Maidstone East Edition

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

October 2017 March 4th Panto ahoy! - March 18th

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

Hazlitt panto’s back!

The much-loved venue in Earl Street will stage more than 60 shows between November 27 and January 4.

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

Management of the Parkwood Theatres-run playhouse have yet to reveal the star names who will take to the stage for Jack and the Beanstalk.

Ticket-holders from last year can carry them over, but the box office is ready to take bookings. It will be a post-lockdown boon

for residents who late last year faced the very real prospect of los- ing the Hazlitt.

Maidstone Borough Council at- tempted to sack Parkwood and

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

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

“mothball” the venue to save money lost as a result of falling revenues caused by COVID-19. But after a massive public back- lash and a campaign run by Downs Mail, the council was forced to back down in January. But the authority retained the right to challenge Parkwood’s per- formance in the future and a re- view is due in April. Parkwood Theatres’ managing director Tony Doherty said: “It has been a rough year for local people and we’re delighted to announce there will be a traditional panto. “We will not announce who the star will be until the summertime.

THE Hazlitt Theatre pantomime is ON this Christmas, Downs Mail can reveal.

CCTV call in a bid to stop fly-tipping

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 C M Y CM MY CY CMY K TEAGETHER 18 - 21 March 2021 CARING Host a virtual tea party TARINGEAGETHER C visit or call 08000 199622 Home Alarms supplied and fitted

to help care for people living with a terminal illness. To sign up or find out more visit

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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.

May 6 election is on

A SURGE in postal voting is ex- pected when the electorate de- cides on new borough and county councillors in May. Polls were can- celled last year die to COVID-19.


l See page 22 14:18

All the theatres are waiting and seeing in terms of those bookings. “We’re glad the council has de- cided to work with us again and hope we can deliver a fantastic panto for the people of Maidstone, who love their little theatre.” Jonathan Purle, Tory councillor and architect of the political fight- back which reversed the original MBC decision to shut the Hazlitt, said: “This is good news for the people of Maidstone. But there’s still uncertainty and we must con- tinue to guard against any further council initiatives that might result in a loss of key theatre jobs or the mothballing of the Hazlitt itself.”

FREE No. 246


Kate, 107, dies News

No. 290

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.


Note riddle solved MP’s Local Plan bid

Plans for Dr Nigel Business booming

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

FIND out how one young busi- nessman has thrived during the pandemic after moving to the Business Terrace.

Jason Donovan date

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

Hospice boss leaves

HEART of Kent Hospice boss Sarah Pugh has an- nounced she is leaving.

Greens’ challenge

PROPOSALS to allow free park- ing for electric cars in Maid- stone have been attacked by the Green Party – who argue for better public transport instead.

Obituaries Obituaries


à12 à33 32 à35

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.

Postie’s van tribute A PROCESSION of red Royal Mail vans led the cortege for popular postie Paul Dunmill.

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.

COUNCIL planners have been or- dered not to message developers during virtual meetings.

Pipe damage Comment 46-47

SOUTH East Water officials have blamed traffic volumes in Leeds village for a series of burst water pipes – and is now investigating solutions to the problem.

à30 Comment à45-47 18 à10 à4

THE mystery behind a series of kind anonymous messages left in the borough has been solved by Downs Mail.

& Fortnightly

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper




Planners’ note ban Crime Reports 35


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