Maidstone East Edition No. 1 newspaper October 2017 July 22nd Panto ahoy!

Woman found dead at scandal-hit mental unit

A WOMAN has died at the scandal-hit Cygnet mental hospital on the Kent Medical Campus in Maidstone, Downs Mail can reveal.

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

- August 4th

South Borough Primary School and members of the media. The panto runs from December 1-31. For tick- ets go to

The 29-year-old died at the pri-

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

Would ewe believe it!

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

SUMMER is here! Kent County Show might be on hold, but a scaled-back summer fayre entertained thousands desperate for normality to return. The COVID-19 secure event at the county showground was a scaled-down version of the annual celebration of rural Kentish life, which had been postponed because of the pandemic. Limited to 4,000 visitors on both days, the fayre featured show- jumping, livestock displays, inter-hunt competitions and farrier contests. Nikki Dorkings, show manager, said: “The atmosphere was fantastic, and it was wonderful to see people enjoying them- selves after a difficult year.” l Report page 8

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

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

vate 65-bed facility but it is not clear if she was a patient. Emma Pring, who was not local to Kent, passed away on April 20. A five day inquest will take place at the Shepway Centre, Maidstone, early next year. Cygnet, which ac- cepts referrals from the criminal jus- tice system, has faced problems since it opened. Two years ago, a men- tally-ill man was released early in error, only to kill his father days later. Jonathan McMillan (28), of Bar- row-in-Furness, pleaded guilty to manslaughter through diminished responsibility and the judge de- manded an inquiry into his release. Two psychiatrists told a court Mr McMillan was severely mentally ill, and they could not understand why he had been let out of Cygnet. Shortly after it opened, in October

2018, Cygnet was under investiga- tion for a "disproportionate" num- ber of assaults. In August 2019, we revealed police were called to dozens of violent incidents at the unit. A Care Quality Commission re- port recorded "serious incidents" in- cluding violence, possession of a weapon and an escape.

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.

Residents, community and faith leaders questioned the suitability of the site, which has since had a pri- mary and special needs school built next to it.

A Cygnet spokesman said: “We are greatly saddened by the death of Emma Pring, who was much-re- spected by the staff team and service users at Cygnet Hospital Maidstone. Our thoughts and condolences are very much with Emma’s family.” web design google promotion ecommerce

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Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

Kate, 107, dies

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 Frank’s comeback

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

Surgery abuse

A CAT from Maidstone called Frank, who was given up as lost four years ago, has turned up in Essex as a stray.

4 Plans for Dr Nigel

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

STAFF at a village surgery are being abused by the pub- lic every day.

Jason Donovan date

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

Hero’s medal sale

THE medals of a hero WW2 pilot with a colourful past are for sale.

Blow dries for Bibles

Obituaries Obituaries Parishes

A HAIRDRESSER from Maidstone has become a Church of England deacon.


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.

Allotment row latest BEARSTED allotment holders spoke to parish council mem- bers about proposals to move their plots.

SIX puppies and two dogs have been rescued from a prop- erty in Headcorn.

Cabinet is coming

Parish Councils 34-35 à35

à33 à19

Comment à45-47 à17

‘Despicable’ vandals 18

A PRE-SCHOOL has been at- tacked by vandals in an ‘despi- cable act’, according to a community leader.

à8 à12 à3 3


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.

Crime Reports 35 Eight dogs rescued

à27 Comment 46-47

THE borough council is to drop the committee system of gover- nance in favour of a cab- inet structure.


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