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Cufley confidence meeting

Contributed by admin on Jul 13, 2004 - 09:35 PM


<FONT color=black>Liberal Democrat Leader of Shepway District Council Linda Cufley is facing an uncertain future.

<FONT color=black>Lib Dem councillors are to hold a meeting on Thursday 15 July to vote on a motion of  no confidence in the leader.

<FONT color=black>Residents have complained about the grass verges left uncut, the closing of public toilets, and the huge increase in Council Tax.

Shepway Council to meet in Hawkinge

Contributed by admin on Jul 13, 2004 - 09:15 PM


<FONT color=black>The Hawkinge Community Centre will be hosting a full Shepway Council Community Meeting o­n Wednesday (21 July)

<FONT color=black>Villagers are welcome to attend the meeting which starts at 7.00pm.

<FONT color=black>The meeting will include a debate o­n local issues with members of the Hawkinge Parish Council.

Visit the library at home

Contributed by admin on Jul 13, 2004 - 05:44 PM

<FONT color=black size=4>VISIT THE LIBRARY AT HOME

<FONT color=black>The entire library catalogue in Kent County Council's libraries will be available o­nline when a new system is launched by Cabinet Member for Community Services Sarah Hohler at the County Show.

<FONT color=black>Customers will be able to view the library catalogue from their home or business if they have internet access via the KCC website - <FONT color=black><FONT color=black>. The new system will give library users o­nline access to all the stock held in Kent's 106 libraries and 11 mobile libraries - more than two million items. They will be able to search the entire library catalogue or simply concentrate o­n specific areas such as children books, audiovisual items, or local studies material.

<FONT color=black>It will also be possible to reserve or renew items o­nline, while new users will be able to register to join the library from home via the internet. The new o­nline system will be particularly useful to library customers who are house-bound or who find coming in to the library difficult.

<FONT color=black>Sarah Hohler said: "Providing o­nline access to the entire library catalogue is a tremendous development for Kent's libraries. This new system underlines our commitment to increasing access to all the wonderful resources held in our libraries and to providing the best possible public services in the information age."

<FONT color=black>The o­nline catalogue will be officially launched by Sarah Hohler at the County Show o­n Friday 16 July at 11am. There will also be staff from the library service o­n hand to demonstrate the new o­nline system and show just how easy it is to access the library from your home!

Countdown for summer fun

Contributed by admin on Jul 13, 2004 - 05:37 PM


The countdown for summer fun galore with Playscheme 2004 has officially begun - Dover District Council's popular series of structured summer fun days for children takes off from July 26 and is getting ready to splash down at ten locations across the district.

Dover District Council's popular scheme for 6-12 year-olds features a wide range of games, sports and activities including football, cricket, swimming, rounders, arts and crafts, tennis and many more fun ways of spending the day. All activities are supervised by fully trained leaders and staff.

Places need to be pre-registered using the booking form in this year's Playscheme Brochure, which has been sent to key locations across the area, including schools, libraries, youth clubs and sports centres in the district. Brochures and booking forms are also available from Council offices and Area Offices.

Following the success of Playscheme 2003, Dover District Council has added more fun this year with planned day trips from a variety of playscheme sites, with day trips to Dover Museum, Dover Castle, and Wingham Wildlife Park. There are also a series of special associated summer courses running over the summer, organised by various clubs and centres throughout the district. Full details and fees are set out in the Playscheme brochure.

Playscheme sessions run from 9.30am to 3.30pm from July 26 to Aug 20. The sessions are running at ten locations across the district, including two new sites this year at Wingham and Aylesham. The cost per child is £ 2.55 per day and £ 1.25 to families in receipt of housing benefit, evidence needs to be provided. Free transport is available at some sites, please see the brochure for details.

DDC and KCC Youth and Community are also working together to offer an exciting summer programme for 12-17 year olds, with the return of the popular Teenscheme. For booking, prices and full details, please contact Sue Andrews on (01304) 375559.

For more information, or to request a copy of the Playscheme brochure, please visit the website or contact DDC Leisure Services o­n (01304) 872451.

More new homes announced

Contributed by editor on Jul 12, 2004 - 07:18 PM

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<FONT color=black size=4>MORE NEW HOMES ANNOUNCED<FONT color=black>

<FONT color=black>Chancellor Gordon Brown has announced measures to combat the South East's housing shortage with 200,000 new homes by 2016 in his spending review.

Ashford in Kent is o­ne of four designated growth areas to benefit from a share of the investment.

There will also be a new Community Infrastructure Fund of £150m by 2007-08 for areas around new housing.

Runners converge on Hawkinge

Contributed by editor on Jul 11, 2004 - 08:38 PM

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Hundreds of runners from as far afield as London converged o­n Hawkinge for the 2004 Sport Relief Mile.

<FONT color=black>Local and National veteran athlete Helen Wheeler was there to start the run.

The runners had a 10 minute warm up session by arobics instructor Louise Hagger before they set off o­n the course at the Hawkinge Cricket Club.
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Event co-organiser Cyril Trice said: "I am not sure whether I could do the event justice with just a few words,it was brilliant, you needed to be there to enjoy the atmosphere, and 240 kids, mums, dads gradads and grandmothers all going round the mile circuit, the youngest was just two years old there was a young boy o­n stilts, 5 teenagers tied together at the ankles, some pushing prams some with dogs. They came from all over Kent and two had London addresses.

<FONT color=black>"The weather was fine, and everyone was keen to help with the registration, giving out Goody bags, marshalling, and car parking.

<FONT color=black>"Kevin Avery and myself took about six weeks to put it together, but it was worth it. Now they want o­ne every year"

Frustration at capping decision

Contributed by editor on Jul 09, 2004 - 06:24 PM

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<FONT color=black>Shepway District Council has reacted with frustration and disappointment to the government’s decision to cap its spending.

<FONT color=black>The council had appealed against capping but heard today (Thursday 11 July) that the appeal had not been successful.

<FONT color=black>The announcement by Local Government Minister, Nick Raynsford, means that the council must now reduce its level of council tax increase from 28.9 per cent to just under 20 per cent and cut its spending for the 2004/05 year from £16m to £15.4m

<FONT color=black>Council Leader, Linda Cufley said: “I am bitterly disappointed with the announcement. When we made our original decision, we knew we were going for a high council tax increase, but we had to find some way of breaking out of a dire financial situation which was none of our making.

<FONT color=black>“If we had kept our council tax increase to low single figures, we would have had to have cut £2.5 million from our budget in March. The Minister has accepted that we need a much higher increase in the level of tax and therefore the cuts are not as severe as they might have been.

<FONT color=black>“We have seen what the public feels about cuts in services and we will try wherever we possibly can to look for every last penny in efficiency savings. However, at this level of capping, we will have to make some very tough choices.

<FONT color=black>“I was particularly disappointed that the minister didn’t even allow for the near-£100,000 it will cost us to send out the new bills.�

<FONT color=black>“I read the Minister’s statement and I notice his logic did not extend to the Labour Telford and Wrekin which he decided not to cap.�

<FONT color=black>Deputy Leader, Cllr Paul Marsh, echoed Cllr Cufley’s disappointment and frustration. “We felt we made an extremely strong case against capping. We will now have to consider further cuts and also face the unnecessary additional expense of sending out new bills. And all this for the sake of saving an extra 30p a week for an average Band D property.�

<FONT color=black>All 44,000 homes across the district will be sent new council tax bills which will bring, for the average home, a reduction of 30p a week. The minister’s decision will have to be confirmed by Parliament before new bills can be sent out. The cost of rebilling represents £2 a year for each home.

<FONT color=black>To meet the enforced reduction in council tax, Shepway Council must find £600,000 worth of savings from its day-to-day spending. The council is working in partnership with Kent County Council and other partners to try and make these savings while maintaining frontline services and meeting government targets

<FONT color=black>A special meeting of the council will be held in late July or early August to set a new council tax. For every £1 collected by the council o­nly 15.8p goes to pay for services its provides. The rest is collected o­n behalf of Kent County Council, Kent Police, Kent Fire and Rescue Service and parish and town councils.