News

Local radio joining forces

Contributed by editor on Jan 12, 2005 - 09:01 AM

LOCAL RADIO JOINS FORCES

Next Monday (17th January), competition and rivalry will be put aside as
the local radio station KMfm, formerly Folkestone and Dover's Neptune Radio,
will be joining other UK commercial radio stations to create UK Radio Aid.

The fundraising station will specifically focus on
raising money for the children affected by the Asian Tsunami and support them as
they to start to rebuild their lives and look to the future.



The Stations will
suspend broadcasting their usual schedules from 6am to 6pm , and air one single
star-studded programme to an estimated audience of over 20 million listeners
across 200+ stations, the biggest ever UK commercial radio audience.



Those taking part have agreed to donate one day’s
profits. Listeners will be asked to donate one hour of their time or money to the appeal.



Mark Story, chairman of UK Radio Aid said: � I am immensely proud of and
grateful to our colleagues across commercial radio who when asked for an
extraordinary response to this disaster were all in immediate agreement to unite
for this very special day.



"Although this is a response to a tragedy, the day will be very much about
hope, with a lot of fun and extraordinary entertainment thanks to the generosity
of the artists, presenters and radio companies involved."



Listeners will be able to donate via phone, text or by clicking on www.ukradioaid.com.


Online for top award

Contributed by editor on Jan 12, 2005 - 12:01 AM

ONLINE FOR TOP AWARD



The man spearheading Shepway Council’s drive for improved electronic access to council services is in line for a national award.



Martin Skeats, the council’s e-Government co-ordinator, will be one of the finalists at the first e-Government National Awards ceremony at the Institute of Directors in London on 19 January.



Martin was nominated for helping to develop an e-payment system that allows customers to pay anything from a parking fine to their council tax online. 



“Using the website is more convenient for our residents. It enables them to make the payment at any time it suits them. They are not bound by office opening hours and it is cheaper than using the telephone.



“It also benefits the council. It is more efficient and saves money. It can cost up to £1.17 in staff time to handle just one phone call and we can take hundreds of calls a week. Making payments online uses existing technology to improve what we do.�



He said credit should go to the IT team at the council for helping to develop the online payment system. “Although I will be going to the awards ceremony, it is very much a team effort.�



Ian Watmore, Head of the Cabinet Office’s e-Government Unit, said e-Government was going to transform the way central and local government interacted and communicated with the people they served.



“For many organisations, technology has fundamentally changed their relationship with customers. Customers demand more of the organisation they interact with.�


Police get tough in motoring crackdown

Contributed by editor on Jan 11, 2005 - 02:52 PM

POLICE GET TOUGH IN MOTORING CRACKDOWN

Police are to crackdown on dangerous or careless driving and behaviour which is threatening to road users following an announced by Alistair Darling, Secretary of State for Transport, Home Office Minister Caroline Flint and Richard Brunstrom, Head of Road Policing for the Association of Chief Police Officers.

Priorities will include, denying criminals use of the roads by enforcing the law,  reducing road casualties, tackling the threat of terrorism, reducing anti social use of the highway and enhancing public confidence and reassurance by patrolling the roads.

It announcement sets the Police commitment to deal with all forms of illegal and anti social use of the roads, including drink driving, speeding, dangerous or careless driving and behaviour which is threatening to road users – including pedestrians as well as drivers. 

The strategy aims to tackle these through:  a highly visible police presence on the roads, continued operation of the National Safety Camera Programme for cutting casualties and deaths at collision blackspots,  a national police Drink and Drug Driving Campaign and a national police Seat Belt Campaign to increase the level of seat belt wearing, especially in the rear-seats and by children.


Circus brings litter message to town

Contributed by editor on Jan 11, 2005 - 02:35 PM

CIRCUS BRINGS LITTER MESSAGE TO TOWN

Children from ten Shepway schools are learning this week how they can help the countywide Clean Kent campaign to tackle litterbugs and fly-tipping. 

Theatre group Circus Takeaway are performing their show 'What a lot of litter!'  at Cheriton Primary school tomorrow (12 January) to get across serious messages in a fun way with plenty of audience participation, magic tricks, juggling and comedy.

Clean Kent - supported by Kent County Council, Shepway District Council, Kent Police and other agencies - is taking the live theatre show to 120 schools around the county as part of its campaign.

If you see someone fly-tipping or dropping litter, contact your district council or the 24-hour KCC contact centre on 0845 345 0210.

KCC Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport Richard King said: "It is important that we get the message across to children about fly-tipping and litter in an appealing way. This drama production is an excellent vehicle for Clean Kent to spread the news about looking after your local environment."


Howard calls on local council aid for tsunami rebuilding

Contributed by editor on Jan 11, 2005 - 02:13 PM

HOWARD CALLS ON LOCAL COUNCIL AID FOR TSUNAMI REBUILDING

Folkestone and Hythe MP and Conservative Leader Michael Howard has called on the Government to encourage local authorities to establish special community to community reconstruction aid schemes to help areas of South East Asia hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami.


He made the plea in the House of Commons after Prime Minister Tony Blair warned MPs that the total death toll in the disaster was more than 150,000, with 871 Britons now unaccounted for, and 51 so far confirmed dead.

Mr Howard launched the Shepway tsunami appeal on Friday ( 7 January)


Super school plans go before council

Contributed by editor on Jan 11, 2005 - 01:56 PM

SUPER SCHOOL PLANS GO BEFORE COUNCIL

Plans to build a new 'super school' in Folkestone go before Shepway District Council tonight (11 January), but whatever the recommendations the final decision rests with the County Council.


Some local residents have objected saying that the plans need to be changed including the siting of the new Academy next to the Channel School which it will replace.

There have been complaints about access and the future of a residential home which would have to be demolished.

The Folkestone Academy would be a new state school with a centre of excellence for the creative arts, European culture and languages.


Folkestone Camera Club meeting 10 January 2005

Contributed by editor on Jan 11, 2005 - 09:11 AM

10th January 2005
FOLKESTONE CAMERA CLUB

With the Christmas and New Year holiday break over, we commenced the new year with our 3rd Print competition of the season. This was judged by Mr John Butler ARPS, DPAGB a member of Tunbridge Wells Camera Club and, as the letters after his name show, a very competent judge. John gave his constructive comments on how we can improve our photography and his results (marks out of 20) were as follows:- 

Novice:- ‘Cityscape with Flags’ Gill Jefferson 20
(17 entries) ‘Distant Hills’ Eric Frankland 20

Novice Portraits:- 
(2 entries) ‘Felicity’ Glen Yorke 19

Intermediate:- ‘Reflections’ Charles White 20
(17 entries) ‘Coconut Sunrise’ Michael Chalk 19

Intermediate Portraits:- 
(1 entry) ‘Sasha’ Muriel Hilliard 17

Advanced:- ‘Purr Purr 2’ Denis Bridges 20
(28 entries) ‘Under Fire’ Dave Turner 20
‘Is it Safe to Come Out’ Marie-Laure Stone CPAGB 19
‘St Pauls, looking North’ Keith Radford ARPS 19

Advanced Portraits:-
(13 entries) ‘Gabriella’ Frank Barraclough 20
‘Dominic’ Dave Turner 19
‘Dominique’ Frank Barraclough 19
‘Sorry, no Handkerchief’ Marie-Laure Stone CPAGB 19


Visit our website www.folkestonecameraclub.co.uk where you can view these winning photographs, plus many more, and where you can also visit links to various photographic related sites and shops.

Next week (17th January) we shall be viewing a slide presentation of the Clay Cross & Bywater Photographic Society National Exhibition 2004, which is a selection of work entered by national photographers. This work is always of a fantastic high standard of photography and a joy to see. A very stimulating evening and is always thoroughly enjoyed by all the members. 

24th January will be our first ‘Battle’ of the season, against Gateway Camera Club and on the 31st we shall be seeing another slide show presentation of the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain Inter Federation Slide Exhibition; this again will be a superb evening showing work from other clubs from around the country, and a firm favourite with our members each year.

Our meetings are held at the United Reform Community Hall, Castle Hill Avenue,
Folkestone on Mondays at 7.45pm. New members are always welcome, if interested
please phone Mrs Jenny Barraclough (Press Officer) 01303 245399, or e mail
jenny-bar@btconnect.com


New year kicks off to a bad start

Contributed by editor on Jan 09, 2005 - 09:18 PM

NEW YEAR KICKS OFF TO A BAD START 

Swingfield 1 Hawkinge 0

By Cyril Trice 


Hawkinge were looking for a better start to the year than this lacklustre performance against Swingfield.

The result could have been so different if the village team had been able to keep their cool. They failed to capitalise on chances in front of what seemed at times to be an open goal.

After a goalless first half it was Swingfield who put the only goal of the match  into the back of the net in the 65th minute.

Hawkinge fought on and although having much of the play failed to find the equaliser. 

After 90 minutes, it was left to the referee to blow the whistle and call a halt to this extremely frustrating game.


Report street problems online

Contributed by editor on Jan 07, 2005 - 05:16 PM

REPORT STREET PROBLEMS ONLINE

Government funding is helping to promote the use of Shepway Council’s website to report street problems.


Full page advertisements in local newspapers, posters on buses and radio promotion are part of a £30,000 marketing drive funded by the Office of Deputy Prime Minister’s E-Citizen programme to promote the use of electronic communication. 

Shepway residents can use the website to report a range of street problems from abandoned cars and fly tipping to missed refuse collections.

Martin Skeats, Shepway Council’s E-Government Co-ordinator, said online reporting had benefits to residents and the council.

“It means that our customers can report a problem at any time it suits them without having to worry about office opening hours or finding the right department to ring. It also benefits the council because it is more efficient. Staff who would spend time dealing with phone calls will be able to get on with the job of actually sorting out any problems.�

Report street problems to www.shepway.gov.uk click on Streetscene.


Auditors plan to repair council's reputation

Contributed by editor on Jan 07, 2005 - 05:08 PM

AUDITORS PLAN TO REPAIR COUNCIL'S REPUTATION

The annual ‘health check’ carried out by auditors on Shepway Council includes measures to try to break away from the problems that have damaged the council’s reputation


The report, carried out by District Auditor, Darren Wells, says that although the council is operating under ‘severe financial pressure’, the recent restructure of its top tier of management forms a major strand of the council’s recovery plan.

The plan’s draft incorporates a revised set of core principles and broad priorities, says the annual audit and inspection letter. These will help to improve frontline services and raise the wellbeing of the district. 

The recovery plan also sets out to tackle the main weaknesses identified when the council was inspected under the Audit Commission’s Comprehensive Performance Assessment programme, says the report.

But the auditor’s letter says the council should consider refining the plan to identify the actions needed to achieve the objectives and should set targets against which progress can be monitored.

Performance, measured against the government’s Best Value Performance Indicators, has improved in 12 areas, says the report. Included in improvements were recycling rates, accuracy of processing housing benefit claims, speed of processing new renewal claims for housing benefit, invoice payments and the percentage of council tax and business rates collected.

Cllr David Monk, Cabinet Member for Finance, said he was very pleased by the audit letter.

“It acknowledges that we are operating under financial pressure but recognises that we have plans in place to improve the way the council performs. 

“We have set stringent targets and will be pushing for them to be achieved. We have taken the first step in our recovery plan by restructuring the management of the council and I am sure future inspections will be able to record even more improvements.�