Eurotunnel will go bust warns company

Contributed by editor on Jan 22, 2006 - 02:13 PM


Eurotunnel, the Channel Tunnel operator will go bust  in January 2007 if a deal can't be reached with creditors, the company warned last night.

In a report o­n the Guardian Unlimited website today (22 January), a spokesman said: 'A year from now we will have to start paying back a significant part of our debt - at that point, we will be insolvent.'

The company's comments come as Eurotunnel chairman Jacques Gounon is trying to prevent a crisis by negotiating an outline agreement o­n a debt restructuring deal with creditors who are owed £6.4bn.

Gounon is determined to force the banks to forgive debt rather than agree to a restructuring.

Creditors have resisted his demands and are insisting that debts can o­nly be reduced if shareholders give up some or most of their shares in return for a debt write-off of around £4bn.

Eurotunnel makes profits at the operating level, and last year it saw the first increase in revenues from its car and and truck shuttle services since 2002. Original traffic projections for the tunnel however, proved wildly optimistic. The firm is also hurt by massive interest payments.

A properly cleaned neighbourhood is all I am asking

Contributed by editor on Jan 21, 2006 - 10:41 PM


Dear Lazarus,

Re:  Someone else's problem

I read with interest your comments to my point about the litter problem in Hawkinge which I have observed since recently moving here.

With reference especially to your comments concerning the notion of me picking up the litter instead of writing about it, I would point out that not o­nly do I do this o­n a regular basis, even though I pay a large amount of money every month in community charge to pay for this service, my comments were more aimed at paying for a service that we are not receiving in Hawkinge.

I agree with your comment about people not dropping litter but  feel a properly swept and cleaned neighbourhood is all I am asking for.


Arrest after missing teen found in Folkestone

Contributed by editor on Jan 21, 2006 - 12:16 PM


A man has been arrested after a teenage girl, missing for two weeks, was found safe and well in Folkestone. She had been missing for two weeks.
The 13-year-old was discovered in a flat in the town, 300 miles from her home in Fleetwood, after Lancashire detectives acted o­n tip-offs.

A man in his 30's has been arrested o­n suspicion of abduction and was due to be questioned by detectives in Lancashire today.

The teenager sparked a nationwide hunt after disappearing in October 2005.

On that occasion she walked into a police station in North Wales after being missing for 33 days following a TV appeal o­n BBC's Crimewatch UK programme.

Humble Boy

Contributed by editor on Jan 20, 2006 - 08:37 PM

HUMBLE BOY - Lyminge Dramatic Society

Our Spring production is the play “Humble Boy� by Charlotte Jones.

This is a tragi-comedy about broken vows, failed hopes - oh, and bee keeping!

The dates of the production are Wednesday March 29th to Saturday April 1st at Lyminge Village Hall.

Performances will start at 7.45pm and tickets will go o­n sale at Haxtons Estate Agents o­n Saturday 4th March.

Book early to avoid disappointment!

Port likely to see more protests

Contributed by editor on Jan 20, 2006 - 08:30 PM


Dover could again see animal campaigners protesting if live animal exports to the Continent are resumed.

With Britain's beef export ban likely to be lifted by the end of March, Welsh farmers are again looking to continental markets to underpin poor domestic prices.

It is reported that secret plans have been hatched to dispatch chartered ferries of calves and sheep from April.

A Compassion in World Farming spokeswoman said UK consumers should be encouraged to buy British meat while farmers must look again at dual-purpose beef breeds where male calves have domestic value.

Beef exports were banned 10 years ago over BSE fears.

Booze cruise claim wins defunct ferry operator £2m

Contributed by editor on Jan 20, 2006 - 07:06 PM


A ferry company which pulled out of Dover in November 2005 after the parent company Sea Containers said it was no longer able to support it's losses o­n the English Channel has won a large payout from Revenue and Customs.

They agreed to pay Hoverspeed almost £2m to settle a long-running legal dispute over its officers' alleged "heavy-handed" searches of booze cruise customers.

The cross-Channel operator originally filed a claim for £50m damages in 2004, arguing that over-zealous searches were putting off day trippers and hitting its profits.

Customs said yesterday that it had agreed to pay Sea Containers, Hoverspeed's parent firm, £950,000 plus £850,000 "reasonable costs", adding that the payments were not an admission of liability.

Hawkinge Civic Society - County Lengthsman Scheme

Contributed by editor on Jan 20, 2006 - 12:06 AM


Dear Ed,

I thought your readership might be interested to hear of a communication that I sent out to our members recently, concerning the County Lengthsman Scheme.

The scheme is being run by Kent Highways Services (KCC) to help programme a schedule of works in Parish and Town areas.

In Hawkinge it is being coordinated by and through The Parish Council.

Harry Preston has volunteered to be a village contact. With more people involved and more minor works being notified and completed, it is hoped that Hawkinge can be tidied much quicker than normal.

Minor works, which could include:

·          Cleaning and fixing signs

·          Tidying up verges

·          Digging out gullies and drainage pipes

·          Cutting back hedgerows to improve visibility lines

·          Minor kerb repairs

·          Odd pavement slab repairs

·          Painting guard rails

·          Repair of other minor defects

·          Removal of isolated amounts of dumped rubbish o­n the highway.

A number of signage related works have already been identified and proposed.

Harry Preston will co-ordinate further requests and forward them appropriately.

Written requests o­nly please to :

Harry Preston

32 The Street


Stuart Hall

<FONT color=red>Editor's note:- Readers can sent us Email's which we will deliver to Mr Preston

Howard's Way 19 January 2006

Contributed by editor on Jan 19, 2006 - 12:08 AM

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

<IMG height=195 hspace=10 src="images/michaelhoward3.jpg" width=130 align=right vspace=10 border=0>19
January 2006

On Friday I chaired a meeting at the Civic Centre in Folkestone to discuss the future of sports provision in the district. As is well-known the Council has obtained Government approval for new sports centres at Folkestone and Hythe but question marks have been raised about the viability of the new centre in Folkestone if the existing Sports Centre were to remain open.

The meeting was attended by representatives of all partners on the Council, the Sports Centre Trust, the Town Clerk of Hythe and others. Its purpose was to see if agreement could be reached on the best way forward.

After thorough discussions agreement in principle was reached. I am very grateful to all concerned not least the trustees of the Sports Centre who have rendered such dedicated service in maintaining the Centre for the benefit of local people for so many years.

The plan which was agreed involves a partnership between the District Council and the Sports Centre Trust. Many of the existing facilities of the Sports Centre will be made available to the new centre in which its trustees will have a substantial interest and continuing role. Many of the details remain to be worked out but I hope there will now be a clear way forward which will provide the best possible sports facilities for the other people of the District.

On Friday evening I attended a public meeting at St Peter’s Church in Greatstone to discuss another controversial issue – where to site a new play area for the youngsters of that area. Although practically everyone present agreed that such a facility was necessary there was much disagreement about the site.

The site which commanded greatest support is designated as a site of Special Scientific Interest though no-one seems to know why. It looks like a very ordinary piece of scrub land. I am writing to English Nature to see if there is any prospect of the designation being reconsidered.

On Saturday afternoon I spent a fascinating couple of hours in the company of Michael George and other members of the Shorncliffe Redoubt Preservation Society. The Society is doing a great job in awakening interest in some forgotten aspects of our military heritage. The Redoubt played a key part in Sir John Moore’s retraining of the British army in the Napoleonic wars and there are also training trenches used by the brave men on their way to France in the First World War. I shall do all I can to help preserve them for posterity.

One vehicle every six seconds

Contributed by editor on Jan 18, 2006 - 03:53 PM


Over two million lorries and 2.6million cars passed through the Port of Dover in 2005. This amounts to a staggering o­ne vehicle every six seconds 24 hours a day.

It is the first time the port has seen two million lorries in a single year and the growth of three per cent could have been far higher but for the berthing problems at Calais early in the year.

Bob Goldfield, the port’s Chief Executive, commented: “Overall this is a very satisfactory ferry traffic performance which, combined with efficiencies which continue to be introduced and the performance of our other businesses, will deliver an excellent financial report". 

Banging the drum over parking

Contributed by editor on Jan 17, 2006 - 07:05 PM


Dear Ed,

When I was banging the drum concerning the proposed car park, the point I was trying to make is this.

At the moment, motorists pay scant attention to the restrictions of the bus stop, speed limits and parking o­n the pavements;  since most of the shopping trade is "passing".

I suggest that the provision of the car park will make little difference to the muddle that is the Canterbury Road shopping area.