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
Bid to end ‘phoenix’ firms tax loophole
THOUSANDS of pounds of tax is going unpaid because of entrepreneurs who claim their Maidstone-based businesses are bankrupt, only for their assets to be transferred to a company with a different name.
The recipient is known as a phoenix company and although the practice is legal, Maidstone Coun- cil is lobbying for a change in the law after recently writing off £636,883 in unrecoverable business rates from 18 failed public limited companies, accumulated during seven years.
Downs Mail can reveal that Mark
Wilson (52) and his brother Robert (56), who live at separate addresses in Discovery Road, Bearsted, have continued to run Strawberry Moons despite being directors of a string of companies registered at the nightclub's address of 28-32 Gabriel’s Hill that wound up with debts of £2.89m.
This figure includes more than £630,000 owed to the taxman and £63,895 to Maidstone Council. The brothers were additionally directors of two Ashford-based companies – one previously trad- ing as Strawberry Moons Ltd – that went under with debts of £1.4m, in- cluding £327,000 to HMRC. In all, one or both of the Wilson brothers have served on the boards of 10 companies that have folded in the past seven years, owing £4.29m. One of their failed companies
was 1MK Ltd, which had the same address as the nightclub and went under in May last year, owing Maidstone Council £15,403. The council’s policy and resources com-
Luke’s degree of success
A STUDENT from Maidstone who was turned down for his 11-plus exam is hoping to inspire others after picking up a first-class honours degree.
As pupils across the borough
received their A-level results, Luke Coomber (21), from The Hedgerow, Grove Green, proved that academic success can be achieved without attending a grammar school. Luke (pictured) said: “You are
very young when the choice is made as to whether or not you are good enough to go to a grammar school. At that 8
mittee recently agreed to write off this debt. However, since October 2014
they have been directors of Club Trading Ltd, for which the regis- tered address is 28-32 Gabriel’s Hill. The following month Straw- berry Moons issued a health and safety statement that confirmed the brothers remained directors of the nightclub. Robert Wilson said: “It is with
deep regret that these companies went into liquidation due to the re- cession. It is also unfortunate that Maidstone Borough Council has had to write off £15,000 in rates. “Everything has been
done in the correct and legal12 Villagers’ bid
to buy up land RESIDENTS in Bearsted and Thurnham are trying to save part of the former KIG land from possible development. Two large plots of greenfield land totalling more than 43 hectares have been put up for sale at Bridge Farm, bordering Water Lane and Crismill Lane.
The site has remained under threat even after the Kent Interna- tional Gateway road-rail freight in- terchange proposal was refused five years ago.
As Downs Mail went to press, more than £500,000 had been pledged by locals towards the pur- chase of the land.
01622 690290 YOUR LOCAL PROPERTY EXPERT
23 Pudding Lane • Maidstone • Kent
More than 100 families have con- tributed £1,000 each, in addition to two lots of £50,000, five of £10,000, 10 of between £2,000 and £5,000, plus 30 smaller amounts. The two plots advertised for sale, with guide prices of £550,000- £600,000, and £300,000- £325,000, are at the western4
September 2015 No. 221 News Harvest festival
CLIMATE change has caused the date of next year’s Kent County Show to be changed to a week earlier.
Art stalls in town
A NEW art market containing 80 stalls is coming to Maidstone.
End of market era
MAIDSTONE Country Market has closed just months after its 70th anniversary.
22 Students celebrate
SCHOOLS across the borough have reported strong exam results.28-29
Village repair hope
A DEVELOPER may pay to repair the roof of Marden memorial hall. 30
MAIDSTONE Rugby Club may be on the move. 34
Crime Reports 32
POLICE were appealing for infor- mation on the theft of two large wooden gates from the entrance to homes in East Farleigh.
Parish Councils Comment
46-47 36-37 46-47
A NEIGHBOURHOOD plan referendum might take place in Broomfield and Kingswood early next year; a Christmas fun run was supported in Coxheath; East Farleigh opted not to try to buy the Old School Hall; motorists were being harassed in Headcorn; a wasps’ nest had emerged in Langley; cold callers had been arousing suspicion by offering cut-price furniture and enquiring about parked cars in Loose; illegal bird-trapping was reported in Marden.
| 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