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Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

January 2017

Village in shock after pram race death 3

SUTTON Valence continues to come to terms with the tragic start to the New Year - the death of a dad in the village’s popular pram race.

Francis (Titch) O’Sullivan died two days after the accident in the New Year’s Day event.

Part of a Spitfire-themed crew, the intrepid team pushed on for the second and final lap when the pram tipped over. Onlookers rushed to help and the air ambu- lance touched down at Sutton Valence School. Mr O’Sullivan was rushed to hospital with head

injuries but he never recovered. This week, the village was res- olute there would be no “knee jerk” reaction regarding the fu- ture of the charity pram race, with the event organiser saying all its thoughts are with the family.

School’s first Ofsted rating is outstanding

PUPILS, parents and staff at Loose Primary School are celebrating after receiving a glowing report from Ofsted.

The school was judged as out- standing in all areas after its first in- spection since it was formed in September 2014 from the merging of the former Loose infant and junior schools.

Headteacher Darren Webb, who

was appointed to lead the school, said: “It is inspiring to work with such a wonderful group of staff, governors, children and parents. Every single member of our school community deserves to celebrate the outcome of their phenomenal hard work and commitment.” After their two-day visit to the 655-pupil school, the Ofsted team re- ported: “Pupils’ exemplary behav- iour and very positive attitudes to learning contribute significantly to their outstanding achievement. Teaching and learning are outstand- ing. Teachers make learning inter- esting, challenging and fun. Pupils throughout the school make consis- tently rapid progress.” The report highlighted the “rich

and exciting curriculum” with “lessons that capture the interest

Head Darren Webb with pupils from Loose Primary School

and imagination of pupils so that they are highly motivated and en- gage extremelywell in learning.” It said that because “potential is limitless”, many pupils of all abili- ties exceed national expectations as they are not constrained by any set limits as to how much teachers ex- pect from them. “Pupils have high expectations

about their own achievement and want to do their best. Their attitudes to learning are outstanding. Chil- dren make outstanding progress in the early years because the quality of teaching and learning is excellent.

They settle exceptionally well into school life,” said the report. MrWebb,whowas praised for his outstanding leadership, said: “The last two years have seen many changes and I would like to person- ally thank everyone involved with the school for their phenomenal support and unwavering commit- ment to securing the best for every child. “Everyone has been driven by

strong values and a determination to secure excellence and I amdelighted that Loose Primary School really is a place where potential is limitless.”

Homes total cut BEST WISHES FOR 201

A GOVERNMENT inspector has ruled Maidstone Council has over- estimated its housing target. In his interim report on the Local Plan, Robert Mellor ordered the council to cut 900 homes from its assessment.


FREE No. 237


Homes challenge HEADCORN has won the right to make a last-ditch challenge against an approved 220- home development. 4

Cuts at Leeds Castle LEEDS Castle boss warns of cuts despite a rise in visitor numbers.

8 Save our village bank

A PETITION has been launched against the closure of a Staplehurst bank. 10

Hospice needs help

THE Heart of Kent Hospice faces job cuts after suffering a drop in funding.

Tory ejection claim A COUNCILLOR claims he was ejected from a Ramblin’ Man meeting.

14 20

MP’s M20 campaign MP Helen Whateley is pressing for a new M20 surface to reduce noise levels.

Comment Obituaries

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38 Parish Councils 46-47

AT CHART Sutton, there were renewed complaints about poor broadband from BT; a poplar tree on a caravan park in East Farleigh had fallen on a car; a Headcorn parish councillor was assaulted at his business premises; the horses next to the Kintons at Yalding were continuing to escape.

Crime Reports 47

CASH was stolen from the office after a restaurant in Hermitage Lane, Boughton Monchelsea, was broken into. A generator and diesel were taken from a farm in Ulcombe. The wheels were stolen from a BMW in West Farleigh.

01622 880840

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