Maidstone South Edition

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

Christmas 2018 Christmas arrives at council tip

YOUknowChristmas is just around the corner when the rubbish tip at Tovil becomes a shrine to the fes- tive season. What started as a bit of fun a

few years back has now become a massive celebration. Most of the decorations – which

include dozens of plastic Santas and snowmen – were destined for destruction, and have been used by tip staff to decorate their office.

‘No fun for disabled’ at planned play area

AMAIDSTONEmumhas criticised the borough council for spendingmil-

lions onaplay areawhich‘doesnot suit severely disabled children’. Close, said: “No one has been con- sultedabouthowinclusive thisplay area is going to be.” The concern that the most se-

SallyCollett saysMaidstone Bor-

oughCouncil’s claimitsnew£4.3m facility atMote Park will be “fully inclusive” is untrue. Sally (42) claims it discriminates

against the severely disabled and violates every child’s right to play. Her sonAdam(12)wasbornwith

a rarebrainconditionthatmeanshe iswheelchair bound, unable to talk and is doubly incontinent. Sally, aboardmember atMencap

Maidstone inMotePark, says she is staggered by the lack of consulta- tion that has gone into the plan. The singlemum, fromBlenheim

verely disabled will not be able to use the play area has prompted a 1,500-signature petition, calling for minor modifications to make it fit for all.But, Sallysays, inspiteofher efforts, no one fromthe council has agreed tomeet or talkwith her. She said: “The council seems in-

tent on continuingwith a plan that continues to exclude by providing the bareminimumto tick a box.” She says apart from the sensory

classes Adam enjoys at Five Acre Wood School,Maidstone offers no space for his recreation, with the only changing facility at Tovil YMCA. She said: “Allwe are asking for are some safety bars, sensory panels and changing facilities so that everyone can use the play area.” Sensory leader Katie Bell, who

started the petition, added: “The Turn to page 4

FREE No. 261


Goldengirl’sbabyjoy WINTER Olympian and former grammar school head girl Lizzy Yarnold is pregnant with her first child. 3

Council ‘to sell parks’

THEborough council is set to turn play areas and parks into housing – exclusive report.

Mum stole petrol

A JOBLESS mum of three twice took petrol from Morrisons without paying – court case.

11 ‘Inspiring’ Rotarians

LOCAL Rotarians have received an award from a charity for ‘inspiring work’. 14

Science school starts

WORK on a new science and technology school in Maid- stone has started with the removal of trees.

Lions’ festive toys

MEMBERS of the Maidstone Lions’ Club will be giving away free toys to kids in Week Street soon.

Obituaries 20 26 Crime Reports 30

A BLACK Vauxhall Astra was stolen in Allington; parcels were stolen from a delivery driver in Lucerne Street; a vehicle was keyed in Coral Park; a tyre on a Skoda was damaged in Queens Road; a mailbox in a block of flats in Scotney Gardens was van- dalised; six new-build homes in Hermitage Lanewere broken into and damaged.

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