from Huddersfield were called in by Headcorn Parish Council to investi- gate why the village is constantly plagued by foul water and over- flowing drains.

Engineers found a staggering 14 pipes which have been laid with out- flows falling in the wrong direction and a further 15 which do not have the capacity to take the estimated flows.

01622 690290 YOUR LOCAL PROPERTY EXPERT 23 Pudding Lane • Maidstone • Kent

In addition, there are numerous sites where the flow in the existing pipe does not provide enough ve- locity to achieve a self-cleansing regime, leading to possible block- ages and a build-up of foul material. Headcorn Cllr Martin Round is fu- rious that Maidstone Council is pressing ahead with building an ad- ditional 50 homes in the village – on top of more than 100 currently being built – despite the existing system being overloaded and said he did not believe a system which was already flawed should

For ALL your Mobility needs Newnham Court Shopping Village Notcutts Garden Centre, Maidstone (Next to Pennies Nursery) TEL: 01622 631511 


April 2015 No. 216 News

Cricket backing

A HOST of top sportsmen have pledged their support to the campaign to save Yalding Cricket Club.

Road misery calls

VILLAGERS are broadcasting videos showing the anger felt by drivers queued up close to the bridge in East Farleigh.6

Local plan u-turn

MAIDSTONE Council has decided to remove an allocation for 600 homes next to the house of KCC’s Cllr Paul Carter.

St George’s Day fun

MORRIS dancers will be out in force during a day-long celebration on April 25. 32

Crime Reports 32

A GARDEN centre and farm shop were among targets by thieves.

Obituaries Comment

34 46-47 36-37 Parish Councils 37-47

Broomfield and Kingswood was holding a meeting about a by- pass plan; a playing field dog ban in East Farleigh was ex- tended to cover events; the con- struction of a new pavilion in Hunton was underway, a phone kiosk was bought for £1 in Loose.

Downs Mail

comes of age DOWNS Mail president and re- tired chairman/editor Dennis Fowle addressed The Round- about Lunch Club at the Dog and Bear in Lenham, on his book “So I started a newspaper”. The Downs Mail is 18 years old

this April and reaches more than 80,000 households in the Maid- stone area through four editions  (Town, East, South, Malling).26

26 4


Mon-Sat 9-5 Sunday 11-4 FREE Parking

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48