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Online loery could be winner for council

CASH-strapped Tonbridge and Malling Council is hoping to hit the jackpot by becoming the first local authority in Kent to launch an online lottery.

The weekly lotto will cost £1 per play, with a maximum prize of £25,000 – a chance of about one in a million, but more than a hundred times better odds than winning the Euromillions draw.

Cabinet members approved in-

vesting £13,000 in the scheme, which it is hoped will raise money for good causes including clubs, societies and village halls. These previously ben- efited from the council’s Commu- nity Enhancement Fund, which it used to help charities, but this pot of money, drawn from the Govern- ment’s New Homes Bonus, ran out last year. Faced with increasing fi- nancial challenges, the council could no longer make such payments. The new lottery will allow players

to support their chosen local charity with 50p from every £1 ticket sold. Of the remaining 50p, 20p will go to the prize fund, 12p to an external lot- tery manager and 18p to a central pot, administered by the council, for distribution to other good causes. If a player does not have a charity in mind, the amount paid into the cen- tral pot will be 68p.

The top-prize winner will need to match six numbers to win £25,000 and their chosen good cause will also receive a matching amount. There will be further prizes of £1,000 for five correct numbers and £100 for four correct numbers, plus three free plays for three correct numbers. Tickets will be available online and winners will be notified by email.

Tonbridge and Malling Council said it was too expensive to run the lottery in-house as the cost of buying the necessary software was about £50,000 and staff would be needed to administer it.

About £10,000 of the council’s ini- tial outlay will go to software com- pany Capen Ltd for setting it up, website design, branding support and admin costs, and £3,000 will be spent on marketing.

The prize fund will be insured, with the premiums payable by Capen Ltd, so there will be no finan- cial risk to the counci.

The council will apply to the Gam- bling Commission for a licence to operate a remote local author- ity lottery. If successful, the

6 Carys makes light work of title

A BARMING teenager lucky to be alive after being born severely premature is targeting the Olympics after winning a regional weightlifting title. Carys Harper (15), who attends St Augustine’s Acad- emy in Maidstone, won the Lion Heart category at this year’s Celebrate Maidstone awards for overcoming dif- ficulties to achieve great things. Born 12 weeks premature and weighing only 3lb, Carys – daughter of Zoe Reed and step-dad Chris – was initially unable to breathe without an incubator. Diag- nosed with dyscalculia, a brain disorder causing diffi- culty in making arithmetical calculations, she struggled at school but with the help of Jayne Bradshaw, her men- tor at St Augustine’s Academy, she refused to give up. Her fighting spirit led her to take up kickboxing, re- ceiving her junior black belt in March 2013. Teacher Michael Blackford introduced her to

April 2016 No. 228 News Election decision

KENT’S controversial police and crime commissioner Ann Barnes says she will not restand in the May elections. 5

Religious concern

A PROPOSAL to rebuild a mosque in the town cen- tre has been criticised.

6 Friday is market day

A FARMERS’ market will take place every month in Jubilee Square.

12 Moving from Mote

MAIDSTONE Mela will be held in the town centre for the first time, this September.

Murder case on hold

THE retrial of a man convicted of killing a local teacher in Qatar has been delayed.

BOOKS were taken from a prop- erty in Aylesford.

Comment Obituaries

46-47 32

32 Parish Councils 40-41

weightlifting and, in just two years she has gone from beginner to competing at a national level. Carys won silver in the British Schools Weightlifting Champi- onship in February 2015 and gold in the 2015 London & SE Junior Championships,

4 Hospital woe

01622 690290 YOUR LOCAL PROPERTY EXPERT 23 Pudding Lane • Maidstone • Kent

DRASTIC financial measures have been necessary to keep afloat the Kims private hospital, which lost £15m in its first year. Full story – page 26.

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THERE were calls to move bottle banks in Addington; a jazz band could be performing in Ditton; a medical surgery had been re- prieved in East Peckham; speed cameras were requested in Mere- worth; a defibrillator was planned in Ryarsh; a stone was fired from a pub using a catapult in Trottiscliffe.

Town Talk alk

A MEETING looked into sug- gestions to repair All Saints’ Church, Snodland. For more details see Town Talk in the central pages of this month’s Downs Mail. The bi-monthly independent magazine is dedi- cated to Snodland and Halling residents.

24 Crime Reports 28 16

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