Labour Leader steps down...10 November 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 11:38 AM

Labour Leader on Shepway District Council has stood down following his conviction last month of defrauding the Kent and East Sussex Railway of £16,000.

Cllr Bernard Sealy was ordered to repay the money and fined £10,000.

Councillor Ted Ellis has taken over the position of Labour Leader.


BT and KCC join in multi-million pound ADSL project...7 November 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 11:37 AM

Kent County Council and BT today unveiled plans for a groundbreaking project which is set to revolutionise the way people work, learn and communicate in the County.

Initially the multi-million pound programme will drive the Council's ambition to put broadband at the heart of its education policy - helping the regeneration of skills in Kent.

It will start by building an ADSL broadband community link between homes and schools using a learning environment to distribute new and compelling online content and services that parents and pupils will want to use at home. Following a meeting today to discuss the project, at County Hall, leading figures from Kent County Council and BT spoke of the visionary plans for the county's future.

Kent County Council Leader Sandy Bruce- Lockhart said: "Broadband is the future in terms of faster computer links and giving Kent children a head start in research and learning back-up.

“I am delighted the County Council is one of the first local authorities to lead the way and look forward to these opportunities being fully opened up to the people of Kent.

“We are keen to bring local communities into schools. That is why we are pioneering the concept of ‘the school that never sleeps’. That means expanding the use of schools by local people, be it extra classes early or late in the day to keep children occupied and off the streets or welcoming parents in to use the technology available in schools in the evenings or at weekends.

“Our Broadband development will add to this by improving the computer links between home and school. For instance children who miss a lesson through illness can see a webcast of it on their home computer. Parents can communicate through broadband with the teacher.�

Pierre Danon, chief executive of BT Retail, said: "This innovative project shows how a public-private partnership approach can bring broadband to the heart of a community.

“Kent County Council’s plans for its communications future are exciting and BT is delighted to be working with the Council to transform this vision into reality.

“I am pleased that our discussions today have also initiated the development of a programme to support small businesses across Kent which will enable them to trade internationally and work more efficiently using broadband services.�

This project follows on from the success of a scheme in Cornwall called ACT NOW. This is a partnership between BT and key public sector organisations in the South West to assist small and medium sized businesses.


Tunnel rail freight services back to normal...7 November 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 11:36 AM

Channel Tunnel rail freight services operator EWS ahas reported that rail services are no longer disrupted by asylum seekers.

Over the last twelve months, Channel Tunnel rail freight services have been restricted due to asylum seekers invading the Fréthun rail freight yard in France. These security problems have now been successfully resolved due to the completion of the new double skin fencing at the Fréthun yard and the deployment of over 100 security guards.

Customers are returning and by early 2003, EWS expects to restore a full level of operation - nearly 100 trains a week travelling in each direction through the Channel Tunnel.


No bypass for homes, residents say....7 November 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 11:35 AM

Hawkinge residents would prefer not to have a bypass through the village if it means having to put up with almost 500 new homes being built in the area according to a recent poll by Shepway Liberal Democrats.

Of those who responded to the survey only a third of them supported the plan for developers Pentland Homes to complete the access road in return for being allowed to build an additional 480 new homes in the village.

The road was originally due to be built with Government funding, but this was withdrawn when the Labour Party came into power and called a halt to any new road building schemes.

Since then residents have been told that private funding is the only realistic way forward.

Almost 2,000 homes were invited to take part in the referendum and have their say on the by-pass in the wake of the recent public inquiry into the scheme.

Local Liberal Democrat councillor, Peter Smith, who co-ordinated the poll, said that the response so far had been very encouraging and that local people really appreciated being asked their views on the subject.

Fellow campaigner, Peter Carroll, added that many people had written in to say that the proposed by-pass was little more than an access road for new homes and not a proper by-pass at all.

The outcome of the public inquiry is not expected to be known until the beginning of next year.


Jennie paves the way....7 November 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 11:34 AM

Pupils, parents, governors and civic leaders assembled at The Churchill School on Tuesday (Nov 5) to celebrate the laying of the foundation stone in the new school building.

They were welcomed by Kent County Councillor and Chairman of the Governors, John Palmer, who said this was a very special day in the school’s history and marked how far the project had come.

The school in Haven Drive currently operates out of a series of mobile classrooms. All being well the new school is on target to open in the summer of 2003.

Head teacher, Jennie Carter, donned protective head gear for the official laying of the stone which was then blessed by the Reverend Stewart Wardell, the new vicar of St Luke’s church.

Jerry Ross, safety officer for contractors Ballast Construction, then handed out prizes to pupils who had taken part in a poster campaign warning of the dangers of playing on building sites.

After the ceremony visitors were invited to join staff and Governors for coffee and cakes.

Mrs Carter said: “It’s the first time I have ever laid a foundation stone before. It is strange to think that my name will remain carved in stone for as long as the school remains.�

Among those attending the ceremony were Hawkinge parish council chairman, John Heasman, Swingfield parish council chairman, Roger Curd, Hawkinge District Councillor Peter Smith and his wife, Chris, and Swingfield District Councillor, Colin Tearle.


"Living hell" for former gravedigger...7 November 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 11:33 AM

A former gravedigger, who lives in a house in the grounds of Hawkinge Crematorium, claims his life is being made a living hell by local youngsters.

Over the past few years 68-year-old Tony Knight, known as Tom to locals, has had to put up with numerous attacks on his property, vandalism and verbal abuse from the gangs of youths who hang around the cemetery at night.

Last year a scarecrow was set alight on his porch and vandals rode motorcycles over flowerbeds in the crematorium.

His pleas to be left alone have been met with verbal abuse and an escalation in the severity of the attacks, he claims.

In the latest incident on the night of Saturday October 26th a family friend was seriously injured when he went outside to remonstrate with a group of youths who had been throwing bottles at the house.

A teenager has been arrested and charged with assault in connection with the incident.

Mr Knight, who has lived in his house for 28 years, now says that he fears for his life and may have to think about moving


E fit released in serial rapist hunt...6 November 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 11:29 AM

An e-fit of a man wanted in connection with a series of rapes and attacks on women and girls in Kent, Surrey, London, Thames Valley, and Hertfordshire, has been released today.

At a press conference held at 11am this morning at Surrey Police Headquarters in Guildford, the e-fit was released by officers leading Operation Orb, the five-force investigation.

Details of the 10 linked attacks are as follows:

_ At 9.15pm on Thursday, 15 November 2001, a 10-year-old girl was abducted from outside the Ray Allen Centre, Stanhope Estate, Ashford, Kent. She was taken to adjacent woodland undergrowth where she was assaulted and raped.

_ At 6.30pm on Monday, 1 July 2002, a 12-year-old girl was raped in Bagshot Road, Bracknell, Berkshire. The girl had been cycling home when she was raped.

_ At 10.30am on Thursday, 11 July 2002, a 30-year-old woman was raped on a footpath off Brambletye Road, Earlswood, Surrey.

_ At 4.30pm on Thursday, 11 July 2002, a 26-year-old woman was raped in woodland on Putney Common. This occurred just six hours after the rape in Earlswood, Surrey.

_ At 7pm on Tuesday, 16 July 2002, an 18-year-old woman was raped on a footpath between Claydon and Kestral Way, Goldsworth Park area, Woking, Surrey.

_ At 12.05pm on Tuesday, 6 August 2002, a 52-year-old woman was raped in the Causeway, Wimbledon Common, London.

_ At 4.10pm on Wednesday, 7 August 2002, a 26-year-old woman was raped in a wooded area off Woodcote Side, Epsom, Surrey.

_ At 6.45pm on Friday, 6 September 2002, a 13-year-old girl was raped in wooded area off Pyrford Common Road, near Woking, Surrey. The girl had been cycling home when she was raped.

_ Between 7.30pm and 9.00pm on Monday, 16 September 2002, a 22-year-old woman was attacked whilst walking her dog on Dunsborough Park, Ripley Green, Surrey. The offender may have been bitten by the woman's dog and he made off.

_ Between 5pm and 5.30pm on Friday, 25 October 2002, a 14-year-old girl was raped in a wooded area near to Collenswood School in Collenswood Road, Stevenage, Herts.


Paul comes home....5 November 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 11:18 AM

The funeral of Bali bomb victim Paul Hussey takes place at Hawkinge Crematorium on Wednesday (6 November).

He worked as a hotel manager on the island, and was killed in the recent bomb blast.


50% more houses for Hawkinge?....4 November 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 11:18 AM

Hawkinge could see up to 50% more housing within the same designated areas if Government proposals are pushed through.

Measures which it claims will contain the urban sprawl in the South East could increase the current density of housing of 23 homes per hectare.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said he will be proposing that building plans should have at least 30 homes per hectare.

He is set to call for a movement away from desolate housing estates and towards well-designed communities with parks, schools and health centres.

Mr Prescott will challenge builders, who he describes as the "most inefficient in the world", to construct more homes on small spaces in areas where there is the greatest demand.

His plans respond to the numbers of workers in the public sector who are priced out of the housing market.

Mr Prescott has already made it clear that he wants to see a big expansion in house building in the south-east of England.

The plans could lead to 200,000 new homes being built in the region over the next five to 10 years, with thousands of subsidised properties for key workers such as nurses and teachers.

He is alarmed that despite new planning guidelines, on average only 20 new houses are built per hectare.


Local man's body returns home....31 October 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 11:17 AM

The body of a local Bali bomb victim from Hawkinge has finally arrived back in the UK. It was flown into the UK last night.

Paul Hussey worked as a hotel manager in the holiday paradise of Bali, and died in the recent bomb blast.

His sister Sue Cooper runs the Garden Lodge Hotel in Densole.