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Council "Keen to see Market stay"....1 October 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:43 AM

Shepway Council says it will do all it can to keep a market in the town following the decision of Market Initiatives Ltd to terminate its contract.

The company has given stall holders a month’s notice, citing lack of commitment by the council to granting it a long term contract to operate the Thursday and Saturday market.

But the Council has said it is keen to see the market stay in the town and will be meeting with MIL on Tuesday. (1 October)

Cllr Joe Sullivan, vice-chairman of the Council’s General Purposes committee said: “Obviously, we are disappointed by Marketing Initiatives’ decision to terminate its contract to operate the Thursday and Saturday markets but feel there is plenty of room for negotiation and the potential to overcome problems. We look forward to continued talks with the company.

“The market has been an intrinsic part of the town for many years and we appreciate that it adds value to the shopping experience in Folkestone.

“We are also confident that other ways could be explored to ensure a market remains a feature of the town centre scene.

“We appreciate that the redevelopment of Sandgate Road and the relocation of the market has been unsettling for stall holders but can only reiterate that we wish to see a market continue.�

For Town Centre Management, Rob Woods says “The Town Centre Management Board is disappointed that MIL has indicated its intention to withdraw from Folkestone. It is particularly sorry for those traders who have supported the town over the past few years.�

“The TCM Board feels that Folkestone town centre needs a quality market that emulates and complements the success of the Sunday market, has a lively feel and becomes an attraction in its own right.�

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Council prosecutes dog owners....1 October 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:43 AM

Another dog owner is due to be prosecuted by Shepway District Council for taking her pet onto a local beach while the summer beach ban was in force.

Seven other owners who defied the ban have already been prosecuted and were faced with fines of up to £250.

As well as the summer beach ban fines, Council dog wardens have issued 24 fixed penalties of £50 each to owners who have allowed their dogs to foul in controlled areas and made no attempt to clear up.

Cllr George Bunting, the Council’s Environment Secretary said: "The Council has nothing against dog owners but these prosecutions send a clear message that dog owners must act responsibly, and respect other users of beaches and public spaces. If your dog fouls the highway or public spaces, please clean it up!�

The seasonal ban on dogs, which applies to some of the beaches along the district’s 42 kilometre coastline, runs from 1 May to 30 September every year. Beaches where the bans apply are clearly signed.

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Cannabis plants seized in Folkestone....28 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:40 AM

Following an investigation by the South East Kent police teams, a search was carried out at an address in Folkestone, where officers discovered a hydroponics factory.

Two van loads of cannabis, and associated paraphernalia were seized in the operation. The picture, at right, shows a number of cannabis plants seized in the early stages of growth.

Sgt Sean Pryor of the Tactical Team said: "There is a misconception that cannabis is legal now, but this is not the case. SE Kent Police is taking positive action to reduce the supply of controlled drugs, of whatever class, in this area."

A 34-year-old local man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a class B controlled drug and cultivating cannabis.

After being questioned at Folkestone Police Station, he was released on police bail, pending further enquiries. He is due to return to the police station in November.

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Behaviour threatens chairman’s position….27 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:39 AM

John Heasman, chairman of Hawkinge Parish Council, is under investigation by the Standards Board of England following an allegation of “threatening behaviour�.

If the complaint is upheld and considered to be a severe breach of the Board’s code of conduct, Cllr Heasman could be suspended or even banned from holding office for up to five years.

The allegation arose out of a heated exchange between members at July’s meeting of the parish council which resulted in Cllr Bill Regan storming out and later resigning.

It is alleged that, following that meeting, Cllr Heasman confronted Cllrs Cyril Trice and Peter Smith and warned them that if he lost any councillors or his clerk as a result of the row which had taken place he would “throw the rule book� at them.

The matter is now in the hands of the Board’s Ethical Standards Officer who has up to five months to complete his investigation.

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Folkestone is "a great place" says Love....26 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:35 AM

A full-colour guide that provides a shop window on regeneration and revitalisation projects in Folkestone was launched this week by Shepway District Council.

Folkestone Development Guide highlights seven initiatives that play a key role in the town’s regeneration. It also sets out the success of funding bids and looks at future projects.

The guide is targeted at potential investors but is also aimed at local residents and existing businesses to demonstrate the Council’s confidence in the area’s future.

Council Leader, Rory Love, said the full-colour, 17-page, high-quality publication, re-affirmed Folkestone’s credentials as a great place in which to live, work and invest and reflected Shepway District Council’s commitment to the town’s regeneration.

“We are already seeing the results of successful investment in projects like the town centre improvement scheme, phase one of our Coastal Park and the redevelopment of the Leas Cliff Hall, which is creating Kent’s largest entertainment and conference venue.

“Our continuing success at attracting funding and our commitment to working with partners to achieve our plans is now starting to transform Folkestone.

“The new Folkestone Development Guide will play a crucial role in ensuring the town’s benefits are promoted and recognised among future investors.�

Andy Jarrett, the Council’s Head of Economic Development Services shared the Leader’s enthusiasm. “Folkestone is finally receiving the attention from investors is has long deserved. The town offers unique development sites and an unrivalled location at the hub of an international transport network and for these reasons, it is attracting both national and international attention.

“The guide has a key part to play in making sure the momentum of both public and private investment continues to enable the town to fulfil its potential.�

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Forces Sweetheart supports Hangar Roof Appeal....26 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:35 AM

Dame Vera Lynn has written to the Battle of Britain Museum in Hawkinge pledging her support for the Hangar Appeal.

The appeal has raised over £1000 in its first month

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It Asda be Folkestone....25 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:34 AM

Supermarket giant Asda is believed to have turned its attention from Folkestone town centre to the seafront in its search for a suitable site on which to build a new outlet, according to a local businessman.

If the deal goes ahead it would spell the end of the dream for many Hawkinge residents that Asda would build its next superstore in the village.

Asda Property Communications Manager, Simon Leonard, would not be drawn on whether or not it was in the process of buying the package of land along the seafront.

He said: "I am not in a position to comment on a specific site at this point in time. It's no secret that we are very interested in the area, but we don't like to comment on speculation."

Shepway Council's head of economic development, Andy Jarrett, has warned the supermarket chain that planning permission will be refused if there is any danger of the new store threatening trade at the multi-million pound shopping development planned for the town centre.

He said this week: " I can neither confirm nor deny that negotiations are underway regarding this particular piece of land.

"However, I can say that the council would like to see this area developed."

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Ramblers urge Government for safe crossing....25 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:33 AM

Story by Peter Skingle

Large numbers of hikers, cyclists and equestrians gathered to support the campaign for a safe crossing of the A2 at Barham and Kingston.

The rally which took place in Barham on Saturday (21/9/02) was organised by the Canterbury Group of the Ramblers Association.

There was widespread support with representatives from many organisations and other Kent Ramblers Groups.

Ken Wright, Chairman of the Rambler's Association Kent Footpaths committee and Martin Vye, Canterbury City and County Councillor for the area addressed the rally before the protestors set off on a short walk highlighting the dangers of crossing the A2.

There are about fourteen bridleways or footpaths which straddle the busy A2 between Canterbury and Dover and it is hoped that the Highways Agency, who are responsible for the road, will make some provision for ramblers and horse riders who want to cross the carriageway.

The Ramblers Association has long campaigned for a safe crossing at Barham and Kingston and intends to continue the campaign by lobbying both MPs and the Highways Agency.

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Future looks brighter for Dungeness workers....24 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:32 AM

British Energy, who operate the Dungeness Power Staion, is hoping to avoid administration by extending a deadline for repaying £410 million emergency loan made by Government.

It is thought the power company is about to agree a three-month extension to the loan . This should be enough breathing space to negotiate cost-saving deals which could ensure its long-term viability.

British Energy executives will meet Patricia Hewitt, the Trade and Industry Secretary, this week.

An announcement must be made by Friday, when the loan deal expires.

Robin Jeffrey, the chief executive, is hoping to reduce the £300 million annual costs of reprocessing fuel through BNFL, the government-owned nuclear fuels company.

In return for a processing contract BNFL could be given an equity stake in British Energy.

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Kent news

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:31 AM