You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2012.

The free movie line-up for the new Paul Greengrass cinema at The Woodville has been announced. All screenings in the first month are free to encourage people to try the new cinema experience in Gravesend. More

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Pharmacies in Kent already offer a wide range of services to help people stay healthy. Now some of our pharmacies are among the first in the country to become official Healthy Living Pharmacies with a mission to provide even more support to people who want to improve their health. More

NHS Kent and Medway is proposing to move the GP practice and walk-in centre at Canterbury Street, Gillingham, to Balmoral Gardens Community Healthy Living Centre, Gillingham. The Healthy Living Centre, which opened in 2011, is an award-winning, purpose-built centre which is a much more comfortable setting for care than the portable building where the practice is based at the moment. More

National well-being is about ‘measuring what matters’ – bringing together relevant economic, social and environmental statistics to show how the country is doing overall and how people’s lives are affected by their circumstances. Today the Office for National Statistics has brought together a breadth of information and a new web-based tool to help understand and monitor it – the ‘National Well-being wheel’ – that allows people to see how the nation is doing in the round or focus on particular areas of interest. More

A talented cadet from Meopham is riding high after her squad was crowned Best UK Team at this year’s Uniformed Services Show Jumping Competition, Woolwich, beating 12 experienced mounted units from the likes of the Military Intelligence, Royal Logistics Corp and Police.

Sophie Green, 14, who attends Gad’s Hill School, Higham won one of four places on the UK Combined Cadet Force (CCF) team, after beating 25 riders from all over the country in a selection competition at the home of the Light Cavalry, Windsor, in early October. More

A public consultation on school admissions arrangements for 2014 has started.
The annual consultation asks residents for their views on proposed arrangements for the admission of children into primary and secondary schools and is now underway for the academic year starting September 2014. More

St Helen’s Church Christmas Tree Festival, Open Mondays to Saturdays from December 1st
until December 22nd 2012 11 a.m til 4 p.m

There are craft activities for the children and a mince pie and cup of tea so enjoy the space to rest, and come along and see over 60 Christmas trees decorated by the local community.

There is also a sealed auction of art work in aid of Friends of Chernobyl’s Children (Medway)

(excluding Saturday 15th and Thursday 20th December)

A glowing report from Ofsted inspectors has underlined a Medway special school as one of the foremost of its kind in the country. ALL aspects of Abbey Court Community School, from the achievements of the pupils and their behaviour to the quality of teaching, leadership and management, have been judged as outstanding by Ofsted inspectors. Inspectors visited the school, which had also been rated as Outstanding when it was last inspected in 2010, over two days at the end of October, observing lessons, speaking with staff, pupils and parents.

Abbey Court, which has sites in Rede Court Road, Strood and Long Catlis Road, Rainham, caters for 146 pupils aged between three and 19 with severe and profound learning difficulties. It has specialist status for cognition and learning and the inspectors refer to the numerous awards it has won for different aspects of its work including the British Council’s International School Award in recognition of its involvement in global activities.

Headteacher Karen Joy’s inspirational leadership, together with the support of her highly effective senior team, is highlighted in the report. The inspectors say this ensures the school meets fully its vision and aims and lives up to its motto “We grow people”. All the staff are dedicated and have a high level of commitment. The highly experienced governors provide outstanding support as well as ensuring the school is financially stable. A questionnaire and regular surveys show parents feel their children are happy and safe at school.

According to the report, pupils are happy and eager to get to school in the morning and adults greet them with a genuine sense of warmth which immediately puts them at ease. Attitudes to learning are said to be excellent because of the wide variety of well chosen activities. The main teaching strength is seen in the way all teachers and adults work together to help the pupils achieve their individual learning targets.
The pupils’ outstanding progress is particularly evident in literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology. Those with speech, language and communication needs make significant strides thanks to a range of new technologies as well as the use of picture symbol cards.

The secondary department in Strood includes a 21-strong sixth form enabling older students to continue their seamless progress through the school and achieve nationally recognised qualifications. The inspectors say this improves their independence and social skills preparing them successfully for life beyond the school. Eileen James, Chair of Governors said: “The governors are proud of the outstanding achievement of the school. However, much more could be achieved if the school was united on a single site with improved accommodation. This would enable Abbey Court’s exemplary practice to be shared across Medway and beyond.”

Please click the items below to view the pdf for each election

Nominees for KCC

Nominees for Meopham North Borough Ward of GBC

The two document links above show the nominees standing in the two by-elections taking place in Gravesham on the 20th Dec 2012

A recent survey and report by the British Retail Consortium has confirmed that the percentage of empty shops in our high streets is running at a national average of 11.3%. This is the highest figure since they began to conduct the regular surveys in July. More

Click on the image to enlarge.

Emergency repair works will be carried out on Rochester Bridge, starting on Monday 26 November.

A section of the bridge was damaged by a recent road traffic accident. The damaged section will be removed and other works carried out to ensure the bridge is safe.

The outside lane will be closed West/Strood bound from 7:30am

Medway Council will soon be able to offer residents weekly recycling collections, thanks to a successful bid for government funding.

The council has been given funding of just over £14million, following a successful bid for funding from the Weekly Collection Support Scheme. More

PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE TO FRIENDS, FAMILY AND NEIGHBOURS

Medway Council has issued a warning about missed parcel delivery cards that could end up costing people hundreds of pounds this Christmas.

Cllr Mike O’Brien, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Customer Contact, is highlighting the risks especially as, in the build up to Christmas, many people will have packages ordered for presents due to arrive on doorsteps.

The bogus delivery company is posting calling cards through letter boxes, informing the resident that they tried to deliver a parcel but there was no one to take it.
The name of the company on the card is PDS or Parcel Delivery Service. The card gives a premium rate telephone number for the resident to call to re-arrange another delivery time.

But as soon as the call connects to this number, it is diverted to an automated recording and the resident will be charged £315 for the call. It is thought the company is based in South America.

Cllr O’Brien said: “We advise anyone receiving one of these cards that they should report it on 101 number to the police. Of course they should not call the number because the premium rate will mean their phone bill could be as high as £300 or more. At this time of year when people are ordering gifts online to be delivered to their homes, they could easily fall into this trap if they aren’t aware of the risks.”

Gills Players sign up

Gillingham FC players have shown their support for a Medway health campaign, by making health pledges for 2013. The A Better Medway team were at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Thursday (22 Nov) to promote the Healthy New Year winter campaign and encouraged the squad to make a pledge, as more than 160 people in Gillingham and Chatham did last week.

The footballers’ pledges covered a range of healthy goals for 2013 including staying positive, reducing caffeine intake, cycling to work and eating smaller portions.
Defender Andy Frampton tweeted his support for the campaign after he made his pledge; “All in a good cause and hope the message gets out #livewell”.

Medway residents are encouraged to make a health pledge during November, December and January. Those who do will be entered into a free prize draw to win a range of prizes including an i Pad 3, Gillingham FC signed football and family trip to Diggerland.
Pledges can be made in person, or by post using the official pledge entry form, available at GP surgeries, pharmacies, libraries, community hubs, or dentists. Pledges can also be made online at www.abettermedway.co.uk/healthynewyear

The pledge entry form also contains 20 tips to stay safe and healthy this winter.
Make a pledge at one of the following events:

Gillingham Market – Monday; 3 December; Saturday, 22 December or Monday, 7 January 2013.
Chatham High Street – Thursday, 13 December or Thursday, 24 January 2013.
Strood Market – Tuesday, 27 November; Saturday, 15 December or Tuesday, 15 January 2013.
Rainham Town Centre – Thursday, 29 November or Thursday, 20 December.
Rochester High Street – Thursday, 10 January 2013.

For more information visit http://www.abettermedway.co.uk/healthynewyear phone 0800 234 6805 or 01634 334800, or email enquiry@abettermedway.co.uk

As the first door is opened on the advent calendar this weekend, Rochester’s streets will come alive with all the excitement and bustle of a Victorian Christmas.
Traditional entertainment, song and dance will be on offer at Rochester’s Dickensian Christmas festival from Saturday 1 to Sunday, 2 December, against the backdrop of the town’s unique mix of specialist shops, galleries and cafes. And there’ll be even more reason for festive cheer this year, as Medway’s celebrates the 200th anniversary of the great writer’s birth. More

NHS Kent and Medway, Kent County Council and Medway Council have won £1.2 million in funding from NHS South of England’s Dementia Challenge Fund for four new projects to help patients with dementia in Kent and Medway.

The projects will support patients with dementia in hospital, train GPs in early diagnosis, train hospital and care home staff, reduce anti psychotic prescriptions and improve the life of dementia patients by developing dementia friendly communities.
Evelyn White, Associate Director Integrated Commissioning for NHS Kent and Medway, said: “We are pleased to announce we have won funding for four new projects to help those living with dementia in Kent and Medway. More

Massively popular jive and swing band The Jive Aces will be rolling into town on Tuesday night (27 November). The group are back at The Brook Theatre with fresh arrangements of swing and jive, with some R&B thrown in, and not forgetting a superb selection of their own material. Together for over a decade, this extremely popular six piece group have performed at thousands of festivals, theatres and events throughout the UK, Europe and USA, as well as Japan, Israel and the Caribbean and more. The band, which appeared on Britain’s Got Talent earlier this year, has a new album out in December – King of the Swingers: A Tribute to Louis Prima. Tickets are £13, jazz mailing list members £12. To book tickets phone the box office on 01634 338338

Groundwork Kent and Medway Landscape Design Team, Medway Council, mhs homes and other partners have secured funding from The Big Tree Plant to plant more than 25,000 trees in Kent and Medway over the next three years.

Trees are great in so many ways – for improving air quality, improving happiness and well being, and for bringing more wildlife and beauty into estates. There are several sites across Medway that are getting additional tree planting this winter. Come along to any of the following events to help plant the trees, learn more about trees, and enjoy quizzes, games, free doughnuts and apples. More

Christmas spirit will fill the air as one of Medway’s most iconic settings will come alive with the sound of festive carols next month.

More than 1,000 children will descend upon Rochester Cathedral for a series of carol concerts as part of the Medway Music Association’s (MMA) annual festive musical event.

Now in it’s 70th year, the concerts will see around 1200 pupils from over 30 Medway primary schools perform at the cathedral on Monday 3, Tuesday 4 and Wednesday, 5 December. On the song sheet will be a host of traditional carols, from Once In Royal David’s City to O Come All Ye Faithful, performed to an invited audience of parents and guests. Each day the children will spend the morning warming up their best singing voices before the performances begin at 2pm. More

Doctors are urging patients in Medway at risk of flu complications to have their free NHS vaccination this winter.
Free flu vaccinations are available at GP practices for:
• Everyone over 65
• All pregnant women
• Everyone over six months with serious long-term health problems, such as chronic respiratory, heart, kidney, liver or neurological disease, diabetes or a weakened immune system due to disease or treatment
• People who are the main carer for an older or disabled person.
Dr Nathan Nathan, Clinical Chair for Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Flu can be very serious for some people which is why the NHS offers free vaccination to those who are most at risk of complications. More

Two litterbugs have been fined by magistrates after discarding cigarette butts in Gillingham High Street, in two separate incidents. More

The UK’s No 1 Folk and Hip Hop Dance act is performing in Chatham at the Brook Theatre on Monday, 19 November, 2012.
The groundbreaking show from The Demon Barbers is called The Lock In and puts three forms of folk dancing into a theatre performance.
The Lock In has been described as Morris dancing meets the Irish Riverdance, with hip hop thrown in.
The dancers say they bring some of the UK’s oldest forms of dance bang up to date with some of the youngest in this exciting new show which comes to Chatham as part of it’s UK tour.
The show, the brainchild of award-winning folk band The Demon Barbers, sees a group of street dancers arrive at an apparently deserted pub. Local rumour has it that The Fighting Cocks is the place to be ‘after hours’ but as the regulars arrive, a clash of cultures turns into a dance floor stand-off. More

A new winter campaign run by A Better Medway health improvement services is giving Medway residents the chance to win an iPad, simply by setting a health pledge for the New Year. More

The NHS in Medway is supporting Self Care Week (Monday, 12 to Sunday, 18 November), which encourages people to take greater control of their own health and well-being.
Self care refers to the types of things people can do themselves, with help and support from the right health professionals, to stay well and look after themselves if they become ill. This includes keeping fit and healthy, treating minor ailments effectively, taking prescribed medicines correctly, and seeking help when needed from the right place. More

Estate view of Penshurst Place frosty morning (c) Tim Jordan

Father Christmas makes an early delivery to Penshurst Place –weekends in December
Saturday & Sunday 1st & 2nd , 8th & 9th , 15th & 16th , 22nd & 23rd December 2012
10.30am – 12.30pm and 1.30pm – 3.30pm. Step through the garden gates into Father Christmas’s magical grotto. Tickets £5 and no booking required. Should snow descend, on the weekends do ring 01892 871256 to confirm Father Christmas has arrived safely (last year his reindeer got him there every day!).

Christmas shopping at Penshurst Place & Gardens
Christmas Shop from 4 November – 24th December 10.30am-4.30pm
Gifts for all members of the family with local Kentish and Sussex produce hampers, Christmas trees and estate grown mistletoe. Parking is free with complimentary coffee and mince pie. Free entrance. Located next to the hard stand coach parking and visitor entrance.

Late night shopping
Wednesdays: 21st & 30th November and 5th, 12th & 19th December until 8pm.
Do some peaceful shopping in our Gift Shop, with 10% off all purchases made on late night evenings (excluding tickets, stamps and vouchers). Free parking and refreshments

Christmas Farmers’ Market at Penshurst Place
Saturday 1st December 9.30am-12 noon.
Penshurst Place car park – outside the visitor entrance.

Medway Park in Gillingham now has a new accessible toilet for people with profound and multiple disabilities and others with personal care needs.
In line with recommendations from the Changing Places campaign, led by disability charity Mencap, the new amenity includes a height-adjustable changing bench, a hoist system and space for a disabled person and up to two carers. More

The first ever Police and Crime Commissioner Elections are scheduled to take place next Thursday, 15 November 2012.
The elections will see 41 Police and Crime Commissioners elected across England and Wales for the first time, charged with making and influencing key policing decisions in their area. More

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