Howard calls for action on child Internet safety

Contributed by admin on Jul 16, 2004 - 05:22 PM

Folkestone and Hythe MP and Tory leader Michael Howard has called for more determined international co-operation to protect children from abuse o­n the Internet.

<FONT color=black>The Conservative Leader hosted a special Internet Forum at party headquarters where he invited experts and interested groups to put forward new ideas to deal with what he called "the darker and more sinister side" to the world communications revolution.

<FONT color=black>Ruling out the imposition of censorship o­n the worldwide web, he nevertheless urged other nations like the United States to do more, and said: "The internet has revolutionised the way we live…and given millions of people living in totalitarian states access to impartial news for the first time. It's made it easier for everyone to communicate and to do business. And it's created millions of jobs.

<FONT color=black>"But it does have a darker and more sinister has given criminals a new arena in which to operate, under a cloak of anonymity and without finger prints. It has given paedophiles the ability to create chatrooms and to ‘groom' children. It has made it easier for them to look at, distribute and store pictures of children being abused. It has fuelled an illegal industry which ruins young lives."

<FONT color=black>Mr Howard acknowledged there are no easy answers to the problem, and accepted that "when you close down o­ne avenue, the paedophiles simply use another."

<FONT color=black>But he said: "We need to look at how we can better educate parents, teachers and children themselves about the dangers, and we need to look at whether the police have the powers they need to tackle this threat. And that when the police have caught these monsters, the courts have the powers they need to punish them properly. Technology moves at an incredible speed and the law needs to keep pace with it. We also need to look at whether the industry is doing aboslutely everything it can to tackle the problem.

<FONT color=black>"I don't want to go down the route some countries have taken, where internet censorship is imposed via a central, state-controlled server. But as an industry you need constantly to explore new ways to stop child pornography making its way o­n to British computer screens. Ministers should be urging other countries, not least the United States which hosts over half of all o­nline child abuse images, to take tough action too. International cooperation is vital if we are to strike a lasting blow against both the demand for and supply of child pornography."

Army reveals Iraq training location

Contributed by admin on Jul 16, 2004 - 01:52 PM

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The Army has revealed they have trained over 6,000 troops to be deployed in Iraq at Shorncliffe barracks in Folkestone.

<FONT color=black>The Operational and Training Advisory Group (Optag) teach the soldiers how to find mines, how to deal with suicide bombers and how to communicate with Iraqis.

<FONT color=black>Workshops are set up with interpreters to teach them how to deal with locals and hostile crowds.

Cufley to stay

Contributed by admin on Jul 16, 2004 - 09:32 AM


Liberal Democrat leader of Shepway Council Linda Cufley, is still  in her job after last night's debate of  Liberal Democrat councillors.

An amendment was carried and the expected vote of no confidence did not happen.

Villagers can tackle councillors at Shepway Council meeting

Contributed by admin on Jul 15, 2004 - 06:10 PM


<FONT color=black>A full Shepway Council Community Meeting o­n Wednesday (21 July) will give villagers an opportunity to have their say directly to their elected representatives.

The meeting will include a debate o­n local issues with members of the Hawkinge Parish Council and the public given the opportunity to speak.

Subjects which may be discussed include the housing infrastructure, highway safety, speed limits o­n the A260 and the amount of time taken adopting new roads, infact the debate can focus o­n any local issues.

Anyone wishing to ask a question should be aware that time is limited to 45 minutes for the debate and it is therefore not a soapbox .

The meeting kicks off at 7.00pm in the Hawkinge Community Centre and the debate will begin shortly after.

Ealham pensioner found safe and well

Contributed by admin on Jul 15, 2004 - 10:43 AM


<FONT color=black>A 70-year-old man whose family reported him missing since Sunday (11 July) has been found safe and well.

<FONT color=black>Police were concerned for the safety of Edward Green, from Ealham, who had recently collapsed in Canterbury.

<FONT color=black>It was thought he may have been confused and in need of hospital treatment.

Jobless drops by 3000

Contributed by admin on Jul 14, 2004 - 11:55 PM

<FONT color=black size=4>JOBLESS DROPS BY 3000

<FONT color=black>The jobless figure for the South East fell by 3,000 in the three months from March to May, compared with the previous three months.

The number of people out of work stood at 160,000, according to the latest official figures. The unemployment rate was 3.8%.

The number of people out of work nationally stood at 1,432,000.

All chickens eventually come home to roost

Contributed by editor on Jul 14, 2004 - 10:22 PM


Dear Ed

Two highly critical reports highlighting serious officer mismanagement and organisational shortcomings have now been delivered o­n Shepway District Council within the past year.

Does this come as any surprise to some of us in the previous administration? No!

<FONT color=black>So why didn't you do anything about it when you had the chance, I hear you ask?

<FONT color=black>We attempted to and that led to the Chief Executive accusing councillors of bullying Officer staff, which then led to  six councillors being reported to the Standards Board o­n spurious charges, totally supported by the Senior Management Team - the very officers that the CPA crticises - and the Monitoring Officer.

<FONT color=black>That in effect stopped any progress being made to sort out these problems because, quite understandably, no other councillor was willing to put their head above the parapet until that was cleared up.

<FONT color=black>Of course Councillor/Officer relations have improved since May 2003 because no-one is challenging what is going o­n anymore or asking the awkward questions.

<FONT color=black>However, all chickens eventually come home to roost and although the "smoke screen" put up by Senior Management Team masked from Cllr Cufley and her Cabinet what was really going o­n, it did not fool the Audit Commission or the Council Facilitator.

<FONT color=black>Do I feel vindicated? Of course I do, but also saddened because others now see Shepway District Council for the shambles it really was under the previous Chief Executive.

<FONT color=black>The o­ne passing wish I have is that the other members of the SMT follow their boss into early retirement, along with the discredited monitoring officer so that the District can make some real progress.

Colin Tearle

Cufley confidence meeting

Contributed by admin on Jul 13, 2004 - 09:35 PM


<FONT color=black>Liberal Democrat Leader of Shepway District Council Linda Cufley is facing an uncertain future.

<FONT color=black>Lib Dem councillors are to hold a meeting on Thursday 15 July to vote on a motion of  no confidence in the leader.

<FONT color=black>Residents have complained about the grass verges left uncut, the closing of public toilets, and the huge increase in Council Tax.

Shepway Council to meet in Hawkinge

Contributed by admin on Jul 13, 2004 - 09:15 PM


<FONT color=black>The Hawkinge Community Centre will be hosting a full Shepway Council Community Meeting o­n Wednesday (21 July)

<FONT color=black>Villagers are welcome to attend the meeting which starts at 7.00pm.

<FONT color=black>The meeting will include a debate o­n local issues with members of the Hawkinge Parish Council.

Visit the library at home

Contributed by admin on Jul 13, 2004 - 05:44 PM

<FONT color=black size=4>VISIT THE LIBRARY AT HOME

<FONT color=black>The entire library catalogue in Kent County Council's libraries will be available o­nline when a new system is launched by Cabinet Member for Community Services Sarah Hohler at the County Show.

<FONT color=black>Customers will be able to view the library catalogue from their home or business if they have internet access via the KCC website - <FONT color=black><FONT color=black>. The new system will give library users o­nline access to all the stock held in Kent's 106 libraries and 11 mobile libraries - more than two million items. They will be able to search the entire library catalogue or simply concentrate o­n specific areas such as children books, audiovisual items, or local studies material.

<FONT color=black>It will also be possible to reserve or renew items o­nline, while new users will be able to register to join the library from home via the internet. The new o­nline system will be particularly useful to library customers who are house-bound or who find coming in to the library difficult.

<FONT color=black>Sarah Hohler said: "Providing o­nline access to the entire library catalogue is a tremendous development for Kent's libraries. This new system underlines our commitment to increasing access to all the wonderful resources held in our libraries and to providing the best possible public services in the information age."

<FONT color=black>The o­nline catalogue will be officially launched by Sarah Hohler at the County Show o­n Friday 16 July at 11am. There will also be staff from the library service o­n hand to demonstrate the new o­nline system and show just how easy it is to access the library from your home!