You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2011.

Ah! Now here’s a prickly one for you, no matter where you live, be it planning for a road, an extension to your house, an airport or even the high street, it is bound to be contentious and fraught with problems at some point during the proceedings. Prepare yourself beforehand because at no point in your life, whether you are planning a day trip or another M25, will you ever satisfy everyone affected by your plan. More

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Cllr Mike O'Brien examines a load

Officers from Medway Council and Kent Police have visited scrap merchants based in Medway during an operation against metal thefts. More

Please find below a joint statement from Cllr Mike O’Brien, the Chair of the Medway Community Safety partnership, and Superintendent Rachel Adams, the Vice Chair of the Medway Community Safety Partnership: More

Trading Standards officers have seized 38 fake look-a-like toys from a trader in Chatham featuring the trade marked images of children’s favourites Thomas the Tank Engine and Roary, The Racing Car.

The toys could easily be confused with genuine versions by parents and grandparents buying presents in the run up to Christmas. More

It was undoubtedly a year of celebrity baby news, with stars welcoming arrivals such as Harper Seven Beckham, Mirabella Bunny (daughter of Bryan Adams) and Flynn Bloom (son of Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr). But the celebs’ choices failed to impress on Medway’s top ten baby names for 2011. More

Santa arrived in super style at Chartwell last weekend as he was chauffeur-driven in a beautiful green Morgan sports car. More

I am sure that people don’t need me to tell them that the world is facing a difficult economic period and that the problematic finances of our country have affected Medway and our residents. More

For health tips and advice on the move, check out the new ‘A Better Medway’ Twitter page. More

Schools are out and as families settle into the Christmas holidays, parents are being reminded that the deadline for responses on a public consultation on school admissions arrangements is approaching. More

King Edward Road, Rochester will be closed to through traffic from 7am to 7pm daily, from Tuesday 20 December. This is to allow emergency drainage repairs to be carried out, and the work is expected to be complete within three days.

Medway Council’s contractor will try to maintain local access within the area of works, however this may be subject to delay at certain periods. Advance warning signs are in place and residents within the area of works are being notified by letter.

Two Medway health care professionals are among the first in the country to be successfully qualify for the UK Public Health Register. More

A visitor centre to celebrate the life of the United Kingdom’s last estuary paddle steamer and her imminent return to the River Medway was officially opened by the Mayor of Medway Cllr Ted Baker in mid December. More

There’s less than two weeks of shopping time left until Christmas, and whether you’re still on the look out for gifts or stocking up on Christmas supplies, why not pop along to one of Medway’s markets. More

Refuse and recycling collections will take place a day later during the Christmas and New Year period due to the bank holidays on Monday 26 December, Tuesday 27 December and 2 January. More

Free parking will be on offer at Medway’s public car parks in the busy run up to Christmas. More

Medway Council, Monday, 12 December 2011, starts consulting with members of the public on the Adult Social Care services it provides for residents. More

Tickets for two of next summer’s Castle Concerts will go on sale at 10am today (Monday, 12 December) giving concert-goers an early opportunity to snap up tickets in time for Christmas. More

Take time out from the hustle and bustle of a packed high street, and indulge in a day of traditional festivities in sumptuously historic surroundings set in stunning winter landscapes. This Christmas, National Trust properties in Kent throw open their gates to reveal festively decorated interiors, craft workshops, warming winter meals, and inspiring winter walks. You may even find yourself stepping back into another century. More

The 2011 Medway Governor of the Year was announced at a ceremony on Saturday, 26 November. More

The Historic Dockyard Chatham in Kent was awarded the highest accolade in “Large Tourist Attraction of the South East” category last night at the Tourism South East’s Regional Awards for Excellence – The Beautiful South Awards.

L-R:John Williams (TSE); Pam Wood and Bill Ferris OBE (The Historic Dockyard Chatham); Phillippa Harris (Take One Media)

The annual Beautiful South Awards recognise businesses and destinations across the tourism industry for their exceptional levels of customer service and dedication to raising standards. A high number of entries to the prestigious awards led to an impressive shortlist with winners announced by hosts Tourism South East – John Williams, Chairman and Sue Saville, Managing Director.

Admiral Sir Ian Garnett KCB, Chairman of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust said; “I was thrilled to witness The Historic Dockyard Chatham win Gold Award for the best Large Visitor Attraction of the Year. It is the whole team – whose outstanding service to our visitors – has made this possible. We fought off stiff competition and can all be very proud of what has been achieved and grateful for the wholehearted commitment of permanent and volunteer staff alike. We now go forward to compete for a place in the short list for the national awards.”

Bill Ferris OBE, Chief Executive of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust added; “This is our reward for careful strategic investment and superb tactical marketing. We are supported by great partners, and have a team of incredibly dedicated people who add the extra sparkle that makes the real difference to visitors that come to this amazing place”.

The judges said; “The Historic Dockyard Chatham has been extremely successful and recently completed restoration works have helped see visitor numbers swell. The blend of history, education and enjoyment, with good interpretation mean they are worthy winners.”

Judge and Tourism Specialist Ken Robinson CBE FTS added; “Some heritage tourism is easy to get right and some is difficult – getting The Historic Dockyard Chatham to the standard it is today has been a difficult task. It’s such a large, diverse site with many stories to tell but working in partnerships has helped, as has excellent marketing.”

Plan B has announced a series of concerts in forests next summer. The uniquely talented artist is the first act to announce multiple dates as part of Forestry Commission Live Music which will see him perform in spectacular woodland locations across the country. More

Kent Wildlife Trust is dismayed at the proposals for an airport covering the eastern end of the Hoo peninsula. More

For the perfect Christmas gift, look no further than a gift voucher towards an adult education course that starts in the new year. More

A new campaign is launched this week for the Christmas period, highlighting the potential risks of drinking large amounts of alcohol before going out to a nightclub or party. More

Primary school pupils in Medway are really going green as they’re learning how to grow their own vegetables and helping to clean up the community.

The youngsters from St Mary’s RC Primary, Greenfield Street, Gillingham, have created their own vegetable garden and are now getting practical lessons in environmental science. More

A total of 27 schools in Medway took part in this year’s Golden Boot Challenge with Burnt Oak Primary being declared the overall winners – for the second year. More

A Chatham man has been fined after failing to supply his waste carriers licence when stopped by council officials. Paul James Fletcher (22) or Sailmakers Court, Chatham, was sentenced on Monday, 28 November at Medway Magistrates Court. Fletcher was originally stopped outside EMR Whitewall Road, Strood on Friday, 22 July 2011. More

Staff, pupils and parents from Gad’s Hill are capping off a tremendously successful year in style, when terms such as ‘excellent’ and ‘outstanding’ were used to describe the Higham school in their latest inspection report. The glowing inspection results have come in the same year that Gad’s Hill was named as the country’s top independent by the BBC, The Times, The Daily Telegraph and in the Government’s School League Tables, as well as eighth best school overall when including state schools.

Inspectors who visited the school, which caters for boys and girls aged three to 16, last week (29th-30th November) said the quality of leadership and management at the school – which is led by Headmaster Mr David Craggs – is excellent. The assessors from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) also said in their report that “the quality of teaching is good with some excellent features” and that pupils’ overall achievement was ‘good’. The inspection also found that the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at the school provides good quality education and care, and the quality of its leadership – run by Head of Kindergarten and Junior School, Ms Fiona McPherson – is outstanding. More

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