Category Archives: kent

Local Radio making a comeback as former 60’s pirate DJ and Maidstone Lion helps launch a new radio studio in Maidstone…

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Ian Davidson (front); Jason McCrossan (back far left); Kevin Field (back near left); Stuart Baker (left); Anita Crayford (far left)

Former Big L and Capital Radio presenter Ian Davidson attended the opening at Maidstone Radio where volunteers and supporters were able to see the new studio for the first time. Ian (pictured) was joined by fellow Maidstone Lion club associate Anita Crayford to present a cheque for £3,000 at the station based in The Maidstone Community Support Centre on Marsham Street.

Maidstone Radio will provide opportunities for local people to get involved with running a radio station, everything from presenting the programmes to managing the office. It will also provide training, learning and work experience programmes to people and community interest groups of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

Speaking at the event, one of the Maidstone Radio Directors Jason McCrossan said “Thanks to early funding from the Tesco’s ‘Bags of Help’ scheme and the Cobtree Charity Trust, we have been able to build and partly equip our new studio to a point where we can invite our volunteers and supporters in to look around, try out the equipment and hopefully get excited and motivated about our project and remind them we still need further funding and donations to help us get on air this summer”.

The radio station is seeking to raise a further £17,00 to help it get on air to buy equipment and pay for licensing costs. Stuart Baker, another Director of the station said “We want to bring back local radio to Maidstone, and The Maidstone Lions donation helps towards hitting our £17,000 target, which enables us to buy everything we need to have a fully functioning radio station and get us broadcasting”.

You can help get launch the station

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Once a long time ago…..

Jason, Kevin, Stuart.jpgWell – it has been ages since I last ventured to write something on here.

2 years in fact…or there abouts I could find out exactly, but that would seem to show that I’m more interested in the gap – than I am in what has brought me back to writing here today and in the future.

Last year – myself and two friends embarked on the idea of starting a community radio station in Maidstone in Kent.  We are still developing that idea and I plan to use this blog to continue to document our progress and share interesting stories about running a volunteering business.

Like most challenges in life – it is not easy.  But then, it shouldn’t be.  And we are not even at the end.  Nor the end of the beginning….what is it old Churchill said….we maybe at the beginning of the end!!

Hospice singers aim for Christmas number 1

Interview with Danny Lucas of @LitterGram

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Litter currently costs Britain £1bn per year and Jason’s guest tonight has set up a smart phone app which lets users report sights of litter directly to their council to clear it up.

Danny Lucas developed the Littergram app over a year ago and as well as chatting to Jason McCrossan about how it works – we also hear how Facebook is trying to force Littergram to change its name.

Mayor of London unveils plans for three new Thames river crossings

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Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has unveiled plans for three new Thames river crossings in East London.

After reviewing predecessor Boris Johnson’s plans, Mr Khan outlined plans for the new river crossings to be constructed in the next five to ten years in East London.

Mr Khan claims the move will ease congestion and cut pollution in the capital.

The plans include the fast tracking of a new pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Rotherhithe & Canary Wharf.

A Docklands Light Railway (DLR) crossing at Gallions Reach is also proposed to support the development of around 17,000 new homes across Newham and the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Further assessment work will be undertaken for a Barking Riverside-Abbey Wood London Overground crossing and a North Greenwich-Isle of Dogs ferry, supporting new development on the Greenwich Peninsula and the Isle of Dogs.

The plans also include the controversial Silvertown tunnel, which had been criticised previously for incurring a user charge by Mr Khan claiming it was “a tax on East and South East Londoners’.

The plans for the tunnel have been “enhanced” to encourage people to use public transport and include a low-emission bus zone and a cycle bus that will transport cyclists through the tunnel.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It’s no secret that London has long needed more river crossings in the east. With new homes and economic growth across East London, it becomes even more important that we deliver new greener transport links that allow Londoners to cross the river quickly and more easily.

“But we don’t want these to have a damaging impact on our environment, and that’s why I’ve reviewed and improved plans for Silvertown Tunnel and why I’m pushing forward with crossings that encourage public transport, walking and cycling.

“As we continue to unlock the massive economic potential of East London, we must secure the very best transport infrastructure that improves the quality of life for everyone living and working in the area.”

Alex Williams, Acting Managing Director of Planning at TfL, said London’s expanding population meant it was “vital” to support the plans. He commented: “The Mayor’s new vision for river crossings in East London is firmly rooted in supporting growth and providing better public transport links for all.

“We will now work hard to develop the designs for these new crossings, as well as identify potential funding opportunities, to allow them to be constructed more quickly.”

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Proposed site for Operation Stack lorry area announced

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Transport Secretary has announced proposed site for Operation Stack lorry area to be created near Stanford in Kent.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced that a new lorry area will be created near Stanford in Kent, to ease issues caused by Operation Stack and provide a long term solution to problems on the M20 and surrounding roads.

The new lorry area will help keep the M20 moving during cross-channel services, avoiding the level of disruption that comes with Operation Stack, which has caused issues for companies and other drivers and residents.

Operation Stack was used on a record 32 days last year as the area was hit with unprecedented disruption in the summer, which was followed by the Autumn Statement, in which the government announced it would be providing up to £250M for a permanent lorry area.

Lorry_area2.jpgChancellor George Osborne said: “We are taking bold action to deal with the severe inconvenience suffered by people living and working in Kent when cross-channel services are affected.

“A long-term solution that will keep traffic moving has been talked about for decades, but now we are delivering it. I look forward to construction starting as soon as possible.

Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, said: “Operation Stack is only ever used as a last resort but we recognise the impact it has on roads in Kent, and are determined to deliver an alternative solution.

“The new lorry area by the M20 will deliver better journeys for drivers and will not only support the region’s economy but also businesses as far away as Scotland that rely on the M20 to access the Port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel.

“We have committed up to £250 million for the lorry area and we are now making it a reality.”

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A total of 3,600 lorries will be able to park in the area, with the government looking at the idea of overnight parking to prevent drivers parking in unsuitable or illegal positions.

Balfour Beatty have been appointed as lead contractor for the project, which is west of the M20 junction 11 at Stanford West.

New entry and exit slip roads will be built on the eastbound carriageway, providing direct access to the lorry park.

Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England Chief Executive said: “The Secretary of State has asked us to progress a lorry area between Sellindge and Stanford. Direct access from the M20 means less lorries using local roads.

“We will work closely with residents and local stakeholders to ensure the design of the new lorry area minimises its social and environmental impact, while meeting the wider need to address this issue for Kent and the UK.”

Written responses were provided by 1,300 people, along with more than 1,000 drivers, residents and workers attending eight public events during the consultation on the lorry park.

The majority of people supported the idea, with less than a quarter thinking that Operation Stack should continue in its current form. The next step with be a consultation on the details and environmental impact the scheme will have.

Sittingbourne Sci-Fi event

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The town of Sittingbourne was invaded by a number of creatures from outer-space at the weekend as it played host to the 2nd annual Sci-fi event.

The town Centre became a Scifi and fantasy village with maps to guide spectators around so as not to miss out on the interactive performances, Steampunk displays, monsters and characters that descended into the town centre.

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Matt Cardle Intimate & Live

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Former X Factor winner Matt Cardle is touring Kent this summer with his “Intimate & Live” tour. He will be at the Marlowe and Orchard Theatres in July.

His tour has been devised to show his versatility as aside from winning X Factor, his previous albums have all reached the top 10 and he is best known for “When We Collide” – one of the Top 40 best-selling singles of the last decade.

Alongside hits from his previous albums and some personally selected covers, Matt will also be previewing some of his new material from his forthcoming studio album, Higher Power for the first time.

Among his achievements is an award presented last year for “Best West End Debut”, following his role as Huey Calhoun alongside Beverly Knight in the acclaimed West End production Memphis.

He spoke to Jason McCrossan on 106.9 SFM.

He will be at the Marlowe Theatre on Tuesday, July 5. For tickets call 01227 768768 or you can visit marlowetheatre.com

He will also be at the Orchard Theatre on Tuesday, July 19. For tickets call 01322 220000 or you can visit orchardtheatre.co.uk