Maidstone East Edition

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

October 2017 February 4th Panto ahoy! - March 3rd

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

Reprieve for theatre

THE Hazlitt Theatre and arts cen- tre has been saved after a short, sharp lesson in people power. Maidstone residents, outraged at the borough council’s plans to “mothball” the venue and termi- nate the contract of its operators, Parkwood Leisure, rose as one in thunderous rebellion. Council chiefs, including its top officers and political leaders, pushed for closure in the face of cuts needed to stem lost revenues caused by COVID-19.

Maidstone Borough Council

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.

voted cross-party for MBC to take back control of the arts centre and terminate the Parkwood contract. This was later overturned and de- ferred to January. Tory borough councillor Jonathan

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

(MBC) claimed the volte-face was because vaccines were being rolled out across the borough. On January 26, elected members agreed to retain the contract with Parkwood Leisure, which runs the venue for MBC, with a review in April.

Last November, a committee

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

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

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

Purle, who orchestrated the over- turning of the original decision which led to the result, said: “This shows why everybody who protested at the original decision – those who signed petitions, lob- bied councillors and spoke at meet- ings – and those councillors who supported our challenge to that de- cision were right to do so.” The threat of closure was met with a massive public outcry, and Downs Mail led the way in oppo- sition to the plans with a social media campaign attracting more than 5,000 followers on Facebook. Late last year, MBC’s senior leadership argued to lose Park-

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

01622 690290 YOUR LOCAL PROPERTY EXPERT 23 Pudding Lane • Maidstone • Kent

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.

Yalding PO joy

A CHANGE of heart by Govern- ment over core funding has saved Yalding’s village Post Office for another year. The sub-postmas- ter says he is “very happy”.

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wood, as the authority needs to ur- gently make £2m in savings caused by falling revenues, such as park- ing charges, hit by COVID-19. Cllr Paul Harper, chair of the economic regeneration and leisure committee, said: “We realise that the continuing COVID-19 restric- tions have left a lot of uncertainly for the future for all of us and this is a changing picture since the fu- ture of the Hazlitt was first consid- ered in November 2020, we are a lot further on since then. “However, with restrictions still

in place, the council has agreed to monitor and review the situation again in three months. In the meantime, MBC will continue to work with Parkwood Leisure to support their successful re-opening of the Hazlitt Arts Centre.” l Hazlitt Timeline, page 8 l Parkwood view, page 47

FREE No. 246


Kate, 107, dies News

No. 289

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

MP’s Local Plan bid What’s the link?

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

FIND out the local connection between Test cricket, Olympic athletes and Rolling Stone Mick Jagger’s father.

Plans for Dr Nigel

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

Otham legal threat

Jason Donovan date Roofer remembered

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

A ROOFER who died from a brain tumour on Boxing Day is remembered.

Demolition concern

LANDOWNERS in Lenham fear they will have their property seized or demolished after a legal letter from lawyers acting for Maidstone Borough Council.

Obituaries Obituaries

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.

Parish Councils 34-35 Comment à44-47


Cycle route ‘chaotic’ THE controversial pop-up cycle route in King Street, Maidstone, ‘caused chaos’in its short existence.

COVID-19 morgue Crime Reports 35

Vicious thug jailed 32

à14 à33 à35

OPPONENTS to a large housing plan for Otham are threatening to challenge its approval in the courts.

18 à10 à4 4 à3 3 & Fortnightly

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper


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

A THUG who brutally beat a woman at her Maidstone home and then hid from police in a cupboard has been jailed.

A TEMPORARY morgue set up in Aylesford empahsises how serious the situation in Kent has become.



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