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News Ramblin’ Man ‘was too loud’

NOISElevelswere exceeded during the Ramblin’Manrock festival in MotePark, it has been revealed. Details acquired by Bearsted bor-

ough councillor Mike Revell show that on the first day of the July weekender, the council’s own mon- itor, at Mote House across the park, recorded breaches in the noise lev- els laid down in the organiser’s li- cence five times. Cllr Revell says the public has a

right to know, particularly those who registered complaints with the council as far afield as Downswood, Vinters Park, Grove Green and Bearsted. They were told that lessons would be learned, but the results of noise testingwere not yet known. Sheila Weston, at Briar Fields,

claims her complaint was met by the council as little more than “tough luck”, with a reminder that the event was well run, promoted diversity, attracted visitors and more than £1.5m to the town. She said: “Is it any wonder no one com- plains about the noise levels from Mote Park?” Cllr Revell – one of the council-

lors who all received free tickets to attend – says from within the con-

Police fund gift

ACHARITY specialising in trauma counselling and based in Maid- stone has become the latest organi- sation to benefit from a donation from Kent Police. Detective Inspector Lee White-

head from the Kent and Essex Seri- ous Crime Directorate presented a cheque for £500 to Sandie Turner from the Rubicon Cares charity. Rubicon Cares provides trauma counselling for victims of serious crime across Kent and Medway. The donation has been provided through the Kent Police property fund. Money is raised through the sale of items at auction that have been seized during police opera- tions and charities and local organ- isations can apply for a donation.

ganisers of the Ramblin’ Man. “Unfortunately, this meant the

onuswas on residents to complain, rather than Maidstone Borough Council officers to intervene.” In a response to Mrs Weston’s complaints, Maidstone Borough Council said: “We had…our own noise enforcement team monitor- ing sound levels.We are gathering … acoustic reports at present and will be working closelywith the or- ganiser.” MBC’s officers found the venue

Music fans enjoyed the Ramblin’ Man festival, but Cllr Mike Revell (inset) says noise levels were excessive

fines of the venue the noise did seem acceptable. However, he in- sists the council now needs to set a lower acceptable noise level to sat- isfy not only those attending, but also those forced to endure “the air- borne mix of four bands and their heavy bass line playing at once”. He has also called on the council

to clarify exactly how the event benefits local taxpayers and to re-

visit its contract, avoiding intermediaries, after the event’s managing agent declared it- self bankrupt in 2015. He says the noise issue of neighbours must be taken more seriously. The news was that Maidstone Council was ready to intervene, but thatwas not the case. Yes, there was an inde- pendent sound engineer on-site, but hewas being paid for by the or-

to have been well run over the two days of the festival and said the new event company organising it were “keen to learn from the issues that have arisen and a full debrief will be undertaken…”. An MBC statement supplied to Downs Mail conceded “some minor breacheswere recorded” but the authority awaits independent corroboration. MBC enivironmen- tal enforcement manager Martyn James added: “We alwayswelcome residents’ views on events taking place in the borough...” Letters, pages 36&37

Two jailed for violent attack in alley

TWO thugs have been jailed after a vicious attack on aman in Maidstone which left the victim with a fractured skull. Jonathan Sills and Oliver Bloomsmar both admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm and were each sentenced to 15 months in prison at Maidstone Crown Court. The court heard that the assault happened after the victim and two offenders became involved in a verbal dispute in Gabriel’s Hill. The victim walked away

however, as he was walking in an alleyway off Palace Avenue, he was hit over the back of the head and fell to the floor where he was

Swan Street in Tenterden, handed themselves in to the police a few days later. Detective Sergeant Jason Booth,

Jonathan Sills and Oliver Bloomsmar

repeatedly kicked. The victim was later found in the

alley by passers-by, who called an ambulance. At hospital he was found to have a fractured skull and bruising to his back. Bloomsmar (25), of Jubilee Field in Tenterden, and Sills (25), of

the senior investigating officer for this case, said: “The attack Bloomsmar and Sills committed was cowardly and left the victim in a considerable amount of pain. “It is fortunate that he has managed to make a full recovery from this. The outcome could have been much more severe. “It is fit and proper that these

twomen have received a custodial sentence for this assault.’ The pair were sentenced on

September 2 for the assault on July 13, 2014.

Call to share care for young asylum seekers

KENT County Council says the Government must act to move more asylum-seeking children on to foster homes out of the county. In a critical statement, it says the National Transfer Scheme – intro- duced two months ago on a vol- untary basis – is not being honoured by other councils and needs to be made mandatory. Kent, which is caring for more

than 1,400 unaccompanied mi- grant young people, has seen just 48 under-18s permanently trans-

14 Maidstone East October 2016

ferred to other local authorities since the volun- tary scheme came in – failing even to keep pace with new arrivals, which topped 90 in the same period. The county council’s Peter Oakford, cabinet member for specialist children’s services, says the failing system is

Peter Oakford

placing huge pressure on the area’s foster carers, social workers, school places, accommodation and healthcare. He added: “The voluntary scheme is not working and Kent is continuing to care for a hugely dis- proportionate number of these young people. “While we are very grateful to

those authorities who have signed up to this scheme, the vast major- ity have not stepped up and ac- cepted their responsibilities.”

It has also called for clarity and amendments to other resettlement programmes. Cllr Oakford said: “We do the

best we can in Kent but such high numbers place huge pressures on our services. “The transfer scheme must be

made mandatory so that the num- bers are shared fairly. This will im- prove the level of support offered to these vulnerable young people, rather than placing unsustainable pressures on a few authorities.”

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