Grab your share of community kitty...6 December 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 06, 2002 - 05:07 PM

Community groups with projects that aim to improve the quality of life for local people could get a cash boost of up to £5,000.

Thirty-five local organisations have already received funding, but Shepway District Council is urging more to come forward.

It is working with lottery grant giver, Awards for All, to encourage local groups to make more of the scheme that can offer grants from £500 to £5,000.

The scheme aims to support activities which encourage the involvement of local people in groups and projects by increasing skills and creativity.

They will encourage talent and raise standards and enhance quality of life by supporting local projects that improve people's opportunities, welfare, environment or local facilities,

35 groups have already received Awards for All grants in Shepway but this is low compared with other parts of the county.

The Council and Awards for All are keen to make sure that local people make the most of this opportunity,� said David Illsley, a Regeneration Officer at Shepway Council.

Groups that have benefited so far include:

The Old School Trust at New Romney, which was given £4,800 towards landscaping the community garden next to the school and church.

The Country Ways Training Trust - which provides sheltered employment and training to adults with learning difficulties, emotional and mental health problems - was awarded a grant of £3,372 to buy materials from which to build a transportable wheelchair access ramp.

Folkestone Choral Society received a grant of £4,950 to help stage a

performance of the St Matthew Passion, involving a school choir. The award was used to pay for performers’ fees, the hire of scores, venue hire, and publicity.

Sylvia Sharpe, from the Old School Trust, said applying for an Awards for All Grant was straightforward and quick.

“We were awarded all we asked for and I would suggest other groups try the scheme too.�

Full details of the scheme and an application pack can be obtained from Awards for All on 0845 600 2040 or from the Awards for All website at:

The Regeneration Team at Shepway District Council can also help groups to develop their project ideas. The team can be contacted on 01303 852474


More time to question serial rape suspect...4 December 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 06, 2002 - 05:05 PM

Police hunting the so-called "trophy rapist" have been allowed more time to question a 48-year-old man.

The man, from Appledore, near Ashford, Kent, was arrested at 11.30pm on Monday on the M20.

He is being questioned in connection with nine rapes and one attempted rape on young girls and women over the past year.

The investigation involves attacks on young girls and women in London, Kent, Berkshire, Surrey and Hertfordshire.


Arrest in linked-rape inquiry....3 December 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 06, 2002 - 05:03 PM

In connection with Operation Orb, an inquiry into a linked series of rapes of women and girls in the South East, a 48-year-old man from the Ashford area of Kent was arrested at 11.30pm, Monday, 2 December, near Junction 5 on the coastbound M20 motorway.

He has been taken to a police station in Kent where he will be interviewed.


Special support for Channel School....2 December 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 06, 2002 - 05:02 PM

The Channel School in Folkestone is a member of the Department for Education and Skills’ national pilot scheme called OCTET which aims to improve school performance.

Because of this, the school receives a number of visits from Her Majesty’s Inspectors and as a result of these visits they have identified weaknesses at the school which need to be addressed.

Four Inspectors spent two full days at the mixed community secondary school in October and looked at every aspect of school life including the quality of teaching and learning, standards of achievement, the management of the school and pupils’ behaviour which were all identified as areas needing improvement.

The Inspectors concluded that the school requires special measures, which will result in additional support to help the school address its difficult circumstances.

Kent County Council as the Local Education Authority is already working with Governors, the school and DfES to bring about improvements.

At the start of the autumn term, Alan Powell was seconded from his school in North Kent and he is successfully leading The Channel School in the right direction. After Christmas he will be returning to his Headship at Willmington Hall School in Dartford.

Colette Singleton will be taking over as permanent Headteacher at the school from January. Colette is currently an assistant director at the National College of School Leadership and was formerly a highly successful Headteacher in Nottingham. She and the school will continue to be supported by the LEA’s Special Support Team officers and advisors.

Acting Headteacher, Alan Powell, is confident the school is now moving in the right direction and has the potential to perform well.

He said: “We are very aware of the areas which need improvement and everyone is working hard to make sure the pupils at Channel receive a good quality education. We have already started a curriculum review which will have a significant impact on teaching and learning. In time, given the right support and guidance, I am sure The Channel School will have a reputation of which it can be proud.�

Dick Stewart, recently elected Chairman of the Governing Body, added: “We are pleased the Inspectors have confirmed our new School Improvements Plan and that KCC has recently appointed additional experienced Governors to help us in our determination to achieve it. We fully recognise our duty to do so and we are confident that our effort will be matched by the support of our whole school community.�

The Manager of KCC’s Special Support Team, John Woodroffe, said: “I would like to thank Alan Powell who has done a tremendous job over the past few months and I am extremely optimistic the school will go from strength to strength under the Headship of Colette Singleton. The Channel School is facing a big challenge but everyone involved is so committed that I am sure we will start to see significant improvements very soon.�

Soon to be Headteacher at the school, Colette Singleton, said: “I believe this school has a lot of potential and although the negatives have been identified there are already a lot of positives in place that we can build on. My thanks go to Alan Powell who has given me a solid starting point. My aim is to create a very positive learning environment with the emphasis on how staff can best help children achieve their full potential. Everybody involved deserves a taste of success.�


Canterbury Road closure...1 December 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 06, 2002 - 05:01 PM

Road works on Canterbury Road Hawkinge are due to begin on Monday (2 December).

The repairs to the road will mean some closures with diversions. Delays are expected especially during the morning and evening rush hours.

The work should be completed in three weeks .


New copper for Hawkinge 1 December 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 06, 2002 - 04:59 PM

PC Steve Ivory is the new Kent Rural Partnership police officer for Hawkinge and the surrounding rural areas.


PTA Advent Fair a huge success....30 November 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 06, 2002 - 04:57 PM

Saturday's Churchill School Advent Fair has raised over £1500 with a promise of more to come.

The PTA are also organising a Christmas Craft Day at the school and funding the pantomime. Head teacher Jennie Carter said "They really do deserve our thanks."

Raffle prize winners are as follows:

The Disneyland trip was won by Mrs Thomas, the car parking by Mr O’Farrell and the drinks hamper by S. Knevett. Mr Lettington won the champagne, A Jackson, a month’s use of a gym, Mrs Simpson won the whisky (and probably needed it!) Mrs Turner can look forward to a manicure and Mrs McDowell can work out at the gym-twice! (It wasn’t the booby prize, honest!) Timothy Bear is going to the Pinfold house and Father and Mother Christmas to Paris Bates.


Work on Folkestone Shopping complex "could start in the summer" ...28 November 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 28, 2002 - 02:22 PM

Plans for the Bouverie Place shopping complex in Folkestone town centre reached a major milestone this week when developers Bride Hall announced that it had exchanged contracts with previous site owners, Wereldhave.

Alistair Shaw,

Bride Hall’s Joint Managing Director, told councillors on Monday (November 25) that with the land now in the company’s ownership plans for the 150,000 square feet retail and leisure development could continue apace.

At a presentation to Shepway councillors, Mr Shaw reiterated the company’s wish to unlock the town centre’s potential and improve the overall experience for shoppers, residents and visitors.

“The development is not going to be without difficulties, but it is deliverable. We are delighted to be working in partnership towards Folkestone’s regeneration.�

Bride Hall’s proposals devote 114,000 square feet of the site to shops, 21,000 square feet for a health and fitness outlet, 7,690 for leisure use and 7,590 for restaurants, cafes and bars. There will also be parking for 200 cars.

Mr Shaw said there had been considerable interest from potential tenants.

“We believe the scheme’s mix of large units for modern retailing, the introduction of restaurant and cafes and investment in car parking will be key to making the scheme deliverable. We are now in the position we needed to be in to talk to tenants seriously about our proposal.�

Council Leader, Rory Love, said the news that contracts had been exchanged had underpinned the Council’s confidence in the scheme.

“At last the Bouverie Place shopping centre is in the hands of a genuine town centre developer rather than an investment company. Bride Hall are enthusiastic and their plans are realistic. That in itself would be progress, but with the exchange of contracts, Folkestone’s long-awaited shopping centre is now on the move.�

Andy Jarrett, the Council’s Head of Economic Development Services, said a planning application was expected early in the New Year. Work could start in the summer, he added.


"Is it a disease?"...28 November 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 28, 2002 - 07:51 AM

Vandals have struck again but now they have a fresh target in the new community centre.

Windows were smashed and the village hall also suffered damage from broken windows.

When passing the Hall a villager was heard to ask: "Is this a disease or is it that the village has no identity?"

Further vandalism was reported to the Gazette after graffiti was spotted on the newly painted Spitfire Leisuredrome


Beware of bogus collectors for fire-fighters strike fund...26 November 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 26, 2002 - 04:02 PM

South East Kent police are warning householders to beware of door-to-door callers claiming to be collecting money for striking fire-fighters.

Two men called at homes in the Broadmead estate in Folkestone last night asking for money - but they were lying as firefighters have not and will not call in this way for support.

If anyone calls to collect on behalf of the firefighters, people should refuse and report it to the police as soon as possible.

Police are also warning that certain companies might also try and take advantage of the fire strike by using aggressive door-to-door methods to sell items such as smoke alarms.

Whilst there is nothing unlawful about this activity, it can be intimidating for the elderly and vulnerable members of the community.

Our advice is, don't feel pressured into buying anything on your doorstep. Having a smoke alarm fitted is a good idea but they can be purchased from any reputable hardware store.