Local News

New Carnival Court For 2018 Selected

Pictured are Alexandra Wastell - Joint Princess, Eleanor Hopkins - Miss Sittingbourne 2018 and Abbie-Jane Barnes - Joint Princess.

Sittingbourne's new Carnival Court for 2018 has been announced following the Selection Night on Saturday (10th March).

The event was held at The Woodcombe Sports & Social Club in Murston and involved interviews and public speeches from the participants.

We wish them all a very happy and successful year ahead and look forward to seeing them with the SFM Roadshow Crew on Carnival Day this year - which is Saturday 23rd June.


Fatal Collision Close To Railway Station

Fatal Collision Close To Railway Station

Officers from the Kent Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU) are appealing for witnesses following the death of a pedestrian close to Sittingbourne train station at the weekend.

Police were called at around 11.25pm on Saturday (10th March) to reports of a collision involving a lorry, on St Michael's Road. Police and ambulance crews attended and a man was declared dead at the scene.

Officers from the SCIU would now like to hear from anyone who witnessed the collision, or who saw the pedestrian or lorry beforehand.

If you can help, please contact them on 01622 798538 quoting SCIU/MS/035/18. Alternatively you can email: sciu.td@kent.pnn.police.uk.

Man Charged With Carrying An Air Rifle

Man Charged With Carrying An Air Rifle

Kent Police officers have charged a man with carrying an air rifle in a public place in Faversham.

Armed police were called to the Abbey Fields area on Saturday (17th February) following reports of a man seen with a weapon.

An extensive search of the area was carried out with the aid of the NPAS police helicopter.

Further enquires led to the seizure of an air rifle and the arrest and charging of Daniel Powell, aged 35 and from St Johns Avenue here in Sittingbourne.

He has been released on bail to appear before Maidstone Magistrates Court on Friday 16th March.

Two Charged After Officers Stop Car In Iwade

Two Charged After Officers Stop Car In Iwade

Officers who stopped a car in Old Ferry Road, Iwade have charged a woman with drugs offences.

Daisy Ann Taylor, 24, of Regis Crescent in Sittingbourne was stopped driving a Volkswagen Golf with four passengers in the early hours of Monday (19th February) morning.

Enquiries led officers conduct a search at a house in Sittingbourne and an amount of suspected crack cocaine was seized.

Ms Taylor was charged with possession of crack cocaine with intent to supply, possession of heroin with intent to supply, using a car without insurance and driving without a licence. She will appear before Medway Magistrates Court later today (Tuesday, 20th February).

Her passenger, 21-year-old Rasheen Taylor, of Consort Road, East Peckham, was arrested and charged with possessing a knife. He has been bailed to appear before Medway Magistrates Court on Friday 9th March.

Officers also arrested a 15-year-old girl from Sheerness, a 19-year-old woman from Sheerness and a 20-year-old man from Gillingham. They were all released without charge.

Man Arrested Following Sheppey Prison Visit

Man Arrested Following Sheppey Prison Visit

Officers from Kent Police have arrested a man from the Croydon area after he visited a prison on the Isle Of Sheppey.

The 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of trying to take prohibited items into HMP Standford Hill after he was seen acting suspiciously near the prison.

Officers arrested the man at around 7.30pm on Sunday (11th February) and found a pillowcase hidden nearby. Inside the pillowcase were items including a mobile phone, charger, alcohol, razor blades, tobacco and 50 tablets which were believed to be Oxymethelone.

The man has been released under investigation while enquiries are carried out.



Police Appeal After Body Of Man Found In Iwade

Police Appeal After Body Of Man Found In Iwade

Kent Police are appealing for information after the body of a man was found by Sheppey Way in Iwade earlier today (Wednesday 14th February). Officers were called at 7.49am after a passer-by found the man lying by the roadside.

At this stage the cause of death is unknown.

Detective Inspector Chris Dovey, leading the investigation, told SFM News: "We are working on a number of lines of enquiry to establish the cause of death. One possibility is that the deceased was involved in a road traffic collision. Therefore I would ask motorists who have driven along Sheppey Way within the last 24 hours to carefully check their vehicles for signs of a collision. Alternatively if you have any information that may help police with this investigation, please contact us."

The road was closed for several hours from the Kingsferry Roundabout to the junction of Old Ferry Road.

If you have any information that could assist officers, please contact 101 quoting reference 14-170.


Success For Creek Clean Morning

Success For Creek Clean Morning

Swale Friends of the Earth say they were overwhelmed on Sunday (11th February) morning by a magnificent turnout for the litter pick along Faversham Creek and the saltmarshes.

The event was organised to support the upcoming ‘Say No to Throwaway Plastics Week' in Faversham (18 - 24 Feb). The aim was to collect the litter along the Saxon Shore Way to prevent the rubbish, particularly the plastic, from further degrading this valuable and bio-diverse place. 

Said Amanda Thesiger, Swale FoE's Secretary, told SFM News: "What a great turnout from the brave and the bold of Faversham and further afield who came to clear the Saxon Shore Way and saltmarsh of some rather disgusting rubbish and litter! More than 80 people, young and old, came to help and we brought in around as many sacks, and large amounts of bulkier items, some of which has been lurking in the area for years. Hopefully, by clearing the rubbish we've helped the prospects of the Sea Aster Bee, the Redshank, the Kingfisher and the Frogbit, to name a few of the local species."

Just before 10am, a steady stream of volunteers of all ages arrived on Standard Quay. Once issued with pickers and bags, they fanned along the Creek from Standard Quay to Nagden. They returned with rich pickings, the most spectacular (and heaviest) of them a leather armchair! Members of local groups such as Faversham Footpaths Group, Plastic Free Faversham, Swale Lib Dems and Swale Green Party also went along to support the morning.

Jail For Thief Who Failed To Steal Sheppey ATMs

Jail For Thief Who Failed To Steal Sheppey ATMs

A thief has been jailed for ramming a stolen telehandler through the wall of a Sheppey supermarket in a failed attempt to steal two cash machines.

Following the incident Kieron Armstrong, 39, of Brays Mead in Harlow, Essex, drove a car at speeds of up to 150mph to try to escape police before crashing into a roundabout and being arrested.

He was sentenced to six years' imprisonment after pleading guilty to attempted theft, damaging property, aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving and driving while disqualified. The judge also banned him from driving for eight years.

The case was investigated by detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

Armstrong and others had stolen the telehandler from a nearby location before using it to cause extensive damage to the wall of the store in Thomsett Way, Queenborough, in the early hours of Saturday 16th September last year.

CCTV footage showed the digger smash into bollards in front of the cashpoint area at 1.35am. After knocking one over, it surged forwards and repeatedly rammed into the wall of the supermarket causing significant and costly damage.

A large section of brickwork then collapsed after the offenders attached straps to the machines and attempted to pull them from the wall.

Armstrong and his accomplices abandoned their efforts soon after and fled the scene in two separate vehicles - a flatbed van and a stolen Audi.

Officers located the van abandoned close to the Sheppey Crossing. The Audi, driven by Armstrong, was spotted moments later and pursued onto the M2 London-bound.

He turned the vehicle's lights off and sped away, travelling at speeds of up to 150mph before crashing into a roundabout off Junction 3 for Chatham.

Armstrong was found lying in dense undergrowth by a police dog named Merlin and was subsequently arrested.

Crowbars, bolt croppers, metal bars and other items were found within the vehicle.

Detective Inspector Gary Scarfe told SFM News: "This was a brazen attempt by offenders who had clearly planned the offence, knowing there would be staff working within the store but showing no concern for their safety as they repeatedly rammed the wall. Armstrong and his accomplices hoped to cash in on what they thought was a soft target without any consideration of the damage and potential harm it could cause. Thankfully nobody was injured. He will now have a substantial amount of time in prison to reflect on his failed efforts.'

Armstrong was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday 7th February).


Kent MPs Win £3.9M Extra Social Care Funding

Kent MPs Win £3.9M Extra Social Care Funding

Kent MPs have welcomed the news of an extra £3.9 million for social care here in Kent, announced today (Tuesday 6th February) by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid.

The announcement follows a series of meetings between Kent MPs and Ministers, pressing for rising costs to be addressed in the forthcoming Local Government Finance Settlement. Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council, has also argued vigorously for a more generous funding settlement for the county.

In recognition of the growing need for Social Care, the Government is providing an extra £166m Social Care Grant to Local Authorities across England for 2018/19. Kent's share of that Grant will be £3.9 million.

In addition, Kent is one of just 12 authorities piloting the retention of Business Rates, which this year is expected to generate £25 million for the county.

Today Mr Javid released details of this year's Local Government Funding Settlement which will see Kent's core funding increase by 2.5%, which equates to an additional £25 million.

Local MP, Gordon Henderson, told SFM News: "I have been working with the Leader of the KCC, Paul Carter, and other Kent members of Parliament to lobby the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, to get more funding for adult social care in our county. Kent MPs met with the Secretary of State yesterday and I was able to highlight to Mr Javid the unique nature of Kent's problems, because of its proximity to London and the English Channel, and the pressure that geography places on the county's roads, housing, schools and social care. I am delighted that Mr Javid appears to have listened to our concerns and has increased support for Kent. However, this is just a start. We need to ensure that Kent's problems are taken into account when future settlements are made. I was able to raise with Mr Javid also the problem Kent is facing in getting from the Government the millions of pounds owed to the county for looking after unaccompanied minors who have made their way to this country via Dover."


Appeal Following Mass Tyre Dumping

Appeal Following Mass Tyre Dumping

Swale Borough Council are appealing for any information following the dumping of 118 tyres last week on the roadside in Bobbing, Hartlip, Iwade, Lower Halstow and Upchurch.

Cllr Nicholas Hampshire, Deputy Cabinet Member For Safer Families And Communities, told SFM News: "Cleaning up any fly-tipped waste is time-consuming and expensive - and the cost of collecting and disposing of these tyres is ultimately paid for by council tax payers, money that could otherwise be spent in ways that directly benefit residents. As well as trying to track down the offenders, we are also encouraging people to think about how they dispose of their waste, including old tyres".

He went on to add: "Anyone - households or businesses - producing waste has a duty to make sure they know who is taking their waste away, and that it will be disposed of appropriately. Failure to do so could result in a hefty fine. Anyone offering to take waste away must be registered to carry it, or it might end up dumped and you could be prosecuted for failing to take reasonable steps in preventing a fly tipping incident."

To check whether someone is licenced to carry waste visit the Environment Agency website or call 03708 506 506.

For more information about fly-tipping, and what the council is doing to tackle it, visit www.swale.gov.uk/fly-tipping.

Anyone with any information, in confidence, is asked to contact Swale Borough Council on 01795 417 850.


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