orderForm.noItems It must be acknowledged that the most

important people in this issue at present are the families who have had there lives turned upside down and had to move out of their homes in Tonbridge Road. Urgent action is being undertaken to

prevent injury or accident occurring, and I understand the authorities are working as hard as they can to get residents back. My thoughts go out to them and all of those staff at KCC, borough council, the utility companies and emergency services and blue light staff who reacted swiftly. Once this has been se�led, we must move on to avoid the delays and inconvenience to residents.  a temporary stop notice to house building on Hermitage Lane sites affected, while surveys are revived and updated appropriately by planning authorities;  a collective “sinkhole task force” led by by experts but including KCC and involving local ward councillors and parish council and KCC representatives;  KCC to fast track the much-awaited consultation promised this summer on Fountain Road /Tonbridge Road junction improvements to provide some joined-up thinking and prevent another major road closure in this polluted and congested area. Let’s hope that with hard work, some good comes from this sad situation James Willis, via email

Help keep kids safe online

MODERN technology means video is one of the most popular methods of communication for young people to stay in touch with friends and family. Popular video sites and apps such as

Snapchat, and Periscope allow them to broadcast real-time, live video to an audience over the internet – known as live-streaming. But sadly, as new statistics released by

the Internet Watch Foundation(IWF) revealed on Tuesday (15 May), there are risks. Over a three-month period, research

revealed 2,082 images and videos of live- streamed child sexual abuse were identified. Of those images, 98% were of children aged 13 and under, 28% were

aged 10 or under, and the youngest victim was just three years old. It is truly horrifying to imagine that

children are being coerced and manipulated to live-stream their own sexual abuse. Too many children are abused on social

media platforms, and it is time for the tech industry to take responsibility and do more to tackle abuse at its source. Culture Secretary Ma� Hancock is in the

process of drawing up an Internet Safety Strategy, but it is expected to bring in a social media safety code which is voluntary in nature and doesn’t include plans to prevent grooming. As a result, the NSPCC’s #WildWestWeb

campaign is urging Mr Hancock to bring in a mandatory safety code to regulate social networks to keep children safe online. Your readers can join us by sending an

email or tweet to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, asking him to bring in a new law to keep children safe online. More details on the campaign can be

found on the NSPCC website. In the meantime, parents can play a part

in keeping their children safe by talking to them about being Share Aware. Information about the the social networks, apps and games children and young people use can also be found via the charity’s Net Aware tool. Emma Motherwell, NSPCC local campaigns manager, London and South East

Music unlocks the mind

I’D like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped to raise the profile of dementia during Dementia Action Week (21-27 May). Anything which raises awareness of

dementia must be applauded. It’s one of the biggest medical challenges that we face, and it can be very isolating. We know that people with dementia often live in a silent world, yet music can bring a person back to life. Work that we’ve done at the Utley Foundation with the International

Longevity Centre-UK has shown how music can alleviate symptoms for people living with dementia, yet less than 5% of the 16,000 care homes in the UK provide music as part of treatment. We want to change this and are looking

to appoint an smbassador to mobilise a task force to help create more access to music for people with dementia. Research suggests that there is a

“memory bump” for music: people with dementia retain the clearest memories for the music they enjoyed and heard between the ages of 10 and 30. We’ll be looking to help introduce

musical initiatives which unlock these memories like digital playlists in a person’s home, running community choirs inclusive of people with dementia and bringing trained musicians into care se�ings. We’ve got some way to go to improve

the quality of life and wellbeing of people living with dementia, but thank you to those who have helped us champion the use of music therapy, it’s hugely appreciated. Paul Hardcastle, musician and producer, on behalf of the Utley Foundation

Winter shelter thanks

ON behalf of our board of trustees and staff at Maidstone Churches Winter Shelter, we wish to extend a huge thank you for your commitment to the 2017/18 Winter Shelter. Thank you, also, to everyone who

a�ended our annual celebrations at the Maidstone Baptist Church. Some of you may have already seen a

copy of our project report, which shows what we have achieved together, and which also acknowledges and gives thanks for the role played by all our supporters, volunteers and churches. For those of you who would like a copy

of the report, please let us know and we will be happy to send you one. Please feel free to circulate it to your friends, family, colleagues etc. and help spread the word about Maidstone Churches Winter Shelter. Ophelia Orr, administrator

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