Beware of parcel delivery scam

Contributed by editor on Dec 02, 2005 - 11:36 AM



Trading Standards are warning that a number of people have reported receiving leaflets through their letterboxes implying that a parcel is awaiting collection. 

The leaflet asks them to telephone an 090 number for further information. The call, which is charged at £1.50 per minute, is likely to last a number of minutes.

Kent Trading Standards is aware of similar scams and is concerned that people may be taken-in by this scam particularly as some might be expecting parcels in the run-up to Christmas. 

090 numbers are charged at a premium rate and it is very unlikely that genuine delivery companies would use this type of number. 

If anyone receives one of these leaflets they should contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 for further advice. 

They may also wish to report the matter to the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services at or on 0800 500 212'.

Council act over meadow housing plan

Contributed by editor on Dec 01, 2005 - 10:13 PM


More than seventy five residents squeezed into Swingfield Parish Council meeting on Tuesday (29 November) to hear the debate over  plans for 98 new homes on Black Horse Meadow in Densole.

Cllr Colin Tearle chaired the planning application section of the meeting and less than impressed councillors who were unanimously against the development have sent their views to Shepway District Council.

These included:

  • The plans are contrary to the current local plan
  • The land is 'an area of outstanding natural beauty'
  • Increase in traffic
  • Access to the proposed development is on a dangerous bend
  • Sewage disposal problems
  • Local fears of creeping urbanisation
  • Lack of infrastructure

Residents have reported that the individual building plots on Black Horse Meadow are on sale on the internet (click here) .

To try to stop the sale of individual plots as advertised on the website, Swingfield Parish Council have requested that Shepway District Council use their powers to issue a Section 4 directive. This would remove permitted development rights to the field.

Many villagers had long hoped that the land would have been used as a childrens play area  and recreation ground but the Densole Playing Field Association failed to buy the land when it came up for auction in July 2000.

It was sold for £38,000.


Folkestone high speed rail link operator named

Contributed by editor on Dec 01, 2005 - 09:19 PM



The Government has announced that transport company Govia has won the contract to run a new Kent rail franchise which includes routes which have been run in the public sector by South Eastern Trains and the new commuter high speed link from Folkestone to London.

The company promises to invest £76m in passenger and staff facilities, and build two new depots in Ashford and Ramsgate - but fares will increase.

From 2009, Govia will run high-speed commuter trains on a section of the franchise which will use the Channel Tunnel rail link. 

The new franchise will be for eight years, with the final two years dependent on service performance. 

The franchise area covers routes already operated by South Eastern Trains where the previous franchise holder, Connex, was sacked by the Strategic Rail Authority in 2003.

Cash for Keep Fit project

Contributed by editor on Dec 01, 2005 - 09:09 PM


Lyminge Bowls Club has just been awarded a £3,000 grant from Kent County Council to help the club replace the watering system which is on its last legs.

County Councillor Susan Carey presents the cheque

The Club is a hidden gem, tucked unobtrusively away near the village hall. 

The green is rated as “excellentâ€? and often hosts major events at both County and national level. 

The new watering system will not only keep the green in tip top condition but will be far more environmentally friendly by making better use of water. 

Bowls is one of the few keep fit activities for older folks and most of the Lyminge Bowls Club members are 50+ but the club also boasts four under 18s and is making active efforts to encourage more young people to take part as bowls is an excellent cross generational sport.

Parish Council Chairman steps down

Contributed by editor on Dec 01, 2005 - 09:00 PM


Swingfield Parish Council Chairman Roger Curd took fellow councillors by surprise when he announced he was stepping down at their meeting on Tuesday (29 November).

Vice Chairman Colin Tearle has taken over the role until a new Chairman is elected at their next meeting in January 2006. 

Roger Curd admitted he had been thinking of resigning for some time.

He said: "I have been Chairman for five years and thoroughly enjoyed the job. However, I have been mulling over my future since May.

"The demands of my consultancy to Folkestone charities has mushroomed and I have less spare time.

"I always like to give 100% but there came a time when I couldn't give the Parish Council the time it deserved."

Mr. Curd will continue to sit as a Swingfield parish councillor.

Howard's Way 1 December 2005

Contributed by editor on Dec 01, 2005 - 12:06 AM

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

December 2005

Last Friday was the kind of day which illustrates the range of activities which come within the remit of a Member of Parliament.

I started the day with two meetings at the William Harvey Hospital. The first was with the Chairman, Chief Executive and Director of Nursing at the East Kent NHS Hospitals Trust which is responsible for the hospital. Readers will, I hope, know that I have, for many years, been concerned at the experiences which some of my constituents have encountered at the hospital.

Of course most of the care is of a high standard, as it should be, and the vast majority of the staff are extremely conscientious and hard working. But there are a worrying number of exceptions. And they are a real cause for concern. I was able to put those concerns to those responsible for the management of the hospital and they told me what they were doing to put things right. Time will tell whether these reassurances are justified.

My next meeting at the hospital was to listen to those with concerns about out-patient services at the Royal Victoria Hospital. I shall take these concerns up with those responsible, too.

Then I went to Folkestone to meet some of the senior staff at the Folkestone Sports Centre. The future of the centre and the Council’s plans for new sports centres at Folkestone and Hythe have aroused considerable controversy. I am not the person who will make these decisions but am happy to try to play a constructive role in finding the best solution.

Next stop was a meeting with Tom Johnson, the Principal of South Kent College. The college has very ambitious plans which I want to help bring to fruition. Nothing could be more important than equipping our young people with the skills they need to fill the jobs that are becoming available.

Then I went to the Civic Centre for two meetings – the first was to review progress on plans for the regeneration of Shepway and, in particular, the delays in dealing with planning applications. The second was to discuss, again, the future of the Council’s plans for sports centres.

From the future to the past. My next engagement was to open the new Folkestone History Centre in the Old High Street – a welcome example of the growing relationship between Folkestone and Christ Church University, Canterbury.

Then it was off to open a new restaurant in Hythe. The Ah Bon at the Seabrook end of the High Street.

Finally, I spoke at the Annual Dinner of the Dymchurch Conservatives. It was a very enjoyable conclusion to a busy but satisfying day.

Irish Yoga

Contributed by editor on Nov 30, 2005 - 10:31 PM



Dear Ed,

Is anyone interested in Yoga?

Well, the Irish like it too and this is a link which is dedicated to those keen on their particular style of Yoga.

Irish Yoga

Be sure to read the warning circled in red at the bottom of the first picture (link above).

After viewing this picture, click the right arrow to see the next picture.

Happy bending,


Pentland Homes statement re:contamination, bombs and asbestos

Contributed by editor on Nov 30, 2005 - 09:59 PM



This statement responds to the numerous negative comments posted on the Hawkinge chat site relating to contamination, asbestos and bombs.

Pentland Homes Ltd are the previous owner and developer of much of the current housing over the extent of Hawkinge Aerodrome. Additionally we own and control the remaining housing and development areas know as Terlingham Village Phase 3 and the Employment Land off Haven Drive

There has been much comment on this site, relating to both built and proposed developments in relation to bombs, contamination and asbestos over the extent of the Aerodrome site and we would like to formally respond to this as a matter of fact in order to clarify the history and subsequent investigations and conclusions.

Whilst the entire Aerodrome site was, some years ago, screened and cleared of ordnance, there have been, in recent years, a number of isolated incidences where stray ordnance has in fact been found and disposed of. Notwithstanding this further more detailed investigations, honing down onto smaller objects has now been undertaken over those areas still undeveloped resulting in a clean bill of health.

Turning to contamination and asbestos, it is understood that a number of the buildings previously demolished over parts of the aerodrome did contain asbestos and when removed did leave some residue resulting in a single find by a member of the public a number of years ago. This occurrence sparked further more detailed investigation into the existence of asbestos over the undeveloped land resulting in the confirmation that no further asbestos was present.

It should be noted that all planning permission attained on the Aerodrome site were subject not only to acceptable ordnance searches but also a full geotechnical and contamination assessment. All of these reports when submitted were in the public domain and are available for reference at the Council Offices.

We would also like to point out that all of the land recently permitted for housing development has been, at least twice, scanned for asbestos. Additionally all homes developed and that are to be warranted by the builders insurers such as the National House Building Council (NHBC) cannot be indemnified unless a thorough investigation and reporting exercise has been completed which rules out the existence or acceptable levels of contamination in relation to its affects to human health. This is another further safeguard over and above the local authorities own requirements.

Should anyone reading this article wish to have further information or indeed wish to discuss the issue of bombs, contamination and asbestos further, particularly for the remaining undeveloped land in Hawkinge please feel free to contact 

Matthew Brett-Chaponnel (Development Director), 
Pentland Homes,
8 Osprey Court 
CT18 7TH

Job cuts unlikely say P&O buyers

Contributed by editor on Nov 29, 2005 - 06:09 PM


The P&O ports and ferries group, recognised by the British as their sea-sickness-inducing passageway to exotic locales such as Calais, Bilbao, Rotterdam and Zeebrugge has agreed to be bought by Dubai Ports World in a takeover deal worth £3.3 billion. 

French supermarkets - a favourite for booze cruisers 

Last month, P&O announced it had been approached by a potential bidder. "We did not solicit the bid but we received an attractive proposition," admitted P&O chairman Sir John Parker on Tuesday, "Putting P&O and DP World together will create one of the top three leading ports groups in the world." 

P&O started in 1840 after the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company won a British Admiralty contract to carry the mail overseas in 1837. 

There are now three divisions, ferries, ports and logistics, although most U.K. landlubbers know it solely as a means of doing a "booze cruise" - loading up a hired van with cheap beer and wine from French supermarkets for the festive season. 

It has been restructuring over the past two years to try to counter a drop in ferry passengers, partly thanks the phenomenal growth of low-cost airlines like Ryannair and stiff competition from other ferry operators and Eurotunnel.

DPW is a new kid on the block. Created a month ago by the Dubai government, the company says it plans to keep P&O's headquarters in London and Chief Executive Robert Woods would continue to head the business. 

There are unlikely to be any job cuts as P&O will be run as a separate business, DP World says, as there is very little overlap between the operations of the two companies.

Why has the integrity of certain parish councillors been called into question?

Contributed by editor on Nov 28, 2005 - 10:08 PM


Dear Ed,

My wife has recently been on at me to get rid of some of the papers I have accumulated in my office over the years.

I eventually began sorting these out and interestingly came across a document which may throw some light on the recent furore over the Leisuredrome, and why Hawkinge Parish Council is only able to direct certain funding towards the football pitch project but  is unable to use those funds to renovate the Leisuredrome.

I think a recent letter to the website from Messrs Veale and Murrum which questioned the actions of certain parish councillors regarding the new football pitch will find the answers here.

The following are unedited extracts from the Shepway Development Control Committee meeting of 1 April 2003.


REPORT DC/02/39 details that this Council holds funds for Hawkinge Parish Council amounting to some £155,000 including interest, to enable it to construct a replacement football pitch/recreation area on land adjacent to the Cricket Club. The Parish Council has requested that £55,593 be released for equipment and initial running costs of the new community centre. The report explains the circumstances and recommends that funds be released.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs J D Hollingsbee
Seconded by Councillor H A Barker, and

(1) To receive and note Report DC/02/39.
(2) To return £55,593 to the Parish Council from the 'Football Pitch Fund'.
(3) To agree that the requirement to provide the new football pitch be waived for a further period of 2 years.

(Voting: For 14; Against 0; Abstentions 0)


Councillor P Smith declared a prejudicial interest in respect of Report DC/02/39 (Replacement of Football Pitch, Hawkinge). His interest arose out of being a member of Hawkinge Parish Council and being personally and closely involved in the project. He therefore was absent from the Council Chamber during the discussion and voting on this item.

The minutes demonstrate that Hawkinge Parish Council have no legal option other than to spend these funds on the new football pitch project and that Cllr Peter Smith as an ex Trustee and Charity Correspondent of the Leisuredrome Charity (Hawkinge Youth and Community Sports Council (HYSC)) knew precisely that this was the legal position, after all he has been heavily involved in both projects.

So why has the integrity of certain parish councillors been called into question?

I cannot understand why, when Cllr Smith was a Trustee of the HYSC the two trustees who wrote to the website seemed to be unaware of the legal position.

Colin Tearle