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Dour by name but not by nature

Contributed by admin on Apr 02, 2005 - 05:13 PM


The River Dour in Dover, which had 40 working water mills less than a century ago is being taken over by the Environment Agency and turned into a tourist attraction.

There are to be signposted riverside walks which it is hoped will bring in an influx of visitors.

The Dour had lived up to its name in recent years but has seen some improvement since 1995. It will now be managed by the Agency which will include steps to tackle pollution and the build up of debris.

Fish now thrive in the River Dour, and there has been a substantial improvement in the quality of the river, which supports one of the best wild brown trout fisheries in Kent.

The Dour is well stocked with a range of bottom-dwelling animals much more typical of a chalk stream, with a thriving population of freshwater shrimps and other species such as caddis fly larvae and aquatic snails, indicative of a healthy river.

Wakey wakey as Hawkinge joins the gang of three

Contributed by editor on Apr 02, 2005 - 10:42 AM


The much publicised Hawkinge Giant is to be 'awakened' at a special ceremony later this month.

The awakening ceremony will take place on the green opposite the Hawkinge Community Centre at 10.00am on Friday 15 April, and organisers are hoping for a big turnout to support the venture.

The Hawkinge Giant is one of three East Kent Giants already built.

Littlebourne near Canterbury was the first to be built and Sandwich have just completed theirs which was constructed at the Sandwich Technology College by the Strange Cargo Arts Group from Folkestone and Bob Martin and his crew at the college.

The following week will see the Sandwich Giant paraded through the town's narrow streets followed by schoolchildren and the popular Brew Ha Ha band. The Giant which depicts a former Mayor will be meeting the current Mayor Cllr Brian Scott in the Market Square.

In a recent Gazette poll only 18% of the voters thought the Hawkinge Giant would benefit the village.

Double measure against drunken violence in Shepway

Contributed by editor on Apr 02, 2005 - 09:40 AM


Binge drinkers in Shepway are facing a Government crackdown to tackle anti social behaviour under new police powers, announced by the Home Office yesterday (1 April).

Underage drinkers who buy alcohol will face a £50 on-the-spot fine from this coming Monday and bar staff who serve alcohol to people who are already drunk face an £80 fine.

The new measures are part of an ongoing Government campaign to tackle the type of drink-related violence that can turn some city centres into 'no go' areas.

To avoid difficultites in buying alcohol, young people are being encouraged to carry a proof of age card, such as Citizencard.

Home Office Minister, Hazel Blears, said: "We want to see a culture change where a young person attempting to buy alcohol accepts that being asked for ID is the norm.

"This will be possible if retailers across the country adopt a consistent 'No ID No Sale' message. The result will be more freedom for responsible adults and tougher treatment for the yobbish minority. "

Sure start Sylvia retires

Contributed by editor on Mar 31, 2005 - 05:27 PM


Sylvia Scott, Director of Sure Start Folkestone, retires today (31 March) after achieving her main goal for the Sure Start project – the creation of a children’s centre in east Folkestone.

The official opening of The Village in Denmark Street in September last year was Sylvia’s ultimate achievement, creating a centre for young children and their families in an atmosphere where community involvement is paramount.

Sylvia was recruited to the Folkestone Sure Start project in November 2001. Being the only person working on the project at the time, she had one desk and a telephone in a corner of the regeneration team’s office at Shepway District Council.

Her first task was to recruit a team of people able deliver the Sure Start objectives, and to find premises for the team to work from. She then set about making sure the young families in the catchment area knew what Sure Start was all about.

In time, Sylvia moved her team of around 10 into the Shearway Business Park, where young parents benefited from a range of facilities from a toy library and crèche to parenting and therapy classes.

With the help of the Sure Start team, young parents and their children in the area learned skills and found ability that they never believed they possessed.

Sylvia’s finest hour though, was the day the team moved into The Village. By this time many local parents had themselves become part of the team.

Sylvia, a trained nurse and health visitor and formerly Nurse Executive on the Board of South Kent Community Health Care NHS Trust, has decided that it’s time to take a back seat and enjoy her garden and her home, which she shares with her partner in Elham.

David Shore, Partnership and Regeneration Manager at Shepway District Council, said: “Many people in Shepway have much to thank Sylvia for. She will leave a legacy that continues to benefit hundreds of people under the dedicated guidance of the team she recruited to carry on the good work.

“I will miss Sylvia a great deal, she is a force to be reckoned with. If you gave her a challenge she would move heaven and earth to rise to it. Many people are overwhelmed by her presence but if you want a good job done – Sylvia was the one to deliver it for you. I wish her every happiness in her retirement.�

Michael to take on the yobs

Contributed by editor on Mar 31, 2005 - 05:16 PM


Folkestone and Hythe MP and Tory leader Michael Howard has unveiled plans to encourage the police to take on Britain's street yobs and "wipe the smile" off their faces.

In a keynote speech on crime, he said the police should have the confidence to "eyeball" hooligans, "invade their body space" and challenge and confront their unacceptable behaviour.

And he made clear that an incoming Conservative government would make the police more accountable - by having to publish weekly crime statistics on the internet so that their local communities can see what progress is being made in tackling street crime, hooliganism, and disorder.

"In New York Compstat - the weekly publication of crime statistics division by division - meant the police stopped trying to explain the problem away and started taking action to tackle it. There is a word for it - accountability," Mr Howard said.

After visiting a crime-infested estate in Hackney, Mr Howard vowed that a Conservative government would beef up police muscle power and make a priority of combating thuggery and yob behaviour on the streets.

Accusing Labour ministers of "losing the plot" on crime, he contrasted the way Britain's hard-working majority of people did the right thing, while their lives could be made a misery by the "thriving yob culture" in which hooligans and tearaways did the wrong things - often unchecked.

"Decent hard working families are regularly intimidated by yobs on their streets and in their town centres. It makes me sick that people have to put up with this kind of nonsense. In today's Britain no-one seems prepared to take a stand - to hold these arrogant young yobs to account for their appalling behaviour.

"Instead of yobs being afraid of the police, ordinary folk are afraid of yobs. In Britain we are in real danger of slipping into defensive policing. Mr Blair is creating a culture which puts moral correctness, form filling and box ticking before intervening and confronting criminal behaviour - however minor," he said.

Mr Howard said that under a five point action plan a Conservative government would "put fear back into the hearts of the yobs" by recruiting more police, scrapping central targets, slashing police red tape, making the police publish weekly crime statistics, and giving local people power to decide how their communities are policed.

Man treated in hospital after cookhouse fire

Contributed by admin on Mar 30, 2005 - 07:18 PM


A fire in the cookhouse at Napier Barracks in Shorncliffe on Monday evening left one man needing hospital treatment.

The blaze took thirty firefighters nearly three hours to put out and left the roof of the building severely damaged.

Thirty firefighters were called to the scene as the fire took hold, and there was severe damage to the roof of the building.

Kent Fire and Rescue confirmed one man was taken to hospital suffering the effects of breathing in smoke.