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Volunteer Mike’s dedication rewarded

FORMER borough councillor Mike FitzGer- ald has won the lifetime achievement award as part of Celebrate Maidstone 2014. The awards, now in their third year, are or- ganised by Jubilee Church and honour the area’s unsung heroes with an emphasis on volunteers in 2014. Mike was parish councillor for Coxheath in

1967 when he devised theWorld Custard Pie Throwing Championships. He has been at the forefront of voluntary work in Maidstone for many years. After moving to Chart Sutton,Mike became

a parish councillor for Chart Sutton and Boughton Monchelsea and then borough councillor for over 10 years.Hewas Mayor of Maidstone in 2007/8. It was while Mike’s children were at the

Holy Family School in Park Wood that he started to support charities in this area and assist the local community.Mike helped cre- ate ParkWood MAPS, linking all of the char-

Garden plan PLANNING permission has been granted to build a Victo- rian style glasshouse at Boughton Monchelsea Place. The new structure will re-

place a similar glasshouse that once stood in the kitchen gar- dens to the north of the main house in Church Hill, Boughton Monchelsea. Maidstone Council gave the go-ahead on condition that ex- cavation works are observed and items of archaeological are examined and recorded.

Mike FitzGerald receives his trophy from last year’s winner, Trevor Phipps

ities and organisations working in Park Wood. In addition to MAPS, Mike is the chairman of the trustees of Fusion Healthy Living Centre in ParkWood and chairman of MaidstoneChristian Care, a charity dedicated to helping the homeless and hungry in Maid- stone. Mike is well known to Voluntary Ac- tion Maidstone (VAM), assisting with

numerous charities and his initiative, theVol- unteer Centre, is still going strong in Maid- stone Town Hall. Chief executive of VAM, Charlotte Osborn- Forde, said: “Mike is one of the most dedi- cated and determined people I have met; he is genuinely passionate about making a dif- ference for people in Maidstone and works tirelessly to do this. Iamdelighted he is being recognised with this award. “The number of people and organisations

that have to thank Mike FitzGerald are too numerous to mention. He has a knack of per- suading people to give their time to help any- one who is in need.” Last year’s winner, head teacher of Bower

Grove School Trevor Phipps, and Charlotte Osborn-Forde brought the exciting news to Mike. Please visit www.celebratemaid- or call 01622 804356 to nomi- nate the unpaid volunteer who has made a difference in your life.

Gypsy families apply to move in TWO families of 13 people could join the gypsies living in Fritten- den Road, Staplehurst. A planning application, to be considered by Maidstone Council,

has been submitted to put two static caravans, two touring caravans and two utility buildings on land east of Maplehurst Lane. In a July planning committee meeting, Cllr Richard Thick said

that five traveller families live in Maplehurst Lane, compared to four settled families. “It is forced domination,” he said.

Letters from Santa will help hospice THE Heart of Kent Hospice is arranging for children to receive a letter from Santa, while raising money for the charity. The letters are £4.50 each, and must be ordered by December 6, at, or at the hospice shops.

Poplars can go PLANNING permission has been granted to fell six poplar trees in a conservation area close to Marden Railway Sta- tion. Valerie Brown’s planning ap- plication said the trees at South Lodge, Church Green were brit- tle and posed a risk to the rail- way line as well as users of the station car park. Maidstone Council gave the go-ahead to the fellings on condition that six new trees are planted in their place.

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