Produce show at the Village Hall

Contributed by editor on Sep 19, 2006 - 09:05 AM


Dear Ed,

Can I please use the Hawkinge Gazette to remind all members of the Hawkinge and District Gardeners Society that the Autumn Show will be held this Sunday 24 September at the Village Hall?

On show will be vegetables, fruit, pot plants, home produce and floral arrangements.

The show starts at 2.30pm and members of the public are more than welcome. Admission is free, there will be a tombola, raffle and refreshments.

Members of the public are also welcome to join us for our club meetings these are held o­n the first Wednesday of the month 7.30pm,

At these meetings we have speakers, demonstrations and garden visits.

Jackie Burvill

Editor's note:- The Hawkinge Gazette is happy to publish all local community events free of charge. Just email yours to

Ashford knocked off track by Eurostar cut-backs

Contributed by editor on Sep 19, 2006 - 07:30 AM


A reduction in the number of London-to-Paris and London-to-Brussels trains that stop in Ashford has caused community leaders in the growth area to rethink expansion.

The Kent town was anticipating a continued boom thanks to the 22 daily stops at the Ashford station by Eurostar trains, the Times said on Saturday (16 September). But the company announced this week that the number of daily stops would be reduced to four and they would end all direct lines to Brussels.

Ashford had expected to double in size over the next 25 years, the Times reported, anticipating 50,000 more residents, 31,000 new homes and 28,000 new jobs.

Eurostar's London terminus will move from Waterloo station to St. Pancras in the autumn of 2007, shifting the focus to an international station at nearby Ebbsfleet, the Times said. Eurostar expects about two-thirds of Ashford's 500,000 passengers will switch to the new station.

Transportation analysts have speculated that Ashford eventually could lose all international rail services, the Times said.

Should Kent's Chief Constable be elected by voters?

Contributed by editor on Sep 19, 2006 - 06:30 AM


Dear Ed,

I have recently been approached by the Policy review unit at Conservative Central Office, to try to ascertain local views to the following questions:

Are local people in favour of a fully elected Police Authority, and should that authority be a committee of the Kent County Council, or directly elected by voters?

Should the Chief Police Officer also be directly elected by local voters, and not appointed by the Home Office, and merely approved, as at present, by the largely Home Office appointed Police Authority?

I would be most grateful to receive any reaction to these ideas, designed to give more local input into both policing strategy and on the ground crime prevention and detection.

Jonathan Holborow

Chairman, Folkestone and Hythe Conservative Association

Let the Gazette  know
your views  -
- or use the feedback

Home Office keeps options open for Dover prison

Contributed by editor on Sep 18, 2006 - 02:00 AM


Connaught Barracks in Dover, which housed the parachute regiment until it pulled out of Dover in April 2006 are being considered for an open prison by the Home Office, the BBC has reported.

The Home Office would not confirm it was planning a prison for the site but said it was keeping options open. A source told the BBC that the Home Office was keen to acquire the site by December.

The government would not need planning permission to convert it to a prison because it was a military site.

Paul Watkins, leader of Dover District Council, said: "This being dumped o­n Dover will not go down well."

Spick and span village

Contributed by editor on Sep 17, 2006 - 07:17 PM

A victory for common sense

Contributed by editor on Sep 17, 2006 - 07:30 AM


Dear Ed,
The victory for the campaign to keep Selsted School open is a victory ultimately for common sense and the democratic process.

Above all, it has demonstrated what can be achieved when the whole community pulls together for a worthwhile cause.

I hope that those who promoted the closure of this school will now realise how many of us value our distinctive English rural way of life, quirks and all, and will go to great lengths to preserve it.

May I o­n behalf of  Swingfield Parish Council thank all those who supported the campaign.

Cllr.Colin Tearle


Swingfield Parish Council

Wheels in motion for skatepark

Contributed by editor on Sep 17, 2006 - 12:15 AM


A major refurbishment to create an exciting leading edge skatepark in Pencester Gardens, Dover is ready to take off - as important work begins this week o­n the upgrading of skateboard facilities in the park.

This radical upgrade of facilities follows partnership working between Dover District Council and Kent County Council, working closely with local young people in the Dover SK8/Extreme Sport Group and the Dover District Youth Forum.

The new park will feature a modern street plaza design concept and is due to open in November. The old skatepark has been closed as contractors move in to carry out the improvements and local skaters are being kept informed as work progresses.

Funding towards renovating the site has come from £200,000 given by Kent County Council Dover Local Board donated to improve the skate park facilities at both Pencester Gardens and Victoria Park, Deal.

Dover Local Board Chairman Bryan Cope said: 'I am delighted we have been able to work with the District Council to support projects that will make such a difference to young people living in Dover and Deal, as well as help regenerate the area.'

Lydd airport looks to cash in on Eurostar cuts

Contributed by editor on Sep 16, 2006 - 11:00 AM


Lydd Airport on Romney Marsh, is looking to attract scheduled flights to Europe following the news that Eurostar rail services will be cut back at the nearby Ashford
International station.

Managing director of the London Ashford airport, Zaher Deir, told the Travel Mole website that he was ready to help the local economy shake off an downturn in trade that may result once Eurostar scales back operations.

"If Eurostar services are being cut at Ashford International Station then it becomes even more crucial for local authorities, economic development agencies and others in the private sector to support our plans to offer a range of air transport services from Lydd,” he said.

“Today we have the facilities and capacity to handle 300,000 passengers a year and could be ready to cope with 500,000 passengers a year within 12 months." 

The airport has had over £20 million of investment spent on it and has ambitious plans to create a strong regional base that will be capable of handling two million passengers a year by 2014.

Superfast internet access for Selsted

Contributed by editor on Sep 16, 2006 - 12:10 AM


A major milestone will be reached when the communities served by the Selsted, Elmsted and Milstead telephone exchanges are switched o­n to ADSL high-speed broadband internet.

The upgrade of the three exchanges, which has been funded by Kent County Council, will mean that all 127 BT exchanges in Kent will be able to provide broadband services.

The three exchanges supply service to around 603 households and businesses. Elmsted and Selsted, near Canterbury, will be broadband ready o­n 7 December 2006 and Milstead, near Sittingbourne, will be ready o­n 18 January 2007.

The arrival of broadband in these communities means that every home and business in Kent is connected to an ADSL broadband enabled exchange.

Lead Member for IT Richard Parry said: "This is fantastic news for these communities and for Kent as a whole."

I can't believe the health centre plans were even proposed

Contributed by editor on Sep 15, 2006 - 04:32 PM


Dear Ed,

Re: Why leave the door ajar when it could be firmly bolted?

As a Hawkinge resident I have been reading the various articles about the proposal to build a new Health Care Centre o­n the o­nly remaining piece of woodland in the village.

I cannot believe that this has even been proposed. With all the spare land sitting next to Lidl and the Mayfly why has someone deemed it necessary to bulldoze this piece of woodland to build this, or is this land earmarked for the likes of Pentland Homes for them to build Terlingham Village phase 78!

What about the access roads to it?  Surely with Spitfire Way and the new extension road the ideal place to put this would be o­n this scrubland.

By the way I don't live o­n that side of Hawkinge so it wouldn't really affect me but I do feel for the residents of the 'Street' and all the people that have to use it.

Come o­n lets use some common sense. What's next,  perhaps a McDonalds in the middle of Reindein Wood?