Cut the red tape and let's see some action

Contributed by editor on Jul 22, 2004 - 09:30 PM


The first District Council Meeting to be held in the Hawkinge Community Centre saw scores of villagers in the public gallery.

The debate was dominated  by the  grass cutting issue, with Shepway Councillors generally blaming the problem o­n Kent County Council's policy of paying for just two cuts a year.

However when the subject of the 150 metres of grass verge o­n Haven Drive between Aerodrome Road and Pannell Drive councillors put the blame o­n the three developers who are responsible for the land.

They explained that they have been trying to get them to cut the grass but have so far failed. The height of the grass is now affecting the line of sight for vehicles using Haven Drive.

Cllr Anthony Baker, was unhappy about the lack of progress and told the Council to cut through the red tape, mow it themselves, and bill the developers for the work.

Free buses to the Fun Day

Contributed by editor on Jul 22, 2004 - 08:29 PM

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Anyone wishing to take advantage of the free bus journeys to and from the Hawkinge Fun Day o­n Saturday 24 July should contact the Village Warden for more details

<P align=center><FONT face=Verdana color=navy size=2>Village Warden

Ian Norman

<P align=center><FONT face=Verdana color=navy size=2>07811 271303

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Shepway postpones appointment of Chief Executive

Contributed by editor on Jul 22, 2004 - 05:39 PM


Shepway District Council has postponed the appointment of a new Chief Executive following continuing political turmoil within the council’s ruling Liberal Democrat group.

Although the technical part of the assessment process has gone ahead, interviews with members has been postponed.

“The council had planned to complete the selection of the new Chief Executive o­n Monday and Tuesday (19 and 20 July),â€? said Chief Executive, Brian McAndrew. “However, the continuing turbulent political situation within the controlling Liberal Democrat group led to a decision to proceed o­nly with the technical part of assessment, but not the member interview and presentation.  This part of the process has been postponed and will be reinstated as quickly as possible o­nce the leadership issue has been resolved.â€?

The six shortlisted candidates were informed of this decision o­n Monday.

The Chief Executive, Brian McAndrew took the decision after consulting the Leader of the council, Cllr Linda Cufley.

“A sound relationship between the Council Leader and the Chief Executive is critical to the success of the council. It would be inappropriate to select a new Chief Executive until the Leadership issue is resolved,� he said.

Council Leader, Cllr Linda Cufley, survived a non-confidence vote at a meeting of the Shepway Liberal Democrat Group o­n Thursday (15 July) and pledged to continue as Leader. But it is understood that further meetings of certain Lib Dem members have been held and are planned.

Top cop heads anti-social behaviour unit

Contributed by admin on Jul 21, 2004 - 02:32 PM


<FONT color=black>As part of its o­ngoing commitment to tackle anti-social behaviour, Dover District Council has appointed Christopher Allen  as the new Community Safety and Anti-Social Behaviour Manager.

Mr Allen will be setting up the Council's new Anti-Social Behaviour Unit, due to be launched in the Autumn. Christopher has strong local connections and has a background of more than 30 years with the Metropolitan Police Service, where his last position was as a Superintendent, with vital experience of running a busy police area and working with the community in reducing crime and disorder. Christopher is looking forward to working with a range of partners in the community to address key issues in the district.

<FONT color=black>Christopher Allen said: "I am looking forward to working with all our partners in the local community to address issues of community safety and anti-social behaviour across the district. This is an exciting challenge and o­ne which I am strongly committed to."

<FONT color=black>News of this appointment follows the Council's creation of a new Citizenship Portfolio earlier this year, and the appointment of Cllr Mrs Julie Rook as the new Portfolio Holder. The Portfolio covers a wide range of range of areas including crime reduction, corporate enforcement, anti-social behaviour, young people and community safety.

<FONT color=black>Cllr Mrs Julie Rook, Cabinet Member for Citizenship said: "This is another important move which underlines our o­ngoing commitment to the Council's major objectives to promote pride in the district, and to get tough o­n anti-social behaviour. These are key issues and by addressing them with our partners in the community we are working to make a real difference to the quality of life of people across the district."

<FONT color=black>Cllr Paul Watkins, Leader of Dover District Council said: "The appointment of Chris Allen together with the Cabinet post of Cllr Mrs Julie Rook lends weight to the District Council's commitment to dealing with issues which the public have put as the number o­ne priority. This high level appointment brings experience and organisational ability to set up a team that we believe will bring results for local people."

Amphitheatre is back in business

Contributed by admin on Jul 21, 2004 - 01:08 PM


<FONT color=black>A programme of summer music at the Lower Leas Coastal Park Amphitheatre gets into its swing this Saturday (24 July) with Sol y Sombra – a mix of melodic and rhythmic Spanish music presented by Jose Leon.

<FONT color=black>Sol y Sombra is the first of 10 afternoon performances at the unique venue with its stepped grass seating and backdrop of the English Channel.

<FONT color=black>There’s a two-day programme o­n Saturday 31 July and Sunday 1 August. Gypsy Jazz - an exciting band playing the hot club style of Romany jazz - will be setting feet tapping o­n Saturday followed by a programme of Brazilian music and dance presented by Viramundo o­n Sunday. Both performances start at 2.00pm

<FONT color=black>On Sunday 7 August, Julia Jones with support act Nagus will take the stage with acoustic music and driving rhythms. Julia lived and worked in Shepway before selling up and shipping out to New York to pursue her passion for music. The amphitheatre will make the perfect setting for her return.

<FONT color=black>Irish music, Celtic, modern and English folk music, Latin American, a steel band and a Evangelical Christian choir are also lined up for the summer programme

<FONT color=black>For further details or a full programme of amphitheatre events up to 4 September please contact Amanda Oates at Shepway District Council o­n 01303 852464

Cufley could be ousted but remain leader

Contributed by admin on Jul 20, 2004 - 09:30 PM


<FONT color=black>Dear Ed

<FONT color=black>The constant manoeuverings in LibDemland never cease to amaze me.

<FONT color=black>Not content with their comedy "Much ado about nothing" played out in public last week, those who were defeated have cried foul and are having another go at unseating Linda Cufley, the leader of the Liberal Democrat group.

<FONT color=black>This time though, it is affecting the future of Shepway.

<FONT color=black>On Monday, eight prospective candidates were to be interviewed for the vacant post of Chief Executive. They were not interviewed but  sent home because of the fragile state of Cllr Cufley's political position as Leader of the Council.

<FONT color=black>Even if the Liberal Democrats do manage to depose Cllr Cufley as their leader, her place as Leader of Shepway District Council is assurred under the Shepway constitution.

<FONT color=black>It would need Liberal Democrat Councillors to resign the whip to ensure there is no overall majority.

<FONT color=black>Only then could there be an election for a new leader.

<FONT color=black>Colin Tearle

Councillors call for Cufley to resign

Contributed by admin on Jul 20, 2004 - 11:45 AM

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<FONT color=black>Fifteen Shepway Liberal Democrat councillors who met o­n Sunday are calling for the resignation of the Leader of the Party Cllr Linda Cufley.
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The councillors drafted a letter calling for her to resign. <IMG alt="Cllr Linda Cufley" hspace=10 src="images/cufley.jpg" align=left vspace=5 border=0><FONT color=black>The letter was hand delivered to Cllr Cufley by Cllr's John Hughes and David Dickinson following the meeting.
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We have been told by a Liberal Democrat spokesman that an official reply is still awaited.
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Shepway Liberal Democrat councillors had met o­n the previous Thursday evening for a vote of <FONT color=black>confidence o­n the leader but  members voted 15 to 11 in favour of an amendment to the meeting and Cllr Cufley stayed in her job.

<FONT color=black>The group of 15 who gathered o­n Sunday evening were unhappy about the way the Thursday meeting of the party was handled and they considered the amendement was a blocking measure.

<FONT color=black>Shepway councillors David Callahan, Peter Smith and Christena Smith all signed the letter <FONT color=black>calling for the leader's resignation.

Hawkinge football kicks off

Contributed by editor on Jul 19, 2004 - 06:02 PM


The first Annual General Meeting of the Hawkinge Football club will be held  at 7.30pm o­n Tuesday 10th August in the Village Hall.

The meeting is open to all villagers and any help to get the club off the ground would be most welcome.

Contact Cyril Trice o­n 01303 893499 or eMail

Police set up anti social behaviour hotline

Contributed by editor on Jul 19, 2004 - 01:49 PM


Dover police have set up a telephone hotline to report incidents of anti-social behaviour in the district.

<FONT color=black>It has been set up in response to concerns about persistent troublemakers o­n the Buckland Estate.

<FONT color=black>Posters promoting the hotline number  01303 289200  have been printed,  and will be distributed around the area in the next few weeks.

Toilets to be demolished

Contributed by editor on Jul 19, 2004 - 10:10 AM


<FONT color=black>The disused public toilets at the rear of the Village Hall are to be demolished following discussions at the Parish Council meeting o­n Wednesday (14 July)

<FONT color=black>Parish Council Chairman Dave Callahan said: "We hope to have the toilet block demolished very shortly

<FONT color=black>"The building which has not been used for several years is being vandalised and the footpath to the Community Centre runs close by.

<FONT color=black>"Demolishing the block will open up the area and it will also allow the footpath slope into the car park to be made less steep.