Line up for the Walking Bus

Contributed by editor on May 23, 2004 - 06:31 PM

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Churchill School Headteacher Jennie Carter wants parents to have a good think about the  Walking Bus scheme.
Community Warden Ian Norman is taking the lead in encouraging children and parents about the value of having walking buses in Hawkinge.

Jennie Carter said: "Ian Norman is an old hand at the system and knows all about the training and vetting of adults.

"Children do benefit both physically and socially from the time spent travelling to school by foot with their friends and neighbours" she said.

<FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=black>Ian Norman can be contacted by ringing  07980 683481 or by eMail

Why the delay?

Contributed by editor on May 23, 2004 - 11:44 AM

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<FONT face=Arial color=black size=4>WHY THE DELAY?

<FONT face=Arial color=black>Hawkinge Parish Council Chairman David Callahan will be asking why he was not informed of Shepway's decision to refuse planning approval of the proposed Lidl Supermarket.

<FONT face=Arial color=black>The decision was made o­n the 5th May but it was not until today (23 May) that the district councillor and member of the Shepway Development Control Committee was told of the ruling by the Hawkinge Gazette when we asked for his comments o­n the decision.

<FONT face=Arial color=black>Cllr Callahan said: "Without knowing all the facts, I find it dissappointing that the application had been found to breach the rules of the employment land and it was refused, o­n the face of it, o­n what appear to be technicalities.

<FONT face=Arial color=black>"I will be asking questions of Shepway Council as to why a member of the Development Control Committee was not updated o­n developments" he said.

<FONT face=Arial color=black>Fellow councillor and member of the Development Control Committee Peter Smith told the Gazette he was aware of the decision, but that he o­nly knew of it after the Parish Council meeting o­n 12 May.

'The truth will out'

Contributed by editor on May 22, 2004 - 11:02 PM

<FONT color=black>'THE TRUTH WILL OUT'

Dear Ed,
'The truth will out' was the phrase that came to mind when I learned of the 'early retirement' of the chief executive of Shepway District Council, Ron Thompson. 

It must be a cause for celebration as he leaves behind what I believe to be a failing council. The evidence for this is as follows.

<FONT face="" color=black>The financial mismanagement that appears to be continuing  by officers under delegated powers and highlighted by the Public Accounts Committee December 2002 giving advice leading to the incorrect reporting of nine councillors to the Standards Board for England. What did this abortive exercise cost the people of Shcpway?

<FONT face="" color=black>We do know that the Audit Commission 'best value' report o­n homelessness identified officer mistakes that led to the loss of £520,000. That officer's mistake would just about cover the current capping cost.

<FONT face="" color=black>Actively causing the organisational mal-administratlon and anti-councillor ethos to permeate the workforce, as clearly identified and highlighted in the independent council facilitator report issued last year. How much did that cost the people of Shepway?

<FONT face="" color=black>Leading the council into an agreement with a Dutch development company in which they 'only had to use their best endeavours' - those endeavours resulting in a car park instead of a shopping centre in Folkestone town centre. How much did that cost the people of Shepway?

<FONT face="" color=black>I wonder if the 'early retirement' of the chief executive has anything to do with a potential 'poor performance' monitoring report by the government o­n the horizon?  What will this cost the people of Sbepway?

<FONT face="" color=black>The officers, have clearly worked with the  Liberal Democrat councillors to set a budget that we cannot afford, resulting in capping. How much will that abortive exercise cost the council tax payer?   

<FONT face="" color=black>Cllr Linda Cufley'a 1991-96 Liberal Democrat council, in my opinion, got the appointment of chief executive wrong last time. Let's hope the current Cllr Cufley-led Liberal Democrat council gets it right this time and appoint someone from outside to avoid the continuation of the current malaise.

<FONT face="" color=black>You may think I have got an axe to grind.  I have indeed, and I am continuing to sharpen it o­n behalf of the people of Shepway.

<FONT face="" color=black>Colin Tearle.

Shepway says no to Lidl in Hawkinge

Contributed by editor on May 22, 2004 - 12:18 PM


Shepway District Council has turned down plans for the proposed Lidl supermarket in Hawkinge.

The council considered it would be too big for the needs of the village and would take trade away from supermarkets in Folkestone and beyond which would also result in increased traffic to the area.

The appearance of the building was also thought to be "bland" and "utilitarian" and its "prominent site"  required a "high standard of layout, design and choice of materials".

Nursery for Dover School

Contributed by admin on May 21, 2004 - 11:52 PM

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NURSERY FOR DOVER SCHOOL <FONT color=black size=2>

A proposal to establish a maintained nursery o­n the rebuilt Shatterlocks Infant School site yesterday passed its first hurdle at Kent County Council's School Organisation Advisory Board (Thursday 20 May).

Members gave their unanimous support to start a public consultation o­n the proposal, with plans for the unit to become operational in April 2005.

The school itself is in the process of being rebuilt and the inclusion of a nursery unit at this stage makes considerable budgetary sense. There is also a shortage of nursery places available in the immediate vicinity of Shatterlocks School, which this nursery would address.

There is considerable evidence that nursery schools or other pre-school provisions enable young children to take full advantage of their infant or primary school when they enter the education system, something KCC has recognised by embarking o­n an expansion scheme intended to increase the numbers of maintained nursery schools from 35 two years ago to 70 by 2006.

Cabinet Member for School Standards Leyland Ridings said: "This is a deprived area and there is a lack of nursery places close to the school. A maintained unit attached to Shatterlocks is something we are all happy to see; it is good news for the parents, kids and teachers."

Rare plant is coming home

Contributed by admin on May 21, 2004 - 11:44 PM

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One of the rarest flowers in Kent is being re-introduced to its traditional home this weekend at a site on the Langdon Cliffs Dover.

The meadow clary has been in serious decline in the last decade, but the National Trust is now replanting several specimens.

The project is part of a two-day plant fair at the cliffs, which will have stalls and guided nature walks.

Greetings from Suffolk

Contributed by admin on May 21, 2004 - 10:19 PM

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<FONT face="" color=black size=4>GREETINGS FROM SUFFOLK

<FONT color=black>Hi everyone,

It's now about a month since Karen, Eloise and I left Hawkinge for the joys of Suffolk so I thought that it was about time that I sent an update:

We are living in Kesgrave just outside Ipswich and it is a very nice area with very good public transport links and a selection of local shops, o­ne of which is a very useful Tesco supermarket.

The whole area is a cycling paradise - there are cycle tracks everywhere ( I've heard it quoted that this area has the most cyclists in the UK) and there are several local beauty spots that include cyclists in their plans.

Rendlesham Forest run by the forestry commision is very beatiful and has two cycle routes of 7 and 11miles although it better known for the UFO sightings that feature o­n several websites.

Alton water is a local reservoir serving Ipswich - it has a good visitor centre, sailing, fishing, canoeing, rambling and it is possible to hire all manner of pedal powered transport to use o­n the  tracks that run around the waterside.

I've spent more than a year working two days per week in Ipswich but due to time constraints I've really o­nly seen the M25/A12, a hotel room and my office so it's been excellent to find that the whole area is much prettier than we had expected.

The people seem very friendly and the pace of life seems a little slower than we had become used to - no bad thing I'm sure, combined with excellent local facilities, attractive architecture (Suffolk Pink cottages) the lifestyle certainly seems to suit us.

Eloise has settled in with her new childminder and very much enjoys her 'pre-school' group at the local community centre, she has now secured a place at the new local school which she will start to attend in September.

Please see my website
<A class=fixed href="" target=_blank><FONT face="" color=black><FONT face="" color=black> for more details of our progress,

 regards to all,

Nigel Best (Webmuppet)

Robbers make off with shopping

Contributed by admin on May 21, 2004 - 04:04 PM

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<FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=black>All residents of Hawkinge are to be aware that at approx 1210 hrs today (21 May) there was a break in to a property in the village.

<FONT face=Arial><FONT size=2><FONT color=black>Entry was gained to the property by forcing a rear window.

A rough search of the property had been made however the owner disturbed the intruders and they then made off stealing the shopping o­n the way down the drive.

Police are looking for two white males who were seen leaving the property carrying shopping.
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Village Warden News

Ian Norman

Speeding drivers could soon be zapped

Contributed by editor on May 20, 2004 - 05:38 PM

Motorists who drive too fast in Hawkinge and other Kent villages could soon be caught by teams of volunteers zapping them with laser speed guns.

The scheme, which is due to be set up in every parish in the county will be operated by pairs of volunteers who will operate the laser hand-held devices to check the speed of approaching cars.

The information is then passed to the area traffic management officer from Kent Police and letters are sent out.

It is designed to raise awareness of speeding although persistent offenders may face fixed penalties from police.

Parish councils pay for the £160 hand-held speed indicators and fluorescent jackets.

Dover Boulogne return

Contributed by admin on May 19, 2004 - 09:37 PM


The ferry link between Dover and Boulogne has been revived after a break of 10 years.

The operators, SpeedFerries have been dogged with delays but today the first catamaran set off at 7.45am o­n the first of the five 50 minute daily crossings.

The Danish firm claim they will be offering cheap fares having learned lessons from budget airlines.

It will run a fleet of 86-metre catamarans with room for 200 cars and will o­nly be carrying people in cars, not taking any foot passengers.

Passengers who make o­nline bookings far enough in advance will be offered return fares as low as £50, whereas some cross-Channel ferry companies charge more than £100 for similar journeys.