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‘School times should be same everywhere’
LOCALschools should “get their act together” and all start and finish at the
same time, according to bus boss Norman Kemp. Mr Kemp, managing director of
Nu Venture, claims haphazard start and finish times, inset days and dif- ferent school holiday dates were a “nightmare” for bus operators try- ing to provide an adequate service. He says bus companies could lay
on more buses at a fixed time if they knew the numbers of pupils requir- ing public transport, alleviating pressure on parents and helping ease congestion on the roads. He said: “We have an education system that thinks about the teach- ers, not about the children. If the schools got their act together, it would be easier to get childrenhome on one or multiple buses. “If they had the same start and fin-
charity funds KCC leader Paul Carter “rowed in” to raise funds forWest Farleigh charity Dandelion Time in a 1,000-mile rowathon involving hundreds of people. Cllr Carter headed a team from
KCC, who rowed more than 10,000m in 50 minutes, raising £1,000. He is pictured with team members Debbie Horton, Claire White, Sarah Nurden, Richard Hallett, Lucy Majin and Richard Long. The three-day non-stop event atNMAFitness in Marden raised £13,000. Full story – page 28.
ish times, it would remove an un- necessary expense for us and there would be less congestion at bus stops. “Parents should lobby against schools finishing early. We are a business – not a social service!” Although most secondary schools
have pupil registrations at about 8.30am, final classes finish at varying times. In StAugustineAcademy it is, with the exception of Thursdays, 2.50pm; for New Line Learning and Cornwallis academies it is 3pm, while both Maidstone Grammar School for boys and for girls end at 3.30pm. MrKempwas responding to com- plaints by parents of pupils at In-
victa Grammar School that they could not rely on buses to get their children into schools on time. Congestion in the town centre
often meant the buseswere delayed, making the children late for school. The journey time for children from
Grafty Green to the Maidstone grammar schools – a distance of about 10 miles – can be as long as one hour 15 minutes. One mother with daughters at In-
victa said all parents wanted their children to be independent, but the bus services made it impossible. It also meant she could not work full-time as she needed to be on hand for the school run. Speaking at a meeting of
12 Help homeless
this winter THE Downs Mail is inviting read- ers once again to give their gener- ous support to Maidstone Churches’ Winter Shelter.
The campaign will run from December 8 until the end of February. Seven churches will take turns to open at 7pm to pro- vide a meal, warmth, company,
entertainment, a bed and breakfast. Last year 37 homeless people re-
ceived help. “The needs have not diminished,” said Salvation Army Major Grayson Williams (pictured), chairman of the shelter trustees. Readers can help by volunteering in the evenings, giving food, cash or small gifts, or helping out with pro- fessional skills.
To help, contact 07906 628413 or firstname.lastname@example.org
. Donations can also be taken to the Salvation Army citadel in Union Street between 9am and noon.
THE BIG DEAL Free delivery and collection. Subject to terms and conditions.
Part exchange your old furniture for new!
The Big Yellow Building, St Peters St, Maidstone 01622 691 291 www.li
November 2014 No. 211 News Jobs to be lost
UP to 400 full-time roles could be lost, as KCC aims to save £206m during the next three fi- nancial years.
5 Warehouse refusal
GALLAGHERS Properties’ plan for a new trading estate close to M20 J8 has been turned down for a second time. 6
Best of both worlds
OUR latest feature on youth em- ployment and training focuses on the many benefits of apprenticeships.
A YALDING couple want to take matters in their own hands and build a new flood barrier to pro- tect their home.
32 Shopping disruption
TRADERS and customers will suf- fer four months of disruption when Week Street is dug up to lay a water main.
A TRIBUTE is paid to Ray Town, who played for sports teams in the Sutton villages.
Parish Councils 46-47
A METAL detector was to be used to locate drains in Egerton, where it was claimed no afford- able housing was needed; it was hoped spray marking could re- duce dog fouling in Headcorn; new timetables for bus services 5 and 89 were reportedly working well in Staplehurst; parents were urged to park a five-minute walk from the school in Yalding.
Crime Reports 47
CLOCKS were among items stolen from a home in Yalding, where a caravan was also taken. Ladders were taken from a van in Marden.
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