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Hawkinge power cuts and power surges

Contributed by editor on Dec 20, 2008 - 07:45 AM

Dear Editor,


Dim Hawkinge - where's me candle?

It appears that EDF have silently corrected recent interruptions in the
local power supply, without correcting the concerns of its bill payers.

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We have personally had a very minimal response to our request for information
about these recent outages, and continually been referred to (fobbed off) to EDF
complaints policy when trying to get some support for affected electrical
equipment in the house.

It seems that EDF's corporate attitude to ignore single customer complaints will
allow them enough time for us all to collectively forget about the individual
problems that these power supply problems cause everybody that relies on it.

I would be very interested to know of any similar Hawkinge/Heron Forstal
customers that have been treated this way or feel the same?

Please leave your comments or use the feedback form.


Safer Winter - on the road - (Photo)

Contributed by editor on Dec 13, 2008 - 03:00 AM

Police community support officers (PCSOs) in Folkestone are
heading out and about next week for a series of Safer Winter

PCSO Mark Ball, PCSO Janet Rumley
and PCSO Sarah Wallace in Folkestone town centre

They will be giving away Kent Police purse clips
and Safer Winter information leaflets and will also be asking people
to complete questionnaires about their neighbourhoods to see if they
have any concerns about crime and anti-social behaviour.

They will also be offering free security marking to anybody who
brings their valuables like bikes, mobile phones, sat navs, MP3
players, cameras, and so on.

Having valuables security-marked is helpful as it acts as a
deterrent and makes it easier for police to identify the rightful
owners if property is lost or stolen.

They will be at the following locations

Monday 15th December: 10 am to 4 pm, Cheriton

Wednesday 17th December: 2.30 pm to 6 pm, Folkestone town centre

Friday 19th December:2 pm to 6 pm, Lidl at Hawkinge

Saturday 20th December: 10 am to 4 pm, Folkestone town centre.

PCSO Janet Rumley who has co-ordinated the roadshows said: "We're
looking forward to meeting people out and about to promote the Safer
Winter campaign. Anyone is welcome to bring an item to be security
marked absolutely free."


Partnership combats purse thefts

Contributed by editor on Dec 13, 2008 - 12:00 AM

A special initiative aimed at combating the loss and theft of purses
in the district is being launched in Dover today (13 December).

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Representatives of the Dover District Community
Safety Partnership will be in Dover Town Centre from 10am to 3pm to hand
out free ‘Clip it Safe’ lanyards (clips for attaching a purse to a

Operation Wave is a Dover District Community Safety Partnership
initiative. The partnership is supporting this initiative to enhance the
safety and quality of life of residents and visitors who shop in our
town centres. All residents and visitors are encouraged to look after
their property and this is especially true at this time of year.

The Community Safety Unit has found that there has been an increase in
the loss of purses and a small increase in the theft of purses in our
town centres. To encourage the security of purses, the partnership has
purchased the ‘Clip it Safe’ lanyards to be distributed free of charge.

Operation Wave will be launched in Deal and Sandwich Town Centres in the
new year.


Top safety awards for six Shepway car parks

Contributed by editor on Nov 19, 2008 - 01:00 AM

Six car parks across Shepway have been awarded the Safe
Park Mark award.

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Park Mark is an initiative aimed at reducing crime and the fear of crime
and to create a safer environment for drivers and their cars through
measures like CCTV coverage, good lighting and clear markings.

Pleydell Gardens, Foresters Way, Mount Street, Military Road, Castle
Road and Tram Road car parks all secured the Safe Park Mark award, with
the Tram Road car park issued with a part time award from 8am to 6pm.

For customers, using one of these Park Mark Safer car parks means that
the area has been vetted by Kent Police and the British Parking
Association and has measures in place to create a safe environment.


Watch out - safety cameras detecting phone and seatbelt lawbreakers

Contributed by editor on Nov 11, 2008 - 09:00 AM

A pilot scheme which uses safety cameras to detect
motorists illegally using their mobile phones or not wearing their
seatbelts could be rolled out across Kent.

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Safety camera vans will be watching for motorists who illegally use
their mobile phones or fail to use their seatbelts during a three month
pilot scheme in Medway.

As well as encouraging motorists to drive at acceptable speeds, the Kent
& Medway Safety Camera Partnership (K&MSCP) is keeping a close watch on
drivers who break the law in other ways.

Ian Procter, Chairman of the Safety Camera Partnership, said: “Our
camera operators see offences other than speeding being committed at
camera sites. Safety cameras are only in locations where people have
been killed or seriously injured, so by reducing the number of offences
committed at these sites we hope to lower casualties even further.

“We will not issue fixed penalty notices during the pilot stage as we
hope that sending letters to vehicle owners will be sufficient to deter
people from committing further offences.”

Chief Inspector Roscoe Walford of Kent Police said: “This is about using
the resources available in a more dynamic way in an attempt to reduce
the number of people being seriously injured or killed.

There are 4 main factors that contribute to collisions that end with
serious consequences - speeding, being distracted while driving (for
example talking on the telephone) not wearing a seat belt and drink

The use of the Kent and Medway Safety Cameras will help address 3 out of
these 4 factors. This is of course in addition to the every day
enforcement and education carried out by the Central Roads Policing Unit
and local patrols.”

It is a criminal offence to use a mobile phone while driving. Besides
the obvious consequences of being fined or facing a prison sentence,
talking or texting on a phone has been shown to impair a driver’s
ability to the same extent as if they were above the legal alcohol

In addition, it is now seen as being as antisocial as drink-driving - in
a recent independent survey, 99% of the 1119 people questioned said they
viewed using a mobile phone while driving as 'unacceptable behaviour'.

Similarly, despite continued advertising about the dangers of not
wearing a seat belt, around 10% of people in vehicles recently surveyed
in the county had failed to belt up.

Last year 95 people died in road traffic collisions in Kent and Medway –
18 of them had not been wearing their seatbelts and may have survived if
they’d belted up. If you have a collision at 25 mph unbelted, it is like
falling from a two storey building - at 40 mph it is like falling from
six stories, and at 60 mph it is like falling from 12 stories.

It is recommended that drivers turn off their mobile phones for the
duration of a journey and use them only when safely parked. It is also
advised that drivers and passengers wear a seatbelt at all times, no
matter how short the journey may be. People who don’t wear their
seatbelt, unless medically exempt, may want to think about the reason
they don’t wear one when it could be the one thing that saves their life
if they are in a crash.

Thank you letter from Joanna Lumley

Contributed by editor on Oct 27, 2008 - 05:00 AM

Dear Friends,

Just a quick note to thank you for your support and update you on the
Gurkha Justice Campaign -

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With over 80,000 signatures and rising, we are still getting thousands of new
supporters every day. We're still working to get the message out about the
campaign - last week Al Murray gave us a tremendous boost on his show Al
Murray's Happy Hour.

If you haven't already done so, PLEASE pass on our need for signatures to
everyone you know and ask them to do likewise. Please send it to your address
book. We really need this campaign to spread all across the country - like

This week I'm pleased to say there will be adverts in the next few days in a
number of newspapers including the Daily Mail, Guardian and Telegraph promoting
the campaign.

We've had some great stories from supporters across the country, from people
collecting signatures at car boot sales and street stalls, to people putting
links on their web sites and telling all their friends - it is making a big
difference. Thank you so much to all those who have written and emailed - there
are so many we simply can't reply to all of them personally, so please forgive
us. I PROMISE they are being read and appreciated.

The huge number of messages of support and offers of help have been fantastic,
but we still really need more help. If possible, can you can help us get the
message out in the following ways:

1. If you have a blog, web site, Facebook page or similar, please put a message
about encouraging people to sign the petition. You
could also post a message in any discussion forums you use online.

2. Print out the form at
and get
friends and family to sign. Please make sure you return it to us by 16th

3. Pass the message to as many people as you can. Whether you forward this email
to your contact list, give people a call, or write a letter to your local paper
to ask others to sign the petition at - we really need
your help.

A great example of one supporter promoting our site is a video we saw on YouTube
last week. We found it extremely moving. See what you think at

Finally, a very special date for your diary - 20th November. There will be more
details soon, but we will be handing in the Gurkha Justice petition to Downing
Street on that day. Some special guests and I will be meeting in Parliament
Square at around 11am. Anyone who can come along to join us and show their
support for the Gurkhas campaign in person on that day will be most welcome.

With warmest good wishes,


PS. We've sold hundreds of Gurkha Justice t-shirts and sweatshirts at our online

Thank you to all those who have bought them - I hope you are wearing them with
as much pride as I do mine, and helping spread the message about the campaign.

£100 pay off for shot Gurkha soldier

Contributed by editor on Aug 19, 2007 - 01:50 PM

A Gurkha soldier serving at Shorncliffe Barracks has been forced to accept a £100 payoff after being discharged from the British Army following 18 years of service.

Rifleman Padan Limbu, who was badly injured after being shot during a training exercise almost five years ago, has also been made homeless after Army chiefs told him they wanted his room back.

He was staying with friends and trying to find a bedsit after being ordered to leave the barracks near Folkestone.

Mr Limbu, 39,  who served Britain in East Timor and Bosnia during his long career,  was left unable to serve on the front line after being hit in the back of his calf by a stray bullet during training in Canada in 2002.

He claimed last night that he had repeatedly pleaded to be allowed a desk job with the Army, but his requests had been turned down.

He said he will take the Army to an employment tribunal and claimed he had been tricked into signing release forms.

He had been told if he failed to do so he would be sent back to Nepal and would also have to pay his own airfare, he added.

He is being supported in his battle by the Gurkha Welfare Trust, but in the meantime he will have to find his rent, food and other living costs out of his pension of around £130 a month.

His treatment comes only six months after an apparent victory for the Gurkhas when the Government finally agreed that those who joined up after July 1997 would receive a pension equal to their British counterparts.

Gurkhas' rights campaigner Peter Carroll,  a former Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate, said he is backing Mr Limbu's case.

Mr Carroll said anyone who knew of the role the Gurkhas play in the Forces would be horrified.

The MoD insisted the Rifleman had been correctly dealt with and may be eligible for help with accommodation and disability payments.

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