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Facebook backs down over fly-tipping app

FACEBOOK appears to have backed down in the David and Goliath battle brewing with Malling anti-litter campaigner Danny Lucas. app in February.

Mr Lucas (pictured) had been told by US lawyers he had six months to rename his Littergram app or face the social media giant in court. But he was among millions who tuned in to the BBC’s One Show to hear a statement from Facebook appar- ently withdrawing its threat.

It is good news for Mr Lucas and Tonbridge and Malling Council, which helped to develop the app for other local authorities to use and is the first in the country to make use of it to receive reports of fly-tipping. It has received 170 photographs of rubbish dumped since adopting the

The Facebook statement to the BBC no longer banned the use of the Littergram name but put restrictions on the registration of trademarks. Mr Lucas: “It’s a shame Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg didn’t con- tact me personally as my appeal was to him, but it seems the company is suggesting we can continue with the name as long as we don’t register it. I’m now trying to get clarification.” Facebook wrote to Mr Lucas claiming Littergram sounded too similar to its photo app Instagram. Mr Lucas (48) said: “If Facebook hadn’t backed down I could not have afforded to pay lawyers to take on a global giant like Facebook.” Mr Lucas, who invested a six- figure sum to launch the initiative,

hopes the app can now be rolled out to the country’s 433 other councils. He added: “Tonbridge and Malling has been right behind me and has provided a valuable case study that can be used to get the country’s other councils on board.” He says the media exposure had helped spread the word about Lit- tergram, but had been stressful. Mr Lucas produced the app after returning to this country from Vi- enna with his wife and two children. He said: “After returning from Eu- rope, where the streets are clean, I was determined to do something.” The council said that while it can- not comment on any legal situation between the founder of Littergram and Facebook, it will carry on using the app.

Watch movies under the stars

TWO women are behind a new venture to bring open-air cinema screenings to Kings Hill. Joanna Hillcock (far right) and Lucy Cumming

set up Alfresco Events after ditching the daily to commute to London where they both had jobs. The Kings Hill mums say the area has a support-

ive community with a perfect location for staging an outdoor screening.

The first film to be screened will be the 1987 Hol- lywood blockbuster Dirty Dancing on August 12. Joanna said: “We are really excited about this

event and the response so far has been fantastic.” The women have secured the backing of local de-

veloper Liberty Property Trust and Bespoke Swimming Pools.

24 Inside this edition: School praise

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

A STRONG teaching team and inspirational leadership atWa- teringbury School has been praised by church inspectors.

6 Kent’s Most Awarded Optician

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Good news for East Malling, which is at last to have a new surface laid in the High Street after long delays for roadworks. For details see the four-page supplement by Malling Action Partnership which supports people, businesses and events in the 11 parishes in the Malling area.

May 2016 No. 229 News Peter Rimmer honour

COMMUNITY activist Peter Rimmer has received a special award in recognition of his work in Snodland. 3

MEP Skinner jailed

SNODLAND-based MEP Peter Skinner has been jailed for fiddling expenses.

8 Cobdown club upset

PLANS for Cobdown sports club are causing upset among local residents.

Voters favour Diana

LIB Dem Diana Lewins has been elected to serve Allington on Maidstone council.

St Mary’s for sale

THE St Mary’s Church Centre, West Malling, is on the market for £700,00.


Comment 26-27 Crime Reports 31

A WINDSCREEN wiper was stolen in Midsummer Road, Snodland.


46-47 32

Parish Councils 42-43

CONCERN borough cutbacks will filter down to parish level were ex- pressed at Ditton; cricket pitch fees are to rise to £265 per year at Mereworth.

14 10

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