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Residents warned over dangers of illegal dumping of hazardous materials

Contributed by editor on Feb 17, 2008 - 12:05 AM

People are being asked to help in a crack down on the dumping of asbestos
in country lanes and dykes.

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Shepway District Council is focussing on the Dymchurch, Romney
Marsh area where it believes it is being dumped by rogue traders.

Residents are being asked to be extra vigilant, especially keeping a
look out for vans and lorries at night.

Cllr Rory Love, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “We believe
this might be coming from outside the district. Whoever is doing this is
choosing quiet areas where there is least chance of being seen. We would
ask people to be extra vigilant and to try and get the registration
number and description of the vehicle and a description of anyone they
think might be involved providing it is safe for them to do it.”

The crackdown comes after a recent spate of dumping at various points on
Romney Marsh. The council’s advice to anyone who spots dumped asbestos

• Don’t touch it. Asbestos cement is a hazard only when it is moved or

• Report it to the council’s street scene customer services team on
01303 858660 giving a precise location.

Providing it is not on private land, the council will arrange for it to
be removed. Twenty locations across Romney Marsh have already been
cleared and the council hopes to get the remaining asbestos removed by
the end of the week. The council is working closely with the Environment
Agency to have the asbestos dumped in a waterway off St Mary’s Road,
between St Mary in the Marsh and Dymchurch, removed.

“People can also play their part in tackling the problem of illegally
dumped asbestos or any other material by making sure that any company
they use to carry out building or clearance work has a waste carrier
licence and waste transfer notes detailing the type of waste, where it
is being taken from and where it is being disposed of,” said Cllr Love.

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Breaking the ice

Contributed by editor on Feb 17, 2008 - 12:00 AM

Getting people to join in can be a tricky problem but a one day seminar held
in the village could help to break the ice.

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The one-day training course aimed at local residents and representatives
of clubs, groups and organisations who run community events and
activities in Hawkinge is to take place on Saturday 26th April.

It tackles the problem of how to encourage more people to attend
community, leisure and social events. Participants will gain essential
skills that they can use within their own clubs and organisations so
that successful events and activities for the whole community can be
delivered. Delegates will also learn how to overcome barriers to

The course will run from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm at Hawkinge Community
Centre and is free for attendees. All training materials and
refreshments will be provided.

Barbara Bradley, The Hawkinge Neighbourhood Manager, said, “This is a
great opportunity for club, group and event organisers to assess how
they currently do things and take steps to inspire and motivate people
to attend and continue to participate” .

Places are limited and early booking is essential, so if you wish to
reserve your place or you require more information please contact the
Hawkinge Management Team on 01303 858663.

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Sophia headlines night of the stars at Dover cruise ship launch

Contributed by editor on Feb 16, 2008 - 07:46 PM

Dover Cruise Terminal will be hosting the prestigious launch of MSC Cruises’ most exciting and anticipated ship, the MSC Poesia.

With Italian icon Sophia Loren christening the new cruise ship to the sounds of Andrea Bocelli, KT Tunstall and Fearne Cotton it is set to be a day to remember.

The MSC Poesia, will make her debut in Dover on 5th April 2008, with a VIP star studded event to mark the first ever launch of an MSC Cruises ship outside of Italy .

In line with the company's tradition, the magnificent launch event will be attended by glamorous Hollywood actress, Sophia Loren, godmother to the new ship, who will perform the midnight christening ceremony.

As part of the ‘Musica’ class, the MSC Poesia,  will see her first night in Dover celebrated by live performances from headline acts including the celebrated Andrea Bocelli. Italian opera legend Bocelli, having recently received a standing ovation at the Grammy awards, captures the spirit and lyricism of the new ship.

Sophia Loren will christen the new cruise ship

In addition, multi award winning singer/songwriter KT Tunstall will be on stage in the grand new music hall as will jazz supremo, 20 year old, Peter Grant, accompanied by the renowned Ronnie Scott band.

MSC Poesia

During the evening, US artist Brian Olsen, will entertain with his unique style of dramatic performance art.


Festivities will go on late into the night, with BBC Radio One DJ, Fearne Cotton, controlling the ships other decks, to ensure celebrity revellers and guests can enjoy the splendour of the MSC Poesia and its warm Mediterranean hospitality.


Claudia Baino, Managing Director at MSC Cruises UK, said: “We are tremendously excited about launching the MSC Poesia in April. This is the first time an MSC Cruises ship has been christened in the UK , demonstrating how committed MSC Cruises are to the British market. The event promises to be spectacular, with the Italian glamour of Sophia Loren and a fantastic line up of global artists providing entertainment throughout the evening.”


At 89,600 tonnes and 1275 cabins with double occupancy for 2550 passengers, MSC Poesia has a wonderful blend of cutting edge technology, elegant surroundings, exciting entertainment venues and tantalising dining opportunities. MSC Poesia will be a sister ship to the popular MSC Orchestra and MSC Musica (launched in 2007 and 2006 respectively). She will become the ninth ship in the MSC Cruises fleet, which has experienced the industry’s largest fleet expansion in the last three years.


After the launch event, she will set sail on her 13 night pre-inaugural voyage from Dover to Venice , visiting Ireland , Portugal , Spain , Croatia , and finally Italy , arriving in Venice where she will be positioned for the summer of 2008.


For booking details visit or call 0844 561 1955

Double tragedy as young cousins are found dead hundreds of miles apart

Contributed by editor on Feb 16, 2008 - 01:10 AM

It has emerged a young woman on holiday in Folkestone is one of two young people from an area at the centre of a recent spate of suspected suicides to have been found dead in separate incidents 240 miles apart.

Nathaniel Pritchard aged 15, from Bridgend in South Wales, died in hospital on Wednesday (14 February) after he is thought to have harmed himself.

Kelly Stephenson, 20, who was on holiday in Folkestone, was found dead this morning (15 February) after being told of Nathaniel's condition.

They were cousins and lived close to each other in the Welsh town.

South Wales Police issued a statement denying any link between the deaths. It said: “We were called to an address in Bridgend to a report that a 15-year-old boy had harmed himself. He has since died. There is no evidence to suggest this incident is linked to any other incidents in the area.”

A spokeswoman for Kent Police said: "We can confirm that a 20-year-old woman was found dead at an address in Folkestone.

The latest suspected suicides will increase the intense debate over why the town has such a high number of suicides among young people.

Prior to the latest deaths, since January last year 14 victims aged between 15 and 27 had reportedly hanged themselves.


'Tied up student' staff leave Academy

Contributed by editor on Feb 15, 2008 - 10:42 AM

A teacher and a class instructor at the new £38m Folkestone Academy, who allegedly tied up a boy with plastic cable ties during a lesson have left the school.

They reportedly bound the hands and legs of a 16-year-old pupil, during an engineering lesson.

It was filmed by classmates on mobile phones. The two staff members, were suspended after the footage came to light in December.

In a letter sent to parents in December, principal John Patterson said although the incident may have been "intended to be good humoured", the academy saw the alleged behaviour as "totally inappropriate".

A spokesman for the school said: “On 28 November 2007 an incident occurred at the Folkestone Academy in which a student was tied up with plastic cable ties by a teacher and an instructor. As a result of the incident, the two staff involved have now left the academy’s employment.”

Warning over hard sell security company

Contributed by editor on Feb 15, 2008 - 12:00 AM

Kent Trading Standards have issued this alert to the public following
numerous reports of receiving unsolicited cold call telephone calls
targeted at residents across the County.

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The phone calls are from a security system company called St. Johns
Security (they are also stating that they are Group 4), who use very
hard sell tactics to obtain an appointment at the
consumer's home.

They appear to be targeting people who already have a burglar alarm
system, using scare tactics about increases in crime in their immediate
locality and telling them that they will give the homeowner up to £1500
worth of free equipment if an appointment is made.

They also claim their systems are connected to Kent Police so that in
the event an alarm is activated the Police will be able to attend as a
rapid response.

We have confirmed with Kent Police this is totally untrue and there is
no connection between this company and the Police.

Should an appointment be made as a result of an unsolicited telephone
call it is important to note that consumer's are entitled to a 7-day
cancellation period. Should the trader fail to give a notice of
cancellation any contract will be unenforceable.

If you have any information regarding this company or are aware of a
similar incident and require further advice, please call Consumer Direct
on 08454 04 05 06.

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