Branson's Channel record smashed

Contributed by editor on Jun 21, 2005 - 07:24 PM


Sir Richard Branson's record for crossing the English Channel in an amphibious vehicle has been smashed by a businessman from New Zealand.

Nick Fox set off from Dover today (21 June) and arrived in France just 43 minutes and 12 seconds later, knocking almost an hour off Branson's time of 1hr 40mins.

But Sir Richard is questioning whether the amphibious vehicle qualifies for the record.

The crossing in an inflatable "Sealeg" boat, which has three retractable wheels which drive the vehicle at just six miles an hour on land is a far cry from the Branson's 140mph street vehicle.

It is now down to the Guinness Book of Records to decide whether the New Zealander's vehicle qualifies for the record. 

Sir Richard has said he will challenging Nick Fox to regain the record if it is ratified.

Keep dog mess in your gardens

Contributed by editor on Jun 21, 2005 - 01:54 PM


Dear Ed,

Whilst I understand that there are those who have pets and live in flats or apartments, and they do have a problem clearing up after their animals' mess.

However, is there anything to stop conscientious owners keeping the mess in their own gardens and clearing it up from there?

Sounds very simple to me.


Local anti social behaviour taken to Boulogne

Contributed by editor on Jun 21, 2005 - 01:07 AM


A group from Shepway will be travelling to France o­n 24 June to talk about the ways anti-social behaviour is tackled in the district.

Officers from South East Kent Police, Shepway Council and the Shepway Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) have been invited to speak at the annual meeting of Plenary for Crime Reduction in Boulogne.

It’s part of a project to look at crime reduction initiatives o­n both sides of the channel through BOSCO – the Boulogne and Shepway Co-operation.

The Shepway Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership has pledged its support to the project which will look at the benefits of sharing ideas o­n the best ways of tackling anti-social behaviour.

Jyotsna Leney, Crime Reduction Manager at Shepway Council said the French had been impressed by the approach being taken to tackle anti-social behaviour in Shepway.

“They are keen to learn more about the approaches taken in Shepway, like the Joint Family Management Programme, that has been pioneered by South East Kent Police and is now regarded as best national practice in the UK,� said Jyotsna.

The cross-channel project - which has applied for funding from the European Interreg scheme - will also look at Capitaine de Soire , a designated driver scheme operating in France to reduce night time disorder and Parcours de Cityonne , a joint citizenship project involving vulnrable youths from Folkestone and Boulogne.

BOSCO was set up in 2002 with the aim of promoting and supporting projects that have benefits to both Shepway and Boulogne.

Varsity boat race comes to Dover

Contributed by editor on Jun 20, 2005 - 07:12 PM


The varsity boat race came to Dover today (20 June) when rowing crews from Oxford and Cambridge battled their   way across the channel from Shakespeare beach to Cape Griz Nez in France.

The race across one of the world's busiest shipping lanes was won by a crew from St John's College, Cambridge in a time of 3hr 37min.

The cash raised is going to Cancer Research UK.

If you would like to made a donation, please visit the Cambridge Channel Challenge website.

Show of hands for food safety week

Contributed by editor on Jun 20, 2005 - 01:31 AM


Shepway Council is joining National Food Safety Week’s campaign about the importance of hand washing before food is prepared.

Stop, think, wash is this theme for this year’s campaign - which runs from 11 June until 19 June - and the council is encouraging people who work in the food business to brush-up o­n hand washing routine.

But Jo Cobby, Environmental Health Officer for the council, said it was not just about the food business. “Everyone needs reminding to wash their hands. It can prevent the spread of bacteria, which can lead to food poisoning, and prevents the transfer of bacteria from hands to food, work surfaces, equipment and other people,� she said.

Jo will be taking the message to schools throughout September and October to encourage children to wash their hands.

She is also encouraging people who work in the food business to update their knowledge of food hygiene.

“We ran a very successful course early in June and will be repeating it in September,� said Jo. “Anyone who has done basic food hygiene training in the last three to five years and who wants to update their knowledge will find the course very useful.�

Anyone in the food industry who would like to join the next food hygiene update course can contact Jo o­n Telephone number 01303 852276.

Hawkinge late night bus faces the chop

Contributed by editor on Jun 19, 2005 - 08:47 PM


The Shepway Nite Rider service for late night revellers from Folkestone to Hawkinge could be scrapped if numbers using the £1 service don't pick up.

Running up to 2.15am on  Friday and Saturday nights from  Folkestone town centre, it offers a cheap ride home after a night on the town.

The double-decker Nite Rider aimed to reduce late-night trouble and get people home safely and quickly after a night out, and police have reported that incidents of criminal damage and assaults have gone down since the service was introduced at the end of May.

Young Beckhams looking for sponsors

Contributed by editor on Jun 19, 2005 - 12:16 AM


By Cyril Trice

With the under 15 year old boys now signed up to play in the Parker Steel East Kent Youth League next season, this is another piece of history being made for Hawkinge.

The Club is being held back through lack of facilities on the football ground but everyone is working hard to get funding for a much needed building with changing rooms.

It would be nice to see a sponsor come forward and give us some backing.

Picture shows youth teams training on the Hawkinge Football Ground on Saturday morning, (under 15 years assembling their goal posts)

Dover memorial for Chinese lorry victims

Contributed by editor on Jun 18, 2005 - 07:37 PM


A permanent memorial was unveiled today (18 June) to the 58 Chinese men and women who died in the back of a lorry in Dover exactly five years ago.

The Chinese  migrants suffocated when the Dutch lorry driver closed the air vent into the container during a six-hour ferry crossing from Belgium.

Sixty people had paid a criminal gang to smuggle them into the UK, but o­nly two survived the journey .

The bodies of the 54 men and four women were discovered when Customs officers at Dover carried out a vehicle inspection.

The driver of the lorry Perry Wacker was sentenced to 14 years for manslaughter at Maidstone Crown Court, in April 2001 while seven other men were jailed by a Dutch for their roles.

Channel Tunnel bomb man let off prison

Contributed by editor on Jun 17, 2005 - 08:45 PM


The man who tried to take an unstable mortar through the Channel Tunnel in January has been spared a prison sentence.

The amateur historian Stephen Hart, from  Frant in East Sussex tried to return the World War I mortar bomb through the Channel Tunnel  after he found it on a battlefield on the Somme.

Hart, 54, admitted possessing explosives at an earlier hearing at Maidstone Crown Court and  was given a nine month suspended prison term and fined £2,000 by the court o­n Friday.

The Channel Tunnel was closed for five hours and the terminal in Folkestone, was evacuated after it was found in Hart's car.

The device was considered to be so unstable that it had to be detonated by an Army bomb disposal team in a controlled explosion at the tunnel terminal.

Countdown for doorstep deliveries

Contributed by editor on Jun 17, 2005 - 08:32 PM


With just over two weeks to go before the start of Shepway Council’s new waste collection service, the final recycling boxes and bags are being delivered to homes in Folkestone.

A team of recycling officers started house-to-house deliveries in May and has already covered rural and coastal towns and villages. When the deliveries in Folkestone finish at the end of the month, 40,000 boxes and bags will be ready for the new waste collection starts when it o­n 4 July.

As well as getting the boxes (for glass, tins, cans and plastic bottles) and bags (for newspaper and card) out and about across the district, the team is delivering leaflets explaining how the new service works and answering residents’ questions.

The service extends the council’s current weekly collection of paper and card to include glass bottles and jars, tins, cans and plastic bottles. Landfill waste in wheelie bins and garden waste in brown-topped bins will be collected every two weeks.

Cllr Shirley Newlands, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said there were a number of reasons for the change to the council’s waste collection service.

“Although our current kerbside collection of paper and card and our garden waste places us among the top recycling councils in Kent, the government has set tough targets to remove rubbish from landfill sites.

“Shepway Council, along with others across the country, has got to meet those targets or risk being fined.

“We must ensure that 30 per cent of our waste is recycled by 2005/06 and we know that the targets will keep o­n rising. We will also have to face dramatic rises in the costs of using landfill sites.â€?

Recycling Officer, Fiona Fairhurst, said there had been a positive reaction to the new service.

“We have been out and about talking to people while delivering the boxes and bags. Although some people have had concerns about fortnightly collections of landfill waste, the main reaction has been very positive. Most people realise we cannot go o­n dumping valuable recyclable material in a hole in the ground and are pleased that the council is doing something about it.

“We hope that we have also been able to reassure people that if they use the boxes and bags, there will be enough room in their bin for a fortnightly collection. This is not a new concept. More than 100 councils have moved o­nto fortnightly collections and it is not surprising that these councils are among the top recycling authorities.â€?

Homes that do not have room for wheelie bins will be given new purple sacks for their landfill waste.

“We are doing this because we want to keep track of household waste and business waste. Some traders dump their waste in black sacks next to residents’ black sacks.

Business should make their own arrangements to dispose of their waste and not expect it to be collected in what is a domestic service,� said Fiona.

Calendars giving collection days for the boxes and bags, landfill waste and garden waste will be delivered to homes across the district over the next two weeks.