Jail for explosives claim German....24 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:28 AM

A German lorry driver, who was arrested at the Channel Tunnel at 4.30pm on Friday, 20 September, as he was leaving the UK, has been jailed for 28 days.

Alexander Meusel, aged 31, from Annaberg in Germany, was charged with wasting police time. He pleaded guilty at Folkestone Magistrates' Court on Monday (23 September 2002)

He was arrested on Friday as he was going through the Euroscan, leaving the UK, after claiming he had explosives. He was initially arrested under the Terrorism Act. An exhaustive search by Kent Police and Eurotunnel staff revealed nothing.

Investgating Officer DS Ron Cottam said: "The safety of people travelling through the Channel Tunnel and the security of the trains themselves are treated extremely seriously. It is obvious from this result that the courts are also prepared to treat the Tunnel's security with the seriousness which it warrants. This was a blatant waste of police time."


Air show prepares for take off....24 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:28 AM

One thousand letters have been sent out inviting traders, exhibitors and caterers to take part next year’s Shepway Air Show , which is being held on 30 and 31 August 2003.

Cllr Robert Bliss, Shepway Council’s Secretary for Economic Development, said it was just one of the initiatives the council was pursuing to help make the popular air show and festival financially self supporting.

“It is very early days yet, but we are confident that the air show’s reputation will help secure the backing of trade, concession and activity stands,� he said.

Last year’s air show attracted nearly 150,000 people, making it one of the biggest and best in the south east.

The Council are keen to attract local businesses to take trade stands or stalls.

Shepway District Council’s newly-appointed Events Manager, Nigel Collins said, “I would also like to hear ideas and thoughts from local people on how next year’s show can be improved and made better for residents and visitors.�

You can email him at


Canadians check out local crime fighting....23 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:27 AM

South East Kent police have been playing host to six officers from the Peel Regional Police Force based in Ontario, Canada.

The Peel force has decided to adopt intelligence-led policing and the officers have been to the UK on a fact-finding mission.

They chose Kent because it is the force that has successfully pioneered the model in this country.

Canadian Supts Ed Toye and Blair Foley were interested in looking at the model from a command perspective and spent the day with various senior officers including Supt Steve Harris, Ch Insp David Cartwright and DCI Chris Hogben.

They also had a presentation by Sgt John Merrit of the Strategic Crime Reduction Unit and DI Steve Corbishley, head of the Area Crime Unit.

Canadian DS Dave Woodland and his colleague Sgt Malcolm Bow spent the day alongside Folkestone patrol officers to see how they are briefed and how they respond to calls as and when they arrive.

Luba Kostevski and John Yocom, who work as Civilian Crime Analysts for the Peel Force, learned how South East Kent's Area Crime Management Unit process investigations and how the area produces its briefing package.

Having spent time with Kent officers, Ms Kostevski said she and her colleagues had benefited from seeing how things work: "We are extremely impressed by everything we have seen here in Kent. Your intelligence-led model works well and the way information is used is excellent. I was particularly impressed with the briefing process and how this informs day to day priorities."

Mr Yokom said: "There is an emphasis on efficiency in Kent that each officer works to a specific brief and knows the part they have to play in the bigger picture; everyone seems to know what they have to do and is well organised. We will be taking back a useful insight into the Kent model of intelligence-led policing that will also work well in our country."


Cllr.Smith objects to me giving him publicity....22 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:25 AM


Well, Cllr.Smith objects to me giving him publicity for his stance at Shepway on the Development Control Committee.

That's got to be a first for someone who has done nothing but court publicity since he was elected 18 months ago.

Perhaps the difference here is that he did not want the people to know he had rejected a great opportunity for increased road safety for the people of Hawkinge on what will become an increasingly busy road.

He maintains that he had to reject my motion for a bridge or tunnel to form part of a Section 106 agreement because it was contrary to umpteen Shepwayand County Structure Plans.

This is rubbish, and demonstrates a lack of understanding of the planning process. Section 106 agreements are "add ons" to the granting of any planning permission.

Below is an extract from the planning papers sent to ALL members of the Development Control Committee that night.

"With regard to highway implications, K.C.C. Highways are satisfied with the proposal, subject to the provision of a pedestrian crossing on Spitfire Way.

If planning permission is granted, it is considered that it should also be subject to a SECTION 106 PLANNING AGREEMENT requiring the developer to provide such a crossing.

The developer has indicated he is WILLING to do this".

The Development Control Committee is a public meeting and nothing that was reported was inappropriate.

Indeed for part of the meeting two members of Hawkinge Parish Council were present.

At last week's Parish Council meeting, Cllrs. Robinson and Johns questioned Cllr. Smith closely on his failure to support my motion.

At first he would not answer their questions, when he did he said, "That the District Councillor was not here tonight, only the Parish Councillor".

Five minutes earlier he had been giving the District Councillor`s report.

Personally I believe the electorate have a right to know about all the actions or inactions of their elected.

We must all be accountable.

I leave you readers to draw your own conclusions as to why Cllr.Smith was not amused I reported that debate.

Colin Tearle


Eco friendly council....20 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 10:24 AM

Staff at Kent County Council can go eco-friendly when they drive to business meetings from County Hall headquarters.

The council has acquired a combined petrol-electric powered car to help protect the environment by reducing carbon dioxide and fuel consumption. Staff can book the ‘pool’ car in advance for meetings under a three-year lease arrangement.

The Toyota Prius has a state-of-the-art engine which automatically switches from unleaded petrol to the electric motor at different speeds. It also has regenerative braking which means the battery is recharged by electrical energy when the car brakes.

KCC’s Cabinet member for Strategic Planning, Grahame Weston, who is pictured at the wheel, said: “We want to encourage more staff to use public transport to get to work and drive the eco-friendly car from County Hall to meetings.

This is an exciting, innovative scheme and a good step in the right direction.�

The ecocar was one of several initiatives running this week to promote the County Hall Travel Plan to KCC staff and Kent companies during European Mobility Week.


Parish council want to hear from you....18 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 09:56 AM

With the new Community Centre hopefully operational next year, a survey of Sport and Activities for Hawkinge has been dropping through over 2000 villager's letterboxes.

Parish councillor and member of the Sports Committee Cyril Trice, who organised the questionaire is hoping for a good response.

Cllr Isabella Chantry said: "We have already received some completed forms and the response so far is very good.

"Cllr Trice has worked hard on this, he is pushing things forward."

The questionaire asks which sport and activities villagers participate, and which ones they would like to try.

If you have not received your copy please contact us and we will arrange for one to be sent to you . Please write "survey" in the subject line and include your name and address.


Shepway District Council news

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 09:55 AM

Headland will change beach in flood battle plan...17 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 09:54 AM

Shepway Council is ready to start work on one of the biggest coast protection schemes carried out along the district’s shoreline just as soon as the Government gives it the go ahead.

The scheme, which forms part of the Folkestone to Rye Coastal Defence Strategy Study, will use about 200,000 tonnes of rock to build a large headland and two other structures on the shore below the Folkestone Coastal Park.

A further rock groyne is proposed at Marine Parade, Hythe. This work - together with 800,000 tonnes of shingle to ‘top-up’ the existing beaches - will provide protection against flooding and erosion for the next 50 years.

The shingle and rock will be brought in by sea. The shingle will be transferred to the beach in pipelines and the rock will be transferred on barges.

Once a response has been received from DEFRA work will start on the detailed design. It is expected that the public will be consulted about details of the scheme early in the New Year.

Shepway’s Environment Secretary, Cllr George Bunting, said: �Although there are no victories guaranteed in the battle against the elements, this scheme will certainly help protect our coastline from the most severe storms.

“I am sure this project will generate a lot of interest from local people – especially when rocks and shingle arrive and are delivered ashore. It should make very interesting viewing.�


Library is just the ticket...17 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 09:53 AM

Visitors to Folkestone library and museum will step into a stunning new look interior on Monday 30 September when the library reopens to the public after a major refurbishment.

The transformation includes an entirely new foyer area where visitors will find a new craft gallery and café, which is run by Canterbury Oast Trust. Specially commissioned furniture has been made for the entrance and café area by cult craft designers Shin and Tomoko Azumi. The stunning centrepiece to the entrance is a colourful glass screen designed specifically for the library by 1998 Turner Prize winner Chris Ofili.

Services offered by the library have also been improved – twenty new public access computers have been added, each providing free Internet access. Youngsters won’t miss out either – the children’s library has had a makeover and now sports a space theme designed by local arts group Strange Cargo. The main body of the library has been totally remodelled so that finding your way around is easier and the book stock has also been updated and improved.

Cabinet Member for Community Services, Sarah Hohler said: “The redesign of the library has incorporated contemporary design into this beautiful grade II listed building. I hope even more people will be encouraged to use the library and I’m sure that regular visitors to Folkestone Library will all agree that the improvements are well worth it.�

The library closed at the end of February this year for this, it’s first major refurbishment project for 15 years. A total of £340,000 has been spent, bringing the library into the twenty-first century. Restoration work will continue on the building’s exterior, to regenerate the brickwork and roof, in keeping with the library’s listed building status.

To celebrate the first week of reopening staff at the library have organised a day of fun events. On Saturday 5 October there will be a wood-block printing workshop, an archaeology finds day, an opportunity to explore the BBC Archaeology website, and a guest appearance for youngsters from Preston Pig with story telling. Drop in to the library between 10am and 3pm and join in the fun.

You can contact Folkestone Library on 01303 850123.


AT LONG LAST!...16 September 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 11, 2002 - 09:51 AM

Great to see, after many many months of waiting, the White Horse, or at least it's temporay version, gracing the escarpment above the Channel Tunnel Terminal.

Well done to all involved.