You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2013.

DCMedway Council has been praised by the Prime Minister for some of the best results in Britain for helping families in a groundbreaking government scheme.

Under the project the council will help more than 500 families in a three year period.
The programme in Medway means council workers assist families with the underlying issues which can lead to truancy and anti social behaviour. The scheme also gives advice on developing skills and getting back into work.

The Prime Minister’s comments have been welcomed by Councillor Mike O’Brien, Medway Council’s lead porfolio holder for Children’s Services. Medway Council has worked with 180 families in the last twelve months and more assistance will be given to another 380 over the next two years of the project.

David Cameron praised Medway’s work in implementing the payment-by-results programme. The Prime Minister said: “I am determined that we help people to get on in life including those families where things may be going wrong. For some, that starts with attending school every day, staying out of trouble with the police and taking practical steps towards work, just as other families do. Every month, more and more of the most troubled families are getting help to deal with these issues head-on in Medway . That is good for those families, your community and our country as a whole.”

Cllr O’Brien said: “I am delighted the Prime Minister has recognised the excellent work being done to make Medway a great place to live and work for everyone. It is a tribute to the hard work being done by many council staff to help those in most need. Within three years we will have helped 560 families. ”

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chatham-watersFollowing detailed planning approval being given last night (Wedneday, 12 September 2013) for the first phase of the Chatham Waters development at Chatham Docks, Gillingham, Medway Council Leader Rodney Chambers said:

“Chatham Waters is a key development for Medway and we are pleased that the first phase can now go ahead. This marks the beginning of a new era for the docklands at Gillingham, which promises to bring thousands of local jobs and economic prosperity to the area. Read More

Rochester station (Malc McDonald) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Rochester station (Malc McDonald) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Medway Council’s planning committee last night (11/9) agreed to proposals from Network Rail for a new railway station in Rochester.

The £26million station, which will be built at Corporation Street car park, is part of Network Rail’s East Kent investment programme to improve high-speed rail services, increase capacity, improve journey times and update infrastructure.

It will mean that Rochester’s rail station will be situated closer to the heart of Rochester town centre, which will help businesses in the High Street and boost tourism. Read More

© Copyright David Anstiss and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence.

© Copyright David Anstiss and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence.

NHS 111 – the service being introduced to provide a single point of access for people needing urgent NHS healthcare, when it is not an emergency – will be fully up and running in Medway from next Tuesday (17 September).

Since March, callers who have wanted to contact their GP out-of-hours have been able to call NHS 111 or MedOCC (the out-of-hours GP service in Medway) directly. From Tuesday 17 September callers wanting to reach a GP when their surgery is closed should dial 111. All callers to GP practices out of usual practice hours, and anyone calling MedOCC direct will be asked to redial 111. Read More

28 People that completed a Healthy Weight programme in June 2013, lost a collective 60kg and shaved 97cm of their waists.

The Gr@nd’s Healthy Weight team have been supporting adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 28 or above on a 12 Week programme .Participants learned about nutrition and tried a variety of exercise taster sessions, which has helped them to make little changes to lead a healthier lifestyle. Read More

Medway Council’s ‘ambition to improve standards for its young people is universally acknowledged by its schools, a letter from Ofsted states.

The schools’ regulator made the comments in a letter to the authority following a focused inspection which included visiting a very small number of the area’s schools.

This inspection, which took place in June, and involved Ofsted going to ten of Medway’s 100 schools, was to ask their opinion of how they work with the council on school improvement. Read More

Milton Chantry (Julieanne Savage) / CC BY-SA 2.0

There will be open days at the Milton Chantry, Gravesham’s oldest building, on Friday 13 September and Saturday 14 September. Entry is free and all visitors will be offered a complimentary audio guide which brings the building alive through its informative commentary.
On Saturday there will be a display supplied by Medieval Days Living History. There will be opportunity to try on some medieval fashion items, have a go at casting an iron coin and try your hand at spinning wool.

Melanie Norris said “Taking part in national events such as this enforces the importance of preserving and promoting local heritage. Milton Chantry is such a wonderful building and offers visitors a real sense of the past”. The Chantry was founded in 1322 by Aymer de Valence the Earl of Pembroke although its origins date back to around 1189. During the Middle Ages, many wealthy people built Chantry Chapels and gave them land to generate income in order to maintain a priest to pray for the owner and his family. The Chantry was occupied by a number of priests appointed by the Bishop of Rochester until around 1524. Like many other chapels, Milton Chantry was dissolved into Crown hands as part of Henry VIII’s reformation

Milton Chantry is located within the Fort Gardens close to Gordon Promenade and easily walkable from the town centre. The nearest car park is Milton Place. Public toilet facilities are located on the Promenade next to the Café.

Open times
Friday 13 September 10.30am – 3.30pm
Saturday 14 September 12noon – 5pm
Please note that due to the age of the building, at present it is not accessible to wheelchair users.

PRESS RELEASE issued by AirportWatch a copy of the letter is at the bottom of this press release

Campaign groups representing communities threatened by airport expansion have joined forces in writing to Sir Howard Davies, Chairman of the Airports Commission, calling upon him to safeguard all the threatened communities against blight.

The Airports Commission is due to produce an interim report at the end of this year and, if it concludes that the UK needs more airport capacity, it will publish a shortlist of options. The Commission’s final report and recommendations won’t be published until mid-2015, after the next general election and it will then be for the Government of the day to take any final decisions. Read More

A top team of education experts will run Chatham Grammar School for Boys after Ofsted today (Tuesday September 10) announced the academy has been put into special measures – despite 95 per cent of pupils gaining five or more A* to C grade at GCSEs this year, including English and Mathematics.

Denise Shepherd, the Executive Principal of The Rochester Grammar School Trust, has become interim Executive Principal of Chatham Grammar School for Boys. Stuart Gardner, the Principal at The Rochester Grammar School, becomes interim Principal.

The Rochester Grammar School, is one of the highest achieving in the country, and was ranked second nationally for GCSE results in 2012. The Rochester Grammar School is also a National Support School and a National Teaching School with a successful track record of supporting other secondary schools both in Medway and in other local authorities. Read More

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For the first time ever at any event, Salute to the ‘40s has three of the leading 1940’s female performers together on one stage. With two Main Stages, two dancehalls, dance workshops, street performers and music across the site the weekend at The Historic Dockyard is going to be full of entertaining vintage delight! Keep Calm and Carry On to Salute to the ‘40s on 21st and 22nd September at The Historic Dockyard Chatham. Read More

Residents and businesses are being reminded that they have until September 20th to comment on the plans for the future of Rochester Airport. The draft proposals could create 1,000 new jobs and improve facilities that would increase the airport’s heritage tourism potential. More

quiz poster 2013 anim-mates

pentagonMedway Credit Union has moved into a new home as part of an ongoing campaign to give people on low incomes a safer alternative to pay day loan shops and doorstep lenders.

The low-cost savings and loans co-operative, one of two based in Medway, is now based on the first floor of the Pentagon Centre in Chatham. It had previously been based in a less prominent position further along the High Street. Read More

shoe box appealBlythswood Care are running their Christmas shoe box appeal for the 20th year! Please click on the HERE to watch a short video of the fantastic work they do and the stunning effect a shoe box can have. Get your local school involved, your WI or your football team, it never hurts to give a little.

Fill your shoe box with everyday items that you accept are always in your cupboards or on your shelves at home. Comb, hair brush, toothpaste, deodorant, note pads, pens or shampoo. It is the things we take for granted that others go without and it is also some of those things that can make the biggest difference to people living in real poverty. Imagine that you are just cleaning your teeth with toothpaste for the first time since last Christmas, how good would that feel. Imagine putting on a new pair of socks for the first time in four years, these are the realities that some people live with. Imagine you have a pound coin in your hand and are wondering whether you need food, water or the heating most. Do you buy medicine for your elderly parent or your youngest son, some people have to make that sort of choice daily, give them a break, fill a shoe box.

kitesLook to the skies this month for Medway’s highest flying festival. Capstone Festival – Kites ’n’ Bikes takes place 11am to 4pm on Sunday, 22 September at Capstone Farm Country Park, Capstone Road, Gillingham.

The event is a celebration of natural power. Expect jaw dropping bike stunts by cycling display team MAD UK and acrobatic displays of aerial amazement, courtesy of some of the region’s leading kite clubs. Expect the unusual with The Ape Project showing off its collection of wacky bikes, trikes, scooters and cycles all of which defy convention plus tandem trike powered spin painting. Read More

The Corps of the Royal Engineers will exercise their right to parade through historic Rochester this month to remember sappers who have lost their lives in conflicts around the world.

The short march, which follows a service at Rochester Cathedral, starts just after 12.30pm on Sunday, 15 September at the Guildhall end of the High Street. The parade will pass the war memorial before continuing on to Blue Boar Lane. The parade has become an annual tradition with the Corps of the Royal Engineers using the right to march through the High Street bestowed on them after being granted honorary freedom of the borough.

For more on events taking place in Medway this autumn visit http://www.enjoymedway.co.uk

ann-barnes-3Following a pledge to help improve Neighbourhood Watch across the county, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, Ann Barnes, has launched a survey to canvas public opinion about the scheme.

Neighbourhood Watch is one of the biggest and most successful voluntary crime-prevention movements, based on the idea of an active community working together and in partnership with the Police to help reduce crime and make their community safe.

The Kent Police and Crime Commissioner is very keen to increase Neighbourhood Watch awareness across Kent and the survey is your chance to give your views about how this can be best achieved.

To take part in the survey, visit http://www.kent-pcc.gov.uk/annbarneskpccpoll.html

A gallery talk by Pam Wood on the stories and history of Chatham Convict Prison
7pm on Thursday, 26 September 2013 at Chatham Dockyard ‘Steam, Steel and Submarines’ gallery.

Please enter through the main gate on Dock Road as opposed to the ‘Visitor Entrance’.
Parking available next to the gallery by the side of the river.
Tickets cost £2 payable on the door.

It is advised to book in advance as seating is limited in the gallery.

For bookings please call 01634 822261 or email deputycurator@re-museum.co.uk
http://www.bromptonhistory.org.uk

Cyclists are being asked to get pedalling around the world next week – or up to eight miles of it – to promote better mental health. The Active Medway Cycle Group will be meeting at Riverside Country Park in Lower Rainham from 6-7pm on Thursday, 12 September. Read More

Photo credit and copyright Sam Baylis

Photo credit and copyright Sam Baylis

Tue, 01/10/2013 – 7:30pm Illustrated talk by Malcolm Jennings. A look at the amazing communities of insects that live in the tiny worlds that surround us. Organised by North West Kent group. Venue location Mick Jagger Centre, Dartford Boys Grammar School, Shepherds Lane, Dartford, Kent, DA1 2JZ Suggested donation £2.50. Suitable for wheelchair users. Suitable for people with limited mobility. 01622 662012

sandc stride Shorne Woods Country Park, Brewers Road Sunday 20th October 2013 10:00am Shorne Woods Country Park consists of ancient woodland, heathland, an old clay extraction pit, meadows and wetlands. The ponds and lakes are beautiful and rich with reeds, rush and willow. A sensory garden has been developed for everyone to enjoy. Within these fantastic surroundings, we have 3 distances available for you to walk: The 10km route takes you through Shorne Woods Country Park onto Cobham Hall Grounds, down through Cobham Village and into Ashenbank Woods and back into Shorne Woods Country Park. The 3km route takes you around the Shorne Woods Country Park. The 1km route is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs. We’d love to see you donning your pink and hope you’ll join us for another wonderful event. Registration costs £10, under 18’s are free but must be accompanied by an adult. This event is open to all. Click HERE to take part

SpitfireChatham Historic Dockyard Trust is delighted to announce that The Spirit of Kent Spitfire from Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar will be making appearances at Salute to the ‘40s on 21st and 22nd September at The Historic Dockyard Chatham. Read More

Gr@nd staff encourage young people not to keep their feelings locked up, and talk about mental health. Workers from The Gr@nd Healthy Living Centre Gravesend, took their newly formed group of peer mentors to look around the Old Town Hall on Friday 16 August in preparation for the Young People’s conference they are planning at the historical venue on Thursday 10 October, for World Mental Health Day. Read More

Oct Poster

healthy foodWould you like tips on making family meal times healthier? If you are a parent or carer with children aged 2-4 there are free advice sessions taking place near you from September.

The MEND 2-4 Programme, run by Medway Council’s Public Health Team offers a great chance for local families to learn about healthy lifestyle choices in a fun and creative way.

The course involves children and a parent or carer taking part in a 90-minute session, once a week for 10 weeks. Each session deals with issues that many parents face from fussy eating to temper tantrums.

There is also advice on reading food labels and encouraging children to try new fruit and vegetables, all of which builds a foundation for lifelong healthy living habits. Read More

 © Copyright Malc McDonald and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

© Copyright Malc McDonald and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Eastgate House, a treasured 16th century townhouse in the heart of historic Rochester will be open to the public throughout Heritage Open Days, from Thursday 12 to Sunday 15 September.

This will be the final opportunity for visitors to see the whole house before work begins on a heritage lottery funded project to transform the house into an exhibition and community space. Read More

Image credit: David Fenwick

Image credit: David Fenwick

This year’s “Heritage Open Day” at The Historic Dockyard Chatham takes visitors into the relatively unexplored world of the Commissioner’s Garden and into the depths of Royal Museums Greenwich (National Maritime Museum) stores in No. 1 Smithery. Read More

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