Disused allotments to be community garden

A MUM from Shepway is leading a posse of public-spirited neigh- bours to transform overgrown al- lotments into a community garden. Nikki Gough (35), from Lincoln

Road, was surprised when her ap- plication for an allotment in Hamp- shire Drivewas turned down by the council because theywere “unsafe”. However, she wasn not ready to

hang up her tools and set about tak- ing on the allotments and the task of turning the half-acre plot into a place for locals, with friends’ help. Her “land army” has included as- sistance from Involve Maidstone V volunteers, squaddies from Invicta Barracks and businesses such as Travis Perkins and jparks hire in Park Wood; Biffa and Aplant hire in Tovil. The Lottery has also chipped in £9,800, with work now having started to clear the site. The borough council has offered a free short-term lease for the community project. Also keen to get involved has been Golding Homes, the county council, and the town’s mayor. It’s no small achievement for

V Team members Gary, Dean, Harry, with Nikki and Sarah from Shepway Chariots, and the V-Team’s head gardener Ged

Nikki, who suffers with chronic re- gional pain syndrome. The mum-of- four says: “This project is not just about providing a place where peo- ple can feel physically fitter, but emotionally better too.” She added: “I know what it’s like

to feel lonely and see these revi- talised allotments as a place for peo- ple to meet and chat.” It is planned to include a wildlife garden, as well as a community log cabin, with a compost toilet. She hopes the garden can be used for school trips and nature trails.

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Maidstone April 2017 3

Nikki, who is part of the Shepway Chariots “mums on a mission” group, which is applying for chari- table status, said: “I can’t believe how willing people and businesses have been to offer their help and support; Tony Stanbury, at Palace Estates in Maidstone, Jacqueline at Involve, and Maidstone Council have all been very good.” Maidstone’s mayor Cllr Derek

Butler added: “I am very impressed by the Shepway Chariots determina- tion to do something positive for the community.”

News Car recovered

A DRIVER was arrested in Maid- stone after police found a stolen car in College Road. The car, reported taken from The

Street, Bearsted, on March 5, was found on Saturday, March 11. Officers lay in wait for the driver,

who was a man in his early 20s. He had the car’s keys and credit cards reportedly stolen from a vehicle in Skinner Gardens, Sissinghurst. The vehiclewas said to have been

used at a petrol station in Ashford where the driver made off without payment. Hewas arrested on suspi- cion of theft and bilking (obtaining or withholdingmoneyunfairly or by deceit; cheat or defraud) and bailed until May 30.

Angwafo ban

MAGISTRATES have banned from the roads a driver who was more than twice the drink-drive limit. TsiAngwafo (28)was sentenced at

Mid Kent Magistrates’ Court where he had pleaded guilty to drink-dri- ving and driving without a licence. Angwafo, of Belts Wood, Maid-

stone,was stopped in a Honda Jazz inWell Road, Maidstone, and gave a breath test of 71mg of alcohol in 100 ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg. Magistrates banned him from driving for 18 months and ordered him to pay a £496 fine, £85 costs and a £49 victim surcharge.





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