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News Village bypass ‘15 years away’

THE long-awaited Leeds-Langley bypass has hit yet another delay, with a suggestion that itmight not be built until after 2031.

Although councillors have pledged to seek funding for a relief road to take traffic away from the two villages and ease congestion on Sutton Road andWillington Street, it could be another 15 years before the wheels are set in motion. Maidstone Council’s draft inte-

grated transport strategy suggests it could be feasible to build such a relief road in south-east Maidstone – but only after 2031. Areport to the town’s policy and resources committee said: “Kent County Council will establish the justification for and delivery of such a project. “It is considered, that although further assessment is required, de- livery of such a project may be fea- sible post-2031.” The council is in the final stages

Salary error

to be repaid A MAIDSTONE woman who con- tinued to accept a salary from the NHSdespite quitting her course has been ordered to pay back more than £9,000.

Natalie Davidson (41), of Hadlow

Close, enrolled on a community nursing programme in September 2012 but left four months later to find another job. She continued to be paid by Kent Community Healthcare NHS Trust for a whole year – about £18,000 – but failed to point out the mistake. The trust learned of Davidson’s dishonesty in January 2014, and in November she received an eight- month suspended prison sentence after admitting retaining a wrongful credit. She has now been ordered to pay

back £9,092.75 after Kent Police ap- plied for a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The money will be returned to the NHS. Financial investigator Jackie Low-

don of Kent Police said: “Natalie Davidson’s dishonesty caught up with her in the end and she must now return a significant portion of the salary she had no right to claim.”

Charity quiz MAIDSTONE Macmillan

fundraising group is hosting a quiz night at the Grove Green Commu- nity Hall on Saturday, February 27. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm

start, and guests are invited to bring their own drinks and nibbles. Tick- ets are £5 per person, with up to eight people in a team. To book a table call Helene Poursain on 07764503484 or email hpour-

34 Maidstone Town Xmas 2015

of putting together its local plan – of which the relief road is not a part. The first review of the plan will

not take place until 2022, when it might be considered for inclusion. Kent County Council leader Paul

Carter told a recent meeting of the town’s Joint Transportation Board that he was hoping to find new ways of obtaining funding for the relief road – expected to cost more than £50m. But Maidstone Council leader

Fran Wilson said there was still much work to be done before a road could be incorporated as a policy. She said traffic modelling would

need to be carried out, aswell as re- search into the environmental im- pact, and a full cost analysis

completed before any decisions could be taken. “The borough council will work

with the county council in identify- ing the potential, as well as possi- ble timescales for such a scheme at the first review of the Maidstone Borough Local Plan and determine then whether the project should move forward as a specific local plan policy,” says the report. Leeds Parish Council has now launched an e-petition calling for urgent action, following news that even more new houses are to be built on Sutton Road. The petition can be found via the

parish council’s website at It states: “Maidstone South and

South East including Leeds, Lang- ley, Otham, Broomfield,

Kingswood and Sutton Valence are suffering from high traffic volumes and gridlock. “This problem is already des-

tined to become worse by virtue of existing and future development being earmarked for this part of Maidstone through the local plan- ning process. “A Leeds-Langley relief road has

been long promised, but is now es- sential to accommodate not only current traffic volumes but also the huge increase that any further housing will impose. “Kent County Council must give priority to the relief road and work with local partners to find the ex- ternal funding necessary to build it.”

The e-petition is open for signa- tures until January 26.

Empty Mall space to help start-up firms

VACANT space above The Mall shopping centre is to be put to work helping start-up businesses. Initially more than 12,000sqft will

Agent offersmoving gesture

LOCAL estate agent Ferris & Co is celebrating 35 years of buying, selling and letting property in Maidstone by giving away a luxury hamper filled with treats to all new tenants and buyers. The team at Ferris & Co aims to ensure that the moving experience is

as smooth and stress-free as possible for all its clients. Owner Tim Ferris said: “I believe our continued success is down to our professional, experienced and loyal team.”

Top rating for school kitchens

FUTURE Schools Trust has been served with a clean bill of health at all four of its schools. The Maidstone-based education provider hosted several unan- nounced visits from Environmental Health and is delighted to an- nounce that each of its kitchens achieved a five-star rating. The most recent inspection took place at the trust's campus in Boughton Lane, Loose, where it runsNewLine Learning Academy, which also caters for Little Learners Nursery, and Tiger Primary School. Cornwallis Academy, in Hubbards Lane, Linton, had al- ready been awarded the top mark at the start of November.

Man rescued

FIREMEN had to use hydraulic cutting gear to free a man trapped in his car following an accident at just after 10am in Cambridge Crescent, Shepway, on Saturday, November 28.

Assault work

JIMMY Williams (28) was ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work after he admitted assaulting another man in Yalding’s Hamp- stead Lane, the road on which he lives. Hewas billed £860 in costs.

be devoted to the Maidstone Enter- prise Centre facility, offering flexible workspace and offices. This will ex- tend the service offered by the En- terprise Foundation at its centre in Medvale House, on Mote Road, which it reports was almost full in less than 15 months after opening. The centre has been provided

thanks to a collaboration of Capital and Regional, which runs The Mall, and the national Enterprise Founda- tion charity, which will run the serv- ice.

Keith Powney, the foundation’s

chief executive, said: “There is a need for local businesses to have ac- cess to good quality workspace and offices in a supportive environment. We look forward to the new centre being a focus for ongoing entrepre- neur and business support project work.” Gareth Holland, retail asset man-

ager for Capital & Regional said: “The arrival of The Enterprise Foun- dation at The Mall Maidstone will further enhance the town centre in attracting young, creative and ambi- tious businesses.” Amicrosite for the centre with ad- ditional information can be found at: Businesses interested in moving in

the new Enterprise Centre should email Roy Laming, general manager of the Enterprise Foundation at roy.laming@enterprisefoundation.n et or by calling 01622 757590.

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