£50million hotel plan revealed

Contributed by editor on Jan 28, 2005 - 10:21 AM


Plans to build a £50m five-star hotel in Dover overlooking the White Cliffs have been revealed by business leaders.

Dover's Chamber of Commerce have said that an international company wants to build the hotel on the Western Heights of the town.

The site, which is home to ancient Napoleonic defences would be turned into a tourist attraction under the proposals.

There have been earlier plans to build a hotel overlooking the Channel, but these have never progressed further.

The Western Heights Preservation Society are worried that the building could ruin the area, although local businesses have given a more positive reaction.

Hawkinge road repairs are down to residents

Contributed by editor on Jan 27, 2005 - 09:25 PM


Have you seen any roads or footpaths in your area which need to be repaired?

Kent County Council Highways department are coming to Hawkinge and the surrounding area in March and April to repair our highways and byways, but they need to know where the holes in the roads and the damaged footpaths are!

Email us now with details of where repairs are needed and we will arrange for your request to be added to the list.

But please hurry, we need to get your requests in as quickly as possible.

Email us now

Woman saved after car skids into ditch

Contributed by editor on Jan 26, 2005 - 07:51 PM


A 21-year-old woman made a frantic call on her mobile phone to her mother after the car she was driving skidded off an icy road into a ditch last night (25 January) 

The mother called the rescue services but firefighters were unaware of the location.

A Kent Fire and Rescue spokesman said: "The mother was obviously very distressed because her daughter was stuck, and she did not know the exact location of the car.

"We kept her on the line and directed our teams to Eastbridge Road, Dymchurch.

"We are not sure if the car would have filled up completely but she was trapped in freezing water.

"If the crew had been a few minutes later she would have been in trouble."

Kent firefighters had to punch out the back window to pull the woman free.

She was taken to hospital suffering from shock and the effects of cold.

Folkestone Camera Club meeting 24 January 2005

Contributed by editor on Jan 26, 2005 - 07:16 PM


26th January 2005

Recently we had a showing of the Clay Cross National Slide Exhibition with a very good commentary and fantastic photography. This years selection of pictures (a collection of 300 slides) from photographers all over the U.K. had a varied selection of subjects but all astounding work. These slides were from very experienced photographers and the standard is very high. They gave us an insight into the results we could achieve, and the majority showed how good lighting can make a photograph come alive - certainly food for thought.

A friendly Battle was fought between Folkestone and Gateway (Dover) camera clubs on Monday 24th January. This is where each club enters 10 prints and 10 slides from various members of their club which are then judged, in this case by Mr Brian Kelvie FRPS, and given points out of 20. The club with the highest total score is the winner. Folkestone came up trumps and won! 

The results were:- 

Prints – Folkestone 177.5 – Gateway 172 
Slides – Folkestone 175 – Gateway 171.5 
Total – Folkestone 352.5 – Gateway 343.5 – quite a close thing nevertheless. 

We hope to have a return match next year. Next Monday will be the PAGB Inter Federation Slide Exhibition followed by our 4th Slide Competition on 7th February

On Wednesday 2nd February there will be our monthly practical evening where members can practice with the clubs studio lighting.

Many photographs taken by members, can be seen on our website at where we also have many Links to Photography related and other Shops.

Our meetings are held at the United Reform Community Hall, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone on Mondays at 7.45pm. New members are always welcome, if interested please phone Mrs Jenny Barraclough (Press Officer) 01303 245399.E mail:

'Someone will get hurt or killed'

Contributed by editor on Jan 26, 2005 - 11:54 AM


Dear Ed

I agree, the council must do more, I have to take my son from Pannell Drive to the village school. 

No safe route at all, maybe our MP, should take an interest into our safety and not his own ambition.

I think Sarah Haywood is right, someone will get hurt or killed before something is done..


Is the Council waiting for someone to get KILLED before they act?

Contributed by editor on Jan 26, 2005 - 11:45 AM


Dear Ed

Once again I have taken both mine and my two young daughters' lives in my hands and walked them to school this morning. 

On approaching the roundabout at the entrance to the Churchill School, I noticed other mothers standing well away from the edge of the road where they intended to cross, as they watched in horror at cars literally sliding sideways towards the roundabout, cars that could very easily have mounted the pavement and hit a child. 

I am SO angry that we go through the same routine every year. Why can't we at least have a gritting bunker by the entrance to the school? 

I said the same last year, and I apologise for repeating myself, but very soon I will simply not bother taking my children into school when the roads are like this.

It seems that a lot of people are complaining but are we being heard? Our councillor needs to sort this out NOW for the sake of the safety of our children.

Sarah Hayward (Pannell Drive)

Skid row in Hawkinge

Contributed by editor on Jan 26, 2005 - 08:37 AM


Hawkinge residents have once again been let down by local Government after gritting lorries apparently bypassed the village following snowfalls on Tuesday.

Jennie Carter, Head Teacher at the Churchill School in Haven Drive, said on Wednesday morning: "Once again the road outside the school is a sheet of ice after gritting lorries have failed to put in an appearance.

"I've contacted Shepway Council about the situation but they said it was down to Kent County Council as it decides which roads should be gritted.

"it's not just Haven Drive either: Aerodrome Road has also been missed out and that's the main school bus route.

"How do they expect children to get to school safely in these conditions? The snow was predicted and expected and not particularly heavy but still the county appears to have been unprepared."

Mrs Carter got onto Shepway Council chairman Peter Smith, who is also a Governor at the school, to see if anything could be done to remedy the situation.

Chairman of Hawkinge Parish Council. David Callahan, said: "The roads were already in a treacherous state last night (Tuesday) and I was unable to get to a meeting.

"This morning the whole village appears to be like an ice rink. I will be chasing this up to find out why the roads were not gritted.

"As far as I'm aware Shepway Council IS responsible for gritting the roads through their sub-contractors Streetscene."

But according to Cllr Smith the ultimate responsibility lies with the County Council. He said: "I've been in touch and it's not just Hawkinge that's been missed out but other parts of the county too.

"The official excuse, as far as I can tell, is that they've run out of grit which is a bit ironic considering that the pressure's on to build more houses and more roads in this area.

"If the county doesn't have enough grit now to cope with one little snow flurry how on earth will it manage when all these new houses are built that the Government is demanding?"

Residents also expressed their disgust at the slow response to the cold weather, which had been predicted by forecasters. One villager, who managed to make it to the local shops, said: "I just can't understand it - one little bit of snow and everything grinds to a halt."

Anti Social Behaviour Unit success

Contributed by editor on Jan 25, 2005 - 11:30 PM


The new Anti-Social Behaviour Unit in Dover, which includes a seconded police officer from South East Kent Police, has resolved more than 70% of cases in its first three months.

Cllr Mrs Julie Rook, Cabinet Member for Citizenship, said: "We are delighted at the results from the first three months of the Anti-Social Behaviour Unit. 

"This success is a tribute to the hard work of the Unit and demonstrates how the Council is working to address key issues in the area to promote pride and make a real difference to quality of life for people in the district."

If you are a victim of anti social behaviour, or want to report an incident, you can contact the Unit confidentially on 01304 872220.

Hawkinge Community Safety Forum Minutes 13th January 2004

Contributed by ChrisAshman on Jan 25, 2005 - 02:12 PM


Minutes of Meeting 3pm 13th January  2004 at Hawkinge Community Centre

1. Introductions.  Present:Chris Ashman (Chairman), Ian Norman (Hawkinge Community Warden), Jean McGill (Vice Chair), Sally Coleman (Parish & NHW Liaison Officer), Brian Marshall, Deirdre Lawton,  Deirdre Ferguson & Jan Doyle (The Hawkinge Partnership) Cllr. Ian Smith, Cllr. David Callahan, Don Veale.

2. Apologies: Terry Scott (Hawkinge Gazette), Perry Hayward, PC Trevor Moody, Jackie & Martin Ide (Hawkinge Community Newsletter).

3. Minutes of last meeting.  Signed by Chairman

4. GuestsHCSF welcomed Hawkinge Partnership Manager Deirdre Ferguson who introduced the work of the Partnership Theme Leaflets “Crime & Community Safetyâ€? to all.  Discussion took place reference theâ€? pros and consâ€? of HCSF becoming a direct Sub-Group of the Hawkinge Partnership. The vote of the Forum present was “forâ€?.An event for villagers and groups interested in forming sub-groups will be held at the Village Hall from 2.30 to 8pm o­n 27th January 2005. Further information 01303 852321.

5. Open Forum - Matters Arising.  Brian thought there should be more public awareness of Confidence Tricks and Scams by phone, email, letter and personal callers. Discussion about nuisance phone calls was also brought up. Sally Coleman said she would supply a document discussing the subject and that there were various preference services available to prevent the mass of cold calls, junk mail and pamphlet drops.

6. Partnership Event - HCSF will join Neighbourhood Watch and Ian Norman (Hawkinge Community Warden) o­n a stand to present and inform visitors of safety facilities/services availability and plans for the future enhancement for the village. Hawkinge Delivery Plan will be o­n Display See also Item 4.

7. Safety in the Local Lanes Don Veale told us of his concerns about traffic and the reality of living at a local accident black spot. The dangers to horse riders in the lanes around the village, particularly Gibraltar Lane, Elvington Lane, Colegate Lane and Arpinge. Signs needed. KCC Rights of Way Hazards Chairman to write to Highways Authority and invite representative to next forum.

8. LettersNone received – noted as in our previous letter to authorities that Tesco are still causing obstruction problems o­n A260 at peak usage times.

9. Reports from Neighbourhood WatchSally Coleman having been consulted throughout the forum had nothing else to add. The NHW Executive for Hawkinge is Peter Brun. Misspelled in previous minutes

10. Reports from CouncillorsConsents have been given for various projects including a pub o­n the employment land opposite school, Go ahead for completing the link road and next phase of housing. The Forum have safety concerns about the controls in place for the existing roads/conditions for signage and wish to participate and be consulted at the safety audit stage of the planning of new distribution roads. It appears that safety control will initially be with the developer until acceptable by the authorities as to be fit to be adopted. Chairman to write to Jeff Stack SDC. New EU recycling rules to be adopted – discussion at future forum when safety impact understood. Hawkinge now in a situation of Doctor and Dentist shortage with no funds for or support for a Health Centre. Village car park now under control of Hawkinge Parish Council who’s chairman welcomes villagers proposals for future use and paving ideas for the benefit of the village. The untidy and dangerous cement blocks at the back of the Car Park are the responsibility of the Community Centre/ Village Hall committee (those walking or parking beware) Crosskeys coaches are unable to change their pattern of student pick-up and drop suggested by the Forum due to restrictions route and timetable o­n bussing routes.  o­ngoing consultation about speed restriction changes o­n A260 which is unlikely to be de-trunked to relieve village traffic as the proposed by-pass will be unsuitable as planned. Trucks are still directed from the A2 direction via Hawkinge to the Channel Tunnel.  From April 2005 SDC will no longer be responsible for Highways as KCC take the service back into house including staff and contractors. “To take advantage of closer links with Parish and Town Councilsâ€?

11. Report from Community WardenIan gave a full breakdown of crime figures. 2003/2004 Mostly showing deceases in figures but notably Burglary, Shoplifting, Pedal cycle Theft and Violence Against the Person o­n the increase. The Forum were particularly unhappy with the last result as it did not separate figures for Violence Outside the Home & Domestic Violence which we believe to be the majority of the number. Anti Social Behaviour not mentioned. Criminal Damage has decreased but the Hawkinge Partnership papers indicate that Criminal Damage, Anti Social Behaviour and Domestic Violence increased during 2003/2004. Ian was asked for more details at the next meeting. Nuisance caused by youths playing football in inappropriate places is under observation.

12. Any other business. Chris will give Deirdre Ferguson the names of Forum members supporting their stand at the Taking Part – Making Changes event o­n 27th January at the Village Hall.

13. Next Meeting.Thursday 10th March 2005 Churchill School staff room  7pm to 9pm

All villagers and organisations are invited to bring their safety concerns to the forum.


Council Tax rise in-line with inflation

Contributed by editor on Jan 24, 2005 - 03:58 PM


A value-for-money budget that boosts services and drives out further efficiency savings will keep next year's Council Tax increase for Kent County Council down to 3.7 per cent.

It will mean a band "D" home will be liable for a Council Tax increase of about £1 a week.

Leader of the Council Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart said: "We're setting out a Council Tax increase of 3.7 per cent. This has been achieved against a background of further government grant loss away from the south east and has meant close investigation of all council departments to cut administration and overheads and bring forward £32 million in savings.

"An increase of 3.7 per cent is still higher than we would have liked. The government's refusal to use the 2001 Census information, which shows that Kent has more young and elderly people, has cost us £9 million. If they had paid this money that Kent is owed, it would have cut Council Tax by a further two per cent.

"We have been determined to produce a value-for-money budget that makes savings but also invests in the priorities of local people. We have set out a budget for the highest-ever spend on school buildings and on new vocational training centres, as well as new investment in crime reduction measures and community wardens. There is new money for libraries and a 50 per cent increase in funding for village halls, together with more money to enable elderly people to remain in their own homes."

The government grant for Kent increased by £41 million of which £32.4 million goes straight to schools.

Shepway Council have yet to set their Council Tax.