News

Arson attack on local church

Contributed by editor on Sep 22, 2006 - 04:10 PM

ARSON ATTACK ON LOCAL CHURCH
 
A fire in the vestry of St Mary and St Eanswythe's church, in Folkestone was started deliberately say police.

Two floors of a 13th Century church, thought to be the oldest building in the town, were badly damaged. Cash was taken from collection boxes during a break-in before the fire, early o­n Friday (22 September).

Twenty-five firefighters tackled the blaze at the church which is known as the location of the grave of King Ethelbert's granddaughter, a Saxon princess said to have performed several miracles.


Howard's Way - 21 September 2006

Contributed by editor on Sep 21, 2006 - 12:40 AM

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


21 September 2006


 

It takes a crisis to bring the community together. Those were the words of a parent of one of the children at Lympne Church of England Primary School at the meeting of parents and teachers which took place at Lympne Village Hall last Saturday morning.



The tragedy which befell the school and the community when it burned down so dramatically has certainly left its mark on the community. But it is mixed with a deep sense of thanksgiving that no-one was injured.



The way in which, on the day, staff and children alike responded and left the building so quickly is something which merits great tribute and gratitude. It could very easily have been very different.



Since the fire, the whole community has rallied round. This week the children have been to school at Port Lympne Wildlife Park . Next week they move into the empty buildings at St Mary’s Westbrook in Folkestone and buses will be provided to take them there.



And after my recent criticisms of them over the question of school closures, I am happy to place on record my appreciation of the way in which Kent County Council, the Education Authority, have played their part in putting these arrangements in place.



So far as the proposed school closures are concerned, there was very good news at the end of last week. Both Harcourt Primary School and Selsted Church of England Primary school have been reprieved.



Last week I wrote that few things made me more angry than the proposal to close these schools. This week I am happy to say that few things have given me more satisfaction than the decision to keep them open. I congratulate parents and teachers at both schools on their campaigns in which I was able to take a very active part.



And thanks again to Kent County Council which showed, in the end, that it was, after all, prepared to listen.


Hawkinge Parish Council minutes 12 July 2006

Contributed by editor on Sep 21, 2006 - 12:40 AM

Minutes of the meeting of HAWKINGE PARISH COUNCIL held on 12th July 2006 at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall

Present: Cllr. Callahan (Chairman)

Cllrs. Avery, Brisley, Heasman, Hodgson, Punnett, Smith and Trice



In attendance: Mrs Hardy (Clerk)



Apologies: Cllr. Hogben



OPEN MEETING



There were 50 to 60 residents present at the meeting. Mr Stuart Hall, Chairman of Hawkinge Civic Society, spoke on behalf of the residents who were attending the meeting to voice their objections to planning application Y06/0863/SH for the erection of a two storey doctors surgery and retail pharmacy on the land opposite 45 The Street.

(re-submission of Y05/1226/SH). The application appeared to be identical to the previous one and residents objections were the same namely: traffic chaos in Mill Lane and The Street, pedestrians placed at risk, loss of woodland and loss of wildlife habitat.

Residents had given the Council copies of letters sent to the Planning Department, Shepway District Council and some had written to the Parish Council. The Chairman said the Council would decide on the comments to be sent to SDC at the meeting and all the correspondence received would be read before they are submitted. 

Other matters raised were a request for the sequence of the traffic lights at the Uphill junction with Canterbury Road to be reviewed by Kent Highways; a request for a footpath to be built in Mill Lane regardless of the result of the planning application; on behalf of the Hawkinge Allotments Society, Mrs Blythe complained that after a year the Council had not provided land for allotments. The society now has a membership of twenty-five residents.

END OF OPEN MEETING



318 Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on 14th June 2006 were confirmed and signed 

(prop. Cllr. Trice, sec. Cllr. Heasman) Votes: 6 in favour, abstentions 2 (not present at the meeting) 

The minutes of an Extraordinary Meeting held on 28th June 2006 were approved and signed (prop. Cllr. Avery, sec. Cllr. Trice) Votes: 4 in favour, abstentions 4 (not present at the meeting).



319 Declarations of Interest

Cllrs. Callahan and Smith declared an interest in planning matters (members of Development Control Committee SDC) they reserved the right to make a decision at District level when they are in possession of all the facts relating to an application. Cllr. Heasman declared an interest in matters concerning the Community Centre and Village Hall (Chairman of the Executive Committee, Community Centre and Chairman of Village Hall Management Committee)







320 Matters arising out of the Minutes

(a) Allotments [min. 300(a)]

The Council received a reply from the Waste Operations Manager, KCC (13th June). The small strip of land outside the Transfer Station site is unsuitable and access via the Transfer Station is unrealistic. He suggested SDC be approached regarding the land beyond the KCC boundary. Clerk to write again to SDC.

The Clerk had received an enquiry from the Community Projects Adviser CASE (Community Action South East Kent) regarding the Council’s efforts to obtain land for allotments. She had replied to them stating that the Council would continue to look for a suitable site being very aware of its obligation to do so.

(b) Pathway outside the shops [min. 301(c)] 

Mr James Bowen, Operations Engineer (Shepway), Kent Highway Services, had offered to attend a site meeting.

(c) Committees/Working Groups [min.286 (a)] 

Mr Wignall, Director of Democratic Services, SDC, (7th July) had responded to the Council’s inquiry. As the working groups are not formal committees of the Council, merely offering views to the Council, the meetings need not be advertised or open to the public. It is important that any formal decisions are made by a properly constituted meeting. 

Cllr. Callahan stated that the groups only make recommendations to the Council and all decisions are taken at full Council meetings.



321 Plans

Plans received since the last meeting:

Y06/0815/SH 31 Gray Close: erection of a rear conservatory (resubmission o Y06/0395/SH). No objections

The comment made by the Planning Group was approved

Plan considered at the Council meeting:

Y06/0863/SH Land opposite 45 The Street: erection of a two-storey doctors surgery and retail pharmacy together with ancillary access and parking (re-submission of Y05/1226/SH)

Councillors added their views to those expressed by the residents present.

It was Resolved that the Council strongly objects to the application, that the letters received from residents be read by the Planning Group and additional comments added before the Council’s are submitted, and that the plan be called in by the District Councillor so that the decision is taken by the Development Control Committee. (prop. Cllr. Heasman, sec. Cllr. Brisley) Votes: For 6 Against 0 Abstention 2 (District Councillors who had declared an interest: min. 319)

Comments submitted by the Council to SDC:

The Council strongly objects to this application. The grounds for the objection are as follows:

(1) the proposed site fails all the criteria contained in the Shepway Local Plan - Policy SC2.

(2) the additional vehicular traffic will cause road chaos in The Street and Mill Lane. Mill Lane is unsafe for pedestrians being largely without a footpath.

(3) there will be a loss of woodland that is protected by a TPO 20 of 1998 and wildlife habitat. 

(4) the proposed site is not in the centre of the village and will cause extra vehicular movement. There is a site allocated for a health centre on the “industrial site” off Haven Drive and this would be the Council’s preferred site for the surgery. 



322 Reports

(a) Community Liaison

Cllr. Brisley asked if the siting of the litter bins had been decided. A resident had written in with a request for a litter bin to be placed at the junction of Mill Lane and Rectory Close. Cllr. Callahan stated that the Neighbourhood Partnership has a list of the sites that have been approved by KCC. The request will be forwarded to HNP

Cllr. Trice said he would organise another “Clean-Up” of the village for Saturday 23rd September. 

(b) Planning and Development

Cllr. Trice had been informed as a resident of Demozay Close that Pannell Drive may be extended (letter from Pentland Homes dated 30th June). Some residents had complained about the increase in road traffic that this would cause.

(c) Public Rights of Way

Cllr. Punnett reported that the rubbish bin had not been removed from the upper pavement outside the fish shop. 

(d) Finance – no meeting

.

323 Other Bodies

(a) Neighbourhood Management Partnership

Cllr. Hodgson said there had been a meeting to discuss community buildings but he had been unable to attend. HNP will use Fun Day as an opportunity to encourage people to volunteer for work in the community.

Cllr. Brisley had attended the first meeting of the Steering Group for Youth Provision held on 20th June. The minutes had been circulated. The purpose of the meeting was to agree the Terms of Reference for a Youth Worker that will have to be approved by SDC Corporate Management Team. The Youth Worker will be line managed through Kent Youth Services and the Steering Group.

Cllr. Smith said the Neighbourhood Partnership has another 4 years in Hawkinge in which to sustain the programme for youth provision. The Parish Council must start to prepare a Forward Plan to take over responsibility when it leaves. 

(b) Community Centre

Cllr. Callahan said he had attended the meeting to discuss community buildings held at the Partnership office and he understood a report of the meeting would be made available. Some Trustees of the Community Centre attended.

(c) Village Hall

Various works to the interior of the building were being carried out.

(d) Hawkinge Community Safety Forum

Cllr. Smith said the last meeting was not well attended. SDC have posted signs in the village asking the public not to drop litter and to clear up after their dogs. A private enterprise scheme with police backing has been started that will provide patrols to monitor alarm systems in homes and buildings. 



324 Sport and Activity Project Group

(a) Multi-Sport Complex

The three illustrated proposals presented to the Council at the last meeting (min.305) will be displayed in the Community Centre from 27th July. This forms part of the feasibility consultation with SDC and the Youth Forum. 



(b) Hawkinge Football Ground

The Football Project 

Cllr. Trice reported that the group had met on 7th July. Mr McMillan had obtained contracts from British Gas and EDF Energy. It was agreed that it would not be possible to provide safe housing for gas and electric meters so as the main priority is water the Council should get it installed (Folkestone & Dover Water Services have already been paid the connection fee) but the cost of digging the trench and supplying pipes will have to be met. 

It was Resolved that Folkestone & Dover Water Services be asked to connect the service and the Council will meet the costs of installation by a local firm. 

(prop. Cllr. Trice, sec. Cllr. Heasman) Votes: For 6 Against 0 Abstentions 2

Cllr. Trice said to comply with legislation the Council must provide toilet facilities for players. He had looked into the possibility of purchasing a portable toilet provided it included a maintenance service.

The Council discussed the health and safety issues and it was agreed that hiring a portable toilet would be the safest option. It was estimated the cost could be in the region of £25 a week.

It was Resolved that quotations for a 3 or 4 month contract with weekly maintenance be obtained from firms hiring out portable toilets and that the Council accept the best offer and enter into an agreement for at least 3 months commencing early August.

(prop. Cllr. Smith, sec. Cllr. Hodgson) Votes: all in favour

Management of the Ground

Cllr. Trice said the area around the edge of the football ground between the fence and the area cut on a regular basis by KCC needs strimming. The Clerk had written for estimates from several firms but only one had visited the ground and provided a quotation. 

It was Resolved that Harmer Landscapes Ltd. estimate for £270 + VAT for one cut be accepted. (prop. Cllr. Trice, sec. Cllr. Avery) Votes: For 6 Against 0 Abstentions 2.



325 Sports Association

(a) Cllr. Trice reported that there would be a meeting of prospective members of the

clubs in the near future. The Sports Association will take over the responsibility of running the football ground. It will ensure that all clubs hiring the ground have public liability insurance. 

(b) Cllr. Trice asked the Council to appoint a councillor or a representative to serve 

on the Sports Association Committee. 

It was Resolved that Cllr. Hodgson be appointed to represent Hawkinge Parish Council on the Sports Association Committee.

(prop. Cllr. Trice, sec. Cllr. Smith) Votes: all in favour



326 Finance

(a) The Clerk reported that the litter bins had not been installed yet. Broxap 

had accepted part payment of their account for a short period only.

(b) Children’s Entertainment – the following acts had been booked: 

Thurs. 3rd August Jolly Dizzy (female clown) Wed. 9th August Micky the Magician Wed. 16th August Miki the Clown.

Performances commence at 2.30 pm in the Village Hall – admission free 

(c) Payments

The following accounts were approved for payment (prop. Cllr. Trice, sec. Cllr. 

Heasman) Votes: For 6 Against 0 Abstentions 2

ch.date £ 

SDC rates (football ground) DD 21.00 

SDC rates (SL) DD 99.00 

NatWest EBS DD 10.00 

Mrs Hardy (salary inc. backpay) 812.05 

Mrs Hardy (expenses) 20.65 

Cllr. Trice reimbursement 58.12 

Cllr. Trice reimbursement (Vesey account) 209.94 

Hawkinge Community Events Group 100.00 

* C H Grounds Maintenance Limited 17,729.00 

CRC (Tasktron Limited) p.copier toner 91.06 

Harmer Landscapes 28.20 

Folkestone & Dover Water Services 11.16 

Harmer Landscapes (2 cuts in June) 56.40 



* credit note for £844.24 recvd 17.7.06 reducing the payment due to £16,884.76 



327 Website for HPC

Cllr. Avery had details of an offer of free websites available to Parish Councils from Kent County Council. 195 Parish Councils had taken up the offer made 9 months ago. The web site comes with free training and free support to help Councils develop an internet presence (www.kent.gov.uk/kent-parishes)

Cllr. Avery proposed that the Council join the scheme.

It was Resolved that Hawkinge Parish Council sign an Agreement with Kent County Council for The Provision of Website Services and that Cllr. Avery and the Clerk attend a training session and are responsible for running the site.

(prop. Cllr. Avery, sec. Cllr. Trice) Votes: For 7 Against 0 Abstention 1 



328 Correspondence



The following correspondence was received and noted:

(a) Legal Department, SDC: Notice of TPO No. 11 2006 Land west of The Street and 

rear of 140-152 Canterbury Road (mixed deciduous and coniferous woodland)

(b) KCC – Shepway Local Board “Folkestone’s future and towards 2010” public 

meeting 17th July 6 – 8 pm Harvey Grammar School, Cheriton Road.

(c) SDC Shepway’s Performance Plan 2006/07 

(d) KAPC Councillors Information Day Teynham Village Hall, 22nd July 2006

(e) KCC “Towards 2010 Consultation” one copy 



(f) Director of Regulatory Services, SDC, Notice of a meeting of Shepway Town and 

Parish Council Planning User Group 8th August in The Guildhall, Lydd, at 7 pm.





The meeting closed at 10.15 pm


Minutes of an Extraordinary Meeting of Hawkinge Parish Council held 30th August

Contributed by editor on Sep 21, 2006 - 12:05 AM

Minutes of an Extraordinary Meeting of HAWKINGE PARISH COUNCIL held on
30th August 2006 at 7.30 pm in the Village Hall


Present: Cllr. Callahan (Chairman) Cllrs. Avery, Brisley, Hogben and Smith



In attendance: Mrs Hardy (Clerk)



Apologies: Cllrs. Punnett and Trice (on holiday) Cllrs. Heasman and Hodgson (Trustees of Hawkinge Community Centre)



The purpose of the meeting was to receive a report entitled “The Future of the Hawkinge Community Centre at the Heart of the Community” written by Colin Franks, Neighbourhood Renewal Advisor with the Department of Communities and Local Government, working on behalf of the Hawkinge Partnership





329 Declarations of Interest

There were no Declarations of Interest.




330 Report on the Community Centre [min.323(b)]

Cllr. Callahan said he had called the Extraordinary Meeting in view of the urgency of the situation. He asked councillors to comment on the report before deciding what action the Council should take. A copy of the report is attached to these minutes in the Minute Book.

Cllr. Smith asked why the Council had not been kept informed by the councillors who represent the Parish Council on the Executive Committee about the situation developing at the Community Centre, and warned that the report was coming. At the time of the handover to the Community Centre Trust the Trustees stated that the Parish Council would be appointed Custodian Trustee of the Charity. This had not been done. As Custodians the Council would have a duty to notify the Charity Commission in writing about the present situation and it could decide to send a copy of the report. He had spoken to the Charity Commission on the telephone and a Case Officer had been appointed. 

Cllr. Avery said the Council should have the freehold transferred into its name. He thought the Council must take into account the Baptist Church and the Post Office who lease part of the building.

The Chairman said the Council gave everything it could to the Project Group when the Community Centre was built but it did not provide core funding that is needed to make it viable in the long term.

It was Resolved that a Report entitled “The Future of the Hawkinge Community Centre at the Heart of the Community” written by Colin Franks, Neighbourhood Renewal Advisor with the Department of Communities and Local Government for the Neighbourhood Partnership be received and it’s content noted.

(prop. Cllr. Smith, sec. Cllr. Avery) Votes: all in favour 




331 Recommendations in the Report

The Chairman asked councillors to decide Council policy and what immediate and future action to take in response to the proposals in the document. 

He made the following proposal from the Chair:

That the Council makes available by way of a grant the sum of £5,000 to the Community Centre Trust to enable it to continue to operate for a 3 month period, subject to the following conditions:

1. The Parish Council is recognised as Custodian Trustee of the Community Centre

2. That a group is formed consisting of at least three parish councillors and persons co-opted by the group that will make reports and recommendations on the future financing of the community centre, the final report to be produced by mid-November.

Cllr. Hogben pointed out that there is a debt of £5,000 to be repaid in September. Cllr. Callahan stated that the Trust has a regular income that can cover the repayment. The grant could be ring fenced to ensure that it is only used to cover running expenses.

Cllr. Smith repeated that the Charity Commission must be informed and the situation is uncertain until a Case Officer has been directed to the charity. There is a possibility the Centre could close and a new Trust be set up. 

The Chairman said if a Group is formed it could insist on the Community Centre producing a set of appropriate accounts and setting up a proper administrative body.

It was Resolved that the Council makes available by way of a grant the sum of £5,000 to the Community Centre Trust to enable it to continue to operate for a 3 month period, subject to the following conditions:

1. The Parish Council is recognised as Custodian Trustee of the Community Centre

2. That a group is formed consisting of at least three parish councillors and persons co-opted by the group. It will make recommendations on the future financing of the community centre and its administration, a final report to be produced by mid-November. 

(prop. Cllr. Callahan, sec. Cllr. Hogben) Votes: all in favour



Cllr. Heasman, Chairman of the Executive Committee, Community Centre Trust, would be advised straightaway about the above resolution and the Trustees asked to accept the conditions in writing within seven days from receipt of the letter. 

Cllrs. Callahan, Avery and Smith offered to serve on the group that will meet as soon as possible with the Trustees. 

All councillors will be consulted before the final report is published. 




332 Future Action

Councillors considered the Council’s future policy. It was concerned about loans taken out by individual Trustees. 

At this point the meeting was opened up to the public to receive their comments

(5 parishioners were present)

It was Resolved that the Parish Council will use its best endeavours to keep the Community Centre open. 

(prop. Cllr. Avery, sec. Cllr. Brisley) Votes: all in favour



The meeting closed at 8.45 pm


Alice in Wonderland

Contributed by editor on Sep 20, 2006 - 11:41 PM

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

Lyminge Dramatic Society

Rehearsals are now well under way and the play is starting to take shape. The set is being painted, props are being constructed and the costume makers are burning the midnight oil making all the costumes required. 

Directed by Barbara Harris, Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” is to be staged from 21st to 25th November in Lyminge Village Hall commencing 7.45pm and it promises to be a magical production. There will be a matinee at 4.00pm on Saturday 25th. 

Most people are familiar with this wonderful story so make a note of the dates in your diary now as this production will be one not to be missed! 

Watch out for posters appearing towards the end of October and badges on sale with the tickets. 

Tickets go on sale on Saturday 28th October at Haxtons Estate Agents, Lyminge.


Politicians want to grab the glory

Contributed by editor on Sep 20, 2006 - 08:52 PM

POLITICIANS WANT TO GRAB THE GLORY

Dear Ed,

Re: KCC should be ashamed

It is no surprise that our erstwhile representatives (politicians) want to grab the glory for saving Selsted School.  It is quite clearly laid down as Stage Six contained in the Stages of a Major Project:-

1. Enthusiasm
2. Disenchantment
3. Panic
4. Punishment of the innocent
5. Search for the guilty
6. Decoration for all those who took no part

Politicians are very adept at arriving at stage six and picking up all the kudos - I thought everyone knew that.

You see they have to do that because they are not able to make anything successful happen as a consequence of their own actions or efforts; very few politicians are so lucky.

Lazarus


Lib Dem voted to close school

Contributed by editor on Sep 20, 2006 - 01:20 PM

LIB DEM VOTED TO CLOSE SCHOOL

Dear Ed,

Like, I am sure, everyone else, I was delighted to see that common sense has prevailed in that the KCC has decided not to close Selsted School. 

This decision was due in no small part to the tremendous efforts locally, not least by the Save Selsted School Action Group, which conducted a magnificent professional campaign,  and our local MP, Michael Howard.  Swingfield Parish Council, of which I am a member, strongly opposed the closure.

I note the comments made by "Lightning" o­n this matter.

The Shepway Liberal Democrats have declared in no uncertain terms that they welcome the decision to keep Selsted School open. I am delighted to hear this but I am a little bit confused as to why that enthusiasm did not filter up to their sole representative who was present at the SOAB meeting and who voted in favour of closing the school.

Roger Curd


CCTV for Hawkinge crime hot spots

Contributed by editor on Sep 20, 2006 - 11:00 AM

CCTV FOR HAWKINGE CRIME HOT SPOTS

Dear Ed,

With reference to the latest act of vandalisation of the seven or so trees in Page Road wouldn't it be a good idea if the odd CCTV camera be erected/placed on the roundabout which joins Haven Drive, Page Road, The Churchill School.

One camera could sweep around covering all these areas  including the 'mound or hill' where lots of children seem to congregate to play. It need o­nly be switched o­n from say dusk till dawn.

And who is going to fund the idea I hear you ask? 

Well, the Hawkinge Parish Council have just found £5,000 to help the 'White Elephant' known as the Community Centre so why can't they find some funds to try and protect the local area.

Or maybe Pentland Homes should have been made to provide some funds to help provide it? 

Or maybe the Local Community Police Officer could perhaps spend some time in the evening patrolling the 'hot-spots'.

By the way has anyone seen him?

DC57  


Swingfield Twinning Association - Newsletter 6 September 2006

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

Swingfield Twinning Association


NEWSLETTER No
6 September 2006


Colin Tearle (Chairman) 01303 892621

David Bateman (Vice-chairman)

Karen Tatt (Secretary) 01303 893724

Paul Tatt (Treasurer)

Harry O`Grady 
Andrew Barchi

Yvonne Parry  Heather Bateman - Peter Brocklebank

Linda Tearle 
Graham Truss

Dear Member,

Friday 1st September saw members of Swingfield Twinning Association gather at Smersole Farm to greet friends from Aviron for the annual weekend visit.. The inclement weather meant that the welcome was warm but brief, and our French visitors were soon whisked off to their host’s homes for refreshments and a comfortable billet, ready for an early start in the morning.



Saturday’s main activity was a visit to Faversham for the Hop weekend festivities starting with a tour of the Shepherd Neame brewery and complimentary beer
tasting. The vintage delivery vehicles and old steam beer engines were a particular attraction. The visitors and their hosts spent the rest of the day wandering the streets of Faversham enjoying the traditional dancing and folk music – including at least one rendition of La Marsellaise. - and partaking of the delights of Faversham’s many hostelries. It was rewarding for the English hosts to be able to present the French visitors so many of their country’s traditions in one place – real ales, pub food, morris dancing, pearly Kings and Queens and folk tunes – and of course a spot of good old English rain. In the late afternoon the windswept but happy group returned to there family homes to freshen up before the evening’s activities.



A three course meal was provided on Saturday evening, washed down with French wines and English real ale. Musical entertainment was provided by French and English members of the Associations and speeches in both languages were given by Mr Colin Tearle and M. Pascal Clement, the respective Chairmen.



Sunday morning was spent en famille prior to meeting at Selsted School for a farewell barbeque. Changeable weather did mean that the group had to dine indoors, but excellent food prepared by the English hosts and barbequed chicken and sausages set our French friends up ready for the long drive back to Normandy. Shortly after 3pm the visitors were given a fond farewell and with much Gallic cheek kissing and English backslapping, all promised to meet again soon, but this time on the other side of the channel.


Tit Bits - 20 September 2006

Contributed by editor on Sep 20, 2006 - 12:05 AM

I wouldn't like to describe it as a gag.....

Word has it the Hawkinge Health Centre could be built on the employment land after all.
A reliable
source tells me that the parish council has received a letter from a senior doctor at the practice
asking whether the council would support a planning application on the site. Its
a bit like asking Michael Howard if he votes conservative.




The Hawkinge Gazette and the Folkestone Herald seem to have caused a bit of a
flap in Shepway.
It all stems from some leaked information from the PFI Steering Group meeting which alleged the Shepway Sports Centre consultants had been sacked.
Cllr Carole Waters, the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Tourism is
believed to have written to members on the Shepway Leisure PFI  Steering
Group to remind them of the meeting protocol. It seems that press statements must now be agreed at the meeting and then
passed to the local journos by Shepway's Media Officer. Members have also been told that if asked, they must not discuss the meetings with outside parties. I understand that members of the group
will have to sign an agreement to accept the protocol at their next meeting.
Although I wouldn't like to describe it as a gag, I have heard it
described as such. I just feel it sounds a little heavy handed to stop members
discussing the meeting, especially when the content of the official press
statement will have already been agreed and made available to the local
newshounds.

Still no dog bins around Haven Drive for Mrs Mouth to deposit her pooch's
poo,
yet it seems some residents are already complaining to the parish
council that the pristine poo bins can be seen from their homes. I'm not sure
Mrs Mouth feels the same, in fact she has just bought a pair of binoculars to
see if  she can be first to spot one from her window. 

Would you like to contribute to my page of tit bits?

Email titbits@localrags.co.uk