'Mini motos' crackdown could see them crushed

Contributed by editor on Dec 14, 2005 - 06:48 PM


Dover District Council's Anti-Social Behaviour Unit is leading a campaign to make parents and other potential buyers put on the brakes before they buy 'mini motos' if they don't have somewhere to use them this Christmas.

The message is 'If you don't have somewhere to use it, don't buy it!' The campaign, featuring a series of advertisements across the district, stresses that these machines are not toys and people could end up being prosecuted, and the bike crushed if used illegally. The campaign is focussing on potential buyers and users of the machines, and includes mini motorcycles, quad bikes and other off road bikes. It has been launched in response to the increased use of these machines and growing concerns over related accidents and even deaths nationwide.

Home Office advice is that if vehicles are not licensed for the road, they may only be used legally on private land and only with the direct permission of the landowner. Mini-motos can not be used on a public road unless they are licensed, taxed and insured and can not be used on a footpath or cycle route under any circumstances.

The campaign is being led by the Dover Anti-Social Behaviour Unit, working with the Dover Crime Reduction Partnership and Kent Police, with backing from the Home Office Together Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour initiative.

Three die in capsized trawler tragedy

Contributed by editor on Dec 14, 2005 - 01:13 PM


Coastguard divers have called off the hunt for a missing Belgian fisherman who they had hoped was trapped alive underneath a capsized vessel in freezing waters off the coast of Sussex.

The bodies of two members of the crew who died in the accident have been recovered from the English Channel. A third crew member, the 19-year-old nephew of the missing man, was rescued alive after spending all night sitting o­n the upturned hull of the ship, according to Coastguard officials. All the fishermen are Belgian.

Just after 8.30am this morning (14 December), Dover Coastguard Maritime rescue coordination centre (MRCC) received a call from the Merchant Vessel, Toledo, reporting that they had sighted the upturned hull of a fishing vessel with a man clinging to it.

Dover Coastguard MRCC called ARCC Kinloss to scramble the Coastguard rescue helicopter and requested the launch of the Eastbourne RNLI lifeboat. The Warship Severn is also assisting in the search along with several other merchant vessels.

The merchant vessel 'Vanquish launched a rescue boat from their vessel to assist.

The Warship 'Severn' was also assisting in the search along with several other merchant vessels.

Eurotunnel facing crisis

Contributed by editor on Dec 14, 2005 - 01:02 PM


Jacques Gounon, executive chairman of Eurotunnel warned yesterday (13 December) that the channel tunnel operator could face a crisis if it did not reach an agreement over the £6.3bn debt by the end of next month, reports the Financial Times.

The cash strapped company had already announced nearly 1000 job losses and cuts to services in October 2005

Jacques Gounon told the newspaper the company would not, as had been expected, seek an extension to the waiver agreement that permits the talks to continue if no deal was in sight when it expired at the end of January.

The company would instead conclude that, if six months of negotiations had failed to achieve an agreement, another few months would be unlikely to produce a deal, Gounon told the Financial Times.

However, if a draft agreement was reached, Eurotunnel would request an extension of the waiver for the time to put the agreement into writing, Gounon added.

Around 450 jobs in the UK and 450 in France are due to be lost by June next year leaving Eurotunnel with 2,300 staff.

Keep Christmas safe campaign launched

Contributed by editor on Dec 13, 2005 - 09:11 PM


Kent Police have launched a major new blitz on crime in the run-up to Christmas and into the New Year.

In a drive to ensure Kent remains one of the safest counties in the country, officers will be targeting burglary, vehicle crime, criminal damage and anti-social behaviour - including drink-related nuisance and violence.

The campaign is being launched in the run-up to Christmas, because for criminals the season of giving is the perfect time for taking, with high-value, portable goods more widely available, more desirable and often easier to steal.

The new push, under the force's Operation Excalibur banner, will focus on known criminals and troublemakers, using local information and intelligence to identify crime patterns and the people responsible for them.

Teams will target any developing "hot spots" with the aim of bringing the criminals to justice.

At the same time, officers will offer advice to residents on what they can do to keep themselves, their homes and their properties safe.

The message to seasonal shoppers, out and about, in their cars and in their homes, is: "To keep it safe, keep it out of sight."

The campaign will also tackle seasonal problems linked to drink, which include increased night-time nuisance, the dangers caused by people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and increased violence, from punch-ups outside pubs to violence behind closed doors.

The festive season can also be a time of suffering for domestic violence victims, as alcohol also fuels rage. Specialist teams will be working with other agencies to identify and support victims – and to deal with the person causing the violence.

Their Christmas message is: "You don't have to suffer. Tell us it's happening and we can help."

Chief Constable Mike Fuller said: "At Kent Police we are committed to ensuring Kent stays a safe county and this campaign demonstrates our absolute determination to drive down crime.

"Even though figures in the county remain low, every crime is one too many. We want people to be confident in our ability to deal with the things that worry them, as we know that even fear of crime can be distressing for those in our community who feel more vulnerable.

"Our message to criminals is: 'Don't even think of making Christmas a misery for others, as we will be following up calls and information – and we will be looking for you.'

"Our message to the law-abiding majority of people in the county is: 'We are out there and we are determined to ensure you enjoy a safe holiday. If you see anything suspicious, call us – and if you have any information at all, contact us or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555111'."

£20,000 boost for youth action group

Contributed by editor on Dec 13, 2005 - 02:13 PM

County councillor Susan Carey presents the cheque to the group


The Lyminge Youth Action Group which is fundraising for sports facilities in Lyminge received a huge boost from Kent County Council when county councillor for Elham Valley, Susan Carey presented them with a cheque for £20,000. 

The presentation took place at the St Nicholas Fair at Lyminge where members of the group had a stall and raffle to raise further funds. 

The Lyminge Youth Action Group is aiming to raise a total of £200,000.

Re: Lidl site moving across the road?

Contributed by editor on Dec 12, 2005 - 10:19 PM


Dear Ed

Its not dangerous or they wouldn't be building it.

Some people don't want anything over that side of Hawkinge why should we have it all on our side?

It makes a change to have a supermarket in Hawkinge it's better than these small shops. You want to try living in Canterbury Road or Mill Lane.

You people on that side of the road are always complaining about something, you don't hear the school on Canterbury Road complaining about the traffic.

Michael Thrale

Rescued tree branches out into local school

Contributed by editor on Dec 12, 2005 - 06:55 PM


Cllr Susan Carey plants the tree at Hawkinge Primary School

One of the 38 trees rescued during the A2 Channel Tunnel Rail link widening scheme were planted at Hawkinge Primary School today (12 December).

In conjunction with Jacobs Babtie, dozens of schools across the county will receive a free tree complete with ties, stakes and mulch donated by Cleartrack.

Kent County Council (KCC) Lead Member for Education and School Improvement Susan Carey said: “This is a wonderful example of how all the different departments of KCC can work together for the benefit of so many. 

"Rather than simply chopping down the trees they have been brought to new locations and will bring joy to generations of children across the county.�

Howard's Way 8 December 2005

Contributed by editor on Dec 12, 2005 - 05:38 PM

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

8 December 2005

By the time you read this I shall no longer be Leader of the Conservative Party.

It has been a hectic two years. I did not achieve what I had hoped to achieve but I believe we have made considerable progress.

In the May election we emerged, for the first time in 22 years, with many more Members of Parliament than we had before the election. We won more votes than Labour in England. And if just, 14,500 voters in the 34 seats which give Labour its majority had voted differently, we would now be in a hung Parliament.

That was not to be but I do believe that we have laid a solid foundation on which my successor can build.

As I write I do not know who that successor will be. But, whoever wins, I shall give him my wholehearted support from the backbenches.

I am often asked whether I shall; now spend more time in the constituency. It will certainly be possible for me to spend more time here. But I have never allowed my other duties, in government or in opposition, to interfere with the service I give to my constituents.

You put me in Parliament in the first place. You are my masters. And you will always come first.

So you can expect to see me at my regular advice centres and at many different events in the constituency. And I shall carry on doing my best to reply promptly to your letters and so all I can to help with your concerns.

I have always regarded it as a enormous privilege to serve as the Member of Parliament for the Folkestone and Hythe constituency and I shall continue to serve you to the very best of my ability.

Protest over football pitch plan

Contributed by editor on Dec 11, 2005 - 10:11 PM



A protest meeting on Saturday (10 December) has been held over proposals to build on Folkestone's few remaining open football pitches. 

The town already has a sports stadium in Cheriton Road, but councillors have said it is not suitable for the long term and Shepway District Council wants the stadium to be built on the popular public pitches off the town's Cornwallis Avenue.

The Go Folkestone campaign group supports the plan but believes better sites are available, although protesters claim the site is unsuitable.

Saturday's protest was held on the football pitches in Conwallis Avenue in the hope of persuading the council to look at other options. 

Shepway Council claims it has spent five years looking for a suitable site, and the one in Cornwallis Avenue is the only workable option.

Ho! ho! ho! for the youngsters

Contributed by editor on Dec 11, 2005 - 09:33 PM


By Cyril Trice

All three Hawkinge soccer sides were in action this weekend with the Saturday team playing at home against Ruckinge in the  league.

Hawkinge were 2 1 up at half time but Ruckinge moved up a gear in the second half and added another three goals to their tally.

Hawkinge 2, Ruckinge 4
home side scorer, Shaune Carey 2

The Sunday senior side played Essembee in the 3rd round of the FA Sunday cup competition.

This was a good match to watch with both sides having a fair run of the play and each side scoring 2 goals at full time. Extra time was played with both sides trying for that goal that would prevent a replay, and it was Hawkinge that came up with goods off the boot of Eamonn Elalem when he drove home the final goal of the game.

Hawkinge 3, Essembee 2
Hawkinge now play Farriers Athletic in the 4th round on 8th January 2006

The U15 team were at home to Herne Bay Harriers, the team who beat them when they played on their ground two weeks ago.

But this time it was the Hawkinge youngsters who wanted that win more, and the pressure they put on the visitors paid off with and early goal  and another before half time.

The Harriers clawed one back in the second session, but the Hawkinge boys stood firm and held onto their one goal lead after some narrow misses by both sides.

So it was a ho! ho! ho!  for the youngsters as they registered their first win of the season.

Hawkinge 2 Herne Bay Harriers 1
Hawkinge scorers, Marcus South, Oliver Davies

To visit the Hawkinge Football Club website <A href="" target=_blank>click here