Queen unveils Folkestone post box

Contributed by editor on Feb 22, 2006 - 03:54 PM



Her Majesty Queen Victoria was guest of honour at the unvieling of a renovated Victorian pillar-box outside the Leas Lift building on Lower Sandgate Road in Folkestone today (22 February).

Queen Victoria played by Ivy Clarke 93 from Broadstairs, arrived by horse drawn carriage and was greeted by Folkestone Mayor Cllr. George Bunting before she unveiled the elegantly refurbished box with the letters VR highlighted once again in gold.

Local historian Robert Mouland joined forces with Royal Mail to restore and relocate the box to an area dear to Robert's heart.

Mr Mouland has spent much of his time and money saving an original Step Lift Carriage from the Dover Transport Museum and returning it to the Leas Lift. It is hoped it will be renovated as part of a National Lottery bid.

Prescott panned

Contributed by editor on Feb 22, 2006 - 11:01 AM


Dear Ed,

Re: Biggest water price rise in the country

Why is everyone so surprised by all this?

Isn't it in the hands of our illustrious (sic) Deputy Prime Minister?


Build reservoirs to match demand

Contributed by editor on Feb 22, 2006 - 10:59 AM


Dear Ed

Re: Biggest water price rise in the country

Perhaps the planners should be considering sites for reservoirs instead of rushing to build hundreds of new water consuming houses with their associated probems of water run off.
D Godfrey

Council tax rise set by KCC

Contributed by editor on Feb 22, 2006 - 09:39 AM


Kent County Council last night set a council tax increase of 4.75% for the year 2006/7.

Leader of the council Paul Carter said: "We have been successful in achieving substantial efficiencies, particularly in administration functions such as finance and personnel to keep the council tax down. This year we have had to make further £25m of savings and preserve quality services.

"Our record o­n this front was recognised by a leader article in The Times o­n Monday, which said: 'Responsibility for the unacceptable level of council tax rests primarily with central government. Whitehall is fond of heaping extra responsibilities o­n to local authorities while being less than helpful in meeting the price of such expenditure'. It went on to say: 'There are not many councils - Kent is one of the few - that can claim to be at the cutting edge of cost control or worthwhile policy innovation'."

Mr Carter said: "We have embarked upon some of the most innovative schemes in the country. Telehealth, where people with chronic conditions can be monitored in the comfort of their own homes, rather than spend time constantly travelling to and from hospital or being admitted, is one. This helps the patient and money saved can be ploughed back into front-line services.

"We have done everything possible to eke out an extremely difficult government settlement and ensure that quality services are maintained and where possible improved. We will press the government very hard o­n the funding front for next years settlement in an endeavour to keep council taxes as low as possible."

Water company far from clean

Contributed by editor on Feb 21, 2006 - 09:36 PM



Dear Ed,

Might I suggest that Folkestone and Dover Water (FDW) might not require "scarcity status" if some of the loss due to leakage was prevented.

The following report from OFWAT makes some interesting - disappointing reading. Not just for FDW, but all of the UK's suppliers.

Not enough is done to stop the loss of millions of litres which never reaches a consumers tap!$FILE/leakage_02-03.pdf

Rant over


Biggest water price rise in the country

Contributed by editor on Feb 21, 2006 - 08:04 PM



Folkestone and Dover Water, which supplies about 160,000 people in Kent, has become the first company in the country to apply for water scarcity status.

Pay more for less

The company had to prove it had exhausted all additional avenues for water sourcing and done what it could to meet customer demand.

And if that wasn't enough for customers, the water challenged company have now  hiked their prices by 7.5%, the biggest rise of the 12 water-only companies, pushing prices up by an average £12 for domestic customers.

The cost of the average domestic water and sewerage bills across England and Wales is set to rise by 5.5%

Ofwat said the increases included inflation and were in line with the price limits it set in December 2004. The regulator added some customers would pay less if they had a water meter and low consumption. 

Water shortages in the South East have become so extreme the Environment Agency wants five new reservoirs to be built in the next 25 years. 

Reservoirs which would normally be more than 90% full in February are standing less than 40% full after more than a year of drought conditions. 

Water companies across the South East are trying to persuade their customers to cut down on their use of water. 

Hosepipe bans are already in force or almost certain to be brought in later this year, while restrictions on non-essential water use, such as for jet washes or to water sports pitches, could be introduced. 

Water companies in the South East fear problems with shortages may get worse when the thousands of new homes planned for the region are built.

Folkestone ski slope inspired Olympic skier

Contributed by editor on Feb 21, 2006 - 12:08 AM



An Olympic skier competing in Turin was inspired to start the sport after using the Folkestone dry ski slope.

A skier in the slalom event

A friend of Alexander Heath gave him a pencil box with a skier on it when he moved to Folkestone from South Africa, but he had never heard of the sport.

"I had never even seen snow," Heath said. "When I first tried it on a dry ski slope in Folkestone I fell in love with the sport because it was so different from anything else I had done."

Heath trained and raced with the British ski team, and has been representing South Africa internationally since the early 1990s.

"I owe my parents a lot because when I was 13 my father's job was meant to transfer back to South Africa and we had even sold our house," Heath said. "My parents were about to sign the contract, but I was doing so well with my skiing they decided it would be unfair to take me away from that."

Heath plans to ski in all the events in Turin; his best finish so far is a 27th place in Monday's giant slalom.

Samaritans quiz night

Contributed by editor on Feb 20, 2006 - 06:59 PM

Hawkinge Partnership has become a glee club

Contributed by editor on Feb 20, 2006 - 04:44 PM


Dear Ed,

Re: Hawkinge Partnership

Ever o­ne to congratulate anyone o­n a job well done, my attention was drawn recently to the latest Partnership Newsletter.

I find it irritating that these people busily congratulate themselves for something that should be done anyway by the local authority.

I refer of course to the collection of awards appearing o­n page seven of the useless organ.

One o­nly has to give a cursory glance at the pages to see what an empire building exercise and glee club the whole thing has become.

Disapointedly yours,


Why worry now?

Contributed by editor on Feb 20, 2006 - 04:26 PM


Dear Ed,

Re: Clinton's security fears over P&O deal

Why worry now?

It is amazing isn't it?  I mean, the American Government wasn't worried enough, immediately after 9/11, to stop the Saudi's flying home to safety. 

So why worry about this little take over and why worry now?

Yours as cynically as ever,