Civic Society try to block building in the woods

Contributed by editor on Sep 14, 2006 - 02:09 PM


At the Parish Council meeting o­n Wednesday (13 September), Civic Society Chairman Stuart Hall asked the council if they would consider applying for a Section 4 directive to prevent all building on the site of the proposed Health Centre which recently had its plans rejected.

Mr Hall told parish councillors that the Chairman of Swingfield Parish Council Cllr Colin Tearle had saved Black Horse meadow in Densole from development by successfully applying for the directive.

Hawkinge Parish Council Chairman David Callahan replied that he would be seeking advice and would report back to the Civic Society.

If the directive were granted it would remove permitted development rights to the woodland where the surgery was planned, however the Hawkinge Gazette have been informed that the Directive would not be applicable in this case.

A reliable source has stated the land in question cannot be built o­n at present as it is a CO24 buffer zone in the Shepway local plan. This prevents any building o­n the land until there are changes to the plan, which cannot be made for another 5years.

New children's seatbelt laws could cost you £500

Contributed by editor on Sep 14, 2006 - 01:30 PM


From next Monday (18 September 2006) there will be changes to the Child Seatbelt Laws and all children must travel in an appropriate child car seat. 

The new legislation comes into force to help prevent child deaths and injuries and applies to all children until they reach the age of 12 years or 135cm (4ft 5in) tall, whichever comes first.

The new legislation has been brought in to make sure that the right restraint is used according to the size of the child. 

Adult seat belts are not designed for children under a certain height and it is important to keep the 'lap' part of the seatbelt as low as possible over the stomach. If the belt sits too high there is a risk of damage to internal organs, as well as the child slipping out in the event of a crash.

For a lot of families this will mean making sure an older child uses a booster seat or booster cushion where previously they may have used an adult seatbelt.

Drivers have the responsibility to ensure that children are properly restrained and if drivers don't comply with the new regulations there is a risk of a £30 fixed penalty notice. If the case goes to court, the maximum fine is £500.

Chief Inspector John Frayne: "These new laws will increase children's safety when travelling on the roads and it is predicted that around 2,000 child deaths or injuries will be prevented nationally. All too often we see the tragic consequences when road safety regulations are ignored by drivers and we will be making sure these new laws are policed effectively."

Under the new regulations there is an exemption for 'an unexpected necessity', which allows a child of three years or more to wear an adult belt on a short journey when no appropriate child seat is available. However, children under three years of age must always sit in a child seat. The only exception is when travelling in the rear of a taxi, or in an emergency vehicle. 

The new law will apply to police cars carrying children in non-emergency or pre-planned situations.

The new regulations do not cover buses/minibuses, where seated passengers aged 14 years and above must use seat belts where fitted. 

The government will bring forward a requirement for all children aged three years to 13 years to use seat belts (or child restraints if they are available) for these vehicles in the near future.


Check the height of the child - children up to 135cm in height (and under 12 years old), need to use a child seat, booster seat or booster cushion. 
Before buying or using any child restraint, check the label to make sure it is suitable for the child's weight. 
Check that any restraint is securely fitted and suitable for the car it is to be used in. 
Get expert advice - many retailers have trained in-store experts who can advise on the best kind of car seat for a child and can demonstrate how to fit it. 
More information
For full details of the new regulations and how it will affect you, visit the Department of Transport website THINK! Road Safety.

Village Warden news - 14 September 2006

Contributed by editor on Sep 14, 2006 - 11:46 AM


On Saturday 16 September at the Hawkinge fun day on the green, I will be holding an info point in the Partnership marquee, here I will have Community safety info and advice along with various home safety schemes. 

I will also be doing security marking for cycles, mobile phones, scooters, mp3 players etc on the day and would like to urge residents to come along with these items on the day. 

There will also be a limited amount of security marking kits for residents to take away to mark their valuables inside their home.

Tanya Clark
Village Warden

School's adventure trail gets go ahead

Contributed by editor on Sep 14, 2006 - 09:55 AM


An adventure trail for a primary school in Hawkinge is o­ne of 27 projects in Kent to receive grants in the latest round of the Lottery's Awards for All programme.

The Churchill School PTA in Hawkinge is receiving £10,000 to build the adventure trail in the school grounds.

The trail will be laid with low-level equipment, such as swinging steps, a rope bridge and wobble boards, designed to strengthen young children's upper body, and their co-ordination and balancing skills. It will be built over a soft and safe all-weather surface.

"We are delighted to receive this Awards for All grant," said the PTA treasurer Colin Simpson. "The adventure trail is something that the teachers at the school have wanted for a long time. The most expensive part is the surface. It is made from a molten rubber that is poured o­n to the trail and is non-slip and soft so that the children won't hurt themselves. The trail will be suitable for children aged between 4 and 11, and will be available to young people in Hawkinge and surrounding villages."

Head teacher Jennie Carter said she took her hat off to the parents who had helped.

" The facility will be offered to local nurseries and childminders as well as holiday playschemes" Mrs. Carter said.

Awards for All is the small grants scheme administered by the Big Lottery Fund o­n behalf of Lottery good cause funders, Arts Council England, Big Lottery Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and Sport England. The scheme makes awards of between £300 and £10,000 to grass roots community groups and voluntary organisations.

Howard's Way - 14 September 2006

Contributed by editor on Sep 14, 2006 - 12:05 AM

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

14 September 2006


In the 23 years during which I have been the Member of Parliament for the Folkestone and Hythe constituency, few things have made me more angry than Kent County Council’s proposal to close Harcourt and Selsted primary schools.

Last Thursday I went to Maidstone to plead the cause of these schools before the Schools Advisory Board. They voted unanimously to reject the proposal to close Harcourt so I am hopeful that proposal will bite the dust. But, on a split vote, they voted to accept the proposal to close Selsted. I still hope that wiser counsels will prevail. By the time you read this the decision of the Cabinet Member for Education may be known.

The County Council’s proposals are based on the Kent Primary Strategy. But as I demonstrated last Thursday, the Kent Primary Strategy is fundamentally flawed. It is based on an alleged recommendation by the Department for Education and Skills about the appropriate number of surplus places that are to be regarded acceptable. But the recommendation just doesn’t exist. As the Department’s spokesman told me last week, ‘Kent have just made it up!’

This was admitted to be true by Dr Ian Craig, the Director of Education (Operations) at last Thursday’s meeting. So members of the Council and members of the public have been grossly misled by the untruthful statement that this recommendation exists.

One simple statistic illustrates how perverse the County Council’s policy is. The number of rural primary schools approved for closure by the government is, on average, 6 – for the whole country. Yet as a result of its Primary Strategy, Kent County Council proposed to close 8 rural primary schools and “amalgamate” 3 more. Add them up and, in effect, you get 11 closures – almost twice as many as the whole of the rest of the country put together.

I believe in the right of parents to exercise choice in deciding which school is the best for their child. If this choice is to be real then there have to be spare places. This does involve extra cost but it is a principle recognised by all the main political parties.

Selsted Church of England Primary School is a highly valued school. There are no alternative places available in similar schools in the vicinity to accommodate its pupils. Its closure would be an act of educational vandalism. I shall do everything in my power to prevent it.

Building collapses as fire engulfs Shepway primary school

Contributed by editor on Sep 13, 2006 - 05:54 PM


More than 200 children and their teachers  escaped unhurt from Lympne Church of England Primary School, near Hythe when fire broke out just before 10.00am  this morning (13 September).

Fire engulfed the school in minutes and within an hour the school hall had collapsed and several other buildings were also gutted.

About 70 firefighters tackled the  blaze in Octavian Drive in the village. Initial suggestions were that an electrical fault, possibly in a roof void above the staff room, was to blame.

Pupils were led to safety and taken to Lympne Village Hall.

Residents were told to keep windows shut as thick smoke billowed out from the school.

People reported seeing the flames from as far away as Dymchurch.

Shepway council's director of operations, Ian Craig confirmed that all the children were safe. "The damage is quite considerable.

"It doesn't look as if the children will be back at that school in the near future.

"We'll have to look into alternative provision as soon as possible."  Mr Craig added.

The Gazette have been told that the school is so badly damaged , it will need to be demolished.

David Adams, Kent County Council's Area Education Officer is inspecting the alternative accomodation tomorrow.

In the meantime the Churchill School in Hawkinge has offered to take Lympne pupils.

Hawkinge Parish Council agenda 13 September 2006

Contributed by editor on Sep 13, 2006 - 05:16 PM

Hawkinge Parish Council meeting Wednesday 13 September 2006 at 7.30 p.m. 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 12th July 2006 (already circulated) and Extraordinary Meeting held o­n 30th August 2006 (enc.).

4 Matters arising out of the Minutes
       (a) Hawkinge Community Centre Group [min. 331]
            Chairman to report.

5          Reports
      (a) Community Liaison – Cllr. Brisley
      (b) Planning and Development – Cllr. Trice
      (c) Public Rights of Way – Cllr. Punnett
      (d) Finance – Chairman
            Minutes of a meeting held o­n 3rd August enclosed (to be approved by the Group).

6         Other Bodies
       (a) Neighbourhood Management Partnership
Connecting Hawkinge Feasibility Study – Report by JMP Consulting (1 copy)
Cllrs. Hodgson and Brisley to report 
       (b) Community Centre – Cllr. Hodgson
       (c) Village Hall – Cllr. Brisley
       (d) Hawkinge Community Safety Forum – Cllr. Smith

7          Projects Group
       (a) Minutes of a meeting held o­n 3rd August enclosed (to be approved by the Group)
       (b) The Football Project – Cllr. Trice
       (c) Management of the ground – Cllr. Hodgson

8          Sports Association
            Cllr. Trice to report.

9         Spitfire Leisuredrome
Cllr. Smith to report
10        Finance
       (a) Audit Commission - Completion of the Annual Audit 2005/06 (29th August)
       (b) Capital projects for next year – Cllr. Avery (the budget for 2006/07 is enclosed)
       (c ) BTCV (Tree Warden Scheme) request for a donation (enc.)                     
       (d) 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

11        Correspondence
       (a) SDC: Shepway Free Time: Pent Valley Leisure Centre 
 Shepway Local Development Framework: Submission Statement of Community             Involvement (SCI) (enc.) o­ne copy of document
       (b) Kent County Council:
             KCC Annual Plan 2006/07 (one copy)
             Kent Waste Development Framework: Spatial Options Consultation (enc.)
  Youth Capital Fund and Youth Opportunities Fund (enc.)
  Kent Highways Services: “Setting Local Speed Limits” (enc.)
        (c) Shepway Primary Care Trust AGM 27th September 12 pm – 2.30 pm
        (d) Kent Fire & Rescue Service (letter enc.)
        (e) CASE newsletter – Funding Buddies a new project (enc.) o­ne copy
12       Plans
           List of applications received since the last meeting enclosed.   

Please contact Cllr. Trice if you would like to view the plans before the meeting. 

           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.

14 Disposal of the Leisuredrome
Chairman to report.

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

Ashford to lose Eurostar services

Contributed by editor on Sep 13, 2006 - 12:05 AM

On the day the new Ebbsfleet International Station was opened (13 September), it was announced that Ashford's International train services are being cut.

The station which was built 10 years ago at a cost of £80m will lose all Brussels trains and its off-peak Paris services when Eurostar moves its London base from Waterloo to St Pancras in October 2007.  Only then will trains begin operating from Ebbsfleet.

Ashford will retain three daily services to Paris and one to Disneyland Resort Paris.

High-speed domestic services are due to begin in 2009.

Ashford MP Damian Green said he wondered "whether Eurostar have got their projections right" in prioritising services from Ebbsfleet.

"It's obviously very worrying and disappointing," he said.

Sports centre sun beds should be banned

Contributed by editor on Sep 12, 2006 - 12:25 AM


Sun beds should be banned from council-owned leisure centres to help prevent skin cancer, an environmental health group said today.

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) said rates of skin cancer had doubled since the early 1980s  and its survey found that 60% of local councils didn't have a skin cancer prevention policy in place.

It wants sun beds to be banned from all council-run sports and leisure centres. When the Gazette rang the Folkestone Sports Centre, they confirmed they had a sun bed in the fitness centre.

CIEH is also calling for local authorities to be given powers to license privately-run sun bed parlours.

Policy officer Jenny Morris said: "For a local authority to provide sun beds is akin to a hospital providing cigarettes and not having a prevention policy pays scant regard to our duty to protect and improve public health."

The CIEH's figures are based o­n a survey of local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Tit Bits - 11 September 2006

Contributed by editor on Sep 11, 2006 - 12:05 AM

Poor Nikki managed to puke over the sight of the catch.....

I heard that at a recent weekend seminar about planning issues given to local councillors, a speaker told told them to be aware of just one rule, BANANA. This apparently is an acronym for Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything. Was the speaker being serious? I'm sure some people would have answered a big yes.

The litter bins have at long last started to appear and the protests of the
NOMH group,
'Not Outside My House' are being heard across the village. People have kicked up enough fuss about getting them, so what's the problem? I'm not complaining, but then I haven't got one
outside my house.

Some readers seem to have it in for PC Trevor, harping back to bygone days when the village copper lived in a police house in the community and could be seen either walking
the streets or on his bike. Those days are gone and in their place are budgets and panda cars and targets and paperwork, lots of it.
Our village bobby, PC Moody patrols eight villages, and not just Hawkinge. So give the guy a break, he doesn't make the rules, write to Mike Fuller, the Chief Constable if you have any problems with local policing. As far as I can see the proof is in the pudding and Hawkinge crime rates have continued to fall.

The local Lib Dems are advertising for a parliamentary candidate to take over from Peter Carroll after
he failed to unseat Michael Howard in the last election. They say in their blurb, the retirement of Mr Howard, gives the Lib Dems an excellent chance to progress in this 'Moving forward seat'. With the highest Lib Dem vote in Kent, no labour Councillors locally, a strong and active local party with its own headquarters, there is a real opportunity to present an effective challenge to the Conservatives. I suppose it will to a lesser or greater degree depend upon whether local constituents can forget the
disastrous reign of the Lib Dems when they briefly controlled Shepway council. 

I've had enough of Nikki, the only Big Brother contestant to be voted out of the house twice. I don't know about you, but I am sick of the publicity given by our local papers to granny-faced Nikki Grahame. So what, if she comes to Folkestone for a couple of days, and works in a chip shop for a TV show which is riding on the success of the recent Big Brother series. One of her tasks in the show was to go fishing on a local trawler. But poor Nikki managed to puke over the sight of the catch. I know just how you feel Nikki, I felt the same way watching you.

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