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Back in training just 12 weeks after heart op

Contributed by editor on Jun 04, 2008 - 05:46 PM

Dear Editor,

Re: Heart problems scupper popular Peter's Channel swim

I am pleased to say that your article on my surgery generated a great deal of response.

The nice local people sent messages, cards and even uplifting telephone calls to my hospital room.

On May 28 I had successful double bypass open heart surgery and I am already doing my walking and breathing exercises.

The good news is that the surgeon says that I can do a channel swim in 2009 and I can begin training in 12 weeks.

The best news is I will be able to keep up my near quarter of a century tradition and will be able to visit Folkestone this Summer.

To me, summer will just be a little late in Shepway.

Peter Jurzynski

IT Cafe for something to do!

Contributed by editor on May 07, 2008 - 04:14 PM

Dear Editor,

Re: Parish Council should support village youth

There is an IT Cafe at Hawkinge Community Centre. Young people can use it and it's free.

During school term time it's open for young people from 3.30 to 5.30 on Tuesdays and 5.00 to 7.00 on Thursdays.

During school holidays it's open 11.30 to 1.30 on Tuesdays and 1.00 to 3.00 on Thursdays. Just turn up.

Older adults can also drop in and use the facilities between 1.30 to 3.00 on Tuesdays and 3.00 to 5.00 on Thursdays.

Alan Haines
Hawkinge Partnership

Village centre pedestrian improvements starting soon - Artist's impression

Contributed by editor on Apr 24, 2008 - 08:19 PM

Work is finally about to begin to smarten up the grassed areas outside the Canterbury Road shops.

The new raised flower beds

A ceremony to mark the start of the visual improvements to the landscape in front of the shops in Canterbury Road, Hawkinge is taking place at 9.00 am on Tuesday 6th May.

Hawkinge Parish Council Chairman, David Callahan together with  a Hawkinge Partnership representative will perform the ceremony.

The scheme will replace the existing flat grassed areas with raised beds surrounded by railway sleepers enclosing robust, colourful plants and shrubs. Also included is a bench, which residents, specifically requested so that weary shoppers could rest their logs and watch the world go by.

The areas that will benefit from the improvement work stretch from the Hawkinge Community Office to the Village Hall. Plans of the scheme are available to view in the Hawkinge Community Office.

The scheme will take about three weeks to complete and is the result of consultation and collaboration by the Hawkinge Partnership, Hawkinge Parish Council, Kent County Council, Stagecoach East Kent and residents.


Cracking Easter farmers' market

Contributed by editor on Mar 18, 2008 - 07:29 PM

Story by Jenny Barraclough

Traders and visitors to the Capel-le-Ferne Easter Farmers Market today (18 March) celebrated Easter with bonnets, eggs and baby animals on show.

Several stallholders wore Easter bonnets and mini Easter eggs were hidden amongst the stalls for the young children to find.

The Capel-le-Ferne Playgroup paraded their home-made bonnets, and  all were given an Easter egg for their efforts.

Capel-le-Ferne Primary School had a decorated egg competition at school and two winners from each class came along for the overall winner to be judged by Paul James Community Warden and Derek Jeffrey, a Village Hall committee member.

The winner was Charley Reynolds from Year 1 who received a giant egg.


Dump it call from online 'fun' poll

Contributed by editor on Mar 17, 2008 - 03:59 PM

Although Shepway Council are claiming that the brown garden waste bins are popular with ratepayers despite them having to fork out an extra £35 a year for the 26 fortnightly collections, a Gazette online  poll tells a different story.

The Gazette 'fun' poll asked readers if the price charged by Shepway was good value.

Of the 651 votes cast to 17 March, 66 votes supported the council saying it was good value, but the rest totalling an overwhelming 585 disagreed.

If the £35 had been included in this year's rates, the increase over last year would have been more than 5% and the council could have found itself rate capped by the Government.  To keep the environmentally friendly service going, the cash strapped local authority were forced to charge ratepayers directly without  increasing the rates.

It is less than two weeks before the new charge comes in force.

Garden recycling fiasco

Contributed by editor on Feb 06, 2008 - 08:59 PM

Dear Editor,

Re: Anger as Garden Tax bills drop on Shepway doormats 

How can Shepway Council Conservatives square their promise, `never` to charge for waste disposal with this new `tax` of £35.00 from April?

This move has got to be an active disincentive to recycling and could lead to the increase of fly-tipping, which is a pity because Shepway`s recycling record is one of the best in Kent, largely due to garden waste because of its weight, which is why Shepway encouraged it in the first place four years ago by giving out free bins.

The Cabinet can make all the excuses they like to justify this £35.00 charge for the collection and disposal of garden waste, but in truth this has more to do with balancing next year's Shepway budget because, as I have been informed, cut-backs of £1.2m are needed to balance the books this year.

Readers will recall that Shepway is a rate-capped authority closely monitored by the Government, and will be unable to increase the rates sufficient to cover this deficit.

Yours sincerely

C Tearle

Shepway Independents

Tit Bits - 5 February 2008

Contributed by editor on Feb 05, 2008 - 10:16 AM

Talk about moving the goalposts once the game has started.

The latest harebrained scheme to come out of Shepway's Ivory Tower to save cash by charging for garden waste wheelie bins is on a par with the fleeting glory days of the Lib Dems when they held power, and promptly proceeded to save a penny or two by shutting the public loos.

I can't see the third of ratepayers who are trying to save waste and help the environment wanting to fork out over a quid, each time their  bin is emptied, or not if it happens to be in the winter months when the bins are seldom used.

In my crystal ball I foresee a boom in sales of dustbin incinerators at local ironmongers and bonfires lighting the night sky.

The domestic compost bins are nowhere near big enough for the amount of vegetation generated in the summer and they sit sad and neglected for the rest of the year.

Why not have a communal compost bin serving around a hundred homes which could be emptied weekly. It would save the fortnightly collection which for much of the year seems to be a waste of time and money when so few brown top bins are used.

Considering Shepway's financial position I think we must ask whether the charging is to keep the service going or to kill it off. From the people I have spoken to, I don't think there will be enough people keeping their bins to make it worthwhile.

A win win situation, for the council you may think, and a lose lose one for the environment which could see co2 emissions rocketing over Shepway.

Time will tell.

What do you think....cast your vote in the Village Poll....


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Footpath sounds more like a minor road

Contributed by editor on Jan 16, 2008 - 10:07 PM

Dear Editor

Re: Killing wood footpath outside buffer zone is dangerous 

Peter's letter doesn't make sense. The existing footpath is the one which Shepway created last year, which, with constant use and some improvement works by the Council would be more than adequate for Peter and his friends.

The proposed new one is the one which they are demanding the Council creates - destroying the fence which was only replaced a few months ago. I must say the list of qualities he is demanding make it sound more like a minor road than a country footpath.

As for push chairs and invalid chairs - that whole area is, and always has been, most unsuitable for these vehicles, and I have never seen any along that route. The area ends at Killing Wood in a farmer's field (walkers have broken down the perimeter fence there as well).

Are Peter and friends going to insist the farmer upgrades his fields for their convenience?

For goodness sake, there are plenty of good walks around here - use them and leave the residents of this area in peace.



Tit Bits - 2 January 2008

Contributed by editor on Jan 02, 2008 - 08:43 PM

There surely cannot be a much more opportune time to bring the Parish Council together to form a united fighting unit for the betterment of the village.

Not only is it the beginning of a new year, but two more new councillors have been 'sworn in' to join the battle weary ranks who have witnessed a catalogue of catastrophes over the past year.

Jean James, who although topping the poll in the May election,  resigned just six months later and the 'lad' aka Keven Avery, on whose presence rested a great deal of hope, decided he too had to give up his seat.

But Tony Hutt, who was the other new member elected in May is finding his feet and looks set to stay.

So, what of the two new councillors, Colin Tearle and the Xfactor, Patricia Meloy.

Patricia is pretty much unknown, which may give her some advantage in that there is no track record which could bring her into conflict with the incumbent councillors.

However, Colin Tearle is another kettle of fish, and from reports I have heard on the way he conducts his Chairmanship of Swingfield Parish Council and his experience as a former Tory chief whip on Shepway District Council, he is a man who is not for turning.

The long suffering villagers may well find there is a new vigour ready to be exercised by the council on such issues as the leisuredrome, community centre and the employment land.

The first Parish Council meeting of 2008, next Wednesday (9 January), should be a good indicator to whether the balance of the council will be able to take the important tasks out of the doldrums and sail them, not to the roaring forties, but a the more tranquil trade winds.

The meeting should be a treat to watch for all pundits and plain parishioners, and it could even shake off the comparisons drawn by some, with  Dibley Parish Council.

I wish you all a happy and a prosperous New Year.


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Tit Bits - 28 November 2007

Contributed by editor on Nov 28, 2007 - 05:52 PM

It resembles a cross between a 1970's multi-storey car park and the Nine Elms Cold Store.....

Is it just me or does anyone else think the £30M or so Bouverie Place shopping centre in Folkestone looks a bit tatty?

Sure we all wanted an Asda store, or so they say, but have we really got what we were anticipating?

The appearance of the latest edifice which now dominates a part of the Folkestone skyline resembles a cross between a 1970's multi storey car park and the Nine Elms Cold Store, or how I remember it from some years ago.

When Prince Charles accused a hapless architect of trying to build a "monstrous carbuncle" in his beloved Trafalgar Square. The National Gallery's extension turned into a farrago. Bouverie Square could well suffer a similar fate with a hotchpotch of disjointed architectural styles crying out for the late Sir Ebenezer Howard to bring it together with some grand design.

After all the hoo-ha I suppose I expected something more akin to the imaginative Westwood Cross development at Broadstairs or even the unusual McArthur Glen Designer Outlet in Ashford. But after my visit yesterday, albeit on a thoroughly miserable day, I came away unconvinced that this is the panacea the town needs for it to prosper.

My first impressions were of an intimidating atmosphere. It is early days yet but I am concerned the area will be unsafe to walk at night.

The Mall has had an effect on local businesses and there are already a number of empty shops in the town centre. I think we should welcome companies like Wilkinsons for their confidence in Sandgate Road as a shopping hub in the town.

They obviously see the future there, and hopefully when all the fuss has died down, many local people will realise that shopping need not be an experience which is cloned in almost any medium size town in the country.

This development may indeed help the smaller independent shops in Folkestone. They could eventually flourish once people realise there is no real reason to shop elsewhere when Adsa, HMV, Next and so on are now on their own doorstep.

As I hurried away from Folkestone's flagship mall I overheard a disgruntled shopper complaining that it was like a wind tunnel, "It needs some bleedin' doors" she shouted to a friend.

I'm afraid to say that is probably the least of its problems.

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