School moves to wildlife park

Contributed by editor on Sep 15, 2006 - 04:10 PM


The 230 pupils left without a school after it was destroyed by fire o­n Wednesday (13 September) are to be given temporary accommodation at the Mansion House at Port Lympne Wildlife Park.

Area education officer David Adams said: "The kind offer from Port Lympne means we can get children back into education quickly.

The pupils from Lympne Church of England  Primary School are expected to be there for a week while arrangements are made for their move to St. Mary's Westbrook School in Ravenlea Road, Folkestone.

The former independent school in the town is owned by erstwhile Saga boss Roger De Haan's Foundation.

Parents were told the news o­n Friday (15 September) at a meeting with KCC education bosses, who have pledged to keep the pupils and teachers together until the school is rebuilt.

The staff and pupils will be moving into the school until the new building is completed. Kent County Council (KCC) have estimated the it could be ready in 18months.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service said the cause of the fire was being investigated but crews at the scene believed it may have started in a light fitting.

Selsted school saved

Contributed by editor on Sep 15, 2006 - 01:42 PM


It has been announced today (15 September) that Selsted Church of England Primary School has been saved from closure and the proposed merger of Morehall and Harcourt primaries will not now take place.

The county council's Primary Strategy was drawn up to reduce the 14,200 empty primary school places in Kent, but  with overwhelming opposition to the plans, KCC has so far  decided to reprieve seven of the 12 schools earmarked for closure.

Selsted school waged a huge campaign to fight the proposals, and the pupils recorded their song 'Save Our School' which they performed o­n national TV's Richard and Judy Show.

Explaning the decision to keep the school open, KCC Cabinet Member for Education and School Improvement John Simmonds said: “The issue has been complicated by the community facilities adjoining the school which could provide an additional major financial cost of up to £500,000 repayment to the New Opportunities Fund.

“The results from this year’s Key Stage tests are disappointing and they fell well short of the school’s own expectations. The new headteacher will be charged with the responsibility of improving these in a quick time frame because we want to see the school succeed. Without this improvement it is unlikely that the school would attract sufficient pupils to make it financially viable in the longer term.

“The very good work the school does with children with special needs is recognised but overall standards are still the crucial test for the future. A programme of support from KCC is being developed.

"The decision here was a complex o­ne and we will continue to review closely the school’s future performance.”

Why leave the door ajar when it could be firmly bolted?

Contributed by editor on Sep 15, 2006 - 07:00 AM


Dear Ed,

Re: Civic Society try to block building in the woods

Thank you for your article, but could I point out that despite the apparent protection that CO24 should provide, there is always the caveat that this could be overridden providing the need can be justified. 

I believe this to be true of the Local Plan and the Kent and Medway Structure Plan.

Why would we want to leave the door ajar when it could be firmly bolted, leaving this woodland alone for future generations to enjoy?

Stuart Hall

Community Centre agree to Parish Council rescue plan

Contributed by editor on Sep 15, 2006 - 12:50 AM


Hawkinge Community Centre chairman John Heasman has replied to Hawkinge Parish Council's offer of £5000 to help the centre over the next 3months. 

In his letter he confirmed that the trustees have agreed to accept the offer and have allowed the Parish Council to become the custodian trustees of the centre. 

There is some doubt to whether the council are in fact already custodian trustees and they are writing to the charities commission to check on the documentation for the Hawkinge Community Centre charity to clarify the situation. 

In order not to delay matters further, councillors David Callahan, Peter Smith and Kevin Avery will begin overseeing the payment of monies for running costs of the community centre and study the procedures which are already in place.

The parish council emphasised that the £5,000 could only be spent on the running costs of the centre and not to repay any loans.

Hawkinge crime forum to close

Contributed by editor on Sep 15, 2006 - 12:20 AM


Chris Ashman  is resigning as Chairman of the Hawkinge Safety Forum

and the group is to be wound up.

It is hoped the Parish council will set up a group to liaise with villagers, the police and the village

warden which will take its place.

Mr Ashman told the Parish Council meeting on Wednesday (13 September) that the Forum has

"run its course" and now both Tanya Clark, the village warden and PC Trevor Moody both hold weekly surgeries in the village.

Parish Council Chairman David Callahan, thanked Mr Ashman for all his hard work.

Cllr Callahan said he would speak to Cllr Peter Smith, who originally set up the forum to see if he would lead a the Parish Council group to deal with new items raised and to take on the outstanding problems which have been

identified by the safety forum and already passed to the council.

Lib Dem vote could have overturned Selsted SOAB result

Contributed by editor on Sep 14, 2006 - 09:55 PM


Dear Ed,

Your recent article about the School Organisation Advisory Board decision to close Selsted School seems to lack one important piece of information. 

The voting figures.

In favour of closure:-  4 Con; 1 Lib Dem 

Against :-  1 Con; 2 Lab; 1 Church Rep

These figures on closer analysis reveal something surprising when put against the Peter Carroll article currently being displayed on the Lib Dem website which appears to be against KCC's closure policy re Selsted School.

So why did the only Lib Dem on this Board vote to recommend to close Selsted School contrary to their propaganda?

Something about left and right hand?

Of the others, as we know this closure has little to do with Government policy so the Labour vote is as expected, as regrettably is the majority of the Conservative vote.

Cllr.Colin Tearle


Swingfield Parish Council

Updated Gazette policy - 14 March 2009

Contributed by editor on Sep 14, 2006 - 04:39 PM

Privacy policy

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Personal information, such as name and email, are used primarily to recognise individual readers.

Occasionally the Hawkinge Gazette and Channel Coast News will use individually identifiable information, like email addresses, in order to contact the user for technical support information or provide updates to the site.

Readers have the option to cancel the emails from the Hawkinge Gazette and Channel Coast News.

The Hawkinge Gazette and Channel Coast News does not track general information about people visiting our site.

This does not include any searches made on the site, which enables us to include items which are of interest.

Gazette Site Policy

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The Hawkinge Gazette and Channel Coast news will not under any circumstances publish letters from anonymous authors. We must have a valid Email address or home address. If the author wishes to withhold their name, the published letter will be signed - name and address supplied. Anyone wishing to know the identity of the author must contact the Hawkinge Gazette and Channel Coast News. We will then approach the author to see if they are willing to have their identity disclosed to everyone or to the person requesting the information. Under normal circumstances, unless requested not to, we would disclose the name of the person requesting the information, to the author.

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Letters which are considered to be possibly libellous or threatening will not be published under any circumstances.

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Civic Society try to block building in the woods

Contributed by editor on Sep 14, 2006 - 02:09 PM


At the Parish Council meeting o­n Wednesday (13 September), Civic Society Chairman Stuart Hall asked the council if they would consider applying for a Section 4 directive to prevent all building on the site of the proposed Health Centre which recently had its plans rejected.

Mr Hall told parish councillors that the Chairman of Swingfield Parish Council Cllr Colin Tearle had saved Black Horse meadow in Densole from development by successfully applying for the directive.

Hawkinge Parish Council Chairman David Callahan replied that he would be seeking advice and would report back to the Civic Society.

If the directive were granted it would remove permitted development rights to the woodland where the surgery was planned, however the Hawkinge Gazette have been informed that the Directive would not be applicable in this case.

A reliable source has stated the land in question cannot be built o­n at present as it is a CO24 buffer zone in the Shepway local plan. This prevents any building o­n the land until there are changes to the plan, which cannot be made for another 5years.

New children's seatbelt laws could cost you £500

Contributed by editor on Sep 14, 2006 - 01:30 PM


From next Monday (18 September 2006) there will be changes to the Child Seatbelt Laws and all children must travel in an appropriate child car seat. 

The new legislation comes into force to help prevent child deaths and injuries and applies to all children until they reach the age of 12 years or 135cm (4ft 5in) tall, whichever comes first.

The new legislation has been brought in to make sure that the right restraint is used according to the size of the child. 

Adult seat belts are not designed for children under a certain height and it is important to keep the 'lap' part of the seatbelt as low as possible over the stomach. If the belt sits too high there is a risk of damage to internal organs, as well as the child slipping out in the event of a crash.

For a lot of families this will mean making sure an older child uses a booster seat or booster cushion where previously they may have used an adult seatbelt.

Drivers have the responsibility to ensure that children are properly restrained and if drivers don't comply with the new regulations there is a risk of a £30 fixed penalty notice. If the case goes to court, the maximum fine is £500.

Chief Inspector John Frayne: "These new laws will increase children's safety when travelling on the roads and it is predicted that around 2,000 child deaths or injuries will be prevented nationally. All too often we see the tragic consequences when road safety regulations are ignored by drivers and we will be making sure these new laws are policed effectively."

Under the new regulations there is an exemption for 'an unexpected necessity', which allows a child of three years or more to wear an adult belt on a short journey when no appropriate child seat is available. However, children under three years of age must always sit in a child seat. The only exception is when travelling in the rear of a taxi, or in an emergency vehicle. 

The new law will apply to police cars carrying children in non-emergency or pre-planned situations.

The new regulations do not cover buses/minibuses, where seated passengers aged 14 years and above must use seat belts where fitted. 

The government will bring forward a requirement for all children aged three years to 13 years to use seat belts (or child restraints if they are available) for these vehicles in the near future.


Check the height of the child - children up to 135cm in height (and under 12 years old), need to use a child seat, booster seat or booster cushion. 
Before buying or using any child restraint, check the label to make sure it is suitable for the child's weight. 
Check that any restraint is securely fitted and suitable for the car it is to be used in. 
Get expert advice - many retailers have trained in-store experts who can advise on the best kind of car seat for a child and can demonstrate how to fit it. 
More information
For full details of the new regulations and how it will affect you, visit the Department of Transport website THINK! Road Safety.

Village Warden news - 14 September 2006

Contributed by editor on Sep 14, 2006 - 11:46 AM


On Saturday 16 September at the Hawkinge fun day on the green, I will be holding an info point in the Partnership marquee, here I will have Community safety info and advice along with various home safety schemes. 

I will also be doing security marking for cycles, mobile phones, scooters, mp3 players etc on the day and would like to urge residents to come along with these items on the day. 

There will also be a limited amount of security marking kits for residents to take away to mark their valuables inside their home.

Tanya Clark
Village Warden