News

Gurkhas future safeguarded

Contributed by editor on Dec 16, 2004 - 04:56 PM

GURKHAS FUTURE SAFEGUARDED

The Folkestone based 1st Royal Gurkha Rifles have not been included in a series of mergers and battalion reductions announced by Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon in a statement to Parliament today(16 December).

Despite fears that the Gurkhas were amongst those facing cuts, the announcement appears to safeguard the future of the batallion.

Under the changes, the Army will be reduced from 40 infantry battalions to 36.

The Royal Scots and the King's Own Scottish Borderers will merge, and with four other battalions, including the Black Watch, become The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

The King's Own Royal Border Regiment, the King's Regiment and the Queen's Lancashire Regiment will amalgamate to form two new battalions within the new King's Lancashire and Border Regiment.

Components of the Royal Gloucester, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment will merge with, in the case of the Gloucesters, the Devonshire and Dorsetshire Regiment, which will then merge with the Light Infantry.

Mr Hoon claimed that reductions in heavy armour, heavy artillery and the infantry would be accompanied by an increase in specialists, which would bring a more balanced force organised around two armoured brigades, three mechanised brigades and a light and an air assault brigade.

Liberal Democrat spokesman for Folkestone and Hythe Peter Carroll welcomed the safeguarding of the Gurkha forces in the UK.

"The Gurkha's are a special part of our Army, and I am delighted this has been recognised today. They have a fantastic reputation stretching back centuries. They have a special place in the hearts and minds of the British people.

"As the huge local support for the recent campaign for citizenship rights for ex-Gurkhas has shown, Folkestone is proud to be their home and base."


Council has its greens

Contributed by editor on Dec 15, 2004 - 06:53 PM

COUNCIL HAS ITS GREENS

A new political group has been formed at Shepway Council.

Councillors Richard Green and Wendy Harris are now members of the Green 4 Shepway Group. Cllr Green is Group Leader.

Both councillors are former members of the Liberal Democrat Group. Cllr Harris, who represents Hythe Central ward, left the group and became a Green Party councillor in the summer. Cllr Green, who represents Folkestone Harvey Central, joined the Independent Liberal Democrat Group following a split in the Lib Dems.  He recently left the Independent Liberal Democrat Group to become an Independent councillor.

The constitution of the council is now:
Conservative: 17
Liberal Democrat: 14
Independent Liberal Democrat:  11
Green 4 Shepway:  2
Independent:  1
There is one vacant seat at New Romney Town ward following the resignation of Labour councillor Tudwall Ellis.


Posts in Shepway shake up filled

Contributed by editor on Dec 15, 2004 - 06:45 PM

POSTS IN SHEPWAY SHAKE UP FILLED

The new team to head Shepway Council has been appointed.

The appointments have been made following the decision by Chief Executive Alistair Stewart to restructure the authority. The new structure, which received the unanimous support of the council, replaces the authority’s original ‘top tier’ of two strategic directors and nine heads of service with a team of six directors.

The new directors are: Director of Housing, Keith Cane; Director of Regeneration, Andy Jarrett; Director of Customer and Commercial Services, Jonathan Lund; Director of Regulatory Services, Jeff Stack; Director of Democratic Services, Peter Wignall

The post of Director of Organisational Development will be advertised early in the New Year.

Leader of the Council, Robert Bliss, said he was looking forward to working with the new directors.

“We have appointed a first class team that I believe brings an outstanding combination of expertise, experience and commitment. Shepway Council has been through a period of uncertainty and change during the last six months, but I know we can now face the future and any challenges it brings with renewed vigour.�


Ignore those emails

Contributed by editor on Dec 14, 2004 - 10:39 PM

IGNORE THOSE EMAILS

Kent Trading Standards have a re-assuring message for those who fear they could fall victim to Premium Rate phone call scams.

E-mails are circulating warning of £20 and £50 per minute 'premium rate' scams involving 'missed call' messages or the alleged winning of an expenses-paid holiday where people are asked to ring back on a premium rate number.

However, according to ICSTIS (the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services) stories of such costly premium rates are untrue. The maximum premium rate phone tariff available is £1.50 per minute.

Trading Standards still urge caution in replying to calls on premium rate numbers (those beginning 09) but suggest any individual or organisation receiving emails about these £20 or £50 per minute "scams" delete them and do NOT forward them to others.

For more information or for any other enquiries, please call Trading Standards on 08457 585497 or email tsadvice@kent.gov.uk or visit

www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/kent.


Taking part, making changes

Contributed by editor on Dec 14, 2004 - 10:02 PM


TAKING PART, MAKING CHANGES

During this year over 500 local people took part in the Hawkinge Partnership community consultation events. 

Their findings showed that local residents would like to live in a  safe community where people know their neighbours.

A community with better facilities and improved services,  events for the community, and o­ne with a pleasant environment.

The Partnership is holding a special event early in the new year called ‘Taking Part……Making Changes’ where residents are invited to come along and find out how these changes can happen and how they can get involved in the Hawkinge Partnership

Local residents are welcome to drop in anytime between 2.30pm and 8pm at the Hawkinge Village Hall o­n Thursday 27th January.

For more information of this event or the Partnership please contact the Neighbourhood Management Team o­n 01303 852321


ASB crackdown in Folkestone's clubland

Contributed by editor on Dec 14, 2004 - 08:10 PM

ASB CRACKDOWN IN FOLKESTONE'S CLUBLAND

The ongoing police crackdown on anti-social behaviour in Shepway has today (14 December) been extended to include Folkestone's clubbing district.

Police Officers will now be able to move on people found causing intimidation, harassment or distress from Tontine Street and surrounding roads.

This is the sixth area of Shepway to have been made a designated dispersal area (DDA).

The legislation is already operating in Palmarsh, Hythe, Hawkinge, Blackbull Road Folkestone, Cheriton and Hythe and police report there has been a noticeable reduction in complaints from these areas.


Plans to make you merry

Contributed by editor on Dec 14, 2004 - 05:44 PM

PLANS TO MAKE YOU MERRY

Major plans for Hawkinge are being considered by Shepway's Development Control Committee next week but the planning application for the Lidl Supermarket has still to be put before the councillors.

The meeting at 7.00pm on Tuesday 21st December at Shepway District Council Offices will be looking at three important applications for the village.

These include, a Public House on the land at the junction of  Haven Drive and Spitfire Way and 540 new homes with the construction of  a new link road.

Villagers can see the plans at the Shepway Council Offices, quoting the following reference numbers:-

Y04/1331/SH  Land at junction Spitfire Way/Haven Drive, erection of Public house.
 
Y03/0904/SH  Land to north of Aerodrome Road and Barnhurst Lane ------------------erection of 196 dwelling
 
Y04/0903/SH  Land north of Gibraltar Lane and land between southern bypass and Aerodrome Road--------------------erection of 344 dwelling and contruction of a new link road


Hawkinge Parish Council minutes 10th November 2004

Contributed by editor on Dec 13, 2004 - 03:59 PM


PARISH COUNCIL MINUTES

Minutes of the meeting of HAWKINGE PARISH COUNCIL held o­n 10th November 2004 at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall

Present: Cllr. Callahan (Chairman)

              Cllrs. Heasman, Hodgson, Hogben, Punnett and Trice

In attendance: Mrs Hardy (Clerk)

Apologies: Cllr. Ms Brisley and Cllr. Mrs Newton

                  Cllr. Smith (attending a District Council meeting)

 
OPEN MEETING

Mr Ian Norman (Community Warden) reported the crimes committed in Hawkinge over the last two months and action taken by the Police.   The effectiveness of the new Dispersal Order is being assessed.     Police have dispersed youths that gather outside Tescos in the evening.   Crime figures are lower than for the same period last year.

END OF OPEN MEETING


19/04   Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held o­n 13th October 2004 were approved and signed by the Chairman (prop. Cllr. Heasman, sec. Cllr. Hogben) Votes: all in favour

 

20/04            Declarations of Interest

Cllr. Callahan declared an interest in planning matters (member of Development Control Committee SDC) he reserved the right to make a decision at District level when he is in possession of all the facts relating to an application.    Cllr. Heasman declared an interest in the Community Centre (Trustee) and Village Hall (Trustee).   Cllrs. Trice and Hodgson declared an interest in the Football Project (founder members of Hawkinge Football Club).  


21/04   Matters arising out of the Minutes

       (a) Hawkinge Village Hall (min.5/04)

The Chairman said the Chairman of the Village Hall Management Committee had asked him to sign documentation regarding the sale of some of the village hall land.    He had sought legal advice and Kingsfords had confirmed that the Parish Council is the Registered Proprietor of the property, and enclosed a copy of the Land Registry document.    Cllr. Callahan said this would have a serious impact o­n the PC and the VHMC and he proposed that he and the Vice-Chairman meet the Secretary and Chairman to discuss the situation.    This was agreed.    The financial implications were referred to the Finance section o­n the agenda.         


       (b) Cars Parking o­n Football Ground (min.13/04)

Cllr. Hodgson had spoken to the Cricket Club about the boot fairs.    Members of their Management Committee will consider the matter and talk to the PC later.

 
       (c) Appearance of the Village (min. 14/04)

Councillors had been asked for suggestions to improve the appearance of the village.     Cllr. Punnett said litterbins and dog waste bins were needed.


      (d) Flower Tub Maintenance

Mr McCreedy, Parks & Recreation Manager, SDC, had written to say that the number of floral displays in the district had been drastically reduced due to reprioritisation of budgets; this meant it could not fund additional planting or maintenance work.    The Clerk will now write to local landscaping firms and KCC Landscaping Services for quotations to plant and maintain the tubs.

 
22/04   Reports – Working Groups

       (a) Planning and Development

Cllr. Trice said Allan Rogers, Tree Warden, had advised the Council that trees had been planted o­n the community green by a resident without seeking approval. He asked if he could replace some dead trees with two donated by a resident.   Mr Rogers to be advised that the green is the property of SDC.

       (b) Sports and Ground Maintenance/Football Project

Cllr. Hodgson said Elham Valley Lions Club had donated some money to the Hawkinge Football Club to purchase some goal posts.     People are exercising their dogs o­n the ground and there is now a problem because dogs are fouling the pitch and surrounding area.   It would not be possible to ban dogs completely because of the footpath that runs along o­ne side of the field.    It was decided that the Clerk should write to the Dog Warden at SDC, to explain the situation and ask for advice.

      (c ) Public Rights of Way

Cllr. Punnett was concerned that the footpath outside the shops, Canterbury Road, is still not clearly defined by coloured markings o­n the ground.

 
23/04   Other Bodies

       (a) Hawkinge Community Centre

Cllr. Hodgson reported that the Clerk had given notice to the Trustees that she can no longer be Acting Secretary to the Trust because there will be a need for letters to be exchanged and meetings held between the Executive Committee and the Parish Council in the near future that will cause a conflict of interests.

He had received a copy of a proposed Bank Loan to be taken out by the Trust that needed the signature of all Trustees.   He was seeking legal advice. 

Cllr. Callahan had received a letter from Trevor Johns, Project Manager, explaining the reasons for the loan.   In view of o­ne condition under the Default section, he needed to ask advice from Kingsfords.

It was Resolved that Cllr. Hodgson be asked not to sign the Agreement between the Hawkinge Community Centre and NatWest Bank o­n behalf of the Parish Council and if he is asked as a Trustee, the PC does not wish him to sign it until he has received legal advice.

(prop. Cllr. Callahan, sec. Cllr. Trice) Votes: For 3 Against 0 Abstentions 3 


       (b) Hawkinge Village Hall

Cllr. Heasman said bookings are coming in from clubs that cannot be accommodated in the Community Centre.  

       (c) Hawkinge Neighbourhood Management Partnership

Cllr. Callahan to attend a Board Meeting the following day.   An Office Manager had been appointed.    Planning permission had been granted for the office building to be sited alongside Tescos.

        (d) Churchill School

Cllr. Trice asked about road markings outside the school o­n behalf of Terry Scott (Press) who was unable to attend the meeting.    Clerk to ask Kent Highways for information about parking restrictions outside the school entrance.

       (e) Hawkinge Primary School

Cllr. Callahan had been invited to attend a Remembrance Day ceremony in the Hawkinge cemetery.   Local schoolchildren were present and wreaths were laid at the Cross of Sacrifice.

The Chairman gave councillors details of the various ceremonies due to take place in Hawkinge o­n Remembrance Sunday 14th November, starting with a short ceremony at the Air Force memorial, Aerodrome Road at 10 a.m.

       (f) KAPC, Shepway Area Committee

Cllr. Heasman reported that a joint meeting between KAPC and SDC had taken place.    District councillors were unable to attend but Mr Jonathon Lund, Head of Administrative Services, had been able to answer questions.  

24/04   Spitfire Leisuredrome

The Chairman said the final alterations to the Lease being offered by the Parish Council to Hawkinge Youth & Community Sports Council had been made and returned to the solicitor.    He hoped the Lease would be signed by HY&CSC without delay.   

 25/04   Correspondence

       (a) Shepway District Council

            (i) Licensing Manager, Planning Environmental Health & Building Control

Services – consultation document o­n new draft Licensing Policy.   Councillors agreed to comment individually o­n the policy.

(ii) Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership: Summary Audit 2004 – public consultation brochure.    Received

(iii) Local Plans Manager, Shepway District Local Plan Review – proposed modifications.    The proposed modification to Land north of Barnhurst Lane (MOD 20) was discussed.

It was Resolved that the PC comment o­n the Shepway District Local Plan Review as follows: MOD 14 Barnhurst Lane – there should be landscaping o­n both sides of the proposed road.

(prop. Cllr. Punnett, sec. Cllr. Hogben) Votes For 5 Against 0 Abstention 1 (District Councillor)

The following correspondence was received and noted.

       (b) BTCV - letter of thanks for PC’s donation to the Kent Tree Warden Scheme

       (c) KAPC Annual Report for 2003/04

       (d) Kent Downs AONB – Annual Review 2003


26/04   Finance

      (a) Finance Group

Cllr. Callahan said that the Finance Group met o­n 5th November to discuss the financial implications of matters already reported.    They had considered the budget for 2005/06 and up-dated the Council’s Risk Assessment.    They had at the request of the Council reviewed the Clerk’s salary for 2004/05.

The Chairman recommended to the Council that it accept the 2004/05 National Salary Award for Local Council Clerks.

It was Resolved that the Clerk’s salary commencing 1st April 2004 will be

SCP 21 hourly rate £8.819p x 18 hours = £8.254.58
An increase of £18.64 per month commencing 1st April 2004

Back pay April/November 8 months £18.64 x 8 = £149.12

            (The Clerk left the room while the above item was discussed)


       (b) Hawkinge Community Newsletter

Cllr. Trice suggested various ways of handling the production of the publication.   He pointed out that there was sufficient income from advertisements to cover the cost of printing.   The present arrangement is that the PC pays for the printing and receives a donation of £90 to £100 from the editor towards the cost.      Some councillors felt that the status quo should remain because the Council had agreed monies be spent o­n a newsletter instead of a web site, and it should keep control of the content of the newsletter.

It was Resolved that prior to further discussion the Council write to Jackie Ide to ask if she would want to take over full responsibility for the newsletter.

(prop. Cllr. Hogben, sec. Cllr. Punnett.    Votes: all in favour

      (c) Payments

The following accounts were presented for payment.

    ch.date
  
      £

Cowgate Landscaping
   

  5.11.04
   

    705.00


KAPC (one lunch at AGM)
   

      "
   
       7.50


SDC rates for football pitch land
   
      "
     56.10

Harmer Landscapes

  10.11.04
   
54.05

Southern Water
   
      "
   
    13.09


NatWest EBS

     DD
   
     10.00

Clerk's salary
   
  10.11.04
   
    669.24

 
Clerk's salary review - back pay

      "

    149.12


Expenses inc. tel a/c

      "

     74.41
 

Hawkinge Community Centre
 
      "
     16.00

 
It was Resolved that the accounts be paid (prop. Cllr. Heasman, sec. Cllr Trice) Votes: all in favour

       (d) Budget 2005/06

Councillors received a draft budget prepared by the Clerk that included the recommendations of the Finance Group.   The Head of Financial Services, SDC, requested an estimate of the precept by 7th January at the latest and the formal request before 31st January 2005 (letter dated 20th October). 

It was agreed that the running costs for the football ground (rates, maintenance of the pitch and grass cutting) would be an important factor to be considered.

The Finance Group will meet again to consider the income and expenditure, running costs and construction of the car park and pavilion before the next Council meeting.

At this point Cllr. Hodgson left the meeting

 

27/04   Plans

Y04/1437/SH Terlingham House, Gibraltar Lane: erection of a first floor balcony to the south west and south east elevation and a raised decked area to the ground floor south east elevation together with the erection of a single storey extension to the north east elevation and a detached double garage (resubmission of Y04/0776/SH).

Comment:   The PC notes that much of the construction in the plans has been given planning permission under Y01/1063/SH.   The views of the Council remain as submitted with plan Y04/0776/SH which were:

Objection:  the visual impact of the proposals o­n the surrounding area would be such that it would be seen to be detrimental.

Y04/1443/SH 3 Maplefield Gardens: works to trees the subject of Tree Preservation Order No.17 of 2000   No comment

Y04/1492/SH Bramdene, Stombers Lane: outline application for the erection of two detached dwellings together with a double garage (re-submission of Y04/0996/SH).   The PC strongly objects o­n the same grounds as submitted previously, namely that infilling of back land is contrary to District planning policy (RS2 Local Plan)

The action taken by the Planning Group was approved

Plan presented at the meeting:

Y04/1324/SH Hawkinge and Elham Valley Practice, 74 Canterbury Road, Hawkinge: siting of a portakabin to front of surgery.

Objection o­n the following grounds: loss of car parking space.

Votes: For 4 Against 0 Abstention 1 (District Councillor) 


28/04  CONFIDENTIAL MATTERS

           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.

 
29/04   Sale of strip of land at the Leisuredrome (min.18/04)

A letter from Kingsfords dated 28th October was received (a copy of their letter to East Kent Developments Ltd. and a copy of the draft Transfer referred to in the letter was enclosed).    The Council confirmed that it accepted drawing number DES 02 86 2003 and that the main points set out were acceptable apart from o­ne amendment - para 3.  The PC would like it made clear that it will be the Parish Council’s responsibility to say when repairs are needed to the access strip.

Clerk to advise Kingsfords accordingly.    

The meeting closed at 9.50 pm.


No cuts to Gurkhas pledge by Howard

Contributed by editor on Dec 13, 2004 - 03:08 PM

NO CUTS TO GURKHAS PLEDGE BY HOWARD

A furious dispute among senior military officers over the future structure of the British Army  could affect the Gurkhas at Shornecliffe Barracks.

Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary, was expected to make his announcement on the shake up  to MPs today although it is now thought unlikely it will be made before Wednesday.

Defence sources have suggested that ministers may reduce the size of the Gurkhas from two battalions to one. One of its battalions, of about 600 men, based in Shornecliffe could be axed, leaving the Gurkhas' remaining unit in Brunei, where it is already financed by the Sultan.

Folkestone and Hythe MP and Tory Leader Michael Howard said:  “The Gurkhas have performed a heroic role in the British Army for a very long time.  Any suggestion that they should be reduced from two battalions to one will be greeted with widespread dismay.

"If the Conservative Party wins the General Election we shall not make any cuts to the British Army. The future of the Gurkhas will then be safe.

So, if anyone shares my concern about the future of the Gurkhas, the solution is simple; they should vote Conservative at the General Election.�


Cash machine theft device seized at supermarket

Contributed by editor on Dec 13, 2004 - 11:39 AM

CASH MACHINE THEFT DEVICE SEIZED AT SUPERMARKET

An attempt to steal hundreds of pounds of money from people’s bank accounts in Deal has been thwarted thanks to the vigilance of a member of the public.

A man noticed something suspicious as he used one of the cash machines outside Sainsbury’s supermarket in West Street, Deal on Wednesday evening 8th December.

As he was collecting his cash he noticed that a box had been placed over the card slot, and it had wires coming out and a card stuck to it.

The device has been seized by police who believe it was being used to clone the details of all cards that used the machine, so that criminals can then access people’s bank accounts and withdraw cash.

South East Kent Police issued a warning on 28.10.04. about these new portable card readers which had been fitted to many machines in the London area.

This is the first time it has been reported in South East Kent and police are now warning cash point users to be extra vigilant, by checking no devices have been placed on the card slot, before they use it.

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