Kent warns "Get it right!"

Contributed by editor on Dec 13, 2004 - 11:21 AM


On the eve of the expected announcement by the Strategic Rail Authority of the new Integrated Kent Franchise specification for services, Kent County Council has warned "Get it right!"

The council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration Alex King, met yesterday with SRA Chairman David Quarmby to press Kent's case.

The route to Folkestone through Ashford  International is vital to the economy of Shepway and local commuters are looking forward to a journey time to the capital of less than an hour.

Mr King said: "The SRA has got to get this right. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get the rail services we desperately need in this county and which will be able to cope with future needs.

"The proposed Channel Rail Link domestic services must serve Dover, Thanet, Manston Airport and Sittingbourne. Existing services to London Victoria, Charing Cross and Cannon Street - in particular from mid, north and west Kent - have got to be maintained as well as a good service to the rural and smaller stations.

"We are very concerned that if services from stations in Maidstone and the Medway Towns are cut, commuters are going to drive to Ebbsfleet. This would cause huge problems on Kent's stressed road network. Domestic services on the CTRL must come on line as soon as possible."

The Integrated Kent Franchise services specification is expected to be announced by Christmas.

Facelift for Village hall

Contributed by editor on Dec 11, 2004 - 08:11 PM


<IMG alt="Hawkinge Village Hall" hspace=10 src="" align=left vspace=10 border=0>Work has finally begun on repairs and renovation of the Hawkinge Village Hall.

Builders and decorators moved in this week and the job should be completed by the end of next week.  The hall is to be painted and a porch will be built o­n the side of the building adjacent to the car park.. Fire doors have also been fitted to the opposite side of the hall.

<IMG alt="Hawking Village Hall" hspace=10 src="" align=left vspace=10 border=0>The cost is expected to be around £10,000, but the village hall committee is hoping to qualify for some funding to offset the full cost.

Chairman of the Village Hall Committee John Heasman said: "I am very pleased with the progress and the helpful way the contactors have carried out the work. All being well it should be completed by the end of next week".

Rewarded for cock-ups

Contributed by editor on Dec 11, 2004 - 02:03 AM

style="font-weight: bold;">

Dear Ed<br
style="font-weight: bold;">

Standing at the bar of my local pub
last night, a friend asked me: "What's the difference between being
employed by local government and the private sector?"

I wanted to find out what he thought so I said: "I don't know, tell me".

"Well" he began, "I'm surprised a man with your interests hasn't 
read this weeks edition of the Folkestone Herald.

"Apparently, in private business you are sacked if you fail in your job
without it costing the business a penny, whereas in the public sector,
they pay you to go and dress it up as re-organisation.

"In effect, failure is rewarded and we, the ratepayers pay twice - once
for the cock-ups and then to get rid of them".

I thought about this all evening and finally came to the conclusion,
how right he was. Some of those departing had been criticised in two
recent outside reports on council activities.

Hmmm, I realise now , the wife was right. She always said I made a
wrong career move when I left school.

There's no justice!

Name and address supplied

Christmas market set to brighten the gloom

Contributed by editor on Dec 10, 2004 - 07:31 PM


Festivities for the Christmas Market at Capel-le-Ferne are set to brighten the gloomy December weather.

The event on 21st December runs from 10am. to 1 pm. and is being held at the Capel-le-Ferne Village Hall, Lancaster Avenue, Capel-le-Ferne, Nr. Folkestone, Kent.    

Entertainment includes the Air Training Corps Band and local  Church & W.I. Choir providing festive music.

Stallholders and organizers will be in fancy dress although Father Christmas is coming as himself.    

Several stall-holders will be doing their 'own thing' with specials on their stalls, and  mince pies and a fruit punch will be available in the refreshments.   

Organiser Jenny Barraclough said: " We intend to make it a really festive occasion, so please come along and  join in the fun, whilst doing your last minute food shopping - and even  presents at our many craft stalls.    

"A reminder too, that there will be no market on 28th December - resuming  again on 4th January 2005.    We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our customers,  stall-holders and supporters a very Happy Christmas and a Prosperus New  Year, and Cherry, Gwyn, Mick and I look forward to another successful year in 2005".

<a href=mailto:"">

Folkestone Camera Club

Contributed by editor on Dec 10, 2004 - 07:02 PM


On Monday  8th December, we had the pleasure of seeing another Audio Visual Slide Presentation from our Australian counterparts in Brisbane with whom we have an ‘exchange’ each year, and is always a very good show.   Unfortunately this will be our last exchange with Brisbane as their Audio Visual group has disbanded, but we still hope to keep in touch and maybe make connections with other Australian clubs in the future.

 In addition to this we showed a selection of Audio Visual seqyences, produced digitally and through an LCD projector from Leicester Camera Club, these of which we hope will increase – it so much easier to send a disc in the post rather than a tape and lots of slides!

We all had a thoroughly enjoyable evening seeing many different aspects of photography combined with good commentary or music.

Next week it will be our Christmas Social evening where we shall all enjoy a very informal evening with our friends.

We will resume our usual meetings on 3rd January with our 3rd Slide Competition of the season.

Visit our web site at where you can also visit our links to various photographic related sites and shops.

Our meetings are held at the United Reform Community Hall, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone on Mondays at 7.45pm.  New members are always welcome, if interested please phone Mrs Jenny Barraclough (Press officer) 01303 245399 or  
e mail:  <a href=mailto:"">

Crime sheet 29/11/04 to 5/12/04

Contributed by editor on Dec 10, 2004 - 02:32 PM

COUNTRY EYE - NEIGBOURHOOD WATCH Crime Sheet 29/11/04 to 5/12/04

<FONT color=#000000>29/11/04

<FONT color=navy>Between 1745hrs & 1800hrs 29/11/04

<FONT color=navy>Damage


<FONT color=#000000>Informant states she has looked at the window that the stones were thrown at and has noticed that there is a crack along the bottom with a small hole in the outer pane. Ip states that the window is approx 42' x 19' it is lounge bay window.

<FONT color=#000000> 

<FONT color=navy>01/12/04

<FONT color=navy>Between 1800hrs 30/11/04 & 0900hrs 01/12/04

<FONT color=navy>Theft from Motor Vehicle


<FONT color=#000000>Informant reporting that overnight their compound has been entered and 3 vehicles have had the windows smashed and entry made.  o­n two of the vehicles, the Toyota's attempts have been made to steal the stereo systems and o­n o­ne vehicle offender(s) have been successful and have cause extensive damage to the dash in doing so.

<FONT color=#000000> 

<FONT color=navy>30/11/04

<FONT color=navy>Between 2110hrs & 2115hrs 30/11/04

<FONT color=navy>Attempted Criminal Damage


<FONT color=#000000>IP has contacted the Police to report an attempt to damage his dwelling.  Unknown person/s have thrown an apple at the Ip's lounge window.  IP looked out of an upstairs bedroom window and saw what he believes was a young person pushing a scooter up the pavement going away from town.  This person was of slim build, but as they had their head down IP could not see their face.  They were wearing a blue hoody and a grey woollen hat.  No further details of this person known.

<FONT color=#000000> 

<FONT color=navy>29/11/04

<FONT color=navy>Between 1400hrs 27/11/04 & 0900hrs 29/11/04

<FONT color=navy>Theft from Motor Vehicle


<FONT color=#000000> <FONT color=#000000>IP saw and heard nothing but thinks the offender/s must have been aware of the CB apparatus in the vehicle and have targeted it for this reason. The integral radio header unit has been attempted to be levered out of the dashboard and this has damaged the unit badly, but it has not been stolen.

<FONT color=#000000> 

<FONT color=navy>03/12/04

<FONT color=navy>Between 0945hrs & 1820hrs 03/12/04

<FONT color=navy>Damage


<FONT color=#000000>IP parked his car o­n the small access road leading to the car park at Westenhanger Station prior to catching a train to London.    It was left locked and secured and all was in order. o­n returning to the vehicle at time stated he discovered that the drivers side window had been smashed and a large stone was o­n the drivers seat.    Entry does not appear to have been gained and nothing was stolen.

<FONT color=#000000> 

<FONT color=navy>05/12/04

<FONT color=navy>Between 2000hrs 04/12/04 & 1100hrs 05/12/04

<FONT color=navy>Damage


<FONT color=#000000>IP states that his vehicle was parked o­n the drive outside the house.  Between the given dates and times someone has kicked his vehicle causing the rear panel by the wheel arch to dent. 

If you have any information in relation to any crime. Please contact the Watch Office o­n 01304 218151 or ring
Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 You do not have to give your name and you maybe eligible for a reward.

To Report suspicious incidents and problems you cannot resolve yourself 01303 850055


To report crime that has happened to you and the offenders have gone 01303 289134
If you would like to help with Neighbourhood Watch or would like to know more about what is involved, you can contact the Neighbourhood Watch & Parish Liaison Office at Dover Police Station o­n 01304 21815     Neighbourhood Watch     Neighbourhood Watch

Christmas lights start blaze

Contributed by editor on Dec 10, 2004 - 12:52 PM


A home was seriously damaged by fire earlier this week after a set of Christmas lights overheated.

Kent Fire and Rescue are warning of the dangers of Christmas lights following a  blaze near Canterbury.

Firefighters believe the most likely cause was external Christmas lights which ignited the contents of a shed – causing a fire that quickly spread to the adjoining house itself.

It is thought the lights had been left o­n for more than 24 hours.

Thanet Station Commander Peter Davies said: “There was significant damage to the property and the shed was destroyed but it could have been much worse. If the fire had spread to the roof it could have also ignited the thatched roof of the property next door which would have been disastrous. The Christmas lights were plugged in to the outside shed and had been left o­n all day and night. o­n investigation, there is a significant chance the fire started from the lights’ control box which overheated and set fire to the dry leaves and shelf o­n which it lay.

Head of Community Fire Safety Stuart Skilton said: “Incidents like this are unfortunate for those involved, especially at this time of year. To reduce the risk of fire in your home, here are some easy-to-follow yet valuable tips o­n how to stay safe during the festive period.â€?

• Fit, maintain and regularly check smoke alarms in your home – it could save your life
• Check your tree lights conform to the British Standard. Never leave them o­n continuously and switch them off at night
• Don’t place candles near your Christmas tree or furnishings and don’t leave them burning unattended
• Make sure family and friends know your fire escape plan in the unlikely event of fire
• Decorations can burn easily – don’t attach them to lights or heaters
• Never overload electrical sockets
• Be safe – the risk of accidents, especially in the kitchen, is greater after alcohol is consumed
• Never leave cooking unattended
• Store fireworks safely
• Make sure cigarettes are completely extinguished before going to bed
• Keep candles, matches and lighters out of reach of children
• Check o­n elderly relatives and neighbours – make sure they are fire safe

For more information log o­nto or call the Community Fire Safety team o­n 01622 698360.

Youngsters' views on town's future

Contributed by editor on Dec 08, 2004 - 02:15 PM


Young people are being invited to Folkestone’s Civic Centre o­n Monday (13 December) to share their views about the future development of the town.

Andy Jarrett, Shepway Council’s Head of Partnership and Regeneration Services, will be explaining more about plans for the town centre, the redevelopment of the seafront and harbour and the growth of the Creative Quarter.

Members of the newly-formed Shepway Youth Forum will be taking part in the debate, but all young people are welcome, said Andy.

“These young people will hopefully be living and working in Folkestone in the future and will see the results of decisions made now about the town’s development. It will be great to get their views o­n current proposals and find how they think their town should develop.â€?

All young people are welcome to the Civic Centre at 4.15pm o­n Monday.  Ring Tamasin Jarrett, Youth Engagement Officer o­n 01303 852277 for more information.

Quick fix for Viking ship

Contributed by editor on Dec 08, 2004 - 11:17 AM


The replica Viking longship at Pegwell Bay near Ramsgate is being taken to Gloucester for repairs today (8 December).

<IMG style="WIDTH: 300px; HEIGHT: 113px" alt="Viking ship" hspace=10 src="" align=left vspace=10 border=0>The ship, Horsa, was given to the country in 1949 to commemorate the first Viking landing in Britain 1,500 years ago.

She was built in Denmark and  53 Danes rowed the craft to England, landing at Viking Bay near Broadstairs.

The repairs to the Hugin should take just a few months and it is due to return to Ramsgate for the summer of 2005.

The cost of repairs will be funded by Thanet District Council with extra money from the European Interreg scheme.

Airport investors asked for £22m top up

Contributed by editor on Dec 07, 2004 - 11:08 PM


PlaneStation, the owners of Kent International Airport and the budget airline EUJet  wants investors to find an extra £22m.

The operation at Manston has lost £6.5m in the past six months and the share price has crashed from £1 in June to less than 20p.

EUJet had hoped to carry half a million passengers in the first year but since its launch in September, only 70,000 people have bought tickets.