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FREE Maidstone Town | Maidstone East | Maidstone South | Malling Papa’s team takes away chippie award

A DITTON fish and chip shop has been declared the third best take- away “chippie” in Britain in the 2015 National Fish & Chip Awards. Papa’s Barn on London Road

was also regional winner for Lon- don and the South East. Co-owner Michael Papa-Adams said: “This is the second year we have been recognised as one of the UK’s best fish and chip businesses.” The 10 finalists were shortlisted after unannounced shop visits from judges. They were assessed on product quality, sustainable sourc- ing policies, marketing initiatives

The team from Papa’s Barn fish and chip shop in Ditton celebrate their success at the 2015 National Fish and Chip Awards

and customer service. Paul Williams, chief executive of organiser Seafish, said: “Papa’s Barn stood out for its commitment

to product quality, customer serv- ice and excelling at providing a fan- tastic fish and chip eating experience.”

7,300 sign petition to let park cafe couple stay

MORE than 7,300 people have signed a petition pleading for the operators of the Cobtree Cabin

cafe to be allowed to stay. Don and Marion Wyatt, from Mereworth, have run the café at Cobtree Manor Park for the past 14 years, building it up from a shabby shed into a thriving business. A new café and visitor centre is being built as part of a multi-million pound revamp of the park, and the Wyatts believed they would be al- lowed to tender for the operation. However, they have now been told The Cobtree Manor Estate Trust plans to operate the facility itself. An online petition launched by their daughter Caroline, a student at Durham University, has attracted al- most 7,400 signatures from regular customers and local people who do not like the changes proposed for the new-look Cobtree Park.

Caroline said: “Some of the changes are positive, but some of the decisions have been made in poor taste, without consideration of the local community.” The Wyatts have always lived in Kent and Mrs Wyatt spotted the op- portunity for a café while walking her dogs each day.


The Wyatts have been operating from a temporary cabin while the new café is under construction (behind)

Caroline said: “My father started the business in 2002, when the park was rarely used. Since then, he has built up a loyal trade through hard work, affordable prices, good qual- ity food, and a friendly face. “Don and Marion epitomise small, independent, family businesses that we should fight to keep.”

Although the trust owned the for- mer building, the business and goodwill that went with it belonged to Don. On the understanding that Maidstone council, which operates the park for the trust, would re-tender, he has remained


plan revealed CLIMBING walls, ice skating and crazy golf could all be on the cards in a scheme to inject energy – and cash – into Maidstone’s Mote Park. The award-winning park, voted second-best park in Britain, is look- ing at spreading its appeal, with a plan to create an adventure zone. The pay-to-use facility on a 0.7 hectare site would include Seg- way hire, high ropes courses and a climbing wall. Other ideas in- clude adventure golf and seasonal ice skating.

Maidstone Council’s cabinet, which last year agreed to use the park as a revenue raiser, thus re- ducing the cost of providing culture and leisure services, has agreed to spend up to £790,000 on creating the attraction and a café. Officers have modelled their pro- posals on the Adventure Zone at the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham, which they claim has a superior safety record compared with other high ropes courses. Since then, a significant amount of work has been under- taken by council officers, 4

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March 2015 No. 215 News Burger van victory

LEE Blundell has been told he can serve fast food in the vicinity of a retail park after initially being told to leave.

3 Home land could go

RESIDENTS have been asked to give up some of their land to allow the creation of a new footpath.

Newsprint folds

A PAPER mill, which has been in operation for 93 years, has sud- denly closed – leaving 230 redundancies.

Homes for veterans

FLATS specificially for injured and sick servicemen could be established.


Obituaries Comment

46-47 30

33 Parish Councils 34-43

SIGNS had been erected on the A20 in Addington; a cat was in- jured by a pellet in Ditton; provi- sions were made for sandbags and a snow plough in East Peck- ham; goldfish had been put into a public pond in Offham, where new calendars were to be sold.

Crime Reports 43

CONCRETE garden ornaments were stolen in Ryarsh; a Skoda was damaged in East Malling.

6 5

Inside this edition:

WEST Malling Village Hall is cele- brating its 40th anniversary. For details see the four-page supple- ment by Malling Action Partner- ship, which supports people, businesses and events in the 11 parishes in the Malling area.

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