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Howard's Way - 12 February 2007

Contributed by editor on Feb 15, 2007 - 12:05 AM

.... a weekly column from Michael Howard MP

15 February 2007


The recent arrest of several people in Birmingham under the provision of the Terrorism Acts has caused a good deal of controversy. That is not unique. Many recent arrests of a similar kind have aroused similar controversy. But this time a new element has crept in. 

The latest arrests were accompanied by briefing of an unusual kind. The media were told, in detail, of an alleged plot to behead serving members of the Armed Forces who are Muslims. And it has been alleged that the briefing came direct from the Home Office. 

If this is indeed the case it is a very serious matter. It is certainly something that should be investigated. The reason is that it has the potential to prejudice any trials that may in due course take place. If it were found that any briefing if this kind was authorised by any Minister at the Home Office, his position would be untenable. 

But other questions arise, too. 

Some of the reactions from members of the local Muslim community were very disappointing. But the majority view in that community does seem to have been supportive of the police. It surely must be apparent to all by now that everyone is at risk from the kind of attack we were subjected to on July 7th and that it is in all our interests to support the police and the intelligence services as they seek to prevent another one. 

What is needed is much more conspicuous, visible and audible responsible moderate Muslim leadership. I have no doubt that people capable of exercising that leadership are there. But unless and until they speak up we shall never know who they are. So I very much hope that they will start speaking up, loud and clear. 

Their community needs them and so do the rest of us.

Parish Council Agenda - 14 February 2007

Contributed by editor on Feb 12, 2007 - 02:04 PM

Parish Council meeting to be held on Wednesday 14th February 2007 at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall.

Prior to the meeting at 7 p.m. Mr Roger Tilley, Planning Consultant, Tanner & Tilley, has agreed to give a short talk on behalf of Graham Care, a private healthcare company, that hopes to shortly submit a planning application to SDC to build a new care development on the Hawkinge aerodrome site. Swingfield Parish Councillors will be joining the Parish Council to hear the talk by Mr Tilley. 


The Chairman will take questions from parishioners. The number of speakers will be limited to five (time limit 3 minutes). 


1 Apologies 

2 Declarations of Interest

Councillors should disclose personal or prejudicial interest/s in any item/s on this agenda. Councillors with a personal interest must describe and give details of the interest. Unless the personal interest amounts to a prejudicial interest, he/she may participate fully in the meeting. A prejudicial interest is one in which a member of the public, with knowledge of the relevant facts, would reasonably regard as so significant that it is likely to prejudice a Councillor’s judgement of the public interest. Anyone with a prejudicial interest must, unless an exception applies or a dispensation has been issued, withdraw from the meeting room. Whenever possible, and if in doubt, advice should be sought from the Clerk prior to the meeting. 

3 Minutes

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 10th January 2007 (already circulated). 

4 Matters arising out of the Minutes

Flag Poles for Memorial Garden

To receive notice that a KCC Member Grant has been approved. 

5 Reports

(a) Community Liaison – Cllr. Brisley

Street Scene Service Standards: letter from Environmental Services 

Manager, SDC, and a copy of leaflet (enc.)

(b) Planning and Development – Cllr. Trice

Planning User Group – next meeting Tues. 24th April at 7 pm Civic Centre

(c) Public Rights of Way – Cllr. Punnett

(d) Finance – Cllr. Callahan 

6 Other Bodies

(a) Neighbourhood Management Partnership – Cllr. Hodgson

(b) Community Centre – Cllr. Hodgson

(c) Village Hall – Cllr. Brisley

7 Hawkinge Community Centre – Business Plan

Chairman to report. 

8 Projects Group

(a) Minutes of a meeting held on 26th January 2007 (enc.)

(b) The Football Project – Cllr. Trice 

(c) Management of the ground – Cllr. Hodgson

(d) Multi Sport Complex 

9 Village Hall Car Park (min. 399)

Mr Holley, Property Manager, SDC letter with proposals for the extension of the cycle/footpath through the car park (enc.) 

10 Finance

(a) Clerk to report. 

(b) Appointment of a new Clerk 

Chairman to report on the selection process undertaken (see confidential section)

(c) Payments

To approve payment of the accounts presented at the meeting (list enc.) 

Any queries regarding accounts must be raised with the Clerk before the meeting 

11 Correspondence

(a) Mr Martin 4 Pritchard Drive – cycle path and village car parks (enc.)

(b) KCC – Mobile Library Services: revised time table (enc.)

(c) Kent Youth Service, Ashford: Shepway Youth Advisory Group meeting Tues. 20th February at 7 pm (agenda enc.)

(d) CASE – Community Action S.E.Kent: Spring Conference Thurs. 8th March 9.30 

am to 4.30 pm The Leas Cliff Hall.(agenda enc.)

(e) Sports Development Officer, SDC: Cycling Festival (enc.)

(f) Victim Support Kent - thank you letter for donation (enc.)

(g) Mr C.Haydon-Brash – letter dated 10th January (enc.)

(h) Kent Downs AONB Unit – one copy of “Village Design Statements – Do they make a difference?” (62 pages)

(i) Rural Social and Communities Division, DEFRA – Review of the Quality Town  and Parish Council Scheme (enc.)

(j) Kent Police – invitation to a debate on Policing in Shepway Tues. 27th Feb.

at 7 pm in the Council Chamber, Civic Centre

12 Archive storage of PC minutes – Cllr. Trice 

13 Installation of 2 remaining litter-bins – Cllr. Smith 

14 Plans

List of planning applications received since the last meeting enclosed 

Please contact Cllr. Trice if you would like to view the plans before the meeting 


To resolve that because publicity would be prejudicial to the public interest by reason of the confidential nature of business to be transacted the public (including the Press) be excluded from the meeting pursuant to the provision of sub section 100 & 102 of the Local Government Act, 1972. 

16 Hawkinge Football Ground

To receive estimates for annual maintenance of the ground. 

17 Fence – village hall car park

To receive estimates to construct a fence between village hall and Saddlerack 

18 Appointment of new Clerk

To receive the recommendation of the Selection Committee. 

19 Any matters referred to the confidential section during the meeting.

Howard's Way - 8 February 2007

Contributed by editor on Feb 08, 2007 - 12:05 AM

.... a weekly column from Michael Howard MP

8 February 2007


On Monday morning I attended one of the regular meetings of the Jamestown 2007 British Committee. This is the Committee that has been established to ensure the proper commemoration of the 400th Anniversary of the founding of the first permanent English-speaking settlement in North America. Three English ships – the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery – arrived in Virginia on April 26, 2007 though they did not go ashore at Jamestown until May 14th. 

The ships had left London on December 19th, 1606 with their crews and 105 settlers on board. At that time only about 4 million people spoke English. Almost all of them lived in the British Isles. So the beginning of the spread of the English language across the world can truly be traced to the heroic voyage of these three ships. 

As might be expected the voyagers experienced many vicissitudes. Only two weeks after leaving what is now the Isle of Dogs the ships were stormbound off the coat of Kent for a month. The experience almost brought the expedition to an end. But thanks to the example of the Rev Robert Hunt they persevered and reached their goal. 

Kent County Council have become involved with the commemoration event to great effect, establishing a relationship with Virginia which is likely to be of long term benefit to both. The Governor of Virginia and other representatives of the Commonwealth (along with Massachusetts, Virginia is still a Commonwealth rather than a State) visited Kent to celebrate the anniversary of the sailing in December and the Queen and Prince Philips, as well as representatives of Kent will visit Virginia to celebrate the anniversary of the colony. 

The Committee has done, and is doing, useful work to strengthen these links and I am pleased to have been able to play a small part in its work.

Sports project goes to full council

Contributed by editor on Feb 06, 2007 - 09:59 AM

A Shepway Council meeting on 22 February will decide whether its Private Finance Initiative (PFI)-supported sports plan is the best way to deliver improved sporting facilities for the district.

A revised draft business case for the PFI project has been sent to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The draft presents background to the PFI scheme, details of the project, costs and affordability, and the facilities mix at the proposed new sports centres in Folkestone and Hythe.

But Cllr Carole Waters, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Tourism, told a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday (31 January) that the project’s ‘affordability gap’ had widened. 

She said the council had already agreed to find an extra £178,000 in revenue contributions but a further £159,000 was now needed, based on the latest figures supplied by consultants. This would mean a total annual revenue cost of £775,000 – compared to the original figure of £438,000.

“We are facing a huge predicament. We want to fulfil our commitment to provide new and improved sports facilities for the district but we also have a duty to council tax payers. This council has put an awful lot of  financial backing into this scheme already.” 

Cabinet was told that the increase in the project’s costs - capital contributions have risen from £5.75m to £7.33m - had been revealed by latest figures supplied by consultants. These figures followed detailed work carried out - particularly on the estimated number of people who would use the new centres and the income this usage would generate.

“Our partners in the project, Hythe Town Council and Folkestone Sports Centre Trust, are comfortable with the user figures that have now been presented. They are more realistic, prudent and sustainable,” said Cllr Waters. 

“But this leaves us facing a huge predicament. We want to bring new and improved sports facilities to the district but we have a duty to the council tax payer. We need an adult debate at full council and ask if this PFI scheme is the best way to deliver our sports plans. If we did decide not to pursue the PFI route it would not be the end of the road for our commitment to deliver high standard sports facilities.”

Hawkinge Parish Council minutes - 13 December 2006

Contributed by editor on Feb 01, 2007 - 10:54 AM

Minutes of the meeting of HAWKINGE PARISH COUNCIL held on 13th December 2006 at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall 

Present: Cllr. Callahan (Chairman)

Cllrs. Heasman, Hogben, Punnett and Trice 

In attendance: Mrs Hardy (Clerk) 

Apologies: Cllrs. Avery (vacation) Ms Brisley (indisposed) Hodgson (work commitment) and Smith (attending a meeting at Shepway District Council) 


The Chairman was handed a petition entitled “Save the Spitfire Leisuredrome and Memorial” by a resident who had collected over 600 signatures. 

Tanya Clark, Community Warden, gave councillors a written report on crime and anti-social behaviour in the village during the past month. People are gathering on the footpath beside the village hall after dark now that lights have been installed. 


381 Declarations of Interest

Cllr. Callahan declared an interest in planning matters (member of Development Control Committee SDC) he reserved the right to make a decision at District level when he is in possession of all the facts relating to an application. Cllr. Heasman declared an interest in matters concerning the Community Centre and Village Hall (Chairman of the Executive Committee, Community Centre and Chairman of Village Hall Management Committee) Cllr. Trice declared an interest in the Sports Association (Secretary) 

382 Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on 8th November were approved and signed (prop. Cllr. Punnett, sec. Cllr. Heasman) 

The minutes of an Extraordinary meeting held on 15th November 2006 were confirmed and signed (prop. Cllr. Heasman, sec. Cllr. Punnett) 

383 Matters arising out of the Minutes

Village Car Park – construction of footpath [min. 370 (a)]

The Council was waiting to hear about the site meeting with SDC. Cllr. Heasman said the car parking spaces for the Community Centre had been reassessed by SDC. 

384 Reports

(a) Community Liaison

Cllr. Heasman said the Council’s Christmas Concert was attended by over 300 people and was very successful. Hythe Town Concert Band gave an excellent concert and there were performances by schoolchildren from The Churchill School and Hawkinge Primary School. Tea and mince pies were served and he thanked Cllr. Brisley and others who helped in the kitchen. 

Cllr. Trice proposed a vote of thanks to Cllr. Heasman for arranging and supervising the concert

Cllr. Callahan reported that he had taken Hawkinge Harry to Boulogne on 2nd December to take part in festivities in the town. Four giants from Kent were present. There was a lot of interest in Hawkinge Harry. He thanked everyone who had helped him to load and unload the giant at the Community Centre where it is stored.

(b) Planning and Development – nothing to report

(c) Public Rights of Way

Cllr. Punnett reported an overhanging tree. The problem was referred to the Tree Warden.

(d) Finance – no meeting 

385 Other Bodies

(a) Neighbourhood Management Partnership – no report

(b) Community Centre 

The Chairman said he was involved in the discussions with 2amase. All interested parties had met that day at the Partnership Office to receive a draft Business Plan submitted by the consultants. Three councillors would look at it and report back their recommendations. The plan would then be firmed out so that it can be released for publication.

(c) Village Hall

It was reported that the fence between the footpath and “The Saddlerack” is broken and needs to be replaced. The Parish Council is responsible for the fence. It was agreed that three quotations be sought for a close boarded wooden fence 6’6” in height.

The electrician asked to quote for lights on the car park side of the village hall so that the car park is lit had advised the Clerk that the only type of lighting sufficient for the needs is column lighting. This would be costly and would involve ground works. It was decided to ask for a quotation for lights attached to the village hall and reconsider lighting for the car park at a later date. The Council will talk to the VHMC regarding the electricity supply costs before installation. 

386 Projects Group

(a) The Council received a copy of the minutes of a meeting held on 1st December 

2006. Matters discussed included the maintenance of the football pitches and the temporary changing rooms. Cllr. Trice gave councillors a copy of the Sport and Recreation Plan 2006-2011 that he had up-dated. 

(b) The Football Project 

Cllr. Trice said he intends to contact the Football Association to ask what additional information is needed for the Business and Football Development Plan before they attend the January workshop.

(c) Multi Sport Complex 

The Group intends to visit facilities that have been built by Parish Councils in other villages. 

(d) Youth and Sports Facilities in Hawkinge

The Council received a letter from the Chairman Trustee of Hawkinge Youth & Community Sports Council (3rd December) in which he suggested that there should be a discussion about the overall provision of facilities for young people in Hawkinge. 

Cllr. Trice proposed that the Council hold a workshop in April 2007 - outstanding matters concerning the Community Centre and the Spitfire Leisuredrome should be resolved by then. He suggested that all interested parties including representatives of SDC, HNP, the Community Centre, HY&CSC and the Hawkinge Sports Association be invited to attend the meeting. It was agreed that the aims and objectives for such a meeting be discussed at the January meeting. 

387 Sports Association

The Clerk had written to the Sports Association [min.372] stating the responsibilities of the Parish Council and duties that the SA has agreed to undertake on its behalf. The PC had made provision for a grant to the SA in its budget 2007/08. In view of the fact that the SA has no funds the Clerk asked the Council to consider giving a grant of £500 now to cover the day-to-day running expenses of the football ground.

It was Resolved that a grant of £500 be made to the Sports Association.

(prop. Cllr. Punnett, sec. Cllr. Heasman) Votes: For 3 Against 0 Abstention 1

(Cllr. Hogben abstained and asked to be named) Cllr. Trice had declared an interest and did not vote. 

Cllr. Trice, Secretary, Sports Association reported that a meeting was held on 7th December. Another club has joined the Association – Hawkinge Defiant FC a Senior Football Club that meets the 50% criteria of Hawkinge residents.

The Cricket Club is co-operating to allow use of their changing rooms when Cup matches take place in order to comply with FA rules. The Association has appointed a Fundraising Officer. 

The Association asked the Council to put a figure on the sum that could be spent on smaller maintenance work on the football ground without prior approval.

Cllr. Callahan proposed the amount be fixed at £50 for the time being.

It was Resolved that the Sports Association be advised that £50 may be spent on maintenance work without recourse to the Parish Council. (prop. Cllr. Callahan, sec. Cllr. Heasman) Votes For 2 Against 0 Abstentions 2 (Cllr. Hogben abstained and asked to be named).

Cllr. Trice had declared an interest and did not vote 

388 Finance

(a) The Council received a report from the Council’s Internal Auditor that stated that 

a half year internal audit was carried out and the accounts were found to be entirely in order. He suggested the Risk Assessment be reviewed before the end of year audit. 

The Clerk had attended a SLCC Training Day on 13th November at Lenham (free of charge to members). Two matters were discussed Personnel and Risk Assessment.

Cllr. Avery and the Clerk had attended a Training Day given by Kent County Council on 11th November to receive instructions on how to use the Council’s Web Site. The Web Site is now active and needs to be set up according to the Council’s wishes. 

(b) Recruitment of a new Clerk

Cllrs. Callahan, Avery and the Clerk had composed a suitable advertisement.

The Clerk advised the rates for insertion of the advertisement in the local newspaper. 

It was Resolved that an offer by Kent Regional Newspapers for 3 consecutive insertions in the Folkestone Herald, Dover Express and Hythe and Romney Marsh editions of the Herald and Adscene for £720.00 + VAT be accepted. Prepayment of the advertisement was approved.

(prop. Cllr. Callahan, sec. Cllr. Heasman) Votes: For 4 Against 0 Abstention 1 

(c) Tanya Clerk, Community Warden, had written to invite the Council to a Safety 

Day on 13th January and requested a donation of £250 to fund the hire of the Community Centre (9.30 am to 3 pm) and the purchase of materials.

It was Resolved that a donation of £250 be made to support the Safety Day to be organised by the Community Warden and The Hawkinge Partnership.

(prop. Cllr. Callahan, sec. Cllr. Trice) Votes: For 3 Against 0 Abstentions 2 

(d) Payments

The following accounts were approved for payment (prop. Cllr. Trice, sec. Cllr. Heasman) For 4 Against 0 Abstention 1 £ 
SDC rates (football ground) DD 21.00 
SDC rates (SL) DD 99.00 
NatWest EBS DD 10.00 
Mrs B.M.Hardy (salary) 13.12.06 747.94 
Mrs B.M.Hardy (expenses) " 61.72 
Cllr. G. Hodgson – expenses 8.11.06 47.00 
Oakover Nurseries 15.11.06 63.45 
McMillan & Associates 1.12.06 593.38 
Michael Simmonds Association 1.12.06 363.20 
Internal Auditor 13.12.06 60.00 
Hawkinge Village Hall " 90.00 
R.K.Mynard (electrician) " 460.60 
Cllr. Trice (reimbursement) " 149.99 
Hythe Town Band " 200.00 
SLCC annual membership fee " 105.00 
Kent Regional Newspapers " 846.00 
Hythe Electrical Services " 270.25 
Hawkinge Sports Association " 500.00 
Cllr. Heasman (Xmas concert refreshments) " 58.33 

389 Correspondence

(a) The District Manager, Victim Support Kent (1st November) advice about the 

local services offered and requesting a donation towards their budget for 2007/08. 

It was Resolved that the Council donate £100 to Victim Support Kent

(prop. Cllr. Hogben, sec. Cllr. Punnett) Votes: all in favour

(b) The following correspondence was received and contents noted: 

Shepway District Council

Local Plan Review – adopted March 2006 - 2 copies 

Planning User Group – copy of minutes of meeting held 8th August.

Peter Wignall, Monitoring Officer – Whistle blowing policy 

Sports Development Team – Challenge du Margat 

Kent County Council

Kent Minerals Development Framework Development Plan Documents

Notice of submission to Secretary of State 

Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 Section 47 Redesignation of roads used

as a public path to restricted byway status 

CASE Community Action South East Kent – Annual Report 05/06 and newsletter

390 Plans

(a) Planning Consultant, SDC: Land at Siskin Close outline application for residential

development Y03/1487/SH – request for the Council to withdraw its original objections to the development (letter dated 14th November). Cllr. Callahan advised that the Development Control Committee had granted outline planning permission on 21st November. 

(b) The following planning applications were received and comments sent:

Y06/1400/SH 4 Oak Drive: extension and alteration to roof together with extension of existing front and rear dormer windows: No objections

Y06/1465/SH 8 Pannell Drive: non-compliance with condition 4 of planning permission 97/0133/SH to allow use of garage as living accommodation.

No objections

Y06/1391/SH Killing Wood, Canterbury Road: erection of a 15 metre high telecommunications climbable monopole, 3 no. T-mobile antennas, 2 no. equipment cabinets, 1 no. AC/Link cabinet and ancillary development

Objection on the following grounds:

1. Environmentally unfriendly in this location

2. The area is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty in the Shepway District Local Plan 

3. The company should investigate the possibility of sharing a pole in the area.

Y06/1451/SH 11 St. Michaels Walk: erection of a two storey front extension.

No objections

Y06/1511/SH Land opposite Gibraltar Farm, Gibraltar Lane: erection of 154 houses and flats, being details pursuant to outline planning permission Y03/0903/SH, condition 1, reserved matters details for layout and access relating to phase 3B (re-submission of Y06/0568/SH)


1. Street furniture should be included in the detailed planning consent.

2. Hawkinge Parish Council should be consulted on the use of open spaces within the plan.

3. Any 106 monies from the developments should be allocated to the Parish Council and used for community projects locally.

4. Roads should be adopted by SDC within 2 year from the completion of the site.

5. A vehicle impact study should be carried out on Haven Drive with a special emphasis on the section passing The Churchill School.

6. The Parish Council would prefer natural traffic flow from the development using both Pannel Drive and Page Road, constrained only by normal traffic calming measures.

Y06/1513/SH Land opposite Gibraltar Farm, Gibraltar Lane: erection of 9 houses and provision of parking area being details pursuant to outline planning permission Y06/0754/SH condition 2, reserved matters (details for layout and access) No objections 

The meeting closed at 9.40 pm

Howard's Way - 1 February 2007

Contributed by editor on Feb 01, 2007 - 12:05 AM

.... a weekly column from Michael Howard MP

1 February 2007


Last Friday began with a meeting with Graham Badman. Mr Badman has overall responsibility for administering Kent County Council’s policies on education. Regular readers will know that there have been a number of occasions recently when I have had course to challenge these policies, or the way in which they were being implemented. Perhaps the most notable example was their proposal to close Harcourt and Selsted Primary Schools which, I am glad to say, I and others were successful in defeating. The meeting which I had with Mr Badman was intended to ensure that these differences did not occur in future. I hope it will succeed in achieving that objective. 

Very appropriately, after this meeting, I then visited two schools. First, I went to Lyminge to be shown a new scheme – Creative Partnerships – in action. Later I went to The Channel School to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day. This was a very moving event with readings by pupils of several local schools and speeches by others. All praise to those involved in its organisation. 

On Friday evening I attended the Annual Dinner of the Sandgate Branch of the local Conservative Association where I talked about the current difficulties at the Home Office and how, in my opinion, they illustrate the difficulties faced across government and the reasons for the failure of the government to deliver on its promises across the board. 

On Saturday, after my regular advice centres, I went to Folkestone Harbour to have a look at the premises which have been made available by Roger de Haan for the Folkestone Youth Project. This is the end of a long search for premises which will enable the young people of Folkestone to have somewhere to go and keep them off the streets. It has taken a long time to reach this point but the wait looks like being well worth it. I am immensely grateful to Roger de Haan for his characteristic generosity in making these premises available. 

In the evening Sandra and I attended the Phoenix Ball at Lympne Castle in aid of Lympne School. This very successful event – the result of a great deal of hard work by some of the parents of children at the school – reminded us all of that terrible day last year when the school burned down, but miraculously everyone escaped unhurt and unharmed. 

I shall shortly be attending a meeting to discuss how we can persuade the government to insist on the provision of sprinklers in schools, to make a repeat of what happened at Lympne so much less likely.

Howard's Way - 25 January 2007

Contributed by editor on Jan 25, 2007 - 12:05 AM

.... a weekly column from Michael Howard MP

25 January 2007


Over the last few days I have received a large number of letters about the plans to expand Lydd Airport. The planning applications – for an extended runway and a replacement terminal – have been submitted to Shepway District Council. And I am working my way through the voluminous documents which form the Environmental Impact Assessment which has been submitted in support of the applications.

When I have finished this process I shall make my views known. I have always favoured limited expansion of the airport. I regard it as one of Shepway’s assets. It has the potential to provide employment for those of my constituents who live on Romney Marsh – employment which is badly needed following the closure of Dungeness A Power Station and other local enterprises. On the other hand it will undoubtedly have a detrimental impact on the quality of life of some of my constituents. I have a duty to all of them. And I have never said I support any particular planning application.

My role in the decision making process is very limited. The applications have been submitted to Shepway District Council. Unless the Secretary of State decides to call them in for her own decision – probably following a Public Inquiry – the Council will make the decision. It may or may not pay any particular attention to my views.

Similarly, the Secretary of State will decide whether the decision should be called in. She may or may not pay any particular attention to my views.

Nevertheless, I shall, in due course, make my views known both on the applications themselves and on whether it should be called in. But so should all of you, if you have strong views one way or the other. You have until 5th March to do so.

This is one of the most important planning applications to affect Shepway for many years. It merits very careful consideration and I am sure it will get it. I shall certainly play my part in making sure that it does.