Candid cameras to catch bad drivers

Contributed by editor on Oct 23, 2006 - 10:18 AM


Shepway motorists could soon be nabbed by cameras focussing on cars that cause congestion or make illegal manoeuvres.

It was disclosed on Thursday (19 October) that the CCTV scheme could be introduced across the country.

Box junctions to be targeted

CCTV, which monitors areas including box junctions, are used by councils to catch motorists causing obstructions or making illegal manoeuvres.

Fines, which cost up to £100 in London, can be handed to drivers for offences including stopping in a box junction and ignoring no right-turn and no-entry signs.

Transport for London (TfL) has more than 70 traffic cameras which monitor congestion and fine moving traffic breaking the law in London and are monitored by staff in the London Traffic Control Centre (LTCC).

Around 11 councils in London have also installed traffic cameras to enforce moving traffic offences and help congestion.

Hawkinge employment land brief spells economic disaster for area

Contributed by editor on Oct 23, 2006 - 12:10 AM


Swingfield Parish Council Chairman, Cllr. Colin Tearle is appalled at the contents of the Hawkinge Employment Land Brief and has placed it on this month's Swingfield Parish Council agenda because of the disastrous consequences which could affect the whole of the North Downs East area, should it be adopted unchanged.

Cllr Tearle told the Gazette: "If the brief is adopted unchanged by Shepway District Council it will put so many economic hurdles in the way of developers, so as to put off any plans they may have to develop the land.

"The District Council constantly pays lip service to economic regeneration for our rural towns and villages, yet they are consistently putting obstacles in the way of rural regeneration. This is all the more pertinent for this area where there is a dire need for some industrial infrastructure into an area with little to no jobs, that has been so massively over-developed with new homes.

"It is disgraceful in my view that our District Councillors have let us down by doing absolutely nothing about the brief and failing to understand how potentially damaging this would be to the area.

"The very least they could have done would have been to hold a public meeting, or failing that, distributing a newsletter to the electorate outlining the brief's implications."

Related stories

Hundreds protest over "Benidorm" development

Contributed by editor on Oct 22, 2006 - 04:25 PM


Hundreds of people took to the streets of Folkestone yesterday (21 October) to campaign against the so called "Benidorm" high rise redevelopment of the seafront.

Benidorm, Spain

The town's former Rotunda amusement park, could have hundreds of high-rise apartments, a cinema, bars and a restaurant under the plans.

Campaigners want Shepway District Council to back rival plans put forward by  former Saga owner Roger de Haan, which would see lower-rise buildings. 

Trent Developments, which has received outline planning permission for the site, could bypass the council and go directly to the Government Office for the South East (GOSE), because the council has still  not ratified its decision.

Professional dancer holds local workshop

Contributed by editor on Oct 21, 2006 - 09:46 PM

Fantastic team effort

Contributed by editor on Oct 21, 2006 - 09:25 PM


Hawkinge Youth 2 - Monkton Youth 0

Report by Rob Lawford

Hawkinge Youth Under 8's celebrated their first ever win in this highly competitive encounter against Monkton Youth. 

On a windy and overcast day, Hawkinge performed with great team spirit to overcome Monkton who battled to the very end.

The first half was evenly contested with both teams creating half chances, the best of which fell to Hawkinge's hard working Conor Guilfoyle, his effort bravely saved by the Monkton keeper. Hawkinge's Charlotte Avery then came close to scoring her second of the season, with an effort that went just wide of the Monkton upright. 

Monkton pressed to open their account toward the end of the first half, but were denied by great tackling from Tim Biggs and Jacob Moorcroft.

The second half started in explosive fashion, with Hawkinge being awarded a penalty after a great driving run by Liam Jelly. Conor Furness stepped up to take the kick but was denied by the excellent Monkton keeper. Joshua Roberts then hit a rasping shot from outside the area which was destined for the top corner, but the Monkton keeper somehow tipped the ball around the post. 

Hawkinge were growing in confidence by now and creating chances at will, through skilful play by Alex Cooling. Finally, the deadlock was broken when Conor Furness cut in from the right and hit an unstoppable shot into the corner of the Monkton goal. 

Monkton threatened momentarily with a long range effort which was expertly saved by Elliott Fletcher in the Hawkinge goal. However, the Hawkinge win was sealed with five minutes remaining, when Conor Guilfoyle scored from close range after good combination work between Liam Jelly, Alex Cooling and Conor Furness. 

The final whistle was greeted ecstatically by Hawkinge players and supporters alike, all of which contributed to a fantastic team effort.

To visit the Hawkinge Football Club website click here

Should she or shouldn't she?

Contributed by editor on Oct 21, 2006 - 12:25 AM


Dear Ed,

Re: Tit bits 20 October 2006

Perhaps I can be of some assistance to the question you raised about whether
Cllr. Mrs. Christina Smith should have addressed the Development Control Committee on the subject of the Spitfire Leisuredrome after her husband declared a prejudicial interest.

The Standards Board for England guidance on this issue states: `The interest will only be prejudicial if it also has a significant impact upon themselves, or their friends or relatives or any of the other categories set out in paragraph 8(1)(a) to (d) of the
code, so that a reasonable member of the public would consider that their judgment of the public interest was

It goes on to say,' It is only when the matter is prejudicial that you will need to leave the room while it is under discussion`, as in
Cllr. Peter Smith's case.

I hope this helps.

Cllr Colin Tearle

Executive Committee

Kent Association of Parish Councils

Historic carriage given a lift

Contributed by editor on Oct 20, 2006 - 09:01 PM


Folkestone's 1890 step lift carriage is to be moved from the Leas Lift on Thursday 26 October. It will be lifted by a 60-tonne crane and taken by a low loader to a covered storage facility in Sandwich before the restoration begins at a company in Ramsgate.

Work for the move is due to start at 8.00am and it is hoped the four-ton carriage will be lifted within an hour.

The 155 feet Leas Lift on a 4 feet 10 inch gauge track was built in 1885 as a means of access from the top of the cliffs to the seafront. A second track was added in 1890. It is the older track that is still in use.

In 1966, the 1890 track and carriages were decommissioned. The two cars were left to stand at the bottom of the track and deteriorated.

Tit Bits - 20 October 2006

Contributed by editor on Oct 20, 2006 - 12:15 AM

the battle to continue outside the council chamber?......

Let me talk about SSSL, not SSSI or Site of Special Scientific Interest which has been in the news recently over the Romney Marsh wind farm. No, what I'm harping on about is SSSL otherwise known as the Smiths' Saga of the Spitfire Leisuredrome. 

At the Shepway Development Control meeting this month, the planning application for the leisuredrome submitted by the Parish council so that they could get the best price for the building, should they manage to sell it, saw Cllr Peter Smith declaring a prejudicial interest and taking no part in the discussion. 

Fair enough bearing in mind the close relationship Cllr Peter Smith has had with the building, but I was told the plans were to have been rubber stamped by the officers and did not need to go before the planning committee. Why then did Cllr Smith call in the plans when he was not going to be in a position to oppose them? It was left to his wife Cllr Christena Smith, to speak at the meeting opposing the plans. 

Now I'm not an expert in these matters and maybe common sense doesn't always have much to do with bureaucracy, but surely if Cllr Peter Smith had an interest, why didn't his wife? 

Cllr Peter Smith met with the local press at the leisuredrome last week, without allegedly asking the permission of the
owners (Hawkinge Parish Council), so the Chairman of the Parish Council, Cllr David Callahan informed me. 

So what is going on?  Is the battle now to continue outside the council chamber?

If the saga does go on for much longer, the leisuredrome's sell by date will
far exceeded. Unfortunately as is the case with many unused buildings which
deteriorate through neglect there could come a time when it is beyond repair and
its value to a property developer may have fallen through the floor. Something
the Parish Council  and the village as a whole cannot afford to happen

Would you like to contribute to my page of tit bits?


Chalk it up as an innovation

Contributed by editor on Oct 19, 2006 - 09:02 PM


A new conference and events centre at St. Margaret's near Dover is said to be one of Europe's "most sustainable and healthy" structures. 

The Pines Calyx was built with over £1million worth of chalk extracted from the White Cliffs of Dover which was pounded into place to create the walls of the structure. 

With other sustainable materials including locally sourced clay tiles and an insulated turf roof the building as a whole needs just 15 percent of a conventional building's energy requirements.

Situated within the organically managed six acre Pines Garden, the centre’s ground breaking environmental architecture allows it to visually blend into the surrounding landscape.

The conference venue is described as a ‘nutritious’ building, offering the optimum in healthy interior environments for its visitors.

Proceeds from events held at the Pines Calyx will go toward maintaining the grounds.

Photographs of the structure can be found here

Action-packed countryside programme for Hawkinge.

Contributed by editor on Oct 19, 2006 - 06:48 PM


To celebrate the start of HEdGe- Hawkinge Environment Group we are putting on some great Guided Walks and Events in and around Hawkinge.

Our aim is to encourage new and existing residents to discover the beautiful countryside around Hawkinge, have an enjoyable time improving the environment and have some fun finding out about the local landscape. At the same time we will be getting some healthy exercise.

Hawkinge is set in the eastern half of the North Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is witnessing an influx of new residents who may not know about the fantastic countryside of the area.

We have conducted an environment assessment of the parish and this has thrown up lots of interesting facts-such as, over 10% of Hawkinge is woodland and 70% of this is ancient woodland in Nationally only 12% of woodland is ancient. These facts help us understand the local countryside and what needs to be done to conserve and enhance it.

The Guided Walks will take us though the wonderful local ancient woodlands, over the nationally important Folkestone downs and through the impressive rolling landscapes that surround Hawkinge. The countryside action is expected to renovate the way-marked woodland trail around Reinden Wood, improve local footpaths, and some other interesting projects such as pond restoration might also be possible (you might even get a cup of tea and biscuits for your efforts). We will be running local Green Gang events for children and their families blending a bit of fun with a bit of science.

Come meet your neighbours, find out about local nature and enjoy your beautiful countryside. Everyone is welcome. Further information from Steve Walker on 01227 831264 or go to;