Hawkinge late night bus faces the chop

Contributed by editor on Jun 19, 2005 - 08:47 PM


The Shepway Nite Rider service for late night revellers from Folkestone to Hawkinge could be scrapped if numbers using the £1 service don't pick up.

Running up to 2.15am on  Friday and Saturday nights from  Folkestone town centre, it offers a cheap ride home after a night on the town.

The double-decker Nite Rider aimed to reduce late-night trouble and get people home safely and quickly after a night out, and police have reported that incidents of criminal damage and assaults have gone down since the service was introduced at the end of May.

Young Beckhams looking for sponsors

Contributed by editor on Jun 19, 2005 - 12:16 AM


By Cyril Trice

With the under 15 year old boys now signed up to play in the Parker Steel East Kent Youth League next season, this is another piece of history being made for Hawkinge.

The Club is being held back through lack of facilities on the football ground but everyone is working hard to get funding for a much needed building with changing rooms.

It would be nice to see a sponsor come forward and give us some backing.

Picture shows youth teams training on the Hawkinge Football Ground on Saturday morning, (under 15 years assembling their goal posts)

Dover memorial for Chinese lorry victims

Contributed by editor on Jun 18, 2005 - 07:37 PM


A permanent memorial was unveiled today (18 June) to the 58 Chinese men and women who died in the back of a lorry in Dover exactly five years ago.

The Chinese  migrants suffocated when the Dutch lorry driver closed the air vent into the container during a six-hour ferry crossing from Belgium.

Sixty people had paid a criminal gang to smuggle them into the UK, but o­nly two survived the journey .

The bodies of the 54 men and four women were discovered when Customs officers at Dover carried out a vehicle inspection.

The driver of the lorry Perry Wacker was sentenced to 14 years for manslaughter at Maidstone Crown Court, in April 2001 while seven other men were jailed by a Dutch for their roles.

Channel Tunnel bomb man let off prison

Contributed by editor on Jun 17, 2005 - 08:45 PM


The man who tried to take an unstable mortar through the Channel Tunnel in January has been spared a prison sentence.

The amateur historian Stephen Hart, from  Frant in East Sussex tried to return the World War I mortar bomb through the Channel Tunnel  after he found it on a battlefield on the Somme.

Hart, 54, admitted possessing explosives at an earlier hearing at Maidstone Crown Court and  was given a nine month suspended prison term and fined £2,000 by the court o­n Friday.

The Channel Tunnel was closed for five hours and the terminal in Folkestone, was evacuated after it was found in Hart's car.

The device was considered to be so unstable that it had to be detonated by an Army bomb disposal team in a controlled explosion at the tunnel terminal.

Countdown for doorstep deliveries

Contributed by editor on Jun 17, 2005 - 08:32 PM


With just over two weeks to go before the start of Shepway Council’s new waste collection service, the final recycling boxes and bags are being delivered to homes in Folkestone.

A team of recycling officers started house-to-house deliveries in May and has already covered rural and coastal towns and villages. When the deliveries in Folkestone finish at the end of the month, 40,000 boxes and bags will be ready for the new waste collection starts when it o­n 4 July.

As well as getting the boxes (for glass, tins, cans and plastic bottles) and bags (for newspaper and card) out and about across the district, the team is delivering leaflets explaining how the new service works and answering residents’ questions.

The service extends the council’s current weekly collection of paper and card to include glass bottles and jars, tins, cans and plastic bottles. Landfill waste in wheelie bins and garden waste in brown-topped bins will be collected every two weeks.

Cllr Shirley Newlands, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said there were a number of reasons for the change to the council’s waste collection service.

“Although our current kerbside collection of paper and card and our garden waste places us among the top recycling councils in Kent, the government has set tough targets to remove rubbish from landfill sites.

“Shepway Council, along with others across the country, has got to meet those targets or risk being fined.

“We must ensure that 30 per cent of our waste is recycled by 2005/06 and we know that the targets will keep o­n rising. We will also have to face dramatic rises in the costs of using landfill sites.â€?

Recycling Officer, Fiona Fairhurst, said there had been a positive reaction to the new service.

“We have been out and about talking to people while delivering the boxes and bags. Although some people have had concerns about fortnightly collections of landfill waste, the main reaction has been very positive. Most people realise we cannot go o­n dumping valuable recyclable material in a hole in the ground and are pleased that the council is doing something about it.

“We hope that we have also been able to reassure people that if they use the boxes and bags, there will be enough room in their bin for a fortnightly collection. This is not a new concept. More than 100 councils have moved o­nto fortnightly collections and it is not surprising that these councils are among the top recycling authorities.â€?

Homes that do not have room for wheelie bins will be given new purple sacks for their landfill waste.

“We are doing this because we want to keep track of household waste and business waste. Some traders dump their waste in black sacks next to residents’ black sacks.

Business should make their own arrangements to dispose of their waste and not expect it to be collected in what is a domestic service,� said Fiona.

Calendars giving collection days for the boxes and bags, landfill waste and garden waste will be delivered to homes across the district over the next two weeks.

Vandalised toilets to re-open

Contributed by editor on Jun 17, 2005 - 08:23 PM



Toilets at Sandgate that were so badly damaged by vandalism that they had to close will reopen o­n Monday (20 June) after a facelift.

The public conveniences in Seabrook Road were closed in autumn 2003. Vandals had entered the roof space and started a fire there. Fire also wrecked a hand washing machine, light fittings were damaged and obscene graffiti was daubed o­n the walls.

Now, following a wash and brush up, the toilets will be re-opened.

Have your say on sports centres plans

Contributed by editor on Jun 17, 2005 - 08:14 PM


Outline planning applications for two new sports centres for the district have been submitted to Shepway Council.

The proposals, for sports centres at Cheriton Road Recreation Ground, Folkestone and South Road, Hythe, include results of environmental assessments carried out o­n both sites and a draft plan for car parking at the Hythe site.

Plans can be viewed at the Civic Centre, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone or o­n the council’s website. The South Road application can also be viewed at Hythe Town Council offices between 10.00am and 1.00pm and 2.00pm and 3.30pm Mondays and Fridays.

People have until 30 June to comment o­n the plans.

The proposed new centre in Folkestone includes a six-court sports hall, 25-metre pool, learner pool, 70-station gym, squash court, dance studio, creche and dry, wet, and outdoor changing facilities.

Hythe’s proposed new centre includes a four-court sports hall, 50-station gym, dance studio, six-lane, 25-metre pool, learner pool, crèche and dry, wet and outdoor changing facilities.

Dog mess patrols but still no bins in Hawkinge

Contributed by editor on Jun 17, 2005 - 11:04 AM


A new team of Environmental Community Officers is set to tackle dog fouling in Shepway’s worst affected areas.

Hawkinge is without any dog mess bins and is unlikely to get any according to the Parish Council. A local dog owner told the Gazette: "I've been told it's down to Shepway to provide the bins but they won't do it because they don't own the land.

"The former chairman of the Parish Council told me to put my dog mess in the litter bins, which surely can't be healthy.

"Besides, the nearest bin is in the village which means I have to walk around with a bag of dog mess in my pocket, which isn't very pleasant either.

"I consider myself a responsible dog owner and always pick up after my dog but I think the council should meet us half way and provide a proper dog waste disposal bin instead of sending out patrols intent o­n persecuting and prosecuting."

The team of four is out and about looking at the areas where fouling is particularly bad and is also monitoring complaints. The worst affected areas will then be targeted with enforcement action.

Cllr Hugh Barker, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “Dog mess is polluting areas that residents and visitors should be able to enjoy. The council appreciates that dog owning brings lots of pleasure, but its carries responsibilities too. Every dog owner has a responsibility to clear up after their pet. It takes very little effort and yet makes a big difference to our district.�

The Environmental Community Officers will be patrolling Shepway and approaching owners whose dogs leave a mess.

“The majority of dog owners behave conscientiously, and we hope to get a positive response,� said Cllr Barker. “There will be amnesty period of six weeks when offenders will be given a polite warning. But after that time officers will start issuing a £50 fixed penalty notice to any owner who decides to ignore the law.�

The new team will be dealing other environmental issues, like abandoned cars, to help the council meet its aim to provide a clean, green and safe environment.

“No-one wants a car abandoned in their area, they can be unsightly, and sometimes even a hazard - especially to inquisitive children,� said Cllr Barker.

To report an incident please call  01303 858660

Goodbye Peter Carroll

Contributed by editor on Jun 17, 2005 - 10:08 AM


Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesman for Folkestone and Hythe Peter Carroll has announced he is giving up campaigning for the party after withdrawing his name from the shortlist of Lib Dem candidates for the Cheadle by election.

This follows the resignation of Tory party leader Michael Howard who announced he was standing down as leader of the party after winning his seat at the May general election against Mr Carroll.

Peter Carroll who lived in Peene near Folkestone with his wife Fiona has led many high-profile campaigns across the district of Shepway. He has fought  for tougher action o­n anti-social behaviour and against the closure of local Post Offices.

Dover PC receives top bravery award

Contributed by editor on Jun 16, 2005 - 07:57 PM


Kent Police Chief Constable, Mike Fuller, has honoured police officers and members of the public for their bravery and outstanding work including Dover PC Paul Howe.

The Chief Constable's Commendation for Bravery was awarded to PC Paul Howe who in July 2004, prevented a man from setting fire to himself.

The citation reads:-

One evening in July 2004, a man left home with the intention of killing himself, he left behind his distraught child who called the police.

Using local knowledge and instinct PC Paul Howe soon found the man in a secluded place o­n Western Heights in Dover. He had poured petrol over himself and his car and, with matches to hand, was threatening to set light to himself.

PC Howe began to talk to him but, as soon as he understood that the man was about to set light to himself, PC Howe ran forward and restrained him.

In the struggle that followed PC Howe was injured as the man resisted, he also ended up soaked in petrol, which could have been set alight at any moment, but he continued to restrain the man until colleagues arrived to help him. Afterwards, even though he was shaken and injured, PC Howe, showed compassion and chose not to prosecute for assault.