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show sunshine THE Kent County Show enjoyed fine weather and bumper crowds at the showgrounds in Detling. More than 80,000 visitors, over 3,000 up on last year, attended one of the county’s biggest events. Competitors, stallholders and businesses came from across the country but had the usual big local presence.

Among those were Jo Shan, of

Staplehurst, and Ken Shelton, of Aylesford, pictured, who represented the Mid Kent Fuchsia Group, which meets in Maidstone. Ken said: “It has been a wonderful show.”  More pictures, see page 18

Business as usual for traders after EU vote

TRADERS and business leaders in Maidstone say it’s business as usual in the wake of the Brexit referendum result, with some retailers reporting that trade has never been better. While national chains might be

facing tougher times for a range of reasons, independent retailers in the town say they have experienced no dip in consumer confidence after the UKvote to leave the EU. Among them is school outfitter

Sam Page, who said that her Pud- ding Lane business is so successful that she is taking on extra staff to cope with demand. She said: “We are doing better than ever and I can’t see how that could be affected by Brexit.”

Philippa Cheasman, who has run her upholstery firm in Market Build-

ings for eight years, believes that Brexit could bring new benefits for businesses everywhere. She said: “Post-Brexit, I amvery optimistic. In the short term, we have plenty of work. Brexit is something that I think, in the long run, is going to be good for all of us.” However, Simon Burton, who

runs Home Media in Union Street, said itwas too early to tellhowretail would be affected but felt that a po- tential drop in interest rates could have a positive effect. One Maidstone and the Chamber of Commerce say it’s very much

business as usual in the town with traders taking a positive stance. Ilsa Butler of the town centre partnership One Maidstone said: “It seems that the general view is that retail busi- nesses don’t expect to be affected at this stage given that theEUnegotia- tions are still to take place.” She added that in the long term, there could be developments in terms of import costs and the position of the pound. Roger Keech of the Chamber of Commerce said: “It’s absolutely business as usual for Maidstone.” See page 8 for special report

Prison drug woe

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

MP HELEN Grant has voiced con- cerned about the dangerous use of synthetic drugs, or “legal highs”, in Maidstone Prison after a shocking new reportwas published by an in- dependent monitor.

28 August 2016 No. 232 News Pre-school to close?

A POPULAR pre-school may have to shut with the loss of nine jobs after landlords served it with a notice to quit. 3

Hospital road chaos

THE county council is under pres- sure to remove new traffic lights.

Heatwave water con

BOGUS water officials are using a scam to con residents out of valuables.

4 McDonald’s clean-up

STAFF from the fast food giant have taken part in a riverside clear-up. 6

Langley house fury

THREE more housing develop- ments have got the nod near Langley Park. 10

Ukip eyes up seats

UKIP is gearing up for a head-on clash at next year’s county council polls 26

Obituaries Comment

30 32

Crime Reports 42

A GARDEN gate was stolen from a house in Loose.


Market successes

THE new Farmers’ Market has proved to be a success with dozens of stallholders taking part in Jubilee Square. For more, see the Maidstone Council-sponsored 12-page Borough Update inside.

01622 880840

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