Folkestone's little mouse olympic champion dies

Contributed by editor on Oct 08, 2006 - 10:18 AM


British athletics has lost o­ne of its all-time greats and o­ne of its finest characters with the death last week, aged 73, of Olympic Gold Medallist Don Thompson.

Don took part in many races in East Kent and competed for Folkestone Running Club into his seventies.

Back in 1960, when he scuttled into the Stadio Olimpico to win the 50km walk gold medal at the Rome Olympics, the Italian public were captivated by the curious little Englishman, an insurance clerk from Cranfield in Middlesex, with his sunglasses and his French legionnaire's hat. Il Topolino, they called him - The Little Mouse.

His funeral will take place at Aldershot Crematorium o­n Wednesday 18 October.

Motorcyclist dies in railway line crash

Contributed by editor on Oct 08, 2006 - 09:53 AM


Police are appealing for witnesses to a motorcycle accident at the junction of Station Approach Road and Queens Road,  New Romney in the early hours of Friday, in which a local man died.

The rider, o­n a Kawasaki motorcycle crashed through metal fencing and landed on a miniature railway line. He died from serious injuries at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

His 18-year-old pillion passenger was also thrown o­nto the tracks of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway and sustained a broken leg and ankle.

Howard hits out at environmental plan

Contributed by editor on Oct 08, 2006 - 12:05 AM


Michael Howard has hit out at English Nature's decision to designate 22,000 acres, nearly 35 square miles of Romney Marsh and East Sussex as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Mr Howard, MP for Folkestone and Hythe, told a public meeting in Brenzett, o­n Romney Marsh, that the move could discourage other producers from farming in an environmentally-friendly way.

One of the main reasons the land around Romney Marsh, Rye Bay and Dungeness seemed to have been designated was because producers had taken steps such as creating new wetlands which had improved the area's wildlife status, said Mr Howard.

He claimed that if the consequences of putting in environmental features, are likely to be that English Nature comes in and prevents people from farming in the way they have always been able to farm, then producers are going to think twice about putting those features o­n the farm.

About 50 farmers attended the meeting which was organised by the National Farmers Union.

Killer virus threat to Shepway dogs

Contributed by editor on Oct 07, 2006 - 07:44 PM


A potentially fatal dog virus has struck Shepway, claiming victims in Folkestone.

The deadly parvovirus has killed three dogs from the same household and it is feared it will spread.

Although there is no guaranteed cure for the virus, vets are urging pet owners to get their dogs vaccinated.

Dogs suffering from the the virus will vomit, have diarrhoea, which will probably be bloody, and could die. The virus last appeared in the area about 20 years ago and lasted for about six months.

Hawkinge Parish Council Agenda - 11 October 2006

Contributed by editor on Oct 07, 2006 - 07:13 PM

Hawkinge Parish Council Meeting  Wednesday 11 October 2006 at 7.30 pm in the Village Hall.


The Chairman will take questions from parishioners.   The number of speakers will be limited to five (time limit 3 minutes).  


1 Apologies

2 Declarations of Interest

Councillors should disclose personal or prejudicial interest/s in any item/s o­n this agenda.  Councillors with a personal interest must describe and give details of the interest.  Unless the personal interest amounts to a prejudicial interest, he/she may participate fully in the meeting.   A prejudicial interest is o­ne in which a member of the public, with knowledge of the relevant facts, would reasonably regard as so significant that it is likely to prejudice a Councillor’s judgement of the public interest.  Anyone with a prejudicial interest must, unless an exception applies or a dispensation has been issued, withdraw from the meeting room.    Whenever possible, and if in doubt, advice should be sought from the Clerk prior to the meeting. 

3 Minutes

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meetings held o­n 13th September 2006 (already circulated).

4 Matters arising out of the Minutes

       (a) Hawkinge Community Centre Group [min. 335(b)]

            (i) Chairman to report o­n meetings held and action taken.

(ii) To receive a letter from Mr Godfrey dated 2nd October (enc.)  

       (b) Leakes Wood, Mill Lane/The Street

To discuss preservation of the woodland for the future and upkeep of the woodland until its future is decided (question raised by the Civic Society).

5          Reports

      (a) Community Liaison – Cllr. Brisley

      (b) Planning and Development – Cllr. Trice

Hawkinge West Development Brief (enc.) 3 copies received

      (c) Public Rights of Way – Cllr. Punnett

      (d) Finance – Cllr. Callahan

6         Other Bodies

       (a) Neighbourhood Management Partnership – Cllr. Hodgson

       (b) Community Centre – Cllr. Hodgson

       (c) Village Hall – Cllr. Brisley

7          Projects Group

       (a) Minutes of a meeting held o­n 27th September enc. (to be approved by the Group)

       (b) The Football Project

       (c) Management of the ground

       (d) Multi Sport Complex   

8 Sports Association

            Cllr. Hodgson to report.

9 Finance

       (a) Clerk to report - half-year figures for 2006/07 (to follow).

       (b) Capital projects for 2007/08 for inclusion in the budget [min. 341(b)]

       (c) Flag Poles – to reconsider the specification and purchase of the flags.                    

       (d) Christmas Concert arrangements.   

       (e) Payments

            To approve payment of the accounts presented at the meeting (list enc.)

Any queries regarding accounts must be raised with the Clerk before the meeting

10       Correspondence

       (a) Peter Styles, Secretary, Hawkinge Carnival Association (7th Sept.) circulated to

      to all councillors after the last meeting.

       (b) SDC – Shepway Community Partnership: letter and questionnaire enclosed.

       (c) Transportation Engineer, Kent Highway Services (25th Sept.) Notice of Order

       regarding speed restrictions (enc.)

       (d) Kent Council for Voluntary Youth Services: Rural Youth Conference Sat. 11th

      November at Lenham Community Centre. 

       (e) Shepway Primary Care Trust – Annual Report 2005/06

11       Plans

           No new plans have been received to date.  


           To resolve 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.

13 Disposal of the Leisuredrome

14 Village Hall car park/lights – estimates 

15 Any matters referred to the confidential section during the meeting.

Ready steady go for Cyril's new venture

Contributed by editor on Oct 07, 2006 - 12:28 AM


A newly formed Hawkinge club is up and "running" and looking for members

The Hawkinge Running Club, set up by veteran distance runner Cyril Trice, met for their first run out last Sunday (1 October).

Cyril said: "We are now meeting initially at 8 o'clock every Sunday morning at the Hawkinge Cricket Club car park off Cricketers Close in Hawkinge.

"Come and join us for about a one hours run or jog at your pace. We would normally run in most weather conditions".

Cyril Trice can be contacted by Email

Howard wins new funding to fight local crime

Contributed by editor on Oct 07, 2006 - 12:09 AM


Michael Howard has helped secure new Home Office funding to fight crime in Shepway.

Finance for the Action Against Business Crime (AABC) initiative was due to end in August, but o­n Tuesday (3 October) Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker MP wrote to Mr Howard to tell him that, following his intervention, AABC would receive a further grant.

AABC is active in the Folkestone and Hythe area through the Folkestone Area Partnership Against Crime. The partnership has led the way, particularly in preventing and detecting crime related to licensed premises. Folkestone was the first town to be awarded the Safer Socialising Award.

Michael Howard said: ‘These partnerships do a tremendous job in preventing and detecting crime, both locally and across the country. I know that the Folkestone Area Partnership Against Crime has led the way in working with licensed premises to tackle crime.

‘This means that the new funding will allow the partnerships to continue doing their work for the time being. I notice, however, that the Government intends to shift funding solely to local initiatives. I hope that with the right support these partnerships will be able successfully to apply when this happens.’

Shepway offers interest free loans to home owners

Contributed by editor on Oct 07, 2006 - 12:03 AM


Kent Council has launched the first major scheme aimed at tackling empty homes by offering interest free loans to their owners in Shepway and Dover.

Altogether the council has drawn up agreements with four district authorities to offer loans of up to £25,000 per property to bring them back into use.

The council has put aside £5 million to support the ‘no use empty’ scheme in Shepway, Dover, Swale and Thanet.

To be eligible for the scheme, homes must have been empty for more than six months and work must be completed and the home occupied by the end of March 2008.

There are around 9,000 empty homes in the four council areas.

Jonathan Ellis, chief executive of the Empty Homes Agency, said the scheme was the first project of this size in the country and should be replicated.

Kent Council is aiming to bring almost 400 homes back into use by the March deadline.

The £5 million pot could also be used by the councils to pay for enforcement action to bring empty homes back into use.

Bogus callers rob 90-year-old lady

Contributed by editor on Oct 06, 2006 - 06:20 PM


Local police are warning elderly residents to beware after bogus callers tricked a 90-year-old lady into letting them into her home.

The lady was at home in Rectory Lane, Saltwood on Wednesday afternoon at about 1.20pm when two men called claiming to be from the water board. They entered her home and one of them insisted that she turn her taps in the kitchen on to empty her tank due to a virus.

The other man was left alone whilst the lady went into the kitchen.

When the men had gone she noticed her handbag, which had been in her bedroom, had been stolen. It contained around £45 cash.

Both men are described as white and believed to be in their early 20s. The one who did the talking spoke with a local accent, and was around 5ft 6in tall and well built and was wearing black trousers and a black top.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact DS Ivan Pickering on 01303 850055.

Alternatively call Kent Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. This call is free, you don’t have to leave your name and could be eligible for a cash reward.

If you have elderly neighbours or relatives, please warn them not to open the door to callers without having the chain in place and not to allow anyone into their home if they do not know who they are. The Utility Companies will always make a prior appointment if they wish to come into your home.

Council attempting to 'con the people first' over street cleaning

Contributed by editor on Oct 06, 2006 - 05:00 AM


Dear Ed,

To the 'blaring of horns and the sounding of trumpets' Shepway District Council (SDC) are bringing street cleaning and grounds maintenance back 'in-house' according to a story you recently published.

Readers will no doubt recall it was to the same 'music' that the contract was awarded to Kent County Council, resulting in the transfer of staff under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) arrangements, and the redundancies were supposed to result in 'massive' savings to SDC with increases in efficiency.

Its not rocket science to work out that this 'arrangement' has not been as successful as they had hoped. Re. Recent street cleaning problems. I consider it to have been a failure, as anyone with any knowledge of the subject could have told them two years ago, because of the loss of direct control of the labour force.
Therefore SDC does not now have the staff with the knowledge of how to run and operate such services anymore, having now been dispersed.

So how much will this exercise cost?

I suspect that the press release from SDC is yet another example of this administration attempting to 'con the people first' and charge them later, as with the £1.8m wasted o­n refuse trucks and sports consultants.

Cllr. Colin Tearle