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Town tax office set for closure


HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has confirmed its Maid- stone office will close in 2020/21. The office, at Medvale House in


Mote Road, Maidstone currently employs about 200 people. Those still working at the time of closure will have the chance to relocate to one of two new regional centres. The Government’s taxation de- partment is now mid-way through a 10-year modernisation pro- gramme designed to create a tax authority fit for the future. It plans to close 43 offices in the London, South East and East of England by 2028, while creating re- gional centres in Croydon and Stratford, East London. William Hague, chief people offi-


cer, HMRC said: “HMRC’s work- force in the area is currently spread throughout 43 offices, many of which are a legacy of the 1960s and 1970s, and range in size from about 2,000 people to fewer than 10. By bringing them together in large, modern offices, equipped with dig- ital infrastructure and training fa- cilities, HMRC will support more


skilled jobs and varied career paths up to senior levels with less need to move around the country.” HMRC expects between 5,000


and 5,300 full-time equivalent em- ployees to work in the Stratford re- gional centre and 2,500 to 2,800 full-time equivalent employees in the Croydon regional centre. There will also be specialist cen-


tres in Worthing and Dover. The reorganisation includes in-


vestment in online services, data analytics, compliance techniques and new skills and ways of work- ing to make it easier for the honest majority of customers to pay their tax and harder for the dishonest minority to cheat the system. Lin Homer, HMRC’s chief execu-


tive, said: “HMRC has too many expensive, isolated and out-dated offices. This makes it difficult for us to collaborate, modernise ourways of working, and make the changes we need to clamp down on the mi- nority who try to cheat the system.” The plans are designed to gener-


ate estate savings of £100 million a year by 2025.


downsmail.co.uk Double success for James


PEGASUS gymnast James Hall (20) has made history in both Great Britain and Germany in the space of twoweeks. Australian-born Jameswas selected as part of theGBteamto compete at


the world championships in Glasgow, which claimed the silver medal. Great Britain has never achieved such a result and the teamhasnowqual-


ified for the 2016 Rio Olympics. After Glasgow, James began train-


ing for the Bundesliga in Germany, where he joined the team represent- ing Monheim of Germany. Monheim wonthe competition for the first time. James performed clean routines in- cluding high-level skills and new ele- ments and connections to carry the teamthrough the event tosuccess.He and his team mates have been asked to take part in the event next year. James first appeared for Team GB at the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic


Festival in Sydney, winning floor gold. Born in Australia, he is a multiple medallist at the Britishand English Championshipsandmadehis senior team debut at the FIGWorld Cup in Glasgow in 2014.


Loery win scamwarning


SHOPPERS in Maidstone have been warned about a scam which has cost one victim £5,000. KCC Trading Standards has re-


ceived a report of an incident in Week Street, when a man and womanused a sob story to convince a shopper to hand over money. The victimwas approached by an


Asianwomanwhosaid she had had a lottery win which she could not claim because her visa had expired. The scam also involved a man, who


appeared to be passing by. The woman sobbed throughout


the scam and claimed her mother was dying and shewanted to see her before she died. The victim’s son said his father


was persuaded to collect the money from his bank. He later realised he had been conned. Anyone who is asked for money


in the street is asked to contact the police on 101 with details and de- scriptions of the people involved.


12th


, 13th


, 15th


& 16th


FEBRUARY 2016


10


Maidstone Town Xmas 2015


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