P&O cancel day trips to France

Contributed by editor on Feb 14, 2005 - 03:59 PM


Day trippers won't be able to travel to France on P&O Ferries after the company suspended services between Dover and Calais "until further notice" due to a damaged berth at the French port.

The berth which broke last week when a support cable snapped caused two lorries to overturn.

Two more berths have since been shut for refurbishment and safety checks.

P&O and SeaFrance stopped selling tickets to day trippers over the weekend because of the disruption but SeaFrance has now resumed services although they are subject to delays.

Both ferry firms decided to cut services at the weekend after the Port of Calais said it was experiencing slow turnarounds because only one freight vehicle could go onto the berths at a time.

The delays are expected to last throughout half term week and could go on for several weeks more.

Today P&O is just running a shuttle service without day trippers.

Passengers should contact the ferry operators for more information.

Time is up for the old chestnut say Shepway

Contributed by editor on Feb 14, 2005 - 09:50 AM


A veteran tree that has been the centre point of Hythe High Street for more than 100 years will have to be felled.

The chestnut, which stands in Town Square, is believed to be around 175 years old.

It will be removed by Shepway Council over the next two weeks after the spread of a fungal disease that was first discovered 15 years ago.

“The tree’s strength has been weakened by the spread of the decay and we have had to take the difficult decision to fell it in the interests of public safety,� said Chris McCreedy, the council’s Parks and Recreation Manager.

“We have tried over the years to keep the fungi under control, but have always known that the tree was on borrowed time. There is no cure, all we could do was to slow down the spread of the disease as much as we could. The result was always inevitable.�

Mr McCreedy said tests carried out by the council had been confirmed by its partners at Kent County Council and by David Rose, head plant pathologist with the Forestry Commission.

The type of decay associated with the fungus attacks the root structure. The wood inside the tree looses its strength and could fail without warning at the base.

Mr McCreedy said it was hoped that a replacement tree could be provided.

Council's computer system bids for nationwide use

Contributed by editor on Feb 14, 2005 - 09:38 AM


A software system designed by Shepway Council to help streamline the work of local councils throughout the country could be in line for government funding.

The council will hear this month whether its software sharing proposal has been short-listed by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

The proposal, developed by the council’s ICT Team, would create a UK-wide central software repository especially designed for local councils.

“Over the past few years, we have developed several in-house software systems tailored to meet our own needs. We believe many other local councils could use these systems - but there has been no organised way of sharing them. This system provides a way of sharing that would help lower costs and increase efficiency and consistency across the country,� said Bonnie Ferguson, the council’s Senior Analyst Programmer.

The University of Kent has been working with the council on the proposal and would help host and manage the system once it was up and running. A seminar hosted by the council and the university to explain the proposal in more detail attracted local councils from across the south of England.

“The general reaction was very positive. I think most councils can see the potential of a shared system,� said Bonnie.

The council is now waiting to see if its proposal, one of 200 submitted from across the country for funding from the government’s E-Innovations Programme, makes it through to the shortlist of 25.

“We believe we have designed a better and more efficient way for local councils to develop and use software programs and we will be looking at other sources of funding if we don’t make it through to the shortlist,� said Steve Dean, the council’s ICT Manager.

The council’s IT Team is also at the forefront of other changes. For the first time since the council was created under local government reorganisation in 1974, all its computer systems are now being run in-house.

“We have recently brought all our major financial systems in-house and the council is now self-sufficient in ICT, bringing savings of up to £200,000 a year compared with previous budgets,� said Steve.

Its not just dog owners who are irresponsible

Contributed by editor on Feb 13, 2005 - 01:46 PM


Dear Ed

I sympathize with those playing football who have to suffer the left-overs from irresponsible dog owners.

I would mention that if you challenge these people, you are often threatened with physical violence.

There is another side to this however. Players using the transfer station access road are very irresponsible by driving very fast and recklessly to the football field.

There is supposed to be a 15 mph speed limit on this road.

Is it possible for someone to approach the football club so that some action is taken on this?


Shepway Monitoring Officer replaced

Contributed by editor on Feb 13, 2005 - 10:33 AM


Dear Ed

I hear that Peter Wignall, who as Solicitor and Monitoring Officer to Shepway District Council, and was at the centre of the Standards Board row two years ago has been replaced as the council's Monitoring Officer.

The post, which is a position that rotates between the six new Heads of Service, now goes to the Deputy Chief Executive.

A few months ago Mr Wignall had been the subject of newspaper speculation as to whether he should have declared an interest in one of those Standards Board cases brought by him at the time because of his alleged membership of the trades union UNISON.

The complaint was initially made by the union.

Name and address supplied

Girls rescued from incoming tide

Contributed by editor on Feb 13, 2005 - 12:08 AM


Two 14-year-old girls were rescued from the incoming tide by Coastguards at Folkestone on Saturday (12 February).

The girls are reported to have called the emergency services on a mobile phone at about 2.00pm from the beach at Folkestone Harbour.

They were pulled to safety by the Folkestone Coastguard team, with assistance from the Dover Lifeboat.

Frank O’Neill, Watch Manager at Dover Coastguard said: “When the Coastguard Team reported the situation to us it became very clear that had they not arrived in the nick of time, then this situation may have had a tragic outcome as the sea is particularly rough this afternoon in that area.

“We would remind parents to warn their youngsters of not venturing too close to the sea when there is such a large swell and rough weather. Our thanks are also due to the crew of the Dover lifeboat who provided vital communications for us at sea whilst the Team were in the lee of the cliff�.

Hawkinge football club looking for players

Contributed by editor on Feb 12, 2005 - 10:36 PM


Hawkinge Football Club is expanding and looking for players to form a second senior team to play league football next season.

If you are interested in playing or coaching contact either:- 

Adam Moyes 01303 894769 or 

Cyril Trice club secretary 01303 893499

Scheme launched to help homeless families

Contributed by editor on Feb 11, 2005 - 03:37 PM


A scheme to provide accommodation for homeless families in the private sector has been launched by Dover District Council, in partnership with Rother Homes and Canterbury and Thanet District Councils.

It involves the Council leasing properties from private landlords on a three or five year lease. The Council will then let these homes to families who have become homeless. The scheme is being administered for the Council by Rother Homes, a Housing Association which is part of the Horizon Housing Group

Cllr Mrs Sue Nicholas, Dover District Council's Cabinet Member for Community, said: "We need to use all local available housing resources to help find people accommodation. There is a large pool of private sector housing in the District, some of which is empty and not being used. This is an exciting scheme that can help bring empty homes back into use and at the same time help prevent families having to be placed in Bed and Breakfast for long periods."

Landlords and property owners wishing to take part in the scheme should contact Rebecca Coleman at Rother Homes on 0845 355 0999.

Park assault on disabled woman

Contributed by editor on Feb 11, 2005 - 03:30 PM


A disabled woman walking through Radnor Park in Folkestome was assaulted and robbed after collecting her social security money.

It was reported that the 53 year old was pushed to the ground and her handbag, containing £200, stolen in the attack on Thursday (11 February).

It is believed at least two men were involved in the attack and Police are appealing for witnesses.

Hawkinge Parish Council minutes of meeting 12 January 2005

Contributed by editor on Feb 11, 2005 - 02:23 PM

Minutes of the meeting of HAWKINGE PARISH COUNCIL held on 12th January 2005 at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall

Present: Cllr. Callahan (Chairman)

Cllrs. Ms Brisley, Heasman, Hodgson, Hogben, Punnett, Smith and Trice

In attendance: Mrs Hardy (Clerk)

Apologies: Cllr. Mrs Newton (work commitment)

Mr Ian Norman (Community Warden)


Matters raised by parishioners at the meeting included: the need for a light in the alleyway next to the village hall; a contribution by the PC to the national Tsunami Disaster Fund; contamination surveys to be carried out prior to the construction of the northern section of the relief road and housing developments that have been granted planning permission; enlargement of Terlingham before the new road is built.

The planning application and its conditions that provided the answer to the last two questions were reported during the meeting under Planning and Development.

Mrs Metcalfe, Principal of Franze Academy, complained about an incident that took place at the Hawkinge Community Centre on 20th December. The Chairman expressed his concern and said the Council would pass the complaint to the Trustees of the Community Centre.


40 Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on 8th December 2004 were confirmed and signed by the Chairman (prop. Cllr. Hogben, sec. Cllr. Heasman)

41 Declarations of Interest

Cllrs. Callahan and Smith declared an interest in planning matters (members of Development Control Committee SDC) they reserved the right to make a decision at District level when they are in possession of all the facts relating to an application. 

Cllr. Heasman declared an interest in the Community Centre (Trustee)

Cllrs. Trice and Hodgson declared an interest in the Football Project (founder members of Hawkinge Football Club).

42 Matters arising out of the Minutes

Finance 34/04 (d)

Cllr. Trice asked for a separate item to be placed on the next agenda to discuss matters related to the village hall ground.

43 Reports – Working Groups

(a) Community Liaison

Cllr. Brisley said a post box had still not been placed outside the PO and more signs are needed. The approach to the Community Centre from Haven Drive and the car park behind the Centre are in a very bad state. It was agreed that the Council write to Shepway District Council (owners of the land) and to the Community Centre.

(b) Planning and Development

Cllr. Trice reported that the following applications were granted planning permission with conditions by the Development Control Committee, SDC, at its meeting held on 21st December 2004.

Y03/0903/SH North of Gibraltar Lane and Land between Southern Bypass and Aerodrome Road: erection of 344 dwellings and construction of a new link road: Y03/0904/SH Land to the north of Aerodrome Road and Barnhurst Lane and west and north of 145-173 Canterbury Road: erection of 196 dwellings and a new road between Aerodrome Road and Canterbury Road:

Y04/1331/SH Land at junction of Haven Drive and Spitfire Way: erection of a public house incorporating 2 self-contained flats

Cllr. Trice had a copy of the minutes and he referred to some of the conditions, viz. removal of the bollards in Webster Way within 3 months of completion of the relief road; Spitfire Way will have crossings on it (the developers are being asked to contribute to the cost); there will be a Safety Impact Study. He thought the relief road would be built prior to the construction of Terlingham III. 

Cllr. Smith said SDC is considering an Unadopted Road Policy at the present time. There will be full consultation with residents and the PC.

Cllr. Hodgson reminded councillors of the proposal to close Mill Lane in the event of the bollards at Webster Way being removed. 

The Joint Transportation Board, SDC, is considering speed limits for Spitfire Way. The Chairman said the Board has to consider the affect it will have on traffic passing through Swingfield. The Council decided to write to SDC about its concerns.

(c) Public Rights of Way 

The problem of parking outside Churchill School was raised. Clerk to write again to the Highway Unit about the urgent need for zigzag markings outside the entrance.

44 Other Bodies

(a) Community Centre

Cllr. Hodgson reported that a meeting was held after the Trustees received a complaint about events on 20th December. A Press Release will be published.

Cllr. Heasman told councillors that Richard Robinson had resigned his post because he is immigrating to New Zealand. Geoff Towler has been appointed Manager of the Centre. 

(b) Village Hall

Cllr. Brisley said the Management Committee is spending £10,000 on repairs and renovations to the hall. Now that ownership of the land has been established, the VHMC would be making a complaint to the PC about the state of the car park.

(c ) Neighbourhood Management Partnership

Cllr. Smith reported that Strange Cargo Arts Company, Folkestone, have started an initiative to get all villages in Kent to make a “giant� to parade at events and festivals in the same way continental towns and villages do. HNP may give a grant to the organisers of a scheme for Hawkinge.

(d) The Churchill School – Board of Governors

Cllr. Smith said the Nativity Play was very good. There was nothing else to report. 

(e) Hawkinge Primary School – Board of Governors

Cllr. Hodgson had attended the Carol Evening that was very successful.

(f) KAPC, Shepway Area Committee

The next meeting will be held on 20th January.

45 Spitfire Leisuredrome

Hawkinge Youth & Community Sports Council – Lease

Mr Patrick Lawrence, Chairman of the Trustees, had asked the Chairman to meet him before HY&CSC instructed their solicitor. Cllr. Callahan said they had discussed a few points and he expected that the Council’s solicitor would be able to prepare the final draft as soon as he received the letter from Rootes & Alliott. The draft Lease will have to be approved by full Council and the Clerk noted the names of councillors who wish to receive a copy before the meeting.

46 Hawkinge Football Ground

(a) Management of the ground

Cllr. Hodgson said he wanted to extend the use of the ground; it is under used at present. The Council decided to invite Folkestone Dynamos to meet Cllr. Hodgson to discuss the possibility of their club playing on the ground this season. 

The notices regarding dog fouling put up by the Community Warden had been removed. Clerk to ask for replacements.

(b) The Football Project

Cllr. Trice said he would bring information about the specification and cost of the proposed car park to the next meeting, so that the Council can make a decision. The Council needs more people playing football on the ground before it can apply for the FF grant. 

Cllr. Smith proposed that Mr McCreedy, Parks & Recreation Manager, SDC, be advised that the ground is available for use (copy to Cllr. Mrs Waters). Anyone can apply that is prepared to comply with the conditions for play. The Clerk was asked to advise Folkestone Invicta Football Club that the ground is available for hire. 

47 Highway Maintenance Work

The Council received a letter from Mr Matthew Sims, Shepway Highway Manager (22nd December) about a scheme to provide a general road maintenance gang for January, February and March, to carry out small-scale highway maintenance work in the rural parishes. The scheme is called County Lengthsmen. The Council was asked to compile a list of work required on a priority basis. Councillors will contact the Clerk before the end of the week. 

48 Finance

(a) The Clerk reported that Mr Preston had carried out an interim audit on 10th

January. Cllr. Callahan said he had received a letter from Mr Preston in which he stated that the books are in order. He thanked the Clerk for presenting the Council’s accounts for audit. The Risk Assessment that forms part of the Annual Audit 2004/05 will be brought to the next meeting.

The Clerk said the Council would need to have a valuation of the village hall and land to update the list of fixed assets held by Hawkinge PC.

It was Resolved that the Council ask the District Valuer to provide a valuation of the village hall and land to add to the list of Fixed Assets to comply with Audit Commission regulations. (prop. Cllr. Heasman, sec. Cllr. Trice) All in favour

SDC had advised that the estimate of the Council Tax base for Hawkinge for 2005/06 is 2,315.64. This figure represents the estimated full year equivalent number of chargeable dwellings expressed as the equivalent number of band D dwellings after allowing for discounts etc. 

(b) Payments

It was Resolved that payment of the following accounts be approved (prop. Cllr. Trice, sec. Cllr. Heasman) Votes: For 7 Against 0 Abstention 1



GSE Design & Build Ltd.

signed Dec.


see note below

Victim Support (donation)





SEEBOARD (Leisuredrome)


Clerk's salary




Staples (office supplies)


NatWest EBS



SDC rates Football Ground



Folkestone & Dover Water Services


Society of Local Council Clerks (sub.)


Burr & Neve, Chartered Quantity Surveyors


A.P.Willcox, Printers (Dec. & Jan.)


Harry Preston (interim audit)


49 Correspondence

(a) Mrs E. Blythe, a resident of Stombers Lane: request for an allotment plot.

The Council does not own any land that would be suitable for allotments. It was decided that the matter be raised at the Parish Meeting to find out if there is a demand for them. Cllr. Brisley said the Gardeners Club had been approached but they were unable to help Mrs Blythe.

(b) The following correspondence was received and noted:

(i) Kent County Council: consultation conference with PCs re delivery of Kent

Highways service from April 2005 on 18th February at Hollingbourne

(ii) Environment Agency: Folkestone to Cliff End Flood Risk and Coastal

Erosion Strategy Review SEA Scoping Report December 2004 (one copy)

(iii) Kent Design: Creating Environmental Excellence – an overview of the Kent

Design Guide (one copy)

50 Plans

(a) Y04/1324/SH Hawkinge and Elham Valley Practice, 74 Canterbury Road: siting

of a portakabin. Councillors received a letter from the Practice Manager (22nd

December) in which she asked the Council to withdraw its objection because additional parking spaces could be provided at the back of the Health Centre. 

The Council had objected on the grounds that there would be a loss of car parking space. It was aware that there were parking spaces at the rear of the building.

It was Resolved that the Council’s objection to the application stands

(prop. Cllr. Trice, sec. Cllr. Hogben) Votes For 6 Against 0 Abstentions 2 (District Councillors)

(b) Planning Group decisions

Y04/1728/SH Tesco Store, 107 Canterbury Road: installation of an external chiller unit and relocation of plant unit. No objection

Y04/1733/SH 73 Heron Forstal Avenue: erection of a two-storey side extension to form separate annexe accommodation. No objection

Plan considered at the meeting:

Y04/1647/SH 61A Aerodrome Road: erection of 2 No. 3 bedroom semi-detached dwellings with integral garages No objections For 5 Against 0 Abstentions 3 (2 District Councillors)

51 Annual Parish Meeting 2005

Councillors were asked to decide the date and venue for the Parish Meeting that must be held between 1st March and 1st June. It was agreed that it be held on Wed. 25th May at 7.30 pm in the Village Hall, provided the hall is free on that date.

At this point Cllr. Hodgson left the meeting


It was resolved that because publicity would be prejudicial to the public interest by

Reason of the confidential nature of business to be transacted the public (including the Press) be excluded from the meeting pursuant to the provision of sub section 100 & 102 of the Local Government Act, 1972.

53 Code of Conduct

The Council received and noted the contents of a letter addressed to the

Chairman by Cllr. Punnett (undated ) and the Clerk’s reply (13th December 2004)

The meeting closed at 9.50 pm