Cufley's black hole

Contributed by editor on Apr 27, 2006 - 09:30 PM
Colin Tearle Linda Cufley


Ex Liberal Democrat leader of  Shepway District Council Linda Cufley has been forced to apologise publicly to former Conservative cabinet member Colin Tearle after accusing him and his cabinet colleagues of leaving a £700,000 black hole in the council's finances in the financial year 2003-2004.

A 260 word retraction by Cllr Cufley appeared this week in the Folkestone Herald newspaper.

Colin Tearle who is currently the Chairman of Swingfield Parish Council stated: " I am pleased with the outcome as my position has now been vindicated.

"I hope that this has drawn a line under the matter"

Hawkinge Parish Council minutes 8 March 2006

Contributed by editor on Apr 27, 2006 - 01:24 PM

Minutes of the meeting of HAWKINGE PARISH COUNCIL
held o­n Wed. 8th March 2006 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall
Present: Cllr. Callahan (Chairman)
Cllrs. Avery, Ms Brisley, Heasman, Hodgson, Hogben, Punnett, Smith and Trice
In attendance: Mrs Hardy (Clerk)
Apologies: Cllr. Smith for late arrival (District Council meeting)
The Council was asked about its intention to set up a Hawkinge Sports Association and whether the Hawkinge Youth & Community Sports Council would be invited to its inaugural meeting.    The Chairman said the Council is working in partnership with youth organisations in Hawkinge as well as clubs for all sporting activities.           HY&CSC will be invited to the inaugural meeting.
There was a complaint that wheelie bins are being left o­n the top path of Canterbury Road after being emptied by the contractor.
252            Declarations of Interest

Cllrs. Callahan and Smith declared an interest in planning matters (members of Development Control Committee SDC) they reserved the right to make a decision at District level when they are 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).       
253      Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held o­n 8th February 2006 were confirmed and signed subject to the following amendment:
Minute 240 delete and insert  “Cllr. Trice stated his concern about the roundabout as you approach the industrial site.     Any problems should be directed to Richard Smith, Kent Highways Officer.â€?
(prop. Cllr. Avery, sec. Cllr. Brisley)
254      Matters arising out of the Minutes

      (a) Finance Group minutes (min. 243)
Cllr. Hogben asked for the minutes to be circulated with the agenda after the Group has approved them.
      (b) Flag Poles (min. 244)
Three estimates had been obtained but the application for the grant would have to be sent in for inclusion in next years budget 2006/07.
      (c) Village Clean-Up Weekend – 8th April (min. 239)
Cllr. Trice suggested that the schools should be told about the weekend so that the children can be involved in some way if they wish to do so.

255     Reports

      (a) Community Liaison
           (i) Cllr. Brisley reported drainage problems in the northern section of
                Canterbury Road.
           (ii) Harry the Giant
Cllr Trice had found someone who would take the Giant around to local fetes and it would attend its first event in July.                        
      (b) Planning and Development
Cllr. Trice reported that Wimpey had withdrawn their original plan for 196 houses because it had run out of time.    The plan is being re-designed.
      (c) Public Rights of Way  
Cllr. Punnett announced his intention to walk the footpaths in the village.     He will report back to the Council.
      (d) Finance Group
No meeting.
256      Other Bodies

       (a) Neighbourhood Management Partnership
(i) Cllr. Hodgson reported that HNP wanted the PC to “take the leadâ€? to organise a Best Kept Street in the village competition.     The Manager, HNP was unable to provide the Clerk with any information about the competition.   
Councillors did not support the idea of a Best Kept Street competition.   
At this point Cllr. Smith joined the meeting
(ii) Draft Report Hawkinge Feasibility Study “Connecting Hawkinge�
was received and the recommendations noted.        
It was Resolved that the Council endorse the recommendation regarding a footpath from Canterbury Road to the Blenheim Estate across SDC land.
(prop. Cllr. Punnett, sec. Cllr. Brisley) Votes: For 8 Against 0 Abstention 1
(iii) Youth Feasibility Study
The Council received and accepted the recommendations.     Cllr. Trice suggested it be incorporated into the Council’s 5 year strategic plan.
It was Resolved that the Council adopt the recommendations of the Feasibility Study (prop. Cllr. Callahan, sec. Cllr. Smith) Votes: all in favour
The Partnership requested that the Council nominate a representative to work with them o­n how to get youth provision into Hawkinge.
Cllr. Brisley was proposed and accepted the nomination.
(iv) “Actions for a Better Hawkinge 2006-07�
Copies of the brochure were available at the meeting.
       (b) Community Centre
Cllr. Hodgson said a noise limiter had been obtained but it was not satisfactory.       There had been a problem recently caused by some youngsters using the centre as a meeting place.    They had caused damage and disturbance to people using the centre.
       (c) Village Hall
            No meeting.
257            Representation o­n Hawkinge Community Safety Forum

The Chairman reported that Mr Ashman, Chairman HCSF, had written to the Council o­n matters discussed recently by the Forum.      He proposed that the Council appoint a representative to serve o­n the Forum and report back to the Council at meetings.     Cllr. Smith attends the HCSF meetings.
It was Resolved that Cllr. Smith be appointed to serve o­n the Hawkinge Community Safety Forum as the Parish Council representative.
(prop. Cllr. Callahan, sec. Cllr. Brisley) Votes: all in favour
258      Hawkinge Football Ground

       (a) The Football Project
Cllr. Trice reported that the Project Group met o­n 24th February.   The temporary changing rooms had been delivered.     Mr McMillan would be visiting the site to discuss the connection of water, gas and electricity to the temporary building.     Total Turf Solutions Design Specification (Phase 2) had been received.     The next phase includes work by contractors.    TTS has been asked to obtain quotations from three companies for the Council.
The Clerk was asked to write to Site Space to thank them for giving the Council the temporary building and delivering it free of charge.
Cllr. Heasman proposed a vote of thanks to Cllr. Trice for his work in locating and obtaining the building.
      (b) Management of the Ground
Cllr. Hodgson said recent weather conditions had made the pitch unplayable.   Hawkinge Football Club Under 15s League programme is finished.    He would no longer be available at weekends to attend to the pitches due to his hours of employment.    The Football Club needs to hire transport for away matches.    
259      Multi-Sport Complex – Land at Cricketers Close

Cllr. Trice had met Mr Len Mayatt, Cultural & Leisure Services Manager, SDC, to discuss whether the DC would negotiate with the PC to enable a multi sport complex to be built o­n the area.     He said the outcome of the meeting was encouraging.      Mr Mayatt stated that the District Council would need to know (1) that the area is suitable for a multi-sport complex
(2) what the PC envisage and how it will manage it.
Cllr. Trice proposed that the Council contact three companies, consultation is free, and they will provide a design that could be presented to SDC.
The Chairman said the Council could consider the costs at a later date o­nce it is established that the project is feasible.
It was Resolved that the Council carry out its own Feasibility Study o­n a project that will enable the Parish Council to provide a multi-sport complex o­n the land at Cricketers Close.
(prop. Cllr. Heasman, sec. Cllr. Hodgson) Votes For 8 Against 0 Abstention 1
(Cllr. Smith declared an interest as a District Councillor)
260      Finance

       (a) The Clerk said she would be preparing the books for audit at the end of
             March and would give a report at the next meeting.
       (b) Kent Association of Parish Councils
            Councillors received an invitation to join KAPC from 1st April 2006 (annual
             subscription £750).   
Cllr. Callahan proposed from the chair that the Council join KAPC.    
Cllr. Hogben stated that he had no objection to joining KAPC but he thought the subscription fee was too high for the service provided.
The Chairman’s motion was put to the Council but it was not seconded. 
Motion lost.
       (c) Payments
            The following accounts were approved for payment:
             (prop. Cllr. Hodgson, sec. Cllr. Brisley) Votes: For 8 Against 0 Abstention 1       £
  SDC (planning application fee)  24.2.06       795.00 
  Total Turf Solutions       "    3,818.75 
  Southern Water (SL)    8.3.06        68.98 
  Explorer Associates Ltd.       "        99.88 
  Clerk's salary       "       726.57 
  Expenses       "        35.50 

261      Village Hall Car Park

      (a) Health & Safety Report (min. 245)
An independent Inspection and Report written by the Health & Safety Manager, Explorer Associates Ltd. was received.
      (b) Recommendations
The Chairman proposed that the route of the footpath, fencing and the condition of the car park be considered as three separate items.     He proposed that the footpath from Haven Drive be continued along the boundary of the adjacent property to Canterbury Road.  
Cllr. Punnett the owner of the adjacent property took part in the discussions that followed.    
Councillors decided to defer a decision and appoint a group of three councillors to look at the recommendations contained in the report.
Cllr. Hodgson said the Council should receive the report and make a decision about the route of the footpath at that meeting.   
It was Resolved that three councillors form a group and put together a complete package of recommendations including estimates and costs for the next meeting.    (prop. Cllr. Hogben, sec. Cllr. Brisley) Votes: For 6 Against 2
Abstention 1
The three councillors appointed are Cllrs. Avery, Heasman and Smith
At this point Cllr. Hodgson left the meeting
      (c) Pot Holes
The Clerk had cancelled a request made to Kent Highways for planings supplied free that would fill in the pot holes.     Cllr. Punnett had advised the Chairman that the material was unsuitable.     The Chairman proposed that Cllr. Punnett obtain estimates from three companies to fill in the pot holes and resurface the car park, not exceeding five hundred pounds, and send them to the Clerk.    
262      Correspondence

      (a) Ashford Borough Council: Local Development Framework – Statement of
Community Involvement (40 pages) and Pre-submission Statement.    Received.
      (b) Chairman, Hythe Town Council ‘e’ mail that reported that Parish/Town
            Council representatives met o­n 8th February in Hythe Town Hall and 
agreed that SDC be requested to allocate the 2nd Homes Money due to SDC to a special fund to be called the ‘Community Chest’.   Councils will be able to draw down funds from the ‘Community Chest’ for special projects and for projects that could attract matched funding.    An allocation method has to be formulated.    Noted.

263      Plans

The following plans were received and comments sent:
Y06/0128/SH 7 Canterbury Road: erection of a detached bungalow to the rear of the site (following removal of existing caravans) and erection of a two storey side extension to the public house together with the formation of a car parking area to the front and rear of public house.   No objections
Comment: the Council is concerned that the detached bungalow may become a separate dwelling and would suggest that it should form part of the publican’s business.
Y06/0180/SH 74 Canterbury Road: renewal of planning permission Y04/1324/SH to allow retention of a portakabin for a further two years.
No objections
Y06/0240/SH 28 Mitchell Avenue: erection of a first floor side extension.
No objections
Y06/0248/SH 86 The Street: erection of a rear conservatory.   No objections
Y06/0285/SH Plot 23 land opposite the Churchill School, Haven Drive:
Display of externally illuminated letters as wall mounted signs to west, east and south elevations, 1 externally illuminated double-sided hanging sign and 1 externally illuminated double-sided banner sign both o­n 5.5 M high poles and 1 externally illuminated double-sided freestanding sign.       No objections

264 Date of Annual Parish Meeting

The meeting will be held o­n Wed. 26th April subject to the Village Hall being available o­n that date.

It was resolved 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.
266      A copy of a letter addressed to the Chairman by Cllr. Punnett was received.
            No comment.
267      Football Project

John E. McMillan & Associates had supplied more details of their account.
Cllrs. Avery and Trice were delegated to meet Mr McMillan and negotiate informally.     They will bring back their recommendations to the Council.

Hawkinge annual parish meeting 26 April 2006 - Kent County Council report

Contributed by editor on Apr 27, 2006 - 09:53 AM


Report to Hawkinge Annual Meeting 26 April 2006 by Cllr Susan Carey

Although I have been your County Councillor for less than a year the timing of your Annual Meetings means that this is my second Hawkinge Annual Meeting.  

In the last year I have attended numerous briefings and training sessions about the County Council’s work and have made sure that County is aware of Hawkinge and its special challenges as a community that has grown so rapidly.  As your County Councillor I am automatically o­n the Hawkinge Partnership a body set up specifically set up to deal with some of these challenges.  And now that the funding for the Hawkinge Partnership comes through KCC I was asked to secure a senior officer from KCC to join the Hawkinge Board.  I was very pleased that Robert Hardy from KCC’s Environment and Regeneration directorate agreed to join the Hawkinge Partnership Board and it was Robert who arranged for Jenny Hanna of KCC to take over as the manager of the partnership whilst Deirdre Ferguson is o­n maternity leave.

My initial appointments at KCC were to Cabinet Scrutiny committee, the Highways Advisory Board and the Strategic Planning Policy Overview Committee which deals with transport matters.  In October I was appointed Lead Member for Education supporting the Cabinet Member for Education.  This makes me part of the administration running KCC so I left Cabinet Scrutiny, kept my other appointments and was additionally appointed to the Schools Organisation Advisory Board, Kent Schools Organisation Committee, SACRE (overviewing Religious Education) and the Walking Bus project.

I have now visited about 30 of Kent’s 615 schools including Hawkinge schools and Selsted as well as three of the new children’s centres which deal with 0 to 4 year old children and their parents.  I have planted trees and cut ribbons and sat in o­n classes and taken part in all sorts of school activities.  I have been impressed with the work that is being done in the schools by teachers, pupils and governors.

The big drop in the number of children means that there are around 14,000 empty desks in primary schools across the County.  As schools are funded per pupil this is a major problem for them and the more vacancies they have the less they have to spend o­n children’s education.  Kent County Council is therefore reviewing all areas to merge and close schools so that the number of empty places is reduced.  Schools are merged, closed and opened all the time and this is part of the normal work of the Schools Organisation Advisory Board but the scale of the surplus places is such that we have doubled the number of meetings for the next 6 months and will be looking at two to three areas every meeting.  By merging or closing a few schools in each area the remaining schools will o­nce more be viable.

The Shepway area is also being reviewed but does not have quite such a problem as other areas because the Ghurkha soldiers are being allowed to have their families with them and this is expected to bring up to 400 children into Shepway’s schools.  However, Selsted school is o­ne of the schools that is being proposed for closure subject to consultation.  Pupil numbers are falling at Selsted and few of the children actually come from the village. 

Happier news is that our district has also done very well in securing two of the five new Academies planned for Kent with o­ne in Folkestone sponsored by Roger De Haan and o­ne o­n the Romney Marsh sponsored by Microsoft. 

I have spoken at County Hall about the problems caused to our area by Operation Stack, I have secured funding for a pilot study o­n removing sign clutter from our roads and I have assisted individuals with various problems concerning Highways, Schools and Social Services.

Council tax has risen sharply in the last few years.  Kent County Council has argued that Kent’s share of grant from central government is too low particularly compared with the level of grant paid to councils in the Midlands and the North.  This year the increase in grant for schools was a generous 6.9% but for all other services just 0.3%.  We already know that next year’s settlement from central government will be even lower.  We at KCC will continue to do our best to put the case for fairer funding for Kent and to look to deliver services more efficiently.

Despite the financial pressures, Kent County Council is rated 4 stars (the top mark) and ‘improving strongly’ by the Audit Commission.  o­nly three county councils in the country were awarded 4 stars and of these KCC had the lowest Band D council tax for 2005/06.

It is a great privilege to be the County representative for Elham Valley and I look forward to working with your parish council in the year ahead.

Susan Carey, Member for Elham Valley, Kent County Council

Hawkinge annual parish meeting 26 April 2006 - Hawkinge Parish Council report

Contributed by editor on Apr 27, 2006 - 09:47 AM


Statement by Hawkinge Parish Council Chairman Cllr. David Callahan.

The Parish Council has over the last 12 months had many issues placed before it.

Major issues regarding planning and development include the continued development of Hawkinge as an area for housing. This has put pressure o­n the village infrastructure, with regard to medical provision, present and future public and private transport,  and amenities for all groups, particularly the youth.

Your parish council has worked hard in conjunction with the Hawkinge Partnership to resolve these problems.

These tasks are not easy and there are no overnight solutions, but already there are signs of early success, and with the hard work put in by the council in partnership with others, it should be possible  to make significant improvements to the infrastructure of the village.

The long awaited dog litter bins are soon to be installed in the village.

There has unfortunately been no progress in the search for land suitable for a village allotment site. If anyone  has some land or knows of a suitable site, the parish council would like to know.

Hawkinge Parish Council Chairman Cllr. David Callahan.

Hawkinge annual parish meeting 26 April 2006

Contributed by editor on Apr 27, 2006 - 09:42 AM


A disappointingly small number of residents attended the annual parish meeting last night (26 April).

This was an opportunity for villagers to question parish, district and county councillors, and any of the organisations who reported to the meeting over issues which concern residents personally or affect the village as a whole.

The reports made included:-

Hawkinge Parish Council
Shepway District Council
Kent County Council
Hawkinge Neighbourhood  Management Partnership
The Churchill School
The Village Hall
Hawkinge Community Centre
Hawkinge Community Safety Forum
Hawkinge Sports Association

Reports from local organistions and schools which are made available to The Hawkinge Gazette will be published as soon as they are made available to us.

Bulk carrier aground in Strait of Dover

Contributed by editor on Apr 27, 2006 - 12:11 AM


A 40,000 bulk carrier with twenty o­ne people o­n board which run aground 10 miles off  Dover today (26 April) was successfully refloated during the night.

Dover Coastguard was alerted at 5.00pm on 26 April, by the master of the 'Lowland Main' saying that its engines had stopped and that the  vessel was aground.

The Coastguard Tug 'Anglian Monarch' was standing by to assist the vessel.

The 'Lowland Maine' is a Panamanian flag 40,000 ton bulk carrier and was en route from Dunkirk to Trembles in South America. After safety checks it has now been able to continue its journey. 

Local school facing closure

Contributed by editor on Apr 26, 2006 - 12:03 PM


Swingfield Parish Council Chairman Colin Tearle was yesterday (25 April), horrified to learn that Selsted School is facing the threat of closure.Falling pupil numbers have forced Kent County Council to review schools across the County and Selsted will be presented to the Schools Organisation Advisory Board for members to recommend that it goes for consultation o­n closure.

Cllr Tearle said: "I have spent 23 years as a governor of the school and also served as the chairman of governers. Many, many hours of dedicated work have been put in by dedicated people to expand the school and its facilities."

"Selsted was one of the Schools openly encouraged to have a community hall built in the grounds of the school. If the school closes and the use of the hall no longer involves schoolchildren, the substantial grant will need to be repaid."

The Selsted School Hall for the Sports and Arts was opened by the Rt. Honourable Micheal Howard M.P. in January of 2005; it is o­ne of five similar halls, built as part of a project funded by Sport England.

"The head teacher  Graham Truss is leaving at the end of the Summer term and I know that the governors have delayed the appointment of a replacement.

"135 years of history will come to an end, it will be a very sad day should it be decided to close the school" said Cllr Tearle.

A big drop in the number of children means that there are around 14,000 empty desks in primary schools across the County.

Shepway area schools are to be reviewed but around 400 children of Gurkha soldiers being placed in Shepway’s schools will ease the pressure on those with low pupil numbers.

Hawkinge Angels

Contributed by editor on Apr 25, 2006 - 10:48 PM

By Karla and Wendy

Hawkinge Angels is a support group run by parents for parents, we are predominately for parents with special needs children, but are open to anybody who may like to come along. Our aims are to support others in similar circumstances as ourselves. 

We both feel we are at a stage in our lives where we can offer help and support. As parents we had both found it hard not having support and not knowing others going through similar problems as ourselves. We have also felt very alone at times, and so wish to give a little to others that we wish we had had before now. 

The group meets on Mondays at the Hawkinge Community Centre between 12 - 2pm. Our members bring a lunch and drinks and biscuits are always available.

All are welcome, not just those whose children have disabilities, men women and children of any age can come along and enjoy the group. We are only parents and do not view ourselves as professionals. 

Some sessions are for parents to come along for coffee, lunch and a chat, we also invite professionals to attend to give a short talk about their roles and how they can help families. In time we hope to become a registered charity, branching out to include other areas, but for now rely on our own fund-raising to provide toys, equipment and outings etc., 

Although we have only been running for a short while we had the honour of winning the award 'for responding to a particular problem' at the Hawkinge Partnership's AGM which we received along with a trophy that can be seen at the Partnership office and a digital camera for the group. Well done to us all for winning this award! 

We both feel that although gradually we are now beginning to be recognised in the community and each week we see new faces, which is fantastic! We have a number of regulars who come along and although we are still a relatively small group the word has been spreading around and we've had very large numbers especially during the holidays.

Thanks to the grant from the Community Chest we enjoyed some guilt free retail therapy and purchased some special needs toys! We hope the children enjoy these as much as we enjoyed choosing them.

More recently we've funded ourselves with proceeds from two successful boot fairs and a sponsored walk to buy special needs toys and a soft seating area. To help with funds we have made our own merchandise such as ribbons, key rings, coasters and magnets. In time we hope to hold evening sessions of the group and family fund-raising events. 

Yet again the boot fair season is upon us, we still have items left over from the table sale but if you have any unwanted items to donate or you would like to help at o­ne of the fairs we'll be attending we would be very grateful, please let us know o­n o­n either 07737 749602 or 07786 420849.

Hawkinge cup final

Contributed by editor on Apr 24, 2006 - 10:57 PM


Come and support your local team at the Eurolink League Cup Final o­n Sunday.

Hawkinge will be up against Nailbox from Folkestone in what promises to be an exciting and tough match.

The kick off is at 3.00pm so why not after Sunday lunch stroll over to the ground off Cricketers Close and give our lads a cheer.

Cliff fall man flown to hospital

Contributed by editor on Apr 24, 2006 - 10:29 PM


Rescue services rushed to cliffs between Capel le Ferne and Dover o­n Sunday morning (23 April) after a man suffering fractures was found o­n the beach.

The man thought to be in his 40's had fallen from the cliffs near the Samphire Hoe nature reserve.

The Kent Air Ambulance flew the casualty to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.