Whose Road Is It Anyway?....7 December 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 07, 2002 - 01:07 PM

As the mother of a young child I am horrified at the amount of heavy traffic which has been thundering up Spitfire Way and round the residential streets of the Brittania Park estate as a result of the diversion operating at the bottom of White Horse Hill.

I believe that Shepway Council has still not officially adopted Spitfire Way and Haven Drive and any number of other local roads and that they remain the responsibility of the developers.

That is why there are no school warning signs, proper traffic calming measures or a school crossing patrol outside The Churchill School because Shepway does not have to provide these things if it does not own the road.

So I would like to know who gave the Highways Authority permission to divert main road traffic along Spitfire Way and through residential areas while White Horse Hill is closed. Did they even ASK for permission? And how much did it cost them I wonder, or did the developers agree to waive their fee in the hope of obtaining planning permission for a few extra houses at a later date?

There is a sign at the bottom of Spitfire Way which quite clearly says: "No through traffic." Perhaps that should be amended to read: "Unless you can make it worth our while!"

Mary Hill


Lucky 13 rescued from sealed container....7 December 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 07, 2002 - 10:10 AM

A group of asylum-seekers have today been rescued from a sealed container at the Dollands Moor freight yard near to the Channel Tunnel.

Tunnel workers alerted British Transport Police when they heard noises coming from the container full of carpet .

Firefighters were called in to help pull the 13 asylum seekers from the container amid fears they may be suffocating.

All overhead power lines were switched off to enable the rescue operation to continue.

Kent Fire Brigade were quick to react realising the danger following a similar incident in Dover two years ago when a group of Chinese immigrants died.


Serial rape suspect remanded in custody...7 December 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 07, 2002 - 09:56 AM

The man charged in connection with a number of rapes across the South East of England has been remanded in custody.

Rail worker Antoni Imiela is charged with nine counts of rape.

The 48-year-old, from Appledore was remanded in custody until December 16 by Canterbury magistrates.

He spoke only to give his name and address during the 15 minute hearing and

answered "Yes" when asked if he understood each count of rape put to him.


Police charge man with nine rapes....7 December 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 06, 2002 - 07:44 PM

Police have charged the man they were holding since Monday with nine rapes.

Det Supt Mark Warwick, acting head of Operation Orb, told reporters "Officers investigating the series of linked rapes in the South East have this evening charged a 48-year-old man with nine offences.

"He is Antoni Adam Imiela, a railway sub-contractor, from Heath Side, Appledore, in Kent.

"The charges relate to:

the rape of a 10-year-old girl in Ashford, Kent, on 15 November last year.

the rape of a 12-year-old girl in Bracknell, Berkshire, on 1 July this year.

the rape of a 30-year-old woman in Earlswood, Surrey, on 11 July.

the rape of a 26-year-old woman on Putney Common, also on 11 July.

the rape of an 18-year-old woman in Woking, Surrey, on 16 July.

the rape of a 52-year-old woman on Wimbledon Common, London, on 6 August.

the rape of a 26-year-old woman in Epsom, Surrey, on 7 August.

the rape of a 13-year-old girl near Woking, Surrey, on 6 September.

the rape of a 14-year-old girl in Stevenage, Hertfordshire on 25 October.

"Antoni Imiela is currently detained at Folkestone police station where he was taken after his arrest on Monday night. He was charged by Kent Police officers at 7.49pm and is due to appear at Canterbury Magistrates' Court at 9.30am tomorrow.

"This is a complex investigation which has involved five police forces working in close co-operation as a single team. The investigation and close co-operation continue."

Mr Warwick said to the assembled press: "I would ask you to please exercise restraint to ensure that proper integrity of proceedings is maintained until all the details of this case are put before a court. I refer particularly to evidence of identification which has yet to be resolved."


Monthly gardening tips - December

Contributed by localrags on Dec 06, 2002 - 05:14 PM


When the weather is open continue to dig vacant beds and borders. It is desirable to get as much digging completed before the New Year as possible so that there is plenty of time for the soil to be weathered by the wind, rain and frost.

Garden furniture should be thoroughly cleaned and put away. Some quality hardwood furniture benefits from an annual oiling with linseed oil.

Check all wooden structures such as fences, pergolas and trellis and make any necessary repairs. Where appropriate apply a preservative.


Ensure that the lawn is kept free of wind blown fallen leaves.

Prepare the site of a new lawn now for spring sowing or turfing. It is important that the soil is allowed to settle properly before a new lawn is established.


In prolonged frosty weather keep a small area ice-free with an electric pool heater. This allows the escape of gases resulting from decomposition o­n the floor of the pool, which if trapped may asphyxiate the fish


Protect Christmas roses that are coming into flower from rain splashes by placing an open-ended cloche over them

Winter flowering shrubs like Jasminum nudiflorum and Viburnum bodnantense can be lightly pruned and some of the blossoming growth taken indoors for floral decoration

After a sharp frost check all recently planted shrubs, perennials and spring bedding plants for frost heave. This is the lifting of the soil around the plants. When this happens await the thaw and firm the plants back


As winter vegetables are cleared from the plot, dig over any vacant areas incorporating well rotted manure where appropriate. Do not use manure in places designated for root crops

Traditionally shallot bulbs are planted o­n the shortest day of the year, but o­nly do this if the soil is in good condition and the weather is kind

Jerusalem artichoke tubers should be harvested. Select medium-sized tubers for replanting immediately


Winter wash all apple, pear, plum and cherry trees. o­nly do so o­n a frost free day and protect any grass beneath with a polythene sheet


Bring spring flowering bulbs that are to be forced out into the light and warmth

Force chicory, seakale and rhubarb in the dark under the greenhouse benching

KCC will raise Council Tax despite big Grant rise....6 December 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 06, 2002 - 05:09 PM

The Government have announced the long awaited statement on Local Government Grant Redistribution and has awarded Kent a 3.9% increase overall, double the rate of inflation.

But KCC feel they have not done as well as some authorities in the North who have been given rises of 8%.

David Lewis, Kent County Council’s Finance Director said: “This is the biggest shift of funding in my career in Local Government; unfortunately for Kent and the South East it moves significant sums of money away from us and will have a real effect on our ability to deliver services and on the Council Tax.�

County Council Leader, Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, said: “As a result of the Government decision to move funds away from the South East, we now face difficult budget decisions. The County Council already has the lowest wage bill as a percentage of its budget of any county council. While we will continue to focus further on our administration and overhead costs, it is now inevitable that our budget will include both cuts to services and a significant increase in Council Tax.�


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.�