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East and West road signs suggest scenes from West Side Story

Contributed by editor on Jul 16, 2007 - 02:24 PM

Flying over Hawkinge I can’t resist a look and a listen to what’s being spoken about these days.

What about that ruck between the Parish Councillors not all being invited to the opening of a new road. Wow! But why would anybody want to go anyway?

Surely the two most important people; the Chair and his Vice were sufficient and they are newcomers seeking awareness of what goes on hereabouts; or was there free grub and wine on offer afterwards that was missed. The ‘East’ and ‘West’road signs suggest the scenes from West Side Story. Will there now be gang warfare and a new musical about the divided village? How about the ‘Great Divide' as a title or has that already been done.

Then there’s the missing out by the Hawkinge Primary school who weren’t invited to the big event.

Was it just for the west-siders then? Probably glad they did miss it. Watching the grass grow and working at school, much more exciting. They should have a matched one thousand pound donation though - for staying away if an excuse is needed.

That was unfair giving it to one and not the other, but what about Selsted School; another thousand there or else I will keep flying over the builders cars and you know the result of that.

I see that the Spitfire Leisuredrome is to be placed for the THIRD time before the wise men of Shepway District Council to ask permission to knock it down. That will bring out the objectors trying to use the building for the many young people of the West Side until a new building is provided. Seems reasonable.

The mob at Whitehall recently were presented with a very comprehensive report which concluded again, that most of the problems caused by an element of youngsters these days; the stabbing incidents and such like for example, start because of society’s disinterest in providing facilities and places for them to meet away from the dreaded older 'than them' generation.

There are a lot of young people on that side of the village who may reasonably expect that something be done for them. I’m told that at present many of ‘em are into basketball but often have to use the hall at Selsted school.

Come on Parish Council play the game or I will target your cars as well for a visit in the most friendly of ways of course.

Thinking about the massive profits being made by the developers it doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect that they could lend a bit of support to the cause of supporting the young people who live in the houses they built. Such help would cost very little in size of their scheme of things.


That Blastard Pigeon took a look

Plans for spectacular restaurant tower - updated 25 June 2007

Contributed by editor on Jun 22, 2007 - 02:00 PM

Plans for a spectacular tower and a state-of–the-art park style land bridge over Townwall Street, Dover to the seafront, have been unveiled.

Council representatives met last week with the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Dover Harbour Board, English Partnerships, Kent County Council and Dover Pride, to discuss proposals to transform the future of the town.

Under the plans Dover’s landmark tourist sites, history and the port terminals will be linked. A spectacular restaurant and lookout tower would be built off the York Street roundabout. There are also plans for a state-of–the-art land bridge to link the town with the seafront.

Initial concept images courtesy of Rummey Design Associates Ltd.

A council spokesman said; "These modern structures would symbolize renewal and reinforce the existing internationally recognized landmarks of Dover Castle and the world famous white cliffs."

Cllr Paul Watkins, Leader of Dover District Council, said: “Never has Dover had such a comprehensive range of projects to integrate the Town with the Port. As the Dover Pride Partnership moves from concepts to delivery, local people will see transformational change taking place ensuring the highest standards of eco sustainability are achieved. There is an “air of confidence” moving through Dover currently. These are long term projects, which will move Dover up the economic growth ladder and make a difference to local people.”

Bob Goldfield, Chief Executive, Port of Dover, said: “Dover Harbour Board is committed to working closely with our partners on Dover District Council, Kent County Council SEEDA and English Partnerships, to secure the once-in–a-lifetime regeneration opportunities presented by the many initiatives in and around the Town and District, including our own £300 million port expansion plan. We live in very exciting times.”

Chairman of Dover Pride and KCC Cabinet Member for Regeneration Roger Gough said: "Dover has long been well-known as the world's largest passenger port and the Gateway to England. We want to build on its international reputation by taking forward these imaginative ideas to create a world-class place."


Birthday honours for local people

Contributed by editor on Jun 17, 2007 - 12:20 AM

South East Kent recipients of the Order of the British Empire, MBE include Thomas Michael Pearson from Hythe for services to Cruse Bereavement Care.

Frederick Edward Rolleston, who lives on Romney Marsh receives his for charitable services through the Paula Carr Trust, Shepway, Kent and Norma Winstone, a jazz musician and singer from Deal was honoured for her services to Music.


Pigeon Droppings - 25 May 2007

Contributed by editor on May 25, 2007 - 05:52 PM

Hawkinge Palace of Varieties

Strutting joyfully and gay between and around the legs of our esteemed Parish Councillors I nonchalantly pretend to be looking for treats as dropped items of their succulent and exotic menu whilst listening to gossip about our intended Parish future.

A moment of this better for my digestion than months of that stuff as used to be given by tourists in that square place with a statue in London amongst the droppings from whence I came.

So what is being said then, you ask?

A new Council having to take on all that has been approved by the last one. Two new members with ambition galore. One of each of the sexes. Will that make a difference, its asked.

The female, a lady already affectionately known as ‘Jimmy’ (Mrs James) , of immense talent and many concerns about the past and the future. Not giving much away but must be laughing at being asked to be Vice Chairman. Its said she will see through the purpose of that one. She is presently recovering from jet lag but no doubt in training for the constructive long battle ahead.

The male, is also known to be a little concerned with the past; to say the least. A wise elderly Gentleman known for views of logic and hating waste. now asking questions with a long list having been given already to the new Clerk. Not much passes him it would seem.

Amongst the discussions generally; at the top of the list is the position of the new Clerk who spends some of her working hours in the Partnership Office and the rest working from home. Bit unusual that, whilst some wonder who approved it. The post should perhaps, be at home on a part time basis or at the office full time other than when attending meetings and such like, as with all other such post holders in such employment.

Also asked: why does Hawkinge suddenly need a full time Clerk. Nothing has changed since the last one who was part time. Perhaps increase the hours a bit. How much is all this needlessly costing the residents, it may well be wondered.

The new Clerk is considered a very able lady and already improving administration systems to ensure compliance with correct procedure as becoming such a body with potential to spend our money unwisely if not kept in line and in compliance with accepted policy and procedure. It is hoped the new members will also be ensuring that.

One other item causing an exhalation of hot air being concern with the decision of the last lot to make a rather large payment to the previous Clerk when she retired. A decision perhaps correctly made but illogical when there are so many more other needs for such an amount of money which could have been used for the benefit of the residents who had the money taken from then in the first place through the rates they pay by a system jokingly known as ‘Demanding money with menaces’

There are other matters being discussed of fascinating interest but to reveal them all might spoil the entertainment for those who attend in the audience. You will have to wait and see.

One hint though: the sale of the Leisuredrome is again on the Agenda probably meaning a lot of objections by being the only indoor place for the youth to play sport which it is hoped will be retained. Its said that big audiences may be expected for what could become the Hawkinge Palace of Varieties in the future with improved attendance. Seats may have to be by invitation only. Efforts are said to be in hand to improve the acoustics. A microphone system has been suggested which would, at least, improve audibility when all of them are talking at once as only the one, with the microphone, will be heard. (Guess who that will be).

Another suggestion having been given is that the Councillors tables be more logically arranged so that they can be heard from the public area without deafening each other.

In the mean time two of our elected Members are awaiting ‘Trial’ for alleged offences leading to report to the dreaded Standards Board. Bit unfair on them, having to wait so long for the investigation. Wonder why that is?

Promising times ahead for the those who give of their time so generously and for those who watch and wonder.

The Pigeon

Tit Bits - 13 May 2007

Contributed by editor on May 13, 2007 - 10:44 AM

The newsroom by this time was in a state of near panic....

I think I should explain.

Since our story of the voting in of the new Parish Council Chairman, there has been some minor criticism of the story

Two irate councillors contacted the Gazette to tell us it was either wrong and/or put out the wrong message.

In the first draft of the story we used the words 'casting vote' when describing Cllr Callahan's vote for himself.

One of the less than happy councillors explained that this was not a casting vote in the true legal sense of the word, and it was made clear to us in great detail and at some length; so much so that we're just glad we weren't paying for the phone call!

All hands to the pumps and the Gazette staff were put on red alert to immediately amend the offending word 'casting'. Phew! that was close! was heard from the boardroom.

But it was to get even worse. A second councillor had now complained that the headline, Callahan votes for himself.... gave out the wrong message and we should have also mentioned that the opposing councillor Peter Smith did the same.

Blimey, what do we do now? The newsroom by this time was in a state of near panic.

Crucial questions, such as, did you get lucky last night? and who's gonna win the FA cup? were fired at the scribblers and sweaty palmed juniors feared for their jobs as the Editor dug deep for the truth.

Apparently, after a thorough unofficial internal inquiry, it was discovered that the headline was used in the first place because Cllr Callahan said it. He had explained to the public attending the meeting that he could vote for himself and of course with the closely fought contest, he had to use his vote.

It also turns out that Cllr Callahan, as the incumbent chairman has a maximum of two votes, one to vote for himself plus a casting vote which can be used in his favour if the voting is all square after the first ballot.

So if anyone read the first or even the second draft of the story, I hope this clarifies the situation to villagers, and the newsroom can now get back to the pub.

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Ladies urge Government to stop closures of Community Hospitals

Contributed by editor on May 10, 2007 - 05:40 PM

Hawkinge Acrise and Paddlesworth WI meeting May 2007

Our May meeting usually starts with lunch, and this year we kept up the tradition.

After lunch the meeting started regrettably with a minute's silence in remembrance of one of our long standing members Phyllis Dale.

We sang Jerusalem and birthday wishes were accorded to Mesdames Bell, Cole, Jefferson and Marshall.

When we have finished the business of the day, we would, at this point of the proceedings have our speaker, but instead Gilian Philcox presented this years resolution. this resolution '' URGES HM. GOVERNMENT TO STOP THE CLOSURE OF COMMUNITY HOSPITALS WHICH PROVIDE ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO LOCAL PEOPLE.''

After discussion it was voted upon and carried unanimously. Our representative will now take our vote to the National AGM. to be held at the Royal Albert Hall in June.

There then followed a discussion on a prospective resolution which Broad Oak W I are trying to get the East Kent Federation to adopt and put forward for next years AGM. This resolution like this years, affects us all, and is highlighting the lack of and the condition of the public toilets in this country.

The competition this month, a short springtime poem, was won by Janet Cripps for her very amusing poem about spring cleaning. Linda Barnes then reminded us of our visit to Canterbury on Thursday the 3rd May and our various forthcoming outings and events which include a river trip and a visit to Westminster Abbey.

The next meeting is on Tuesday 5th June at 2pm when the speaker will be Yvonne Ward with her talk "If it's Friday it must be Florence."

So ladies do come along and join us. Should you require further information please do not hesitate to contact me on 01303 891420.

Carole Seabrook


The Prosser Perspective - 10 May 2007

Contributed by editor on May 10, 2007 - 12:25 AM

.... a weekly column from Dover and Deal MP Gwyn Prosser

10 May 2007


The Conservatives did well last week in the local
elections in England and especially down here in the South East. For the first
time in a very long time there’s not single Labour controlled council anywhere
in Kent and even Gravesham, which we have held for many years, fell to the

Compared to the losses elsewhere, here in the District of Dover we have not
faired too badly – the official picture is that Labour suffered a net loss of
just two seats but behind that headline is a rather sadder story because we lost
all three of our Middle Deal seats to the Conservatives and we lost some very
good councillors and candidates including the Leader of the Labour Group, Peter

Peter did a good job when he was Leader of DDC and he’s played a very
responsible role during the last four years leading the opposition but at the
same time supporting the Council on crucial issues like regeneration and the
development of the District.

When I first came to Dover in 1979, we had a Conservative Government, Margaret
Thatcher had just been elected as Prime Minister, the Conservatives had been
ruling the County of Kent for 105 years and their colleagues had an iron grip on
Dover District Council. At that time no one could have predicted that we would
ever remove the Tories from County Hall, take most of the Councils in Kent and
elect Labour Member’s of Parliament to half of the County’s seats – but we did.

In speeches and in articles I used to describe those changes as the rising tide
of democratic socialism in the South East, and so it was. No one can deny that
the incoming tide slowed down last Thursday but that’s a long way from saying
that Labour is going to be washed out into the bay.

We know from past experience that every political party suffers setbacks when
it’s in government and passing through the dreaded mid-term period. Despite all
the huge improvements we have made in the last ten years there have been some
mistakes and some misjudgements and it’s become a fact of political life that
the electorate will use the relative safety of local elections to give the
ruling party a bit of a kicking.

Added to the mid-term factor we are in our third term of office and this only
serves to concentrate people’s concerns about those bits of policy they’ve been
unhappy about.

Up until last Thursday the official status of our Council was ‘no overall
control’ but as everyone knows, the Conservatives have been in power in Dover
for the last four years by courtesy of the Liberal Democrats so the change of
status is hardly a dramatic one. Yes, so the Tories did well last week – but not
at all well enough to stem the tide.

Pigeon Droppings - The election - 5 May 2007

Contributed by editor on May 05, 2007 - 06:31 PM


The Pigeon watched the happenings whilst flying over. The dust has settled, supporters and candidates now recovering from walking miles to give messages of their intended policies and what they would do if we voted for them. Trees cut down to make all the paper to give us the detail of their purpose and that to place our crosses on, now probably being replaced by new ones being planted and what have we got after the four yearly scramble to represent us.

At District level, three brand new shiny councillors made in the image of ‘call me Dave’: No, not the Dolphin; that chap who claims to like hugging young people wearing a top with an attached hat called ‘hoodies’ whilst always appearing tie less. Not very Conservative that.

Our three previous representatives tossed aside without a thought so as to follow the usual ‘your turn Claude’ alternating system that seems to happen every four years.

Now the Parish Council: nine to choose from 10 standing, including just two new potential members.

Possibly the biggest surprise was that Cyril Trice was the one to come last past the post.

Cyril was probably the hardest working member over the last four years. We have him to thank for the progress in the provision of football hereabouts. He never stopped working for the village and I’m sure he will remain involved in some way.

The two new members Jean James and Tony Hutt will probably make a big difference.

Both have been critical of some previous happenings and are very committed to providing sporting facilities for the youngsters in the area which are sadly missing at the moment other than, predominately, football.

A very interesting time ahead. May bring back the crowds to cheer and boo proceedings.

The Pigeon

Pigeon Droppings - 2 May 2007

Contributed by editor on May 02, 2007 - 01:17 PM

A business principle of business philosophy: Could it be adapted to benefit our new, to be elected, Parish Council ?



HIERARCHICAL: At the end of the day: Just one brain working.

CONSENSUAL: Zero brains working.



The Pigeon

Tit Bits - 30 April 2007

Contributed by editor on Apr 29, 2007 - 11:00 AM

Hasn't Dave heard of a tsunami?.....

Well it wasn't too long before Folkestone's favourite mammal, Dave the Dolphin  found his way into the earthquake story.

It appears from reports in a Kent newspaper that he tried to warn residents in Sandgate of the impending tremor early on Saturday morning.

Brave Dave was apparently seen frantically darting around near the shoreline shortly before the earthquake struck .

An eye witness is reported to have seen the distressed dolphin, jumping in and out of the water close to the shore, just before the earthquake struck

The eye witness then told the paper that everyone started rushing out from their houses and onto the beach for safety.

Seems that Dave may well be brave, but luring unsuspecting Sandgate folk onto the beach after an undersea earthquake, has he not heard of  a tsunami?

Is it brave Dave? or daft Dave? Probably neither, however much we like to believe that animals can sense impending doom, it was possibly nothing more than just that and Dave our favourite dolphin was doing what comes naturally and trying to escape the tremor.

Prize for the best earthquake headline must go to the Sunday People with Quakey Wakey!

Talking of the nationals, I read this in last week's Sun which reminded me of a goof on our own BBC Radio Kent.

"Radio 1 DJ Jo turns air blue
Jo Whiley apologised yesterday after she accidentally swore live on air.

The DJ, 41, made the slip when she read out a text.

She tried to say East Kent Cup — but got her tongue twisted and said “East **** Cup.”

Listener Tony Griffiths, 23, from Folkestone, Kent, said: “At first I couldn’t believe my ears.”

Flustered Jo cut to a song — then apologised when she came back on air. "

It was a very similar gaffe which a presenter on Radio Kent made when talking about the Kent countryside and accidentally transposed the beginnings of the words Kent and Countryside. Oops!

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