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downsmail.co.uk Maidstone South Edition


Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper


March 2017 Bring back dog bins, says councillor


THE removal of dog waste bins in areas such as Shepway, Senacre and Park Wood should be recon- sidered, a local councillor claims. The use of conventional bins to dispose of animal mess has not worked, says Cllr John Barned (pictured with dog walkers). He says parish councils in more afflu- ent parts of the borough such as Bearsted, Lenham or Sutton Va- lence can afford to pay for the re- ceptacles to be emptied.


But Cllr Marion Ring, the bor- ough council’s environment chief, has ruled out any rethink of the policy.


12


All change as Arriva unveils bus review


BUS passengers in Maidstone face major upheaval in a shake-up of routes throughout the borough by Arriva.


Changes which come into effect


on April 2 will see a number of cut- backs, with some services with- drawn completely. However, there will be improve-


ments in some areas, including a newdedicated service every 20 min- utes from the town to Maidstone Hospital. Details of the new timetable,


whichArriva says should reducede- lays by avoiding routes through the congested town centre, were being unveiled at a public meeting on Sat- urday (February 18) at the Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone. The review coincides with the hir-


ing of leading PR consultancy Maxim whose press release, on be- half of Arriva, highlighted “exciting


changes to Maidstone services”. Craig Taylor of Arriva Southern Counties, said the bus firm had wanted “to see how we can further improve the reliability and punctu- ality of our services.” He added: “Congestion in the


town centre makes it difficult for our buses to keep to the timetable. By splitting routes and ensuring good connections, we will be able to pro- vide a far more reliable service.”


But concern over the “impact of


some of the changes proposed and the timing of them,” was raised by KCCbosses, according to an officer’s private briefing note to members, who will be going to the polls four weeks later on May 4. The briefing, obtained by Downs


Mail, says: “As a result of our ap- proach, Arriva have made some ad- justments to their intended changes andmanyof the most sensitive have been mitigated. Despite this, there remains a negative impact for some passengers and the changes are likely to result in a negative reaction from the general public.” Arriva says that key improve-


ments include service 7 be- tween Maidstone and


4


01622 690290 YOUR LOCAL PROPERTY EXPERT


maidstone@martinco.com 23 Pudding Lane • Maidstone • Kent


Business focus LOCALbusiness has always beenavital part of Downs Mail coverage and we have made our online Business Notice Boardasaplace for enterprises to com- municate, share ideas and promote themselves. It is FREE to use – details inside.


20


FREE No. 239 News


Lockmeadow delays


A FACELIFT to transform the Lockmeadow entertainment cen- tre in the town centre has been delayed.


School expansion


OVER 20,000 school places must to satisfy house-building and rising birth rates.


5 Saxon Ramblin’ Men


HEAVY metal band Saxon kicks off Ramblin’ Man festival as gates open earlier. 6


Tributes to Sir John


WARM tributes have been paid to former MP Sir John Wells, who has died aged 91.


8 GPs work together


GPs in Maidstone and beyond are increasingly working to- gether in clusters.


22


Hazlitt talent tester 27


MAJOR stars will be encouraged to road test material at the Hazlitt Theatre.


Obituaries 34 Crime Reports 37


A RESTAURANT sign in Week Street was damaged; body and tyre damage was caused to a ve- hicle in Tarragon Road; jewellery was taken in a break-in at a house in Beverley Road after a patio door was forced; a Seat car was damaged in Tonbridge Rd.


Parish Councils 37


COLD callers continue to be a nuisance to residents in Loose; tree works have been carried out in the Hayle Park Nature Reserve, Tovil; The Medway Valley Line would receive a contribution of £75 from the parish council at Barming; parish councillors in Tovil have rejected a proposal to record meetings.


Comment 46 - 47 01622 880840 3 


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