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December 2012

Keeping you informed about your council services

Centre pull-out - Essential services guide Also in this issue

New waste and recycling contract Our hard work is paying off Going Local event

Difficulty in understanding this magazine? Need it in Braille, large print or on audio tape? For translations or interpretations contact us and we will do our best to help. Tel: 01795 417 850 Email:

2 Inside Swale

Have your say – help shape Swale

Inside Swale 3


The Leader Hello, and welcome to December’s issue of Inside Swale. Taking a look back at what the Borough has achieved in 2012, I am reminded of how communities across the borough have come together to contribute to a successful year. The Summer has seen a number of historic moments with the Olympic Torch Relay making its way through Faversham, the beginning of the regeneration of Sittingbourne and the Trinity Road, Sheerness consultation. We are truly working together to make Swale a better place. We are now ending the year with an incredible boost for Swale with the borough about to receive part of a £20 million fund to support new investment and jobs. This, combined with the approval for the development of wind turbine manufacturing at the Port of Sheerness, will encourage manufacturers and businesses to consider what Swale has to offer with an excellent location, facilities and workforce for their investments. Further good news for the borough - by joining forces with Ashford and Maidstone Councils we are looking forward to being able to expand recycling opportunities, improve waste collections and street cleaning. Importantly in this current economic climate, this improved service will be able to make financial savings for Swale. I look forward to an equally fulfilling 2013. On that note, may I wish you all a very Happy Christmas. Andrew Bowles Leader Front cover: Guildhall, Faversham in the snow Courtesy Robin Warren

Our hard work is paying off ....................4 Customer Service Excellence ..................6 Sheppey Gateway ....................................7 Going Local..............................................8 Around the parishes ................................9 Visit Swale can help ...............................11 Swale Business Awards..........................13 Trinity Road, Sheerness .........................14 Christmas bin collections.......................15 Essential services guide................. 16 & 17 Swale action to end domestic abuse .....18 Council tax ............................................19 Victoria Working Men’s Club.................20 New waste and recycling contract ........22 Don’t delay - recycle today ...................23 Another gold for Swale..........................25 Warm Home discount ...........................26 News from Medway Maritime ..... 28 & 29 Your Councillors ........................... 30 & 31 Our corporate priorities are:

Embracing Localism Open for Business Healthy Environment If you would like to advertise in this magazine and would like to know more about rates, please contact the Communications Manager: Jason Wignall on 01795 417 149 or email

Contact: Swale Borough Council Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 3HT website: email: phone: 01795 417 850 Swale Borough Council neither endorse or accept any liability for representations made by its advertisers. Inside Swale is written and designed by Swale Borough Council’s Communications and Marketing Team, printed by Headley Brothers on environmentally friendly paper and distributed by The National Leaflet Company to 58,000+ homes


4 Inside Swale

At this time of year... Our hard work is Merry Christmas, Happy New Year. Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodznia, Szczesliwego Nowego Roku. Bada Din Mubarak Ho, Naye saal ki. Just three ways of wishing some of our readers all the best for the forthcoming festive period.

paying off...and you’re

noticing the difference

Swale Borough Council strives to be a listening organisation working to offer residents the services they have identified as a priority. One of the ways we do this is through an annual perception survey.

Our offices will be closed in The survey helps us to identify how well Faversham, Sheerness and Sittingbourne on: we are currently meeting expectations, and what we need to do differently 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January 2013 in the future. Information is gathered There will be a limited service at Sheppey during July and August each year by Gateway between 9am and 12noon on a postal questionnaire sent to 2,500 Saturday 29 December. randomly selected households across the borough.

Mayor presents long service certificates to Council employees

Six members of staff at Swale Borough Council have been recognised for their long and dedicated service. At a special presentation each member of staff was awarded a certificate by the Mayor of Swale, Councillor Pat Sandle. Councillor Sandle said: “It was an honour to be able to award employees with these certificates in recognition of the dedication they have given to the residents of the borough and their Council colleagues, for over 25 years.” y

Back row: Mike Knowles, Tony Bullock, Sara Potter, Mark Hudson and Mark Radford Front row: Mayor of Swale Cllr. Pat Sandle and Lorraine Liddell

The results of the 2012 survey is available and they show the continuing positive trend of recent years, in which the council’s hard work to transform the quality of its services is being reflected in the satisfaction ratings. Almost half of residents now say they are satisfied with the way the council runs things locally, compared to just over a third in 2008. About the same proportion think that we offer value for money, up from just over a quarter four years ago. This means that our overall approval ratings now compare favourably with other local authorities. But we are not complacent and recognise that there are always further improvements that can be made. We are particularly pleased with the reduction we have seen in the proportion of residents who feel that antisocial behaviour is a problem. This has fallen to just 15% in 2012. This is a real credit to the hard work and strong relationships between the council, Kent Police and a successful Community Safety Partnership. For details of the full results, please visit Have your say – help shape Swale

Inside Swale 5



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Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter @GymInSwale or SwimInSwale *Relates to off-peak gym membership, 12 month minimum term applies. Other memberships also available, see online for details. Terms and conditions apply, all parts of this offer subject to change. **Offer valid until 31st December 2012.

6 Inside Swale

Customer Service Excellence


Swale Borough Council always strives to achieve the best for residents and communities across Swale. The Revenues and Benefits and Environmental Response Teams have become the latest within the Council to achieve the Customer Service Excellence Standard. The Customer Service Excellence Standard, developed to replace the Charter Mark, lies at the heart of a government strategy to provide ‘efficient, effective, excellent, equitable and empowering’ public services. The Revenues and Benefits Team were assessed in September, with the government confirming the accreditation in October. The notification of this achievement was marked as a reflection on the team’s commitment, and an acknowledgement of the effort of everyone who works for the Council. Our Environment Response Team were assessed in October with the government confirming the accreditation in November. This achievement was noted as highlighting the corporate commitment to putting the customer at the heart of service delivery, in addition to the visible enthusiasm of all staff to actively support and advocate for the customer. These teams join the Customer Service Centre who achieved government accreditation in May 2011 and were successfully reaccredited earlier this year in June 2012.

Police Crime Commisioner Elections Kent’s first ever directly elected Police and Crime Commissioner has now been declared. Ann Barnes was elected on 16 November in a role which includes a number of powers such as hiring and firing the Chief Constable, developing a police and crime plan, and

setting the force budget including the police element of council tax. Chief Executive Abdool Kara said: “We have always enjoyed a good relationship with our colleagues within Kent Police in Swale, and I look forward to working with Ann Barnes as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent. Continuing our work through the Community Safety Partnership and working with other agencies we will ensure we are working on priorities led by you in our bid to making the borough a safer place.” Have your say – help shape Swale

Sheppey Gateway Did you know that people around the world use the occasion of ‘World Hello Day’ as an opportunity to express their to achieve desire to use communication commu world peace. On ‘World ‘Wo Hello Day’ 21 Gateway November 2012, Sheppey She celebrated its one year anniversary. on Sheerness The Gateway, located lo High Street in the th heart of the Town is a joint venture between and Swale Kent County Council C Borough Council, Coun bringing together a range of public and voluntary organisations to help local organisa people improve their lives. Over the past year the Gateway has seen over Gatew 80,000 interactions with 80,00 residents accessing Kent reside County Council services Count such as English and Maths training with M Skills Plus; Library services including access to ‘free’ pc usage, borrowing books, DVDs, Music and a the registration of

Inside Swale 7

Births & Deaths; mobility assessments for those needing disabled parking through the Blue Badge Scheme; providing access to Highways information; and access to Social Care services including Occupational Therapy assessments. The Gateway also provides a range of Swale Borough Council services such as Housing Advice, Council Tax, Benefits, Parking and Environmental Services. Due to Gateway’s unique service offering, we also provide local people an opportunity to access a range of services from organisations such as: CXK (formerly Connexions Kent & Medway), Sheppey Together, Victim Support, Health Trainers, Hi Kent, Royal British Legion, and Shaw Trust. Swale Citizen Advice Bureau runs a drop in session every Wednesday morning between 10am and 12pm giving advice on money matters including debt advice. Kent and Medway NHS Partnership Trust also meet their customers in the Gateway. Stephen Meades, Operations Manager for Gateway at Kent County Council said: “We have seen an incredible year since we opened our doors and said ‘hello’ to the people of Sheerness, and the services provided by the Gateway have been incredibly popular since day one. We have received some great feedback from those who use the centre and we will continue to develop our links with other partner agencies so that we are offering the community much, much more.” Sheppey Gateway is open 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm Saturdays with some services being delivered at different times during these hours.

8 Inside Swale

Embracing Localism

Going Local Swale Borough Council is one of the very few councils in England to proactively seek interest in the local community taking over our services by launching a local prospectus of services ‘Local First’. The council is committed to encouraging people to think local first, with more localised decision-making and more local communities having a say in how services are commissioned. To encourage others to get involved in their communities, working with voluntary and community groups and town and parish councils - the council is holding two community events. The first event is to be held on 23 January at the Sheppey Hall (formerly Borough Hall, Queenborough) and will be focusing on ‘Commissioning and

Tendering’ of local services. The second event, to be held on 8 March at the Alexander Centre, Faversham, will be a celebration of the projects which are already in fruition as a result of, or in response to, the Localism Act. Entitled ‘Going Local’ – this conference will welcome speakers from all tiers of government and the voluntary and community sector. Anyone who has already committed to, or considering – ‘embracing localism’ is invited to attend and become truly involved in the event. For further information on both events please contact Martin Goodhew, Project Officer by email: martingoodhew@swale. or call 01795 417 399. Copies of ‘Local First’ are available at Council Offices and on the Council website:

Volunteering in Swale Do you want to take on a more active role in your community and challenge yourself? Volunteering opportunities in Swale could boost your employability; help you gain new skills whilst receiving some training. Or you could just make new friends, build your confidence and have some fun! If you can spare some time, sign up today and start reaping the benefits of volunteering; give a little, gain a lot. Does your organisation need an extra pair of hands? Register your interest for volunteers and give people the chance to help you. For more information about volunteering visit Swale Borough Council is working together with Swale Volunteer Centre to encourage and support volunteering in the borough.

VOLUNTEERS URGENTLY NEEDED We are looking for passionate people to help us run our centre so that we can provide free computer training and work clubs to the local community. Some computer knowledge would be ideal, but not essential as full training is provided. If you are retired, between jobs, or just have spare time, please pop in or give us a call today.

Tel: 01795 439994 Affordable Computer Services 45a High Street Sittingbourne Kent ME10 4AW Registered Charity 1145348 Have your say – help shape Swale

Inside Swale 9

Around the Parishes Faversham takes charge of one of Town’s most historic buildings Swale Borough Council has transferred ownership of one of Faversham’s most historically and culturally important buildings. The Alexander Centre is now managed and maintained by an independent trust, the Alexander Centre Trust (TACT).

all those involved in the project over the last four years. Once the home of Sir Sidney Alexander, a doctor whose wartime public service was recognized with a knighthood, many of the building’s rooms have been refurbished to their original fine Victorian splendor. The heart of Faversham’s Town Ventre for many years, the Alexander Centre will play host to a wide variety of activities including blood donor service, fairs and fund raising events.

TACT was established in 2010 as an independent body to preserve the Centre for the community and to provide it with a sustainable future. It has been working closely with the council on the transfer of ownership as part of the Localism Agenda. The agreement to create an independent trust to safeguard the Alexander Centre is the culmination of a lot of hard work from

The council will be providing the Trust with financial assistance for the next three years to enable it to carry out its business plans, become entirely self-funding, and help complete the building’s restoration programme. Any profits made will be reinvested into the Centre. For more information about the Centre visit Alternatively contact a member of the TACT team on 01795 594 460 or email

Newnham Parish Council unveils new website Newnham Parish Council has unveiled a brand new website which shares local information to local residents. is a resource for the community, sharing useful information for local people. Newnham residents are encouraged to contact the Parish Council with information they would like to promote on the site. Local businesses are invited to use the website to advertise their services for a reasonable annual sponsorship fee. There is also an opportunity for the quality of their services to be verified by endorsement from satisfied customers. For further information contact Newnham Parish Council on or use the ‘contact us’ form available on the website. Newnham Parish Council can also be found on Facebook by searching for Newnham Village.

10 Inside Swale


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Have your say – help shape Swale

Open for Business

Inside Swale 11

£20m boost for Thames Gateway Businesses in Swale are amongst those across North Kent and Thurrock, due to receive part of a £20 million boost in a new package of funding to support new investment and new jobs. TIGER: Thames Gateway Innovation, Growth and Enterprise, will offer low-interest loans to businesses investing in new products and services which will create long-term job opportunities. This fund will offer financial help to businesses that want to take advantage of Swale’s excellent location, facilities and workforce. The new scheme has been secured following a bid by the Thames Gateway Kent Partnership, with the support of local businesses. Ministers made the announcement in October that TIGER is one of 130 schemes nationally to receive money from the Government’s £2.4 billion Regional Growth Fund. The TIGER scheme is expected to be up and running in 2013.

Wind turbine manufacturing approved Councillors have unanimously approved plans for a turbine manufacturing plant at Sheerness Docks at a meeting held on Thursday 11 October. The meeting considered proposals submitted by Port of Sheerness Ltd. Councillor John Wright, Cabinet Member for Regeneration said: “We hope that the approved plans will be a draw to any manufacturer considering Sheppey for their development requirements. The economic development to the area would be substantial creating jobs and opportunities across the Borough. “The development should also benefit the dockyard’s listed buildings, some of which are to be repaired.” For full details of the plans and comments visit:

Open for Business

12 Inside Swale

‘Visit Swale’ can help your business or event The website was created and administered by Swale Borough Council to promote tourism in the Borough. The website has seen a significant increase in webpage hits and we want to improve on this success by adding your business or event details.

Publicising your events in Swale Keeping up to date If you are planning an event in 2013, then Visit Swale can help publicise it, not just to visitors but to local residents too. To ensure your event details are on the website, download the events form from the Visit Swale website and provide as much information as possible. The earlier you give us the information, the quicker we can get it onto the website. Return the form by email to, tourism@ or you can print it out and post it to: Tourism Section, Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 3HT.

Once you are registered on the website, regularly ensure that your details are accurate to ensure you are making the most of your listing on the website. By registering with Visit Swale, your details will also be available on Visit Kent allowing your details to reach a much wider audience. If you are a Swale tourism business and cannot find your details on the website, then please email: Visit Swale or call 01795 417 399.






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Swale Business Awards Congratulations to all the finalists and winners of the 2012 Swale Business Awards. The awards ceremony held on 12 October celebrated their achievements with the Mayor of Swale Councillor Pat Sandle awarding finalists with certificates before the winners went on to receive their awards. Councillor John Wright, Swale Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration said: “We want Swale to be one of the best places in the UK in which to live, work and invest. Therefore, the business awards demonstrate our commitment to supporting and helping businesses thrive in Swale. “All the finalists are to be congratulated for their commitment to supporting the borough’s economy.” Paul Price, Chairman of the Swale Business Awards said: “This year’s finalists include companies working in amazingly varied fields, from care services to catering, from industrial production to international distribution; all with huge variations in annual turnover and employee numbers. Despite their differences, these businesses all have two things in common: they’re all based

Inside Swale 13

right here in Swale, and they all highlight positive success stories that demonstrate what this borough is capable of achieving.” The panel of judges this year included Liz Jordan from UHY Hacker Young, Steve Offer from HSBC, and Joanne Gallagher from Thomson Snell and Passmore. The Awards are split into four categories: Small Business of the Year; to the business that has made the biggest strides over the past 12 months. Winner – Eco Village Customer Service & Commitment Award; to the business demonstrating the highest levels of service. Winner - Country Brides Retail & Hospitality Award; for the company demonstrating a firm commitment to their industry’s best practices. Winner - Judd’s Folly Hotel Swale Business of the Year and Runner Up; the main prize at the Swale Business Awards. Excellence is required in every criteria. Winner - Blossoms Care Services Runners up - Unipet International

14 Inside Swale

Open for Business

Trinity Road The public consultation into the development of the Trinity Road area in Sheerness has now ended. Swale Borough Council and Designscape Consultancy, the consultants commissioned to carry out a study into the development, would like to thank all those who took the time to respond and comment on the proposals. The public consultation regarding the development of the area, including the Water Tower, the Master’s House, and the old Council district offices, began on 6 September and came to a close on 31 October. The proposals were made available on the Swale Borough Council website, in the Sheppey Gateway in Sheerness and through local media. The proposals are still available for viewing – visit 93 questionnaires were returned, 78 were paper copies and 15 received online. The overwhelming majority of people thought it was a good idea the consultation was being carried out.

Swale Borough Council’s Director of Regeneration, Pete Raine said: “It is important that the community has the opportunity to voice their opinions on proposals put forward by the consultancy. This is a key site in Sheerness Town Centre and the Water Tower has looked over the Town for many years. We are pleased residents have taken the time to let us know their thoughts on what they would like the future of the area to look like. “The consultants will now draw together all their findings. As part of the next phase of the project, we will need to explore a number of considerations, including working with the joint owners of the site to ensure the recommended plans are viable and economically sustainable which is not easy in the current climate. The project still has some way to go, including the planning process and additional consultation, to ensure that we are in a robust position to further the development.” Have your say – help shape Swale

Healthy Environment

Inside Swale 15

Christmas bin collection 2012 Swale Borough Council’s refuse and recycling collection dates over the festive period are as follows: If your normal Your collection will collection falls on take place

If your normal Your collection collection falls on will take place

Mon 24 Dec

Collection as normal Mon 31 Dec

Tues 1 Jan

Tues 25 Dec

Thurs 27 Dec

Tues 1 Jan

Weds 2 Jan

Weds 26 Dec

Fri 28 Dec

Weds 2 Jan

Thurs 3 Jan

Thurs 27 Dec

Sat 29 Dec

Thurs 3 Jan

Fri 4 Jan

Fri 28 Dec

Mon 31 Dec

Fri 4 Jan

Sat 5 Jan

Collections will return to normal on Monday 8 January. Collections disrupted by weather (eg snow and ice): please leave your bins out on collection day and we will get to you as soon as we can. Daily updates will be on our website, from Customer Services on 01795 417 850, and supplied to all local media.

Promoting Local Clubs and Societies in Swale We are currently refreshing our Swale clubs and societies details on the council website to promote awareness of local activities and encourage volunteering and participation. Parish, Village and Community Halls across the Borough host a wide range of groups and activities for you to get involved in. Local clubs and societies provide an important service for the community, so whether you want to take up a hobby, pursue an interest, meet some new people, or simply have fun, now is the time to get involved. To register and promote your activity, or check groups near you please visit

The snow code In bad weather, the borough’s primary roads are salted but the footpaths remain an issue for bin men trying to pull heavy bins around, particularly on the side roads. There simply isn’t enough resource to be able to clear every single footpath in the borough and so any support that residents can provide is always very welcome.

Helping hand Lend a helping hand and show a concern for others. If you are able to help your neighbours by clearing pavements and pathways of snow and ice, please do so carefully. For some sensible advice, please read the Snow Code which can be found on This site also features useful links to local service disruptions and travel advice. If you are able to help in this way we would recommend that you follow the Snow Code as advised by the Met Office website.

Essential services guide This guide tells you about some of the services we offer and who you should contact on a daily basis, and in the event of an emergency. We are a performance-led organisation that endeavours to deliver excellent public services, is good value for money, and provides effective community leadership. To help you get the most out of us, we have produced this guide that you can keep for whenever you need it. There is also an A-Z guide available on the website

December 2012

Swale Borough Council Allotments, car parks and parking enforcement, cemeteries, clearing fly tipping, community safety, council tax payment, electoral register environmental health and response, food hygiene, housing, leisure and sports facilities, licensing of local markets, local land searches, local planning and building regulation, pollution control, road/pavement cleaning and rubbish collection/recycling collection.

Customer Service Centre

01795 417 850

Kent County Council Services Adoption and fostering, adult education, adult social care, apprentices, arts and culture, children’s and families social services, community safety, community wardens, concessionary travel (bus passes etc), coroners, countryside access, disabilities, early years, highway maintenance, planning and land use, libraries and archives, pavements, protecting the environment, public health, public rights of way, public transport, concessionary travel (bus passes etc),recycling, registration of births, deaths and marriages, road safety, schools and post-16, special needs, sports development, street lighting, trading standards, traffic, transport planning and policy and youths services. 24-hour helpline telephone 08458 247 247

Emergency numbers Non-emergency for police ........................... 101 Emergency services (Police, Ambulance, Fire, Coastguard) .........999 Environment Agency .................................... 0800 807 060 Environment Agency Floodline ..................... 0845 988 1188 Gas Leak ...................................................... 0800 111 999 NHS Direct.................................................... 0845 4647 Additional Emergency Planning information is available on

Please pull-out and keep

Try it online Need a council service? Have you thought about doing it online? You can use the Swale Borough Council website for a range of services including when your bin is being collected, your council tax band, seeing what planning applications have been submitted in your area, make payments for council tax and parking penalty charges, and book an appointment as well as many other reporting services and a wide range of information. We have recently updated our website to make it easier for you to find information and use our online services at any time, day or night. We recently also launched a new mobile site to make it as easy as possible for those who want to access our site on mobile phones and tablets. Let us know what you think You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

24/7 telephone payment facility You can pay your council tax, business rates or parking penalty charges at anytime of day or night, 365 days a year. It is quick and simple process, you just need to have your account or reference number and phone 01795 417 766.

Contact us Swale Borough Councils Customer Service Team are trained to deal with your enquiries across a range of Council services, contact us on 01795 417 850 or email us

Other useful contacts Anti-fraud hotline (24hours) ................................................ 01795 417 714 Anti-social behaviour .......................................................... 101 Building Regulations ........................................................... 01634 331 133 Council Tax ......................................................................... 01795 417 272 Housing Benefits ................................................................ 01795 417 555 Planning.............................................................................. 01795 417 442

Customer Service opening times: Sittingbourne Monday to Thursday 8.45am to 5pm, Friday 8.45am to 4.30pm. Faversham Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm (closed 12.45 – 1.30pm) Friday 9am to 4.30pm (closed 12.45 – 1.30pm) Sheppey Gateway, Sheerness Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm (6pm on Wednesday) and 9am -12noon Saturday

Healthy Environment

18 Inside Swale

Do you need a helping hand? The Staying Put team provide a handyperson service that can help you to get those small jobs that you need doing around the home done. If you are over 60 or disabled and living in Swale, this may be the service to help you. Examples of the types of jobs that the handyperson may be able to help with include: Carpentry: Repair doors, window sills, boxing in, putting up shelves, changing a door around, fitting draught excluder. Security: Replace or fit locks, security chains, spy hole and key safes. Safety: Fit grab rails, handrails, smoke detectors, change light bulbs, move furniture around and carry out free home safety checks. Staying Put can provide a quote for the cost of labour and materials, or just labour if you want to provide the materials yourself. For a free, no obligation, quote or more information about the service call: 01795 417 140

Swale Action To End Domestic Abuse Are you, or is someone you know, suffering from domestic abuse? If you would like confidential advice and support you can speak to Swale Borough Council’s dedicated team at Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne either face to face or over the phone on 01795 417 251. Swale also runs a weekly One Stop Shop in Sittingbourne at Phoenix House on a Tuesday morning between 9.30am and 11.30am. There is also a Sheppey Drop-In session on a Wednesday afternoon between 1-3pm at The Gateway, High Street, Sheerness.


Swale Action To End Domestic Abuse

If you would like more details please phone us on 01795 417 251. Alternatively email You can also contact police on 101 or dial 999 if you believe life is in danger. Have your say – help shape Swale

Inside Swale 19

Are you struggling to pay For Sale your rent or Council Tax? FAST RELIABLE Do you receive Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Benefit? If the answer is yes and the benefit you receive does not meet the rent charged and/or Council Tax you are due to pay, you can apply to Swale Borough Council for extra help called a “Discretionary Housing Payment”.

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To receive this payment, you have to show that you cannot afford the shortfall in your rent and/or Council Tax, or if you do so, you or someone in your family will suffer hardship. If you are struggling to pay your rent or Council Tax and are currently not in receipt of Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit, you may be entitled to help or if you are worried that you may be affected by the future welfare changes such as the Benefit Cap or social rent sector size restrictions (bedroom tax) Please contact us for advice. Go online to book an appointment with a Benefits advisor https://selfserve.swale. Call 01795 417555 or visit us at AmicusHorizon in Faversham, Sheppey Gateway in Sheerness or Swale House in Sittingbourne.

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Council Tax Support Consultation The Council Tax Support consultation closed on 7 October 2012. Swale Borough Council would like to thank all those who took the time to complpete the consultation. More than 600 responses were received and are now being considered. Councillors will make a decision on Swale’s Council Tax Support scheme at full council in January.

Support and Prevention Team Swale Borough Council is offering a new service to local residents who will be affected by the welfare reforms or are experiencing financial difficulty which affects their housing situation. The Support and Prevention Team can arrange an appointment to discuss how your benefits may change from April 2013 and the impact this will have. They can offer advice on the best way to address the financial difficulties you may face and refer to other agencies who can offer assistance. Call Annette Feighery on 01795 417 480 or Rebecca Franklin on 01795 417 104 if you are having problems with mortgage/rent arrears or are concerned about changes such as the benefit cap and under-occupation.

20 Inside Swale

Healthy Environment

Victoria Working Men’s Club gets new lease of life Work has started at the former Victoria Working Men’s Club which, thanks to the intervention of No Use Empty (NUE), will be transformed into much needed new homes. The historic building in the Broadway in Sheerness, built in 1882, has been empty since 2000 when the club moved to new premises. The No Use Empty initiative run by Kent County Council in partnership with local authorities has provided £175,000 of funding to help the redevelopment of the derelict building into nine new homes. The scheme provides interest-free loans to help fund the renovation of empty properties. A local developer bought the building in 2012 with the ambition of bringing the local landmark back into use. The company applied for funding via the No Use U e Us Empty scheme and has received ed £175,000 to fund the necessary ry works. This funding will be crucial cia al in delivering the first phase of the project and it will see an initial nine of 24 new homes to be created. The project is the most ambitious ever undertaken in the Borough under the NUE scheme. Councillor Derek Conway, Cabinet Member for Housing said: “We are fully committed to the scheme as a means of delivering new homes at minimal cost to the taxpayer. We have invested a great deal of time and resource into this particular project, as we were determined to transform this neglected building into something valuable for the community.”

Have your say – help shape Swale H w

Inside Swale 21

West Site

East Site

West Site

Building a better future “In February 2013 a major £54 million building and development programme will provide students at The Isle of Sheppey Academy with brand new learning environments, each equipped with the most modern technology utilising the latest computer-based teaching and learning approaches. Specialist facilities for both sport and performing arts will be a key feature of the new building programme” Mr David Day – Principal The Isle of Sheppey Academy Christmas show 19th – 20th December Christmas Fair 15th December For further information about the Academy visit our website

Learn Believe Achieve HEAD OFFICE, EAST SITE Minster Road • Minster-on-Sea • ME12 3JQ T: 01795 873 591 F: 01795 870 107 E:

22 Inside Swale

Healthy Environment

Councils join forces to improve waste and recycling services

Making Swale a better place

From next year residents in Swale, Ashford and Maidstone will have a new, improved waste collection, recycling and street cleaning service. As a result of partnership working, more recycling opportunities will be provided and significant financial savings will be made on the current collection arrangements. The proposal to proceed with a joint waste and street cleansing contract with Swale, Ashford and Maidstone Borough Councils has now been approved, subject to legal formalities being completed. Councillor David Simmons, Swale Cabinet Member for The Environment and Rural Affairs, said, “The emptying of bins is an important service provided to every household in the Borough. The contents of the bins must no longer be regarded as rubbish but instead as a valuable resource. As a farmer, I have long been worried about the amount of food which is thrown away, but with the new service unwanted food will be collected, composted and returned to the land as an important soil conditioner. “Under the new arrangements more items, including glass, can be placed in the blue dry recycling bin without using the insert, and a new WEEKLY food waste collection will be introduced. Separate arrangements will be made for those properties not able to use wheeled bins.” The preferred contractor is Biffa Municipal Ltd. There will be a phased roll out after the existing contract comes to an end. The new arrangements will improve the quality of waste collection services, and provide higher levels of recycling and composting for residents across all three boroughs, as well as bring greater efficiencies for each authority.

Have your say – help shape Swale

Inside Swale 23

Don’t Delay - Recycle today! It’s never been easier to make your metals matter in Swale! When it comes to recycling, metal is hard to beat. That’s because it’s 100% recyclable every last bit can be turned into something else. And it’s a cycle that can go on forever. The food or drink cans you recycle at home could end up being transformed into any one of a wide number of new products, from a designer watch or an iPod, to a washing machine, or even a new bus! Every time metal is recycled it saves energy, cuts greenhouse gas emissions and saves on landfill space - so it’s good news for the planet. Best of all it doesn’t take a lot of effort on your part to make a big difference. All you need to do is drop your cans, aerosols, tins and foil in your blue bin or recycling bag - not the rubbish bin. It’s as easy as that!

Metal materials that can be recycled through Swale’s kerbside collections are;  drinks cans (e.g. cola, beer);  food tins (e.g. baked beans, soup, tomatoes, fish);  pet food tins (e.g. dog and cat food);  empty aerosols excluding lids (e.g. deodorant, hairspray);  foil and foil trays (e.g. clean pie cases, take away and pet food containers);  sweet and biscuit tins;  metal caps & closures. Please feel free to visit: for more information on the MetalMatters campaign in Kent.

24 Inside Swale


CAN YOU DO IT? OF COURSE YOU CAN! A fantastic range of great value courses available in Swale. Be inspired, learn something new, meet new people and broaden your horizons! Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss out - Enrol now! Visit or call 0845 606 5606

Carers are People First FACES of Kent (Families Affected by Caring Empowerment Services) Aims to reduce the stress and stigma caused as a result of the caring role for unpaid Family Carers and in the case of Young Carers, to restore lost childhood. We offer a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL service including Information, Advice, Guidance, Advocacy and Short Break Opportunities Adult Carer Support - An adult caring for another adult Alzheimer & Dementia Support Older Carer (aged 60+) of Person with Learning Difficulties Parent Carer Support - supporting parents of children with additional needs Mindset - for Carers of people with Mental Health Problems Young Carers Support - aged 5-18 years that are helping to care for someone Carers Health Promotion - Promoting healthy lifestyles and well being for the Carer Kent Carers Emergency Card

For further details on the above and how we can support you please contact us: FREEPHONE Registered Charity No 1145904

0300 7777 247

Company Ltd by Guarantee No 05654506

Have your say â&#x20AC;&#x201C; help shape Swale H w

Healthy Environment

Inside Swale 25

Another Gold for Swale

After an exciting year for Team GB in the Olympics Swale Borough Council has also achieved gold … for its stray dog service. The service has again been awarded the Stray Dogs Gold Footprint by the RSPCA, as part of the Community Animal Welfare Footprint 2012. The RSPCA Community Animal Welfare Footprints (CAWF) scheme was launched in 2008. It rewards and promotes good practice in animal welfare by local authorities in England and Wales. It also recognises organisations that have gone above and beyond their basic service requirements to ensure higher animal welfare standards, and those that demonstrate the importance of information and education – such as by actively promoting schemes and services such as microchipping.

The footprint awards are split into four levels, Bronze Silver, Gold and Platinum. The Platinum level is attained by local authorities who achieve the Gold level for five consecutive years, which is the team’s next goal. Swale Borough Council continues to be one of only two local authorities in Kent to be recognised in this way, showing that the Council is committed to its Healthy Environment priority. To report a stray dog during normal office hours, the public should ring Swale Borough Council on 01795 417 850, where arrangements will be made for the dog to be collected. If a dog is found between 5pm and 9pm on weekday evenings, and between 9am and 9pm at weekends and on bank holidays (excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Easter Sunday), the public should ring the found stray dog line on 07795 237 479, where an officer from Swale Borough Council will make arrangements to collect the dog.

26 Inside Swale

Warm Home discount

The Warm Home discount covering Winter 2012/13 means you could get a £130 discount on your electricity bill. The money isn’t paid to you, but is a one-off discount on your electricity bill, usually between October and March. You qualify for the discount if on 21 July 2012 your supplier was part of the scheme, your name (or your partner’s) was on the bill, and you were either:  80 or over and getting the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit; or  under 80 and only getting the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (you won’t qualify if you also get Saving Credit). Some suppliers also offer the discount to vulnerable people (eg, those on a low income). Each supplier has their own rules about who else can get the discount. For a list of suppliers who are part of the scheme and for more information about both schemes visit and search for Warm Home discount or Warm Front scheme.

Healthy Environment

Sign up to free cavity wall and loft insulation to help stay warm this winter The deadline for the end of funding for free e cavity wall and loft insulation is s fast approaching. ng. The Climate Energy gy offer available to home owners and private tenants regardless of their financial situation, ends on 31 December 2012. The government’s Warm Front scheme provides funding of up to £3,500. Grants are available to help cover the costs of improvements including loft insulation, draught-proofing, cavity wall insulation, hot water tank insulation, gas, electric, liquid petroleum gas or oil heating, converting your solid-fuel open fire to a glass-fronted fire or replacing your heating system. If you qualify, Warm Front will arrange for a company to do the work. Any money you get is paid directly to this company not to you. Only companies approved by Warm Front can carry out the work. If the bill is likely to be more than the grant, Warm Front will discuss this with you to make sure you can pay the extra costs. For more information and to arrange a no obligation free home survey call Climate Energy on 0800 083 7383. Have your say – help shape Swale


Inside Swale 27

Our accessible Bathrooms

With stylish, homely and comfortable suites we give you continued privacy and safety whilst living in your own home.

Come in and see for yourself! Registered disabled exempt from VAT. Terms & conditions apply

Large showroom at: Vine Farm, Large showroom at: Stockers Hill, Vine Farm, Boughton-under-Blean, Stockers Hill, Faversham, Boughton-under-Blean, Kent, ME13 9AB Faversham, Kent, ME13 9AB 01227 751130 01227 751130

28 Inside Swale

News from Medway Maritime Hospital

Trust shows Care Quality Commission its excellent standards The Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out its annual inspection of the Trust on 21 and 22 August. It reviewed all the information it has about the Trust; observed how people were being cared for; looked at records of people who use our services; talked to staff; reviewed information from stakeholders; and talked to people who use the Trust’s services. The Trust is delighted that, for the first time ever, it has received a quality inspection report where no formal recommendations, even minor, have been made. The Trust has never before satisfied the CQC or its predecessor, the Health Care Commission, that it was fully compliant with the appropriate standards at its first attempt. This really is testament to our staff for maintaining excellent standards of care for our patients. What patients told the CQC “It was very scary coming into hospital at first, but I have been very impressed with how much the staff have all helped me. I have been here for three weeks, and the care has been excellent all the way through.” Hospital patient “The nurses ought to have gold medals; they are always polite, and always help you.” Hospital patient. Patients told the CQC inspectors what it was like to be a patient in Medway Maritime Hospital. They described how they were treated by staff and their involvement in making choices about their care. They also told them about the quality and choice of food and drink available. This was because this inspection was part of a themed inspection programme to

assess whether older people in hospitals were treated with dignity and respect and whether their nutritional needs were met. The inspectors spoke with relatives, visitors and staff, as well as patients, on three wards, during the visit. This included two wards for older people, and the stroke ward. They also visited the Emergency Department, the Medical Admissions Unit, and the hospital’s discharge lounge. This enabled them to assess the arrangements for managing privacy, dignity and nutrition throughout the hospital process. The Trust has once again been selected as a national finalist for WOW awards in several categories, having won two national awards last year. This year the Trust is a finalist in the following categories:

WOW factor continues at Medway  WOW! That’s Really Special - Cheryl Morley, Non-clinical Support Worker  Most Inspiring Front Liner (Public Sector) - Grace Rose, Orthopaedics Elective Pre-assessment Sister  Serving the Community: Best Organisation 2012 Cheryl Morley works on the Trust’s delivery suite as a non-clinical support worker and her nomination read: “I feel compelled to write to you as I understand in such busy environments, people like Cheryl get missed. I believe that with just a little recognition on all the things she does will ensure that she carries on with her selfless actions for others that need her. Only thing left to say is ‘WOW’. Have your say – help shape Swale

Healthy Environment

Inside Swale 29

Grace Rose has received a staggering 11 WOW! award nominations from patients. One patient said: “Her warmth and manner was so refreshing. She has obviously worked in healthcare for a number of years and her attitude and kindness far excels any service we have ever received at her level. She deserves more than a WOW award!” The Trust is also thrilled to be a finalist in the ‘Serving the Community’ category.

These finalists have been chosen because of the quality, quantity and diversity of customer/patient nominations and the evidence of imaginative ways to delight customers/patients. The hospital launched its WOW! awards programme in March last year and has been inundated by positive feedback from patients. Over 800 patient nominations have been received since its launch.

The Birth Place – one year on Last October, Medway Maritime Hospital became home to new kind of birthing unit, The Birth Place, offering midwifery-led care, in a home-from-home style unit. Birth rooms are ready to provide and promote active birth, which means mothers are encouraged to move about freely and to find their own comfortable upright positions during contractions. Active birth is well known for improving the birthing experience as less medical intervention is needed. The unit is also designed to support transition from pregnancy to parenthood – parents are encouraged to change nappies and organise feeds from the outset with the support of midwives to ensure parents are confident in handling their baby when they go home. “It’s difficult to believe it’s been a year already, but it’s been an excellent year for staff on the unit. The target of delivering 800 babies has been met and the race is on for the thousandth birth which could happen before the end of the year. We’ve had nothing but praise from the parents who use the unit which is fantastic because that was what we set out to do – offer great care and an excellent experience for the parents who decide to have their baby at Medway. They can choose how they want their environment to be – they can listen to music and change the lighting. They can labour in the large en-suite or they can use a birthing pool, it’s completely down to them. In fact, water births have been really popular with 40 percent of women choosing to deliver this way” said Lisa Price, Senior Sister, The Birth Place. We are still looking at ways we can develop the service further – currently we are exploring the possibility of offering complimentary therapies, giving women even more birthing options.

Become a member If you’re interested in receiving the Trust’s quarterly newsletter then please visit our website at to find out about becoming a member and to sign up. Alternatively call the membership office on 01634 825 292 to find out more. It’s free to join!

30 Inside Swale

 

Conservative  Labour Independent Group

Abbey Bryan Mulhern 01795 538 498 Anita Walker 01795 531 192 Borden Nicholas Hampshire 01795 477 560 (eve) or 07739 108756 Boughton & Courtenay George Bobbin 01227 751 388 Andrew Bowles 01227 752 840 or 07778 629879 Chalkwell Roger Truelove 01795 425 445 Ghlin Whelan 01795 475 629 Davington Priory Mike Henderson 01795 534 368 or 07900 265 337 East Downs Colin Prescott 01795 590 054 Grove Duncan Dewar-Whalley 07889 808 871 Gareth Randall 01795 474 802

Your Councillors Hartlip, Newington & Upchurch Gerry Lewin 01634 366 113 John Wright 01795 842 852 Iwade & Lower Halstow Ben Stokes 01795 476 979 Kemsley Sue Gent 01795 553 900 Mike Whiting 01795 842 631 Leysdown & Warden Patricia Sandle 01795 510 400 Milton Regis Adam Tolhurst 01795 475 888 Tony Winckless 01795 425 987 Minster Cliffs Andy Booth 07912 464213 or 07824 556 185 Adrian Crowther 01795 874 418 Kenneth Pugh 01795 871 388 Murston Ed Gent 07955 111 981 Have your say – help shape Swale

Inside Swale 31 Nick Williams 01795 479 835 Queenborough & Halfway Jackie Constable 01795 665 238 Mick Constable 01795 665 238 Peter Marchington 01795 661 960 (eve) or 07767 607 456 Roman Mike Haywood 07960 173 264 Martin McCusker 07403 006 997 Sheerness East Mark Ellen 01795 667 027 David Sargent 01795 664 914 Sheerness West Angela Harrison 01795 665 029 Stephen Worrall 01795 665 589 Sheppey Central Lesley Ingham 01795 881 123 or 07714 445 871 June Garrad 01795 227 592

John Morris 01795 881 102 St Annâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mike Cosgrove 01795 591 790 John Coulter 01795 539 046 St Michaelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Derek Conway 01795 424 865 or 07789 072 677 Sylvia Bennett 01795 476 979 Teynham & Lynsted Richard Barnicott 01795 536 177 Lloyd Bowen 01795 522 357 Watling David Simmons 01795 532 100 Ted Wilcox 01795 533 004 West Downs Monique Bonney 07973 443527 Woodstock Alan Willicombe 01795 439 680 Jean Willicombe 01795 439 680

The new West Faversham Community Centre One of the best events and training venues in Kent All the facilities you need for your wedding, civil partnership ceremony, anniversary party or family celebration.

The Centre offers: Licensed bar run by professionals Large, fully equipped kitchen Ideal for companies and Separate lounge Large car park organisations for training Suite of training rooms courses, offsite meetings, Youth and community activity rooms presentation evenings Large, fenced garden and staff Full disabled access Christmas parties. A cafĂŠ for tea, coffee and lunches on weekdays Banquet/party seating for up to 200 guests t A large hall with flat and banked seating for over 300

Space for client consultations and shared office facilities. West Faversham Community Centre, Bysing Wood Road, Faversham ME13 7RH E: T: 01795 537321 West Faversham Community Association: Registered Charity 1139228; Registered in England and Wales No. 7296070

Inside Swale Winter 2012  

Residents magazine for Swale on the north Kent Coast.

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