Darkest hour for football club

Contributed by editor on Nov 27, 2004 - 09:24 AM


Dover Athletic boss Mick Kemp has today pledged to work to the very last minute to save the club from going out of business.

On Thursday (25 Vovember), the club morning broke the news in the Dover Express that £48,000 has to be found by December 31 - or it is almost certain that Whites will be closed down.

It has been known for some while that the club could be forced to cough up £23,000 towards the Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) after creditors decided that Dover Athletic should have paid a chunk of their profits from the 2002-03 FA Cup run to accelerate their debt repayments.

In fact, Whites claim they made no profit from the run, with all cash eaten up by running costs of the club.

But the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise viewed it differently and are the two major creditors who insist that £23,000 should be paid by December 31.

In addition to that, the VAT office has investigated the club's accounts for the past three seasons.

Chairman Mick Kemp admitted: "The club have not been paying VAT on hot food sold at kiosks inside the ground. Dover Athletic were led to believe that this food is classed as takeaway food and, as such, we'd not need to pay VAT on what we sell.

"But the VAT office insists now that this food is not classed as takeaway food because it's consumed on the club's premises."

This now means, with a shortfall in gates this season, the club must find a further £25,000 - making a total of £48,000 - by New Year's Eve.

Kemp said: "We will almost definitely be closed down if we don't reach the £48,000 target - only £23k of that goes to the CVA. The rest to the VAT office and obviously to make up for losses made on low attendances.

"I am going to go out there myself and will spend every last minute trying to collect money. We hope that the business community of Dover responds because we are now in the last-chance saloon.

"We are setting up a fighting fund, where people can pay into it. No money will be touched by the club. So if someone decided to give us £2,000, and we don't reach the target and get closed down, the money will be refunded.

"Local businesses hold the key. If they can all rally around us now, along with the fans, we have a chance of getting to the target.

"We'd like to think that more than 1,000 fans can get through the turnstiles. If this was to happen, it will send out a clear message to the business community and football in general that Dover Athletic is a club worth saving.

"It's come as a terrible shock to us all. We only got confirmation of this news on Wednesday. The Dover Express carried the story on the front page in this weeks edition. We are sorry for the bombshell nature of the way this news was released but it is a reflection of how serious the situation is.

"We think it's a grey area, the VAT issue, and simply continued what had happened before on selling food on a takeaway basis.

"If we had a burger van outside the turnstiles, the food would be classed as takeaway. But, the VAT office insist, that by selling a burger inside the ground, it's not takeaway food, unless it's being taken outside the turnstiles to be eaten."

Kemp insisted the club would make an appeal but said: "I doubt we will be successful. I don't think we have any solid ground to make a good case unfortunately."

Dover Athletic's attendance figures have been the highest in the Ryman League Premier Division this season despite struggling at the foot of the table. It is clear that the club still has a loyal and passionate fanbase but the debts from previous regimes have now become too big a burden.

The Whites chairman added: "This club has had a real positive vibe in recent weeks, thanks to the arrival of Steve Browne. We feel we now have a realistic chance of fighting away from the bottom of the table to rebuild for the future.

"But we need a cash injection from somewhere. If the whole town can get behind the club, we can get out of this mess and at last get Dover Athletic heading in the right direction.

"It doesn't matter what you can afford. If it's only a pound, we welcome every pound that can be donated. If it's £1000 then that's great too. Rich or poor, we need all the support from everyone.

"Let's show everyone that Dover can get behind its football club and dig it out of trouble once and for all."

Supporters Trust chairman Simon Harris added: "As far as I'm concerned, our response must be that the Trust is here to support football in Dover.

"We've spent two and a half years struggling to keep the club afloat and we now look to the wider community to stand up and be counted.

"A town the size of Dover should have a football club, and it is up to the people of Dover to ensure that the football club survives what is its darkest hour."

Donations should be sent to: Trustrees of DAFC, Mike Webb, Town Centre Management, 21 Pencester Road, Dover.
Cheques should be made payable to: Trustees of DAFC.
With this in mind we have formed a fighting fund, which will be operated by Mr John Parsons (a retired local businessman who has no connection to the club other than as a supporter). No money will be touched by the club until sufficient funds have been raised to clear these obligations. Should this fail, then all monies will be returned untouched to the donors.
Visit the website Dover Athletic FC

Council boss fights steep rise in homes

Contributed by editor on Nov 26, 2004 - 09:00 PM


Kent takes its fight against major proposed increases in the number of houses to be built in the county to a crucial meeting o­n Monday (29th November).

The South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA), which wants to significantly increase the numbers, meets in Woking and will receive a motion from Kent County Council Leader Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart opposing the increases. All other county councils in the South East will be supporting this call for a reduction in SEERA's housing ambitions.
Sir Sandy will question the Government and SEERA prediction that o­ne-third of the Government's current housing allocation for the South East could be needed for migration into the southern counties from London, the North, from abroad and from outside the South East.
Sir Sandy said: "Of course we need more houses for Kent's own young people, first time buyers and for more elderly people living alone; this is exactly what we have planned for. The present Regional Planning Guidance of 28,000 homes per year more than allows for this. Two thirds of this figure is made up of the needs of the Kent and South East population to have more houses and o­ne third has been added to take inward migration into the South East counties from the north, the rest of the UK and abroad. The problem is that o­n top of this the SEERA proposals call for up to a staggering 36,000 houses a year  a 30% increase. What is the point in simply moving more and more people into an already overcrowded South East?"
On Monday 22 November Kent County Council's Cabinet concluded that the process now being used at regional level to decide how many new homes should be built in Kent is deeply flawed, being rushed and contains proposed building targets that are far too high for what is needed.
Kent County Planning Officer Leigh Herington described SEERA's proposals as "the most chaotic process I have come across in 30 years of dealing with major planning issues."
Kent County Council's Cabinet believes the existing projections should be maintained and consulted upon. These range from the 25,500 homes a year currently being built in the South East, the present Regional Planning Guidance at 28,000 per year, through to a maximum of 32,000. Consultation o­n new figures will take place in January and SEERAs proposals for the South East range from 29,500 up to 36,000 a year. This would mean Kent's share increasing by 30%.
Sir Sandy said: "We are proposing housing allocations which are significantly less than SEERAs. Our figures are based o­n what is actually being built at the moment and what Kent's own people need.
"Last year we produced a report for the Government showing that even for the current Government housing allocation we needed £9.6 billion of infrastructure funding for new roads, schools, community facilities and extra hospitals.
"Kent has a united front. The absolute maximum that KCC and Kent Districts will accept is the current Regional Planning Guidance. What we need is jobs, the funding for community infrastructure and above all a priority of protecting Kents unique and priceless countryside.
"We are, however, totally supportive of building o­n brownfield sites, such as in the Thames Gateway. Kent already has a 10 year landbank of mainly brown land available now. We do not need further regional allocations."
Sir Sandy said Kent's existing rates of build had been extensively tested through the Kent Structure Plan process that had involved widespread public consultation.
"There is a careful balance to be maintained between building new homes, providing the right infrastructure and protecting Kents unique environment. I believe the SEERA proposals come nowhere near to making the case for an acceleration of housing build."

On-line path to coalfield history

Contributed by editor on Nov 26, 2004 - 08:54 PM

A major initiative to preserve the heritage of the Kent Coalfield is busy digging into a vital part of the history of the local area - and is using hi-tech solutions to record and store a unique record of memories and information from the community.
The Coalfield Heritage Initiative in Kent (CHIK) project, which is led by Dover Museum, was set up earlier this year to record and celebrate the area's mining heritage through the preparation of a community archive. This is being put together from a variety of sources, including photographs, documents, text stories, oral reminiscences and video clips. The scheme aims to provide a 'virtual museum' of life in the Kent Coalfields through CD-ROMs and the Internet.
A number of community groups have been set up to enable research to be locally based, and the project held its first training workshop o­n Saturday (20th November) at the Hersden Neighbourhood Centre. Community Archive volunteers from the coalfield communities at Deal (Betteshanger Colliery), Elvington (Tilmanstone Colliery) and Hersden (Chislet Colliery) attended for a full day's training in using the project's software and computer equipment.
Each Community Archive group will collect photographs and oral reminiscences from its area and produce them as CD-ROMs and as part of an Internet 'virtual museum'.
The CHIK project is based at Dover Museum and is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Single Regeneration Budget, Dover District Council, Deal Town Council, Aylesham Parish Council, Furley & Page Solicitors and Unison.
For more information about the CHIK project, or to get involved in the production of this important community archive, please contact Mark Frost at Dover Museum o­n (01304) 201066.

Dancing into Christmas

Contributed by webmaster on Nov 26, 2004 - 12:39 PM

<P align=center><IMG alt="" hspace=0 src="images/banners/xmasparty.jpg" align=top border=1>

Christmas crime menu

Contributed by webmaster on Nov 26, 2004 - 12:19 PM

<P align=center><IMG alt="" hspace=0 src="" align=top border=1>

<IMG alt="" hspace=0 src="" align=top border=1>

<IMG alt="" hspace=0 src="" align=top border=1>

<IMG alt="" hspace=0 src="" align=top border=1>

<P align=left>

Local schools benefit from Lottery fund

Contributed by editor on Nov 25, 2004 - 04:39 PM


Kent County Council's Sports Development Unit has successfully bid for and won £222,745 to help 40 selected primary schools.

The money from the Big Lottery Fund will be spread across the county and help develop school playgrounds for PE and sport, using line markings, target walls and fixed games equipment.

Improving a playground encourages children to adopt a healthier approach to playtime by taking part in more games or sport.

KCC Lead Member for Sport Mike Hill said: "Approximately a quarter of the school day is spent in the playground and this is going to provide that extra incentive for the children to play and be active during that time.

"The improved facilities will also help teach the curriculum and benefit after school clubs. By dramatically enhancing the surfaces and equipment, the scheme will provide a better environment in which to learn, teach, play and develop."

Local selected schools are:

St Radigund's Community Primary School, Dover

St Mary's CEP School, Dover

St Peter's CEP School, Folkestone

Vale View Community School, Dover

Dymchurch Primary School, Nr Folkestone

South Deal Primary School, Deal

Palmarsh Primary School, Nr Hythe

Northbourne CEP School, Deal

Langdon Primary School, Dover

Folkestone Camera Club meeting

Contributed by editor on Nov 25, 2004 - 04:14 PM


On Monday 22nd  November, we held our 2nd Print competition of the season, judged by Dr Peter Lewis LRPS a member of St. Mary’s Bay Camera Club and as the letters after his name show, a very competent and experienced photographer, and he gave us very good comments on how we can improve our photography.  He was an excellent judge and gave a wide range of marks out of 20.  Winners of each section were as follows:-

Novice:-        Remembered        Gill Jefferson        20    
(11 entries)        Golden Oldie        Jim Wraight            19
Intermediate:-    No 19                Michael Chalk        20
(18 entries)        Stelling Minnis Mill              Mary Collins        19
            Wishful Thinking        Thelma Bridges        19

Advanced:-         Walking Through        Frank Barraclough        20
 (28 entries)        Steam Release        David Hughes        20
    Coalman            H. Fereday            19

Novice:-        Butter Wouldn’t Melt    Pam Wraight        20
(3 entries)        Kerry                Glen Yorke            19

Intermediate:-     Sasha                Muriel Hilliard              20
(3 entrries)        Ben                Muriel Hilliard        19
Advanced:-          The Watcher        Frank Barraclough         20
(14 entries)         A White Smile         Marie-Laure Stone CPAGB  19

The above prints with 20 marks,  can be seen on our website at

Next Monday will be our Len Charles Cup Competition, when members show a selection of related slides along  with their own commentary, and the following Monday we will be seeing a selection of audio visual presentations from our Australian exchange, which will prove to be a very enjoyable evening.

On Wednesday 1st December we shall be holding our monthly practical evening, where members can practice portraiture or table-top photography with the clubs studio lighting .
Meetings are held at the United Reformed Church Community Hall, Castle Hill Avenue. Folkestone, every Monday, commencing at 7.45pm.  New members are always welcome and anyone interested in joining, please, ring Mrs Jenny Barraclough (Press Officer) 01303 245399 or e mail: for further information.

Crime sheet 15/11/04 to 21/11/04

Contributed by editor on Nov 25, 2004 - 03:59 PM

COUNTRY EYE - NEIGBOURHOOD WATCH Crime Sheet 15/11/04 to 21/11/04


Between 1600hrs 15/11/04 & 0801hrs 16/11/04

Theft from Motor Vehicle


Informant states that plant has been stolen from a JCB on site. The informant states to remove the bucket offenders would have had to jack the JCB up.



Between 0720hrs & 1600hrs 16/11/04



Entry was gained via the ground floor dining room window at the side of the property.  Offenders have forced the lock on the sash window by means unknown.

Tidy search of the property, believe only master bedroom searched. Jewellery box located and gold items stolen. Other items of silver jewellery were left behind.



Between 1220hrs & 1500hrs 16/11/04



Entry was gained via a rear kitchen window which was forced open, exit appears as entry. It appears that unknown offenders have entered the property and have conducted an untidy search but nothing was stolen from the property.



Between 1700hrs 17/11/04 & 0830hrs 18/11/04

Theft from Motor Vehicle


Between the stated times unknown person has stolen 4 CDs from centre console and some loose change from the ashtray of her vehicle.  There is no apparent damage to the vehicle. IP does not know how entry was gained.



Between 2000hrs 17/11/04 & 0830hrs 18/11/04

Theft from Motor Vehicle


Ip has come out to take the children to school and found that the driver's door to the vehicle was slightly ajar. Offender/s have gained access into the vehicle has removed documentation and disable badge.



Between 2020hrs 16/11/04 & 1230hrs 17/11/04



IP's at work informed the IP of a burnt out vehicle near to the IP's home address.At lunch break the IP went home to investigate and the IP found the car damaged, burnt out.



Between 0730hrs & 1630hrs




The key for the locked door was left in a chest of drawers in the porch. There are no signs of forced entry and the rear door keys are now missing. It is presumed entry gained using these keys, which have been retained by the offender. The 2 jars containing cash have been taken from the kitchen area, which is at the rear of the property. An untidy search has been conducted on the ground and upper floor.



Between 2004hrs 15/11/04 & 1800hrs 18/11/04



Ip - he states that he lives at the caravan during the week while he is working at the site. Offender has forced the side window and entered and caravan and stolen his passport, medical card and a small amount of jewellery.



Between 1900hrs 19/11/04 & 1200hrs 21/11/04

Burglary Other


Ip is reporting that somebody has broken into his garage and stolen a ride on lawn mower and a pressure washer.



Between 2115hrs & 2128hrs 20/11/04



Owner then heard a smash & footsteps running away, she did not see who smashed the door.



Between 1920hrs & 1930hrs 20/11/04



Windows of phone box damaged

If you have any information in relation to any crime. Please contact the Watch Office o­n 01304 218151 or ring
Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 You do not have to give your name and you maybe eligible for a reward.

To Report suspicious incidents and problems you cannot resolve yourself 01303 850055


To report crime that has happened to you and the offenders have gone 01303 289134
If you would like to help with Neighbourhood Watch or would like to know more about what is involved, you can contact the Neighbourhood Watch & Parish Liaison Office at Dover Police Station on 01304 21815     Neighbourhood Watch

Hawkinge cage art

Contributed by editor on Nov 24, 2004 - 08:36 PM


Dear Ed

Is that it ? A cage ? How much ? Have got two similar "structures" in my back garden that are available, but people I've contacted want a lot of money to dismantle them...ex cages for rotweiller dogs.

Still, like beauty, art must be in the eye of the beholder....or is it a case of the Emperor's new clothes.

Bah humbug...finkle open up the rear garden as an art gallery/event/happening or whatever is appropriate.


click here if you missed the story

Hawkinge chamber art unveiled

Contributed by editor on Nov 24, 2004 - 04:05 PM


Stephen Turner, Regional Council Member for Arts Council England South East officially opened the Dymchurch seawall chambers on Thursday (18 November).

The three chambers, created by artist Nayan Kulkarni are part of a project, backed by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), to improve the A259 corridor and aim to help enhance links between the land on one side of the wall and the sea on the other. The chambers were built and installed by Cook Fabrications of Hawkinge.

Other initiatives include planting schemes at the Neptune Inn and New Beach Holiday Centre and a joint venture with the Environment Agency to plant native shrubs on the A259 boundary with Willop Depot.

After the opening ceremony at the New Beach Holiday Centre guests had a walking tour of the chambers which each reflect the elements of air, water and fire (lightning) in different ways.

Mr Turner said it was great that an artist with a fast-growing national and international reputation was able to work in the area.

“ I have seen Nayan’s work in Bristol and I am glad that it is not only Bristol that can benefit from his creative energy,� he said.

Nayan told guests that when he first visited the project site he could see little beyond a solid sweep of concrete.

“ It did not seem a interesting place to be. But then I went up on the seawall and everything changed. I was immediately inspired.â€?  

He praised Shepway Council for its support during the project. “It has been the best experience I have had of working with a local authority,� he said.

Left to right: Stephen Turner, Regional Council Member for Arts Council England South East; Nayan Kulkarni, artist; Cllr Carole Waters, Cabinet Member for Housing and Leisure Piran
 Cooper, Landscape Architect.