News Policewarn of rogue traders

KENT Police have issued crime prevention advice after reports of rogue traders in theMaidstone area – including onewhere £1,000was demanded for gardenwork a resident did notwant done.

Incidents have been reported in

Coxheath, Lenham and Shepway in the past week of uninvited tradesmen – some even starting work without permission. With that in mind, Kent Police

have issued the following guide- lines to help residents avoid be- coming victimto rogue traders. Do not dealwith doorstep callers offering work on your home or garden and never pay in cash; Check that the tradesman is from the company they say they are from; Ask for quotes in writing;  Ring more than three traders to get a feel for an average price for the job;  Remember traders must give

Musical plea

THE Kettle Bridge Concertinas are looking for new members to join their club playing the traditional English instrument. Themembers of the club promote

the instrument – which was in- vented by Sir Charles Wheatstone during theVictorian era – to awider audience with workshops and con- certs at a variety of venues around Maidstone, as well as taking part in sessions around the country. The club meets twice a month at

East FarleighWIHall. Free tuitionin the instrument is of-

fered – and you don’t need your own instrument to join in.The name of the club comes from the Kettle Bridge, an ancient wooden bridge which used to cross the RiverMed- way betweenBarming andWest Far- leigh.

For details, visit or call Sandy Sharp on 01622 721778 or SueWalsh on 01622 728252.

Drug arrests

TWO London men have been ar- rested in connectionwith supplying cocaine and heroin. A20-year-oldman fromClapham

and a 21-year-oldmanwith London connectionswere arrested nearHol- landRoadat 4pmonTuesday,Octo- ber 10, 2017. A quantity of drugs, believed to be heroin and cocaine, were seized.

Ward renamed MAIDSTONE Borough Council is set to rename its Barming ward to Barming andTestonWard, although there are no changes to the existing boundaries. It comes at a cost of £1,000 to the rate-payer.MBCclaims the change will “better reflect the area’s community identity”. Public views arewelcomed.

16 Maidstone East November 2017 Lions’ final load of aid goes toUkraine

EIGHT tonnes of aid is making its way from Maidstone to the Ukraine to help the thousands still suffering from the after-effects of the world’s worst nuclear disaster. The town’s Lions Club has been

collecting supplies for the poor and sick of Belarus for 10 years. Here people still suffer from the effects of the Chernobyl disaster

31 years on, and many children are in orphanages due to the low life expectancy of adults. This will be the last collection for

the area, which was hit by the dis- aster on April 26, 1986. Malcolm Luxton, from

Maidstone Lions Club, said: “Much of the soil in this region is still contaminated and many adults

are very sick. “The aid sent this year will be

sorted by the Lions Club in Gomel, Belarus, and sent to the orphanages and people in need.” Over the past 10 years the Lions

have sent more than 100 tonnes of aid to this area and equipped a ward with new beds at one of the orphanages.

Balloon lands in field

THE red air balloon flying over Maidstone on Monday landed safely between trees in a small field in Bearsted. Borough councillor Val

Springett called the Downs Mail to let us knowthat allwas well with the Virgin balloon and its basket of passengers after we asked online where it came to ground. Cllr Springett said: “I stood

and watched it for some time and grabbed a few photo- graphs before it landed in Eliz-

abeth Harvie Field, behind Crosskeys. “It came down very carefully.

I gather the pilot was looking for somewhere to land but be- cause therewas so littlewind it opted to come down in the parish council field.” Parish councillor Richard

Ash provided the key to unlock the gate and was handed a £50 cheque for the parish council for his troubles. Cllr Springett said: “I thought it was a nice gesture.”

you written notice of your right to 14 days cancellation when agree- ing to do work at your home, in- cluding work gained from a cold call; If you believe a doorstep crime is happening or about to happen call the police on 101 or 999 in an emer- gency. The first incident happened at

9.20amon Friday,October 6,when two men were reported to have visited an address in Park Way, Coxheath, and one of themstarted to clear the gutters without asking the owner if theywanted thework done. The residents decided to pay as

thework had already been started. Then, on Monday, October 9,

four men visited an address in High Street, Lenham, and started work in the garden that the occu- pier did not want done. The men then demanded £1,000 in cash, and the woman left to go to the bank. But no money was subsequently paid and themen left the scene in a yellow van with a white cab. One of the four was said to have

a Welsh accent, another a foreign accent and the other two could not speak English. Finally, at about 2.45pmon Tues-

day, October 10, Kent Police re- ceived reports of

two men

knocking on doors in Oxford Gar- dens, Shepway, offering to check doors and windows to see if they needed upgrading.

Both were described as white, in

their late 20s to early 30swith large builds. One had light ginger hair and the

other short dark hair. For advice and information,

members of the public should con- tact the CitizensAdvice Consumer Service on 03454 040506, or visit Kent County Council Trading

Standards recommends checka-, online or call 0333 0146 190, for reputable Kent traders. Anyone with information on the

incidents described above is asked to call Kent Police on 01622 604100 quoting 9-648. Alternatively con- tact Kent Crimestoppers, anony- mously, on 0800 555111.

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