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HGVs blamed as road closed for a third time


Boxley church in makeover


AFTER many decades, Boxley Church is undergoing an £82,000 make-over. Its five-yearly building inspec-


tion showed the casements around its stained glass windows were in need of repair, as was the roof, tower and – once the scaffolding was up – its ancient clock. Thanks to a £25,000 contribution


from the Friends of St Mary’s the work, which began in October, is progressing well and it was hoped that the restoration project would be complete by Christmas, and the clock face removed for repair. Work to the tower will see some


of the stone work replaced with local Kent ragstone, quarried by Gallagher’s in Barming. The clock mechanism, whichwas installed in 1828, continues to keep perfect time, but its face is showing the signs of time. It will be removed and its wooden seating replaced with a metal frame. Church warden Les Ellis said:


“Once the scaffolding went up we could see that the clock facewas in a state of collapse. While modern materials will be used, it will be painted and gilded to look exactly as it does now.” Mr Ellis praised the strong con- gregation, the use of the church and money from the sale of the church hall about five years ago for mak- ing the work possible.


Curfew order


A MAIDSTONE woman has been banned from driving and given a night curfew. Linda Jackson was sentenced at


Mid Kent Magistrates’ Court after she admitted driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and failing to take a breath test. On May 14, Jackson (57), of Egerton Road, drove a Suzuki Wagon R in Northumberland Road otherwise than in accordance with a licence and failed to cooperate with a breath test. Magistrates banned her from driving for 18 months and gave her a two-month curfew between 9pm and 7am. She must also pay £100 costs and an £85 victim surcharge. Disqualification can be reduced


by 137 days if she completes a course approved by the Secretary of State.


14 Maidstone East January 2017


BANNED lorries have been blamed for the closure of the road through Leeds village for the third time in just 11 days. The latest blockage came on De- cember 12 and 13 when repair work on a burst main a few days earlier developed a large hole. A South EastWater engineer told Downs Mail the latest emergency was “likely” to have been caused by vibrations and the weight of illegal HGVtrucks using the village as a rat run.


The latest closure meant cars used


back roads around Langley, Otham, Kingswood and Broomfield in an ef- fort to find alternative routes around Leeds. Villager and Tory borough coun-


cillor Gill Fort said: “It doesn’t sur- prise me at all. You can’t have very large lorries using the village every day on top of all the other traffic that comes through without it having an effect. “The lorries aren’t even meant to


be using the village but they’ve been ignoring the ban for years.” Ukip borough councillor Eddie


pect itwas not fixed properly. “After the sink hole a while back,


KCC did tests and it appears we have got something of ageing mains system that has not been coping with the pressure being put upon it – andwe’re talking aboutwater. “I can understand that people


Powell said: “We see lorries using the back roads all the time. They rou- tinely ignore the lorry ban through Leeds and little or nothing is done to enforce it.” Director of Warmlake Dance Academy Lorraine Mason said on Facebook: “Maybe if the dirty great trucks didn't keep going through the village it wouldn't destabilise the ground and damage the pipes. I thought they'd been banned after the road collapsed last time!” But Kent county councillor Gary


Cooke said that the recent road clo- sures may have more to do with the age of the pipes and the consumer pressure on the utilities. He said: “There are several ways


of looking at it. Given it broke down so soon after it was repaired, I sus-


want to believe that the utilities are breakingdownbecause of theHGVs but I have asked advice from the highwayspeople atKCCand it’s not necessarily the case.We need a by- pass for the volume of traffic not the weight of it.” South East Water spokesman


DavidWinterburn said there was a split in a four inch water main in Upper Street, Leeds, on December 12 and the road had to be closed while repairswere carried out. Headded:“We would like to apol-


ogise to customers affected and re- assure them our teamswere quickly on site to repair the burst pipe.We are investigating the likely cause of these two bursts and until this work is completewe cannot give a reason forwhythey happened in quick suc- cession.”


Drink-driver left accident


A celebration for Primrose


DOZENS of friends and family gathered at St Nicholas Church in Leeds for the Christening of Primrose Meneses-Bautista. Rev Steve Hugheswas the minister. The family gathered in the new


function room of The George pub in Leeds for a buffet lunch. Pictured here in the front row from


left are Max Irvine, Otis Meneses- Bautista, Evangeline Wenham, Ce- lestina Meneses-Bautista, Samantha


Irvine, Primrose Meneses-Bautista, JudeWenham, AidanWenham and Emily Irvine. Behind them from left are Charles


Wenham, Susan Wenham, Louise Meneses-Bautista, Andres Meneses- Bautista and LukeWenham. Do you have a Christening photo that you would like us to publish? Send a picture with a few words to simon.finlay@downsmail.co.uk and we’ll do our best.


Festive concert boosts Mencap


A CHRISTMAS concert by the Detling Singers raised nearly £300 for Maidstone Mencap. The charity thanked everyone who helped towards the success of


the event at Cobtree Hall,Willington Street. FundraiserAnn Tutte said: “The Singerswaived their fee to help


us and the Larkfield Active Retirement Association (LARA) gener- ously supported the event with a donation which helped us to reach this total, and also made up the majority of the audience. A big thanks goes to them.”


A 25-YEAR-OLD Maidstone woman has been banned from driving for three years for fleeing drunk from an road accident. Jasmine Jade Grant was sen- tenced at Medway Magistrates’ Court on December 6 after she pleaded guilty to failing to surren- der to court bail, failing to stop after a road accident and driving without insurance. She pleaded not guilty to driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and drink-driving but was convicted of the offences by magistrates. In November last year, Grant, of Sutton Road, Maidstone, drove a Ford Fiesta in Heath Road, Maid- stone, otherwise than in accor- dance with a licence and with no insurance. She failed to stop the vehicle


after a road accident and gave a breath test of 90 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 micro- grammes. She then failed to surrender to


bail at Mid Kent Magistrates’ Court without reasonable excuse. Magistrates banned Grant from driving for three years. She must also pay a £450 fine, £200 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.


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