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Call for more school parking

HOMEOWNERS, parents and politicians have united to raise awareness of traffic congestion out- side schools. They say the situation is made

worse by the allocation of school places miles from pupils’ homes. Lorraine Harvey, from Snodland,

walks her six-year-old to St Kather- ine’s School, but has sympathy for those forced to drive in from areas such as Larkfield. She is has written to her MP highlighting parking re- strictions outside St Katherine’s. Miss Harvey believes councils of-

fering out-of-area school places need to give greater consideration to park- ing provision, adding: “It’s not the school’s fault but staff and parents end up in the firing line when chil- dren arrive late.” Tonbridge and Malling MP Tracy Crouch has now written to Ton- bridge and Malling Council, and in Maidstone, North ward borough councillor Michelle Hastie is work- ing with the county council to find a solution after dozens of complaints. She said: “I understand the frus- trations of residents and they are fre- quently brought to my attention.”

At Allington, residents say pupils

are being accepted from Tovil and beyond and parents pulling up out- side the school block their drives and their efforts to get to work. Similar reports have been received from res- idents in Oakwood Park, Queens Road, Hillary Road, Vinters Park and Hollingbourne. Pupils who failed to get into their parents’ preferred primary schools were allocated places at the brand- new Langley Park on the A274, which has meant long round trips. AKCCspokesman said with more parents choosing schools out of their area, congestion is set to worsen. “The number of primary age

pupils in Kent is expected to con- tinue rising significantly. Despite this,KCCcontinues to exceed its tar- get for parental preference, with 87.2% of parents across the county securing their first preference pri- mary school on offer day in 2016. “KCC continues to work with schools to ensure that every child can access a good school place.” She said KCC has plans for two

newprimary schools and the expan- sion of other existing schools.

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Maidstone and Malling’s No.1 Free newspaper £2,000 in Matt’s name

CUSTOMERS at a Bearsted fish shop have chipped in to help raise £2,055 in memory of Matt Carapiet, who died in the Nepal earthquake in April 2015. Matt (23), of Peverel Drive, Bearsted, had been helping to build the

Self Help Community Centre in Siem Reap while travelling around Asia. Following his death, his family raised more than £11,000 to help complete the school project and pay for furniture and fittings. Matt had been partial to a portion of fish and chips from Marino’s Fish Bar in Ashford Road, whose owner Donda Michaelis donated a day’s profits in November to help Matt’s work in Cambodia. Donda was so delighted

with the result of the charity day, which topped a similar one last year by £50, that he plans to make it an annual event. He said: “I have good loyal customers and a lot of people know the Carapiet family. They all showed their support. Last year was a tough one to beat, but we did it. This was a fantastic result and the money will be going to a very good cause.” Donda thanked Roseacre School, which Matt attended, for helping to

spread the word about the special day. The total included £700 from a collection pot for customers’ donations. The Marino’s family business also has a branch in London Road, Sittingbourne, which is run by Donda’s sister and brother-in-law, Flora and George Matheou. They donated their shop’s profits on the same day to Demelza children’s hospice, raising £1,500 for the charity.

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