Shepway sink £8.2 million into housing

Contributed by editor on Apr 10, 2005 - 03:15 AM


More than £8.2 million is to be spent by Shepway District Council over the next
year on house repairs and upgrades with most of the money - £6.5 million allocated to the council’s housing

Almost £865,000 will go on new heating systems and other energy
efficiency measures, nearly £1m on upgrading kitchens and bathrooms and more
than £1m on external work like brickwork repairs, redecoration and replacing
windows and doors.

The programme is one of the biggest in recent years, and helps owner occupiers

More than £1.7m is to be spent on non-council homes for private sector renovation
loans and grants, Disabled Facilities Grants and support for housing
associations to provide extra affordable homes for local people.

Councillor Carole Waters, District Secretary for Housing, said: “This
programme demonstrates the priority we give to housing and our commitment to
ensure that we provide homes and housing services of the highest quality right
across the district.�

New plans to tackle local crime and disorder

Contributed by editor on Apr 08, 2005 - 09:15 PM


A three-year plan setting out ways that crime and disorder will be tackled across the district was launched on Monday (4 April).

Published by the Shepway Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership, it sets out crime-reduction targets for the partnership for the next three years.

Speaking at the launch, Cllr Hugh Barker, Shepway Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said the CDRP had been set challenging targets by the government and aimed to reduce crime by 15 per cent over the next three years.

“In general, crime is low in Shepway compared to other areas – but some priority crimes need attention and we need to tackle perception of crime. In Shepway, fear of crime is disproportionate to the actual crime levels.�

Cllr Barker said the CDRP’s major focus would be to tackle quality of life issues like anti-social behaviour and criminal damage as well as violent crime and related issues like alcohol misuse.

“We will also look to work more closely with our local communities to tackle fear of crime.�

Superintendent Peter West of Weald Police, said that by working together the Police, Shepway Council, Kent County Council and other partners had achieved significant reductions in crime since the first strategy was launched six years ago.

“Shepway is a safe place to live and work and we aim to keep it that way.  We know that residents in Shepway have some concerns about anti-social behaviour and quality of life issues and we are committed to continue working together to develop solutions. 

“It is by successfully working in partnership that we will be able to achieve the challenging targets that have been set for the next three years."

Home Office Regional Director, John Scott, congratulated the partnership for targeting its priorities based on consultation with the local community.

“This is very much a joint strategy for the local area and everyone must work together to realise these important targets.

“I look forward to supporting the implementation of this strategy over the next three years – and to seeing this transfer into a safer, stronger community.�

Prescott gives Shepway half a million

Contributed by editor on Apr 08, 2005 - 08:59 PM


Shepway Council planners have been awarded a £462,619 Planning Delivery Grant (PDG) from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for 2005-06.

Most of the grant is for meeting development control targets over the last year but it also rewards the progress made on e-planning, Enterprise Area allocations, tackling areas of high housing demand and the production of local development frameworks - the blueprints that set out how land in the district should be used.

Council Leader, Robert Bliss, said: “This is good news reflects the hard work put in by all our planning staff during the past year. The team deserves congratulations for securing the award – one of the highest in Kent.

“We are now looking on how the grant can be allocated across the planning department to ensure that our services are sustained and enhanced.�

Happy as a sand boy with the beach blues

Contributed by editor on Apr 08, 2005 - 08:43 PM


Dymchurch beach has been included in a new book listing Britain’s best resort and rural sands.

ENCAMS which runs the Keep Britain Tidy Campaign has teamed up with VisitBritain to publish Britain’s Blue Flag Beaches, launched last Friday (1 April).

A report by the ENCAMS charity says British beach goers are becoming more discerning and will not set foot on the sand unless they have some kind of guarantee that it is clean and safe.

Cllr George Bunting, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said he welcomed Dymchurch’s inclusion in the guide.

“This is excellent news at the start of the holiday season. Dymchurch is one of our prime beaches and it’s good to know that its high standards are recognised. We will continue to work hard to maintain high standards on all our beaches so that local people and visitors can continue to enjoy their days out at the seaside. Good on yer Dymchurch.�

Cattle tunnel to freedom

Contributed by editor on Apr 08, 2005 - 01:25 PM


A valuable herd of cattle escaped from a field in Dover after vandals damaged fences at the weekend.Dexter cattle (Library picture)

The Dexter herd made their escape using the underpass on the A20 near the Western Heights in the Aycliffe area of the town.

On Wednesday (6 April) two horses were killed after being hit by an articulated lorry when they escaped from a field onto the anti-clockwise carriageway of the M25 at Swanley in Kent.

Police appeal for witnesses to crash

Contributed by editor on Apr 07, 2005 - 02:27 PM


Kent Police are appealing for witnesses to a crash which left a woman with serious injuries.

The incident which involved a single car took place on a narrow, country lane 100 metres before an area known as Hawthorn Corner, Old Romney on Monday 4 April at around 11.30pm. .

A grey Renault Clio driven by a 22-year-old woman left the road coming to rest in a field. The driver was taken to hospital where her condition was described as serious but stable.

If you have any information about this crash, contact PC Guy Ditcher on 01622 600970.

Michael Howard launches Election Campaign

Contributed by editor on Apr 06, 2005 - 07:45 PM


Local MP Michael Howard has launched the party's 2005 general election campaign with a rousing rallycall to the country to abandon the failed policies of Tony Blair's Labour Party and turn to the Conservatives to give the nation a fresh start.

Speaking before the Prime Minister travelled from Downing Street to Buckingham Palace to ask the Queen to dissolve Parliament, Mr Howard put his party on the front foot with a promise to "do the best for Britain" with an action programme that would reward the hardworking law abiding majority, while delivering improved school discipline, cleaner hospitals, more police on the streets and controlled immigration.

Kicking off the party campaign in the courtyard of a central London hotel, he declared: "The choice before the voters on May 5 is very clear: they can either reward Mr Blair for eight years of broken promises and vote for another five years of talk; or they can vote Conservative, to support a party that's taken a stand and is committed to action on the issues that matter to hard working Britons."

Insisting that the Labour government has "lost the plot", Mr Howard accused Tony Blair of taking honest hardworking people for granted, and failing to recognise how worried NHS patients are about hospital infections, how pensions are fearful of rising crime, and how parents fear that their children cannot learn in class because of the lack of proper school discipline.

Denouncing the way Labour has frittered away huge tax incomes with little improvement in public services, Mr Howard offered a "better way" which would help those who "do the right thing and play by the rules".

He said the Conservative timetable for action would build a brighter, better future for the country, with more value for money and lower taxes, with discipline restored to schools, with hospital matrons given the power to close wards infected with MRSA; with reduced crime, and an extra 5000 more police officers on the streets each year backed by tougher sentences for burglars and drug dealers; and controlled immigration with an annual limit on the number of people who can settle in Britain.

He declared: "Some people say I shouldn't talk about difficult issues like the abuse of our asylum system and those travellers who stick two fingers up to the law. But we cannot make Britain a better place if we sweep difficult issues under the carpet. Everyone knows you won't fix a problem if you aren't even prepared to discuss it."

Mr Howard said he was not prepared to appease special interest groups, and wanted all Britons to play by the same rules.

Buoyed up by improving opinion poll surveys and a party brimming with confidence and enthusiasm, Mr Howard said that while the Prime Minister was already secretly grinning about the prospect of his third victory, there was no reason why the country had to deliver Labour a third term in Downing Street.

Prescott admits Folkestone visit was provocative

Contributed by admin on Apr 05, 2005 - 09:18 PM


Labour were quick off the mark to fire the first shots in the Tory leader Michael Howard's Folkestone and Hythe constituency today (5 April).

Minutes after the announcement of the General Election on May 5, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott arrived in Folkestone on a whistle stop tour, admitting his appearance in the town was provocative.

He unveiled a poster at a children's nursery with the slogan "Forward not Howard", before boarding the Labour 'battlebus' to meet up with Dover MP Gwyn Prosser at the newly built Sure Start nursery in Coombe Valley Road Dover.

Two die in motorcycle crashes

Contributed by editor on Apr 04, 2005 - 10:22 PM


A motorcycle rider racing at the Lydden Circuit near Dover on Sunday (3 April) has died.

The 18 year old man from Borough Green in Kent suffered fatal injuries after he fell from his machine and was hit by another rider.

Also on Sunday on the A259 at Brookland, Romney Marsh, a 20-year-old motorcyclist from Folkestone died when he came off his bike.

Another motorcyclist hurt in the accident only suffered minor injuries.

Dover family escape fires twice in a week

Contributed by editor on Apr 04, 2005 - 09:38 PM


A family was saved from fire last week by smoke alarms that firefighters had fitted just days before.

When Kent Fire and Rescue Service were called out to a grill pan alight in Whinless Road, Saint Radigunds on Wednesday (30 March), crews put out the blaze and fitted the property with new ten-year smoke alarms and advised the family on fire safety.

The advice proved invaluable for the family when the upstairs smoke alarm was triggered on Friday morning, waking a teenage girl in an upstairs bedroom.

She discovered a fire in another bedroom and alerted the rest of the family and closed the bedroom door to help prevent the fire from spreading. They all managed to get out of the house safely and called the emergency services.

Dover Sub Officer Jamie Muddle said: “Without a working smoke alarm, the family would not have had much chance of survival, especially the girl asleep upstairs, due to the highly toxic smoke produced by the fire.�