Blaze ship awaiting repairs

Contributed by editor on Jan 23, 2004 - 08:20 AM

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A cargo ship is awaiting repairs following a fire which sparked a full-scale emergency off the coast of Dover.

The 16,000-tonne Sea Riss was carrying steel to Northfleet when the fire broke out in one of its funnels.

Nine firefighters were winched on board the Dutch-registered craft in an operation involving the Royal Navy, the RAF and Kent Fire Brigade

Drivers reject Eurostar strikes

Contributed by editor on Jan 23, 2004 - 08:18 AM

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Train drivers on the Eurostar service, which uses the Kent high-speed rail link, have voted against taking industrial action over pay.

Members of Aslef voted not to walk out in protest at an offer worth 3.5% this year and inflation plus 0.5% next year.

About 44% of the drivers, the highest paid in the industry, backed a campaign of industrial action

Parish Council warned over blocking further expansion

Contributed by editor on Jan 23, 2004 - 07:38 AM

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In a letter from local landowner Paul Tory addressed to the Council Chairman and read out at this month's Parish Council meeting, he has warned that the commercial centre planned for the entrance to the industrial estate could never get built if further village expansion is blocked.

Mr Tory talks in his letter about the planning application for the new commercial centre. He said that the application was approved and they are seeking occupiers.

"At this moment we are poised to sign agreements with two solid outlets that should enable us to come back to the council with detailed applications. If this goes ahead the centre could be quickly viable" he writes.

Mr Tory continues: "It must be said however that it is not easy to find occupiers, as they seek assurances on the number of houses that will be built. Obviously they need a certain population for their ventures to be economic.

"Any decision to block the future expansion of the village and the building of the bypass will be detrimental to getting the centre started.

"I think it will probably kill it altogether.

"A similar situation arises with the industrial estate".

He said: "We are very keen to sell the land but it seems that buyers want the bypass in place before they are prepared to commit.

"I hope that this letter will give the members of your council an idea of the commercial problems as seen from our side of the fence and that are obstructing the progress that we both seek,"

News photographer's dilemma

Contributed by webmaster on Jan 23, 2004 - 04:13 AM

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Here's a dilemma for you. With all your honour and dignity what would you do? This test o­nly has o­ne question, but it's a very important o­ne.

Please don't answer it without giving it some serious thought. By giving an honest answer you will be able to test where you stand morally.

The test features an unlikely, completely fictional situation, where you will have to make a decision o­ne way or the other. Remember that your answer needs to be honest, yet spontaneous.

Please scroll down slowly and consider each line - this is important for the test to work accurately.

You're in Florida. In Miami, to be exact. There is great chaos going o­n around you, caused by a hurricane and severe floods. There are huge masses of water all over you. You are a CNN photographer and you are in the middle of this great disaster The situation is nearly hopeless.

You're trying to shoot very impressive photos. There are houses and people floating around you, disappearing into the water. Nature is showing all its destructive power and is ripping everything away with it.

Suddenly you see a man in the water, he is fighting for his life, trying not to be taken away by the masses of water and mud. You move closer. Somehow the man looks familiar.

Suddenly you know who it is - it's George W. Bush!

At the same time you notice that the raging waters are about to take him away, forever. You have two options. You can save him or you can take the best photo of your life. So you can save the life of George W. Bush, or you can shoot a Pulitzer prize winning photo, a unique photo displaying the death of o­ne of the world's most powerful men.

And here's the question (please give an honest answer)

Would you select color film, or rather go with the simplicity of classic black and white?

MP Prosser won't support Blair in student grant vote

Contributed by webmaster on Jan 22, 2004 - 04:31 PM

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The MP for Dover & Deal, Gwyn Prosser, who has been opposing the Government’s proposals to introduce top up fees for more than twelve months, says that although Ministers have made radical improvements to the Higher Education Bill he will not support it in next Tuesday’s critical vote unless further improvements are made.

Mr Prosser said: "Although I still have serious doubts about variable fees, I have to acknowledge that the Government has made enormous changes and improvements to the Bill over recent weeks and the current package - which abolishes upfront fees and provides enhanced grants and bursaries to poorer students – has all but removed what I would describe as the damaging elements of variability.

"But I am still anxious to get more of my constituents into higher education and, although the current package of help has stripped away many of the barriers to taking that important step, I want to see kids from middle and low income families get a better deal by the introduction of increased cash maintenance payments which don’t have to be paid back later.

" One way of achieving this is to convert fee remissions into up-front grants, combine them with the maintenance grant and thus provide a single substantial cash grant to poorer students."

House prices 'to rise further'

Contributed by webmaster on Jan 22, 2004 - 09:29 AM

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House prices in the South East are set to keep rising, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

The institute believes property values will continue going up in 2004, but by half as much as last year - around 6%.

A spokesman said: "Any slowdown in prices is only likely to be the result of a gradual rise in interest rates or worsening employment prospects."

New Parish Councils' elections in summer

Contributed by webmaster on Jan 22, 2004 - 09:27 AM

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Folkestone and Sandgate are to get the town and parish councils that local people said they wanted in last year's referendums and petitions.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has confirmed that ministers have agreed to create local councils for Folkestone and Sandgate and are now consulting Shepway Council on minor changes to the boundaries before an official Order is made.

It is expected that elections for the two new councils will take place at the same time as the European Parliamentary Elections on 10 June 2004. Sandgate will elect 11 councillors and Folkestone will elect 18.

Folkestone Town Mayor, Cllr Peter Gane said: "This is the culmination of a long campaign and is wonderful news for both Folkestone and Sandgate."

Support our Cyril

Contributed by editor on Jan 22, 2004 - 01:36 AM

<FONT face=Arial color=black size=4>SUPPORT OUR CYRIL

Hawkinge Parish Council Chairman Cyril Trice will running to help Children with Leukaemia.

<IMG alt="Cyril Trice" hspace=20 src="" align=left vspace=10 border=1>He is taking part in this year’s Flora London Marathon and would like your support.

This will be Cyril's 10th London Marathon: he ran his first marathon in Gillingham when he was 50.

The best time he recorded for the London run was 3hours 47minutes, but he doesn't expect to be breaking any records this time, apart from raising more money for charity.

Cyril is asking people who sponsor him to double their donation if he finishes the run in under 5 hours

“I enjoy running and am blessed with good health at the age of 72 years to still be able to. I also realise that there are others less fortunate than me, so by running for Children with Leukaemia I hope it gives others a greater chance of better health.� he said.

If you would like to sponsor Cyril please click o­n the link below to donate or pledge your support

You can also ring 01303 893499 for a sponsorship form or Email

Public meeting on sea defences plan

Contributed by editor on Jan 21, 2004 - 04:06 PM

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The first of three meetings to give people the chance to learn more about a coastal defence project is being held at Folkestone's Saga Pavilion.

Work on the £17m scheme will include using 200,000 tonnes of rock to build a headland and groynes on the foreshore below the Folkestone Coastal Park.

Shepway Council officers will answer questions during the meeting

Tourists guided to East Kent

Contributed by editor on Jan 21, 2004 - 04:01 PM

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A tourist campaign promoting the Dover, Deal and Sandwich areas of the Kent coast has been launched.

The campaign includes the production of visitor guides, places to stay leaflets, and pamphlets suggesting days out in White Cliffs Country.

Local councillor Fred Scales said: "Tourism is worth £142m to the local economy and accounts for 4,000 jobs."