Call to spend Leisuredrome cash on village car park

Contributed by editor on Dec 15, 2005 - 01:03 AM


At  the Hawkinge Parish Council meeting yesterday (14 December) Chairman David Callahan backed village youngsters after Cllr John Heasman called for the Parish Council to spend money raised from the sale of the Spitfire Leisuredrome on the car park next to the village hall.

Hawkinge Parish Council Chairman David Callahan said that the money should be used for the youth of the village, but Cllr Heasman told councillors: "The youth will be taken care of".

The Spitfire Leisuredrome was used as a sports facility and meeting place for clubs and youth groups, as well as a club for young people before it fell into disrepair. The Parish Council have agreed to sell the building by tender.

In a poll o­n the Gazette website asking the question "Should money raised selling the leisuredrome be spent o­n a new building for village youngsters?" over 85% of voters were in favour of the money being used for a youth facility.

Hawkinge Parish Tax to rise by 34%

Contributed by editor on Dec 15, 2005 - 12:50 AM


Last night's Parish Council meeting saw councillors vote to increase the Parish Tax for Hawkinge in 2006/7 to £17.34, an increase of  34% over last year's figure of £12.96.

The precept will rise from £30,000 in 2005/6 to £40,500 in 2006/7.

This is still low in comparison to last year's Parish Tax for Folkestone at  £57.35 and Sandgate with £62.35.

Acrise however managed to keep its 2005/6 figure down to just £1.18, the same as in 2004/5.

Howard's Way 15 December 2005

Contributed by editor on Dec 15, 2005 - 12:30 AM

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

December 2005

Last Friday I visited The Churchill School at Hawkinge.

Under the inspirational leadership of headteacher Jennie Carter, great strides are being made and I was very impressed with what I saw. The Churchill School was one of the case studies used in a recent paper about ‘The Intelligent School’ and the fact that one of our local schools is used as an example in this study of excellence is something in which we can all take a good deal of pride.

Next I went to a meeting with local optometrists who are concerned about some of the proposed changes in NHS funding and their likely impact on their ability to offer the high service of eye care which they currently make available to their clients.

Then it was the annual Christmas lunch of the Channel Chamber of Commerce. This was an opportunity to review some of the existing developments which will contribute to the regeneration of our area.

After that I had to hurry home to do a TV interview for Meridian.

On Saturday, after my advice centres, on the Marsh, I was able to go to Reachfields to see Hythe gain a memorable victory on the F.A. Vase. Congratulations to all concerned.

On Sunday morning I was privileged to open Hythe’s Fun Day Sunday. It was a very festive occasion with a good turn out on a sunny, if cold, morning.

And then the highlight of the weekend – the Salvation Army Christmas Carol Concert at the Leas Cliff Hall. There was a huge turnout and great atmosphere at a very enjoyable occasion. These occasions take a great deal of hard work to organise and I would like to thank those who were responsible. At the concert £875 was collected for a children’s cancer charity. Thank you to everyone who contributed so generously.

Two new homes a week on new development

Contributed by editor on Dec 14, 2005 - 11:27 PM


Hawkinge is about to see building begin o­n the huge new estate o­n the north side of Aerodrome Road after detailed plans were submitted for approval to Shepway District Council.

Land manager at George Wimpey Plc Andy Smith  and Graham Warren for BDG Design attended the Hawkinge Parish Council meeting this evening (14 December) to answer questions about the development from councillors.

The plans for 196 new homes o­n the land will go before Shepway's Development Control Committee in the new year and if there are no objections, building should be underway by April 2006.

Andy Smith from Wimpey told councillors that they would be building  two homes each week, although he explained that weather conditions could cause delays.

He said the link road would be progressing along with the housing although Wimpey were not involved in that construction project.

Mr Smith said the development should be completed by mid 2009.

Humble Boy

Contributed by editor on Dec 14, 2005 - 10:42 PM


Our Spring production is the play “Humble Boy� by Charlotte Jones. This is a tragic-comedy about broken vows, failed hopes - oh, and bee keeping!

The dates of the production are Wednesday March 29th to Saturday March 1st at Lyminge Village Hall. Performances will start at 7.45pm and tickets will go o­n sale in early March.

More news in the next newsletter.

'Mini motos' crackdown could see them crushed

Contributed by editor on Dec 14, 2005 - 06:48 PM


Dover District Council's Anti-Social Behaviour Unit is leading a campaign to make parents and other potential buyers put on the brakes before they buy 'mini motos' if they don't have somewhere to use them this Christmas.

The message is 'If you don't have somewhere to use it, don't buy it!' The campaign, featuring a series of advertisements across the district, stresses that these machines are not toys and people could end up being prosecuted, and the bike crushed if used illegally. The campaign is focussing on potential buyers and users of the machines, and includes mini motorcycles, quad bikes and other off road bikes. It has been launched in response to the increased use of these machines and growing concerns over related accidents and even deaths nationwide.

Home Office advice is that if vehicles are not licensed for the road, they may only be used legally on private land and only with the direct permission of the landowner. Mini-motos can not be used on a public road unless they are licensed, taxed and insured and can not be used on a footpath or cycle route under any circumstances.

The campaign is being led by the Dover Anti-Social Behaviour Unit, working with the Dover Crime Reduction Partnership and Kent Police, with backing from the Home Office Together Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour initiative.

Three die in capsized trawler tragedy

Contributed by editor on Dec 14, 2005 - 01:13 PM


Coastguard divers have called off the hunt for a missing Belgian fisherman who they had hoped was trapped alive underneath a capsized vessel in freezing waters off the coast of Sussex.

The bodies of two members of the crew who died in the accident have been recovered from the English Channel. A third crew member, the 19-year-old nephew of the missing man, was rescued alive after spending all night sitting o­n the upturned hull of the ship, according to Coastguard officials. All the fishermen are Belgian.

Just after 8.30am this morning (14 December), Dover Coastguard Maritime rescue coordination centre (MRCC) received a call from the Merchant Vessel, Toledo, reporting that they had sighted the upturned hull of a fishing vessel with a man clinging to it.

Dover Coastguard MRCC called ARCC Kinloss to scramble the Coastguard rescue helicopter and requested the launch of the Eastbourne RNLI lifeboat. The Warship Severn is also assisting in the search along with several other merchant vessels.

The merchant vessel 'Vanquish launched a rescue boat from their vessel to assist.

The Warship 'Severn' was also assisting in the search along with several other merchant vessels.

Eurotunnel facing crisis

Contributed by editor on Dec 14, 2005 - 01:02 PM


Jacques Gounon, executive chairman of Eurotunnel warned yesterday (13 December) that the channel tunnel operator could face a crisis if it did not reach an agreement over the £6.3bn debt by the end of next month, reports the Financial Times.

The cash strapped company had already announced nearly 1000 job losses and cuts to services in October 2005

Jacques Gounon told the newspaper the company would not, as had been expected, seek an extension to the waiver agreement that permits the talks to continue if no deal was in sight when it expired at the end of January.

The company would instead conclude that, if six months of negotiations had failed to achieve an agreement, another few months would be unlikely to produce a deal, Gounon told the Financial Times.

However, if a draft agreement was reached, Eurotunnel would request an extension of the waiver for the time to put the agreement into writing, Gounon added.

Around 450 jobs in the UK and 450 in France are due to be lost by June next year leaving Eurotunnel with 2,300 staff.

Keep Christmas safe campaign launched

Contributed by editor on Dec 13, 2005 - 09:11 PM


Kent Police have launched a major new blitz on crime in the run-up to Christmas and into the New Year.

In a drive to ensure Kent remains one of the safest counties in the country, officers will be targeting burglary, vehicle crime, criminal damage and anti-social behaviour - including drink-related nuisance and violence.

The campaign is being launched in the run-up to Christmas, because for criminals the season of giving is the perfect time for taking, with high-value, portable goods more widely available, more desirable and often easier to steal.

The new push, under the force's Operation Excalibur banner, will focus on known criminals and troublemakers, using local information and intelligence to identify crime patterns and the people responsible for them.

Teams will target any developing "hot spots" with the aim of bringing the criminals to justice.

At the same time, officers will offer advice to residents on what they can do to keep themselves, their homes and their properties safe.

The message to seasonal shoppers, out and about, in their cars and in their homes, is: "To keep it safe, keep it out of sight."

The campaign will also tackle seasonal problems linked to drink, which include increased night-time nuisance, the dangers caused by people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and increased violence, from punch-ups outside pubs to violence behind closed doors.

The festive season can also be a time of suffering for domestic violence victims, as alcohol also fuels rage. Specialist teams will be working with other agencies to identify and support victims – and to deal with the person causing the violence.

Their Christmas message is: "You don't have to suffer. Tell us it's happening and we can help."

Chief Constable Mike Fuller said: "At Kent Police we are committed to ensuring Kent stays a safe county and this campaign demonstrates our absolute determination to drive down crime.

"Even though figures in the county remain low, every crime is one too many. We want people to be confident in our ability to deal with the things that worry them, as we know that even fear of crime can be distressing for those in our community who feel more vulnerable.

"Our message to criminals is: 'Don't even think of making Christmas a misery for others, as we will be following up calls and information – and we will be looking for you.'

"Our message to the law-abiding majority of people in the county is: 'We are out there and we are determined to ensure you enjoy a safe holiday. If you see anything suspicious, call us – and if you have any information at all, contact us or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555111'."

£20,000 boost for youth action group

Contributed by editor on Dec 13, 2005 - 02:13 PM

County councillor Susan Carey presents the cheque to the group


The Lyminge Youth Action Group which is fundraising for sports facilities in Lyminge received a huge boost from Kent County Council when county councillor for Elham Valley, Susan Carey presented them with a cheque for £20,000. 

The presentation took place at the St Nicholas Fair at Lyminge where members of the group had a stall and raffle to raise further funds. 

The Lyminge Youth Action Group is aiming to raise a total of £200,000.