News

Your community needs you....14 February 2003

Contributed by localrags on Feb 14, 2003 - 05:14 PM

Local police are looking for people to join the Special Constabulary and help serve their communities.

Special Constables are setting up information roadshows at local supermarkets to mark National Special Constabulary Weekend.

On Saturday, 22 February, they will be at Tesco, Whitfield, near Dover from 10am-6pm and at Sainsbury's, Park Farm, Folkestone on Sunday, 23 February, between 10am-4pm

South East Kent currently has twenty dedicated Special Constables who have the same powers to arrest and detain suspected offenders as regular officers. They play an important role in supporting the work of the regular force.

Specials work alongside the regulars on a variety of police operations that cover issues such as public order, drink/driving, nuisance youths and anti-social behaviour. They are also involved in community projects with local schools.

Anyone aged between 18½ and 50, of good character and in good health can volunteer to become a special constable.

If you are interested and can't get there just ring the Special Constabulary Liaison Officer PC Andy Small for more details on 01303 289 304.

PC Small said: "People volunteer to become specials for a number of reasons but mainly because they want to put something back in their communities and they find police work interesting. Also, many specials decide to join the regular force as I did some years ago."

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Re: Eurotunnel give migrating Guillemots a lift home....11/2/03....13 February 2003

Contributed by localrags on Feb 13, 2003 - 06:03 PM

These Guillemots, they got passports or something? How can they tell they're from the UK?

Haven't we got enough problems with immigrants without the birds getting in on the action? Leave the Belgians to sort it out, that's what I say.

Anonymous comment

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Say you're sorry Standards Board tell John....13 February 2003

Contributed by localrags on Feb 13, 2003 - 05:38 PM

A complaint against Hawkinge Parish Council chairman, John Heasman, has been upheld by the Standards Board of England.

The allegation of threatening behaviour was brought by Cllr Cyril Trice following a heated exchange between members at last July’s meeting of the parish council, which resulted in the resignation of Cllr Bill Regan.

Cllr Trice, who learned of the Board’s decision this week, said that he understood that an apology from Cllr Heasman would be the only penalty imposed by the Board.

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Councillors in the clear....13 February 2003

Contributed by localrags on Feb 13, 2003 - 05:35 PM

Four of the six Shepway Councillors accused of bullying and breaking the district’s code of conduct were sensationally cleared this morning (Thursday).

Cllrs Martin Rose (Cons), Joy Macmillan (Cons), Michael Lyons (Cons) and Bernard Sealy (Lab) all received letters from the Standards Board of England clearing them of any wrong doing.

Cllrs Colin Tearle (Cons) and Paul Marsh (Lib Dem) are still waiting to hear their fate.

Cllr Tearle, who is district councillor for Swingfield and Acrise and a member of the cabinet, described the affair as “handbags at dawn� and said that he was confident that he and Cllr Marsh would be similarly cleared of any wrong doing by the Board.

He added: “Joking aside, it seems to me this is all about councillors being persecuted for basically doing their jobs.

“I am concerned that it could have very serious repercussions, including the possibility of legal action by those accused.�

“Either way it has created an awful lot of bad feeling throughout the entire council.�

The accusations centred on allegations of intimidation and bullying and inappropriate behaviour by councillors towards council staff and were made by chief executive, Ron Thompson, on behalf of his officers.

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100 cars removed from Shepway streets....12 February 2003

Contributed by localrags on Feb 12, 2003 - 05:24 PM

Operation Cubit run by South East Kent police working with the DVLA, Highways Agency, Shepway Council and Kent Fire Brigade to clamp down on untaxed and abandoned vehicles has enjoyed a successful start.

In the first seven days of the operation, more than 100 untaxed and abandoned vehicles have been removed from the streets of Shepway, and hundreds more are expected as the operation continues in the South East Kent policing area over the next several weeks.

Any vehicles found, or reported to be untaxed or abandoned during the operation, are checked with the DVLA, then clamped and removed to be stored in a local holding area.

Vehicles not claimed within 14 days are destroyed in a crusher.

PC Simon Drew, said: "I am amazed that it's not just old bangers that stand to be crushed. We have seized all sorts of cars including a BMW and a new Vectra."

Shepway Council's Environment and Transport Secretary Cllr George Bunting said: "This is helping to remove unsightly abandoned cars from our streets and countryside and also targeting those who fail to tax their cars. The majority of car owners who do tax their vehicles must get increasingly angered by others who flout the law at their expense."

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It's not changed....12 February 2003

Contributed by localrags on Feb 12, 2003 - 03:20 PM

Re: Folkestone's decline... 9 February 2003

I remember reading this BBC article when it was first published........a scarily acurate piece of writing and it describes a situation which really hasn't changed at all.

In a previous letter to this site, I wrote that the longer this lack of investment in Folkestone persists, the harder it will be to get people back into the town centre.

I know there are plans to redevelop areas of the town but until these plans turn into reality they remain just pipe dreams. The date of the original article emphasises how difficult it might be to see any real progress.

Webmuppet

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Eurotunnel give migrating Guillemots a lift home....11 February 2003

Contributed by localrags on Feb 11, 2003 - 02:45 PM

Eurotunnel is helping the RSPCA repatriate about 300 guillemots caught up in the oil spill from the wreck of the sunken Tricolor off the Belgian coast.

The RSPCA believes many of the birds originated from the UK and were returning home following their seasonal migration when they were caught in the oil slick.

The birds are returning home through the Channel Tunnel by Eurotunnel shuttle in a fleet of RSPCA transit vans on Monday afternoon.

They will stop on the Folkestone terminal when they will be taken to a Eurotunnel building for rehydration.

The birds were pre-washed in Belgium. This is emergency work only, as washing a bird properly takes 30 or 40 minutes per bird, an almost impossible task with the numbers affected here. Once in the UK, the birds will be taken to a wildlife hospital in Norfolk for further treatment.

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Red Hot Lovers should buy smoke alarms for their loved ones...11 February 2003

Contributed by localrags on Feb 11, 2003 - 06:37 AM

Kent Fire Brigade suggest a novel way of showing you care on Valentines Day.

"Forget boxes of chocolates", they say, " On Valentine’s Day – the way to show your loved ones you really care is to make sure they stay safe during a fire.

"For about the same cost as a box of luxury chocolates, you can give a present that will last ten years and potentially save someone’s life."

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Bill Welsh said: “Eleven people have died in fires in Kent since last April and, out of those, eight didn’t have working smoke alarms.

“It’s a fact that smoke alarms do save lives - giving valuable warning if there is a fire - a smoke alarm really could be a gift of life.�

As part of efforts to increase smoke alarm ownership across Kent , the Brigade has ten smoke alarms to give away.

The prizes will go to the first ten people to telephone the Community Fire Safety helpline on 01622 698360 during the morning of 14 February and explain why their loved one should have a free smoke alarm.

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New asylum rules could cost Kent £4m....11 February 2003

Contributed by localrags on Feb 11, 2003 - 06:17 AM

A proposed change in the way unaccompanied minor asylum seekers in Kent are supported could result in a £4million bill for the County Council.

KCC currently supports 2100 unaccompanied minors, children under 18 who have arrived to claim asylum without parents or guardians, the highest number of any county in the country.

The costs of providing support and accommodation have, in the past, been reclaimed from the Home Office but this arrangement is set to change under proposed new rules, a meeting of KCC’s Cabinet heard today.

From April, the County Council will no longer be able to reclaim these costs for young people aged 16 and 17 who are given Exceptional or Indefinite Leave to Remain. Instead KCC will be given 8 weeks to place the youngsters on benefits and move them into privately rented accommodation, if the changes go ahead.

Kent County Council’s Leader Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart said: “Kent has 2100 unaccompanied minor asylum seekers and we have repeatedly told the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) that there is a problem with moving these young people on.

“We are already still supporting 180 young people who have turned 18 and should have been transferred to NASS. The new rules, if implemented, would add another 500 onto that figure.�

Sir Sandy added: “We estimate that to support these young people would cost the County Council in excess of £4million for this coming year. The alternative would be to evict large numbers of young people, leaving them destitute and homeless.

“Frankly NASS is in chaos and the sudden change in grant reclaim rules would simply add further confusion.�

Kent County Council is seeking an urgent meeting with the Home Office to discuss the proposed changes.

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Public meeting call, over Community Centre...11 February 2003

Contributed by localrags on Feb 10, 2003 - 07:41 PM

It is a concern that this long awaited community hall should now be traded off before we have used it yet and one part turned into a church.

The village should be asked formally to approve this in a public meeting and the Hawkinge Parish Council is answerable to the residents.

This is all our village and we should be given the chance to have our say.

Only in a public meeting can we be heard by the Hawkinge Parish Council.

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