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News


downsmail.co.uk Uniting for lorry ban action


A PUBLIC meeting calling into question Kent Police's effectiveness in dealing with illegal lorries in rural villages is being considered by a roads campaigner. Sean Randell, frustrated at the


lack of action in tackling truckers breaking the HGV ban in Collier Street, will join forces with other local community action groups to apply pressure on the force. Kent Police recently admitted it


issued no fixed penalty notices at all in 2020.


Mr Randell will be liaising with nearby parishes including Leeds and Langley (pictured), which has also suffered lorry drivers defying the weight restriction on the B2163. Surrounding parishes will be tar- geted too.


He hopes he will be able to or- ganise an open-air public meeting when COVID-19 restrictions allow. Mr Randell said: "My experience


of Kent Police and action to over- size and speeding vehicles using B and unclassified roads is not a good one. I really do not know


Man charged


with burglary A MAN from Wateringbury has been charged with 15 counts of fraud and burglary.


Douglas Brown (54), of Bow Road, reportedly stole cash and bank cards from an address in the village multiple times between April 2 and April 16. It is alleged that following two of the break-ins, bank cards were then used to buy train and bus tickets, tobacco, alcohol and food items in Maidstone town centre. Mr Brown was later charged with four burglaries and 11 frauds. He appeared before Medway Magistrates’ Court the following day, and was remanded to a hear- ing at Maidstone Crown Court on May 21.


Fire displays


HEADCORN fire show will take place on July 3 and 4.


Organised by the Fire Service Preservation Group, the event is a weekend family event to celebrate the history of the fire service from Victorian times through to today. Gates open from 10am to 5pm


on both Saturday and Sunday at Headcorn Aerodrome.


Check the FSPG Facebook page for updates.


8 Twirlywoos at the Hazlitt


THE Hazlitt Theatre is putting on a special show for children next month. The Twirlywoos are set to visit the county town on June 2 and 3 for four shows, at 1.30pm and 4pm on June 2, and 11am and 1.30pm on June 3. A Hazlitt spokesman said: “Expect plenty of music, surprises and mis-


chief. With beautifully inventive puppetry, the show promises a cast full of all your favourite characters from the hit TV show.” To book go to www.parkwoodtheatres.co.uk/Hazlitt-Theatre


On May 13, Kent Police set up a lorry checkpoint near Leeds Castle on the B2163.


what has to happen for them to act. "What will make them actually


do something? The roads around the Low Weald and generally any roads that are not trunk or A roads are not geared up for the sort of traffic they are now taking. “I have spoken to a number of parishes – we need to unite to get Kent Police and Kent County Council to act and quickly."


Mr Randell added: "Once we


know where we stand regarding the pandemic restrictions, we'll be inviting all the local areas affected by this issue to contribute to a much wider debate. “Perhaps there are similar prob-


lems in other areas in Kent, not just Maidstone. "Clearly, Kent Police have shown they are not interested in enforcing


Tim’s Beacons challenge


A KEY worker from Coxheath is preparing to tackle the 100-mile Brecon Beacon challenge on May 24.


General manager of oncology


at Maidstone NHS Trust, Tim Gosden has set up a JustGiving page to raise money for Mind. Mr Gosden said he suffered


from anxiety when the pandemic hit last year.


He said: “Rarely did a night pass where I got more than a snatched few hours of sleep at a


time. I am known for being a pretty energetic guy, but all my motivation left me. I was really struggling. “I work in the NHS as a service manager in a busy emergency de- partment. I’ve always thrived on the buzz my job gives me but as COVID-19 kicked off, only got worse.”


things “Being married to a mental


health nurse made it difficult to hide the symptoms.” To donate go to bit.ly/3vZZjdB.


County councillor Gary Cooke said: “They haven’t been near here for about a year, maybe more. Lorry drivers do what they like but it’s a start, I guess. They need to make it regular to deter them.” A Kent Police spokesman said: “I would urge residents who witness speeding vehicles or lorries com- mitting offences to take down the details and report it to Kent Police. “This information can be invalu- able in assisting us to plan the de- ployment of our resources.” l Lorry news, page 32 l Letters, page 45-46


Appeal win for village


plan builder THE company which has sub- mitted a planning application for a garden village for about 4,000 houses beside the county showground, Detling, has won a major appeal to build 675 homes at Borden, Sitting- bourne. The approval comes in the face of massive local and council op- position. The decision maker was MP Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government. The major difference between


the Borden site and Binbury Park, Detling, is the latter is an area of outstanding natural beauty and Quinn Estates would need to overcome Government protection of land with this spe- cial designation. The firm has a record of one such success in East Kent. Parish councils in and around Detling are now pondering the Borden decision. They are antic- ipating Maidstone Borough Council will refuse the applica- tion – and that this would lead to another appeal by Quinn Es- tates.


the law, so we have to raise the issue as loudly as we can until something is done. Presently, I am hearing words, but I am not seeing much action.”


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