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downsmail.co.uk Maidstone East Edition


Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper


December 2017 Heads bowed


in silence THOUSANDS of residents turned out on Remembrance Sunday to pay their respects to the fallen of conflicts past and present. The streets of the county town


were lined with applauding local people as servicemen and women marched in the November sun- shine on their way to the war memorial. See pages 28 and 29


MPs vowto bring relief road peace


MAIDSTONE’SMPs have vowed to end the squabbling that has caused obstructions to the realisation of a relief road for southMaidstone. Helen Whately and Helen Grant


have vowed to force representatives ofMaidstone Borough Council, the planning authority, and highway- buildingKentCountyCouncil into a roomuntil theyagree awayforward. The meeting was due to have


taken place onNovember 17, just as DownsMailwent topress.Expected at the meeting were the MPs, KCC leaderPaulCarter,MBCleader Fran Wilson andMBCchief executiveAl- ison Broome. But the summit was overshad-


owed by aNovember 10 letter from Liberal Democrat Cllr Wilson to Conservative Cllr Carter saying she feared the meeting would be a “fu- tile exercise” and would end up “going over old ground for dis- agreement yet again”. Cllr Wilson added: “Both our


county council and borough council are diminished in the eyes of resi-


dents if they see us continually dis- agreeingwith each other.” In a typically bullish response,Cllr


Carter toldDownsMail: “I look for- wardtomeetingwithFranWilsonin due course, to move forward and stopthemfrommaking themistakes they havemade in the past." County councillor Gary Cooke,


who organised the public meeting attended by nearly 400 local people on November 2 at the Mercure Maidstone, said: "We need to move forward, not look back. I have no comment tomake.” Relief road pressure group


WILLact founder Jenny Sutton,who normally takes a rigidly non-politi- cal stance, said in amessage to sup- porters: “The LibDems either sit on the fence or make disastrous deci- sions, this is why nothing ever gets done in Maidstone. The sooner the electorate kick out this non perform-


ing party, the better off everyone will be.” Ben Lesinski said: “I left (the pub-


lic meeting) very disappointed and disheartened. Completely useless public meeting – it clearly demon- strated the incompetence of our MPs,MBC and KCC.” Mother-of-one Lesley Finlay, of


Leeds, saidshe hadheardlittle of the evening’s proceedings which con- vinced her that the politicians were “working for the people they are supposed to be representing”. Pauline Shannon, a resident of


Willington Street for 11 years, said that the road has become “disas- trous”with people unable to get out of their driveways due to the vol- umes of traffic being sent down it. Willington Street resident Alan


Atkins wondered why a recently mooted £1bn pot of government money for by-passes had not been


accessed. Cllr Carter explained the fund could unlock moe housing. Eve Joslin, who lives in a Grade II listed home on the A274 near Langley, asked: “Do the councils realise that, on their watch, our houses are crum- bling?” Local Plan adopted, pages 4 and 5 Relief road rally, pages 24 and 25


NEW SHOPPING OUTLET


specialising in good quality furniture, electricals & clothing www.demelza.org.uk 01622 427885 98 Sandling Rd. Maidstone. ME14 2RJ


Parish Councils 34-35


A COUNCILLOR at Bredhurst was thanked for organising a village tidy-up; a resident has spoken up about parking worries in Detling; the parish council in Lenham re- ceived a report that a street light is on during the daytime; councillors are to pilot a scheme to limit parish meetings


to 2.5 hours at Kingswood; Crime Reports 35


MOTORBIKES caused damage to crops when they were ridden over farmland in Harrietsham; low value items were stolen from campers at Thurnham; a rabbit was stolen from a secured garden in Bearsted; a BMW was keyed in Boxley; jew- ellery was stolen in a burglary at a house in Bredhurst.


Obituaries 10% reduction on donated


goods with production of this ad. Ample Parking (former Royal Mail sorting office)


Donations help raise vital funds needed to support seriously ill children & their families


36 Comment 46-47


FREE No. 248 News


Nature reserve bid


A GROUP is to lobby to get four wild areas turned into a recognised nature reserve near Grove Green.


Cancer trek success


THE widow of a GP has raised cash for a cancer charity on a Grand Canyon trek.


6 Hughie Batchelor dies


A COLOURFUL farming character in the Thurnham area has died aged 90. 8


Bearsted festive fair 30


THE village holds its Christmas fair on Novermber 25. Full de- tails inside.


3


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