Adventure trail will be a great Christmas present

Contributed by editor on Oct 26, 2006 - 11:11 AM


Work has started on the Churchill School adventure trail.

Work starts on the adventure trail 

Head teacher Jennie Carter told the Gazette: "It won't be ready until all the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) checks have been done but we are going to get Father Christmas to officially open it at the Advent Fair-seems fitting as it is a present from parents!"

The trail will be laid with low-level equipment, swinging steps, a rope bridge and wobble boards, designed to strengthen young children's upper body, and their co-ordination and balancing skills. It will be built over a soft and safe all-weather surface.

Head teacher Jennie Carter said she took her hat off to the parents who had helped.

"The facility will be offered to local nurseries and childminders as well as holiday play schemes" Mrs. Carter said.

Howard's Way - 26 October 2006

Contributed by editor on Oct 26, 2006 - 12:05 AM

HOWARD'S WAY.... a weekly column from Michael Howard MP

October 2006


Much has been said and written, in recent months, about the provision of new sports facilities for the district. Few would dispute that these facilities are badly needed. The Folkestone Sports Centre has served the town well for many years. But it is showing its age and, if new facilities are not provided, would need substantial and expensive refurbishment. 

Similar considerations apply to the swimming pool at Hythe and the provision of a multi-purpose sports centre at Hythe would bring tremendous benefits to the community. 

For these reasons I have given my strongest backing to the District Council’s proposals to bring new, modern, sports facilities to both Folkestone and Hythe. Earlier in the year I chaired a meeting at which most of the respective groups concerned were represented which was able to agree a way forward. 

Now crunch time is approaching. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport which will provide most of the finance for the scheme, through Private Finance Initiative credits, says it must have a business case for the new schemes by the end of January 2007. If it is not provided by that date, the credits will be withdrawn. 

The finalisation of the business case has been delayed by disagreement between Shepway and its partners in the project, the Folkestone Sports Centre Trust and Hythe Town Council. Those disagreements must now be resolved if the project is to proceed. 

I am convinced that this project will bring great benefit to our community. Local politicians have been impressive in their unity of their support for it – across all parties. I also believe that Shepway District Council has been entirely reasonable in its approach. 

Now is the time for everyone to pull together in the interests of the whole of our local community. This is an opportunity which must not be lost.

Folkestone renewal in jeopardy

Contributed by editor on Oct 25, 2006 - 08:11 PM


Proposals to reduce Eurostar Services to Ashford International Station could derail Folkestone's regeneration plans claimed Folkestone and Hythe MP Michael Howard.

Eurostar minutes from Ashford 

Speaking in a Commons debate today (25 October) on Eurostar’s proposals to reduce its services to the continent from Ashford International Station, Mr Howard drew attention to the potential impact of proposals.

He said that the prospects for the regeneration of Folkestone were now brighter than this had been at any time during the 23 years during which he had had the privilege of representing the constituency. 

This, he said, was largely due to the inspirational plans of an immensely public-spirited local businessman, Mr Roger de Haan. But these prospects would not be helped if links to the continent from Ashford International Station were reduced.

Mr Howard also renewed his request to Eurostar for the survey evidence on which their proposals are based so that Kent County Council can make an independent assessment of the Eurostar case.

The debate was initiated by Damian Green, MP for Ashford.

Lives at risk claim by police chief

Contributed by editor on Oct 25, 2006 - 04:34 PM


A police chief claims lorry drivers from abroad are putting lives at risk in a BBC1 TV programme to be  screened tonight (25 October). 

The show, Real Story spent a day in Dover and discovered problems including rusty brakes about to fall off, dangerously overloaded vehicles and bald tyres about to explode.

Trucks at the Port of Dover

Photo courtesy Colin Gregory Palmer 

Inspectors from the Vehicle and Operators Service Agency (Vosa) checked foreign vehicles entering the UK and of 206 vehicles pulled over, 77 were taken off the road because they were unsafe.

Dell Evans, a senior manager with Vosa, said: "We really are just scratching the surface at the moment.

"A prime example is if you take a ferry load of trucks being discharged it's likely that we would only ever be able to check, say, two off that ferry load and we're not there all the time. These vehicles and drivers are entering the country on a 24/7 basis."

Superintendent Geraint Anwyl, a spokesman on traffic issues for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) claims on the programme that lorry drivers from abroad are putting lives at risk by exceeding their work hours are also driving unroadworthy vehicles and over-loading their lorries.

Woman killed as car ends up in lake

Contributed by editor on Oct 25, 2006 - 03:42 PM


A woman motorist was killed when the Land Rover car she was driving ended up in a lake at the side of Dungeness Road, Romney Marsh on Monday evening (23 October).

Police said the 53-year-old woman, who has not been named was from the Romney Marsh area. She was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Kent Police are appealing for witnesses.

Alice in Wonderland

Contributed by editor on Oct 24, 2006 - 09:38 PM


Lyminge Dramatic Society’s production of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” is to be staged next month.

The set is nearing completion, props and masks are being made and the costume makers are burning the midnight oil making all the costumes required. 

Directed by Barbara Harris, it promises to be a magical production and you will encounter all your favourite characters in this much loved classical story. 

The production is to be staged from Tuesday 21st to Saturday 25th November in Lyminge Village Hall commencing 7.45pm and there will be a matinee at 4.00pm on Saturday 25th. Badges will also be on sale along with the tickets and at the Post Office. This production will be one not to be missed! 

Tickets will be on sale on Saturday 28th October at Haxtons Estate Agents, 

There will be a limited number of free-of-charge tickets available for Senior Citizens for the Tuesday performance which must be collected from Haxtons in the usual way.

Please note that the Youth Drama Group still meets from 6pm to 7.30pm on Friday evenings at the Lyminge Methodist Hall. 

Lyminge Dramatic Society 

Former Tory chief Howard quizzed over cash for honours

Contributed by editor on Oct 24, 2006 - 03:33 PM


Michael Howard, former Conservative leader, revealed he had been interviewed by Scotland Yard as part of its inquiry into the "cash for honours" investigation.

The MP for Folkestone and Hythe, who led the Tories from November 2003 to December 2005, stressed he had agreed to be interviewed, was not arrested, and was not questioned under caution.

It is thought Mr Howard is among 15 or so people who have been interviewed in relation to the inquiry. 

Three were arrested, Labour's chief fundraiser Lord Levy, the millionaire head of Biotech, Sir Christopher Evans, and head teacher Des Smith, who was on the council of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. 

The "cash for honours" investigation began in March. It was sparked by claims wealthy Labour backers were being rewarded with seats in the House of Lords. The inquiry was then widened to cover claims about the Conservative Party.

Channel cattle route stays open

Contributed by editor on Oct 24, 2006 - 10:50 AM


The P&O ferry route between Dover and Calais, the only daily transport link for livestock moving from Britain to Europe remains open to pedigree cattle and genuine breeding stock following intervention by the National Beef Association (NBA) .

European Seaway

The company had wanted to shut down the service, or limit it to single animal consignments because there was no guarantee that some of the cattle on its boats were being transported for further finishing or slaughter.

However talks between the NBA and P&O management resulted in a promise from the Association that the only cattle making the journey would be genuine breeding and milking animals and it will now act as sole booking agent for P&O so consignments can be properly screened.

All livestock movements through P&O will be carried on the five daily, freight-only, crossings on the M/V European Seaway from Dover and they will not accept any international livestock movements on its northern, non-Calais, routes to the Continent because these crossings are judged to be too long for comfortable livestock transport.

Crime update - 23 October 2006

Contributed by editor on Oct 23, 2006 - 02:29 PM


Last week the village saw an unusual spate of criminal damage.

The incidents included a damaged window at the Hawkinge Fish Bar in Canterbury Road between 16 and 18 October, and to a patio door which appeared to have been hit by a stone, also in Canterbury Road overnight on 20/21 October. 

A back door was kicked in on 20 October at a property in Churchill Walk, Hawkinge and there was a burglary at St Luke's Walk in the village on 16 October.

PC Trevor Moody can be contacted on 07980 770583.

To report a crime which has already occurred please ring the Central Crime Reporting Unit 01622 690690.

Candid cameras to catch bad drivers

Contributed by editor on Oct 23, 2006 - 10:18 AM


Shepway motorists could soon be nabbed by cameras focussing on cars that cause congestion or make illegal manoeuvres.

It was disclosed on Thursday (19 October) that the CCTV scheme could be introduced across the country.

Box junctions to be targeted

CCTV, which monitors areas including box junctions, are used by councils to catch motorists causing obstructions or making illegal manoeuvres.

Fines, which cost up to £100 in London, can be handed to drivers for offences including stopping in a box junction and ignoring no right-turn and no-entry signs.

Transport for London (TfL) has more than 70 traffic cameras which monitor congestion and fine moving traffic breaking the law in London and are monitored by staff in the London Traffic Control Centre (LTCC).

Around 11 councils in London have also installed traffic cameras to enforce moving traffic offences and help congestion.