Super Deal with safe shopping award

Contributed by editor on Jan 09, 2004 - 01:01 AM

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A year of hard work by a partnership of retailers, local authorities and SE Kent Police officers in Deal to reduce town-centre crime is being formally recognised this week with the presentation of a top award.

Deal is to be presented with the prestigious Safer Shopping Award, organised by the British Retail Consortium, in recognition of the way the partnership has implemented measures to make the town centre a safer place to live, shop and work.

The Deal Partnership Against Crime was launched last year and already has 40 members who each have access to a Shopwatch Radio, which they can use to alert other members and police about offenders on their premises. They can also communicate with Dover District Council's CCTV Operators who are also in contact with police and can help officers locate suspects and offenders.

The Deal scheme is linked closely with the hugely successful Dover Partnership Against Crime, which was one of the first in Kent to achieve the Safer Shopping Award and has been used as a model of good practice by many other towns in Kent and the South East.

Because the Deal scheme is linked to the Dover scheme, it means that individuals who are excluded from shops and businesses in Deal, are automatically excluded from the shops and businesses who are Dover partnership members.

The Safer Shopping Award will be presented to Deal Partnership Against Crime and the Mayor of Deal, Cllr Mrs Susan Delling, in the presence of Assistant Chief Constable Allyn Thomas, Deal town centre PC Roy Bushe, members of the partnership, representatives from the local Chamber of Commerce and locally elected councillors

Outrage that Post Office may close

Contributed by editor on Jan 08, 2004 - 11:10 AM

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Dear Editor,

Well, there is a first time for everything and I've just had two 'first' in just one day!

1) I have just read a Lib Dems flyer - THE one delivered this afternoon.

2) I have just sent the Lib Dems an email to register my outrage at the thought that the Hawkinge Post Office might soon be closing.

Whilst I agree with their campaign on behalf of local elderly people and those who do not have the use of a car, I sincerely hope that their action will also be on behalf of the many people of Hawkinge who work from home.

Yes, I happen to be one of them and rely heavily on the convenience of our village post office which I have been using almost on a daily basis in the past 4 years.

I would like to also take this opportunity to praise the super efficiency of the ladies who work there - they're absolutely brilliant, constantly charming and never loose their cool under pressure.

I am absolutely incensed at the thought of wasting my time (and, as a result, my employers money) if I have have to travel further. Perish the thought of having to use the main post office in Folkestone which seems to thrive on witnessing mile-long queues and employing the slowest staff.

I do not expect my letter to have any impact on the final decision but I certainly feel better having said 'my bit'!

D. Jubien
Hawkinge Resident

Folkestone schools fight truancy

Contributed by editor on Jan 08, 2004 - 08:30 AM

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Thirteen schools in East Folkestone have joined forces to tackle holiday truants. The East Folkestone Local Learning Group (EFLLG)* has published a leaflet targeting parents who take their children on holiday during term time.

Last year thousands of school hours were missed by students at these schools as a result of parents taking family holidays during term time, a trend likely to rise as the price differential between low and high season holidays tempts more parents to take their children out of school.

"This is affecting the achievement of children in our schools", said John Bird, headteacher at St Mary's primary school in Folkestone and chairman of the EFLLG. "A fortnight or even a week's missed work can be damaging to a child's progress. Non-attendance is a major cause of under-achievement, so although parents are getting cheaper holidays, they are doing so at their children's expense."

Schools acknowledge and understand the financial dilemma parents face but the consequences, including possible fines, mean that parents are being encouraged to take children on holiday during term-time only as a last resort.

The leaflet, which is being distributed to parents of East Folkestone Primary Schools and The Channel Secondary Schools suggests that if parents have no other alternative, they restrict school term leave to a maximum of 10 days during June or July which are the least disruptive months for absence. They also ask that parents avoid test/exam weeks and the important preparation time leading up to them.

Kent County Council's Cabinet Member for Education Standards Paul Carter added: "Even a few days off school mean that children lose vital learning time in the classroom. This is rarely made up and often prevents children reaching their full potential. Furthermore, if parents undermine the value of education, what message does this send out to their children? The holiday might be cheaper, but the eventual cost could be at your children's expense!"

The leaflet is part of a public service agreement with KCC to hit attendance targets set by the learning group.

Sex assault damages action halted

Contributed by editor on Jan 08, 2004 - 08:14 AM

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Women from the region allegedly sexually attacked by a Kent consultant gynaecologist have halted a multi-million pound damages action.

The women, whose legal aid was withdrawn, said they were attacked, and some raped, by the late Rodney Ledward.

Eight lead cases against Kent and Medway Health Authority and East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust were due to start.

Investigation after Canterbury soldier dies in Iraq

Contributed by editor on Jan 08, 2004 - 08:09 AM


A 21-year-old soldier who was stationed in Canterbury has died on a training range in Iraq, having arrived just two days earlier following promotion.

Lance Corporal Andrew Craw, of the 1st Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, died near Basra, the Ministry of Defence said.

An investigation has been launched into Lance Corporal Craw's death.

Village Post Office looking for new home

Contributed by editor on Jan 08, 2004 - 07:28 AM

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Tesco have announced that they will not be operating the Post Office in the OneStop shop when then take over the business in the summer

With the competition between the the supermarket chains so fierce, they are having to maximise their shelf space.

The post offices bring in far less money per square foot than baked beans and the trend has been to close their Post Office counters.

The Post Office is looking for a new site in Hawkinge from where they could operate.

A Post Office spokesman has pledged to find an alternative site and is asking for anyone with a suitable site to contact them by phoning them on 08456 016260

Drug taking at beauty spot forces closure

Contributed by admin on Jan 07, 2004 - 11:43 AM

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The Leader of Dover District Council has expressed serious concerns over issues that have led to the National Trust’s decision to close Langdon Cliffs at night – but he is asking the Trust to look again at long term solutions for the popular local beauty spot.

A number of concerns over antisocial behaviour has meant the National Trust has installed new gates at the entrance to the Cliffs and is locking them each evening to keep cars off the site. This was in response to problems including drug taking and littering.

Cllr Paul Watkins, Leader of DDC, said: “We are very concerned about the issues that have lead to the National Trust taking this decision, and do sympathise with the problems the Trust is experiencing. However, this is an extremely popular landmark and beauty spot, and it can not be right to deny the community access to this site because of the actions of a small minority.

We hope that the National Trust will look again at long term solutions to open up this site.�

Man charged over Dreamland ride theft

Contributed by webmaster on Jan 06, 2004 - 12:19 PM

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A former Thanet Tory councillor has been charged with stealing from a campaign to save a Kent rollercoaster.

Colin Kiddell was treasurer of the Scenic Railway Trust - set up to save the historic ride at Dreamland Amusement Park in Margate, police said.

The 45-year-old, from Margate, is due to appear at Thanet Magistrates' Court on January 16 charged with theft.

Clamping down on fly tipping

Contributed by webmaster on Jan 06, 2004 - 12:08 PM

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A major campaign to clamp down on fly tipping across the district needs residents to help by reporting all incidents of dumped waste.

This Fly Tipping Action Group, is supported by Dover District Council, the Police, Kent County Council, the Environment Agency and the National Farmers Union.

Initially, members of the public are being encouraged to simply report all incidents of flytipping via the District Council, leaving their contact details, the date and time they saw the flytipped rubbish, the location, what has been dumped, and details of anyone they saw, including any vehicle registration numbers. Authorities are stressing, however, that residents should not approach people suspected of flytipping by themselves, but should report it.

Cllr Andrew Richardson, DDC Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “Fly tipping is a very serious issue which poses a very real threat to both the environment and public safety. It is vital that we all work together to clamp down on illegal fly tipping�

Anyone who wishes to report incidents of fly tipping should contact the DDC Waste Line on (01304) 872428 or use the reporting form on the Council website at, click on Flytipping.

Elderly benefit from East Kent Health Screening

Contributed by webmaster on Jan 05, 2004 - 01:44 PM

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A health screening programme aimed at elderly people has been launched in East Kent.

One in five who fall and break their hips will die within a year of their injuries and health chiefs are aiming to dramatically reduce these numbers with the screening scheme.

Seventy-five people broke a hip in East Kent last year, 90 per cent were suffering from osteoporosis.

All patients over sixty-five at the major hospitals in East Kent will be screened automatically for a risk of falling and if necessary for osteoporosis.

The bone disease that affects a third of all women by 50 and half of all women by 80. But, if diagnosed early, treatment is simple and effective.