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News


Rotarians help save the day for


PoppyAppeal THE Rotary Club ofMaidstone has stepped up to help Royal British Legion save the annual PoppyAp- peal inMaidstone. Currently, Maidstone has no or-


ganiser and without the extra sup- port fromRotarians therewould be limited poppies in the town. Maidstone Rotarymembers have


volunteered to distribute the poppy boxes and collection tins to about 300Maidstone locations and return everything after Remem- brance Sunday. Support has also been provided


by FremlinWalkManagement and Army, Air and Sea Cadets along with a newvolunteer for TheMall. “We would have raised hardly


anything this year without this in- valuable offer,” said Jane Ayers, community fundraiser for West Kent. “Next year, we would be grate-


ful to hear from anyone willing to take responsibility for suburbs of Maidstone including; Coxheath, Tovil, Penenden Heath and San- dling and Parkwood and Shepway. “With the continued support of


Rotarians neworganiserswill have experienced and motivated volun- teers already in place to ensure a successful appeal”. The Rotary campaign is being


led by past president Doug Bagu- ley. Maidstone Rotary Club is


open to newmembers. See details on www.maidstonerotary.co.uk


Festival first is


a ‘scary’ event REVEREND Millie Hart met her alter egowhen shewelcomedmore than 100 visitors to Harrietsham church for its first Scarecrow Festi- val. More than 20 ‘scarers’ were en-


tered in the festival, organised by the Friends of St John’s. The lunch clubwas also kept busy serving 60+ lunches, tea, coffee and cake. Scarecrows were exhibited by


groups, individuals and village groups including the choir,Guides, Cubs, Scouts, primary school, hall trust, whist club, wives’ group, Lenham Parish Council and Harri- etshamin Bloom. Money raised will go to main-


taining and improving the church. The church was equally busy on


the Sunday (October 15) when parishioners met newly-appointed Priest inCharge Rev JohnHuggins, at the harvest service. Surrounded by scarecrows, he


said: “Thiswas a fantastic commu- nity event, with so many people getting involved.”


8 Maidstone East November 2017 Supporting youngsters in reading can bring lifelong benefits


downsmail.co.uk


Lenham’s free parking is running out of time


HOPES of keeping the commer- cial heart of a village alive could result in tougher parking restric- tions. It vis an issue that has faced vil-


lages across the borough, but in Lenham – one of few parishes of- fering unlimited, free parking – the issue is reaching crisis point. A spokesman for the parish


council, which runs the commu- nity’s car parks, said measures, in- cluding pay-to-stay,


come to Lenhamand its shops, but with increased building in the area, the issue of parking congestion is such that we are having to think again about managing the limited spaceswe have available.” The issue has risen up the coun-


cil’s agenda aswork on newhomes over the road from the village’s overspill car park – in Maidstone Road – nears completion and a fur- ther 60 homes are in the pipeline; 20 at The Paddock, near the com- munity centre. Parish council clerk Margo Mc-


Farlane said: “We want to make sure there are enough spaces in the


reduced


parking times and even vehicle recognition are back on the agenda. “Wewant to encourage people to


Lenhamvillage centre is facing a parking crisis


square so that people popping in to buy a pie or grab a coffee can do so. But new building projects come with a recognised deficit in parking and this is having a knock-on ef- fect.” She says vehicle recognition


could be used to limit the length of time people stay in its Maidstone Road car park, which currently of- fers free parking 12 hours a day. However, the access here is shared with the Dog and Bear pub and hotel. Another area feeling the pressure


is the Old Ashford Road and the community centre car park, which


is private, but is experiencing park- ing problems for users and those visiting the doctors’ surgery. Mrs McFarlane said: “There are


various issues to be considered, but parking and infrastructure are an important part of our emerging neighbourhood plan, which we want in place before another 1,000 homes are approved as part of the borough council’s local plan.” She believes that the offer of a


piece of land close to the village centre could provide an answer and urges anyone able to assist to call the parish office on 01622 859682.


Hear Glyn’s take on the story of Christmas


ASTRONOMICAL evidence support- ing the Christmas story surrounding the Star of Bethlehem will be the subject of a talk in Harrietsham. Glyn de Lacy, who describes her-


self as a lapsed astronomer, and sec- retary of the friends of the village church, will present her story at St


John the Baptist on December 8. She said: “The story has fascinated


me for many years. The talk is for adults with an inquiring mind and provides scientific evidence in sup- port of the star story, including evi- dence for key events such as the census, mentioned by Luke in his


Gospel, along withmy own theories. “It is a Christmas story I am ex-


cited to share.” The talk, at 7.30pm will be fol-


lowed by cheese and wine and a chance to socialise. Please email starofbethlehem@ friendsofstjohn.org for ticket details.


AWATER company has pledged to fund Beantalk’s Read and Achieve scheme to the tune of £10,000 for a year.


Support will help to grow confident readers The money, from Southern


Water, will help 1,500 primary school children in Kent strug- glingwith their reading and train


more volunteers. Beanstalk offers reading support for childrenwho have fallen behind with their reading at a time when statistics show more than 4,300 failed to reach the expected standard in reading in the latest round of standard assessment


tasks


(SATs). Malou Bengtsson-Wheeler, the


charity’s south east manager, thanked the water company for choosing Beanstalk as its charity partner. She said: “We look forward to


working with SouthernWater to deliver life-changing one-to-one literacy support


to children


across Kent, helping to improve confidence and attitudes to read- ing.”


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