Maidstone East Edition Maidstone South Edition
October 2017 June 2019 Panto ahoy!
£1.7mcost of council plan formodal shift
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
FRONTLINE council serviceswould losemore than £1.75mif aspirations todrivemotorists offMaidstone’s congestedstreets ever became a reality.
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
The Liberal Democrat-led bor-
CCTV call in a bid to stop fly-tipping
ough council’s policy of “modal shift”, which would see drivers ditch their vehicles in favour of al- ternative transport, is regularly cited as an answer toMaidstone’s traffic problems. But newFreedomof Information
(FOI) figures show motorists bankrolled the local authority to the tune of nearly £4mlast year. Drivers forked out more than
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
Dinesh dream FEARS the Liberal Democrats might fail to recapture High Streetward at the borough coun- cil elections on May 2 were un- founded. Dinesh Khadka (42), pictured
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
here with his wife Sangita, stormed to victory with an unas- sailable 852 votes, a majority of nearly 500 over his Conservative second place rival. The seatwaspreviously heldby
fellowLiberalDemocrat FranWil- son, who has decided to retire from frontline politics after 24 years. Election coverage – p10&11
saw a caravan burned out while a torched car remains on a footpath
£2.6mon parking, nearly £400,000 on permits, and in excess of £770,000 in penalty charges. Much of that income, the council
says, is ring-fencedunder law, and has to be reinvested in parking provision such as ticket machines and trafficwardens. But the council admitted: “In-
come relating to off-street parking charges is not covered by this leg- islation. For 2018/19 this was £1,751,495. This income is used to support frontline council services.” Former borough councillor John
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
Barned (pictured), who obtained the FOI figures, told Downs Mail: “It’s a mess. The council needs to stop, step back and take stock. “We’re building ourselves into oblivion,withmuch-neededhomes
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
but nomatching infrastructure. “Andwe’re charging shoppers to
council tax to fill its coffers. In April, it hikedthe levy by threeper cent – the maximum increase al- lowedwithout a referendum. Despite cars becoming a consid-
park in the town when competi- tors, like Bluewater, are free.” The borough relies primarily on
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
erable source of additional income, MBC insists it will forge ahead with its policy of modal shift, which it nowcalls “modal choice”. Aspokesman said: “We are pro-
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ities support businesses, residents and visitors,with “comparable tar- iffs toother towncentreparkingop- erators, offering a similar service”.
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.
Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper
FREE No. 246
Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper
Kate, 107, dies News
FREE No. 266
School’s Ofsted joy MP’s Local Plan bid
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.
EDUCATION inspectors have praised a special school for its “relentless” focus on raising standards.
Mayor in Belgium Plans for Dr Nigel
M&S sets a date
THE Mayor marked his final weeks in office with a trip to Belgium.
THE widow of GP Dr Nigel Minnet will walk the Grand Canyon for charity. 12
RETAIL giant M&S has indicated when its Eclipse Park project will begin work after signing a deal with developers.
Jason Donovan date
THE former Neighbours star brings his show to the Hazlitt Theatre next May.
MAIDSTONE’S crisis-hit Park and Ride service has been handed over to the bus company Arriva.
Obituaries Obituaries 6 Park & Ride ‘privatised’ 8 36 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.
DRUMS of cooking oil were stolen from a premises in Loose Road; number plates were stolen from a motorcycle in Gladstone Road; a vandal was seen damaging a property in Quarry Road; a large rock was thrown at a property’s window in Sandling Lane.
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BUS company Nu-Venture can- not service the North Street route because a ramp is too steep for the underside of its vehicles, Barmingmembers were told; flytipping was an issue again after a large fridge was dumped in Tovil; play equipment was due to be installed in Barming and it was hoped the new Mayor of Maidstone would be able to attend the opening; Tovil residents were urged not to sign up to a crime website.
Parish Councils 37 32
Crime Reports 35 Crime Reports 37
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
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