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Ann Barnes, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, has launched a new grants scheme to help local people.

The ‘Commissioner’s Fund’ will give away £100,000 over the next financial year. It aims to support the hundreds of unique, community-led projects that can make a real difference to safety and crime prevention in our towns and villages.

Voluntary organisations and not for profit groups will be able to apply for grants up to £2,000 that demonstrate a positive impact on a community.

Applications, which open today, must meet one or more of the following criteria:

• Prevent and reduce re-offending

• Support victims of crime

• Empower local communities to work together to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour

All grants will initially be reviewed by the Kent People’s Trust – a local charity that aims to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour – with the final decision being made by the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, and where appropriate with input from the new Youth Commissioner.

Discussing the launch of the new scheme, Ann Barnes, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted to be able to launch this grant scheme for local people. Local communities know their patch and they understand what needs to be done to make it a better place.

‘I firmly believe that even a small investment will rally local people into playing their part in finding community solutions for local issues. I want people to be innovative and creative with their ideas and I’m really looking forward to giving local communities a cash injection.’

Bryn Price, Director of Kent People’s Trust said: ‘The charity has over 12 years of experience in community grants and we are really delighted to have been asked to provide our expertise as part of this new exciting project. Both the charity and the Commissioner have one common aim and that’s to make Kent a safer place.’

Applications will be accepted throughout the year. Full terms and conditions and information on how to apply can be found at www.kent-pcc.gov.uk/commissionersfund

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animmates 40s night
A nostalgic Roaring Forties Night is planned for High Halstow in March.

It’s a fundraiser for Anim-Mates, the animal rescue sanctuary in St Mary Hoo

The Roger Luxton Dance Band will be playing the music of the wartime era at High Halstow Village Hall on Saturday 29 March from 7pm.

Tickets at £12 are limited to 100 so there will be plenty of room dance.

40′s outfits are optional, but there will be a prize for the best one.

You are asked to bring your own rations to eat.

The Friends of Chernobyl’s Children is a local branch of a charity that helps children from Belarus by giving them a recuperative holiday which allows respite from the poverty and difficult conditions they face at home for a month each year. The charity is based in Cliffe with host families in Cliffe, Cliffe Woods, Allhallows, High Halstow, Medway Towns and Higham. (More information can be found at

 Thyroid patients receive medicine at the Radiation Medicine clinic near Minsk Thyroid patients receive medicine at the Radiation Medicine clinic near Minsk

cc.org.uk” target=”_blank”>http://www.focc.org.uk)

This is provided through family placements and the charity meets the full cost of these visits which include optical, dental and health checks as well as lots of tender loving care. It is anticipated that up to twelve children will be able to take up the opportunity this year in Medway. While they are here they undertake a range of activities and visits that they would be unable to do at home.

By extensive fundraising FOCC (Medway) meets the full costs of all the visits. The charity is self-funding and everyone involved gives their time and talents freely – ensuring that all money raised is utilised for the children.

In order to continue with our work we constantly need to raise money. Until now, the cost of the children’s visas for their trips to the UK has been funded by the British Government but last year the funding was withdrawn. The air fares for the children are rising each year and it costs hundreds of pounds to bring each child to the UK.

While appreciating that we are living in austere times, any donation no matter how small will make a huge difference to these children.

We are also looking for an additional Trustee for our Executive committee, if you feel that you could help in this capacity please get in touch. If you would like to find out more or be involved as a helper, fundraiser or host family please contact Di Fitter.
Group Coordinator: Diane Fitter – Tel. 01634 222875 E-mail: dianefitter@btinternet.com

speed article Consultation ends next week on proposals to reduce the speed limit for drivers on the Hoo Peninsula.

A number of parish councils have been asked for their views on new speed limits proposed for the area. And they have until Monday, 3 February to have their say.

The idea is to reduce the current 60mph limit down to 40mph and also 30mph for some roads. The consultation follows a request by some residents to implement a 40mph speed limit on the Ratcliffe Highway and a 30mph limit for the hamlet of St. Mary Hoo and St. Mary’s Cottages.

This will provide consistency for drivers on the rural roads as well helping the local environment by cutting down on carbon emissions.

Backers of the campaign also hope reducing the speed limit will decrease road collisions and improve conditions for other users such as pedestrians and cyclists.

Cllr Phil Filmer, Portfolio Holder for Front Line Services, encourages the move. He said: “These changes could make a huge difference to the area, making the roads safer for residents and commuters as well as benefiting the rural location by decreasing pollution and noise.” “I welcome people to come forward with their comments.”

Parish councils, including Allhallows, Cliffe Woods, High Halstow, Hoo St Werburgh, St Mary Hoo and Stoke still have until next week to voice their opinions. If the plans are approved, new speed limit signs will be put up during March.

St Werburgh Court, Hoo St Werburgh Court, Hoo

A recent report, commissioned by the National Housing Federation, revealed that the gap between supply and demand in housing is widening. Nationally, England needs to build 240,000 homes a year just to meet the demand[1] yet house building decreased by 11% between 2009 and 2013[2]. In Medway, the demand for affordable homes is clear: rental prices are expected to rise by 38% by 2020[3].

mhs homes is on target to build more affordable homes across Medway in 2014 with developments at Amherst Hill, Brompton and the sites previously used as Rainham and Rochester police stations. The properties will be available for shared ownership and affordable rent. More homes are planned for Kent and Medway in 2015 and beyond.

Emma Riddington, Head of Development at mhs homes, says:

“At mhs homes, we recognise the need to support the local community and are developing properties to suit all individual circumstances. We are increasing our portfolio of both affordable and market rent properties and have started work on sites outside of Medway. In 2012/13 we built 140 new homes, and are on target to build another 260 new homes by the end of March 2015.”

[1] National Housing Federation, “Supply and demand/affordability”
[2] ibid
[3] National Housing Federation, statistics for Medway.

Welcome to another exciting installment in this season’s Peninsula Darts action. With the expanding of the league’s ‘premises’ and promotion of two very good teams into the first division, it is anyone’s guess how things will unfold. Well, so far, so topsy-turvy! Newly promoted Hoo have made a bold start by beating neighbours Five Bells (9-3), the Evening Star (10-2) and then the champions at The Labour Club in Twydall (8-4). The Labour Club’s A team are sitting close by in second place after another cracking start. Wins over The Labour Club B, The Palmerston Club and at The Hogarth in Grain. Also in joint second place in the table are ‘old’ league members The Sportsman A, who have also triumphed in Grain, beaten The Cecil Arms and put paid to the hard to beat White Horse. Again, another place affected by legs won and lost. Much fancied Walnut Tree, from Gillingham, have lost just one game so far, against fellow cross-river team, Palmerston Club, enough to keep them back in seventh place behind The White Horse in Upper Stoke. The lower reaches of the first division are more interesting. Read More

Snorkellers below the Minack (Rod Allday) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Snorkellers below the Minack (Rod Allday) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Registration has opened for Medway’s newest mass participation event – the Medway Big Splash.

The weekend-long event will showcase watersports, aquatics and water-based activity sessions, all culminating in the main event – a mass community swim challenge.

It takes place at Medway Park and Strood Sports Centres on 18 and 19 January 2014.

The swimming event builds on the success of the annual Medway Mile, which now attracts thousands of people of every age for a one-mile walk or run around Rochester. Read More

If, like me, you have recently discovered or rediscovered the beauty of the Grain coastal area you may be interested in reading the article written by Michael Dale about the area and beyond. An article he contributed to the Thames Estuary Partnership Magazine for 2012 and reasserts the value or should I say several of the different values of this most remote part of our Peninsula. The full article can be found here TOTT_Winter_2012_36-37 (1)

Michael also runs regular guided walks around the park, stopping on occasions to impart to you the fascinating history of parts of the park. Join one of these if you can, there are two remaining for this season and they take place on the 27th October and the 24th November, you can get more details by emailing michael.dale@virgin.net or calling 01634 270314

If you live within the distribution area of the Peninsula Times printed version, you will doubtless be aware of Anim-Mates charity and the good work that they do. If you have some time to attend one or both of these events you would be providing tremendous help to them. Plus you get to eat CAKE at one of the events and everyone likes cake!

Just to illustrate the kind of people they are. We found a cat hiding under our car at home, clearly injured and clearly in distress. We tried in vain to contact other animal charities for help without success. We called Anim-Mates and hoped, someone answered, not only did they answer but they gave us the address of a vet that could help and even called ahead to say that we were coming and any charge should be referred to them. Unfortunately the poor little cat died as a result of her injuries within a day or so and although it was a short period of time Anim-Mates were there and available to help when bigger and better known charities were not. Please help them if you can by going along to have some fun at these events.

If you can’t quite read the detail click on the image to make it huge!

fun auction 2013

Afternoon Tea 2013

DSC_0176Having successfully won funding of £14m in a joint effort with Veolia Environmental Services, our recycling collections will change to weekly on the 28th October. Almost all of us by now will have received our grey food recycling box which can be kept inside the house and its compostable liner can then be placed in the brown bin or its equivalent.

The increase in frequency should make it easier for most households to make the most of their recycling opportunities for all the items that the council currently process. I for one will be glad to know that Friday is recycle day, full stop, rather than having to peer up and down the road to see what everyone else has put out. Read More

grain-beach-0361.jpg If you need to know more about the possible hazardous waste site at Grain you can click the following link to find all of the contact details.

Perrys Farm Information

Or you can contact your local Councillor to register your opinion by following this link

Find Your Councillor

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. ”

ORIGINAL 244a Fiona

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

Medway Council has pledged to continue the very important improvements it is bringing in to its services that look after children in care. The council has vowed to do this after Ofsted inspectors graded Medway’s Looked After Children Services as inadequate. Read More

A number of road closures are scheduled for September to allow for essential repair works to be carried out. Read More

An exciting programme of summer fun events is taking place at Strood Youth Centre throughout August. All the activities are free and aimed at eight to 19 year olds.

Climbing – Monday, 5 August 3pm – 6pm

Archery – Tuesday, 6 and Tuesday, 20 August 3pm – 6pm

Trampolining – Wednesday, 7 August 3pm – 6pm

Cake decorating – Tuesday, 6, Wednesday, 7 and Monday, 12 August 3– 6pm

Jewellery making – Monday, 12 and Tuesday, 13 August 3pm – 6pm

Wet and Wild (water fights, slides and play) – Wednesday, 14 August 3pm – 6pm

Inflatable activity fun (gladiator style challenge) – Monday, 19 and Wednesday, 21 August 3pm – 6pm

All the workshops listed above take place at Strood Youth Centre, Montfort Road, Strood, ME2 3ET

1 – 15 August, Charlton Football Club will be running a summer slam football activity week from 10am – 4pm each day in Northcote Rec, Northcote Road, Strood. For more details about any of the activities and workshops, phone 07789 988165 or email patricia.houssein@medway.gov.uk

LEADING BEAUTY BRANDS LAUNCH EXCLUSIVE PINK RANGES FOR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

Shop with a conscience and shop pink this October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Beauty favourites, Avon and ghd, have joined forces with leading charity, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, to launch exclusive pink products which carry a minimum 10% donation to Breakthrough’s life-saving work.

Avon and ghd, along with many more leading retailers, will all be doing their bit to help the nation turn pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. More women than ever before are being diagnosed with breast cancer so it’s crucial that everybody gets involved and helps raise vital funds to stop women dying from the disease.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to saving lives through improving early diagnosis, developing new treatments and preventing all types of breast cancer. With 1,000 women dying from the disease each month in the UK alone, every penny raised is vital in order to help us create a world freed from breast cancer. Do your bit, do it pink.

1. Avon Pro Viva Pink Nail Varnish, RRP £4, 25% donation to Breakthrough Breast Cancer, available from your local Independent Avon Representative or online at avonshop.co.uk
2. ghd pink styler and paddle brush gift set RRP £135, £10 donation to Breakthrough Breast Cancer, available in the finest salons and at http://www.ghdhair.com. ghd has been supporting Breakthrough Breast Cancer for 10 years.

Summer fete poster 2013

Residents ignored by a fly-tipper dumping rubbish near their homes had the last laugh after video footage they secretly shot helped result in a successful prosecution.
Paul Proud, 51, of Whyman Avenue, Chatham had been due to stand trial on Monday, 15 July after pleading not guilty to a charge of being in control of a vehicle used in a fly-tipping incident, but changed his plea before the hearing. More

Cake bakers of the Peninsula take one step forward, wooden spoons and Kenwood Chefs at the ready. Send us pictures of your cakes and we will put them on our website for the world to see.

RAISE SOME DOUGH AND HELP BEAT BREAST CANCER, BREAKTHROUGH BREAST CANCER LAUNCHES THE VERY FIRST GREAT PINK BAKE OFF

This year leading charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer is recruiting an army of bakers to fire up their ovens, hit the kitchen and give breast cancer a good beating in the first ever Great Pink Bake Off.

More women than ever are being diagnosed with breast cancer so Breakthrough Breast Cancer wants local communities to whip up some support to help fund their life-saving research. More

The WantedThe full line up of acts supporting The Wanted at this year’s Castle Concerts is now complete. Max, Nathan, Tom, Jay and Siva will storm the stage at Rochester’s Castle Gardens with their ferociously infectious tunes, including All Time Low and Glad You Came, plus tracks from their new album Third Strike. Tickets are still available but selling fast for the show, which takes place on Thursday, 18 July. More

Keep children entertained this summer holiday with some creative fun and activities thanks to Medway Council Arts Team.

Heatwave summer activities programme is designed for children aged eight to 16. More

9 task groupMedway Council’s Fair Access to Credit Task Group Report has been highly commended in the Good Scrutiny Awards 2013 run by the Centre for Public Scrutiny. The cross-party group was short-listed in the Innovation category for its work to promote financial literacy and affordable lending. The judges thought this review tackling debt and co-ordinated with the national campaign to end legal loan-sharking was an “excellent example of scrutiny having an impact nationally as well as locally”. More

Statement on visit to Medway by the Aviation Commission

Sir Howard Davies and the Aviation Commission today carried out a fact-finding visit to Medway as part of its investigation into how the UK can maintain its leading global airport hub status.

Please find below a statement from Medway Council:

Cllr Alan Jarrett, Deputy Leader of Medway Council, said: “We are very pleased that Sir Howard Davies and members of the government’s Aviation Commission travelled to Medway today as it gave us an opportunity to tell them why building a huge hub airport here would be a complete non-starter.

“The Commission are on a series of fact-finding trips to look at all possible ways the Government could bring about a rapid increase in aviation capacity for the UK. “Medway Council, Kent County Council, Southend-on-sea Borough Council, the RSPB, the National Grid, LNG, Friends of North Kent Marshes and others made representations to the Commission that they do not believe the Thames Estuary is the answer.

“Building a huge hub airport from scratch would take at least 25 years to build. This is too late to stop the UK’s continued slide against its other competitors, as if something is not done now airlines will simply move to take up additional capacity already available abroad.

“It would also lead to the closure of Heathrow, which would devastate the economy to the west of London, and could lead to many multinational companies with European headquarters there simply moving abroad.

“The airport would also affect the lives of around 23,000 people and lead to the destruction of nine villages on the Hoo Peninsula. And – in order to house the around 100,000 workforce needed to service a new airport – we would need to build a new town the size of Manchester to accommodate them.

“In short, we stated that a new airport – which would devastate a globally scientifically important area used by more than 300,000 migrating birds – would have a price tag of up to £80billion and that this is simply too much for the country to pay.

“Our solution is to make better use of existing airports, including here in Kent at Manston and Lydd, with better rail links to improve connectivity to places such as Stansted and Gatwick.”

Please find at the foot of this email press release a link to a document showing a digest of the main points Medway Council put forward detailing why it believes an airport should not be built on or near the Thames Estuary.

For more information on the make up of the government’s Aviation Commission and its work please go to http://www.gov.uk/government/news/airports-commission-membership

Click HERE to see a two page briefing to the airports commision

A5 EOD Amber

©PraxisDesign 2012

©PraxisDesign 2012

Rochester returns to its Victorian glory during the weekend of Friday 31 May to Sunday 2 June, as the annual Dickens Festival lights up the streets with colourful costumed characters, street theatre, music and dancing. Held every year since 1978, the event celebrates Medway’s many associations with the great author, who drew many of his characters and settings for his novels from the years he lived in the area. More

Here is a little something for this weekend if you have some time. Two venues over the two days, including some great ideas for gifts from crafters from all over the area and a few from beyond.

craft fairs

Kent’s leading wildlife charity is calling upon the horse riding fraternity to support its cross country ride this spring to raise vital funding towards the conservation of local wildlife.

The third Kent Wildlife Trust Charity Ride, supported by Barclays Bank and Lillicos Country Stores, will be held on Sunday 14th April. More

Cycling enthusiasts are encouraged to join The Mayor of Medway on an 18-mile bike ride this month.

Cllr Vaughn Hewett and the A Better Medway health improvement team are taking part in the Active Medway Cycle Groups ride on Sunday, 21 April. The route will go along the wonderful Heron Trail on the Hoo Peninsula – 18 miles of pretty countryside, mainly on cycle paths or low traffic roads. Trained ride leaders will also be on hand to assist cyclists along the route. More

A Kent-based charity is to offer free consultancy to two communities wishing to start planning for their futures.

Action with Communities in Rural Kent (ACRK), which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, will be offering free help to two communities within the county to start making a neighbourhood plan. Neighbourhood plans have been promoted by the government as a way of giving influence to communities over what is built locally. ACRK will be charging a fee for such help later in 2013, but has been awarded funding to try out a support package in two places. More

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