News Campus site fits education needs

A MUCH-needed new primary school or special needs education centre could be based at the Kent Medical Campus (KMC) near junction seven of the M20, Downs Mail has learnt. The Education Funding Agency

(EFA) has earmarked the site for one or other establishment. We understand that the Leigh Academies Trust and theValley In- victa Academies Trust (VIAT) have submitted bids to the EFA. But the local MP, Helen Whately,

has called for both types of school to be built as each is needed. Although a primary school

would fall short of the facility de- sired in the Bearsted parish, it would provide easy access and ample parking for parents. Mrs Whately said: “I want to

make sure we have more primary school and special school places to ensure children can attend local schools. “They are likely to be choosing

Corsa driver

3 times limit A MOTORIST from Maid- stone caught drink driving was more than three times the legal limit. Alex Taghdissian (31) of Heathside Avenue drove a Vauxhall Corsa in Stockett Lane on February 28, 2016. He gave a breath test of 112 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 micro- grammes. He was sentenced on Febru-

ary 27 at West Kent Magis- trates Court after pleading guilty to drink driving and banned from driving for four years. Hewas also and ordered to carry out 150 hours of un- paid work in the next 12 months and to pay £775 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

between a primary school and a special school. This progress iswel- come, but I’m worried that they in- dicate they will be making a choice between these school options. In fact,we need both.” Mrs Whately says she has set up

a meeting with schools’ minister Lord Nash to “press him on the ur- gency for both a new primary and a new special school”. Whether the announcement of an

£18m mental health unit – run by Cygnet Health Care – to be con- structed at KMC will have any bearing on the eventual outcome is not yet known. Downs Mail understands that the

EFA andKMCare now at the early “heads of terms” stage of contract negotiations. According to a document written

by EFA chief executive Peter Lauener, and seen by Downs Mail, he says “…there are indeed two proposers, Leigh Academies Trust and Valley Invicta Academies

Kent Medical Campus near J7 of the M20 could be the site of a new primary school or special school

Trust, for the proposed Kent Med- ical Campus site who have both progressed to interview.” Of school applications gener-

ally, Mr Lauener adds: “The an- nouncement of the schools that have been successful is likely to be around Easter 2017. Ministers will

Bail after house fire death

TWO men arrested on suspicion of murder and arson after the death of a man in a house fire have been bailed. Kent Police were called at 5.29pm on February 26 to assist Kent Fire

and Rescue Service with a fire in Marsham Street. South East Coast Ambulance Service also attended the premises and treated a 48-year-old man, who died at the scene. His next of kinwere no- tified following the incident. A woman and another man were taken to hospital following the inci-

dent. Two men, aged 30 and 38 and both from Maidstone, were arrested on suspicion of murder and arson and bailed until April 19. Enquiries are ongoing. Anyone with information, who has not yet spoken to police, is asked

to call 01622 604100, quoting reference 26-0976. Alternatively call Kent Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

Clean break for thief

A PERPETUAL detergent thief has been jailed for seven months. Joseph Bristow (39) of Edwards

Close, Snodland,was sentenced on March 3 at Mid Kent Magistrates Court when he pleaded guilty to four counts of shoplifting goods worth £140 from stores in Maid- stone and Borough Green.

Questions of taste

MAIDSTONE Mencap’s annual apple pie quiz raised a tasty £700 for the charity. Organiser Ann Tutte said: “Thank you to everyone who came along to support us on March 11, and for what was again a fun evening.”

make the final decision on which free school applications to ap- prove.” Leigh Academies Trust runs the

new Langley Park School while VIAT has the widely-respected In- victa Grammar School and Valley Park School in its portfolio.

Curfew and a ban for drunk

Transit driver A DRIVER caught drunk behind the wheel of his van has been banned from the roads for 28 months. Jimmy Collins (34)was sentenced

on March 1 at West Kent Magis- trates Court after pleading not guilty to drink driving.Hewas con- victed of the offence by magistrates. On March 11 last year, Collins, of Bethersden Road, Ashford, drove a Ford Transit in Ashford Road, Lenham, and gave a breath test of 104 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes. Magistrates banned Collins from driving for 28 months and gave him a 16-week curfew to remain at home between 7pm and 7am daily. He must also pay a £660 fine and an £85 victim surcharge.

Gang prepare for Hazlitt show-stopper

PARTICIPANTS in this year’s Maid- stone Scout Gang Show have been practising their moves ahead of big performances at the Hazlitt The- atre.

The gang has also spent some

time at rehearsals trying on cos- tumes and finalising dance moves before they hold a full dress re- hearsal in readiness for showweek, which runs from April 11 to 15. The show, which goes back to the

The ‘gang’ practise their moves in preparation for show week at the Hazlitt Theatre in April

20 Maidstone April 2017

1960s, has most recently been held bi-annually. Rehearsals started in September

and the 90 strong gang of young people and adults from across Maidstone are all actively involved with scouting, , taking part in activ- ities, camps, training and badge work as well as performing in the gang show. Highlights of this year’s show in-

clude a potted version of Billy Elliott and the gang’s very own take on Stomp! Tickets are available fromtheHa-

zlitt Theatre in Earl Street, Maid- stone, or 01622 758611 or online at

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