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No. 1 newspaper Maidstone East Edition October 2017 May 2019 Panto ahoy! Councillors in training on TheGreen News


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


COUNCILLORS proved they were fit for officewhen trainers put themthrough their paces on Bearsted Green. Thememberswere among the


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.


first to attendtasterworkoutspi- oneered by the parish council in a bid to boost the health of the village. The sessions start at 10.30am at the Elizabeth Harvie Field on Mondays and The Green on Saturdays.


CCTV call in a bid to stop fly-tipping


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


Leaked papers, seen by Downs


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


Mail, say the borough’s legal bill at the point of settlement was £48,554. The county’s tab topped £55,000. MBC launched proceedings


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


against KCC last summer to secure a judicial ruling, following a dis- agreement with the county council over the way developers’ cash is spent on local infrastructure. Maidstone’s Liberal Democrat


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


leader Martin Cox and chief execu- tive Alison Broom said the action was to achieve “clarity”, but Tory leader, John Perry, questioned the wisdom of bankrolling a legal ac-


tion against another local authority in the light of “financial constraints and looming cuts to services”. Labour leader, Malcolm McKay,


court action in March, claiming a settlement had been agreed. County councillor Gary Cooke


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


called for out-of-court discussions. MBC pulled the plug on the


said: “They have wasted 10 months and tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money. “What has been agreed to


should have been agreed around a negotiating table.” The cost of the legal action came


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


Taxpayers to pick up £100k legal row bill


TAXPAYERS have lost over £100,000 following Maidstone Borough


Council’s aborted High Court action against Kent County Council. to light in April, just days after Maidstone introduced a council tax hike above the rate of inflation. The local authority voted to levy


a 3% increase on households, even though CPI inflation, which bench- marks the rising cost of household budgets, stood at 1.8% in January. The rise is the maximum al-


lowed without councillors being compelled to hold a referendum. Council tax is the principal


source of funding for the borough, which claimed it could net nearly £160,000 worth of services for each 1% increase.


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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.


Schools plan


ACOUNCIL debate on plans to build schools near theM20 J7 has been dropped.MBC of- ficers felt the schemes would go before members too close to the local elections of May2 and will be rescheduled.


visit www.amiga.co.uk or call 08000 199622


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Home Alarms supplied and fitted


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


downsmail.co.uk No. 246


FREE


Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper


News


Kate, 107, dies No. 265


FREE


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


Curate’s newparish


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


3


BEARSTED curateMelissa Carter ismoving onwith guide dog Zoe to become vicar in a coastal parish this summer.


Floodwork at park Plans for Dr Nigel


THE borough council is poised to carry out significant flood defence works in Mote Park.


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


4


Jason Donovan date Cash to restore pond


VOLUNTEERS have used a cash boost to bring Lenham’s village pond to life.


County showappeal


COUNTY show organisers are calling for volunteers to support this year’s Detling event.


Obituaries


19 32


THE Bredhurst village show will not take place this year following difficulty in forming an organis- ing committee; Downswood Parish Council agreed to donate £200 to Maidstone Citizens’ Advice Bureau; councillors called for a clampdown on speeding motorists in Hollingbourne; residents’ concern over dog waste in the woods behind Leeds playing field is to be reported to the parish’s police community support officer.


Parish Councils34-35 Obituaries


YOUTHS damaged a shop win- dow in Harrietsham; two bee- hives were destroyed at a farm in Lenham; a petrol strimmer and chainsaw were stolen from a shed in Leeds; a Ford Transit was stolen from a Boxley industrial estate; youths threw stones at a property in Broomfield.


32 Parish Councils 34-35


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


18 6


MP’s Local Plan bid 3 4


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