Helping to make Spitfire Way safer....16 December 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 16, 2002 - 02:25 PM

Every morning and afternoon District and Parish Councillor Peter Smith is helping people cross the busy Spitfire Way.

Traffic is currently diverted because of road improvements to Canterbury Road, and during the busy school runs,

Peter can be seen giving assistance to villagers crossing the road.

PC Steve Ivory the new Kent Rural Partnership police officer for Hawkinge praised Peter for his community efforts when he met up with him today during the afternoon rush hour.


Second ship pulled free after collision with Tricolor..16 Decmber 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 16, 2002 - 07:06 AM

A second cargo ship which collided with a sunken Norwegian vessel has been pulled free.

The 3,000-tonne ship became stuck on top of the Tricolor after the collision and has now been pulled clear by three tugs.

The Tricolor went down off Dunkirk on Saturday with almost 3,000 luxury cars on board.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency and French coastguards in Cherbourg said the cargo ship is now at anchor and waiting instructions from its German owners.

The ship was not carrying any cargo at the time and there were not believed to be any injuries.

The Tricolor is a Norwegian-registered vessel with BMWs, Volvos and Saabs bound for British and US showrooms.

Salvage firm Smit Tak has been commissioned to do the initial salvage work.

A team of eight and a salvage boat are at the site, 30 miles east of the Ramsgate coast but high winds and strong currents have prevented divers from going down to the wreck to assess the damage.


School raises £250 for Demelza House....13 December 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 13, 2002 - 04:41 PM

The Churchill School raised £250 for Demelza House with a collection following the performance school's Christmas play, “It’s a Baby�

The hospice near Sittingbourne does tremendous work giving respite to parents and siblings of terminally ill children.

The hospice is completely dependent on charity and needs to raise £1.6m a year to keep going.

Head teacher Jennie Carter said: "Thank you all very much. I hope none of our families ever need to use it, Please think about taking clothes or toys your children have outgrown to the Demelza House charity shop in the High Street in Hythe."


If you would like to help Demelza House they are at Demelza House Children's Hospice, Rook Lane, Bobbing, Sittingbourne Kent ME9 8DZ

General enquiries: 01795 845 200

Donate online here


Contributed by localrags on Dec 13, 2002 - 09:19 AM

Under the Emergency Powers Act (1939) as amended by the Defence Act 1978), you are hereby notified that you are required to place yourself on standby for possible compulsory military service in the American Conflict. You may shortly be ordered to depart for the Middle East where you will join either the 3rd Battalion The Queen's Own Suicidal Conscripts or the 2nd Foot and Mouth.

Due to the recent rundown of the Navy and the refusal of P&O to lend us any of their liners, because of the deplorable state in which they were returned after the Falklands adventure, it will be necessary for you to make your own way to the combat zone.

H.M. Government have been able to negotiate a 20% discount on one way trips with Virgin Airlines and you are strongly urged to take advantage of this offer (RyanAir also do a nice little £9.99 trip).

Because of cutbacks in Government expenditure in recent years it will be necessary for you to provide yourself with the following equipment as soon as possible:

Combat Jacket
Trousers(preferably khaki - but please no denim)
Tin helmet
Boots (or a pair of sturdy trainers)
Gas mask
Map of the combat zone (the Ordinance Survey 1:2800 Outdoor Leisure Map of Afghanistan will do)
Ammunition (preferably to suit previous item)
Suntan oil
If you are in a position to afford it, we would like you to buy a tank. (Vickers Defence of Banbury are currently offering all new conscripts a 0% finance deal on all X registration Chieftains, but hurry, as offer is only available whilst stocks last).

We would like to reassure you that in the unlikely event of anything going wrong, you will receive a free burial in the graveyard of your choice, and your next of kin will be entitled to the new War Widows pension of £1.75 per calendar month, index-linked but subject to means testing, and fully repayable should our side eventually lose.

There may be little time for formal military training before your departure and so we advise that you hire videos of the following films and try and pick up a few tips as you watch:

The Guns of Navarone
Kelly's Heroes
A Bridge to Far
The Longest Day
Apocalypse Now
The Matrix
Blazing Saddles
The Desert Song
Mary Poppins
We do not recommend that you watch Khartoum.

To mentally prepare yourself for your mission try reading the works of Wilfred Owen or Rupert Brookes. This should give you some idea of what may be involved.

Yours faithfully,

G Hoon, Ministry of Defence.

A Bush - Blair Production

Sponsored by Mars, The Official snack of World War III

131202......thanks to Nigel Best for this item which was missed onour News pages

Government relents over £12m lorry driver fines...12 December 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 12, 2002 - 06:44 PM

The Home Office has told the Freight Transport Association that it will not now seek to collect the £12 million of fines imposed on lorry drivers and operators who have inadvertently carried stowaway asylum seekers into the UK.

The Home Office has told the FTA: 'The Court of Appeal, in the case of International Transport Roth GmbH and Others v Secretary of State for the Home Department ('Roth'), found that although the penalty regime was not unlawful it was, in certain respects, incompatible with

the European Convention of Human Rights. Following consideration of the Court of Appeal's findings we have decided that it would not be appropriate to take action to enforce payment of any penalty imposed prior to 8 December that remains unpaid.

'We are writing to all persons with unpaid penalties imposed prior to 8 December to inform them of this decision. In cases where a vehicle was detained but subsequently released upon payment of a security, and the money received is still held as a security, we will be advising those concerned that the money will be returned.'

FTA Chief Executive Richard Turner said, 'This is a common sense and inevitable decision by the Home Office. Clearly it would have been totally wrong to have imposed fines on some operators against the background of an out of court settlement which resulted in fines not being enforced on others.

'However, FTA remains very unhappy that the £2 million worth of fines already collected will not be returned. The Home Office has told us that those who have paid have 'accepted liability.'

'Failure to return these fines is cynical and inconsistent with the common sense and goodwill shown in waiving enforcement of those that are outstanding. FTA will be seeking to review this decision.'

£14 million of fines, representing 7000 stowaways at £2000 each, were imposed between April 2000 and December 2001 when the High Court ruled the fines illegal. From December 2001 until the imposition of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 penalty notices were issued but without obligation to pay. Since 8 December 2002 fines can be of £2000 on the driver and £2000 on the operator for each stowaway. However, the amount of fine is variable and the Home Office says that no fines will be issued where the driver and operator can demonstrate that they have taken due care to protect their vehicles from stowaways.


Court of Appeal clears the way for Customs....10 December 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 10, 2002 - 04:54 PM

Customs and Excise have won a legal victory against cross-channel alcohol and tobacco smugglers.

The Court of Appeal today cleared the way for court orders to be sought for the destruction of goods held in limbo following an earlier High Court judgment.

A court ruling in July effectively outlawed random checks on vehicles returning from the Continent and held that, because Customs officers kept no record of their reasons for stopping and searching a vehicle, there was no proof that they had reasonable grounds for doing so.

Because the stopping was unlawful, the seizure of the goods and the vehicle was also held unlawful.

That ruling was reversed by the Court of Appeal, which held that an unlawful stop

did not invalidate the seizure, although it was still for Customs to show, if challenged, that the goods were being brought in for commercial purposes rather than for personal use.

The regulations have been changed since the July ruling, with booze cruisers now allowed to bring home larger quantities of tobacco in addition to their alcohol quota, and the onus on the Customs to prove illegality rather than shoppers having to prove their innocence.

Customs officers now keep a record of their reasons for a vehicle check.

Ordinary "booze cruisers" will be allowed to carry on shopping for Christmas.


It's the Parish Council Carol Concert, but where were the councillors?....8 December 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 08, 2002 - 12:25 PM

John Heasman and Joan Brisley can feel very pleased with themselves after 200 villagers braved the cold and packed into the village hall for the last time at the annual Parish Council Carol Concert.

Unfortunately it was apparent that the support did not extend to fellow councillors who did not attend this historic occasion.

Although Cllr Joan Brisley, who has been ill recently struggled in to help Parish Council Chairman John Heasman, only Cllr Trevor Johns sent his apologies for not being able to attend.

But even without our parish councillors the enthusiasm from villagers more than made up for it.

The Hythe Town Band were in fine form and with choirs from both the Hawkinge and Churchill Schools' and free teas with mince pies at the end of the concert, the afternoon was a resounding success.

There was praise from the audience for the hard work put in by Joan Brisley and John Heasman.

Cllr Heasman thanked everyone for attending and was cheered when he told the crowd: "This is the last time the Concert will be held here. Next year it will be in the new Community Centre where we will be able to seat 900 people, and nobody will have to stand"


Whose road is it anyway....reply 7 December 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 07, 2002 - 04:46 PM

I dont see what diffrence it makes we have had to put up with the traffic down the street all the lorrys .but we dont have any one standing on the corner counting the traffic.

What about the old hawkinge school on canterbury rd dosnt that get a mention .

Its been here longer than all of them houses.any vehicle that is taxed mot and insured can drive up any road i dont care what you say.

Michael Thrale

Whose Road Is It Anyway?....7 December 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 07, 2002 - 01:07 PM

As the mother of a young child I am horrified at the amount of heavy traffic which has been thundering up Spitfire Way and round the residential streets of the Brittania Park estate as a result of the diversion operating at the bottom of White Horse Hill.

I believe that Shepway Council has still not officially adopted Spitfire Way and Haven Drive and any number of other local roads and that they remain the responsibility of the developers.

That is why there are no school warning signs, proper traffic calming measures or a school crossing patrol outside The Churchill School because Shepway does not have to provide these things if it does not own the road.

So I would like to know who gave the Highways Authority permission to divert main road traffic along Spitfire Way and through residential areas while White Horse Hill is closed. Did they even ASK for permission? And how much did it cost them I wonder, or did the developers agree to waive their fee in the hope of obtaining planning permission for a few extra houses at a later date?

There is a sign at the bottom of Spitfire Way which quite clearly says: "No through traffic." Perhaps that should be amended to read: "Unless you can make it worth our while!"

Mary Hill


Lucky 13 rescued from sealed container....7 December 2002

Contributed by localrags on Dec 07, 2002 - 10:10 AM

A group of asylum-seekers have today been rescued from a sealed container at the Dollands Moor freight yard near to the Channel Tunnel.

Tunnel workers alerted British Transport Police when they heard noises coming from the container full of carpet .

Firefighters were called in to help pull the 13 asylum seekers from the container amid fears they may be suffocating.

All overhead power lines were switched off to enable the rescue operation to continue.

Kent Fire Brigade were quick to react realising the danger following a similar incident in Dover two years ago when a group of Chinese immigrants died.