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Vera dies at the grand age of 111

IN HER long, long lifetime, she saw 22 prime ministers come and go, five monarchs take the throne andwatched the population of her homeland almost double. On October 13, Vera Pigott, who

was the second oldest woman in Kent, died at the grand old age of 111 at Sutton Valence Care Home. The supercentenarian, who cele-

brated her birthday in July, had spent 10 years at the care home, where she was popular with resi- dents and staff. She was much-loved and cared

for by her four children, and her son Graham (69), who lives nearby, vis- ited her every day. Vera,wholived in Langley before moving into the home, married bank clerk Douglas Pigott in 1924 andwas widowed in 1988. Shewas a housewife for more than 20 years before working as a typist and then a receptionist at the Law Society. Sadly, her eldest son, Donald,

died at the age of 79, in 2009. Her daughter, Beryl, now aged 90, lives in Guildford and younger daughter, Monica (81), lives in Scotland. Carla Bolding, manager of the

care home, said: “Vera was a re- markable lady who was popular

Vera Pigott and her son Graham

with the care team and residents at Sutton Valence Care Home and she will be sadly missed. “She lived with us for nearly 10

years and thoroughly enjoyed her 111th birthday celebration with us in July. Her son Graham was there and she had a really good time. She always did love a good party.” When she died, Vera was the

fourth oldest person in Britain. She was not quite the oldest in Kent, having been pipped by 61 days by Alice Ducat, from Hythe. Once asked the secret of her longevity, Vera joked that people should avoid partying too much. The oldest person in the UK was Charlotte Marion Hugheswhodied in 1993, aged 115.

MPmisses chairman post

MAIDSTONE MP Helen Grant has lost out on the chance to become the chairman of the influential House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport select committee. The member forMaidstone andWeald (right) was

up against the Folkestone and Hythe MP Damian Collins, who was acting chairman. Mr Collins won by 302 to Mrs Grant’s 230 from650 eligible MPs. Mr Collins, who came into parliamentary politics

after a short media career in marketing, has served on the committee and acted as chair since July. In setting out his credentials for the role, Mr Collins highlighted his attempts to reform Fifa and football governance. Mrs Grant, who is a former sports and tourism minister, pointed to her

high-profile career in her short time in parliament and promised to “lead with unity, purpose and vigour”. Mr Collins succeeded the former Conservative leader Michael Howard in

the Folkestone and Hythe constituency in 2010. Mr Howard was later ele- vated to the House of Lords.

Lorry park ‘not the solution’

PLANS for a lorry park to ease pressure on our roads during Op- eration Stack “don’t stack up”, it is claimed by two of Kent’s leading Green Party members. County councillor Martin Why-

brow and South East MEP Keith Taylor are the latest to oppose the plan for the £250m lorry park at Stanford, near Folkestone. Their comments to Highways England coincide with the closure of its consultation on the scheme. Members of theGreen Party say as

well as destroying an area of out- standing beauty, locals will have to contend with “killer exhaust fumes”.

Operation Stack was brought in

on 26 occasions last summer, caus- ing congestion, pollution and protests from residents, businesses and police. Keith Taylor said that £250m could be spent on smart technology to head off HGVs at source when there is a problem. Fine illegally parked trucks and enforce them, page 32

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