Lightning blows man out of his shoes

Contributed by editor on Dec 17, 2005 - 09:24 AM


A walker from Cheriton who had his shoes and socks blown off by a lightning bolt while walking in the Welsh hills has laughed off his ordeal, reports the Western Mail.

Waiter Joe Hemmings had to be airlifted to Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest, after being struck by a lightning bolt in the Preseli Hills.

The 18-year-old's trainers and socks were incinerated by the 100m volt strike, which also melted his necklace.

Joe, is now recovering at home after spending six days in hospital. But he laughed off the ordeal, which happened outside the Pembrokeshire village of Tufton in November.

The Western Mail reports him saying: "My clothes were ripped and smouldering - I was just like something from a Tom and Jerry cartoon."

Hawkinge Parish Council minutes 9 November 2005

Contributed by editor on Dec 16, 2005 - 03:35 PM

Minutes of the meeting of HAWKINGE PARISH COUNCIL held on 9th November 2005 at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall


A resident asked if the PC could arrange to have the footpath outside the shops marked with a painted line. The Chairman advised that Kent Highways would have to paint the line but there is a problem because some shopkeepers own the land in front of their shops.

There was a request for a handrail at the bottom of the footpath next to the village hall. The Council will discuss all matters concerning the village hall car park at the January meeting.

The leader of Hawkinge Youth Forum said that because of the lack of facilities for youth in the village, seven young people were present and would like to put forward some ideas for the PC and Neighbourhood Partnership to consider. The comments and ideas put forward included: skate park (Folkestone skate park has closed) a location for band practice, somewhere indoors to play ball games. Due to the bad behaviour of a few children, others have been banned entry to the Community Centre.
The Chairman thanked the youngsters for attending and speaking to councillors.


196 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.

197 Chairman’s Remarks
Cllr. Callahan said councillors must follow the Rules of Debate during the meeting. He expected them to be courteous, to respect the views of other councillors, and to accept resolutions made by a majority vote in Council.

198 Minutes
The minutes of the meeting held on 12th October 2005 were confirmed and signed subject to: minute 187(b) insert Cllr. Hodgson withdrew from the meeting while the above item was discussed. (prop. Cllr. Avery, sec. Cllr. Heasman)

199 Matters arising out of the Minutes
Planning application Y05/1226/SH Land opposite 45 The Street (doctors surgery) had been withdrawn by the applicant.

200 Appointments to Working Groups
Membership of the Finance Group: Cllr. Hogben offered his resignation that was accepted by the Council.
Cllr. Avery was appointed to serve on the Finance Group as well as Planning & Development and the Football Project Group (appointments already accepted).

201 Reports

(a) Community Liaison
Cllr. Brisley said there are still problems with the rubbish collection. The householder places recyclable material and glass in the same box and it is sorted at the roadside.
Cllr. Hodgson reported that 31 Millfield is to be sold by auction.
The questions raised by the young members of the Youth Forum in the open meeting will be considered at the next meeting.

(b) Planning and Development
Planning applications for the large developments that will have implications on the whole village are expected soon.

(c) Public Rights of Way 
The route of the footpath/cycleway between Haven Drive and Canterbury Road will be discussed at the January meeting. 

202 Other Bodies

(a) Neighbourhood Management Partnership
Cllrs. Avery, Hodgson and Trice and the Clerk had attended the presentation on 1st November. Cllr. Avery said the informative groups set up should provide a useful link and would benefit the HNP and PC. A diagram indicating the Pathfinder Investment in Hawkinge April to September 2005 prepared by Emily Barrett, Monitoring & Research Officer, HNP, was received and noted.

(b) Community Centre
Cllr. Hodgson had attended a meeting of the Trustees on 16th October. The accounts are being audited. Further work needs to be done in the main hall to enable a licence to be granted for live music. The Trust wants to form a Management Committee of Users but so far it has been unsuccessful in its attempts to set one up. It hopes to improve communication with the people using the hall.
The Council received a letter from the Community Centre Trust dated 4th November. The Trustees had discussed Cllr. Callahan’s proposal for an arrangement with the PC to enable 5-a-side football to be played in the main hall. The Trustees asked for a donation towards the cost of curtains and a noise inhibitor so that the Entertainments licence could be restored. Referred to the confidential section. 

(c) The Churchill School
Cllr. Smith reported that the school has adopted the Government’s Healthy Food policy.

203 Hawkinge Football Ground

(a) The Football Project
Cllr. Trice reported that the Project Group met on 4th November. They had gone through the application form in detail. Cllr. Trice was waiting for some technical data and costing that Mr McMillan would supply. He had received the report from Turf Solutions.
The PC had been invited to attend a Football Foundation application workshop at Bridgewood Manor, Chatham, on 10th November at 17.00 pm. The Clerk and Cllrs. Trice and Avery would attend.

(b) Maintenance of Pitches
Cllr. Hodgson reported that other clubs are booking the pitches.
The Chairman proposed a vote of thanks to Cllrs. Trice and Hodgson for the amount of work and effort they have put into developing the project and maintaining the ground.

(c) Recreation Land adjacent to Cricket Ground
SDC owns the land that is designated for recreational use. It has made no provision for recreational activities on the site so it is not used at all. 

The Football Project Group recommends that the Parish Council should open discussions with SDC about the future of the area.
It was Resolved that the Council write to Shepway District Council about the use of that particular piece of land and request a meeting with officers to discuss it.
(prop. Cllr. Hodgson, sec. Cllr. Hogben) Votes: For 7 Against 0 Abstention 2

204 Finance

(a) Finance Group meeting
The Chairman reported that a meeting was held on 7th November. The Group received the actual half-year figures and discussed the budget for 2006/07 (copies were distributed to councillors). The precept must be agreed at the December Council meeting. Cllr. Trice attended the meeting to give an update on capital and projected revenue costs for the football ground project. Mr Andrew Beggs had visited the Leisuredrome site and had written to explain the options available to the Council for the disposal of the land (referred to the confidential section).

(b) Payments
It was Resolved that the following accounts be approved for payment (prop. Cllr.
Hogben, sec. Cllr. Heasman) Votes: all in favour

SDC rates (football ground)


SDC rates (SL)


NatWest EBS


Mrs B.M.Hardy (salary)


Mrs B.M.Hardy expenses inc. tel.a/c


The Royal British Legion


Village Hall - hire of hall


CRC (Taskron Ltd.)



205 Correspondence

The following letters and documents were received and contents noted:
Mr J. Stack, Director of Regulatory Services, SDC: Shepway Town and Parish
Council Planning User Group: next meeting Tues. 15th November.
Action with Communities in Rural Kent – Annual Report
CPRE - AGM to be held on 18th Nov. Harrietsham Village Hall at 2 pm
Kent Police Authority – Restructuring of Police Forces in England & Wales
The Rural Housing Trust – Affordable village housing. Seminar 17th January 2006
Newchurch Village Hall

206 Distribution of Minutes

The Chairman said he continued to support the publishing of the Council’s minutes on the Localrags web site, despite the fact that letters written by the public, also published on the site, were critical and often inaccurate. 

Cllr. Trice suggested that copies of the minutes be placed in the Library and the Community Centre for public inspection. 

207 Plans

The following plans had been received and comments sent:
Y05/1372/SH Land at junction of Haven Drive/Spitfire Way: display of 2 No. internally illuminated flagpole signs (Lidl): No objections
Comment: regarding the flagpole nearest Spitfire Way, could Highways comment on the affect the sign would have on car drivers using Spitfire Way when night driving.
Y05/1398/SH 1 Dane Villas, Elvington Lane: erection of a two-storey rear extension and replacement detached garage. No objections
The comments sent to SDC by the Planning Group were approved.


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.

209 Disposal of Land

The Chairman explained the options contained in a letter from Mr Andrew Beggs dated 29th October and the Finance Group’s recommendations to the Council.
It was Resolved that the Council apply for outline planning permission for residential use.
(prop. Cllr. Heasman sec. Cllr. Trice) For: 7 Against 2 Abstention 0
It was Resolved that subject to legal advice, the sale be by Formal Tender.
(prop. Cllr. Hogben, sec. Cllr. Heasman) For: 7 Against 2 Abstention 0 

210 Encroachment of Land
The Council’s solicitor had written to ask if the Council intended to take any further action in this matter (14th October). No further action to be taken for the time being.

211 Community Centre [min.202(b)]
The Council is not able to donate money to any organisation without first seeing audited accounts and a business plan for the future. Clerk to advise the Trustees.

The meeting closed at 9.30 pm

Lighting choice could save ratepayers' money

Contributed by editor on Dec 16, 2005 - 03:13 PM


Dear Ed,

I am responding as an amateur astronomer to ' Illuminated supermarket signs are over-the-top'.

When we first took up residence in Hawkinge, the skies were reasonably dark and it was possible to carry out some decent observing using telescopes of modest ability.

With the present surge in house building and lack of care when selecting and specifying street lighting luminaires it is almost impossible to do any decent observing. I accept that people want housing and are justified in having their expectations fulfilled. However, as with Lidl's signage, there are alternatives. 

With street lighting it is possible to choose much more efficient systems than that used in much of  Hawkinge and the Shepway area. 

This would also go towards Shepway District Council  achieving some curtailment of the increase in carbon dioxide emissions and meeting some obligations in this direction by reducing the overall costs for the lighting and so providing savings for ratepayers.

Anyone interested to learn more may go to this web site:

Regards as ever,

Computer equipment stolen

Contributed by editor on Dec 15, 2005 - 08:49 PM



Neighbourhood Watch report that thieves have stolen computer equipment  from a house in Heron Forstal Avenue Hawkinge. A door to a conservatory was damaged during the burglary  which occurred on Monday (12 December).

On Sunday 11 December a red and yellow Apollo mountain bike was stolen from the front garden of a property in Eckford Close, and a rear patio door was damaged in Grebe Close between 9 and 12 December.

PC Moody is appealing to residents to report any suspicious persons or events in or around their property by ringing the Police immediately on 01303 850055.

Illuminated supermarket signs are over-the-top

Contributed by editor on Dec 15, 2005 - 07:34 PM


Dear Editor

While I know it is Christmas and find it lovely to see all the houses decorated with outside lights, I have to say that the new  supermarket's illuminations are a bit over-the-top! 

Do they really need such a vast amount of bright signs that can be seen at night from every angle? 

I guess I might be the only local person to think so as I have not seen similar comments from anyone else.

Oh well...

Happy Xmas to all.

DJ - Hawkinge resident.

Call to spend Leisuredrome cash on village car park

Contributed by editor on Dec 15, 2005 - 01:03 AM


At  the Hawkinge Parish Council meeting yesterday (14 December) Chairman David Callahan backed village youngsters after Cllr John Heasman called for the Parish Council to spend money raised from the sale of the Spitfire Leisuredrome on the car park next to the village hall.

Hawkinge Parish Council Chairman David Callahan said that the money should be used for the youth of the village, but Cllr Heasman told councillors: "The youth will be taken care of".

The Spitfire Leisuredrome was used as a sports facility and meeting place for clubs and youth groups, as well as a club for young people before it fell into disrepair. The Parish Council have agreed to sell the building by tender.

In a poll o­n the Gazette website asking the question "Should money raised selling the leisuredrome be spent o­n a new building for village youngsters?" over 85% of voters were in favour of the money being used for a youth facility.

Hawkinge Parish Tax to rise by 34%

Contributed by editor on Dec 15, 2005 - 12:50 AM


Last night's Parish Council meeting saw councillors vote to increase the Parish Tax for Hawkinge in 2006/7 to £17.34, an increase of  34% over last year's figure of £12.96.

The precept will rise from £30,000 in 2005/6 to £40,500 in 2006/7.

This is still low in comparison to last year's Parish Tax for Folkestone at  £57.35 and Sandgate with £62.35.

Acrise however managed to keep its 2005/6 figure down to just £1.18, the same as in 2004/5.

Howard's Way 15 December 2005

Contributed by editor on Dec 15, 2005 - 12:30 AM

HOWARD'S WAY.... a weekly column from Michael Howard MP

December 2005

Last Friday I visited The Churchill School at Hawkinge.

Under the inspirational leadership of headteacher Jennie Carter, great strides are being made and I was very impressed with what I saw. The Churchill School was one of the case studies used in a recent paper about ‘The Intelligent School’ and the fact that one of our local schools is used as an example in this study of excellence is something in which we can all take a good deal of pride.

Next I went to a meeting with local optometrists who are concerned about some of the proposed changes in NHS funding and their likely impact on their ability to offer the high service of eye care which they currently make available to their clients.

Then it was the annual Christmas lunch of the Channel Chamber of Commerce. This was an opportunity to review some of the existing developments which will contribute to the regeneration of our area.

After that I had to hurry home to do a TV interview for Meridian.

On Saturday, after my advice centres, on the Marsh, I was able to go to Reachfields to see Hythe gain a memorable victory on the F.A. Vase. Congratulations to all concerned.

On Sunday morning I was privileged to open Hythe’s Fun Day Sunday. It was a very festive occasion with a good turn out on a sunny, if cold, morning.

And then the highlight of the weekend – the Salvation Army Christmas Carol Concert at the Leas Cliff Hall. There was a huge turnout and great atmosphere at a very enjoyable occasion. These occasions take a great deal of hard work to organise and I would like to thank those who were responsible. At the concert £875 was collected for a children’s cancer charity. Thank you to everyone who contributed so generously.

Two new homes a week on new development

Contributed by editor on Dec 14, 2005 - 11:27 PM


Hawkinge is about to see building begin o­n the huge new estate o­n the north side of Aerodrome Road after detailed plans were submitted for approval to Shepway District Council.

Land manager at George Wimpey Plc Andy Smith  and Graham Warren for BDG Design attended the Hawkinge Parish Council meeting this evening (14 December) to answer questions about the development from councillors.

The plans for 196 new homes o­n the land will go before Shepway's Development Control Committee in the new year and if there are no objections, building should be underway by April 2006.

Andy Smith from Wimpey told councillors that they would be building  two homes each week, although he explained that weather conditions could cause delays.

He said the link road would be progressing along with the housing although Wimpey were not involved in that construction project.

Mr Smith said the development should be completed by mid 2009.

Humble Boy

Contributed by editor on Dec 14, 2005 - 10:42 PM


Our Spring production is the play “Humble Boy� by Charlotte Jones. This is a tragic-comedy about broken vows, failed hopes - oh, and bee keeping!

The dates of the production are Wednesday March 29th to Saturday March 1st at Lyminge Village Hall. Performances will start at 7.45pm and tickets will go o­n sale in early March.

More news in the next newsletter.