News is good for railway operator....16 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 09:50 AM

European paper maker Stora Enso is resuming its Channel Tunnel train service with EWS supplying newsprint to Britain.

The transport route for the paper used to produce the majority of British newspapers has been diverted from the Tunnel to sea routes since November due to the lack of security at the Calais-Fréthun freight yard in France.

Stora Enso last week, sent newsprint from their European Distribution Centre at Zeebrugge through to London and are now running six trains a week.

Each train takes the equivalent of 45 lorries off Kent roads.

In a full year EWS will transport 300,000 tonnes of paper through the Channel Tunnel equivalent to nearly 13,500 lorries.

Mike Hutchinson, Managing Director of Stora Enso Transport and Distribution Ltd, said: “Stora Enso sees Channel Tunnel rail freight services as an integral part of its European distribution system and is pleased to be able once again to forward trains via this key international route. The significant steps taken by the French authorities to improve security at the rail freight yard at Fréthun has provided the confidence Stora Enso required in order to re-start our Channel Tunnel services.�

Philip Mengel, EWS Chief Executive, said “EWS is extremely pleased to welcome Stora Enso back to regular Channel Tunnel rail freight operations. This commitment by a key European manufacturer demonstrates restored confidence in the reliability and security of rail freight services through the Channel Tunnel.�


Council say no to Kebab shop....14 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 09:49 AM

Parish councillors have rejected a planning application for a Takeaway Kebab Shop at former offices in Aerodrome Road.

The final decision now rests with Shepway Council.


Churchill Nursery gets the go ahead....14 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 09:48 AM

The building of Day Nursery at the Churchill School has been approved by Shepway District Council.

Writing in this weeks Churchill School Newsletter, Headteacher Jennie Carter said: "I am pleased to tell you that the nursery on our site has been given the go-ahead by SDC and I expect it to open at the end of January 2003.

"This is really exciting as we aim to work with Kid Ease who aim to appoint a teacher so that pre-school children get to know The Churchill from the beginning if they are enrolled to come into our YR classes.

"The plans look stunning with innovative ideas like the “activity� corridor that can change from shops to roadworks overnight".


Peter defends his position....14 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 09:48 AM

Hawkinge district Councillor, Peter Smith, has defended his decision not to support plans for a new village centre which came up before Shepway Council's planning committee on Tuesday.

The plans which include a convenience store, pub, day nursery, health centre and hotel were eventually passed, but a motion put forward by Cllr Colin Tearle for a footbridge or tunnel was lost by one vote.

In his account of the meeting which was published in a local newspaper Cllr Tearle said the motion was lost because Cllr Smith refused to support it.

Cllr Smith chose to abstain from the vote claiming that there were elements in it which were contrary to policy.

He said: "However much you like a plan you are governed by policies and can't always give them your support."

And he has criticised Cllr Tearle for using his position as village correspondent for the Kentish Express to comment on Development Control meetings.

He said: "The report is one sided and not all the facts have been brought into consideration.

"This is a non political committee and we have to take account of the relevant policies in the Shepway District Plan, the Plan on deposit, Kent Structure Plan and the Town and Country Planning Act

"One part has been extracted which doesn't show the full debate."

He added that he planned to write to the editor of the newspaper expressing his concern about the appointment of a district councillor as the village correspondent for Hawkinge.

"The possibility of any district councillor writing a column in a local newspaper on a non-political committee is questionable in my view," he said.


Rising street crime blamed after mugging...13 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 09:47 AM

THE wife of Folkestone and Hythe MP Michael Howard, has blamed escalating street crime in London after being mugged outside the Howards £3m home in Pimlico on Monday.

In the attack at around 11.00pm, former model Sandra Howard was attacked by two men who threw her into the gutter and took her engagement ring an eternity ring and her handbag.

Mr Howard who was inside the house at the time was unaware of the attack outside.

The men ran off, leaving Mrs Howard to stagger to the house, where her husband called the police.

Police are hunting two men who are believed to have carried out another mugging on a 75-year-old woman an hour later.


Gazette praise....13 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 09:46 AM

Just a brief word of congratulations on the "new" Gazette.

The quality & content have shot up since you started this new format. Very well done it is greatly appreciated, by me at least!

Lou Bolechala

PS slightly surprised not to see a mention about the local MP's wife, BUT understand perhaps why, as there is much more really local news.

Congratulations & many thanks

Community Centre faces new crisis....12 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 09:43 AM

The new community centre project could be heading for a financial crisis unless it can secure registered charity status as a matter of urgency.

Trevor Johns, who heads the parish council’s Project Management Group, told members of the parish council that Customs and Excise have refused to refund the estimated £400,000 in VAT that the project will entail because the centre is neither a registered charity nor a business.

The new community centre cannot apply for charitable status because the existing village hall is already a registered charity, which precludes any other similar project in the village from obtaining it for itself.

Cllr Johns said that he had tried to persuade the existing village hall committee to take the new project “under its wing�, but that it had so far refused despite his repeated requests for a proper meeting to discuss the issue.

Unless something was done, and soon, the financial consequences could be severe he warned.

“I am confident that the building will be ready by December but whether we are ready to use it or not is a matter of debate,� he added.

Later he said that he had spent the last two years trying to persuade people to get on top of the situation but that no-one had seemed to want to “grasp the nettle� and now time was running out.

Parishioners present at the meeting of the parish council on Wednesday expressed their increasing exasperation at the endless problems and delays since the project’s inception.

“It just seems to be one thing after another, like everything in this village,� said one member of the audience.


Frustration forces council resignation....12 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 07:18 AM

Hawkinge parish councillor, Bill Regan, has resigned his position after losing his temper and storming out of a parish council meeting.

In his letter of resignation, which chairman John Heasman read out at the parish council meeting on Wednesday, Cllr Regan apologised unreservedly for his bad behaviour which he described as “rude and out of character.�

His outburst was prompted by an increasing sense of frustration at the way in which the parish council operated and in particular the time councillors spent discussing “petty issues�, he wrote.

He added: “I do not question the integrity of the people concerned, only their approach.�

Referring back to the meeting at which the repainting of the Spitfire Leisuredrome had been the subject of fierce debate he continued: “Twice this evening my professional advice and integrity were called into question…and I felt that no notice was taken of the clerk’s warnings about insurance.�

He concluded that he felt he had no alternative but to resign from the council.

Cllr Heasman said that he regretted Cllr Regan’s decision to quit but that he had his reasons and they must be respected.

He then announced that there was now a casual vacancy on the parish council and asked the clerk to inform Shepway Council of the situation so the position could be formally advertised.

He added that he was sorry Cllr Regan had chosen to resign so close to the elections in May as it meant that whoever was appointed in his place would probably only serve a couple of months.


Local contacts - please let us know of any changes

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 07:16 AM

Please let us know if our information needs to be updated.....

Hawkinge writer shortlisted...12 August 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 07:15 AM

Hawkinge writer Debbie Carbin was shortlisted in the 2002 Marsh Ink Short Story Competition.

The competition received over 150 entries from around the world.

Winner in this, the 4th year of the competition was Sue Johnson from Southhampton, with third place going to Greatstone writer Barbara McLaren