Get used to it warns councillor

Contributed by editor on Nov 28, 2006 - 07:20 PM


Shepway Liberal Democrat Leader Cllr. Lynne Beaumont is warning Shepway residents, they may soon have to get used to the noise of Boeing 737s flying over Folkestone. 

The Boeing 737 could become a familiar
sight in the skies over Shepway

Plans to expand the runway at Lydd Airport aim to allow these large planes to operate out of Lydd. 

The flight path would take the aircraft inland at Capel-Le-Ferne, and follow the A259 over Folkestone, Hythe and then to Romney Marsh before landing at Lydd.

Cllr. Beaumont is playing an active role in the campaign to stop the extension to the runway. She feels that the Airport's stated target of 2 million passengers a year would bring chaos to local roads, and destroy the unique environment of the Marsh.

"It's easy to dismiss this as a Romney Marsh issue, but these planes will be flying over our homes here in Folkestone too!" she said.

The Boeing 737 is the world's most popular medium-range, narrow body commercial passenger jet aircraft, selling upwards of 5,000 aircraft. It has been continuously manufactured by Boeing since 1967. The later versions are considerably quieter than the early 100 and 200 series.

Light at the end of Eurotunnel

Contributed by editor on Nov 28, 2006 - 11:27 AM


Eurotunnel was saved from bankruptcy after it  was offered a glimmer of hope on Monday (27 November), when most of its creditors agreed on the outline of a restructuring plan to reduce the company's £6billion debt. Left out in the cold, however, were its most junior bondholders, who may cause trouble down the road.

Bondholders who have been propping up about 72% of the company's arrears voted in favour of the board's restructuring plan which could cut the Channel Tunnel operator's debt in half and help it avoid insolvency. The plan was approved by 28 creditors out of 53. 

The proposal, set out by Eurotunnel Chairman Jacques Gounon, would create a new company, Groupe Eurotunnel, and a long-term loan from a group of banks including Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank  and Citigroup.

The company's creditors will now look at two more plans built on Gounon's proposal, submitted by Citigroup and Deustche Bank, and will vote on the final restructuring in mid-December.

Eurotunnel has been under bankruptcy protection by a French court since August, though the Channel Tunnel rail service between Britain and France continues to run.

Puffin Crossing v underpass

Contributed by editor on Nov 27, 2006 - 09:58 PM


Dear Ed,

Re: Councillors voted against underpass

It is debatable which is the best option when you choose between a Puffin Crossing or underpass.

Things against an underpass are the amount of antisocial behaviour that can take place in one. e.g.  graffiti, used as pubic urinal, cycle race track, drug taking, muggings.

I am not sure where the balance lies but it is certainly not a one sided argument.

Cllr Cyril Trice

Winning is becoming a habit

Contributed by editor on Nov 27, 2006 - 12:23 AM


Hawkinge Youth FC under 10 

Thannington 0 - Hawkinge 5

Report by Mark Button

Another day and another victory for Hawkinge under 10's. 

Playing away this season has brought mixed results for our u10's team with two losses and a win before today. Hawkinge fielded an almost full team line up against Thannington FC with the exception being Sai Thota who could not make the match. The starting line up for the first half was Jade, Ryan Holmes, Adam, Connor, Liam, Jack and lone striker Mitchell. 

Hawkinge got off  to a flying start with a goal almost from the kick off by Mitchell, on a heavy and slow pitch which did not suit our fast paced style. Five minutes later and Mitchell scored again to put us 2-0 up. Just before the break, Mitchell worked a fine attacking move with Jade, Connor and Liam to score his third goal of the half and stamp our domination on the match.

The second half started the way of the first, with a fourth goal by Mitchell, this time set up by the now completely changed attack of Ryan Smith, Richard and Ben, with Daisy and Thomas in defence. A fifth goal was to follow mid way through the second period, again scored by the prolific Mitchell, sealing his man of the match award.

With the game now firmly won, Hawkinge relaxed and goals were missed by Ben, Ryan and Richard, who could not believe two efforts went wide of the target. With Thannington returning to our home ground next week, all players are looking forward to a rematch with baited breath.

To visit the Hawkinge Football Club website click here

Councillors voted against underpass

Contributed by editor on Nov 27, 2006 - 12:13 AM


Dear Ed,
I was recently perusing your Chatterbox section, o­nly to come across two references to the crossing that is currently being constructed o­n Spitfire Way.
It was my misfortune to have witnessed the debate at Shepway about four years ago when these current plans now being implemented were proposed. So I must correct Guest no.628 and point out that the issues raised are nothing to do with Wimpy but with those Councillors who approved these proposals.
Before the committee that night were two proposals;

1. A Pelican Crossing at its present site.

2. An Underpass, which was to be constructed under the new section adjacent to Churchill School when the work to the rest of the by-pass was started, ie now.
By a majority of o­ne the current proposals were passed, with all the concerns expressed by Edvard and Guest 628 being aired.
So lets give credit where its due, and thank Cllrs. Susan Carey and Peter Smith, because with their two votes that night we would have had a safe underpass, instead they voted for the current scheme.
Jane Wildish

Folkestone Academy 'topped out'

Contributed by editor on Nov 25, 2006 - 12:49 AM


An artist's impression of the new academy

The new Folkestone Academy which will replace the Channel School in 2007 was 'topped out' on Thursday (23 November).

The new school, in which former Saga Group boss Roger de Haan invested £2m, will specialise in the Creative Arts and European Languages and Culture, providing a range of curriculum, teaching and learning facilities for a total of 1480 pupils aged 11-18. 

Due to open in September 2007, the Academy plays an important role in the regeneration of Folkestone by offering a range of learning and community services to people of all ages.

The school's educational vision is based on a pastoral system – or House system - that offers personal support and encouragement within smaller mixed-age groups. 

The striking design provides eight House spaces, each contained within a 14m diameter circular enclosure. Two groups of four Houses are arranged between linear teaching areas, interspersed by two triple height communal courtyards, with a café and an ICT study area to the rear.

The entire building sits beneath a dramatic steel roof comprising a patchwork of solid triangular inserts slotted into a diagonal lattice, punctured with circular teflon-coated glass fibre light wells that allow natural light to filter down into the interior. The roof extends over the public entrance to the building at the North Eastern corner, creating a striking angular canopy.

Ban lifted as pressure mounts on trustees

Contributed by editor on Nov 24, 2006 - 09:25 PM


Trustees at the Hawkinge Community Centre have backed down over their decision to ban all under 18's from the centre.

We understand that following a meeting this afternoon (24 November) at the centre which included village warden Tanya Clark and Community Centre Chairman John Heasman, it has been agreed to lift the ban immediately.

The centre's bosses have however, now stopped all villagers from entering the centre after 6.30pm unless they are attending an activity at the venue.

Who runs Shepway Council, the elected or the un-elected

Contributed by editor on Nov 24, 2006 - 09:11 PM


Dear Ed,

Re: Spitfire Leisuredrome application for outline planning permission

At all councils there is a fundamental guiding principle that the deliberations of the ‘quaisi-judicial’ process e.g. (planning /licensing) must be kept at all times free from all outside influences and pressures. Indeed great lengths are gone to, to ensure this.

I must make it clear at this point that what I am discussing below are not the merits or otherwise of this particular application, but the principles at stake to all and every ones planning applications.

In my view, with the second hearing of this particular planning application of  Hawkinge Parish Council by the Development Control Committee this week, put there as the agenda states, `on the instructions of the Chief Executive`, after it was approved six weeks earlier, has set a dangerous precedent. What is more, the decision to ‘refuse’ this time is contrary to Shepway’s *Local Plan policy and also means there are now two decisions, the first never having been revoked.

Coupled with the involvement in this process by Shepway’s Chief Executive is also strong evidence of political interference. This is dangerous , because what it means in practice, is that anyone who has had planning approved by this committee can have their application re-heard if someone does not like it. No-one in future will know where they are.

I personally have yet to identify where in Shepway’s ever changing constitution the power exists to do this, because it must always be remembered in local government law, that if it is not written down then the power does not exist.

In my opinion their are huge grounds, firstly for an appeal by Hawkinge Parish Council to the Planning Inspectorate, and secondly to the Local Government Ombudsman for mal-administration which of course once again will end up costing us, the Shepway ratepayers, money.

It appears that once again as with four years ago, we have the issue of who runs the council, the elected, or un-elected.

Cllr Colin Tearle

*Designated for housing in the new Local Plan not recreation/leisure.

Has the council listened to the community?

Contributed by editor on Nov 24, 2006 - 08:21 PM


Dear Ed

Re: Community Centre could close after Leisuredrome vote goes against council

As someone who only came to the area this year, I find it strange that the centre was built with such large halls. It would have been better if they could be split up into smaller venues for the small groups to use. It would then have been more viable to all.

Has this council listened to the community? 

What do they say?

We only hear about the cost all the time. Surely they knew about this when it was built. It should be used for all the people. 

Do councillors realise they are voted in to do the will of the all people and not just a few?

A community centre, a village hall, the leisuredrome hall. How well off are you for events use?

There is room for them all. Clubs are all funded by members so will go to the ones they can afford to use.

So come on Councillors show some sense and start talking to the people.


J Lawrie

Failing Community Centre is no reason to sell Leisuredrome

Contributed by editor on Nov 24, 2006 - 04:48 PM


Dear Editor 

As a Parish Council member I would like to try to explain some of what is behind the Leisuredrome issue and assure your readers that some of what has been published here may be a bit wide of the mark.

The real reason for selling the Leisuredrome is purely to raise money to be able to 'bail out' the Community Centre with the balance going to football and other 'sports' which don't yet exist in Hawkinge. It's indoor sports facilities that young people claim they want 

The Community Centre is in dire financial straits and probably always will be. There is well researched evidence showing that such places throughout the country are used by only about ten percent of local residents and have to be subsidised by all local tax payers. Most uses are of a nature whereby economic fees cannot be charged. If they were even less people would use them, hence the need for subsidy.

Within the Council we have members who have done and still do a great deal of work for the village. In particular Cllr. Cyril Trice whose vision for local football is commendable. 

Much useful work has been done by others over many years to try to provide alternative facilities for young people hereabouts. The activities I conducted at the Leisuredrome for many years provided income which kept all of the premises running, not just the sports hall. The Hawkinge Sports and Community group have equally worked hard to good purpose. The problem is the current council ignore the Group's attempts to enter the debate.

The District Council had to have two stabs at whether the building should be pulled down and the site used for housing. On the second occasion they had facts which were denied them the first time which subsequently changed their opinion. It is the declared purpose of the District Council to support such facilities.

There is now a mind set of some Hawkinge Councillors whereby it seems to be a case of winning the argument at any cost. Demolition by any means. Were it possible to re-open the debate it is probable that closed minds could be opened to logic whereby common sense may prevail. This would need a complete re-start allowing for all interested parties to take part in consultation. A form of local referendum perhaps. But, with the present council I doubt that will happen. 

The descriptions of the building given here are grossly exaggerated. The building is old. I recall using it as a gymnasium back in the sixties. It looked tired and old then due to blast from nearby bomb explosions. (It was built to be bombproof) It is only intended to be used for local youth for a relatively short time when alternative arrangement may be possible. If its not used and some doubt it will, then it could be sent for planning approval again. The asset remains with the Council. 

It is my contention that alternative means of paying the losses of the Community Centre should be sought so as to give those other than its users a choice of using their recreational time as they would choose to do. 

Peter Hogben