Villagers still awaiting answers

Contributed by editor on Oct 14, 2004 - 10:38 PM


The natives are becoming restless over the time taken for Shepway Council to answer the questions raised at the District Council meeting held in the village community centre in July.

The Parish council wrote to the district authority o­n 27 September after parishioners who were promised replies, had received nothing after more than two months of the meeting.

Democratic Services Manager at Shepway Council Martyn Harris described the delay as "regrettable".

In his letter to the Parish council he said: <FONT color=black>"The delay in progressing an Action Plan is regrettable. As you know, the Council's priorities have been focussing o­n reducing its Council Tax following capping and taking positive steps to protect its statutory services in the light of reductions in the Council's budget. Furthermore, the Council's Executive changes shortly after the meeting and this has inevitably delayed progress o­n a number of key issues.

"Progressing the Action Plan has also suffered as a consequence. However, I am pleased to be able to confirm that the first steps in the process have now been taken; the issues categorised and officers requested to make contact with those persons, including parish councillors, who took the trouble to attend the meeting and raise important issues. I hope it is not too long now before contact is made with them".

Mr Harris has promised to "speed things along" if people do not hear anything in the next few weeks, and has asked that the Parish Council keep him informed.

<FONT color=midnightblue>You may prefer to contact Mr Harris directly, if so, his direct dial number is 01303 852388,  eMail <FONT color=midnightblue><FONT color=midnightblue> or you can write to Martyn Harris, Democratic Services Manager, Shepway District Council, Civic Centre, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 2QY

Community wardens fight killer gas threat

Contributed by editor on Oct 14, 2004 - 05:26 PM


Elderly and vulnerable residents in Dover are able to claim a free carbon monoxide detector from Kent County Council's Community Wardens.

The devices let off a continuous high-pitched tone if it detects high levels of the gas in people's homes.

Carbon monoxide is produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, ie gas, oil, coal and wood used in boilers, fires and water heaters. Dangerous amounts can build up because of poor maintenance, through damage to an appliance or because of poor ventilation.

There are 100 detectors to give away to people in Eyethorne/Elvington, Capel le Ferne, St Margarets at Cliffe or Eastry.

Lead Member for Community Safety Mike Hill said: "As carbon monoxide has no smell, colour or taste, early detection is vital.

"I hope these alarms will help save lives and mean that people are able to relax in their own homes with confidence."

Witnesses sought to Folkestone stabbing

Contributed by editor on Oct 14, 2004 - 10:03 AM


Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was assaulted in Bellevue Street, Folkestone at around 7.30 pm o­n Saturday evening, 2nd October.

The 38-year-old man was walking along Bellevue Street near Missenden Court when a man punched and kicked him, and another man jumped o­n his back forcing him to the floor.

He suffered a stab wound to his chest and cuts and bruises.

Two men aged 37 and 39 have been arrested o­n suspicion of causing Grievous Bodily Harm, and released o­n police bail whilst officers make further enquiries.

Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Andrew Lewis o­n 01303 850055.

Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers o­n 0800 555111. Calls to Crimestoppers are free, you do not have to give your name and you may be eligible for a reward.

Firefighters and ambulance staff join forces

Contributed by editor on Oct 14, 2004 - 02:15 AM


Kent Fire and Rescue Service and Kent Ambulance Trust are launching a pilot scheme that could potentially save many lives.

From November, some firefighters will be able to respond to immediately life-threatening medical emergencies, but they will always be supported by ambulance staff in what is known as a ‘co-responding’ scheme.

The new scheme is being piloted at three retained stations – Dymchurch, Hoo and Edenbridge – in a six-month trial. A number of firefighters at each station have volunteered to extend their existing first-aid training to include the use of equipment, such as defibrillators, which can give people a better chance of surviving potentially fatal heart attacks. They will also carry oxygen and be trained in basic life-support skills.

Mr Tom Mason, Vice Chairman of Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “We have always worked closely with ambulance staff at incidents, but this takes our relationship a step further and will be of real benefit to the people of Kent.

�We had a very positive reaction to the idea when we spoke to retained firefighters about the scheme. They raised lots of useful questions which have been helpful during our talks with Kent Ambulance Trust.�

Kent Ambulance Trust will train the firefighters, provide and maintain all the necessary equipment.

Kevin Bate from Kent Ambulance Trust, said: “The quicker casualties can get help the better their chances of a full recovery. Having additional resources to call o­n in these areas could make all the difference. Our staff are looking forward to working with firefighters who will expand our network of co-responders.â€?

The two services have been discussing co-responding over the last few months, following government proposals in the Fire Service White Paper. Throughout the trial period the two services will work closely together and a full assessment will be made after six months.

Parish Council says yes to Lidl supermarket

Contributed by editor on Oct 13, 2004 - 11:38 PM


Hawkinge Parsh Council tonight (13 October) approved plans for a Lidl supermarket and a family pub to be built o­n land off Haven Drive and Spitfire Way.

Four councillors were in favour with three abstentions and o­ne vote against. Cllr Trice voted for the development but raised questions regarding the safety of the access to the store.

The plans will now be passed to Shepway Council's Development Control Committee for a final decision.

Folkestone Camera Club meeting

Contributed by editor on Oct 13, 2004 - 11:26 PM


On Monday  11th October our members gave a warm welcome to Mr Clive Tanner FRPS,  who returned to our club to judge our first slide competition of the season.  Clive is a very experienced photographer and judge and he gave us very constructive comments o­n our entries, along with his humorous wit.
The winners in each section were:-

The marks out of 20  (first and second placings) were:-

(12 entries)  Dave Turner  Ã¢â‚¬ËœIn Flight’                          20
   Fay Meek  Ã¢â‚¬ËœMountain Train, Austria’                      19

(5 entries)  Ann Reeves  Ã¢â‚¬ËœSt. Rumwolds Church’       19
   Glen Yorke  Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe Eagle Has Landed’                     17

(10 entries)  Charles White  Ã¢â‚¬ËœRiver Sola’                    20
   Bill Grudgings  Ã¢â‚¬ËœFlorence’                                       19    

(20 entries)  Jerry Watson  Ã¢â‚¬ËœCold War Warrior’         20
   Dave Turner  Ã¢â‚¬ËœHot Lips’                                         20
Fay Meek  Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe Mill, Downland Museum’                19
   Bob Brisley  Ã¢â‚¬ËœIn Memory’                                      19

(4 entries)  Bryan Mewse  Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe Old Room’              18
   Bryan Mewse  Ã¢â‚¬ËœFigure & Red’                              16

Our meeting o­n 25th October will be a digital audio visual show by Mr Denis Bridges, a long-standing member of our club and with 30 years experience in audio visual.   Now with the increase in digital he has extended his field of expertise with this new technology. 

On Saturday 23rd October many of us will be travelling by coach to Brugge to see and hopefully, photograph,  this beautiful city, which should be a very enjoyable day out.

On 30th October St. Mary’s Bay Camera Club will be hosting the Kent County Photographic Associations’ Audio Visual Competition, which should be well worth seeing.

Our  next Practical evening will  be held o­n 3rd November where members can practice with the clubs studio lighting and chat about photography in a more informal evening.

Visit our web site at

Who walks who?

Contributed by editor on Oct 13, 2004 - 10:55 PM

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Hurricane society take up by pass fight

Contributed by editor on Oct 13, 2004 - 10:36 PM


This letter was forwarded by Graeme Green to the Hawkinge Gazette. It is from Trevor Williams of the Hawker Hurricane Society regarding the plans to build o­n land adjacent to Aerodrome Road

to Mr. Geoff Stack,
Planning Department,
Shepway District Council
Objection to Planning appication: YO3/0903/SH & Y03/0904/SH,

Dear Sir ,

As Secretary for the Hawker Hurricane Society, we work in close association with Museums dedicated to preserving this Countries history of which the Hawker Hurricane played an important part during the summer months of 1940. When apart from the heroic action of approximately two thousand pilots, many who gave their young lives in direct defence of this nation. We would almost certainly now be a German speaking nation the other possibility is too horrible to even contemplate.

It has been bought to our attention that a new road is to be built in the immediate area of Hawkinge which serves no other purpose than to further more housing development of the area.

A road which would run directly through areas of natural outstanding beauty , a threat that has worried local long tenn residents for a number of years, a direct threat to the North Downs and an area always associated by the tourist as the gateway to the garden of England.

As well as destroying an area of natural beauty, there is the lack of thought shown for the Kent Battle of Britain Museum. A facility that has been located o­n the airfield for many years, and serves to be recognised by historians throughout the United Kingdom and many European Countries as probably the finest Museum of its type dedicated to preserving an aspect of British history, the like of which the world will never see again and when the survival of a nation depended solely o­n aerial defence.

The veterans of that epic battle are now in their late eighties, but still they come to Hawkinge where many of them flew. For a glimpse of their past, now sixty four years ago, when the sound of their Hurricanes and Spitfires Rolls Royce Merlin's filled the air in defiance of an enemy that would have changed a unique way of life and everything we believe in as a nation.

Even to this day the sight and sound of a Hurricane or a Spitfire turns heads skyward, as the part those two little fighters played and the men that flew them into battle is remembered.

May I enquire as to what money, that has been set aside for the development of this new road, is likely to be made available to the immediate and local community? .There are plans to expand the Museum, by the building an education facility where future students of history can benefit from the historical knowledge available at the site. Long term plans for a library, and education centre have already received the support from various educational authorities.

The events of sixty four years ago, now seem such a long way off, but the reality of what the outcome might have been had we lost the Battle of Britain just does not bare thinking about.

As a nation we have always believed in democracy and freedom of speech for everyone, with the way of the world today there will always be a need for further housing etc. but in a man and woman's short time o­n earth, we also have an obligation to the future of this great country.

What we do and what we leave behind. much of the county of Kent has already been lost to the expansion of new housing and new roads. The County never earned the name, the garden of England for no reason, as a citizen of this island I urge you members of Council not to destroy what Nazi Germany tried so very hard to do. The entire area of Dover, and Folkstone is an area of great natural beauty. As a Council please give future generations the chance to gaze o­n the natural creation of God, not a sea of bricks and mortar.

I believe your new intended road also borders the last resting ground near Hawkinge Cemetery, where so many of those who fought during the Battle of Britain were laid to their rest. Others went down in the English Channel, and have no marker above their heads but they went to their deaths in the certain knowledge that they were fighting to protect this green and pleasant land.

I wonder sixty-four years later, if the sea could give up its dead. Would they point an accusing finger and ask why the question. ..what they had fought so hard to protect we were destroying in the name of progress.

Today I don't know why, but no matter what government is in power, labour, conservative whatever you have all lost the ability to remember the cost of what we all have and enjoy today. There is no thought given for past history and the remembrance of the hardships and sacrifices that gave us a way of life unique as no other country in the world.

That must be right, because everyone else in Europe and elsewhere wants to come and live here, so please think of England first and protect what natural beauty we all have a right to enjoy. That right did not come from any politician, it was given to us all by God Almighty our saviour and creator.

Yours most sincerely

Trevor A Williams
The Hawker Hurricane Society

Michael Howard invited to attend transgender beauty pageant

Contributed by editor on Oct 13, 2004 - 09:52 PM


Tory leader and Folkestone and Hythe MP Michael Howard has been asked to attend as guest of honour,  the beauty competition, Miss Trans Gender Kent  in Folkestone next month.

Sue Sheppard who runs ' Lacies', a specialist supplier to the transgender community as well as supplying  ladies glamourwear runs the 10 year old business in the East part of Folkestone.

She has written to Mr Howard in the hope that his visit would promote the town after what Ms Sheppard describes as "decades of decline".

In her letter she tells Mr Howard of the success of the business saying, "Our firms growth now includes a shop in Brighton where we recently had a visit from the Mayor of that great city."

" We really want to help the local Kent community by holding this event and use the funds raised to support the Kent Air Ambulance. 

"We hope you will join with us in our celebration of the success of Lacies and the transgender movement both which have achieved success and legal recognition in the last 10 years. I have never heard you mention transgenderism  but dark hints about attacking political correction gone mad often focus wrongly o­n transgendered individuals".

The competition is due to be held o­n Tuesday evening November 16th 2004.

Blair pressed over delays on high speed rail link to Folkestone

Contributed by editor on Oct 13, 2004 - 01:17 AM


A direct appeal has been made to the Prime Minister to put the use of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link for Kent's domestic services, including the proposed high speed link to Folkestone and Dover back o­n track.

Kent County Council is angry about delays in the specification and ordering of the trains that means the promised 2007 target date for the start of services will not be met and it could be 2009 at the earliest before trains are running.

In a letter to Tony Blair this week, the Leader of the county council, Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, said: "I cannot overstate the seriousness of this for business confidence and regeneration in Kent.

"Kent has put up with significant disruption caused by the construction of the CTRL, but supported the Bill through the parliamentary procedures with the promise of significantly improved domestic services between east and north Kent and London. The delivery of the growth agenda is dependent o­n this. May I urge you to unlock the inertia o­n this most important issue for the future of Kent and confirm the delivery of promises made to the people of Kent."

Tony Blair has a direct interest in the issue through his role as Chairman of the Cabinet Sub-Committee o­n the Thames Gateway which includes Ebbsfleet.

The delay has major implications for Ebbsfleet and Ashford but will also affect the proposed Rail Link services to Folkestone,  Dover, Thanet and Canterbury.

In July 2004, Shepway District Council  wrote to the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) setting out the council’s concern at the apparent loss of momentum for the campaign.

The SRA responded stating that after they relieved Connex of the Kent franchise, South Eastern Trains was set up to run the operation until the new franchise could be specified and put out to tender. The new franchisee will probably be appointed within the next few months, although there have been some delays. They will be expected to operate an integrated service of the new high-speed Channel Tunnel Rail Link Domestic Services and the existing classic line services.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Robert Bliss highlighted the need for a coordinated approach to the project and stated “Shepway District Council, Dover District Council and Ashford Borough Council will be working in cooperation with each other in order to encourage the provision of Channel Tunnel Rail Link Domestic Services to South East Kent.�

The Channel Tunnel Rail link is integral to the future regeneration of Shepway bringing the journey time to London to just 57 minutes.