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Maidstone East Edition October 2017


Panto ahoy! April 2018


Our WIs at 100


THE Women’s Institute is celebrat- ing its centenary around the coun- try this year. To mark this special anniversary,


South Borough Primary School and members of the media. The panto runs from December 1-31. For tick- ets go to www.hazlitttheatre.co.uk.


Downs Mail is publishing a two- page special report examining why this great British institution has sur- vived – and continues to thrive. The ladies of the Bearsted &


Thurnham WI are pictured here en- joying an afternoon of craft-mak- ing. Special report, pages 18 & 19.


CCTV call in a bid to stop fly-tipping


Hospital fears cast doubt over schools


CALLS for the installation of CCTV cameras to prevent fly-tipping on a country road have been made by the local borough councillor.


Burberry Lane, near Leeds and Broomfield, has been targeted by waste dumpers for years, but in re- cent months, the problem has be- come more acute. Constructionwaste, rubble, hard


The privately-run unit at the


core, windows and household fur- niture is left illegally – often strewn in the middle of the road. Cllr Gill Fort said: “Every month


KentMedical Campus (KMC) will house men held under the Mental Health Act and women with per- sonality disorders or who self- harm. Some of the male patients will be referred through the crimi- nal justice system. Now local MP Helen Whately –


we are having toilets, sinks and construction waste dumped in the village, specifically in Burberry Lane, where we are now thinking of installing cameras on private land, to oversee the problem area.” A recent event in Burberry Lane


who fought to secure funding for primary and special needs schools - is concerned the KMC site is un- suitable unless the mental hospi- tal’s remit is amended. She said: “I’mconcerned there is


saw a caravan burned out while a torched car remains on a footpath


now an issue with this site.We ei- ther find away to restrict the use of this mental health unit or we have to find a newsite for the schools.” ButCygnet – the £180mturnover


company which will run it – said patients’ welfare and the commu- nities in which its units are sited are a “top priority”. Downs Mail discovered another


nearby, more than a year after it was dumped and set on fire. The church car park has also seen


of the group’s facilities, Cygnet Hospital Godden Green,


in


many instances of illegal dumping. But it is a problem in many rural


Sevenoaks, was fined £20,000 for failing tomeet “fundamental stan- dards”. The company paid up rather


than face prosecution by the gov- ernmentwatchdog, the Care Qual- ity Commission (CQC). Godden Green had previously been rated as good by the CQC. Cygnet declined to comment on


the fine. Cllr Denis Spooner, the borough councillor for Bearsted, said:


areas including Langley, Otham and Kingswood. Water Lane in Bearsted and Pilgrims Way have also been targeted recently. Last year, Maidstone Borough Council cleared 911 cases of fly-tip- ping and this year more than 163 have been recorded since April. The approaching darker evenings will prompt a rise in illegal tipping. Cllr Fort welcomed a joint initia-


tive by the Environment Agency and the Driver and Vehicle Stan- dards Agency to clamp down on


TWOmuch-needed schools serving Bearstedmay be in jeopardy because amental hospital is being built on the same site.


“These places should surely be sited in remote locations, so having an institution in such close proxim- ity to housing is absolutely awful – and right next to two schools does- n’t bear thinking about.” The KMC site is in Maidstone


unlicensed waste carriers, but be- lieves the cost to small firms of dis- posing of construction waste at a transfer station is proving a deter- rent that is costing councils more. Cllr Fort made her remarks as


Borough Council’s Local Plan, which sets out its plans for develop- ment for the next decade ormore. Cllr Spooner – who sits on


MBC’s planning committee – said the spectrum of uses for a medical facility under planning rules is “verywide”. He added: “For instance, it could


be anything fromamaternityward to a lunatic asylum. “We have yet to get a clear pic-


ture of what sort of place Cygnet intends to run.” But one local resident said:


one of the borough’s closest trans- fer stations at North Farm, Tun- bridge Wells, announced it will be closed for 10weeks. She added: “If you go along the


line of increasing fines, they have to be enforced. A reduction in the charge or offering it free may have the desired similar effect.” Athree-monthly litter pick on the mile-long stretch of road through Leeds village produces an average 32 black sacks of rubbish.


Cllr Fort, who also serves as a


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“Most folk would have no issue with people being treated so that they can re-join society but we’d want to know a lot more. Other- wise,we’ll have to rename the road out of Bearsted ‘Beware Street.’” Full report, page 8


parish councillor, says teaching children about social responsibility and the issue of litter in schools will help take the issue off the streets. She believes with every household receiving a weekly refuse collection service, there is no excuse for litter being thrown from vehicles or dumped in the road.


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THE cast of Cinderella, which is to be staged at the Hazlitt Theatre in Maid- stone, took to the River Medway to launch this year's panto. On board The Kentish Lady were national treasure Rustie Lee (Fairy Godmother), former EastEnder Ste- fan Booth (Prince Charming), Eliza- beth Bright (Cinderella), Craig Anderson (Buttons) and, pictured, Stephen Richards and Adam Bor- zone (Ugly Sisters) . They were greeted by pupils from


downsmail.co.uk No. 246


FREE


Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper


FREE News


News


Kate, 107, dies No. 252


KATE Hart, a resident at an old people’s home in Bearsted, has died aged 107, her son David has disclosed.


Parking price hike THEREwas furious reaction to massive price hikes to off-street parking charges in Maidstone.


HELEN Whately asked the government to halt the borough’s housing scheme.


A TEMPORARY library has been opened at the rail sta- tion in Bearsted.


Foreign GPs on way Ukippers go indie


UKIP borough councillors have quit the party to set up as independents.


16


Election 2018 details 20-21


EIGHTEEN borough council seats are up for grabs on May 3.


Obituaries strMonks Obituaries


eet lights in Maidstone Road had notHollingbourne village fete stall- berholder co-ordinator Jean Duffy has in Horesigned; yellow lines are needed for Buffkyn Way, Otham to allow through Imperial Park; rub-


Parish Councils 34-35 VILASH dieback has been discovered in


Parish Councils 34-35 LAGERS in Lenhamwere worried worked for about a year; m m-


Meadow in Detling;


s of the Women’s Institute llingbournehave backed the idea of having a volunteer support w,arden; the vibusesllage hall sign in Kingswoodhas deteriorated and is obscured by trees; Kingswoodare to be moved over to the picnic area and rear exit.


bish bins in the sports field in residents in housing at Bredhurst were asked to contribute towards unadopted road pothole repairs.


DIESEL was stolen from a lorry parked in a layby in Detling; clothes and jewellery were stolen from a house in Leeds; a caravan was stolen from Lenhamand later abandoned; roadworking tools were stolen from a van in Lenham; a child’s slide was stolen from a Bredhurst garden.


Crime Reports 35 Crime Reports 35


VEHICLES have been driven over farmland in Lenham, causing damge to crops; an attempted break-in was reported in Detling; a vehicle was vandalised in Bearsted Rd, Weavering; pumpkins were stolen from an allotment in Lenham.


Comment 46-47 Comment 46-47


32 32 3


MP’s Local Plan bid 4-5


Temporary library Plans for Dr Nigel


THE widow of GP Dr Nigel Minnet will walk the Grand Canyon for charity. 12


6


UP TO 150 foreign GPs are set to be recruited to cover shortages in Kent.


Jason Donovan date 12


THE former Neighbours star brings his show to the Hazlitt Theatre next May.


18


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