Lisa is Shepway's golden girl

Contributed by editor on Mar 21, 2006 - 09:54 PM



Dobriskey victory

New Romney is celebrating today after local runner Lisa Dobriskey won the 1500m Commonwealth Games gold medal. 

The 22-year-old from Ashford AC  was clearly stunned with her triumph in the race, sprinting off the final bend to overhaul her England team-mate Helen Clitheroe and cross the line in 4mins 06.21secs, just outside her personal best of 4:05.42.

"I am absolutely gob-smacked! Not in my wildest dreams did I believe I would win this, especially after my terrible tactics,� said Dobriskey, coached by George Gandy at Loughborough University.

Lisa studied at Southlands School in New Romney where her running talents were spotted.

The European under-23 silver medallist, who is only  ranked 40th in the world was upbeat about the future of British middle-distance running following Kelly Holmes' retirement. 

Holmes praised Dobriskey's efforts and told BBC Sport: "How fantastic was that?

Neighbourhood Watch AGM

Contributed by editor on Mar 21, 2006 - 05:27 PM


We are sorry about the short notice but we have o­nly just been informed of the Annual General Meeting of  the Shepway Neighbourhood Watch Association.

The meeting is due to take place tomorrow, Wednesday 22 March 2006 in the Civic Centre, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone at 7.30pm.

The association have said that residents are encouraged to come along.

500 local jobs to go

Contributed by editor on Mar 21, 2006 - 12:11 AM


Shepway is bracing itself for over 500 job cuts following an announcement by aerospace-to-medical equipment maker Smiths Group in Hythe to shed 534 of its manufacturing jobs to Mexico.

The company said they plan to end manufacturing at the Smiths Medical plant at Hythe in Kent within two years.

The Hythe headquarters of Smiths Medical International, employing about 220 people in research and development, finance, marketing and other support services will stay open and the company plans to create a European service centre in the town.

Smiths said the move is part of a rationalisation programme following its acquisition of Medex, the medical device manufacturerer and service provider, in March 2005.

Finishing on a high note

Contributed by editor on Mar 20, 2006 - 05:43 PM


The Hawkinge U15's were away to Curzon Rangers and with it being the last league match of the season the lads were keen to finish on a high note.

And they didn't disappoint their fans leading 7 - 1 at half-time.

In the second half the Hawkinge team allowed the home side to claw their way back into the game scoring another 4 goals, but the village lads were true to form and held o­n adding another o­ne to their own score in the process.
Curzon Rangers  5   Hawkinge  8

The Sunday adult side were at home to Esembee in a league match where the wind played as much a part in the result as the opposition.

Long passes were always off their intended target and the visitors seemed to play a much tighter game giving them a lead of 2 goals at half time, which was the way the match ended.

Hawkinge 0   Essembee  2

Hawkinge Parish Council minutes 8 February 2006

Contributed by editor on Mar 20, 2006 - 05:26 PM

Minutes of the meeting of HAWKINGE PARISH COUNCIL held o­n 8th February 2006 at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall
Present: Cllr. Callahan (Chairman)
           Cllrs. Avery, Ms Brisley, Heasman, Hodgson, Hogben, Punnett, Smith and Trice
In attendance: Mrs Hardy (Clerk)
A youth club member asked where they could hold band practices in the village.    The Chairman stated that the Parish Council had agreed some time ago that they would pay for the hire of the village hall for band practice, provided a youth worker is present and subject to the normal regulations for hiring.

On behalf of Mr T. Scott (Localrags website) a resident asked if the PC would consider holding meetings in the Community Centre to show support for the building.     The Chairman said that regrettably the committee rooms are too small for meetings that are open to the public and the halls are in use.

It was time for the Hawkinge Giant to be taken out to events, could the Hawkinge Partnership and Parish Council get a group of people to take o­n the administration of the giant.   See minute 239(c)
237            Declarations of Interest
Cllrs. Callahan and Smith declared an interest in planning matters (members of Development Control Committee SDC) they reserved the right to make a decision at District level when they are in possession of all the facts relating to an application.   Cllr. Heasman declared an interest in matters concerning the Community Centre and Village Hall (Chairman of the Executive Committee, Community Centre and Chairman of Village Hall Management Committee).       
238      Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held o­n 11th January 2006 were confirmed and signed subject to an amendment requested by Cllr. Smith to minute 228(d) as follows: “Cllr. Brisley said Cllr. Smith had asked her to report that his Term of Office as Governor of The Churchill School has ended.â€?
(prop. Cllr. Hodgson, sec. Cllr. Avery)
239      Reports     
      (a) Community Liaison
Cllr. Brisley reported problems with wheelie bins that have not been returned to properties and in some cases have been lost.    The Chairman said if they are lost the contractor must replace them.
At this point Cllr. Heasman left the meeting 
      (b) Village Clean-up Weekend

Cllr. Trice proposed that the Council organise a clean-up weekend for people who want to take part.  It will provide sacks and bins, and select areas for them to clear.    The suggested date is 8th April for approx. 4 hours. 
It was Resolved that the Council coordinate a Village Clean-up Weekend and that Cllr. Trice be granted £50 to cover costs.

(prop. Cllr. Smith, sec. Cllr. Brisley) All in favour
      (c ) Hawkinge Giant
Cllr. Callahan said the Partnership are looking for people who are willing to take over the care of the Giant and take it to local parades and fetes as well as the small giants made by the schools.      He was making enquiries and hoped to find somewhere to keep the Giant that was at present in the Community Centre.   
       (d) A260 re vehicles speeding
The Chairman said that as District Councillor he had visited Swingfield PC.    The Chairman of Swingfield had suggested that Hawkinge and Swingfield combine to lobby for a 50 mph speed limit for the A260 from the A20 junction to the A2 junction (30 mph through villages).    He was liasing with the Chairman.     
240      Reports
            Planning and Development
Cllr. Trice stated his concern about the roundabout as you approach the industrial site.     Any problems should be directed to Richard Smith, Kent Highways Officer.
241      Other Bodies
(a) Neighbourhood Management Partnership
Cllr. Hodgson stated that the Partnership is hosting its first Annual General Meeting Event to celebrate achievements over the past year.    It will open in the Community Centre at 3 pm and be followed by the AGM at 7 pm.
The Partnership has provided Pathfinder funding to purchase dog/litter bins for the village.     HNP had done a survey: 17 – 20 bins would be ideal, estimated cost and installation £900 each.    SDC will take full ownership and responsibility for the bins including repair, replacement and emptying.    HNP has offered to pay £16,000 towards the cost of the bins and asked the PC to make a contribution.

It was Resolved that the Parish Council would contribute £2,000 towards the cost of the bins.     (prop. Trice, sec. Cllr. Brisley)

Votes: all in favour

The Council intends to ask developers to provide street furniture and dog/litter bins.     
Cllr. Hodgson said the Partnership would like the PC to “leadâ€? in a Best Kept Street in the Village competition. 
JMP Consulting had been commissioned by the Partnership to undertake a feasibility study entitled ‘Connecting Hawkinge’.    Copies of a letter and questionnaire dated 7th February were given to each councillor at the meeting.
      (b) Community Centre
Cllr. Hodgson said the Centre needs a noise limiter in order to obtain an Entertainments Licence.    The Trustees had called a meeting of the Users Committee to discuss hire costs.
242     Hawkinge Football Ground
(a) The Football Project

Cllr. Trice reported that a meeting had been held o­n 26th January.   He had been able to obtain temporary changing rooms 40ft x 8 ft. free of charge, delivered free.      It will be necessary to repair the windows as soon as it arrives.  
It was Resolved that Cllr. Trice be granted £100 to make the building secure.
(prop. Cllr. Hogben, sec. Cllr. Punnett)

Votes: all in favour

The Chairman proposed a vote of thanks to Cllr. Trice for doing the research and work involved in obtaining a temporary building.

The Group had received an invitation from the FA to attend an Application Surgery o­n 9th February, but they had decided not to attend until they had investigated the possibility of setting up a Sports Association in Hawkinge.    The Association will involve all sports and outdoor activities.
Councillors received a draft Sport and Recreation Plan 2006 – 2011 prepared by Cllr. Trice.    The plan will form part of the 5-year Business Plan for the Football Foundation and provide guidance for the Sports Association when it is formed. 
      (b) Management of the ground

Cllr. Hodgson told members that there was a possibility that a new job would leave him with less time to give to the management of the ground.

Cllr. Callahan said the Council would have to employ a part time or casual worker.    The Finance Group will prepare a job description.
243      Finance Group

The Chairman reported that a meeting was held o­n 3rd February.    All correspondence being received about the sale of the Leisuredrome is being sent to Andrew Beggs Associates as it is confidential until the tender process has been completed.        
244      Finance
(a) Flag Poles for Memorial Garden

Cllr. Hogben said he was grateful to County Councillor Susan Carey who had agreed to recommend the scheme for a Member Community Grant.    Three quotations for two 5 metre high flag poles with ground sleeves (estimated cost £275 plus VAT) were required.    The Council agreed in principle to the grant application.
      (b) Bank Mandate

The following resolution was made subject to completion of the appropriate forms and ID forms approved by the Bank for new councillors.

National Westminster Bank plc is requested to continue an account in the name of Hawkinge Parish Council and is authorised to accept instructions (subject to 2b below in respect of instructions not in writing) (i) for operations o­n the account and (ii) to release items held in security or safe custody in the name of the organisation from any two councillors.
(prop. Cllr. Punnett, sec. Cllr. Trice) Votes: all in favour
       (c) Payments

The following accounts were approved for payment:
(prop. Cllr. Trice, sec. Cllr. Brisley) Votes: all in favour
  NatWest EBS        DD          10.00 
  Mrs B.M.Hardy (salary)          726.57 
  Mrs B.M.Hardy expenses (inc. tel.a/c)            95.74 
  Action with Communities in Rural Kent (sub.)            35.00 
  Hawkinge Village Hall            90.00 
  Cllr. C.Trice (reimbursement)            55.00 
  Kingsfords           597.35 

245      Village Hall Car Park

The Chairman said Cllr. Hogben had written to the Finance Group asking them to undertake a risk assessment of the car park, as some matters require urgent attention.    The Finance Group recommended that the Council order and pay for an independent risk assessment of the village hall car park.

It was Resolved that the Council obtain a Health & Safety report o­n the village hall car park. (prop. Cllr. Avery, sec. Cllr. Hodgson)

Votes: all in favour

Councillors received confirmation from Zurich Insurance that Public Liability cover is in place.    Cllr. Hogben stated that he disassociated himself from the Council’s present policy and had told the Underwriter at Zurich Insurance.

Cllr. Punnett’s letter addressed to the Chairman about the route for the footpath and a fence to be constructed along the length of his property adjacent to the village hall car park was deferred.   
246      Correspondence

Mid & SE Kent Council for Voluntary Service – consultation o­n The Shepway Compact.     Received and noted.

SDC Draft Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) letter and questionnaire.    Cllr. Trice suggested that the Council ask to be involved in the Battle of Britain Museum and Open Spaces consultation.
247      Plans

The following plans had been received and comments sent:
Y05/1656/SH 2 Rose Walk: erection of a two-storey side extension and front porch.     

No objections     Comment: the plan shows the extension very close to the boundary.

Y06/0022/SH 15 The Street: erection of a two-storey side extension following demolition of existing single storey rear extension and existing garage together with the erection of a replacement garage.    

No objections
Y06/0046/SH 5 Plover Road: erection of a rear conservatory.    No objections
Plans considered at the meeting:

Y06/0047/SH 75 The Street: erection of five detached dwellings and garages including the formation of a new vehicular access and demolition of the existing dwelling and buildings being further details pursuant to outline permission Y05/0090/SH (condition 1, reserved matters being details of siting, design and external appearance, means of access and landscaping).    

No objections   Votes: For 6 Against 0 Abstentions 0

Y06/0076/SH The Spinney, The Street: crown reduction of o­ne Norway Spruce tree and o­ne Rowan tree, the subject of TPO No. 9 of 1994.  

No objections   Votes: For 6 Against 0 Abstentions 0

Y06/0104/SH Coombe Wood Manor, Coombe Wood Lane: erection of extension to roof with dormer window together with extension to ground floor and erection of balcony to south elevation.  
No objections   Votes: For 6 Against 0 Abstentions 0

Y06/0126/SH 16 Canterbury Road: erection of single storey rear extension and erection of rear conservatory.  
No objections   Votes: For 6 Against 0 Abstentions 0

           It was resolved that because publicity would be prejudicial to the public
interest by Reason of the confidential nature of business to be transacted the public (including the Press) be excluded from the meeting pursuant to the provision of sub section 100 & 102 of the Local Government Act, 1972.
149      Sale of Leisuredrome Site

The Chairman stated that there had been offers to purchase that had been passed to Beggs Associates.
150      Village Hall Management Committee

Letter from VHMC regarding two matters:
It was Resolved that the Council accept an offer from VHMC to pay o­ngoing costs for electricity if the PC will pay for installation and maintenance of lights placed o­n the wall of the hall overlooking the path leading from Canterbury Road to the Community Centre car park.   (prop. Cllr. Trice, sec. Cllr. Hodgson)

Votes: For 5 Against 0 Abstentions 3

Kingsfords – EDF sub station account
It was Resolved that the Council accept an offer from VHMC to pay o­ne half of the account submitted by Kingsfords (prop. Cllr. Hodgson, sec. Cllr. Callahan)

Votes: For 4 Against 2 Abstentions 2
At this point Cllr. Hodgson left the meeting
151      Football Project

Clerk to ask John E. McMillan & Associates for more details of the account submitted for payment.

The meeting closed at 10. 45pm

Flying ace 'Bunny' Currant dies

Contributed by editor on Mar 20, 2006 - 09:02 AM



Wing Commander Christopher "Bunny" Currant, who served at Hawkinge during the Battle of Britain has died aged 95.

He was twice awarded the DFC during the Battle of Britain when he was one of the RAF's most successful fighter pilots, being credited with destroying at least thirteen enemy aircraft.

After serving with No 46 and No 151 Squadrons flying bi-plane Gauntlet fighters, Currant converted to the Hurricane and joined No 605 (County of Warwick) Squadron in April 1940, when he was commissioned. 

He survived a mid-air collision before the squadron moved to Hawkinge to provide support for the beleaguered British Expeditionary Force.

Operating on his first patrol over France on May 22, he attacked three bombers over Arras. The engine of his Hurricane stopped and he prepared to bale out. He stepped onto the wing but realised that the aircraft was still able to fly, so climbed back into the cockpit and crash-landed in a field, breaking his nose. He made his way to Calais and eventually boarded a ship to return to England where he rejoined No 605 still carrying his parachute.

The remains of a Hurricane that he flew during his time on No 605 were found in India some 50 years later and restored to flying condition. It will fly in salute at his memorial service.

"Bunny" Currant died on March 12. He married, in August 1942, Cynthia Brown, who survives him with their three sons and a daughter.

Silver medal for Folkestone shooter

Contributed by editor on Mar 19, 2006 - 09:27 AM



<img title alt src="images/Martin_Sinclair.jpg" border="0" width="300" height="188">

Martin Sinclair

Folkestone born Martin Sinclair has won silver in the men’s 50m rifle prone pairs competition at the Commonweath Games in Melbourne Australia.

The medal for Sinclair and his partner Neil Stirton helped Scotland move further up the medals table with their first shooting medal of the Games.

Stirton almost missed out because of an eye problem, but shot two perfect rounds of 100 to contribute to the success. 

39 year-old Sinclair, born in Folkestone but based in Erskine in Scotland, dedicated his medal to his wife, Lynda, who was part of the 2002 Commonwealth Games shooting team.

US deal for Folkestone ferry firm

Contributed by editor on Mar 18, 2006 - 04:41 PM


The Spirit of Ontario in New York


Navmed Limited, the Channel ferry operators who are hoping to run a service from Folkestone are reportedly negotiating to buy an American high-speed ferry currently working the Great Lakes between Rochester NY and Ontario in Canada.

The company also called Navmed-Highspeedferries is based in Folkestone. Its financial backers plan to invest more than £30m in a plan that includes two other high-speed ferries crossing the channel from Dover and Folkestone. 

Should the Australian built ship be sold to Navmed, it would be taken out through the St. Lawrence Seaway, which opens for the season on Thursday (23 March). 

The Spirit of Ontario is one of the fastest and most powerful diesel-powered vehicle ferries in the world. The 5 deck vessel is 284 feet long and in sea trials, it reached speeds of 55 mph.

The two passenger decks have a duty-free shop, restaurants, bars, two cinemas, and a children’s play area. Passengers will also have access to satellite TV and Internet access.

The Spirit can carry 774 passengers and up to 238 cars or 10 lorries.

Michael Howard to stand down

Contributed by editor on Mar 17, 2006 - 11:06 PM



At a packed Annual General Meeting of Folkestone and Hythe Conservative Association last night (17 March), local MP Michael Howard announced that he will not be standing as the Conservative Candidate at the next General Election.

He said that after more than 20 years it was now time to move on.

"By the time of the next election I will have been an MP for 26 years, he said.

"I have been very privileged to serve as a Government minister for 12 years and in the shadow cabinets for six years but the time has now come to move on."

Michael thanked local members for their support over the years and said, “I cannot tell you how deep my gratitude is.�

Michael was born in Llanelli, Wales, where his Romanian Jewish shopkeeper father Bernard Hecht had moved as an immigrant . His mother, Hilda Kershion, was Welsh-born and of Eastern European Jewish ancestry. 

When he was six, the family name of Hecht was anglicised. He attended a state school and Peterhouse, Cambridge and was President of the Cambridge Union Society in 1962. 

He was called to the Bar in 1964. However, unlike his many Cambridge contemporaries, Howard found difficulty being selected for a winnable seat and so continued his career at the Bar where he became a Queen's Counsel in 1982. 

Michael was finally selected for the constituency of Folkestone and Hythe in succession to Sir Albert Costain, who was retiring and easily won his seat in the general election of 1983.

After the 1997 election, he stood for the leadership of the Conservative Party. This bid was sabotaged by his own former Home Office deputy, Ann Widdecombe, who described him as having "something of the night" about him. 

In 2001, however, he made a dramatic comeback as Shadow Chancellor, a role in which he attracted higher ratings than his many predecessors. 

He was a right-wing Home Secretary, who introduced private prisons and tough mandatory sentences, although he does not support the reintroduction of the death penalty. 

Michael Howard's appointment as Leader of the Conservative Party in November 2003 marked the culmination of an outstanding political rebirth.

Ferry service plans for Folkestone

Contributed by editor on Mar 16, 2006 - 09:09 PM


A fast ferry firm is which is planning to bring new cross Channel services to Dover is also aiming to re-establish a ferry service from Folkestone.

Navmed Limited hopes to create 700 jobs and wants to offer a first class, high quality service for passengers.

The company has been formed by former Hoverspeed employees, and aims to be in operation by May 2006.

It will initially offer services to Calais and Boulogne, and then to Ostend. It plans to use three ships.

Navmed is in negotiations to buy the two former Hoverspeed Seacat fast ferries taken out of service last November when Hoverspeed pulled out of Dover.