Operation stack or Operation 'stuck'

Contributed by editor on Mar 06, 2005 - 08:28 PM


Lib Dem campaigner Peter Carroll is writing to the Chief Constable of Kent to demand that Operation Stack be changed.

Peter said, 'Literally hundreds of local residents are having their journeys home completely ruined by Operation Stack. I understand that Stack has to run in some form. However, I do not believe that the WHOLE motorway needs to be shut down. I am asking the Chief Constable to examine if it is possible to keep at least one motorway lane open.'

The combination of bad weather and problems in Calais has meant that on some occasions the Motorway has been closed coast bound all the way from Junction 8. Peter added, 'If the Motorway is closed from as far back as Junction 8, the A20 simply cannot cope.

I am asking the Chief Constable to ensure that in this circumstance, Police Officers are positioned on the A20 to make sure that it keeps moving.'

Peter's letter reads:

Dear Chief Constable,

I write on behalf of a great many residents of Folkestone and Hythe to ask for your assistance with Operation Stack.

People in East Kent understand that on certain occasions there will be a need to cater for lorries who are delayed due to industrial action or bad weather. However, in recent weeks Operation Stack appears to have become more common. Consequently, the disruption and inconvenience caused to local residents has increased dramatically.

I have two main requests:

• On behalf of local people, could you investigate if it is necessary to have all THREE lanes and the hard shoulder sealed off as part of Stack? I believe that everyone understands the need for safety. That said, perhaps using 2 lanes for the lorries, with one lane for Police/Safety Access and the remaining lane for cars would be viable and safe?

• In the circumstances that the Motorway is closed at Jn 8, all traffic is diverted to the A20. The traffic then has to negotiate Lenham and Charing with all the associated junctions. Having suffered the enormous delays on this stretch of the A20 it seems plain that the road simply cannot cope. However, if it were possible for Police Officers to control some of the key junctions/roundabouts I believe it may be possible to improve the situation.

The problems induced by Operation Stack have lead many local people to start referring to it as Operation Stuck. Can I ask that you give every possible consideration to reducing its impact in whatever way possible.

Best wishes

Peter Carroll

Parliamentary Spokesman for Shepway Lib Dems

Hawkinge Parish Council Agenda 9 March 2005

Contributed by admin on Mar 04, 2005 - 03:21 PM


The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held o­n Wed. 9th March 2005 at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall.


The Chairman will take questions from parishioners.   The number of speakers will be limited to five (time limit 3 minutes). 

Mr Ian Norman (Community Warden) to give a report.



1            Apologies


2          Minutes

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held o­n 9th February 2005

(already circulated).


3            Declarations of Interest

Councillors should disclose personal or prejudicial interest/s in any item/s o­n this agenda.  Councillors with a personal interest must describe and give details of the interest.  Unless the personal interest amounts to a prejudicial interest, he/she may participate fully in the meeting.   A prejudicial interest is o­ne in which a member of the public, with knowledge of the relevant facts, would reasonably regard as so significant that it is likely to prejudice a Councillor’s judgement of the public interest.   Anyone with a prejudicial interest must, unless an exception applies or a dispensation has been issued, withdraw from the meeting room.

Whenever possible, and if in doubt, advice should be sought from the Clerk prior to the meeting.


4          Matters arising out of the Minutes

       (a) Land to the rear of the shops: Mr Stack, SDC, has passed letters from the PC and

Manager of the Community Centre to the Property Manager (22nd Feb.)


5          Reports – Working Groups

Community Liaison

Planning and Development

Public Rights of Way 

Finance Group


6          Other Bodies

Neighbourhood Management Partnership (latest information about the Pathfinder Project provided by NMP is enclosed)

Community Centre

Village Hall

The Churchill School – Board of Governors

Hawkinge Primary School – Board of Governors

KAPC, Shepway Area Committee


7          Spitfire Leisuredrome

            Hawkinge Youth & Community Sports Council - Lease

Chairman to report


8         Hawkinge Football Ground

      (a) Management of the ground – Cllr. Hodgson


      (b) The Football Project – Cllr. Trice


9         Finance

        (a) Clerk to report.

        (b) Payments:

             To approve payment of the accounts presented at the meeting (list enc.)

         Any queries regarding accounts must be raised with the Clerk before the meeting.


10        Correspondence

       (a) The Standards Board for England – review of the Code of Conduct (enc.)

       (b) Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (enc.)

Discussion documents – 1 copy of each received

Vibrant Local Leadership

Citizen Engagement and Public Services: Why Neighbourhoods Matter


11        Plans

            Planning applications received since the last meeting (list enclosed)

The following plan will be considered at the meeting:

Y05/0205/SH Land off Mill Lane: non-compliance with condition No. 7 of planning permission 95/0332/SH to allow Mill Lane to remain open to vehicular access.

            Please contact Cllr. Trice if you would like to view the plans before the meeting.  


12        Hawkinge War Memorial – Cllr. Hogben


13        Annual Parish Meeting - 25th May 2005

To decide the format of the meeting.



           To resolve 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.


15        Finance

            Flower Tubs: estimates received for planting and maintenance

            Football Ground: estimates for car park foundation

            Sign for football ground: estimates                            

Village Hall car park: estimates for work to be done.


16        Lease HY&CSC


Any other matters referred to the confidential section during the meeting

Send instant messages to your o­nline friends

Rail freight disaster for Channel Tunnel

Contributed by editor on Mar 04, 2005 - 01:01 PM


Whilst the Port of Dover recorded record freight traffic in 2004, the Channel Tunnel operators Eurotunnel have been criticised in a report published today over their low level of freight handling.

The House of Lords Select Committee o­n the European Union have today warned (4 March) that the Channel Tunnel is running 'disastrously below' freight capacity.

They say that competition is being stifled by domination of freight by English, Welsh and Scottish Railway (EWS) and the French national railway SNCF.

Forecasts that it would carry 10m tonnes of rail freight per year have fallen short of expectations and o­nly 2m passed through the tunnel in 2004.

But EWS, which took over rail freight distribution from British Rail in 1997, claimed business had been badly disrupted by asylum seekers trying to reach Britain illegally and trains had to be cancelled.

Cash for local farmers' beetle banks

Contributed by editor on Mar 03, 2005 - 02:52 PM


£30 a hectare is being offered to farmers for maintaining hedgerows, leaving conservation strips around fields and creating beetle banks.

Birds, animals and wild flowers will flourish on the farms of the future, in a landmark scheme to reward environmentally conscious farming.

Under the Environmental Stewardship scheme, every farmer in England can earn payments for protecting the environment and enhancing their land.

The scheme will help stop the decline in bird populations, cut pollution and increase wildlife on agricultural land.

And farmers can gain even more funding by adopting organic methods and tackling local environmental issues.

Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett said: "This is a real red-letter day for English farming. Every farmer can now be rewarded for protecting and enhancing the environment.

"The more farmers that become involved, the greater the benefit to the environment."

Looking up for miniature railway

Contributed by editor on Mar 03, 2005 - 10:33 AM


Operators of the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway (RHDR) have expressed an interest in buying the historic lighthouse at Dungeness.

The Grade II listed building which was built about 100 years ago warned of danger to shipping until 1960 and has been used of late as a private museum.

The RHDR are keen to see the lighthouse bought by local tourist operators to ensure it remains open to the public.

The rail line has been running between Hythe and Dungeness since 1928 and more than half of its customers visit the lighthouse.

When the lighthouse was put on the market last month it did not have an asking price but it is rumoured the price is in the region of £100,000.

Emergency school closures

Contributed by editor on Mar 03, 2005 - 10:00 AM


Parents wishing to get up-to-date information on school closures during the current cold snap should listen to the 2 main Kent radio stations:

BBC Radio Kent (97.6 FM)
Invicta FM (103.1 - 102.8 FM)

or log onto The BBC Kent website by following this link. (This link will open in a new window)

The decision to close a school in adverse weather conditions is made locally by the Headteacher. They rely on their knowledge of local conditions and are not required to take advice from the Local Education Authority in the interest of a timely decision, although some will ask for clarification if they are uncertain about the situation.

Get onboard for samba parade

Contributed by editor on Mar 02, 2005 - 05:24 PM


A series of special events is being launched as Sea Britain 2005 gets ready to set sail - and people everywhere are being invited to come on board and join in the fun.

Fun events and exhibitions are being held throughout the year, coordinated by a range of partners in the community, and include a samba style parade through the streets of Sandwich and a special Deal Maritime Festival.

Events are launched on Friday and Saturday (4 & 5 March) with the Dover Maritime Festival at the Dover Cruise Terminal. The festival features the chance to take a guided tour around a ship.

Sea Britain 2005 is a national initiative to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and the death in action of Admiral Lord Nelson, and to celebrate Britain's relationship with the sea.

Dover District Council has produced a celebration highlights newsletter which has been distributed to schools, libraries and Council offices, and an events leaflet which is available at Visitor Information Centres, hotels, guest houses and attractions across the district.

For further information, please call Dover Visitor Information Centre on (01304) 205108 or log onto or log onto the Sea Britain website at

Farmers' Market fact finding

Contributed by editor on Mar 02, 2005 - 05:15 PM


Jenny Barraclough from Capel-le-Ferne who won the farmers’ market of the year award last year for the Capel farmers' market, will be speaking at a fact finding conference for farmers' markets at County Hall Maidstone.

Shoppers and stallholders can give their views of Kent’s 20-plus farmers’ markets at their annual conference next Monday 7 March.

Workshops will be held from 2pm to give stallholders, organisers and consumers the opportunity to talk about the way forward.

Kent County Council’s Produced in Kent initiative is issuing an open invitation to everyone who attends farmers’ markets to come and join in the discussions at County Hall, Maidstone, from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Topics will cover many aspects including public perception of the markets, the involvement of farmers, growers and producers, support for organisers, health and safety criteria, legal matters, and the expansion and promotion of markets.

KCC Cabinet Member for Regeneration Alex King said: “Farmers’ markets are important for Kent’s rural economy and way of life. The county council wants as many people as possible to attend to build a detailed picture so that we can help them in future.�

Anyone who would like to attend the conference should contact Produced in Kent Manager Rob Weaver on 01622 221928.

Brave ladies Air Ambulance reward

Contributed by editor on Mar 02, 2005 - 04:46 PM

Hawkinge Paddlesworth and Acrise WI meeting


What dreadful weather we all endured at the end of February/early March; and it was a very chilly village hall that greeted me for our monthly meeting held on 1st March. Would our members brave the adverse conditions? Should we cancel? Of course not and many ladies did turn out, although some of them did not divest themselves of their outer garments due to the slow rise in temperature during the afternoon, their efforts to get to the meeting were well rewarded.

Our speaker, a delightful young lady named Karen, gave a very thought provoking presentation on the work of the Kent Air Ambulance Service. Using slides, statistics and personal anecdotes she brought the work of this service fascinatingly alive for us.

I had no idea how lucky we are living in Kent and having this facility literally only fifteen minutes flying time away. Neither did I realise that it only needs every individual living in Kent to give just one pound a year for sufficient funding to be achieved. Certainly some thing for us all to consider!

It was with pleasure that we welcomed a new “potential� member able to play the piano who accompanied the singing of both Jerusalem and the National Anthem; many thanks go to Elizabeth Faulkner.

There were several birthdays to be celebrated and those ladies joined me later at the birthday table for tea, a very pleasant time to chat and catch up on everyone’s busy lives.

The month’s competition was for a hand made get well card and the standard extremely high. I am proud to say that we have some very talented ladies in our WI. The winner Hettie Quinn had made a card from sugar which was unusual and quite delightful to look at. Hettie has kindly agreed to demonstrate her craft at the next meeting. This will take place on Tuesday 5th April when the WI has been challenged to “Bring a Friend�.

Fortunately we had already decided to have this as a “Members Meeting� and consequently there will be several other demonstrations of members’ skills for us to observe. There will also be opportunities for everyone to “have a go� should they so wish.

We would like to invite YOU to attend, so please if you have that afternoon free please come along to the village hall and join in, consider this a personal invite.

The monthly competition is for an Easter bonnet; why not bring an entry for that along?

We meet at 2pm and start the meeting with the singing of Jerusalem (don’t worry we have the words already for you!); and as this is a special meeting during the afternoon tea and cakes will be provided. I think it sounds fun, I hope you do too.

If you would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact the Secretary, Wendy Bell on 01303 893858.

Linda Barnes

Collision with HGV leaves one man dead

Contributed by editor on Mar 02, 2005 - 08:20 AM


A man has died after his car collided with a lorry in Churchill Avenue Folkestone in the early hours of the morning (2 March).

It is reported that the fire crews used hydraulic equipment to cut the victim free, but he died at the scene.

The crash left a diesel spillage from the lorry which took firefighters three hours to clear up.

The driver of the German-registered HGV was uninjured and is in custody while police conduct inquiries into the incident.

Police have have appealed for witnesses.