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Marden speed limit proposed

NEW speed limits are being pro- posed in areas around Marden in response to growing concern about “mindless” motoring in the village. It is a cause of concern that has brought together the parish coun- cil, county councillor Paulina Stockell, SpeedWatch volunteers and residents in a united campaign to improve road safety in the vil- lage. A recent survey showed one in

19 drivers caught by SpeedWatch cameras in Kent are travelling at more than twice the recommended speed limit. Cllr Paulina Stockell has now

called on the county council to de- velop schemes for 20mph speed limits outside of four schools, in- cluding Marden Primary and has pledged to campaign to make the advisory speeds enforceable. She has also agreed to fund a 40mph speed limit to replace the 60mph permitted speed in Chain- hurst, the details of which have just been published by KCC. The

county council says it intends the restriction to run along part of Hunton Road and the entire length of Dairy Lane, but the parish coun- cil is asking for this to be extended to encompass more of the proper- ties in Chainhurst to the north. A spokesman for the parish council added: “Speeding, parking on pavements, parking restrictions and pedestrian crossings are all hot topics and we would like to reas- sure residents that the parish coun- cil is being proactive on these issues.” Villagers were thanked for com- pleting the recent parking ques- tionnaire, which will be discussed further with Maidstone Council. Chairman Cllr Kate Tippen said

the council was also pressing for more than just its one current pedestrian crossing and would be pressing for Section 106 money for crossings promised at Highwood Green and near the station. She also called on anyone inter-

ested in joining the SpeedWatch team to contact the parish clerk. Call to act on homelessness

LIBERAL Democrat candidate Emily Fermor has spoken out about the plight of Maidstone’s homeless. Miss Fermor (23), who will take on MP Helen Grant at the next general election, said unaffordable rents are amajor factor in homelessness. The former In-

victa Grammar School pupil said: “Here in Kent it is becoming increas- ingly difficult to find somewhere they can call home. “The cost of get-

ting onto the hous- ing ladder is a well-documented challenge, but for many people even finding somewhere affordable to rent is just as big a challenge. “It is just a case of needing somewhere, any-

where, where they can sleep in safety.” According to the charity Porchlight, 223 people

were sleeping rough in Kent from April to June 2016 – twice the figure for the same period in 2015. There has been a trebling of under 25s sleeping rough. Miss Fermor (right) added: “Local authorities

and charities work hard to provide support to the homeless, particularly high-priority cases likemothers with young children, but formany others, particularly single men, the situation is desperate. “Having nowhere to call home often leads to physical and mental health

issues and can lead to other social problems. Is this really good enough for 21st-century Britain? I don’t think so.”

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