orderForm.noItems Maidstone South Edition

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

July 2017

Campaigners to take relief road to polls

CAMPAIGNERS for a relief road in south Maidstone are considering standing as candidates in the next tranche of local elections.

Downs Mail has learnt that they

maytarget Liberal Democrat seats in the borough council polls next year, blaming the authority’s majority rul- ing party’s house-building pro- gramme for clogging up the area’s roads. The candidates might also look to

forge pacts with other parties to get relief road candidates into office, ac- cording to one source. Relief road campaigner Jenny Sut-

ton, of Willington Street pressure group WILLact, acknowledged a new, political dimension to the cru- sade to end the disruption caused by traffic volumes. She did not rule out candidates standing on the relief road issue. Mrs Sutton also welcomed the support of Conservative county councillor Gary Cooke, who is lead- ing a drive to convince his author- ity’s leadership that a route and funding can be found. Cllr Cooke (right) said the conges-

tion on the roads around Maidstone, such as Willington Street, had left them at "breaking point". WILLact has been producing sim-

ple signs which arenowpopping up all over the county town. In an email to supporters,Mrs Sut-

ton said: “Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) elections are due next year and the relief road is gain- ing more support. But strategic vot- ing is also required! WILLAct will be lobbying councillors.” Possible Lib Dem target Clive English said: “I would be surprised

FREE No. 243

News New radio planned

A MAIDSTONE charity is aiming to launch a new radio station to be run by volunteers at its Marsham Street base. 4

Hazlitt’s charmer

SOAP star Stefan Booth is Prince Charming in Cinderella at the Hazlitt this Christmas.

4 Head’s Ofsted praise

OFSTED has praised the work of the head at Tree Tops Primary in Park Wood. 14

Lockmeadow re-opens 16

THE Lockeadow leisure site has re-opened five months behind schedule.

if it (relief road)was a major issue in any of the seats we hold. The relief road could be built in two years if KCC got their finger out and if they came up with a route and a funding mechanism. “No political party atMBCis pre-

venting it from happening.” MBC’s house-building pro- gramme is in response to demands from central government, said Cllr English. Cllr Cooke said: "There are prob-

lems in Shepway, Downswood and Otham, where drivers are finding ways of avoiding congestion on Willington Street and elsewhere by driving through residential areas. “Levels of congestion are now

very, very clear to people. This relief road should have been built years ago."

Earlier this year, Cllr Cooke an- nounced he and KCC officers were to start investigating routes for a re- lief road, with a view to putting pro- posals to parish councils by the end of the year. He hopes to build the case for get-

ting funding for such a project. But Mrs Sutton is unconvinced

KCC leader Paul Carter has any en- thusiasm for a relief road at this time, claiming: "If Paul Carterwants it, he could probably get it with a click of his fingers." We approached Cllr Carter for a comment but hewas unavailable. Leeds councillor Gill Fort said the

issue isnowmore about traffic prob- lems across Maidstone caused by MBC’s house-building programme. To contact WILLact online, go to

Leaders unite

01622 690290 YOUR LOCAL PROPERTY EXPERT 23 Pudding Lane • Maidstone • Kent

MUSLIM and Christian leaders in Maidstone have united in thewake of terror attacks in London and Manchester to condemn violent ex- tremism, promote goodwill in the community and pray for victims and their families. 20

Parish Councils 32

CLLR Fay Gooch was elected chairman of the parish council at Barming; 20 bags of rubbish were collected during a clean-up in Loose; parking on the pave- ments in Burial Ground Road, Tovil, is now considered to be a police matter; orange beacons on the zebra crossing in Barming are said to be “ineffective”.

Crime Reports 32

A SHED in Barming was broken into; electronic gates in Week Street were damaged by a man trying to leave after they were closed; a wallet with cash and credit cards was stolen from a van in Allen Street; milk was stolen outside a house in Allington.

Obituaries 34 Comment 46-47 web design google promotion ecommerce•• 01622 880840

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