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Maidstone East Edition October 2017 June 2018 Panto ahoy!


Highways bosses in ‘manned gate’ plan


HIGHWAYS bosses are considering a “temporary manned gate” to pre- vent HGVs using Bearsted village as a ratrun when the M20 is shut for works, DownsMail can reveal.


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


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.


Night-time eastbound and west-


CCTV call in a bid to stop fly-tipping


bound closures havemeant traffic is redirectedoff themotorway at either junction seven or eight, causing havoc to the sleepingpatterns of res- idents. Trucks are meant to use the A20


and New Cut Road to by-pass the villages, but many routinely ignore signs. Now Highways England has ac-


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


cepted the sustained criticism, and is looking at mitigating measures, including a gate at Roundwell. A statement said: “We’re aware


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


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


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


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


CLLR Val Springett (pictured) counted traffic along the road dur- ing the M20 closures in specific one- or two-hour periods: May 1: 10-11pm (eastbound clo- sure J7-8) 344 cars/35 HGVs (op- posite direction: 24). May 3: 11-12pm (westbound clo- sure J8-7) 159 cars/10 HGVs (op- posite direction: 35 cars/3 HGVs). May 4 10-11pm (westbound J8-7) 316 cars/26 HGVs (opposite direc- tion: 40 cars). May 11 10-12pm (eastbound J7- 8) 661 cars/13 HGVs (opposite di- rection: 48 cars/1 HGV).


that drivers chose not to use the signed diversion along theA20 and used Bearsted village as an alterna- tive. “We always strongly encourage


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 Borough councillor Val Springett has calledfor a better solution ifM20


drivers to stick to the clearly signed diversion that is in place overnight. “It was carefully chosen as the


most suitable route for the type and volume of traffic that usually uses theM20 at night. “We did use ‘unsuitable for HGVs’ signage on entry to the vil- lage todeter traffic.However, for fu- ture closures we are looking at furthermitigations, such as installa- tion of a temporarymanned gate at the access of Roundwell.” and the Driver and


ehicle Stan- dards Agency to clamp down on


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


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


works continue with routine resur- facing, conversion to SMART mo- torway status and hard shoulder reinforcement forOperation Stack. Cllr Springett has used CCTV at


her home which picks up move- ments through the village to count the number of vehicles passing her house at night. Cllr Springett asked: “If they


knew that the works were going to take this long, did they not put in some formof contraflowsystem? “Unless they have to completely


shut it, they should keep at least one lane open. I appreciate that they have work to do but the noise and disruption is horrendous.” She hopes that a similar blue sign


to that on the A20 and agreed by Kent County Council will also help to deter truckers using Bearsted as a rat-run. A resident of The Street, said her


bedroom is just a few feet from the road,where 44-tonne trucks thunder past herwindow. She added: “It is awful. The place


shakes and shudders and the noise is constant. “It is obvious that the drivers are


taking the shortest route by ignoring the signs – and they don’t hang about either. Speeding can be an issue, too.”


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Shops are safe THE much-loved parade of shops in Bearsted has been saved after owners of W J Crouch, the village butcher, bought the building’s freehold for more than £500,000. There had been plans to re- develop the site as flats and shops.


12


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


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


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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News Kate, 107, dies News


Oyez! Crier required LENHAMhas a vacancy for a new village crier and is staging a talent contest asGez Clark retires fromthe job. 3


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


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


MP’s Local Plan bid 4


MBC boss complaint Plans for Dr Nigel


COUNCIL boss Alison Broom has filed a complaint about a county councillor.


A SITE for two new schools near Bearsted has been dropped.


M&S lodges plan


M&S has submitted an application for the M20 J7 Eclipse Park site.


14 Hazlitt panto star


SOAP star and comedian Richard Blackwood will star at the Hazlitt’s panto.


Obituaries Obituaries 20 3232 Parish Councils 34-35


VILLAGERS in Harrietshamhave reported a recent spate of rogue traders offering to fix roofs; the clerk at Kingswood & Broomfield is retiring; a delivery of grit salt was ordered but never received in Downswood; a resident in Lenham had requested information about traffic calming; the parish council in Kingswood could not carry out grass-cutting on private land.


ANTIQUES were stolen in a burglary in Lenham; a shed was broken into at Otham; a bag of four lawn bowls was taken from a car in Bearsted; a motorcycle was taken without consent in Harrietsham; a barn at a farm in Lenhamwas broken into.


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ASH dieback has been discovered in Monks Meadow in Detling; Hollingbourne village fete stall- holder co-ordinator Jean Duffy has resigned; yellow lines are needed for Buffkyn Way, Otham, to allow buses through Imperial Park; rub- bish bins in the sports field in Kingswoodare to be moved over to the picnic area and rear exit.


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


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


5


School site dumped Jason Donovan date


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


10 18 3


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