Local News

Witnesses Sought To Serious A2 Faversham Collision

Witnesses Sought To Serious A2 Faversham Collision

Witnesses are being sought by Kent Police after a man suffered serious injuries in a collision near Faversham yesterday (Monday 15th February).

At around 3.45pm yesterday afternoon a white Vauxhall Astra van was travelling along the A2 London Road from Faversham towards the Brenley Corner roundabout when it was involved in a collision with a pedestrian.

The pedestrian sustained serious injuries and was flown by the Kent Air Ambulance to a London hospital, where he remains in a critical condition. The van driver was not injured.

Officers from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit are appealing for dashcam footage and any witnesses, who have not yet spoken to the police, to come forward.

Witnesses are asked to contact the SCIU appeal line on 01622 798538 or they can email: sciu.td@kent.pnn.police.uk quoting Ref: HW/CF/011/21.


Appeal Following Robbery At Sittingbourne Shop

Appeal Following Robbery At Sittingbourne Shop

Local detectives have issued an appeal for information following a report of a robbery in Sittingbourne.

At around 7:00pm on Saturday 16th January, three men entered a shop in St John’s Avenue where two shop assistants were working.

It is alleged one of the men, who was holding a bladed weapon, threatened a staff member while the other two suspects stole a quantity of tobacco. The second shop assistant is reported to have been assaulted and the men then stole cash and some bottles of alcohol before leaving the premises.

One of the suspects is described as wearing a black coat, white or grey gloves, black tracksuit bottoms with a white stripe down the legs and black trainers. He was carrying a green holdall and had a black face mask. The second had a blue coat with a grey hooded top underneath, blue or grey gloves, a black hat, grey jogging bottoms and black trainers. He was wearing a blue surgical face mask. The third suspect is described as wearing a dark coat, grey jogging bottoms, dark trainers, a dark woollen hat and a blue surgical face mask. He had black and orange gloves.

Investigating officer, PC Harry Groves, of the Chief Constable’s Crime Squad, told SFM News: ‘While investigators are completing enquiries in the area, including the examination of CCTV footage, we are appealing for witnesses who may have seen the incident or saw somebody acting suspiciously, to contact us.'

Anyone with any information, that may assist the investigation, is urged to call the Kent Police Appeal Line on 01795 419119, quoting crime reference 46/8283/21, or alternatively they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers FREE and anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or by using their anonymous online form at: crimestoppers-uk.org.

Cannabis Cultivation Uncovered In Faversham

Cannabis Cultivation Uncovered In Faversham

A cannabis cultivation has been uncovered by police officers at an industrial unit in Faversham.

Kent Police were called on Friday (5th February) to a report of suspicious activity at the unit in Newnham Lane, Faversham.

Officers from the local policing team attended and seized more than 100 cannabis plants in varying stages of maturity.

Two men aged 22 and from the Sittingbourne area have been arrested in connection with the investigation and have since been released under investigation.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Kent Police on 01795 419119 quoting reference 46/19577/21.


Peter Morgan Made Freeman Of The Borough

Peter Morgan Made Freeman Of The Borough

A popular former councillor from Sittingbourne has been made a Freeman of the Borough of Swale.

Peter Morgan, was given the honour at a special meeting of the council last night (Wednesday 3rd February), having been nominated by the council leader, Cllr Roger Truelove.

Cllr Truelove told SFM News: “In my long time associated with this council, I cannot think of anyone who has represented the sense of service with greater distinction than Peter Morgan. Honouring him sets a high benchmark for us now serving on this council. Peter schooled many community groups into existence and very frequently stayed with people’s projects, usually as chairman. A few years ago, when Peter fell in his cellar at home, he had to go into the Memorial Hospital. After visiting him there, I put a short message on a Facebook page to let people know he was progressing well and the public response was overwhelming".

Cllr Truelove went on to say: “In wishing Peter well, a multitude of people recalled their lifelong thanks to him, for all he had been to them as a councillor, but also in the wider community and strikingly as a teacher. Peter is a Welshman, with a gift for public speaking, and came to Sittingbourne in 1948 and made it his lifelong home. He was first a teacher at the Milton Butts and then at Westlands School. He was elected to the Sittingbourne and Milton District Council in 1962 and campaigned for years for council recognition of the Citizens Advice Bureau. He became the first Liberal Mayor of Swale in 1987 and Chair of Kent County Council in 1996.

Cllr Truelove concluded: “Among his many community roles he has been a lay preacher, chair of the Swale Footpaths Group, founder member of the Twinning Association between Sittingbourne and Ypres, chair of the Dolphin Barge Museum, founder of the Sittingbourne Heritage Museum, governor of Schools in Sittingbourne and Queenborough, co-founder of the Sittingbourne Music Society, founder of Crossroads Care, founder and Chair of Home Start, chair of Sittingbourne and District Volunteer Bureau. Many words are abused these days and one of them is legend. But even so, Peter Morgan’s service to the community is legendary. Peter put service first and politics second. His career is an example and inspiration to us all and I am pleased members unanimously supported the call to honour him as a Freeman of the Borough of Swale.”

Peter joins other Freemen of the borough such as Bob Geldof KBE and Paralympian and TV presenter Steve Brown.

Sittingbourne's Victorian Station Bridge Demolished

Sittingbourne's Victorian Station Bridge Demolished

One of Kent's oldest rail bridges, at Sittingbourne railway station, has been demolished.

Network Rail engineers used a crane to demolish the original iron pedestrian bridge at the station, in St Michael’s Road, overnight (Saturday 30th January).

The Victorian foot bridge was one of the oldest in the county and was lifted out of the way and taken away for scrap.

A Network Rail spokesperson told SFM News: "it had come to the end of it's life and it was not safe to continue to use".

*Pic courtesy of 106.9 SFM's Matthew Judd.

Petition Set Up To Reinstate Bus Route 333

Petition Set Up To Reinstate Bus Route 333

An online petition has been set up to re-instate the 333 Bus service between Faversham and Sittingbourne once the public start to use public transport again after Lockdown III.

The petition has been set up by Labour Swale Borough Councillor for St Anne's Julian Sanders.

Arriva axed the 333 bus route between Faversham and Sittingbourne from Monday 4th January because, it claimed, it was being underused during the pandemic. If it is not re-instated communities along the A2 like Bapchild, Teynham, Norton and Ospringe will have fewer buses and at some stops none at all because the remaining buses take a different route. Cllr Saunders cites "more passengers using local buses to travel between these growing communities will help reduce congestion and pollution".

As one member of the public said on social media “Arriva should make this a temporary discontinuation, This service was well used before the pandemic and it is a very short-sighted move.The only reason it is not being used at the moment is due to the COVID restrictions and the Government’s request that public transport is only used as an absolute necessity. Another said "it is a crucial service for some school children and the elderly. I also use it to get to work at Faversham Hospital, but now I have to use the [Stagecoach] Canterbury service which leaves half hour earlier, meaning i have to set off for my shift 90 minutes before my start time".

If you wish to support the petition to get the service re-instated please visit: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/bring-back-the-333-bus.

All Local Care Home Residents And Staff Vaccinated

All Local Care Home Residents And Staff Vaccinated

All care home residents and staff across the Sittingbourne area have now received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, less than two weeks after the vaccination hub opened up at Heather House.

Dr Shaun Potter (pictured above), Practice Manager of The Chestnuts Surgery in East Street and the lead for the hub, told SFM News: "We have now given the first dose to all our care home residents and staff  in Sittingbourne. We had been given guidance from the government that this should have been completed by Thursday 18th February, so we are well ahead of this target with us having vaccinated well over 5,000 patients since opening. We have now done all the over-80s, with their first doses - apart from those who had COVID-19 at the time or those who didn't turn up, but we have rebooked them back in. Now we are targetting the 75-80 age bracket and we hope to get through that group next week and then to move onto those over 70 for the following week".

Tune in to Tony Weaver and 'In The Bourne' weekdays 11am - 1pm for the latest local news and information during Lockdown III.


Support Scheme For Families Affected By Pandemic

 Support Scheme For Families Affected By Pandemic

One hundred and ninety-seven families impacted by COVID-19 have received pre-packaged essential food boxes through Swale Borough Council’s COVID Winter Support Scheme.

The scheme is a partnership between the council, West Faversham Community Centre and Diversity House, who have processed and delivered a total of 398 food boxes to residents’ doors, supporting 707 people across the borough since its launch last month.

The boxes have been a helping hand to those who have had a change in their financial situation, received a positive covid test, are self-isolating following contact from the NHS Test and Trace system or experiencing a change of personal circumstances because of the pandemic.

Nine different pre-packaged essential food boxes including essentials such as pasta, soup, fruit, cereal, toilet roll and handwash, alongside vegetarian, Free-From, Afro-Caribbean, Eastern European, and Asian boxes to meet the various dietary, cultural and religious needs of local residents are available, and each box provides enough food for seven days.

Cllr Richard Palmer, cabinet member for community at Swale Borough Council, told SFM News: "The winter support scheme is a new service that is in direct response to those who are suffering hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic. So far we’ve delivered 355 pre-packaged essential food boxes to people who are struggling to feed their families. West Faversham Community Centre and Diversity House have been working hard to process applications and deliver boxes to people’s doors."

He went on to add: "We’re aiming to deliver a minimum of 2,000 boxes this winter, so I encourage anyone who has received a reduction in income, loss of employment, positive covid test result or other change in personal circumstance due to the pandemic to get in touch. Once your application is submitted, our community support team will carry out an assessment. If successful, an essential food box will be delivered to you within a couple of days. We know this has been a difficult year for people and we’re doing everything we can to help support families experiencing exceptional hardship this winter.”

 For more information, or to apply for the winter grant scheme please visi:t www.swale.gov.uk/cwgs

Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible people must:

  • have recently been made unemployed within the last two months and are still out of work
  • have been furloughed and receiving less income
  • have lost income because you cannot work from home
  • are not already receiving support from Kent Support and Assistance Service (KSAS), local foodbanks or food support services
  • are currently self-isolating because of a positive COVID-19 test or you’ve been contacted by NHS Test and Trace
  • are currently receiving support from the Swale Borough Council self-isolation payments
  • are leaving your home because of domestic abuse
  • are currently living in temporary accommodation
  • have recently been discharged from hospital.

Those NOT eligible include people who:

  • are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period)
  • continue to receive full wages
  • are self-isolating without a positive COVID-19 test result or without being contacted by NHS Test and Trace
  • are already regularly receiving support from KCC's KSAS (Kent Support and Assistance Service) , local foodbanks or food support services.

Appeal For Witnesses To Lower Halstow Collision

Appeal For Witnesses To Lower Halstow Collision

Investigators are appealing for information following a collision near Lower Halstow last week.

At around 8.45pm on Wednesday 20th January, a dark coloured Ford Fiesta was involved in a collision with a cyclist on Raspberry Hill Lane, at it's junction with Basser Hill.

Patrols attended the scene where the car had left in the direction of Lower Halstow prior to their arrival. The cyclist suffered injuries that did not require hospital treatment.

Investigating officer, Police Sergeant Chris Skilton told SFM News: "It is only by chance the cyclist did not suffer more serious injuries and we are seeking to identify the driver of the Ford Fiesta. Our officers are urging anybody who witnessed this incident to call the appeal line. We would also ask drivers who were in the area to check for any dashcam footage that may assist the investigation.’

Anyone with any information is asked to call 01795 419119, quoting reference 20-1258 or alternatively they can call the independent charity, Crimestoppers Kent free and anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their website: https://crimestoppers-uk.org.

Suspect Charged With Defrauding Pensioner

Suspect Charged With Defrauding Pensioner

Kent Police have confirmed that two charges have been authorised against a fraud suspect, after an elderly man from Sittingbourne was found alone in Chatham town centre.

The investigation began on Saturday 9th January after Kent Police received a call from staff at a taxi company who were concerned for a man in his 80s.

The elderly man, who was safely taken home by attending officers, reported that he had made a cash payment to a man who claimed to be from Swale Borough Council, purportedly for work to be carried out at his property.

He also reported that he had been taken to Sittingbourne and Chatham town centres, where unsuccessful attempts had been made to obtain money at a bank and a pawnbroker.

Following an investigation by detectives in the Swale Criminal Investigation Department, Danny-Lee Andrew was arrested on suspicion of fraud offences on Saturday (23rd January).

The 28-year-old, from Maidstone, was later charged with two counts of fraud and has been remanded in custody to attend Medway Magistrates’ Court on Monday (25th January).

Safety advice from Kent Police

Cold callers can go to great lengths to appear genuine before attempting to coerce, or intimidate, victims into handing money. They tend to target people who they suspect to be vulnerable, including the elderly.

The following advice can help reduce the chances of being defrauded:

  • If you receive a request for payment, make a note of the caller’s details and end the call. Avoid paying a cold caller on the spot.
  • Research the agency which the caller claims to be from. This can include checking the agency online, or asking a friend or relative to do so on your behalf.  
  • If you do return the call, dial an official number you have sourced and not the one the caller provided.
  • Never hand over money to a courier who has come to collect money.
  • If you suspect the call was fraudulent, wait for at least five minutes for the line to clear before contacting Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or Kent Police on 101. If possible, use a handset on a different phoneline to make the call.

For information please visit: https://www.kent.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/asb/asb/antisoc...



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