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Arts Minister to visit Churchill School

Contributed by editor on Feb 20, 2004 - 02:35 PM


ARTS MINISTER TO VISIT CHURCHILL SCHOOL

The Director of Education in Kent, Graham Badman is due to visit the Churchill School with former Minister of state for education Estelle Morris o­n Tuesday 9th March.

They will be looking at the teaching of French using interactive whiteboards and video conferencing.

Estelle Morris was elected for parliament in Birmingham Yardley constituency in 1992.

From 1995 to 1997 she was opposition spokesperson for education and employment and worked closely with David Blunkett.

In 1998 she became Minister of State for Education, with the schools brief. As an ex-teacher she was well placed to keep the teaching unions o­n side while schools are still frustrated by cuts in real funding for the first years of the new Labour government.

Ms Morris quit in October 2002 after mounting pressure over her handling of the the publication of a report into A-level grade-fixing allegations, a row over expelled pupils and primary school targets.

Less than a year after quitting the Cabinet when she said she was not up to the job, she was back in the Government as a junior Minister,

In June 2003 Ms Morris, was appointed Minister for the Arts when the Prime Minister reshuffled the lower ranks of his Government.


Bomb squad called to local school

Contributed by webmaster on Feb 20, 2004 - 12:40 PM


BOMB SQUAD CALLED TO LOCAL SCHOOL

Bomb disposal officers rushed to the Churchill school in Haven Drive Hawkinge o­n Friday afternoon (20th February)after builders unearthed a large metal object.


A Ministry of Defence team investigated but it was found to be part of an old motor.

The area was subjected to thorough searches during the building of the first phase of the school.

It was certified to be safe of munitions and toxic waste including asbestos. 


Council hope to cut tax rise to 8%

Contributed by webmaster on Feb 20, 2004 - 11:30 AM


<FONT face=Arial color=black size=4>COUNCIL HOPE TO CUT TAX RISE TO 8%

Following their meeting with Nick Raynsford the local government minister, Dover council leaders hope to fix the council tax rise to 8%.

The District Council was threatened with capping, after the authority initially forecast a 17% rise but has now revised the figure downwards after receiving more details from the Government.

A spokesman said Mr Raynsford promised to help by covering the costs of new licensing responsibilities.


"Rude" first bikini on show in Dover

Contributed by webmaster on Feb 20, 2004 - 05:59 AM


"RUDE" FIRST BIKINI ON SHOW IN DOVER

A major new exhibition at Dover Museum looks set to make waves with the launch of an important new Channel Swimming display - including for the first time in its history, a public display of all the Channel Swimming Association’s cups and trophies.

The Channel Swimming Association’s (CSA) collection, which is usually kept locked away except for presentation at the annual dinner, is taking centre stage at the special exhibition at Dover Museum. The collection features a wide range of cups and shields and includes the Rolex Oyster watch awarded to the fastest swimmer of the year.

The exhibition was launched earlier this month with a special visit from Mike Read, Chairman of the CSA and Norman Trusty, Vice Chairman. Mike Read himself has swum the Channel 32 times and was ‘King of the Channel’ (the man with the most swims) until 2000. The trophy is also included in the exhibition.

Dover Museum’s extensive collection o­n Channel Swimming is also included in the new exhibition, including photographs, souvenirs, ephemera and some original costumes. Sunny Lowry’s costume, which she wore for her successful crossing in 1933, is given pride of place - it is the first known bikini, made by Sunny herself because traditional Edwardian woolen costumes chaffed. During training she was banned from the beaches of Birchington and Margate for wearing a ‘rude’ costume. After much negotiation she was allowed to wear it in public 'providing the top is pulled down to meet the bottom'. Sunny, now in her 90’s, has been President of the CSA since 2001.

Mark Frost, Senior Assistant Curator at Dover Museum said: 'We are extremely grateful to the CSA for allowing us to display their cups and trophies. Together with the Museum’s own extensive collection o­n Channel Swimming, this makes a great display which gives a fascinating insight into this important part of our history and heritage.'

Mike Read, Chairman of the CSA said: 'We are absolutely delighted to have this opportunity to have our trophies o­n display in Dover Museum. It gives the visitors a wonderful opportunity to see and appreciate the fantastic efforts of our Channel Swimmers.'

For more information, please contact Mark Frost at Dover Museum o­n (01304) 201066 or the Channel Swimming Association o­n (01303) 814788. 


Budget strikes right balance claim KCC as Council tax rises 5.2%

Contributed by webmaster on Feb 20, 2004 - 05:47 AM


<FONT face=Arial color=black size=4>BUDGET STRIKES RIGHT BALANCE CLAIM KCC AS COUNCIL TAX RISES 5.2%

A budget for Kent that improves vital services like schools, continues a big shift of resources from the centre to the front-line and enables the rate of Council Tax to be kept as low as possible and o­n track for further reduction in following years.

That was how Kent County Council Leader Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart outlined the thrust of the authority's budget that set a council tax almost two per cent below the national average, at 5.2 per cent.

Sir Sandy said: "We are determined to make the best use of the public's money and to keep reducing Council Tax. Keeping Kent's increase down involves job losses, mainly in administration. We announced 300 last year and have had to find at least 75 more this year.

"I have asked our Chief Executive to deliver £10 million of further savings each year to ensure we are operating at peak efficiency and making maximum use of new technology. Our new efficiency review starts right at the top with the Chief Officer Group and the post of Director of Organisation and Development, which will not be continued when the contract expires later this year.

"The current director, Mary Mallett, has delivered considerable advances in Information Technology and has paved the way for major savings in back room jobs. The portfolio of the post, including IT, property and personnel, will now come directly under the Chief Executive."

The efficiency drive will enable the county council to continue to pump considerable extra resources into key front-line services. These sums include increased government grant but also contain significant increases funded by Kent.

They include:-

· * More than £408 million into improving school buildings over the next three years and an added £121 million into teaching and support.

· * An additional £23 million into Social Services to take account of the increasing elderly population and rising demand for services relating to children and families.

· * An extra £5 million o­n repairing Kent's roads, bringing the total spend o­n this up to £17 million a year and enabling 560 kilometres to be resurfaced.

· "All this against a background where the government is placing increasing demands o­n councils and not fully funding them. Kent, in particular, is also experiencing a time of unprecedented change and challenge with two of the government's growth areas located in the county at Thames Gateway and Ashford," said Sir Sandy.

· "Gearing Kent up to meet that challenge means that education must be a top priority. Our existing schools must have better classrooms and facilities and teachers must be provided with the right backup to enable our children and students to enter the workplace fully skilled and prepared for the modern world. Our aim must be excellent education to deliver Kent's economic success and to keep existing and prospective employers fully supplied with the workforces they need."

· Kent's Council Tax increase will add 72p a week to the bill of a home in the average Band C classification.


Car dismantled to free woman's finger

Contributed by admin on Feb 18, 2004 - 11:36 AM


CAR DISMANTLED TO FREE WOMAN'S FINGER

Fire crews had to dismantle a car to free a woman who got her finger trapped while filling up with petrol near Ashford.

Kent firefighters attended the petrol station in Willesborough, when the woman got a finger of her left hand trapped in the car's fuel pipe.

A fire service spokeswoman said it took over an hour to free the woman after the back of the car was taken off.


Judge orders solicitor probe

Contributed by admin on Feb 18, 2004 - 11:33 AM


JUDGE ORDERS SOLICITOR PROBE
 
A High Court judge has ordered a probe into a Kent solicitor's handling of a multi-million-pound damages action.

Mrs Justice Hallett said she was concerned by the conduct of solicitor Jane Loveday from Deal, representing fifty nine women who claimed they were assaulted in Kent hospitals by gynaecologist Rodney Ledward who died in 2000.

The Judge heard claims that o­ne statement was redrafted and another woman's name remained o­n the claimants' list, in both cases against the clients' wishes.