Howard's Way 16 February 2006

Contributed by editor on Feb 16, 2006 - 12:10 AM

HOWARD'S WAY.... a weekly column from Michael Howard MP

13 February 2006<IMG height=195 hspace=10 src="images/michaelhoward3.jpg" width=130 align=right vspace=10 border=0>

Last Friday morning I chaired a well attended meeting at Lydd Airport to discuss the plans to decommission Dungeness A nuclear power station. Nick Gore, the Station manager, and Sean Moules, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s Site manager, gave a presentation on what will happen after the station ceases to general electricity at the end of the year.

Some of the many questions were directed to the possibility of a new nuclear station being built at Dungeness. I have never showed the doctrinaire opposition to nuclear power which exists in some quarters. When asked “how would like to have a nuclear power station in your backyard?� I have always been able to reply “I can see two of them from my bedroom window!�

There are legitimate questions which still have to be answered, on cost and waste disposal, before I would support a new programme of building nuclear power stations and there are also questions about whether Dungeness would be the best site, given the concerns which exist about rising sea levels. But I believe that we should approach all these questions in a pragmatic way and on the basis of all available evidence.

After the meeting at Lydd Airport I went to St Nicholas Church of England primary School at new Romney to discuss the possibility of connecting the school to the new mains drainage scheme which is, at last, being provided at New Romney. Then it was off to New Romney Town Hall for the quarterly meetings of the Mains Drainage Committee of the Town Council which I have been attending regularly.

In the afternoon I visited the Mosque in Folkestone to meet leaders of our local Muslim community. These are difficult times for the relationship between our Muslim fellow-citizens and the rest of our national community. The overwhelming majority of Muslims in Britain are law-abiding citizens who take as much pride in being British as the rest of us. It is important that we all resist the attempts of those who wish to provoke us into attitudes of mutual hostility.

On Friday evening I went to a fund-raising event in aid of the Ghurka Family Welfare Association. A large crowd had gathered at Shorncliffe to take part. What a wonderful way to mark the warm welcome the people of Folkestone have given the Ghurkas. Long may they remain as part of our local community.

Get set for a winning race night

Contributed by editor on Feb 15, 2006 - 07:17 PM

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Ideal location for surgery

Contributed by editor on Feb 14, 2006 - 07:09 PM


Dear David/Ed

Re: Demolition of Village Hall

I fully agree with David that this would be an ideal location for the Doctors Surgery

The car park that supports the community village hall could double as a car park for the doctors, with the pharmacy o­nly a stones throw away  -  and not even needing to cross to road.

I cannot see the benefit of retaining the old village hall  (I know some of you will) but all the activities could be taken up by the new community centre so as to not lose these, and I appreciate that holding a function in the old village hall is probably less expensive than new community centre but this would have to be addressed.

The car park would need to be finished off as this lets down the impressive new community centre at the moment.

Lets hope Hawkinge Partnership will see this as a positive step forward for Hawkinge.


Refuse trucks stolen

Contributed by editor on Feb 14, 2006 - 06:03 PM


Dear Ed

I have just read the following story o­n the BBC Kent website

<FONT color=navy>Bin lorries worth £300,000 stolen
Three commercial refuse trucks valued at £100,000 each have been stolen from a compound in Kent.

<FONT color=navy>Police said the blue and white vehicles were taken from the Eurolink site in Sittingbourne between Monday evening and Tuesday afternoon.

<FONT color=navy>Det Con Jill Hook said the crime would have taken "significant planning" and "may not have been opportunist".

<FONT color=navy>Officers want to speak to anyone who may have seen the lorries being driven around the county.

What a shame it was Sittingbourne and not Shepway.

At least the council could have cut their losses, but maybe the thieves knew the Shepway lorries weren't worth stealing.


Support for demolition of village hall

Contributed by editor on Feb 14, 2006 - 05:39 PM


Dear Ed

Re: Demolish village hall for new health centre

I have been pleased to see the debate o­n this subject which appears to be generally supportive.

In order to reach a wider audience I suggest that the Hawkinge Partnership seriously consider organising a wider consensus from the Hawkinge Population. 

I intend to approach them directly o­n this matter and any support and additional comments from readers would be most welcome.

David Godfrey   

Rugby club gets a boost

Contributed by editor on Feb 13, 2006 - 09:28 PM



Folkestone Rugby Club has been given £500 to help children who otherwise would not be able to afford to play the sport.

Kent County Council community warden David Harmes put the club forward for the grant which was presented to rugby club president, Gordon Elliott by KCC Lead Member for Community Services, Elizabeth Tweed.

Mr Harmes said: "Folkestone Rugby Club has a big youth section for players aged seven to seventeen.

"Most of them can afford to buy the kit and pay the cost of travelling but a few struggle. I thought it would be good for the club to have the funds to help disadvantaged children.

"Playing rugby keeps children off the streets and teaches them teamwork in a safe environment.

"If we come across kids who are getting into trouble, this link with the club means we can encourage them to try out rugby.

"I watched them training in the freezing cold and they were brilliant; they really enjoyed it and they were so pleased we were showing an interest."

Mrs Tweed said: "I am really delighted that a community warden has highlighted the excellent work of the youth section at Folkestone Rugby Club.

"It is so good to be able to support young people out enjoying themselves on a real family occasion."

Royal visitor for anniversary

Contributed by editor on Feb 13, 2006 - 09:20 PM



The Duke of Edinburgh

His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh will meet over 100 staff and go behind the scenes to see how the world’s busiest ferry port keeps on the move when he visits to mark Dover Harbour Board’s 400th anniversary on Friday (17 February).

Arriving at the Eastern Docks, he will be welcomed by Robert Dibble, chairman of Dover Harbour Board, and chief executive Bob Goldfield at Port Control where ferry, cruise, cargo and marina vessel movements in and out of the harbour are co-ordinated. From there he will move on to Terminal Control to see how shore-side operations are orchestrated. 

The Duke of Edinburgh is then due to visit the Western Docks where he will be presented to staff representing a cross-section of the Harbour Board workforce. 

He will unveil a plaque commemorating his visit and sign a copy of a book commissioned by Dover Harbour Board to record the port’s royal connections and development over the past 400 years. The visit is due to last one-and-a-half hours. 

It was on 6 October 1606 that the Dover Harbour Board was established by royal charter under King James I to maintain, administer and improve the harbour.

Lucky thirteen for our lads

Contributed by editor on Feb 12, 2006 - 07:57 PM


By Cyril Trice

Another splendid week for the local lads, both seniors and juniors putting on magical performances in the rain.

The Sunday senior side met Saltwood in the league at a soggy Hythe pitch, but the conditions failed to faze the Hawkinge side as they relished scoring goal after goal. 

It was Tom Welham who seemed most at home as he pushed his score up to five, Eamonn Elelem added two, with a couple of penalties and Rob Knott adding one more.  

Saltwood in return could only manage a consolation goal  which left Hawkinge  more than happy with their performance.

Saltwood 1 Hawkinge 8

The Hawkinge U15's playing their last home match of the season against Curson Rangers were determined to increase their unbeaten record to six in a row.

Playing a team  bottom of the league they thought it might be easy but the visitors had plenty of spirit and played some good football.

But it was the Hawkinge youngsters who forged ahead, with Olly Davies scoring a hat trick, and were deserving winners on the day.

Hawkinge 5 Curzon Rangers 2

Hawkinge scorers Olly Davies 3, Jason Trow 2

To visit the Hawkinge Football Club website click here

Swingfield Twinning Association newsletter February 2006

Contributed by editor on Feb 11, 2006 - 07:37 PM
Swingfield Twinning Association

NEWSLETTER No 5 February 2006

Colin Tearle (Chairman) 01303 892621

David Bateman (Vice-chairman)

Karen Tatt (Secretary) 01303 893724

Paul Tatt (Treasurer)

Harry O`Grady - Andrew Barchi

Yvonne Parry - Heather Bateman - Peter Brocklebank

Linda Tearle - Graham Truss

Dear Member,

Another year has come and gone in the life of the Association. It only seemed yesterday that we were sitting down and planning with our friends from Aviron last year's programme, and so it was that the annual meeting of the two Committees recently took place in Swingfield to agree a programme of events for 2006.

Following the success of last year experiment to extend the annual visits to 3 days/2 nights it has been decided to continue with this arrangement. Listed below is the agreed programme of events with the final details being circulated later.

Late June - Swingfield to visit Aviron

Early September - Aviron to visit Swingfield

First week of July - Selsted School to receive pupils from Aviron Primary School for 5 days

12th November - Mayor of Aviron to attend the Remembrance Day Commemorations.


On Saturday 25th February in the new Community hall at Selsted School we will be holding a joint fund raising venture with the Friends of Selsted School. This will be a Race-Nite/American Supper starting at 7pm, entry free. 

Further details can be obtained from C. Tearle on 01303 892621.

Swingfield Parish Council has decided to continue its financial support to the Association with a most welcome grant of £350.00.

Finally, new members and ideas are always most welcome - we are generally surprised at how relaxed our twice-yearly visits with the people from Aviron really are and just how many private friendships and subsequent visits are now a feature of twinning


Mayday call as GlobalFlyer breaks record

Contributed by editor on Feb 11, 2006 - 09:47 AM




Steve Fossett has broken the record for the longest flight in aviation history, but spectators at Kent International Airport at Manston failed to see the dramatic finish.

Generator problems caused Steve, 61, to divert back to Bournemouth after flying over Swindon at 35,000feet on the path for a landing at Manston.

He avoided having to ditch his craft although he did issue a mayday call.

Fossett brought the GlobalFlyer down safely just after 5.00pm GMT but with limited visibility, two tyres burst upon landing.

Ground control said he broke the distance record of 24,987 miles (40,210 kilometres), set in 1986, when he flew over Shannon in Ireland.

After a medical check-up, he then flew from Bournemouth to Manston, arriving just after 6.30pm in his private jet with project sponsor, Sir Richard Branson.

Fossett said: "It was a difficult flight. I was lucky to make it to the end."

He said he realised it was a serious situation when the generator light went on, prompting him and his ground crew to begin emergency procedures.