Manston Airport rail link vital for East Kent

Contributed by editor on Mar 22, 2005 - 11:06 AM


The realisation of proposals to create a Thanet Parkway Station to serve East Kent and Manston airport has "moved a step closer today" says North Thanet`s MP Roger Gale.

Speaking following a meeting with the Director of Franchise Sponsorship for the Strategic Rail Authority, Roger Jones, the MP said: "I am hugely encouraged by the outcome of what was a most constructive meeting. While the award of an integrated rail franchise for Kent cannot be said to be dependent upon the creation of a Parkway Station it is clear that the Director has an enthusiasm for the concept and will take proposals for such a station into account."

The MP, who has promoted the Parkway concept for ten years adds: "We now have a clear timetable for the bidding and award of the franchise. Following the completion of the Data pack by the end of this month there will be a 60-day period for the bidding process for the Integrated Kent Franchise to take place. The award of the franchise will be made and the new operator installed by Christmas.

Hitachi have confirmed delivery of the first of the new trains needed to run on the fast link by January 2007 and following 18 months of test-running on CTRL and domestic track they should enter service in December 2009.

We therefore have until that time to bring about the creation of the East Kent Parkway Station located to serve Manston Airport, the Thanet Towns, Sandwich and Herne Bay.

After the meeting today I am more convinced than ever that this can be achieved and I hope and trust that the franchise will be awarded to a company that is able and willing to realise this opportunity. Like the East Kent Access Road, this project is vital to the economic development not just of the airport but of the whole of East Kent."

Also discussed at the meeting between Roger Gale and the Director were the refurbishment of Margate and Herne Bay stations and the need for more resources to combat anti-social behaviour on the railways in Kent.

Shocked shoppers electrical surprise

Contributed by editor on Mar 22, 2005 - 10:59 AM


Shoppers at Tesco in Cheriton were surprised to be greeted by  Shepway Council’s Environmental Health team giving away energy-saving light bulbs at the Tesco store at Cheriton on Friday (18 March).

Everyone given a bulb was asked to complete a questionnaire about the energy efficient measures in their home. All completed questionnaires will be sent to the Kent Energy Centre and people who responded will be entitled to discounted energy efficiency measures like cavity wall/loft insulation.

The initiative could also lead to some people being entitled to a full grant to improve heating and insulation.

£200,000 bonanza for skateboard parks

Contributed by editor on Mar 22, 2005 - 10:50 AM


Skaters in Dover are working with Kent County Council and Dover District Council (DDC) to boost youth facilities in the area following news of a cash bonanza for local skate parks.

KCC and DDC have been working in partnership with a group of young people called SK8, part of the Dover District Youth Forum, to look at developing skate parks in the district. Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, Leader of Kent County Council, and Cllr Paul Watkins, Leader of Dover District Council, visited the group at the Pencester Gardens skate park last week.

KCC will be providing extra funding of £200,000 for facilities and DDC will be working in consultation with the SK8 group to redesign and rebuild skate parks in Pencester Gardens and Victoria Park.

Sir Sandy said: “The extra funding is great news for Dover. It is vital that we involve local community groups in improving their facilities. I hope to see the improvements in the skate parks very soon which will be enjoyed by our younger residents for many years to come. The work we do with local community groups and our partners is tremendously important and I look forward to strengthening these relationships.�

Cllr Paul Watkins said: “We are delighted to be working with the community to improve our skate parks. Following our work with SK8, we will be giving them the opportunity to learn about costing projects as well as involving them in planning the facilities they want to see. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners in the community to develop youth facilities for the future of our young people.�

MIxed views on local airport expansion

Contributed by editor on Mar 22, 2005 - 10:41 AM


At a packed Public Meeting in Greatstone on Wednesday (16th March), Liberal Democrat spokesman Peter Carroll set out why he opposed the major expansion of Lydd Airport.

Over 200 people attended the meeting, with many local people expressing their opposition to the plans, but their were also a sizable number of people who  had links with the airport and they set out why they thought the expansion was a good idea.

In his speech to the packed hall Peter Carroll said: "The expansion will lead to flights every 15 minutes. By necessity, the jet aircraft will be flying at very low level when they pass over the Marsh. Even the airport agree that at least 80% of people using the airport will travel to it by car. This will lead to congestion on a massive scale on the Marsh roads.

"The noise and pollution from the aircraft will destroy the Marsh. The only positive aspect will be the jobs that an expanded airport will bring. However, if the cost of these jobs is the destruction of the Marsh environment it is too a high a cost."

Peter Carroll has written to over 8,000 households on the Marsh asking people what they think. He is pledged to oppose the expansion.

Ferry service suspended

Contributed by admin on Mar 22, 2005 - 09:32 AM

Ferry operator SeaFrance is suspending all journeys between Dover and Calais until Thursday morning.

The company took the decision after the announcement of a 48-hour strike in France, but P&O Ferries are expected to operate as normal.

Customers with reservations o­n SeaFrance crossings for Tuesday and Wednesday should contact the company.

Yesterday (21 March), SeaFrance workers protesting against a plan to reform the French national register for shipping, invaded high-speed rail lines near Calais  and caused delays to Eurostar services.

Sailors' unions say the changes are a threat to French jobs.

Pilot scheme to ease M20 misery

Contributed by admin on Mar 21, 2005 - 09:24 PM

Pilot scheme to ease M20 chaos


Plans to improve the traffic flow o­n the M20 during periods when there are delays to ferries in Dover, are being put in place o­n a trial basis.

Michael Howard's Tory Constituency office contacted the Highways Agency suggesting a contra flow to help solve the problems of local people o­n the M20.

They have now received a response saying that they are planning to implement this through a pilot scheme in the near future.

The Constituency Office have spoken to the Highways Agency today  and reported that funding for the pilot scheme will be available from existing budgets.

They have also been told that a solution of a contra flow using concrete barriers that can be implemented quicker than cones is being considered.

However, in the long term the Agency are still looking for an alternative to using the M20.

Mr Howard said: "The decision to operate a contra flow is to be welcomed. I hope it helps."

Kent's Chief Constable Mike Fuller had also spoken of implementing a contraflow plan when he was speaking o­n the BBC Radio Kent, John Warnett's Good Morning Kent radio show o­n Friday (18 March). 

New warden training centre to reduce crime

Contributed by editor on Mar 21, 2005 - 11:19 AM


The official opening of a new training centre for Kent community wardens, police community support officers and local authority wardens takes place on Thursday 24 March.

Deputy Leader of Kent County Council and Cabinet Member for Community Services Sarah Hohler and Chairman of the Kent Police Authority John Palmer will cut a ribbon to mark the occasion.

The £145,000 centre at Boughton Mount in Maidstone will provide high quality training training to increase public confidence and reduce crime and the fear of crime. It will be run by the Kent Community Safety Partnership Training Team which will have delivered police accredited training to 56 Kent County Council Community Wardens, 55 Kent Police Community Support Officers and 18 Local Authority Wardens by May this year.

Hawkinge is awaiting the appointment of a new Warden following the resignation of Ian Norman, who has taken up a new job with Kent Police.

Howard will take action against illegal traveller camps

Contributed by editor on Mar 21, 2005 - 11:09 AM


Folkestone and Hythe MP and Tory leader Michael Howard has promised a package of measures to stop illegal traveller camps and unauthorised developments.

Mr Howard has claimed that some travellers are bending planning laws, using the Human Rights Act to build settlements wherever they like. The Party leader has warned that travellers have been allowed to remain on unlawful sites because of their 'right' to family life. He will set out details of his proposals in a speech on Monday.

In an advertisement carried in a series of Sunday newspapers, Mr Howard argues: "If you want to build a new home you have to get planning permission first. But if you are a traveller you can bend planning law - building where you like thanks to the Human Rights Act. It's not fair that there's one rule for travellers and another for everyone else."

In his speech, Mr Howard will insist that Conservatives believe in freedom, and that people should be at liberty to live their lives in different ways.

But he will argue that that freedom must be exercised while observing responsibilities to the wider community. While the "vast majority" of travellers accept that, he will argue, a "small minority" do not, and are wilfully abusing the planning system.

The action plan to be laid out by Mr Howard will include:

- Reviewing or repealing the Human Rights Act. A Conservative government would reconsider the Act with a view to ensuring that it could not be used to frustrate the enforcement of the laws against unauthorised development of land. If the Act could not be amended suitably, it would be scrapped.

- Councils would be given new powers to ensure the rapid removal of caravans from illegal sites, and courts would have powers to levy larger fines.

- Local authorities would be given new powers to purchase land compulsorily, where the land was the subject of a continuing breach of a Stop Notice. The objective would be to protect local residents from being pressurised into buying land from speculators at inflated prices, in order to avoid the threat of illegal encampments.

- Revised guidance to police and councils, encouraging them to use their powers to deal with trespass by travellers, and to tackle criminal or anti-social behaviour on traveller sites.

- Giving local people a greater say on where sites go. Conservatives would oppose the imposition on quotas on councils to provide traveller camps by unelected regional quangos.

Folkestone Camera club meeting 14 March 2005

Contributed by editor on Mar 20, 2005 - 04:22 PM

Folkestone Camera club meeting 14 March 2005


Monday 14th March was our 5th slide competition of the season when our members learn from the judges comments, tips, advice and experience. Our judge was Mr Kevin Harvey, member of St. Mary’s Bay Camera Club, a very experienced photographer and regular visitor to our club.. His results (out of 20) were:-

Monochrome: ‘Shape of an Angel’ Robert Brisley LRPS 20

(12 entries) ‘Six Girls & a Boy’ David Hughes 19


Novice: ‘Air Conditioners in Suspension’ Andrew Finnis 20

(4 entries) ‘Jaws’ Glen Yorke 17

Intermediate: ‘Fairfield Horseshoe’ Bill Grudgings 20

(9 entries) ‘Sunset’ Bill Grudgings 19


Advanced: ‘I’ll Follow the Sun’ David Hughes 20

(19 entries) ‘Ancient and Modern’ Robert Brisley LRPS 19

‘French Landscape 2’ Dave Turner 19


6" x 6" Slids:- ‘Kerry 3’ Victor Fowler 17

(2 entries) ‘Sacha 5’ Victor Fowler 16

Slide entries seem to be decreasing unfortunately, but this is mainly due to the increase in our digital photographers, which has had the opposite effect, by increasing entries in our print competitions, of which the 5th of the season will be held on 21st March. All slides with 20 marks can be viewed on our website.

On Wednesday 16th March Deal Camera Club hosted a ‘Battle’ with Gateway, Herne Bay and ourselves. Unfortunately, we did not do very well, in fact we came last! The phoeographs shown were of excellent quality and the judge Glyn Bareham gave his total results as follows:- Herne Bay 297, Gateway 296, Deal 290 , Folkestone 270. We must do better next time !!!!!!!

With no meeting on 28th March, being Easter Monday, our next meeting will be on 4th April when we shall be seeing slides taken by Kay Hollis, as a tribute to her memory. Kay, as a long-standing member, bequeathed all her slides to our club, approiximately 10,000 of them, from her travels around the world.

Many photographs taken by members, can be seen on our website where we also have many Links to Photography related and other Shops.

Our meetings are held at the United Reform Community Hall, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone on Mondays from September to May at 7.45pm. New members are always welcome. If interested please phone Mrs Jenny Barraclough (Press Officer) 01303 245399, or e mail:

A win at last

Contributed by admin on Mar 20, 2005 - 04:06 PM


Hythe, Folkestone & District Sunday Morning League - Division 1

Hawkinge 1  New Romney 0  ( played at Hythe )

By Cyril Trice

In this battle between two evenly matched sides, it was Hawkinge who eventually won the day.

Before the start, both sides had 3 wins  and 12 points and it was a game  each team was desperate to win.

The first half was fairly even with possibly New Romney passing the ball better and holding possession longer,  but at the break it remained goalless.

With 10 minutes of the second half underway Eamon Elaham  flicked the ball into the back of the net at close range to give the village team the lead.

Play went from end to end for the rest of the match but Hawkinge managed to hold onto their one goal lead, with both sides relying heavily on their goalkeepers towards the end of the game.