Kent scientists comet success

Contributed by webmaster on Jan 04, 2004 - 11:32 AM

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Scientists at the University of Kent could be instrumental in discovering the origins of the solar system.

The Stardust spacecraft which was partly designed in Kent successfully completed the first phase of its mission and collected dust particles from the Wild 2 comet.

All being well they should be returned to Earth in 2006 where scientists will try to discover details about our origins.

The Stardust spacecraft was launched five years ago for its close encounter mission with the comet.

Stardust is just a prelude to a far more ambitious mission involving the University of Kent when scientists hope to land a craft on the surface of a comet in 2012.

Getting tough on motorists

Contributed by webmaster on Jan 04, 2004 - 08:25 AM

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Motorists who fail to obey rules relating to restricted junctions and right turns face more fines under plans to be detailed by ministers next week.

Drivers who clog up traffic by entering a yellow box junction or turning right across a restricted lane will have their number plates automatically photographed - or recorded by "civil enforcement officers" such as traffic wardens - and receive fines of up to £100, according to reports.

But with growing controversy over the widespread use of speed cameras and the imposition of fines, offenders are unlikely to be further punished by having penalty points added to their driving licences.

The measures will be detailed on Monday during a Commons debate on the Traffic Management Bill, which was unveiled in the Queen's Speech.

The Bill will signal a significant diversion of responsibility for traffic matters away from the police.

Weekend doctor services cut in Shepway trial

Contributed by editor on Jan 04, 2004 - 06:24 AM

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Residents in the Shepway area are being warned their local GPs may no longer offer an emergency surgery on weekends.

As part of a three-month trial, doctors in the area will be given a choice as to whether they provide the service.

Anyone in need of treatment should still contact their local practice, which will then direct them to where they can get advice from NHS Direct.

We need to fight for Haven Drive adoption

Contributed by webmaster on Jan 03, 2004 - 02:18 PM

<FONT face=Arial color=black size=4> WE NEED TO FIGHT FOR HAVEN DRIVE ADOPTION

With no sign of Haven Drive being adopted even though it was due to be handed over to the District Council in October 2003, Churchill School Headteacher Jennie Carter is pressing Shepway Council for action.

Mrs Carter is particularly concerned about the safety of the road. There were several crashes outside the school last year and the school has resorted to using police cones to deter vehicles parking outside the school on the main road.

Jennie Carter said: "I have e-mailed Shepway District Council today to ask when Haven Drive will be adopted so that signage can be put up and gritting carried out in icy weather.

"I will contact them each week from now on but I don't hold out much hope if I am the only one voicing concern."

We have spoken to Mrs Carter and have placed a petition on the site for anyone would like to support the adoption of the road.

click to sign the petition

Bogus KCC caller

Contributed by webmaster on Jan 03, 2004 - 12:53 PM

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Police believe a bogus caller visiting homes in Kent is getting information from people he could use to later defraud them.

It is thought there have been six recent incidents where a man has called at houses claiming to be doing a survey for Kent County Council.

He has asked for details about the people's wages and persuaded some of them to give him their signature.

But officials from Kent County Council and Thanet District Council warned they do not conduct such surveys.

The man has called at homes in Minster, Westgate and Margate.

He has asked how much the homeowner earns, where they are employed and what hours they work, before going on to ask for their signature.

Kent Police said it was likely the information would be used to steal from the properties while they are empty or to steal from bank accounts.

They have urged people to check the identity of callers and not to give out personal details.

The man is described as having a Mediterranean appearance, about 5 ft 6 ins tall, aged in his 30s, clean shaven, with dark hair and a local accent.

A woman who has sometimes accompanied him is described as in her late teens, white, with long dark hair.

Michael's 'positive beliefs' scorned by Labour

Contributed by webmaster on Jan 02, 2004 - 12:11 PM

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Tory leader and Folkestone and Hythe MP Michael Howard has published a list of "positive beliefs" which will form the foundations of his party's policy in the run-up to the next General Election.

Mr Howard said that he wanted voters to understand the passions which had brought him into politics.

The list will form the basis of a major advertising campaign, as well as an email marketing drive aiming to reach a million people.

Mr Howard said: "The Conservative Party is at its strongest when it offers positive and fresh thinking."

The Labour Party chairman Ian McCartney poured scorn on Mr Howard's message claiming that Mr Howard had not learned the lessons of his own past and that Thatcherism would be safe in his hands.

These are the 'beliefs' in Mr Howard's statement:

* I believe it is natural for men and women to want health, wealth and happiness for their families and themselves

* I believe it is the duty of every politician to serve the people by removing the obstacles in the way of these ambitions

* I believe people are most likely to be happy when they are masters of their own lives, when they are not nannied or over-governed

* I believe that the people should be big. That the state should be small

* I believe red tape, bureaucracy, regulations, inspectorates, commissions, quangos, 'czars', 'units' and 'targets' came to help and protect us, but now we need protection from them. Armies of interferers don't contribute to human happiness

* I believe that people must have every opportunity to fulfil their potential

* I believe there is no freedom without responsibility. It is our duty to look after those who cannot help themselves

* I believe in equality of opportunity. Injustice makes us angry

* I believe every parent wants their child to have a better education than they had

* I believe every child wants security for their parents in their old age

* I do not believe that one person's poverty is caused by another's wealth

* I do not believe that one person's ignorance is caused by another's knowledge and education

* I do not believe that one person's sickness is made worse by another's health

* I believe the British people are only happy when they are free

* I believe that Britain should defend her freedom at any time, against all comers, however mighty

* I believe that by good fortune, hard work, natural talent and rich diversity, these islands are home to a great people with a noble past and exciting future.

I am happy to be their servant.

Canterbury parking costs set to rise

Contributed by editor on Jan 01, 2004 - 11:47 AM

<FONT face=Arial color=black size=4> CANTERBURY PARKING COSTS SET TO RISE

Residents in Canterbury are being asked for their opinions concerning proposed changes to off-street and on-street parking in the district.

Among the proposals are increasing the price of parking permits, having new charging structures in car parks, and increasing the cost of park and ride.

The formal consultation process begins on January 8.

New Chief Constable takes up post

Contributed by editor on Jan 01, 2004 - 09:56 AM

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Kent's new Chief Constable Michael Fuller has today (1 January 2004) taken up his post taking over from Chief Constable Bob Ayling.

Mr Fuller was formerly the Deputy Assistant Commissioner with the Metropolitan Police. He joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 1975 as a cadet and won a Commissioner's scholarship, with which he attained a degree in social psychology from Sussex University. He has served in uniformed, Special Branch and CID branches throughout his service.

While a Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) stationed at Shepherds Bush and Hammersmith Mr Fuller devised an innovative burglary control programme, which was a forerunner to Operation Bumblebee.

As DCI at Paddington he devised covert techniques to successfully tackle street robbery under the Operation Eagle Eye initiative. He then worked as Staff Officer within Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary with direct responsibility for inspection for Special Branches, Crime Units and Counter Terrorism. He gave advice to the Chief HMI and Home Secretary.

In 1998 Mr Fuller helped set up the groundbreaking Racial and Violent Crime Task Force. He has attained a Masters in Business Administration and is a Fellow of the Institute of Management and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

In January 2000 Mr Fuller took command of West Area Serious Crime Group and Operation Trident and in 2001 he won the G2 `Man of the Year Award' in recognition of his personal achievements and contribution to policing in London. In February 2002 he became Head of the Drugs Directorate and iIn April 2002 he was appointed Deputy Assistant Commissioner. He is now Director of Intelligence, Development & Review, part of the new Specialist Crime Directorate.

Carpet warehouse destroyed

Contributed by editor on Dec 30, 2003 - 12:14 PM

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Over one hundred fire fighters tackled a massive fire in Canterbury overnight.

Fourteen pumps with other specialist vehicles from all over the county fought the fire which started shortly before10 o'clock on Monday evening (29 December).

The building, in Wincheap, Canterbury is occupied by Carpet Right and Courts furnishers.

Much of the building has been saved but the premises occupied by Carpet Right has been destroyed.

Leading the operations, Senior Divisional Officer Neal Fowler said: "The fire crews have done a magnificent job in stopping the fire from spreading but they have had to avoid falling brickwork and smoke peculating through to the furnishing warehouse."

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Body discovered at bottom of cliff

Contributed by editor on Dec 30, 2003 - 09:56 AM

A body has been found on a beach at the bottom of cliffs at St Margaret's Bay near Dover.

A walker called the police after spotting the body just before 1 o'clock today (30 December)

Dover lifeboat recovered the body and took it to Dover harbour where Kent police began an investigation.

The remains are thought to have been on the beach for some time.