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BBC

The world lost the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, last year but her music lives on in the form of Letitia George.

Schools take on too much of the burden of tackling childhood obesity, a county councillor claims.
Cllr Clair Bell believes parents should be “stepping up to the mark” rather than relying on the state to reduce the weight of their children.
Around one in eight children were overweight when they started school in Kent last year.
There were more obese children in reception classes in Dartford, Gravesham and Swale than the rest of the county, according to a report by the Kent Public Health Observatory.
While the prevalence of overweight 10-year-olds was the highest in Dartford, Gravesham and Thanet.
Due to their weight, these children are more likely to have asthma, skin infections, type 2 diabetes and psychological disorders such as low self-esteem, eating disorders and anxiety.
The height and weight of pupils are measured at school as part of the government’s National Child Measurement Programme but parents can opt-out of the scheme.
Cllr Clair Bell (Con) told the health reform and public health cabinet committee she believes the health of children is the parents’ responsibility.
She said: “I think we put an awful lot on schools but children are not in school most of the time.
“They don’t have all their meals in school, it’s only one meal a day five days a week, if that.
“The bulk of their nutrition comes from the home and we can’t get away from the fact it’s parents who are responsible for their children.
“It isn’t the responsibility of the state to bring up people’s children when they are small.
“We can give them as much help and support as possible but we must not focus on teachers and schools all the time when they have enough to be doing anyway.”
Public health consultant Samantha Bennett said the council is looking into one-on-one consultations with parents when children begin to eat solid food.
However, she added it is often challenging to get parents involved and admit their child has a problem.
She said: “We struggle to get hold of parents and when we do speak to them, the actual uptake of the interventions that we offer are very low.
“One of our biggest challenges is trying to engage parents to recognise where there is an issue.
“Largely the feedback when school nurses make those conversations, is they don’t think there’s a problem.
“They don’t recognise there is an issue with their child or it’s something they need to deal with at this time.
“If you’ve got obese parents, they are much less likely to recognise an issue with their own child as being obese.”
However, Cllr Sarah Hamilton (Con) warned this issue needs to be dealt with sensitively so children do not develop eating disorders.
She said: “I worry sometimes when we weigh children at schools because this touches on the issue  of eating disorders and we have to be very careful to not focus on that and stigmatise – it’s a very delicate balance because that could trigger in susceptible individuals or parents.”
Cllr Hamilton also called into question the “ruthless” advertising industry which she believes promotes “very thin” bodies.

Gravesham

Two Dartford drug dealers have been jailed following a planned raid by police on local premises.

Maidstone Crown Court

A beautiful fluke moment in a classroom was the inspiration for one teacher to take up photography and he has enjoyed some amazing success.

South Africa

A man has appeared before Maidstone Crown Court today, Thursday January 17, accused of murdering missing Sarah Wellgreen.

Our free Digital Decoded marketing seminars return next month following last year’s successful initiative.

Rock ‘n’ roll never dies, it lives on forever in the form of tribute band festivals, and one of the best is arriving at The Woodville.

United Kingdom

A warning about rogue traders has been issued by police after an elderly woman was targeted in Dartford.

Kent Police

A driver was rescued from his overturned car via the boot after he crashed in Capel Place, Dartford, on Sunday night, January 13.

Kent Fire

The Woodville pantomime, Peter Pan, smashed the panto box office figures over Christmas selling more than 18,000 tickets, which also helped to raise thousands of pounds for charities.

Mandy Hare

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

Crack cocaine found inside a toilet has helped convict three Gravesend drug-dealers who have been jailed for a collective total of more than eight years.

Woolwich Crown Court

A Greenhithe man has avoided jail after he used the personal details of his friends to make a series of fraudulent claims for made-up crashes totalling around £15,000.

Kent

Around 58,500 smokers in Kent need to quit the habit by 2022 to meet government targets, according to a council report.

Kent County Council

Kent County Council plans to overhaul its system for children and family services in a bid to get the top ranking from Ofsted.

Kent County Council

Entertainment

The world lost the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, last year but her music lives on in the form of Letitia George.

BBC

A beautiful fluke moment in a classroom was the inspiration for one teacher to take up photography and he has enjoyed some amazing success.

South Africa

Rock ‘n’ roll never dies, it lives on forever in the form of tribute band festivals, and one of the best is arriving at The Woodville.

United Kingdom

The Woodville pantomime, Peter Pan, smashed the panto box office figures over Christmas selling more than 18,000 tickets, which also helped to raise thousands of pounds for charities.

Mandy Hare

It was the film that put disco firmly on the map, and now a musical version of Saturday Night Fever arrives in Dartford.

Bill Kenwright

Alistair Coleman, author of the hit book Angry People in Local Newspapers, has been speaking with Layth Yousif about the cult publication about to reach the bestsellers lists...

Donald Trump

A theatre is putting on the Calendar Girls musical – so of course all the staff have decided to completely strip off and make their own charity calendar.

United Kingdom

A man from Bexleyheath has just published his first book, Kent-based novel Smile Of The Stowaway.

Kent police

Audiences shall go to the ball this Christmas as Cinderella comes to the Churchill Theatre for this year’s pantomime.

Portsmouth

Now back from recording the second series of All Together Now, Brit School teacher and Bromley local Georg Tormann is now warming up for Christmas with his Beckenham-based choir.

BBC

Former Coronation Street favourite Kevin Kennedy (who played Curly Watts) takes to the stage in musical comedy Rock of Ages.

United Kingdom

Building on the phenomenal decade-long success of The Agatha Christie Company, the Classic Thriller Company has produced hits including adaptations from Ruth Rendell and Levison and Link, the writers of Murder She Wrote.

Bill Kenwright

Following the incredible sell-out stage success of Not Dead Enough, The Perfect Murder and Dead Simple, the number one best-selling author Peter James is back with a spine-tingling new world premiere play, The House On Cold Hill, coming to the Orchard Theatre in January.

Scotland

One of Britain’s most iconic wrestlers of all time steps in to the ring again to raise money for a worthy cause.

United Kingdom

The new UK and Ireland tour of Let It Be will be arriving at the Orchard Theatre on Monday, October 15.

Ticket Office

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