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Music equipment seized from karaoke couple

Contributed by editor on Feb 06, 2009 - 08:00 AM

Music equipment has been seized by Shepway council's environmental
health team after a couple sung along to karaoke at the top of their
voices and played music so loudly it made walls vibrate.

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The equipment, including speakers, will be
confiscated for 28 days by the council, and returned only if the couple
agree to pay council costs.

The council secured a warrant from Folkestone magistrates to seize the
equipment from the flat at East Cliff Gardens, Folkestone, after the
couple ignored a Noise Abatement Notice.

The notice was served after numerous complaints about
the couple's music and after an Environmental Health Officer heard the
problem for himself and assessed it to be causing a statutory nuisance.

Despite the notice, the problem continued and the council was called out
on 10 occasions - once as late as 1.45am.

An Emergency Response Officer said that when he was in a neighbouring
flat ‘it was like standing in a night club.' On another occasion the bass
beat was so loud it made walls and a fireplace vibrate and another time
extremely loud music could be heard 50 metres away.

Cllr William Richardson, Cabinet Member for Technical and Environmental
Health, said: "Everyone has the right to play music in their own home but they also
have a responsibility to make sure this is played at a reasonable level
and at a reasonable time so that it does not cause a misery to

"The couple were warned twice that we would confiscate equipment if the
problem continued and they chose to ignore those warnings. Ultimately,
if they carry on causing a nuisance we have the power to seize the
equipment and destroy it."


On your marks for 2012 Olympic opportunity

Contributed by editor on Feb 06, 2009 - 07:00 AM

Local businesses are being invited to get on their marks and get set
to make the most of the opportunities presented by the 2012 Olympic

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A workshop at Shepway District Council on 18 February will focus on
writing bids and tendering for Olympic work.

There are an estimated 55,000 supply chain contracts to be awarded for
the 2012 games - and not only within the construction sector.

The workshop is being run by Business Link Kent.

For more information call 01732 878555 or visit:


Channel swimmer pulls out of Mayoral race

Contributed by editor on Feb 06, 2009 - 07:00 AM

A perennial mayoral candidate known for his tireless door-to-door campaigns is putting away his walking shoes and changing into his swimming trunks.

Peter Jurzynski will not be campaigning on the doorsteps of his Naugatuck hometown in the US this year.

The 57-year-old Democrat who many believe has cost the Democrats the past three elections announced on Monday (2 February) he will take a rest this year but has vowed to be back on the political scene one day.

"In the future, it is a possibility that I will run for something, maybe for mayor," he said. "I'm still interested in the mayor's seat, and I have plenty of good years ahead of me."

Jurzynski, who had heart surgery last year, said he wants to focus on his other passion.

Peter, who spends much of the summer in Hawkinge and Folkestone is the American record holder for most successful swims across the English Channel with 14.

He said he hopes to complete the gruelling swim to prove once again to inspire people with heart complications or other health problems.


Pensioner thrown out of wheelchair in horrific robbery ordeal

Contributed by editor on Feb 05, 2009 - 05:00 AM

An 85-year-old lady had a cushion cover put over her head, her hands
tied behind her back and was thrown out of her wheelchair during a
horrifying attack in her Dover home on Friday (23 January).

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The assault happened on her doorstep after she opened her door to a
thief who told her he was looking for one of her pals before tricking
her and searching through her possessions reports the Sun.

Police said the pensioner was sitting in her wheelchair watching TV when
there was a knock at her door.

After conning his way into her house the thief waited until she had
turned away from him and then put a cushion cover over her face.

The thug then tied the helpless OAP’s hand behind her back and pushed
her out of her wheelchair as she cried for help and begged him to stop.

When she eventually managed to struggle free she found that her
television, jewellery and purse had been stolen by the thief.

Detective Constable Dan Cutter said details of the raid were only
released today in a bid to track down the thief.

He said: “Luckily the lady was not hurt but it was a frightening ordeal
for her.

“Incidents of this nature are unusual and we are very keen to make sure
we catch the offender and bring him to justice.”

A 42-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the attack and
released on bail.


Quality of care for dementia sufferers boosted by Government strategy

Contributed by editor on Feb 05, 2009 - 12:30 AM

The Prosser Perspective.... a weekly column from Dover and Deal MP Gwyn

5 February 2009

There was a time when conditions like dementia were relatively
rare but this is not the case today.

People are living much longer today, which is good news but it also
means that more people will go on to develop aging diseases such as

The figures are quite staggering, they show that over the next 10
years one million of us are likely to develop the condition and
without urgent action now we could be facing a dementia crisis that
could stretch our National Health Service and overwhelm our social
care services.

Here in East Kent, we have a much higher proportion of elderly folk
than elsewhere and consequently our incidents of dementia are also
higher. That’s one of the reasons why I’m a member of the
Parliamentary Alzheimer’s Group and why I’ve welcomed this week’s
announcement from Secretary of State, Alan Johnson that Government
is rolling out the first ever National Dementia Strategy.

The Strategy, backed by £150 million during this spending period,
will increase awareness of dementia, ensure early diagnosis and
intervention and radically improve the quality of care that people
with the condition receive.

The strategy recognises that the number of people with dementia will
double over the next thirty years, and the cost of care and
treatment is likely to triple. Currently the direct costs of
dementia to the NHS are in the region of £3.3 billion per year.

Care for people with dementia will be transformed through a whole
series of innovations including the appointment of dementia
advisors; better training for GPs and the provision of a national
network of memory clinics staffed by specialists to provide early
diagnosis and treatment.

Dementia is one of the most important health issues that we face as
our population ages and the increased incidences and the projected
escalation of the condition are reflected in all parts of the
developed world.

The UK’s National Dementia Strategy, is a fully financed investment
and it sets out the importance of information, high quality services
and early diagnosis. This is a major landmark in improving services
for people with dementia and it also provides better support for
their carers and families.

A network of specialist services, such as memory clinics, will be
established across the country. Their focus will be on early
diagnosis and intervention for people with dementia and a senior
member of staff will be identified in every general hospital and
care home who will be charged with providing leadership to improve
the quality of care for people for dementia.

In an ageing society, caring for people with dementia is one of the
most important challenges we face and I know that for many people
diagnosis can be difficult, care can be patchy and without adequate
support, families can be under huge stress. The Strategy will change
all that.

The Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Society has also welcomed the
Strategy saying: “This announcement sets out an ambitious national
rescue plan to transform the lives of people living with dementia”
and he’s absolutely right.

Local kids' film premieres at Film Festival - (Photo)

Contributed by editor on Feb 05, 2009 - 12:00 AM

By Karol Steele

Local youngsters, Ben Steele
and Saskia Wadsworth-Smith completed filming on the short film
'Playground' this week - including the tense final scene which ends
with the brutal murder of one of the policemen.

Shooting the final scene

The film, shot in Faversham, is the work of the Christchurch
University Student Film Unit, and will be shown at festivals across
the county, including, it is hoped, the Dover Film Festival on 17
and 18 February.

And there was a surprise for Ben's parents, Karol and Andy Steele,
who were on set watching the filming, when they were drafted in as
extras for the final scene - unfortunately (or maybe fortunately)
they were wearing animal masks, so will not be seen in the final

Ben and Saskia, along with the other members of the Marlowe Youth
Theatre who took part in the filming, Mollie King (from Herne Bay),
Natalie Read (from Aylesham) and Alice Thompson (from Adisham), have
been invited to attend the Christchurch College Film Festival on 26
February to view the finished result.

The five youngsters have also been promised DVDs of the film as well
as copies of the scripts to keep as souvenirs of their time on the


There really is such a thing as a free lunch

Contributed by editor on Feb 05, 2009 - 12:00 AM

Howard's Way.... a weekly
column from the Rt. Hon. Michael Howard QC. MP. 

5 February 2009


Last Friday began with one of my regular meetings
with the Chief Superintendent of Police who is responsible for our area.
On this occasion it was my first meeting in this capacity with the new
Chief Superintendent, Chris Hogben.

I raised a number of concerns and was much reassured by Mr Hogben’s
no-nonsense approach. I hope his appointment will mark a new phase in
the maintenance of law and order in our area.

My next stop was at Mundella School where I was meeting Headteacher Lynn
Seal to discuss the possibility of changing the name of the school to
Walter Tull School.

Walter Tull, who attended the school as a boy, was
both the first black officer in the British Army and the first black
outfield professional footballer in England, playing for Tottenham
Hotspur and Northampton Town. He was about to be transferred to Glasgow
Rangers when the First World War broke out and Walter joined up and was
subsequently killed in action.

Any change would, of course, have to have the support of the local
community, including the large number of people who attended Mundella
and still live locally. The school intends to carry out an extensive
consultation exercise to test local opinion.

I then went to Pent Valley Technology College to open the new Young
People’s Clinic.

The clinic will be headed by an outreach nurse, specialising in sexual
health, and will be open to all young people in Cheriton. A trained
mentor will also be available to discuss concerns of domestic abuse.
This will be a signposting service to students, parents and the
community who have any worries about violence in the home.

Another recent development, hailed by Headteacher, Mario Citro, is that
Pent Valley has been awarded Healthy School Status. To promote its
commitment to this, free lunches will be provided to all Year 7 students
joining the school in September 2009.

Much is happening in Shepway’s schools. I shall try to keep you posted.

Looking forward to a fun packed summer in the community

Contributed by editor on Feb 04, 2009 - 12:00 AM

As February makes a snowy start, it’s time to look forward to a
summer packed with events.

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That’s the message as Dover District Council looks forward to a range of
events for all the family.

To continue the campaign to bring the Olympic Torch through Dover in
2012, Dover District Council along with partners plan to organise
further events this summer.

There is also an action packed weekend of celebration taking to the air
on 25/26 July to mark the centenary of Louis Bleriot’s epic flight
across the English Channel. A historic re-creation by Mikael Carlson in
a Bleriot Xl monoplane, along with air displays by the Red Arrows are
all planned. For full information, please see

Many other free events are also being planned across our communities by
a range of organisers, and there are already indications that there will
be at least one event every weekend across the district over the summer

From Time Travelling at Dover Castle on the first May Bank Holiday,
through to the outdoor cinema event returning to Connaught Park at the
end of August, with Deal’s annual Maritime Folk Festival at the end of
September, there’s something for everybody in the year ahead.

Extensive information about what’s on in the district can be found at
the DDC website or by popping into your local Visitor Information
Centre, where you can view the monthly events listing on display. Event
organisers can plan and promote events through DDC’s website.

Information about venues, parks and other open spaces owned by the
Council can be found at
or contact 01304 872406.

Cllr Nigel Collor, DDC Cabinet Member for Access and Property Management
said: “We are looking forward to an exciting year ahead, with something
for all the family. We are pleased to work with event organisers, and
welcome information on events, to help promote them to as wide an
audience as possible.

"It’s always a shame when people say they didn’t know events were on and
missed out. There will be many opportunities for residents and visitors
to enjoy themselves in Dover District, and we are working to let people
enjoy an event, and then know when and where the next one will be.”

For more information, please log onto the DDC website at

and click on ‘all community events’ or call the Dover VIC on (01304)