Scooter theft prompts police appeal

Contributed by editor on Sep 24, 2004 - 09:38 AM


Police are appealing for information about the theft of a red Peugeot scooter which was stolen from Kettle Drive, Hawkinge late o­n Friday night (17 September).

It was found burnt out in Mill Lane, Hawkinge, the following day (18 September).

The scooter was taken at around 10.00 pm and a group of young people, which included two girls, all wearing tracksuits and baseball caps, was seen nearby.

Police would like to know who they are. If you have any information local police want to hear from you.

Folkestone police  01303 850055. 

Howard calls for limits on immigration

Contributed by editor on Sep 22, 2004 - 05:25 PM


<TABLE width=150 align=left border=0><TABLE class=lightbg cellPadding=4 width=145><TD class=mcblack align=middle>
Michael Howard
<TD width=5><IMG height=1 alt="" src="" width=5>Michael Howard has promised a fairer and more effective system of immigration controls, with an annual quota o­n the number of foreigners allowed to settle here, withdrawal from the international convention o­n refugees, and reform of the work permit system.

In a keynote speech, the Conservative Leader stressed that immigration has strengthened the UK in the past, but that the breakdown of controls and an increasingly chaotic and unfair system now undermines national security, jeopardises the management of the public services, and threatens to wreck good race relations.

And pledging new measures to stop Britain being an "easy touch" for immigrants, he declared: "David Blunkett may believe that there is no obvious upper limit to legal immigration. I do not agree. While migration in both directions is part of a competitive and dynamic modern economy, immigration cannot continue at its present, uncontrolled levels."

Addressing an audience of prospective candidates in London, Mr Howard pledged that a future conservative government would reintroduce embarkations controls and take tough action against firms which employ people illegally; and would introduce an annual limit to immigration, with Parliament setting a maximum limit o­n numbers coming to the UK. The limit would be determined by economic need, family reunion, and our moral obligation to genuine refugees.

Strict controls would be imposed o­n work permits, with a points-based system o­n the Australian model for the evaluation of applicants. The assumption that a work permit automatically leads to long term settlement would be ended.

Mr Howard said a Conservative-run Britain would withdraw from the outmoded 1951 Refugee Convention and enter reservations against the European Convention o­n Human Rights, replacing them with British laws allowing asylum cases to be decided more swiftly. While genuine refugees would continue to be welcomed, those who are not would be swiftly removed.

And a significant reduction in immigration would be achieved with stricter controls o­n work permits and firm action to stop economic migrants and people who are not genuine refugees from applying for asylum.

Mr Howard said: "Over the years hundreds of immigrant communities have successfully integrated into British society. They have rightly held o­n to their traditions and culture, while also embracing Britain's and playing their full role in our national life. But any system of immigration must be properly controlled. Firm but fair immigration controls are essential for good race relations, the maintenance of national security and the management of public services."

Warning that current controls have collapsed into unfair chaos, he went o­n: "Britain has reached a turning point. As a country we need a totally new approach to immigration and asylum. We need a system that helps genuine refugees and gives priority to those who want to come to Britain, work hard and make a positive contribution"

Arts award for Astor

Contributed by editor on Sep 22, 2004 - 05:18 PM


Astor Theatre Arts Centre in Deal has been given a boost with news of a £2,000 grant from Kent County Council.

<FONT color=black>The grant will go towards improving customer facilities at the theatre including seating, sound and lighting. It will also help with the marketing of the theatre's forthcoming programme of events.

<FONT color=black>KCC Cabinet Member for Community Services Sarah Hohler said: "Astor Theatre is an important facility for the east Kent community so I am delighted to award them with this grant."

<FONT color=black>The grant is part of KCC's Partnership Awards to Arts Organisations and Museums which has awarded nearly £200,000 to arts projects countywide already this year.

Big support for Gurkhas at Conference

Contributed by editor on Sep 22, 2004 - 05:07 PM

Local Gurkhas received three standing ovations at the National Lib Dem conference in Bournemouth.

They had been invited to the conference by local Lib Dem campaigner Peter Carroll. He has been helping the Gurkhas in a nationwide campaign to get the right to live in the UK as citizens when they retire. The Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy was present during the debate.

Peter Carroll said, 'It is an outrage that these fine warriors are treated so unfairly. If the Gurkhas are good enough to fight and die for this country, they are good enough to be made citizens'.

Currently, over 400 retired Gurkhas are awaiting a decision about whether they can remain in the UK. The retired Gurkhas face the very real risk of being deported if their applications are turned down.

Charles Kennedy took the very unusual step of personally thanking Tikendra Dewan, himself a retired Gurkha, who addressed the conference. It is o­nly in the most exceptional circumstances that non Party members are given the opportunity to address the national conference.

Retired Gurkha, Bidur Pakhrin, who lives in Cheriton endorsed the speech made by Tikendra Dewan who said, 'We are simply asking for the right to live in the society that we have served over generations. I would like to thank the Great British public, the Liberal Democrats, Charles Kennedy and Peter Carroll for their help and support'.

Tony Blair has promised that a decision about the Gurkhas fate will be made by the end of this month.

Overnight road closures scheduled

Contributed by editor on Sep 21, 2004 - 10:36 PM


Canterbury Road at Etchinghill, near Folkestone, will be closed for three nights (week beginning Monday 20 September) while resurfacing work is carried out by Kent Highways.

A stretch of road between the Orchard Garage and Newbarn Corner will be closed from 7.00pm until 7.00am o­n Thursday 23 September, Friday 24 September and Monday 27 September.

Vehicle access to properties and businesses along the closed stretch of road will not be affected and pedestrian access will be maintained.

Through traffic will be diverted via Postling Road, A20 Ashford Road and Beachborough.

Kent Highways Project Engineer, Chris Maw, said efforts would be made to keep disruption to a minimum.

“As local people know, this stretch of road needs resurfacing and we hope they will bear with us while the work is carried out.�

Hythe High Street will also be closed while resurfacing work is carried out.

The road will be closed from 6.00pm until 6.00am o­n Monday 27 September, Tuesday 28 September and Wednesday 29 September.

Through traffic will be diverted via Prospect Road, Rampart Road and Malthouse Hill

Trading places

Contributed by editor on Sep 21, 2004 - 10:31 PM


Ten traders from Boulogne will be talking shop with their English counterparts when they visit Folkestone o­n Monday (27 September)

The French visitors, who have recently completed an English course, will be given a guided tour of the town centre and Old High Street by Town Centre Manager, Rob Wood. They will then be ‘matched’ with Folkestone retailers to share experiences and practice and spend the afternoon in local shops.

“One of the issues being discussed is how we can make our shops more attractive to foreign visitors. It will be good to get first hand advice from retailers in Boulogne and how we can achieve this,� said Rob.

A return trip is being planned for Folkestone retailers.

The exchange is part of the town centre renaissance project – an initiative launched by BOSCO, the Boulogne and Shepway Co-operation. BOSCO was created in 2001 and aims to underpin the links between the two towns. It has already successful secured £653,525 of European funding to continue to revamp of shopping centres o­n both sites of the channel.

Smith lands top job

Contributed by editor on Sep 21, 2004 - 10:27 PM


Hawkinge Parish Councillor and Shepway District Liberal Democrat Councillor Peter Smith is the new Chairman of Shepway Council.

His appointment follows the resignation of David Dickinson when he was appointed leader of the Shepway Council Liberal Democrat group.

Vice- Chairman is Cllr Gary George, a member of the breakaway Independent Liberal Democrats.

£15m and Cyril's in Heaven

Contributed by editor on Sep 20, 2004 - 10:18 PM

<FONT color=black size=4>£15M AND CYRIL'S IN HEAVEN

<FONT color=black>Hawkinge Sport Relief organiser Cyril Trice and Kevin Avery from the Hawkinge Cricket Club are off to a thankyou bash in London tomorrow (21 September) following the success of the Sport Relief Mile event in the summer.

<FONT color=black>Sport Relief organisers from across the country will be entertained at the Heaven nightclub, o­ne of London's premier Gay venues by the Abba tribute band Bjorn Again.

<FONT color=black>Cyril told the Gazette he would wearing his red socks for the occasion but he will be leaving his peaked leather cap at home,  just in case.

<FONT color=black>The Hawkinge event at the cricket club was a huge success with nearly 250 runners taking part and helping the money raised nationally to reach a staggering £14,734,000 with still more to come.

William Hague launches literary festival

Contributed by editor on Sep 20, 2004 - 09:05 PM


Former leader of the Conservative Party William Hague will be discussing his new biography of William Pitt the Younger at the launch of Folkestone's third literary festival today (20 September) at the Metropole Arts Centre.

TV and radio personality Gyles Brandreth, authors John Mortimer and Nina Bawden and Poet Laureate Andrew Motion are also attending the five-day festival, run by the Metropole Arts Centre Trust.

Howard warns of LibDem hammer blow

Contributed by editor on Sep 20, 2004 - 08:48 PM

<DIV class=subheading>

Folkestone and Hythe MP and Tory leader <TABLE width=150 align=left border=0><TABLE class=lightbg cellPadding=4 width=145><TD class=mcblack align=middle> <TD width=5><IMG height=1 alt="" src="" width=5>Michael Howard has claimed that dozens of new taxes planned by the Liberal Democrats would come as a hammer blow to millions of UK families.

Addressing a Conservative Future Conference at the weekend, the Conservative Leader highlighted the high tax, high spend agenda being developed by Charles Kennedy's party and said: "A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a dangerous and expensive vote.

"They plan to introduce penal tax rates for hard working families. Their local income tax would cost the typical two-earner couple an additional £630 in tax every year. It would hit young couples just as they are starting out in life - planning a family, saving for a mortgage, saving for their future."

Speaking as Liberal Democrats gathered for their annual party conference in Bournemouth, Mr Howard said that in addition, the Lib Dems are pushing for a regional income tax to pay for the Regional Assemblies that nobody wants. "The bill for that could be as high as £1100 for the typical two-earner couple," he warned.

A Conservative analysis of Lib Dems proposals claims 40 new taxes, including a new 50% income tax rate, a water tax, a dog tax, a parking tax, smoker's tax, a new homes tax, a business land tax, and a City of London tax. Also o­n their agenda is a development tax, an exchange and capital flows tax, a higher landfill tax, a waste tax, plastic bag tax, pesticide tax, overseas territories tax, a double whammy inheritance tax, energy tax, pensions tax, airport tax, congestion tax, and a new tax o­n 4x4 vehicles.

Mr Howard's speech coincided with publication of a Conservative Research Department document exposing the LibDem "tax sting", and revealing how few people would escape paying out more under a LibDem administration. "A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for higher taxes. The Liberal Democrats aren't cuddly or harmless. They are dangerous. They are a high taxing, high spending party that will cost hard working families dear," the Conservative Leader warned.