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Crackdown on catapults

MAY 2011

Published by Kennington Community Forum

RESIDENTS have set up video cameras and CCTV to catch youths who are using catapults to smash windows. Homes have been damaged in Bybrook Road, Meadowbrook Road, Larch Way, Grasmere and Guernsey Way. Lampposts are also being targeted.

EVERYONE’S A WINNER! SPORTS clubs, schools and the community would all be winners in a plan to revitalise sport in Kennington. The cricket ground and Towers School playing fields could be developed into a multi-sports area with a large clubhouse having up to six changing rooms and social facilities. The school’s wide range of facilities would be made available to local clubs and voluntary organisations. Staff from Towers, representatives from the football, cricket and hockey clubs, tennis players and county councillors are undertaking a feasibility study. They outlined their vision for the future of sport in Kennington at a time when many clubs are struggling to raise funds. The cricket club needs a new pavilion and has only one pitch. It requires a new ground to cope with an increasing number of juniors and start a 3rd adult XI. Kennington football club, which plays on the field adjoining the cricket club, uses the cricket club changing rooms. To progress in the Kent County League the club needs to comply with League regulations which means a better quality pitch and dedicated changing rooms. The Hockey Club needs more pitches. Towers head Malcolm Ramsey said the school was committed to sport and in particular football, rugby, cricket, hockey and tennis. It has a floodlit pitch, six tennis courts and new facilities are being built. The school could put together bids to organisations including the National Lottery and Sport England. Kennington Cricket Club president Peter Grant, said: “For 40 years I've had the ambition to revitalise the sense of com-


Spring is celebrate here! Time to CHILDREN from the Bockhanger Monkeys preschool planted spring flowers to celebrate the completion of Ashford council’s project to regenerate the neighbourhood. They joined Cllr Neil Bell, Portfolio Holder for Housing, to brighten up a flowerbed outside refurbished flats in Bybrook Road close to the Bockhanger Community Centre which is home to their pre-school. The council has spent more than £1.5m refurbishing ten blocks of flats and open spaces in Bybrook. The work included external

improvements to the buildings, renovations, thermal cladding, refurbishing balconies, new entrances, new waste removal systems, new landscaping, refurbished car parks and increased biodiversity with new planting schemes. Tenants’ boilers have been replaced with A rated energy efficient gas boilers. Cllr Bell said: “The aim of the project was to not only improve this local community and maintain people’s homes to a good standard but also to help reduce tenant’s bills and carbon footprints.”

PCSO Nikki Relf said there was zero-tolerance to the problem and two youths had already been stopped and had their catapults confiscated. BE VIGILANT! If you can see it, so can a burglar. Don’t leave anything of value, even shopping, in cars.

£25,000 gift from a former Scout A FORMER Kennington Scout has given £25,000 to the group’s community hall appeal. The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, lived in Kennington in the 1940s and 1950s and was a cub and a scout with the 1st Kennington group. “He had it in mind to do something for us but I nearly fell off my chair when I received the cheque,” said the Rev Canon Roger Martin, chair of the fundraising committee. The group has received a £35,000 legacy from former Scout leader Gerry Garforth. More than £278,000 has been raised towards the £330,000 needed to replace the old hut in Lower Vicarage Road. The next fundraising events are a Folk Evening at the WI Hall, Faversham Road, on Saturday 7 May (tickets 01303 237 204) and a treasure hunt on 24 May. It is hoped the new building, which will be available to other groups in the community, will be ready in the autumn. To make a donation email

ACADEMY STATUS FOR TOWERS TOWERS School has gained academy status and will work in partnership with Highworth Grammar. The schools will be able to pool resources, share facilities and staff to raise standards and offer a wider curriculum. Towers head Malcolm Ramsey believes the move could bring the school an extra £500,000 of funding.

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MP MEETS THE FORUM ASHFORD MP Damian Green met members of the Forum's core group to discuss a wide range of topics, including planning, localism and challenges facing the community. He said local politicians were now in a powerful position regarding the building of new homes and must take full responsibility for their decisions. Mr Green believed

ELECTION LINE-UP KENNINGTON ward residents have been given their first chance to vote in borough elections for eight years. Four years ago John Kemp was returned unopposed. County councillor Elizabeth Tweed is one of the candidates. Marion Martin, who has been councillor in Bybrook for 12 years, contests Little Burton Farm following the retirement of Norman Ayres. The line-up for 5 May is: KENNINGTON Robert Maxted (Lab), Philip Sims (Ashford Independents), Elizabeth Tweed (Con). BOCKHANGER Shirley Ambrose (Ash Ind), Steven Campkin (Green Party), Michael Claughton (Con), Tom Reed (Lab). BYBROOK Andrew Buchanan (Con), John Ley (Ash Ind), Chris Took (Lib Dem). LITTLE BURTON FARM Kelly-Marie Blundell (Lib Dem), Charlotte Fraser (Ash Ind), Marion Martin (Con), Terry Nicholas (Lab).

Forums had an important role to play and he would like to attend a meeting of officers from the four Forums in Ashford. Asked about the Big Society the MP said it was more than just recruiting volunteers. It meant shifting power away from central government. It would be a long-term process but would lead to a much more variegated society.

THE FIGHT to stop six homes being built in the garden of 80 The Street goes on. Skillcrown Homes is appealing against the council’s decision to refuse the application on numerous grounds. County councillor Elizabeth Tweed told a meeting of the Forum: “We must get this thrown out once and for all.” More than 100 residents oppose the plan. AN APPEAL has been submitted by Chailey Homes over the refusal to allow Rosedene in Grosvenor Road, to be demolished and two pairs of semi-detached houses and four bungalows to be built at the rear of Nos 127 and 129.

Development plan is likely to be changed BOVIS Homes has objected to the council’s decision to drop the Hockey Club site in Ball Lane and land on the opposite side of the A28 from the Urban Sites Development Plan (DPD). It wants to build 600 homes and provide the club with a new clubhouse and pitches. Councillors told the March meeting of the Forum that the Bovis plan was “dead in the water.” The council is working its way through the hundreds of responses received on the DPD. Senior Planning Officer Ian Grundy said: “We will almost certainly have to make changes

in response to the comments and that will trigger a further period of consultation — most likely to commence around July. The local elections could have an impact on timing depending upon the outcome. All responses are available to view on the council’s web site. “We will be publicising the sites that had been submitted to us during the consultation period — that is likely to happen in June. “The intention for the Core Strategy review is for it to be in place as an adopted Plan by 2013 and work is likely to commence this year.” Mr Grundy

told the Forum: “Rest assured that you will be fully involved in that process.” RESIDENTS fighting plans to develop greenfield sites in Kennington, Chilmington Green and Godinton were fielding 32 candidates in the local elections in a bid to overthrow the council’s ruling Conservative group. Their campaign, using the slogan “It’s time to take our town back”, resulted in a huge amount of publicity and letters in the Kentish Express, a double-page feature in the Daily Express, headlined “A very rural revolution”, and television coverage.

We’ve so much to offer VIEWPOINT


by Ashford Hockey Club chairman IAN THOMAS

SHFORD Hockey Club has very successfully contributed to the provision of sporting facilities and achievements to the people of Kennington for 26 years. But the site at Ball Lane is no longer adequate to provide suitable facilities for our thriving club. Development of further hockey pitches on the site, even if it could be funded, would jeopardise the facilities for Kennington Junior Football Club who run 22 sides and the opportunity for 300 young local players to play football. In some weeks up to 1,200 people use the facilities and progress and success will only be maintained if there is some form of “development”. Canterbury and Folkestone are already benefiting by massive investment from Christchurch College and the Da Haan Trust to improve and develop their hockey facilities. The Towers School is in the early stage discussions with local sports clubs to create links in pursuit of Academy status but will not be on the same scale. The disappointment of the Hockey Club not to realise its aspirations of developing our own ground needs to be addressed and the benefits to the local community considered carefully in any discussion involving localism. Ashford Hockey Club is very much in favour of 'localism' and wants to work with the local government,

schools and the community to ensure that we continue to provide the best possible recreational and leisure opportunities in the area. We are a significant provider in the community and wish to be included and considered in the inevitable development of Kennington.


Gently does it as drop is filled in



GOOD news for people who fear crossing Canterbury Road at Little Burton Lane. Warning signs are to go up, financed by county councillor Elizabeth Tweed from her highways grant

ORTY tonnes of topsoil now covers the drop from the pavement in Ulley Road into Kennington’s Garden of Remembrance. The earth bank was machined into position with great care to avoid damaging tree roots. The 15 inch drop occurred when the level of the road was raised some years ago. Ashford council’s community grants programme funded a mix of fast-growing and finer grass seed varieties which will stabilise the surface. It is hoped that paths through the garden can be re-laid in the next few months, to improve access and safety. Chris Morley, who has been leading the Garden improvement project on behalf of the Forum, said: “We plan to replant one of the shrub borders this autumn, as a community project, and would welcome ideas for suitable planting schemes”.

CHURCH youth workers will be visiting schools this summer as part of a project to bring families together and unite the community. The Rev Richard King will be working with Church Army officer Graham Nunn and Chrissie Wheatley. There are also plans for a youth group and craft-based activities for families. BT HAS installed several green equipment cabinets in Kennington which will provide super-fast broadband services.

Monkeys safe for at least another year THE WHOLE of the Bockhanger community site could be redeveloped in the next few years. Plans are to be drawn up and local groups will be consulted. The council owns the site that include the Centre, four shops and the library building. Bockhanger Community Association has a lease to run the centre and the council has been funding a centre manager and caretaker. They were made redundant on 31 March as part of the council’s five-year Business Plan. Fears that the Centre — home

MISSING TREES ARE REPLACED ONE of the most distinctive features of Faversham Road is the magnificent avenue of lime trees reaching from Upper Vicarage Road to The Towers School. There are some gaps in the avenue so it is pleasing to see that Kent Highways have planted two young trees as replacements. The trees were first planted in the 1860s. Kennington common, known as ‘The Lees’, was shared among local landowners and fenced off ready for development. The Earl of Winchilsea, who owned Eastwell Park, acquired a sizeable part of the Lees. It was decided that part of his share of the land, 15 feet on either side of the road, would be planted with an avenue of trees. These would be 30 feet apart to allow a right of entry to land on either side of the road by owners with “cattle and carriages”. JB

to the pre-school Bockhanger Monkeys — would close were unfounded as the Association is funding the jobs on a part-time basis for at least a year. The council is considering options for a longer term as the building is nearing the end of its useful life. Ian Bailey, deputy head of cultural services at ABC, said: “One option may be to explore how the Phoenix School/ Bluebells Children’s Centre could become more of a shared community facility.”

PARKING problems in Ulley Road caused when parents drop off and collect children from Downs View Infants and Kennington Juniors are not going to be resolved because the area was never intended for so much traffic, PCSO Nikki Relf told the Forum. IF YOU are interested in having an allotment please contact the Forum. If there is sufficient local demand we will see if land can be made available. PLANS for a proposed office building near the Drovers’ Roundabout “makes Alcatraz look like Butlins,” Cllr Claughton told the Forum.

Kennington Forum meets every two months at St Mary’s Community Centre, Rylands Road, Kennington

FUTURE MEETINGS 31 MAY, 7.30pm 26 JULY, 7.30pm 27 SEPT, AGM, 7.30pm 29 NOVEMBER, 7.30pm THE Forum represents the views of people living and working in Kennington and communicates those views to Ashford Borough Council and other statutory organisations. It is an independent, voluntary group with its own constitution. THE Forum is led by a Core Group comprising the Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and up to nine other members. It is supported by an officer from Ashford Borough Council. ANYONE who lives in Kennington will always be very welcome at the Forum’s meetings. The Forum has its own web site: Kennington News is published quarterly by the Kennington Community Forum. Editor Robin Britcher, 169 Faversham Road, Kennington. 01233 634410

TOWERS Under-16s were beaten 4-3 on penalties by Broadlands School, Somerset, in the semi-finals of the English Schools Cup.

Students play it cool WINNERS FROM PAGE ONE

NINE students from Towers School spent half-term in the winter wonderland Finnish city of Kouvola where temperatures were —30°C. They went cross country skiing and sledging, built ice caves, and learned about Finnish culture. The group was reunited with Finnish students who visited Ashford last year. “This was a trip of a lifetime, especially for one student who had never left England or been on a plane before,” said Community Youth Tutor Marie Boni-

face. Marie and fellow Youth Worker Jim Winter hope to organise more exchange trips next year.

YOUTH CLUB activities: 3 May jewellery making; 10 May pool tournament; 17 May smoking awareness; 25 May cake decorating; 31 May HALF TERM. 7 June manicures; 14 June healthy eating; 21 June relationships. All meetings at Goat Lees Hall, Trinity Road, 6.30pm–8pm. For more details call Marie Boniface on 0777 4554207

-munity in Kennington through providing sporting facilities that will leave a legacy for future generations. I feel the moment for this vision has come with a real sense of co-operation between so many different bodies. “The area has several thriving sport and recreation facilities but they are fragmented and insufficient to cater for a rapidly rising population. Some are under potential threat while others require significant upgrading in the near future.” Mr Grant wants the project to include improvements to the Recreation Ground and The Ridge. It is hoped to set up a Trust that will be supported by ABC and KCC

SOCCER SKILLS ON SHOW AT THE FAYRE A BRAZILIAN football display and the Pegasus gymnastic team will be two of the attractions at the Kennington Summer Fayre, on Saturday 25 June. It is hoped the Red Arrows will be in the area to provide a fly-past. At least 30 stalls are already booked. First prize in the Grand

Draw is a sumptuous dinner, four-poster bed and breakfast for two at Eastwell Manor. Tickets are on sale from all stallholders and organisations attending. For more information about the Fayre, or to offer support and help, please call committee chair Philip Sims on 627603.

NEED HELP? HERE’S WHO TO CONTACT COUNTY COUNCILLORS: Elizabeth Tweed (Ashford Central) 01233 714689 Andrew Wickham (Ashford Rural East) 01233 840902 ASHFORD BC COUNCILLORS: UNTIL 5 MAY Kennington: Michael Claughton 01233 635969 Bockhanger: Michael Claughton 01233 635969

Bybrook: Marion Martin 01233 628811 marionmartin168

Little Burton Farm: Norman Ayres 01233 620767

Election results will appear on the Forum website NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICE OFFICERS: Kennington: Pc Mandy Surgener 07772 226133 Bybrook and Little Burton: PCSO Nikki Relf 07772 226206 Eureka Park, Bockhanger, Trinity Road area: PCSO Selina Lawrence 07772 226098 FORUM: Chris Morley, chair, 01233 611196 Sandra Dunn, secretary, 01233 634165 NEW HAYESBANK SURGERY: 624642 Mon 8.15am– 8pm; Tues 8.15am–6pm; Wed 7am–6pm; (Closed 1st Wed PM of month for training); Thurs 7am– 6pm; Fri 8.15am–6pm (PM emergencies only).

LADIES OF LETTERS MEMBERS of Kennington WI’s newly-formed writers’ group are going to record their memories. It is hoped the results will be published as a book to raise funds. The group is being run by Judy Skinner. On 9 July WI members are going to France to visit the medieval walled town of Montrueil, which was headquarters to the British Army in the First World War WORK to build the new Goat Lees Primary school is due to start in September. It will open in September 2012 and be run by a consortium of local head teachers.

THE EX-SERVICEMEN’S club in Ulley Road is expected to re-open soon as Kennington Place, a venue for weddings and functions. CBH Catering of Montpelier Business Park, Ashford, hopes to become the new leaseholder. There could also be cabaret evenings as it has a licence for music until 2am at weekends. The club was built in 1921 by men who had served in the First World War. IF YOU have any books, DVDs or CDs for the Forum’s stall at the Summer Fayre please bring them to the next meeting or to the Phoenix school in Belmont Road.

Kennington News May 2011  

The Newsletter of Kennington Community Forum, Ashford, Kent

Kennington News May 2011  

The Newsletter of Kennington Community Forum, Ashford, Kent