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News Firms merge

TOP 20 accountancy firm Wilkins Kennedy is to merge with the Maidstone office of Day, Smith & Hunter creating a combined firm with 72 partners and an expected turnover of £47million. The firms intend to complete the transaction on September 30 after which the DSH Maidstone offie will trade asWilkins Kennedy. The deal will link Wilkins Kennedy’s office coverage in Ash- ford, Canterbury and Sandwich with its long-established presence in Orpington. The firm intends to develop Maidstone as a base for delivering additional services to businesses in the county.

Tory choice

GARY Cooke, the Conservative member for Maidstone south east on Kent County Council, has been reselected as the candidate for next year’s KCC election. Cllr Cooke claimed he would have stood as an independent if he had not secured the nomination.

Age UK date

AGE UK Maidstone holds its an- nual general meeting on October 3 at 7pm at the town hall in the High Street, Maidstone, when volunteers will also be able to collect their cer- tificates of appreciation.

MP Grant could secure more Maidstone voters

THE MP for Mid Kent, Helen Whately, could find her con- stituency disappear by the time of the next elections in 2020. A boundary review sees her seat

as one marked for abolition as the number of MPs is reduced from 650 to 600 in plans drawn up by the Boundary Commission. The popular and often outspoken

Mrs Whately (40) has a massive 16,500 majority. In the re-jig, the divisions which

make up the MP’s seat will be hived off and distributed to newly- configured constituencies with dif- ferent names. Her Faversham wards might go

to Canterbury and the Maidstone side to Helen Grant, pictured, the current MP for Maidstone and the Weald. By the end of the review, it is

hoped the number of electors in each UK constituency will be roughly the same while saving publicmoney in reducing the num- ber of members. Mrs Whately said: “I'm honoured to represent Faversham and Mid

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of Maidstone and Faversham. “Some of the pleasure of the job

is representing such different com- munities and being an advocate for all my constituents. "It's sad that the Boundary Com- mission's draft proposals would split up the Faversham and Mid Kent constituency, but the rationale behind the review is to make all parliamentary constituencies a sim- ilar size, so that each person's vote carries the sameweight. “There is now a consultation pe-

Maidstone MP Helen Grant could gain voters from MP Helen Whately

Kent. It's a glorious constituency, stretching from the historic market town of Faversham, across the North Downs, to the low Weald, Headcorn and Boughton Monchelsea. I hold my surgeries in beautiful medieval villages like Lenham and Bearsted, and in new community centres built to support growing populations on the edges

riod, so that people can give their views on the proposals. Mean- while, I will keep on working hard for everyone across Faversham and Mid Kent.” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

could also find his seat wiped off the political map in north London, although he said he is confident of remaining as an MP if the changes come into force. Former Chancellor George Osborne, MP for Tatton in Cheshire, may also find his seat abolished. A final decision will be made after public consultation in 2018.

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