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News Drink driver’s

2 year road ban A MAIDSTONE man who drove with almost three times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood has been banned from the road for two years. Neil Templeman (32) was sen-

tenced at Mid Kent Magistrates’ Court on August 8. He pleaded guilty to driving without insurance, driving without a test certificate and drink-driving. Templeman, of St Catherine’s Gar-

dens, drove aVauxhall Corsa in Sut- ton Road, Maidstone, without an MOTcertificate or insurance. Hegave a breath test of 104 micro- grammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 micro- grammes. He was ordered to carry out 80

hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months and pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

Assault case

JAMES Edwards (23) who stole from a store and assaulted a mem- ber of staff has been spared jail. He admitted shoplifting and de-

nied common assault and was sen- tenced for the offences by magistrates. On April 27, 2016, Ed- wards, of Hampshire Drive, Maid- stone, stole alcohol and food worth £37.22 and assaulted a woman at a shop in Loose Road, Maidstone. Magistrates sentenced him to 18

weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered him to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months. He must also pay £200 compensation and £150 costs.

Hall on hold

LOOSE Parish Council has with- drawn its proposal for a £1m long- awaited community centre. The council sought approval for

the scheme from Maidstone Council, but after some residents objected, it decided to hold further discussions. Designs for the two-storey exten-

sion to the King George V Pavilion included a 200-seat hall, sports facil- ities, meeting rooms and a lounge. Objections from residents inWal-

nut Tree Lane included increased noise, disturbance, traffic, parking is- sues, the scale of the new building and the loss of green space.

ALoose royal A FEW places are left for stalls at

Loose Village Fete at the King GeorgeVplaying field on Saturday, September 3. The theme is Kings and Queens and there will again be a fun dog show.. Anyonewhowould like to donate tombola or raffle prizes is asked to leave them at Loose Post office or take them to the parish council tent on the day. Call 07419 986538 or go to e-village-fete.


Katharine Long helps Cllr Derek Mortimer and Cllr David Pickett open the new-look park in Tovil

New look parks are opened

ELEVEN community play areas in Maidstone have re-opened after receiving a face-lift from the council. The work, which is part of a programme to spruce up play parks in the

borough to encourage fitness for families, aims to offer a good standard of play equipment within a 12-minute walk of home. It follows a review by the council, which threatened other play areas,

but identified 32 for investment. The first phase of regeneration has been completed at Peverel Drive,

Stratford Drive, Foxden Drive, Gatland Lane, Timber Tops, Nettlestead Green, Adisham Drive, St Francis Close, Gallants Lane and Albert Reed Garden. Whatman Skate Park will reopen at the end of August. The cost of the regeneration programme has been put at about £1.8 million. South ward Cllr Derek Mortimer said youngsters were delighted with

the improvements at Albert Reed Garden, adding: “Play areas are an important asset in all our communities, especially where private garden space is limited for children to burn off excessive energy.” Further work is planned as part of phase two and three of the

borough’s Play Capital Improvements Scheme, with work at all finished by next March.

For more local news Maidstone Town September 2016 Marjorie still

working at 93 SPRITELY Majorie Rose celebrated her 93rd birthday by polishing the same floors she has been cleaning at The Mall, Maidstone, for over 30 years.

Despite having to give up her last

job because of knee trouble, the great-grandmother is still going strong in the job she has done since the 1980s and is thought to be Britain’s oldest cleaner. Before picking up her mop at the shopping complex, Marge spent nearly 40 years working as a fruit picker for Alan Firmin Ltd. Cold winter shifts affected her knees, and she switched to cleaning. Her husband Bill died aged 58,

nearly 30 years ago, and Marge said she loves work because she gets lonely at home. She said: “I love working at the shopping centre and don’t think I will ever give it up.” Staff at the shopping centre

tweeted a video of Marge (pictured) to mark her birthday. Suzie Brindle, from The Mall,

said: “Marge is one of the hardest workers we’ve had at The Mall Maidstone. She never fails to amaze us with her zest for life!”

Work to start on homes despite residents’ fears

DEVELOPER Millwood Homes says work is finally expected to start on its housing estate near Loose.

Work on the controversial green

field site, which was removed from the borough council’s local plan, now looks set to get underway by the end of October . It follows an extensive six-week archaeological survey of the two- field site – bordering Loose Valley Conservation Area – which it was thought could hold the secrets of a medieval farmstead, linked to the listed Bockingford Farmhouse, nearby. About 24 trenches were dug. But this week Peter Bland, Mill- wood’s associate director of design and planning, told the Downs Mail that while evidence typical of that associated with land use from pre- historic and later timeswas present,

“nothing of significance has been found”. He added: “It seems that the farm complex is likely to have been on the eastern side of Bocking- ford House, where the existing es- tate now is.” A final report by the company’s archaeologists will be submitted to the council, which the developer hopes will be discharged as a condi- tion shortly. The company had originally

hoped to start work on the 36 homes planned for the site on June 27, say- ing all the council’s requirements had now been met “by the book” and will be available for scrutiny. Cllr Derek Mortimer and MP

Helen Grant joined about 80 resi- dents to sign a petition opposing the

development. He says residents be- lieved that green land such as this should be defended and protected, particularly in the Loose Valley. However, this was overturned by a government inspector. Cllr Mortimer has asked council officers to call in amended plans put forward by Millwood Homes re- garding its intention not to realign Cripple Street, as previously stated, but to straighten and make it wider. Hesaid: “This element of the plan

is still up for debate. If officers are going for approval on these changes to the road, I have asked that it goes before the planning committee. “We are all extremely concerned

about the impact of more traffic en- tering the Loose Valley.”

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