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Horse is a winner....20 March 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 05, 2002 - 06:26 PM

The transport and local government secretary Stephen Byers has given the white chalk horse the go ahead.

The giant horse will be carved into the hillside at the entrance to the Channel Tunnel.

Announcing his decision , Mr Byers said that emotional and symbolic value of the white horse outweighed the damage which would be done to nature.

Mr Byers gave the controversial project the go ahead despite opposition from environmentalists.

The chalk horse which will be 300ft long was proposed as a millennium project to help regenerate Shepway.

Actress Joanna supported the horse for Folkestone. The chalk horse is designed to leave a memory of England to travellers leaving for the continent through the Channel Tunnel and the Port of Dover.

Support came for the scheme through petitions organised by the local press and celebrities including Joanna Lumley and the late Spike Milligan.

Shadow chancellor Michael Howard, speaking on the Today programme on Radio 4 said that the White Horse had widespread support.

He told the BBC's Today programme that the project had "widespread support" in Folkestone.

The scheme is opposed by English Nature and Friends of the Earth who say it will be detrimental to wildlife.

Friends of the Earth have said the site was designated under the European Habitats Directive in 1994 and have written to the European Commission.


Contributed by localrags on Nov 05, 2002 - 06:25 PM

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Dispute settled behind closed doors....14 March 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 05, 2002 - 06:24 PM

Hawkinge parish council chairman John Heasman and district councillor Peter Smith have settled their differences it has been revealed.

According to the council’s latest recruit, Cllr Isabella Chantry, the two men reached an amicable settlement in the private session of this week’s parish council meeting. Cllr Chantry said: "There was a discussion of the issue and both basically agreed to see the other’s point on the basis that they both have the interests of Hawkinge at heart.

"That was their starting point and the dialogue progressed from there.

"At the end of the discussion there was a round of spontaneous applause from the members in recognition of the efforts made by both parties to resolve the matter."

The trouble began at February’s meeting of the parish council when Cllr Smith publicly humiliated Cllr Heasman by calling for his resignation over his alleged failure to deal with villagers’ concerns about asbestos. The parish council retaliated by calling an extraordinary meeting on Saturday March 2nd with a vote of confidence in the chairman top of the agenda.

Following the vote it was agreed that the parish council would write to the district councillor and invite him to publicly apologise to the chairman and so end the matter.

If no apology was forthcoming it was agreed that the matter would be passed to the Standards Board for England to deal with under its new code of conduct, which all members of the parish council recently signed up to.

In the public part of Wednesday night’s meeting Cllr Smith said that, whilst he regretted any distress caused to Cllr Heasman, he was not prepared to withdraw any part of his report.

However, following the private discussion between the two men it was decided that a public apology from the district councillor is no longer deemed necessary Cllr Chantry said.

She added: "At the end of the day we are all here because we care about the village."

Two dead in Road crash ....14 March 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 05, 2002 - 06:23 PM

Two 16 year old boys were killed and the 17 year old driver injured when their car crashed on Folkestone Road near Dover on Friday night.

The accident involving a red Vauxhall Corsa happened near Farthinglow Farm at 10.00pm.

The driver, who sustained a broken nose, was treated at the William Harvey Hospital

A post mortem is due to take place on Tuesday (19/3/02)

Two hats frustrates councillors ....7 March 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 05, 2002 - 06:22 PM

Parish councillors were frustrated in their attempts to gain an apology from Parish and District Cllr Peter Smith at the extraordinary meeting on Saturday 2nd March, convened to give Chairman John Heasman a vote of confidence.

The meeting followed a call for the Chairman to resign after District Councillor Peter Smith had said in his District Councillor's report: "I believe that the Chairman should make a Public apology to the community for not up holding his elected position on the Parish Council.

"If he is not willing to do this then he should resign forthwith. This is a serious breach from the General Principles of Public Life."

The vote of 4 for the Chairman with 3 members abstaining , including Cllr Smith and Mr Heasman was taken after much argument as to the validity of the motion.

Cllr Peter Smith claimed that the subject could not be discussed until the minutes of the meeting in which he called for the resignation, had been signed as a true record at the next regular meeting.

Earlier, Peter Smith said he had never heard of a vote of 'confidence' although he was aware that a vote of 'no confidence' could be called.

Later during the meeting Cllr Smith was asked to apologise.

There then appeared to be some confusion as to which 'hat' Cllr Smith was wearing.

He replied to members that he made his remarks as District Councillor and Peter Smith Parish Councillor was attending this meeting.

It was agreed to send a letter to District Cllr Smith to request an apology.

It was no surprise to Chairman John Heasman to get the backing of the council members.

He was confident when he spoke to the Hawkinge Gazette before the meeting.

He said he had worked tirelessly for the Village and although the power of the Parish Council is limited, he would continue to do so.

Compensation Demand by MEP....14 March 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 05, 2002 - 06:21 PM

Labour MEP for the South East, Mark Watts is demanding the French pay compensation to freight firms after illegal immigrants disrupted the passage of trains through the Channel Tunnel.

Rail freight started moving again this week after being suspended in France due to the problems with asylum seekers trying to board trains.

Mark Watts, is visiting the French depot next week and says he will be demanding full compensation from the French authorities.

Losses to the companies affected are estimated into run to millions of pounds.

"Give me a shovel and I’ll start digging myself"....14 March 2002

Contributed by localrags on Nov 05, 2002 - 06:19 PM

After months of delays the land designated for the new community centre has finally been signed over to Hawkinge parish council.

The race is now on to start work on the project before new building regulations come into effect on April 1st.

Cllr Trevor Johns, chairman of the project management group, explained: "We have two weeks in which to commence work on the site before the building regulations change and our building is non-compliant.

"So we have to have dug a b****y hole by then and have Shepway Council acknowledge that we have dug it or else we are back to square one.

"We have made it by the skin of our teeth, no thanks to Shepway."

And he joked: "Give me a shovel and I’ll start digging myself if needs be!" Parish council John Heasman thanked Cllr Johns for all his hard work on the project, particularly over the last few weeks.

And he revealed that, in order to get the documents signed parish councillors had visited the district council offices in Folkestone and refused to leave until the deal was done.

He told parishioners: "I assure you that the rushing around which has had to be done by this council in order to get this done for the parish of Hawkinge has been phenomenal."