Shepway spending £2000 a month replacing bins

Contributed by editor on Feb 01, 2006 - 01:05 PM



Lost recycling boxes putting an extra burden on Shepway's finances

Shepway District Council are spending a massive £2000 a month to deliver wheelie bins and replacing black recycling boxes, and that does not include the cost of the box.

District Councillor David Callahan asked the question: " How many wheelie bins, black boxes and blue bags have been reported missing/lost/damaged since the new refuse collection scheme was introduced?" and " What cost has there been to the ratepayers?"

The council have replied saying that there is no cost to them for wheelie bins because any that are lost or damaged by Cleanaway are replaced by them. 

They have admitted they have given out some 500 black boxes but emphasise that these were not new ones but ones that they still held from the original Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) funding and would be no cost to the ratepayer. They further stated: "We do however pay people to deliver these and any new wheelie bins that customers purchase, at a cost of around £2,000 per month."

When replying about the blue bags, which once emptied, can often be seen blowing around the district, Shepway have said that around 2,000 additional bags have been given out at a cost of around £140.00. These, they say were not the branded velcro bags which is why they are very cheap. 

The new branded bags are now in stock and cost the council 80p each. They now post these bags which they say has cost around £600.

Cllr Callahan said: "I am surprised at the cost of delivery of the boxes and bins and I am writing to Shepway to ask them to explain how they arrived at their figures."

Little Britain star to swim channel

Contributed by editor on Jan 31, 2006 - 12:01 PM



David Walliams

Comedian David Walliams, who stars in the hit TV comedy Little Britain, is looking forward to raising thousands for charity when he attempts to swim the English Channel in the summer.

34-year-old David has been swimming four hours a day and braved icy lakes and the North Sea to prepare himself for the the gruelling 21-mile crossing from Dover to France in July.

The BBC is hoping to film the attempt in time for Sport Relief on July 15.

A host of stars are expected to take part in Sports Relief which is set to raise millions of pounds.

Folkestone Camera Club meeting 29 January 2006

Contributed by editor on Jan 30, 2006 - 11:30 AM


29 January 2006

Our 3rd Print competition of the season was judged by Mr John Wigmore FRPS EFIAP MPAGB APAGB a member of Ashford Camera Club and, as the letters after his name show, a very competent judge and experienced photographer and a past President of the Kent County Photographic Association. John gave his constructive comments on how we can improve our photography and his results (marks out of 20) were as follows:-

Novice:- ‘Night Owl’ Deborah Armour 20
(9 entries) ‘Passing by’ Eric Frankland 19

Novice Portraits:- ‘Are you looking at me’ Deborah Armour 20
(3 entries) ‘Eric the Morris man’ Pam Wraight 19

Intermediate:- ‘Rush Hour’ Duncan Armour 20
(20 entries) ‘Eye of the Staircase’ Mary Collins 20
‘Wheels’ Gill Jefferson 19

Intermediate Portraits:- ‘He Aint Heavy’ Duncan Armour 20
(4 entries) ‘A Grenadier Guard’ Melanie Chalk 16

Advanced:- ‘Rocaceous Fruits’ Geoff Bromley 20
(22 entries) ‘Scarlet chested sunbird’ Marie-Laure Stone CPAGB 20
‘Dusty trail’ Ian Stone 19
‘Lioness’s eating warthog; Marie-Laure Stone CPAGB 19

Advanced Portraits:-
(13 entries) ‘Cynthia-4’ Bob Brisley LRPS 20
‘Mosi’ Marie-Laure Stone CPAGB 20
‘Tabia’ Marie-Laure Stone CPAGB 19
‘Bomber’ Keith Radford 19

Visit our website where you can view these winning photographs, plus many more, and where you can also visit links to various photographic related sites and shops.

Next week (35th January) we shall be viewing a slide presentation of the Clay Cross & Bywater Photographic Society National Exhibition 2005, which is a selection of work entered by national photographers. This work is always of a fantastic high standard of photography and a joy to see. A very stimulating evening and is always thoroughly enjoyed by all the members. 

On the 6th February we will be holding our first A/V (Audio Visual) inter-competition, where members put together a short sequence of slides/digital images set to music or documentary. This is not a new concept as it has been done for many years with slides, but now with digital it is certainly getting more members interested, hence the new competition. The 13th February will be our 4th Print competition.

Our meetings are held at the United Reform Community Hall, Castle Hill Avenue,
Folkestone on Mondays at 7.45pm. New members are always welcome, if interested
please phone Mrs Jenny Barraclough (Press Officer) 01303 245399, or e mail

Showing their mettle

Contributed by editor on Jan 30, 2006 - 11:15 AM


By Cyril Trice

A close encounter for the Hawkinge U15's playing at home against Ashford Dynamo, would almost certainly have been forecast by the pundits.

But once again the Hawkinge youngsters showed their mettle  against a team one point above them in the league.

The much improved village lads broke the ice when after 15 minutes Oliver Davies slid the first goal through for Hawkinge. It was then all downhill for the Ashford side who had no answer to Hawkinge who cracked another three onto the Dynamo net.

Hawkinge 4, Ashford Dynamo 0

Hawkinge scorers, Oliver Davies, Jason Trow, Chris Jennings, Marcus South

The Hawkinge Sunday side were in action against Essembee at St Mary's but the game ended all square with both sides failing to score in the cold and gusty conditions.

Essembee 0, Hawkinge 0

The Saturday match with Hythe Prince was called off.

To visit the Hawkinge Football Club website click here

Its just not the Lib Dems week

Contributed by editor on Jan 28, 2006 - 08:56 PM


Hythe tories are celebrating after the party took another Lib Dem scalp at this week's Hythe Town Council by-election

In a massive swing to local Conservatives Alan Ewart-James was elected as the newest Hythe Town Councillor in the fourth by-election gain in 16 months o­n that authority. 

In May 2003 the Liberal Democrats won the council with 14 seats to just 2 Conservatives, but after a string of defections and by-election defeats they are now left with just 8 councillors to the tories seven.

The balance of power is now held by the Mayor, Green councillor Wendy Harris.

In a statement local Conservative Agent Bob Davidson said, "The Liberal Democrats failed o­n Shepway District Council after the toilets and tax hike fiasco and they lost their massive majority after defections and splits.  Now too in Hythe people can see how the Liberal Democrats have failed o­n the Town Council which has led them to lose overall control o­n this authority as well."


The Result

Conservative - 711 - 70%
Liberal Democrat - 312 - 30%

Majority 399

Turnout 45%

Hawkinge Parish Council minutes 14 December 2005

Contributed by editor on Jan 27, 2006 - 07:18 PM

Minutes of the meeting of HAWKINGE PARISH COUNCIL 

held on 14th December 2005 at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall

Present: Cllr. Callahan (Chairman)
Cllrs. Avery, Ms Brisley, Heasman, Hodgson, Hogben, Punnett and Trice

In attendance: Mrs Hardy (Clerk)

Apologies: Cllr. Smith (attending a District Council meeting)


A resident was concerned that cars are parking on the footpath outside the shops in Canterbury Road. She was advised that the ownership of the areas in front of the shops is not consistent and it has never been established that a public footpath exists.
A resident asked if the Council had offered a grant to the Community Centre to improve sporting facilities in the Centre. The Chairman stated that Parish Councils are not permitted to give grants without first seeing accounts and a business plan. The Trustees have been asked to provide the necessary information.


212 Planning Application

The Chairman introduced and welcomed Mr Graham Warren for BDG Design 
and Mr Andy Smith, Land Manager, Wimpeys, to the meeting. They had agreed to answer councillors’ questions on the following planning application.
Outline planning permission had been granted.

Y05/1490/SH Land rear 165 Canterbury Road (also known as land to the North of Aerodrome Road and Barnhurst Lane and west and north of 145 – 173 Canterbury Road) Hawkinge: details pursuant to conditions 1 (siting, design and external appearance) 8 and 15 (contamination) of outline planning permission Y03/0904/SH for the erection of 196 dwellings and a new road between Aerodrome Road and Canterbury Road (duplicate application of Y05/1492/SH)

In answer to questions the councillors were assured that infrastructure would be in place before building commenced and no houses will be occupied until the road has been completed. Builders’ traffic will be able to use the road to get on and off the site to avoid going through the village. There is a landscaping scheme and the provision of street furniture will be considered. It is anticipated that contractors will start work in 6 to 10 months time and it will probably be completed by mid 2009. 

The Chairman thanked Mr Warren and Mr Smith for attending the meeting. 

213 Declarations of Interest

Cllr. Callahan declared an interest in planning matters (member of Development Control Committee SDC) he reserved the right to make a decision at District level when he is in possession of all the facts relating to an application. Cllr. Brisley declared an interest in planning application Y05/1490/SH (development to the rear of her property). Cllr. Heasman declared an interest in matters concerning the Community Centre and Village Hall (Chairman of the Executive Committee, Community Centre and Chairman of Village Hall Management Committee. 

214 Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on 9th November 2005 were confirmed and signed (prop. Cllr. Hogben, sec. Cllr. Heasman). 

215 Matters arising out of the Minutes

(a) Youth Forum [min.201(a)]
The Council had agreed to consider the ideas put forward by young people at the last meeting. Cllr. Hodgson said the Neighbourhood Partnership has a Youth Forum and the youngsters who attended the last PC meeting are represented on it. The HNP has a watching brief and is carrying out a study that will provide information that the PC will be able to make use of at a later date.

(b) Handrail for footpath – Village Hall 
A resident had requested that a handrail be provided at the rear end of the footpath before someone slipped up. The Chairman reported that in the interests of public safety he had asked the Clerk to make inquiries about the cost of a handrail. He had accepted a quotation from ACXIS for £215.00. He had contacted several councillors before placing the order. The Council approved the Chairman’s action.

216 Reports

(a) Community Liaison 
Cllr. Brisley reported that the Christmas Concert was very good. 350 people had attended. There were performances by children from The Churchill School and Hawkinge Primary School in the programme.
The Chairman proposed a vote of thanks to Cllr. Heasman for organising the concert. Cllr. Heasman thanked Cllrs. Brisley, Callahan and Trice for helping to serve the tea and mince pies.

(b) Planning and Development
Cllr. Trice said the new Lidl food store in Hawkinge would be opening the following day. 

( c) Public Rights of Way 
Cllr. Punnett had observed that someone had marked out a footpath in front of the shops by painting a white line on the ground.

217 Other Bodies

(a) Neighbourhood Management Partnership
Cllr. Hodgson had received a copy of the Hawkinge Pathfinder External Evaluation and Performance Management Report. 
Cllr. Callahan said the HNP had offered to purchase some litterbins. He suggested councillors decide where, if the PC intends to purchase litterbins, they would have them placed. 

(b) Community Centre
Cllr. Hodgson reported that HNP are providing an IT unit for the Community Centre. It is also supporting a Home Work Club for secondary schoolchildren who can go into the Centre and use the facilities for a small fee, supervised by the centre staff. It is hoped to have trained teachers in place in March. There will be five computers available for use. 

(c) Village Hall
Cllr. Brisley said the interior of the hall is going to be repainted. Bookings are up on last year. 

(d) Kent Highway Services 
The Chairman had attended a Parish Council Seminar on 25th November in 
Canterbury. Representatives were given an update on Kent Highway services. 

(e) SDC – Revising the Community Strategy 
Cllr. Trice attended a Parish Council Consultation Workshop on 15th November in the Community Centre. 

218 Hawkinge Football Ground

(a) The Football Project
Cllr. Trice reported that the Group met on 2nd December. The Feasibility Study carried out by Turf Solutions was received. The approximate cost of the work needed to bring the ground up to the standard required by the FA will cost approximately £30,000. He would like to have the work done before the start of the next season so that the Council can benefit financially from the increased usage of the ground. It will bring pitches up to standard and is an investment for the future. Cllrs. Avery and Trice and the Clerk had attended a Football Foundation Application Surgery on 10th November at Bridgewood Manor near Maidstone. Grants this year are reduced to 50% of the whole cost of the scheme so the Council must look elsewhere for additional funding. The application must include a 5-year Business Plan and a 5-year Development Plan. The VAT that the PC has been advised is not reclaimable from Customs & Excise amounts to approx. £80,000. The Clerk was making further enquiries, having been advised by the FA that one PC has been able to reclaim VAT. 

(b) Management of the ground 
Cllr. Hodgson said the ground is very heavy; an application of sand on the pitches would help. The Chairman proposed that Cllr. Hodgson be granted permission to purchase the sand required (approx. £50). Votes: all in favour.

219 Finance

(a) Finance Group
The Chairman reported that the Group had met on 9th December to consider the Council’s budget for 2006/07. They had reviewed and up-dated the Risk Assessment. In this respect the following recommendations were made and accepted by the Council.
The PC purchase a Fire Safe in which to store the minute books (approx.£300)
The Council construct a netting fence on the football ground to prevent stray footballs injuring members of the public.
If the VHMC is prepared to install security lights on their building next to the footpath and maintain them, the PC should offer to pay for them.
Leisuredrome Hall: Cllr. Smith to be asked to remove his property from the hall within the next 3 months. The Army Cadets and the Bowls Club will be asked to claim any articles belonging to them. Later on residents will be invited to take any articles that may be of use to them.

(b) Precept
Councillors received a revised budget for 2006/07. The Finance Group’s recommendation to the PC was that the precept for 2006/07 should be £40,500.00. The estimated Parish Tax will be £17.34 - an increase of £4.38 (based on SDC figures to be confirmed later). 
Cllr. Hogben said the village hall car park needed a lot of work to be done to make it safe i.e. fencing, signing, to reduce the risk to pedestrians. He proposed that the budget figure for the car park be increased from £5,000 to £10,000. The motion was not seconded.
Cllr. Hodgson proposed that the Finance Group’s recommendation be accepted.
It was Resolved that Hawkinge Parish Council advise Shepway District Council that the precept for 2006/07 is £40,500.00.
(prop. Cllr. Hodgson, sec. Cllr. Heasman) Votes: For 5 Against 1 Abstention 1
(Cllr. Callahan, District Councillor, did not vote on the motion) 

At this point Cllr. Hodgson left the meeting (work commitment)

(c) Salt Bins
The Clerk advised that salt bins can be purchased from KCC if required - cost £84 each (placement by Kent Highways and salt are free). It was not considered necessary to purchase bins unless a written request is received from a resident and KCC approve its location; in which case it was agreed that the Council would respond to the request.

(d) Payments 
It was Resolved that the following accounts be approved for payment (prop. Cllr. Heasman, sec. Cllr. Punnett) Votes: all in favour £ 
SDC rates (football ground) DD 16.00 
SDC rates (SL) DD 80.00 
NatWest EBS DD 10.00 
Mrs B.M.Hardy (salary) 14.12 05 726.57 
Mrs B.M.Hardy (expenses) 42.52 
J. Punnett (reimbursement) 9.49 
KCC Commercial Services 26.97 
Harmer Landscapes (memorial 3 months) 75.20 
Southern Water 136.49 
Staples 65.85 
Turf Solutions Ltd. 851.88 
Kingsfords, solicitors 100.13 
Community Centre - hire of hall 100.00 
Society of LC Clerks (sub.) 93.00 

220 Correspondence

South East Regional Play Association: request for a contribution towards the work of the association that supports the development and delivery of children’s play throughout the region. 
It was Resolved that SERPA be given a donation of £20.00(prop. Cllr. Callahan, sec. Cllr. Avery) Votes: all in favour

221 Plans

(a) Y005/1226/SH Land opposite The Street 
The Council received a reply from the Deputy Chief Executive, Shepway Primary Care Trust in which he stated that the Trust did not turn down the site designated in the SDC Local Plan. They were aware that the Surgery had been seeking to develop a new site for at least 4 years. A clear plan for the development on the above site was presented in the early summer of this year. The final arbiter of where the new surgery may be situated is the Local Planning Authority. The PCT is encouraging the Surgery to hold a meeting with residents. 

(b) Planning applications received and comments sent:
Y05/1342/SH Land adjoining Haven Drive/Spitfire Way: display of 2 internally illuminated gable end fascia signs. No objections. Comment: There is concern regarding the hours the signs would be illuminated; the Parish Council’s preference would be during opening hours only.
Y05/1490/SH Land rear 165 Canterbury Road (also known as land to the North of Aerodrome Road and Barnhurst Lane and west and north of 145 – 173 Canterbury Road) Hawkinge: details pursuant to conditions 1 (siting, design and external appearance) 8 and 15 (contamination) of outline planning permission Y03/0904/SH for the erection of 196 dwellings and a new road between Aerodrome Road and Canterbury Road (duplicate application of Y05/1492/SH).
No objections
(1) the relief road must be built before the houses are occupied.
(2) the Council is concerned about the management of builders traffic on and off the site and seeks an assurance that the traffic will not go through the village.
Votes: For 6 Against 0 Abstention 1
Y05/1494/SH Unit 1 & 2 Gibraltar Lane: erection of 3 No. 4 bed dwellings with associated workshops following the demolition of existing industrial warehouses. No objection provided Kent Highways approves the access.
Votes: all in favour
Y05/1457/SH 157 Canterbury Road: outline application for the erection of a 
1 No. bedroom bungalow. No objection
Votes: For 3 Against 2 Abstention 1 
Y05/1549/SH Elvington Farm, Elvington Lane: change of use of land to stud farm and for the keeping of horses, together with internal and external alterations to farm buildings to provide horse schooling and exercise area, stables and associated office, tack room and storage.
No objection: Votes: all in favour

It was resolved that because publicity would be prejudicial to the public interest by 
Reason of the confidential nature of business to be transacted the public (including the Press) be excluded from the meeting pursuant to the provision of sub section 100 & 102 of the Local Government Act, 1972. 

223 Disposal of land
The Council received a letter from Kingsfords (14th November) and accepted his advice that Rights of Way (SDC and Mrs Tankaria) should be removed before planning permission is sought. Kingsfords recommended that the PC should offer to pay the legal costs for the two parties involved. The Finance Group supported the recommendation.
It was Resolved that the Council offer to pay the legal costs of SDC and Mrs Tankaria for the removal of Rights of Way over the Leisuredrome land.
(prop. Cllr. Heasman, sec. Cllr. Trice) Votes: For 4 Against 3 Abstention 0
Motion carried.

The meeting closed at 10 pm

Gazette poll comments

Contributed by editor on Jan 27, 2006 - 05:02 PM



For those of you who haven't checked out our poll, here are the comments made so far

"Should voters look for another party to run Shepway?"


Does that mean we give the LibDems another chance too? 

by Anonymous on Jan 21, 2006 - 02:59 PM

Of course, just look at the expense the Conservatives are costing the rate payers of Shepway. Truly fanastic amounts of money. And now they will probably have to sell off the brand new fleet of refuse lorries. Scandalous!
But wait! Is there to be a hike in Car Park charges on the horizon? Strewth! they must think we are thick not to notice their thorough incompetence!
Move the Conservatives aside now - before it is too late.

by Anonymous on Jan 23, 2006 - 11:08 PM

Well said, I was beginning to think this village was inhabited by ostriches 

by Anonymous on Jan 23, 2006 - 11:29 PM

Good heavens NO, NO, NO,- how many times do they have to fail before the public cotton o­n to the fact they are unable to run Shepway District Council?
Even with a majority of councillors they managed to get the budget into difficulties within a few weeks of taking over, then walk out o­n the people who so were so foolhardy in putting them there!

Our present Conservative ruling group, despite volunteering to take over running the council with a minority of councillors, -an offer accepted by the other parties,- seem to be progressing very well after taking over yet another failing Liberal council.

As their number of councillors grows, as is now happening- it will enable their work to progress more easily and they can be more effective more quickly..
This is not a time to change things just when things are beginning to come together. It would be foolhardy to do so.

It is bad enough with T. Blair regularly under funding Kent o­n a yearly basis, without letting the Lib Dems ruin Shepway District budget yet again!. Together County and District working together are getting Kent o­n track! They need our support, then we might get Kent where we want her to be, and where she should be! The Tops!


The Lib Dems made a complete hash of running the Shepway Council and were among the worst Council in the Country for running their affairs (Don't let anyone forget the "Closing of Public Toilets Fiasco"). Further they couldn't even agree amongst themselves, split and gave up control.

 Labour has no great appeal in this area and the Labour Government is in serious trouble. Every day it is something else. ID Cards, Paedophiles in teaching jobs, Browns huge deficit, the Iraq war, Prescott's plans etc. etc.

I am convinced that the Conservative Party is the o­nly o­ne able to satisfy the local electorate in the Shepay District. 

by HMMaisey on Jan 21, 2006 - 05:48 PM


Are the people of Shepway satisfied with the refuse mess the tories have landed us in. I understand it has cost over £600,000 so far with new revelations every week it seems. Will our council tax increase by the maximum possible 5%? 

You can bet your bottom dollar it will.

by Anonymous on Jan 22, 2006 - 12:03 AM

I quite agree with the above statement. Labour are all for taking away our freedom - you do as I say - they tax us up to the hilt. They have taken away all of the allowances Conservatives gave us such as Mortgage allowance (Miras) Married Man's allowance and may more back door taxes have come in since Labour have been in power. 

Lib Dems are hopeless and haven't a clue about running anything. I say give the Conservatives a chance - they have to sort out the mess left by the Lib Dems before they can improve things. 

by Anonymous on Jan 25, 2006 - 12:15 PM

The conservatives have made a complete mess of Shepway, we have a Conservative Council, all the County Councillors are Conservative and the MP is. There is a Conservative Council running KCC as well, and yet it's not there fault? The Lib Dems are more useless than the most useless thing you can think of, how the residents of Hawkinge elected the three no hopers you have representing you on Shepway I shall never know, and then when it''s to late you complain!

The comments of the Daily Mail readers who have posted pro- Conservative comments need to get out more and see what other Councils are doing to improve their areas. Councils of all political colours, for example Hastings in East Sussex the Conservatives in the 80'' and 90''s ran it into the ground. But under Labour it has prospered, regeneration is taking place and it looks better.

Just think of Shepway, lowest average wage in Kent, three wards amongst the most deprived in the Country, high levels of teenage pregnancy, low skill base more people moving out than moving in, 3000 properties empty, only harbour between Dover and Lands end which is shut, failing schools, low wage economy, shops shutting, the re cycling farce need I go on? What job''s with good wages and skills are the children presently at school going to do? Half the rented accommodation in some wards is below the national required standard and I bet that''s not the highest of standards any way. Where's the investment in roads and schools? I would not be surprised if the £10M given by the Labour Government for new sports facilities is lost in the end, parties in breweries comes to mind.

Go to the web site and lok for our area, don't forget when you elect a LOCAL councillor they are just that, national politics don't come into it. I want to see a clean, safe Shepway with real well paid job's the harbour open and booming the shops busy, good homes for people to live in, I don't think I ever will under the Conservatives. 

by Anonymous on Jan 27, 2006 - 12:06 PM

From grumpyoldman. 

Which other party? The Lib-Dems are without credibility locally and nationally. The Conservatives are trying to run the council AND pay off the debt incurred by the Lib-Dem administration, and managed to hire a waste disposal "expert" who turned out to be a an unknown quantity of a drip under pressure. 

Maybe we could go and vote in a " Council Tax Payers Association" Council, if there were sufficient apolitical people prepared to stand for office. Any volunteers? 

by Anonymous on Jan 22, 2006 - 07:17 PM

£100 of Tesco vouchers up for grabs!

Contributed by editor on Jan 26, 2006 - 06:41 PM


It couldn’t be simpler to win Tesco vouchers from the Hawkinge Partnership, but hurry, you only have until Wednesday 8th February. 

Just be one of the first 20 people to complete and return a simple survey and you will not only be rewarded with a £5 Tesco voucher*, but you will also be helping to shape the village environment. 

The survey is part of a study to produce a realistic plan for connecting footpaths, cycle routes and roads within the village to make it easier and safer to access local facilities. 

The survey will be looking at:

~ Pedestrian routes across the village 
~ Access to the village centre and new employment land at the top of Spitfire Way
~ Traffic flows in ‘bottleneck’ areas of Aerodrome Road, Webster Way, Haven Drive and Canterbury Road
~ The quality of footpaths, street lighting, walkways, cycle routes and bus stops
~ Crime prevention and community safety

Residents may also be canvassed for their opinions as part of a street audit.

The results of the study will be revealed at a community event in the Hawkinge Community Centre on Saturday 11th February where villagers will be able to bring up any concerns or make suggestions for ways they think the plan could be improved.

The Partnership will ensure the results of the study are shared with service providers and other interested parties to influence and shape the future of Hawkinge.

For more information or to get a copy of the questionnaire, please ring Emily on 858663 or email

*Only one voucher per household. Winners of the vouchers will be notified after the deadline date.

Click here to download a printable copy of the questionnaire

Warning of handbag thefts

Contributed by editor on Jan 26, 2006 - 04:20 PM


Neighbourhood Watch report that o­n Monday morning (23 January) in Wingham, a robbery took place where a lady standing at a bus stop had her handbag stolen by occupants of a passing vehicle.

Neighbourhood Watch believe this is the first time this kind of robbery has occurred although they point out that in Folkestone vehicles have pulled up to people walking along the street and asked for directions. The driver then says they cannot hear what is being said and when they take a step closer to the vehicle their bag has been snatched.

Please make people aware of this type of crime. 

This message isn't put out to frighten people, but to educate them.  People need to know where their bag is at all times and ensure they do not go out with more money than they expect to spend.  Never take jewellery out of the house believing that it is safer in a handbag than left in the house.

Shepway to be investigated over housing benefit

Contributed by editor on Jan 26, 2006 - 04:06 PM


Shepway District Council take longer to process housing benefit claims and than most other councils say the Benefit Fraud Inspectorate (BFI).

The Inspectorate are to examine Shepway Council along with Gateshead Metropolitan Borough, Portsmouth City, Stevenage Borough and Walsall Metropolitan Borough, all of which are taking more than seven weeks to process claims.

James Plaskitt, the Minister with responsibility for housing benefits and countering fraud said today that BFI inspections will cover councils whose published performance figures indicate that they take longer than most to process claims for housing benefit

He said: “There can be a number of reasons for comparatively slow processing of claims. BFI inspection will determine the reasons for delays and seek to provide remedies."