Maidstone North Edition Maidstone North Edition

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

December 2017 October 2017 ‘£1m win will help care for Charloe’

A MAIDSTONE couple whose baby daugh- ter suffers from a “life-changing but not life- threatening” condition have scooped £1 million on the National Lottery. Adam and Amy Pryor’s numbers came up

just when the family ‘s future started to look a bit grim as Charlotte, who is eight months, needs constant one-to-one care and frequent hospital visits. Adam said: "I don’t believe in fate but on

this occasion I think I might, the timing of our win really couldn’t have been better. “Charlotte needs almost constant one-to-

Snap poll called after councillor quits seat

one care and has frequent hospital appoint- ments so we had decided that Amy would not return to work at the end of the month as originally planned.” 3

ACOUNCIL by-election has been triggered by the sudden resignation of

Conservative northwardmemberMichael Hemsley. any future polls. It is also interesting because Mr

The poll for the Maidstone Bor-

ough Council seat will take place on November 30. It is not known why Cllr Helms-

ley, pictured, who sat on the plan- ning

stepped down but we understand it was for personal reasons. Conservative group

leader John Perry said: “He resigned for per- sonal reasons – that is all I am prepared to say but we’ll be sad to see himgo.” The departure sets

17,000newhomes and has been pro- nounced "sound" by a government inspector, is set to be put before the planning committee for approval on September 27. Mrs Whately is concerned the plan

The Local Plan, which proposes committee,

up an intriguing by-electionwhere a key seat comes up for grabswhile the issues of Maidstone Borough Council’s massive house-building plans and traffic congestion have been set firmly in the foreground of

– which sets out development policy for the next 15 years – will harm at- tractions like Leeds Castle and leave villages such as Lenham, Harriet- sham and Headcorn unable to cope with the extra numbers. But the Tory MP for Faversham

and Mid Kent was warned she is playing a "high risk" game as the communities and local government secretary Mr Javid could easily in- crease the housing allocation or

Hemsley won his seat in what is considered a Liberal Democrat stronghold.

leave the borough at the mercy of speculative applications. On Leeds Castle, Mrs Whately

The Tories are keen

wrote: “The specific issue is the in- clusion in the plan of an industrial employment site at Woodcut Farm, a rural location near to junction 8 of the M20, and on the approach to the castle…Developing this site would have far-reaching ramifications for the countryside and heritage assets.” Mrs Whately is worried the Local

not to let any apparent internal disagreement get in the way of the election campaign. A fellow Tory coun-

those guys who would listen more than he spoke. He did well to win that seat in a LibDemarea andwas well thought of.” At heart of his departure appears

Plan does not include sufficient in- vestment in roads. She said: “Many thousands of houses are being built in this area, without meaningful development of roads (or any alternative to car trans- port) – when congestion is already

cillor said: “He was one of the good, solid local councillors who put the residents first, not necessarily the party.

“He was regarded as one of

MP urges minister to review local plan

MAIDSTONE MP Helen Whately has called on the local government secretary of state Sajid Javid to halt the Local Plan.

affecting the ability of residents to travel to and from work or access services in and around Maidstone. "I strongly question whether these locations can be deemed sustainable for this level of housing.” Mrs Whately added: “I wish we

to be a disagreement over his stance on a planning issue. Fellow Conservative councillor

Martin Round said pressures of being a borough councillor may have contributed to Mr Hemsley’s departure. He said: “The flak and abuse is so

considerable these days. It makes the councillor job hard. “We’re not paid salaries or for

could have solved this locally, but we’re running out of time. That’s why I have asked the secretary of state to personally intervene." MBC's Cllr Clive English, chair-

man of the planning committee, warned Mrs Whately her appeal to Mr Javidwas "high risk". He added: "Calling in the Local

Plan will not necessarily mean there will be a reduction in housing num- bers - it could go the otherway. "The delays caused by calling it in

our time, it’s a voluntary role where we want to help our com- munities and considerably more than 50% of the time, we get an awful lot of abuse for it. “That’s why a member resigned

(recently). If you sit on the planning committee, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.” Mr Hemsley declined to com-


mean that developers would slip any number of applications through as we would no longer have the powers to refuse them as we would- n’t have an emerging Local Plan. "It would be good if the secretary 23 Pudding Lane • Maidstone • Kent

of state did reduce the numbers, but this rarely happens. It's a bit of a high risk strategy."

ment but referred Downs Mail to Maidstone Borough Council (MBC). An MBC spokesman said: “Cllr

Michael Hemsley resigned with immediate effect in a letter we re- ceived on October 13. We are ap- preciative of his work as a councillor for North ward and the by-election will be held on Novem- ber 30.” Local Plan adopted, pages 4-5

Obituaries Obituaries 34 Parish Councils 37

IT HAS been agreed that a CCTV camera owned by the parish council in Tovil should not have been removed from its location in Wharf Road/Church Road.

34 Parish Councils 37

EIGHTEEN laurel bushes were stolen from gardens in Allington; a bicycle was taken from outside a property in Upper Fant Road; the clutch cable on a motorbike was cut in Hart Street; a rear tyre was damaged on a people carrier in Hastings Road; a car was broken into in Union Street but nothing was stolen; two council bins were stolen in Allen Street; sunglasses and a mobile telephone in Consort Close.

Crime Reports 37 Crime Reports 37

PARISH councillors in Barming said they are happy for PCSOs to be out on patrols rather than at- tending council meetings; a rogue trader had been operating from door-to-door in Loose; a Barming councillor has resigned.

DIESEL was syphoned from two dumper trucks at a building site in Barming; power tools including nail guns and drills were stolen from a van in Allington; silver birch trees were cut down in Hadlow Close; wheelie bins were set alight in St Peter’s Street; a wheel was stolen from a Ford Ka in Cooling Close.

Comment 46-47 web design google promotion ecommerce•• 01622 880840 Comment 46-47

rejected by the council, but instead the sites will now be reassessed individually. Cllr Dan Daley (pictured left) represents

Allington Ward – where three of the sites earmarked for closure are – and he believes the council needs to consider lots of factors before making their decisions. He predicts a ‘barney’ ahead. Full story – page 3.

Battle lines drawn over

our precious play areas PLANS to scrap 20 play areas in Maidstone bor- ough were vetoed at the last minute by coun- cillors – but the fight is not over yet. The blanket closures of the sites was

FREE No. 248


No. 246 News

M2 works planned Used stamp appeal

MAJOR works to the M2 at J5 have been welcomed but will bring disruption locally. 4

A CHILDBIRTH charity is appeal- ing for used stamps this Christmas.

Jason at the Hazlitt Local Plan adopted

JASON Donovan is to appear at the Hazlitt Theatre next year in a special one-off show celebrating his career.

MP lashes far right Shop closur Pitch problems?

THE popular designer clothes shop, Zee & Co, in Maidstone has closed.


AS THE Stones progress in the FA Cup and league, there are wor- ries about the club’ pitch.

20 Racist is locked up

MAIDSTONE MP Helen Grant has attacked far right group Britain First. 10

A RACIST who abused police offi- cers has been sent back to jail.


BOROUGH councillors have adopted the Local Plan for more than 17,000 homes to be built.

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